Frederick Grey

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For those of a similar name, see Frederick Gray (disambiguation).
Sir Frederick Grey
Born (1805-08-23)23 August 1805
Howick, Northumberland
Died 2 May 1878(1878-05-02) (aged 72)
Sunningdale, Berkshire
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service 1819–1866
Rank Admiral
Commands held HMS Actaeon
HMS Jupiter
HMS Endymion
HMS Hannibal
Cape of Good Hope Station
Battles/wars First Opium War
Crimean War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

Admiral The Hon. Sir Frederick William Grey GCB (23 August 1805 – 2 May 1878) was a Royal Navy officer. As a captain he saw action in the First Opium War and was deployed as principal agent of transports during the Crimean War. He became First Naval Lord in the Second Palmerston ministry in June 1861 and subsequently published a pamphlet Admiralty Administration, 1861–1866 describing his reforms which included, inter alia, the notion that all senior naval promotions and appointments should be non-political and should be discussed and agreed by the Naval Members of the Admiralty Board on a collective basis before recommendations were made to the First Lord of the Admiralty.

Naval career[edit]

Born the son of Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (a former Prime Minister) and Mary Elizabeth Ponsonby (daughter of William Ponsonby, 1st Baron Ponsonby), Grey joined the Royal Navy in January 1819.[1] He initially joined the fifth-rate HMS Naiad in the Mediterranean Fleet as a midshipman and saw action against pirates off Cap Bon in Tunisia in 1824.[2] Promoted to lieutenant on 7 April 1825, he transferred to the fifth-rate HMS Sybille in the Mediterranean Fleet that month and then to the sixth-rate HMS Volage on the South America Station in September 1825.[3] Promoted to commander on 17 April 1827, he was posted to the sloop HMS Heron on the South America Station that same month.[3]

Promoted to captain on 19 April 1828, Grey was given command successively of the sixth-rate HMS Actaeon in the Mediterranean Fleet in November 1830, of the fourth-rate HMS Jupiter on the East Indies and China Station in August 1835 and then of the fifth-rate HMS Endymion also on the East Indies and China Station in October 1840.[3] In HMS Endymion he saw action in the First Opium War and was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 24 December 1842.[4]

Grey took command of the second-rate HMS Hannibal in March 1854 and conveyed 10,000 French troops to the Åland Islands off Finland before proceeding to the Bosphorus where he was deployed as principal agent of transports during the Crimean War.[3] Promoted to rear-admiral on 22 January 1855,[5] and having been advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 2 January 1857,[6] he became Commander-in-Chief, Cape of Good Hope & West Coast of Africa Station, hoisting his flag in the third-rate HMS Boscawen, in April 1857.[3]

Promoted to vice-admiral on 5 August 1861,[7] Grey became First Naval Lord in the Second Palmerston ministry in June 1861.[3] In this role he did not seek a seat as a Member of Parliament and instead sought to make the role professional rather than political.[1] He published a pamphlet Admiralty Administration, 1861–1866 describing his reforms which included, inter alia, the notion that all senior naval promotions and appointments should be non-political and should be discussed and agreed by the Naval Members of the Admiralty Board on a collective basis before recommendations were made to the First Lord of the Admiralty.[8] Having been promoted to full admiral on 24 April 1865[9] and advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 28 March 1865,[10] he resigned his post when the Second Russell ministry fell from power in July 1866.[3]

Grey lived at Lynwood House in Sunningdale in Berkshire and died there on 2 May 1878.[1]

The fifth-rate HMS Endymion which Grey commanded during the First Opium War

Family[edit]

He married Barbarina Charlotte Sullivan in 1846 but died without issue.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Lambert, Andrew (2004). "Grey, Sir Frederick William (1805–1878)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 18054. p. 1354. 17 August 1824. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "William Loney RN". Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 20181. p. 3864. 27 December 1842. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21654. p. 308. 26 January 1855. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 21955. p. 12. 2 January 1857. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22537. p. 3317. 9 August 1861. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Navy — Constitution of the Board of Admiralty — Resolution. vol 208 cc1019-61". Hansard. 7 August 1871. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22964. p. 2314. 2 May 1865. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22952. p. 1730. 28 March 1865. Retrieved 31 December 2012.

Sources[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
New Post
Commander-in-Chief, Cape of Good Hope Station
1857–1860
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Keppel
Preceded by
Sir Richard Dundas
First Naval Lord
1861–1866
Succeeded by
Sir Alexander Milne