Admiral Charles Chamberlayne (1750-1810) by unknown

Admiral Charles Chamberlayne (1750-1810)


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Admiral Charles Chamberlayne (1750-1810) by unknown zoom

Admiral Charles Chamberlayne (1750-1810)

An oval miniature in watercolour on ivory, in a rectangular gessoed and gilded wooden frame with a turned brass suspension fitting screwed into the top edge. The reverse is inscribed 'Admiral Chamberlayne' and the image shows the sitter head and shoulders, facing forward but with his head and gaze turned slightly to his right, against a background of lightly clouded sky. He wears what appears to be 1787-1795 captain's uniform, with a white shirt and neckcloth and a black stock, and a black tricorn beaver hat with a noticeable nap and gold braid in the black rosette. He has large brown eyes and a short white wig is just visible under the edge of the hat, but the colours have somewhat faded, making the coat almost pale lilac. The Chamberlaynes of Maugersbury, Stow-on-the-Wold, were a landed Gloucestershire family. Charles, a younger son, was commissioned lieutenant in June 1773, first in the 'Rainbow' and then the 'Romney'. He was promoted to commander in May 1777 in the 'Martin', sloop, and captain in October 1778 in the 'Proteus'. He then commanded the 'Garland' (1780), 'Standard' (1787), 'Orion' (1789) and 'Bombay Castle (1794). In the last, in the Mediterranean fleet under Hotham, he was involved (with a much more impatient Nelson) in the inconclusive action with the French off Hyeres on 13 July 1795. He became a Rear-Admiral of the Blue in June 1795 and of the White in March 1797. He rose to Vice-Admiral of the Blue in February 1799, of the White in April 1802 and of the Red in April 1804, and to Admiral of the Blue on 9 November 1805. He died at his home in Plymouth on 24 April 1810. Chamberlayne's near-constant employment until he reached the automatic rises in flag rank suggests competence and good connections rather than distinction: at his death even the 'Naval Chronicle' could only list his promotions rather than report any notable achievement, though he started a family naval tradition. His monument at St Edward's, Stow, blandly notes his 'long and arduous services' but also records his naval sons: George, a lieutenant of 1795 and commander of 1802, who died aged 22 in November that year commanding the sloop 'Busy' in the West Indies; Charles, a midshipman or master's mate, who died in England aged 16 in 1799; and Edwin Henry, a lieutenant of 1802 and captain of 1807. The last was sufficiently meritorious to be made a Companion of the Bath, probably as a demobilization honour at the end of the Napoleonic War in 1815, but died aged only thirty-seven on 24 December 1821. The then eldest surviving son, Bickerton, formerly a lieutenant in the 12th Regiment of Foot, died at his mother's house at Englefield Green, Berkshire, in April 1822, aged thirty (Jackson's Oxford Journal 4 May). An elder daughter, Mary, married the Reverend Henry Ingles, who was headmaster of Rugby School around 1800, and their eldest son became the senior member of the family, inheriting the Chamberlayne property at Maugersbury and changing their name to Ingles-Chamberlayne. Another daughter, Cassandra, married a Reverend Herbert Smith in 1828. A Midshipman Rupert Henry Ingles-Chamberlayne, killed in HMS 'Hawke', aged 17, in October 1914, also has a memorial at St Edward's, while another descendant, the Reverend Charles William Chamberlayne Ingles, was Chaplain of the Fleet during the First World War.

  • Image reference: F9527

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