Richard Meade, 4th Earl of Clanwilliam

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The Earl of Clanwilliam
Richard Meade, 4th Earl of Clanwilliam.jpg
The Earl of Clanwilliam
Born (1832-10-03)3 October 1832
Died 4 August 1907(1907-08-04) (aged 74)
Badgemore House, Henley-on-Thames
Buried at Wilton, Wiltshire
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Years of service 1845-1902
Rank Admiral of the Fleet
Commands held HMS Tribune
HMS Hercules
Steamship reserve at Portsmouth
Flying Squadron
North America and West Indies Station
Portsmouth Command
Battles/wars Crimean War
Second Opium War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George

Admiral of the Fleet Richard James Meade, 4th Earl of Clanwilliam, GCB, KCMG (3 October 1832 – 4 August 1907), styled Lord Gillford until 1879, was a Royal Navy officer. As a junior officer, he served at the Battle of Escape Creek and at the Battle of Fatshan Creek during the campaign against Chinese pirates. He also took part in the Battle of Canton, where he was severely wounded, during the Second Opium War.

As a senior officer Meade went on to be commander of the Steamship reserve at Portsmouth, commander of the Flying Squadron and Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station. His last appointment was as Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth.

Early career[edit]

The Battle of Fatshan Creek during the campaign against Chinese pirates

Born the eldest son of Richard Meade, 3rd Earl of Clanwilliam and Elizabeth Meade (daughter of George Herbert, 11th Earl of Pembroke), Meade was educated at Eton College and joined the Royal Navy in November 1845.[1] Promoted to lieutenant on 15 September 1852, Meade was appointed to the frigate HMS Impérieuse in which he served in the Baltic Sea during the Crimean War.[2] He transferred to the frigate HMS Raleigh in September 1856 bound for China and, although the ship was wrecked near Hong Kong, all the crew survived.[2] He served under Commodore Charles Elliot at the Battle of Escape Creek in May 1857 and under Commodore Henry Keppel at the Battle of Fatshan Creek in June 1857 during the campaign against Chinese pirates.[2]

Meade transferred to the second-rate HMS Calcutta, flagship of the Commander-in-Chief, East Indies Station, in August 1857 and, having landed with the naval brigade, took part in the Battle of Canton in December 1857 during the Second Opium War: he was severely wounded in the left arm by a bullet fired from a gingal.[3] He was mentioned in dispatches, promoted to commander on 26 February 1858[4] and transferred to the sloop HMS Hornet later that month.[3]

Promoted to captain on 22 July 1859, Meade became commanding officer of the corvette HMS Tribune on the Pacific Station in 1862 and commanding officer of the battleship HMS Hercules in the Channel Fleet in 1868.[3] He was appointed an aide-de-camp to the Queen and became commanding officer of the steamship reserve at Portsmouth in 1872.[3]

Senior command[edit]

The frigate HMS Inconstant, Meade's flagship as Commander of the Flying Squadron

Meade became Junior Naval Lord in the Second Disraeli ministry in May 1874 and, having been promoted to rear admiral on 31 December 1876,[5] was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 2 June 1877.[6] He succeeded to his father's titles in October 1879 and was elevated to Second Naval Lord in the same ministry in December 1879 where he sat until the Government fell in May 1880.[3] He became commander of the Flying Squadron, with his flag in the frigate HMS Inconstant in August 1880, and was promoted to vice-admiral on 26 July 1881.[7]

A Vanity Fair caricature showing the Earl of Clanwilliam

Meade was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George on 3 March 1882[8] and became Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station, with his flag in the central battery ship HMS Bellerophon, in August 1885.[3] Promoted to full admiral on 22 June 1886,[9] he was advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 21 June 1887.[10]

Meade was appointed a commissioner of the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation in 1888 and became Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth in June 1891.[3] Promoted to Admiral of the Fleet on 20 February 1895,[11] he was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 25 May 1895.[12] He retired in October 1902[13] and died at his home, Badgemore House, near Henley-on-Thames from pneumonia on 4 August 1907.[3] He was buried at the family vault at Wilton, Wiltshire and his titles passed to his eldest surviving son, Arthur.[3]

Family[edit]

On 17 June 1867 Meade married Elizabeth Kennedy (the eldest daughter of Sir Arthur Kennedy); they had four sons and four daughters.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Meade, Richard James, fourth earl of Clanwilliam (1832–1907)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/34968.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^ a b c Heathcote, p. 170
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Heathcote, p. 171
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22104. p. 1028. 26 February 1858. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24400. p. 5. 2 January 1877. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24467. p. 3497. 2 June 1877. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25000. p. 3740. 29 July 1881. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25080. p. 976. 3 March 1882. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25600. p. 3033. 25 June 1886. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 25712. p. 3361. 21 June 1887. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26601. p. 1066. 22 February 1895. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26628. p. 3079. 25 May 1895. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27483. p. 6568. 17 October 1902. Retrieved 29 December 2014.

Sources[edit]

  • Heathcote, Tony (2002). The British Admirals of the Fleet 1734 – 1995. Pen & Sword Ltd. ISBN 0-85052-835-6. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Beauchamp Seymour
Junior Naval Lord
1874–1879
Succeeded by
Sir John Commerell
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Hood
Second Naval Lord
1879–1880
Succeeded by
Lord John Hay
Preceded by
Sir John Commerell
Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station
1885–1886
Succeeded by
Sir Algernon Lyons
Preceded by
Sir John Commerell
Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth
1891–1894
Succeeded by
Sir Nowell Salmon
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Richard Meade
Earl of Clanwilliam
1879–1909
Succeeded by
Arthur Meade