Edward Hobart Seymour

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Admiral of the Fleet THE RIGHT HONOURABLE SIR Edward Hobart Seymour, G.C.B., O.M., G.C.V.O., P.C., Royal Navy (30 April, 1840 – 2 March, 1929), was an officer of the Royal Navy who after decades of unstinting service commanded the substantial British naval presence in China during the Boxer Rebellion.

Early Life & Career

Seymour was born at Kinwarton, Warwickshire, on 30 April, 1840, the second son of the Revd Richard Seymour (1806–1880), rector of Kinwarton, and his wife, Frances (d. 27 April 1871), third daughter of Charles Smith, M.P., of Suttons, Essex. He was grandson of Rear-Admiral Sir Michael Seymour, First Baronet (1768–1834), and nephew of Admiral Sir Michael Seymour (1802–1887).

He was promoted to the rank of Captain on 13 February, 1873.[1]

Seymour was appointed in command of the despatch vessel Iris on 27 April, 1880.[2]

On the occasion of Queen Victoria's golden jubilee, he was appointed an Ordinary Member of the Third Class, or Companion, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.) on 21 June, 1887.[3]

He was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 14 July, 1889, vice Greive.[4]

Years later Captain (later Admiral Sir) George F. King-Hall, noted in his diary:

Dined quietly with my old friend Charles Drury, now 2nd Sea Lord. Being alone we had a great talk about every one and every thing. First of all about Fisher, who had told Drury that on two occasions he had prevented Seymour sending in his papers.

First of all when Kennedy went out to the East Indies, instead of himself. The fact being that Seymour was travelling in the West Indies and no one knew his address, consequently he could not be offered the East Indies. He was eventually offered 2 in command of Channel. This he would have refused if it had not been for Fisher. Now, as he is on the list, it prevents Fisher getting Adm. of Fleet [a promotion usually granted to the most senior Admiral on the Flag List].[5]

In the Queen's Diamond Jubilee honours, Seymour was appointed an Additional Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, in the Military Division of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) on 22 June, 1897.[6]

China Station

On 12 December, 1897 Seymour was appointed Commander-in-Chief on the China Station.[7]

He was appointed an Ordinary Member of the First Division, or Knight Grand Cross, of the Military Division of the Order of the Bath (G.C.B.) on 9 November, 1900, "in recognition of services rendered during the recent disturbance in China."[8]

He was promoted to the rank of Admiral on 24 May, 1901, vice Morant.[9]

On 3 October, 1902, he was appointed First and Principal Naval Aide-de-Camp to King Edward VII, in place of Sir James E. Erskine.[10]

He was promoted to the rank of Admiral of the Fleet on 20 February, 1905, vice Salmon.[11]

A Grand Farewell

Seymour hoisted his flag in the battlecruiser H.M.S. Inflexible on 1 September, 1909 to lead the British naval detachment that ventured to the Hudson-Fulton Celebration. He struck his flag at sunset on 19 October.[12]

Seymour succumbed to influenza at Hedsor View, Maidenhead on 2 March, 1929.[13]

Bibliography

  • "Sir E. H. Seymour, O.M." (Obituaries). The Times. Monday, 4 March, 1929. Issue 45142, col A, p. 11.
  • Seymour, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Edward Hobart. My Naval Career and Travels. London: Smith, Elder & Co..

Papers

  • Journal for 1898-1901 in the possession of the Admiralty Library. Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth.

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
Edward S. Adeane
Second-in-Command, Channel Squadron
16 Sep, 1892[14] – 25 Apr, 1894[15]
Succeeded by
Alfred T. Dale
Preceded by
Robert O'B. FitzRoy
Admiral Superintendent of Naval Reserves
25 Apr, 1894[16] – 10 May, 1897[17]
Succeeded by
Sir Compton E. Domvile
Preceded by
Sir Alexander Buller
Commander-in-Chief, China Station
19 Feb, 1898[18] – 10 Apr, 1901[19]
Succeeded by
Sir Cyprian A. G. Bridge
Preceded by
Lord Charles T. M. D. Scott
Commander in Chief, Plymouth Station
28 Mar, 1903[20] – 20 Mar, 1905[21]
Succeeded by
Sir Lewis A. Beaumont
Court Appointments
Preceded by
Sir James E. Erskine
First and Principal Naval Aide-de-Camp
3 Oct, 1902[22] – 28 Mar, 1903[23]
Succeeded by
Sir Henry F. Stephenson

Footnotes

  1. The London Gazette: no. 23948. p. 637. 14 February, 1873.
  2. The Navy List. (June, 1881). p. 220.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 25712. p. 3362. 21 June, 1887.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 25955. p. 3895. 19 July, 1889.
  5. King-Hall diary entry for 24 August, 1903.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 26867. p. 3567. 25 June, 1897.
  7. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Tuesday, 14 December, 1897. Issue 35386, col D, p. 9.
  8. The London Gazette: no. 27245. p. 6853. 9 November, 1900.
  9. The London Gazette: no. 27318. p. 3637. 28 May, 1901.
  10. The London Gazette: no. 27483. p. 6569. 17 October, 1902.
  11. The London Gazette: no. 27766. p. 1279. 21 February, 1905.
  12. Seymour Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/37. f. 1164.
  13. Seymour Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/37. f. 1164.
  14. Seymour Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/37. f. 1213.
  15. Seymour Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/37. f. 1213.
  16. Seymour Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/37. f. 1213.
  17. Seymour Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/37. f. 1213.
  18. Clowes. The Royal Navy. Vol. VII. p. 88.
  19. Seymour Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/37. f. 1164.
  20. "Naval & Military Intelligence" (Official Appointments and Notices). The Times. Friday, 27 March, 1903. Issue 37039, col D, p. 8.
  21. Seymour Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/37. f. 1164.
  22. The London Gazette: no. 27483. p. 6569. 17 October, 1902.
  23. Seymour Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/37. f. 1164.