Captain Harry Harmood (circa 1740-1809) by unknown

Captain Harry Harmood (circa 1740-1809)


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Captain Harry Harmood (circa 1740-1809) by unknown zoom

Captain Harry Harmood (circa 1740-1809)

An oval miniature in watercolour on ivory, in an oval gilt metal suspension frame. The glazed back comprises a broad outer band of blue glass, with a smaller gilt-edged lozenge in the middle in which two locks of hair are mounted on a white ground, one is grey, above, in a trefoil shape secured by a red flower device, and the other, below, brown in a more elaborate bow also fixed by a red flower. Between them in a monogram of seed pearls are the initials HFH. These are presumably the initials of the sitter and his wife or daughter, since an inscription round the edge of this arrangement reads 'AS LONG AS I LIVE I'LL REVERE THE ORIGINAL'. The sitter is shown head and shoulders against a neutral grey background, turned half to his right but looking at the viewer. He has brown eyes and wears his own hair curled and probably powdered, with a black queue ribbon visible and is in the 1774-1787 captain's dress uniform. Harmood was commissioned lieutenant in February 1759, being first noted as second lieutenant of the 'Aquilon' that year, first of the 'Arethusa' in 1771 and third of the 'Eagle' in 1776. As a commander from February 1777 he commanded the 'Falcon' 16-gun sloop, which was the smallest of seven British warships burnt in Narragansett Bay in 1778, during the American War. He was promoted captain from October 1778 in the 'Conqueror', 74 guns and in this ship was flag-captain to Rear-Admiral Hyde Parker in Byron's unsuccessful attempt to prevent the French taking Grenada in the West Indies in July 1779. He progressed to the 'Princess Royal' in 1780, then in 1781 to the 'Cumberland' and 'Medway', 64 guns, in the Channel Fleet under George Darby. In December under Kempenfelt he was in the latter's action against De Guichen, and from 1782 commanded the 'Ardent', 64, guardship at Portsmouth. In 1793 he became an Extra Commissioner of the Admiralty and in 1796 Commissioner of Sheerness Dockyard. He moved to Chatham as Dockyard Commissioner, 1801 to May/June 1806, and may be the 'Harry Harmood Esq' who died at Mount Street, Grosvenor Square, London early in 1809, aged seventy, ('Oxford Journal, 11 February), though there was also a Harry Harmood who was 'Half-Pay Cashier' for the War Office in 1801and a daughter married the Reverend M. H. Luscombe early in July 1804. The marriage was certainly of his daughter but is unusual that two press notices use 'Esquire' rather than his naval rank and there is no mention of his death in the 'Naval Chronicle', 1809-1810.

  • Image reference: F9534-002

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