Rodney Mundy

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Sir Rodney Mundy
Admiral of the Fleet Sir George Rodney Mundy.JPG
Sir Rodney Mundy
Born (1805-04-19)19 April 1805
London
Died 23 December 1884(1884-12-23) (aged 79)
London
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service 1818–75
Rank Admiral of the Fleet
Commands held HMS Favourite
HMS Iris
HMS Nile
North America and West Indies Station
Portsmouth Command
Battles/wars Belgian Revolution
Crimean War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

Admiral of the Fleet Sir (George) Rodney Mundy, GCB (19 April 1805 – 23 December 1884) was a Royal Navy officer. As a commander, he persuaded the Dutch to surrender Antwerp during the Belgian Revolution and then acted as a mediator during negotiations between the Dutch and the Belgians to end hostilities. As a captain, he was deployed to the East Indies Station and was asked to keep the Sultan of Brunei in line until the British Government made a final decision on whether to take the island of Labuan: he took the Sultan's son-in-law, Pengiran Mumin, to witness the island's accession to the British Crown in December 1846. He was then deployed to the seas of Finland, where he secured Björkö Sound in operations against Russia during the Crimean War.

Mundy became Second-in-Command of the Mediterranean Fleet and, in May 1860, in the Expedition of the Thousand, he conveyed Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian general and politician, and a thousand of his volunteers to Marsala on the West Coast of Sicily. Mundy went on to be Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station and then Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth.

Early career[edit]

The second-rate HMS Nile in which Mundy secured Björkö Sound in operations against Russia during the Crimean War

Born the son of General Godfrey Basil Mundy and Sarah Bridges (daughter of George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney), Mundy joined the Royal Naval College, Portsmouth as a cadet in February 1818.[1] He was appointed as a volunteer to the fifth-rate HMS Phaeton on the North America and West Indies Station in December 1819 and, having been promoted to midshipman, he transferred to the frigate HMS Euryalus in the Mediterranean Fleet in 1822.[2] After a brief tour in the third-rate HMS Rochfort also in the Mediterranean Fleet, he transferred to the South American Station in April 1824 and then served successively in the fifth-rate HMS Blanche, the sloop HMS Jaseur, the third-rate HMS Wellesley and finally the second-rate HMS Cambridge.[2] Promoted to lieutenant on 4 February 1826, he joined the sloop HMS Eclair on the South American Station in July 1826.[2] He then transferred to the sixth-rate HMS Challenger in February 1828 off Lisbon before moving to the fifth-rate HMS Pyramus also off Lisbon only a few months later.[2]

Promoted to commander on 25 August 1828, Mundy joined the third-rate HMS Donegal and served as a liaison officer tasked to persuade the Dutch to surrender Antwerp during the Belgian Revolution. He then acted as a mediator during negotiations between the Dutch and the Belgians to end hostilities in May 1833.[2] He became commanding officer of the sloop HMS Favourite in the Mediterranean Fleet in August 1833.[2]

Promoted to captain on 10 January 1837, he became commanding officer of the sixth-rate HMS Iris in the West Africa Squadron in October 1842.[2] He was then re-deployed with HMS Iris to the East Indies Station and was involved in operations under Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane.[2] Mundy was asked to keep the Sultan of Brunei in line until the British Government made a final decision on whether to take the island of Labuan: he took the Sultan's son-in-law, Pengiran Mumin, to witness the island's accession to the British Crown on 24 December 1846.[3] Some sources state that during the signing of the treaty, the Sultan had been threatened by a British navy warship ready to fire on the Sultan's palace if he refused to sign the treaty while another source says the island was ceded to Britain as a reward for assistance in combating pirates.[4][5]

Mundy became commanding officer of the second-rate HMS Nile in July 1854 and was deployed, in Spring 1855, to the Baltic Sea and then, in September 1855, to the seas of Finland where he secured Björkö Sound in operations against Russia during the Crimean War.[1]

Senior command[edit]

Giuseppe Garibaldi setting off at the start of the Expedition of the Thousand: he was conveyed to Marsala by Mundy

Promoted to rear admiral on 30 July 1857,[6] Mundy became Second-in-Command of the Mediterranean Fleet, with his flag in the second-rate HMS Hannibal in April 1859.[2] He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 23 June 1859.[7] In May 1860, in the Expedition of the Thousand, he conveyed Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian general and politician, and a thousand of his volunteers to Marsala on the West Coast of Sicily.[8] Garibaldi went on to depose Francis II, the tyrannical ruler of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in March 1861, and to achieve Italian unification.[2] Garibaldi credited Mundy with bringing about the armistice between the warring parties and offered him his heartfelt gratitude "in the name of Palermo, of Sicily, of entire Italy."[9]

Mundy went on to be Commander of detached squadron on the Syrian coast in 1861 and, having been advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 10 November 1862,[10] he was promoted to vice-admiral on 15 December 1863.[11] He then became Commander in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station, with his flag in the broadside ironclad HMS Royal Alfred, in January 1867.[2] Promoted to full admiral on 26 May 1869,[12] he became Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth in March 1872 and retired in April 1875.[13]

Mundy was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 2 June 1877[14] and, having been promoted to Admiral of the Fleet on 27 December 1877,[15] he died at his home in Chesterfield Street, London on 23 December 1884.[1]

Family[edit]

Mundy never married and had no children.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Sir Rodney Mundy". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Heathcote, p. 191
  3. ^ Saunders, p.78 & 123
  4. ^ Rozan Yunos (7 September 2008). "Loss of Labuan, a former Brunei island". The Brunei Times. Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  5. ^ B.A. Hussainmiya (2006). "Brunei Revival of 1906 (A Popular History) – The Surrender of Labuan and The First Brunei-British Treaty" (PDF). Brunei Press Sdn Bhd. Bandar Seri Begawan: Universiti Brunei Darussalam. pp. 12/34. ISBN 99917-32-15-2. Retrieved 10 January 2014. 
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22029. p. 2722. 7 August 1857. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22279. p. 2471. 24 June 1859. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Garibaldi takes Palermo". History Today Volume 60 Issue. 6 June 2010. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Garibaldi, p. 310
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22679. p. 5343. 10 November 1862. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 22799. p. 6647. 22 December 1863. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: no. 23504. p. 3183. 4 June 1869. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24202. p. 2241. 23 April 1875. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24467. p. 3497. 2 June 1877. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 24537. p. 2. 1 January 1878. Retrieved 10 January 2015.

Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Mundy, Rodney (1848). Narrative of events in Borneo and Celebes down to the occupation of Labuan. 
  • Mundy, Rodney (1863). HMS Hannibal at Palermo and Naples during the Italian revolution, with notices of Garibaldi, Francis II, and Victor Emmanuel. 

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir James Hope
Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station
1867–1869
Succeeded by
Sir George Wellesley
Preceded by
Sir James Hope
Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth
1872–1875
Succeeded by
Sir George Elliot