Alan Gardner, 1st Baron Gardner

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Alan Gardner, 1st Baron Gardner
Vice-Admiral Lord Alan Gardner (1742-1809), by William Beechey.jpg
Alan Gardner by William Beechey
Born 12 February 1742
Uttoxeter, England
Died 1 January 1809
Allegiance  Kingdom of Great Britain
 Great Britain and Ireland
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Years of service 1755-1800
Rank Admiral
Commands held Portsmouth Command
Relations Alan Hyde Gardner (eldest son),
Robert Barrie (nephew)
Other work MP for Plymouth and, later, Westminster.

Admiral Alan Gardner, 1st Baron Gardner (12 February 1742 – 1 January 1809) was a British Royal Navy officer and peer of the realm. He was regarded by some as one of the Georgian era's most dashing frigate captains and, ultimately, a respected senior admiral.

Naval career[edit]

Gardner joined the Royal Navy in 1755. Promoted to Captain in 1766, his first command was the fireship HMS Raven.[1] He commanded a number of frigates before being promoted to a ship of the line. In 1782 he commanded a ship at the Battle of the Saintes and in 1786, as Commodore of the American Squadron (consisting of HMS Europa and HMS Experiment), he suppressed smuggling in the Gulf of Mexico and ordered detailed hydrographic surveys of Caribbean locations of interest to the Navy. During this time, he commanded and probably mentored future famous officers such as George Vancouver, Peter Puget and Joseph Whidbey.[2]

He was a Member of the Board of Admiralty from 1790 to 1795 and was then promoted to full Admiral in 1795. During the Mutiny at Spithead in 1797, Gardner negotiated directly with the mutineers, until he lost his temper, seized a mutineer by the throat and threatened to hang the lot. This nearly led to his own demise at the hands of the mutineers, but cooler heads prevailed.[3]

In 1800 he became Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Station.[4] That year he was also created Baron Gardner, of Uttoxeter, in the Peerage of Ireland and in 1806 the title of Baron Gardner in the Peerage of the United Kingdom was created for him. He was Member of Parliament for Plymouth and, later, Westminster. He was briefly Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth from March to June 1803.[5] In 1807 he was made Commander-in-Chief of the Channel Fleet and he died in office on 1 January 1809.[4]

Family[edit]

Gardner was born in Uttoxeter. He married Susannah Hyde Gale (c. 1760 - 20 April 1823) on 20 May 1769.[6] They had two sons. The older son, Alan Hyde Gardner, 2nd Baron Gardner, and their nephew, Robert Barrie, became Admirals in the Royal Navy.[citation needed] Gale was a Jamaican heiress and the daughter of Francis Gale, a plantation owner, and Susanna Hall.[6]

Through his brother, Major Valentine Gardner, he was the uncle of Colonel William Linnæus Gardner, an Indian officer.[7]

Legacy[edit]

Capt. George Vancouver named several locations after Gardner: Mount Gardner in Australia, the Gardner Channel in Canada, and Port Gardner Bay in Puget Sound. Also in Puget Sound, Port Susan is named for his wife, Susannah.[citation needed]

An East Indiaman was named after Admiral Gardner; it was wrecked on the Goodwin Sands, 24 January 1809.[8] It was carrying a large number of copper 10 and 20 cash coins minted by the East India Company for circulation in the Madras Presidency.[9] The coins were preserved in tightly sealed barrels and large numbers were retrieved around 1986. They are frequently packaged and sold as inexpensive "shipwreck coins."[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wing, Robert and Newell, Gordon (1979). Peter Puget: Lieutenant on the Vancouver Expedition, fighting British naval officer, the man for whom Puget Sound was named. Gray Beard Publishing. ISBN 0-933686-00-5. 
  2. ^ Naish, John (1996). The Interwoven Lives of George Vancouver, Archibald Menzies, Joseph Whidbey and Peter Puget: The Vancouver Voyage of 1791-1795. The Edward Mellen Press, Ltd. ISBN 0-7734-8857-X. 
  3. ^ Dugan, James (1965). The great mutiny. Putnam. 
  4. ^ a b Laughton 1889.
  5. ^ History in Portsmouth
  6. ^ a b The Gale/Gayle Families of the West Indies (portrait of Susanna Hyde Gale included)
  7. ^ Chichester 1889.
  8. ^ "Wrecks of the Britannia, & Admiral Gardner, East Indiamen, on the Goodwin Sands, 24 Jan 1809". National Maritime Museum. Retrieved 4 March 2007. 
  9. ^ Soho Mint: The Loss of the Admiral Gardner
  10. ^ Coin Community
Attribution

 Laughton, John Knox (1889). "Gardner, Alan". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography 20. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 430. ; Endnotes:

  • Charnock's Biog. Nav. vi. 583
  • Ralfe's Nav. Biog. i. 407
  • Foster's Peerage
  • Jerdan's National Portrait Gallery

External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Captain Robert Fanshawe
Captain John MacBride
Member of Parliament for Plymouth
1790–1796
With: Captain John MacBride (1790)
Sir Frederick Leman Rogers (1790-1796)
Succeeded by
Sir William Elford
Sir Frederick Leman Rogers
Preceded by
Samuel Hood
Member of Parliament for Westminster
1796–1801
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
New parliament Member of Parliament for Westminster
1801–1806
Succeeded by
Earl Percy
Military offices
Preceded by
Mark Milbanke
Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth
March 1803–June 1803
Succeeded by
Sir George Montagu
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New title Baron Gardner
of Uttoxeter

1806–1809
Succeeded by
Alan Hyde Gardner