Gardiner Henry Guion

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Gardiner Henry Guion

Captain Gardiner Henry Guion (London, 22 February 1775, – Thun, CH, 27 September 1832)

Gardiner Henry Guion was the son of Daniel Guion (1742–1780) – a Merchant who was befriended and professionally involved with Oliver Toulmin (Navy Agent), Major David Parry (a close friend to William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne) and Henry Cort and lived for some years in 35 Crutched Ffriars opposite to the Office of the Royal Navy[1] – and Ann (Harwood), who would become Matron of the London Hospital 1790–1797. His brother was Daniel Oliver Guion, the captain of HMS St George.[2] St George was wrecked on 24 December 1811 on the coast of Ringkjøbing, Denmark.[3] The Guion family were Huguenots and they are probably related to the "de Guyon de Geis" family from France. A Huguenot branch of this family is still living in England and a famous member of this family is Richard Debaufre Guyon, general in Hungarian and Turkish service.

Life / Memorandum of the services[edit]


Rank Ship Commander Ship station Date of Entry Date of Discharge
Captain's servant Atlas Capt. J. Elphinstone Portsmouth 23 December 1782 23 March 1783
Captain's servant Ardent Capt. F. J. Hartwell Portsmouth 9 June 1786 1 June 1787
Captain's servant Hebe (1782) Capt. Edward Thornbrough Channel 13 March 1788 24 March 1789
Able Seaman Hebe (1782) Capt. Edward Thornbrough Jamaica 27 December 1789 22 January 1791
Midshipman Diana Capt. T. M. Russel West Indies 23 January 1791 19 November 1791
Midshipman Daphne (1776) Capt. A.H. Gardner West Indies 23 Jan 1791 19 Nov 1791
Midshipman Circe ......Ditto...... Newfoundland 10 Apr 1792
Midshipman Circe Capt. Joseph Sydney Yorke Newfoundland /Channel 17 April 1794
Lieut for Rank Glory Adm. George Elphinstone + Capt. John Elphinstone Spithead 17 April 1794 18 April 1794
Appointed Lieutenant 17 April 1794
Lieutenant Comet (1783) Capt. Bradley Channel 18 April 1794 28 June 1794
Lieutenant Agent for Transport by Navy Board Gibraltar July 1794 29 November 1797
Agent for Transport Tartar French coast Mediterranean 1796
request "to be granted leave of absence for two months" No 7 Beaufort Buildings, London 1 December 1797
request granted by Evan Napean 4 December 1797
Request by Captain Elphinstone that GHG be appointed to Diomede under his command 7 March 1798
1st Lieutenant Diomede Capt. John Charles Elphinstone North Sea/ Cape of Good Hope/ East Indies/ S America 8 March 1798 17 January 1801
Charlotte Guion wrote a "Letter to the Navy Board 'about her nephew'" 29 June 1798
Birth of his daughter Anne Mary 4 November 1798
Lieutenant Jupiter/Adamant Capt. W. Hotham Cape of Good Hope 29 January 1801 29 June 1801
1st Lieutenant Star Capt. S. Gardner for passage home from the Cape 1 July 1801 19 December 1801
Marriage with Harriet Grindall Holt, niece of Vice Admiral Richard Grindall 27 July 1802
daughter Anne Mary baptised 6 August 1802
1st Lieutenant Princess Royal Capt. James Vashon / Capt. Herbert Sawyer / Capt. Daniel Oliver Guion / Capt. Robert Carthew Reynolds Channel 21 July 1803 28 February 1806
Lieutenant Edgar Adm. Lord Keith/Capt. J. Jackson Downs 19 July 1806 7 May 1807
1st Lieutenant Christian VII See HMS Cambridge (1815) Capt. Sir Joseph Yorke Channel 14 May 1808 8 June 1810
Appointed Commander 26 September 1811
Commander Caledonia Adm. Sir E. Pellew/Self Mediterranean 29 July 1810 6 October 1811
Captain HMS Rainbow (1809) Self Mediterranean 16 November 1811 19 June 1812
Captain San Juan R. Adm. Hon C. E. Fleeming/ Self Gibraltar 8 April 1814 7 June 1814
Captain Elizabeth R. Adm Fleeming/ Self Mediterranean Coast Portugal 7 June 1814 3 July 1815
Captain Tribune Self Mediterranean 29 November 1822 1826

From June 1818 until November 1818 Gardiner Henry made a grand Tour through France: le Havre – Paris, a circular tour south of Paris, Paris – BayonneSt. Sebastian along the Atlantis coast, St. Sebastian – Bayonne – probably Marseille or Toulon along the Spanish border and the Mediterranean coast. Where his tour ended and how he returned to England is unknown.

After his last mission on the Tribune, he made from 1827–1832 a grand tour though Italy and visited Bologna, Verona, Venice and Naples. On this tour he bought several charts of the towns he passed and made several sketches and drawing of people, animals and landscapes. During this tour, his only daughter married 1828 Dr Charles James Fox in London His last chart he bought in Luzern. He died 1832 in Thun, on his way back to England.

From "Memoirs of the services" of the Royal Navy[edit]


GARDINER HENRY GUION, ESQ. We first find this officer serving under Sir Joseph S. Yorke, as senior lieutenant of the Christian VII. and commanding her boats at the capture and destruction of twelve French merchantmen, laden with wines, brandies, &c. near Rochelle, in Jan, 1810. His spirited conduct in a subsequent affair with the enemy is thus officially described:- "H.M. S. Christian VII. in Basque Roads, 13 Feb. 1810. "Three vessels, being part of a convoy of ten sail, laden with brandy, &c. that sailed last night in thick bowing weather, wind W. S. W. from the Charentc, bound to the northward, having got on the reef that projects from the point of Chatelaillon, between Aix and Rochelle, I directed the boats of this squadron to destroy them. This was forthwith attempted to be executed, when the enemy made a movement to prevent it, Our boats were eight in number, und the enemy's nine , our's armed in the usual way, their's more formidable, all of them being gun-boats, each carrying a 12-pounder carronade and 6 swivels, and rowing from 20 to 30 oars. " Lieutenant Guion, who directed the operations, made a feint of retreating, to decoy the enemy from their shore defences, when suddenly turning on them, they fled. The barge of this ship, in which he was, being the fleetest boat, advanced most gallantly along the rear of the enemy's line to their third boat, but finding from circumstances that the rear boat was the only one likely to be successfully attacked, he boarded and carried her sword in hand. Two others were closely pursued to the beach by Lieutenant Roberts, of the Armide, and must, from his steady fire within pistol-shot, have lost men. The gun-boat taken by Lieutenant Guion had 2 killed and 3 wounded, amongst the latter was her commander, severely. The vessels alluded to above were then burnt, Signed – Joseph S. Yorke

Lieutenant Guion was made a commander, and appointed to the Philomel brig of 18 guns, on the Mediterranean station, 17 May 1810. On 31 Aug. following, that vessel was chased by a French squadron, off Toulon, and rescued in the most noble manner by the Repulse 74, Captain John Halliday, now Rear-Admiral Tollemache. This affair not having been noticed as it deserved in our first volume, more from the modesty of that excellent officer than from any indifference on our part, we have much pleasure in now giving a full account of it. In the early part of August, three French store-ships, bound to Toulon, were chased into the anchorage of Porquerolle, one of the Ilieres islands, and were there watched by Captain Guion. On the 26th, at day-light, they pushed out, and one of them succeeded in getting to Toulon, covered by a division of the French fleet from the outer road: the others, however, were obliged to put back to their former place of shelter, On the 30th, they removed to the entrance of the Little Pass, preparatory to a third attempt to reach their destined port, On the next morning, at day-light, the Toulon fleet was seen in motion; and at 8–30 A. M. the two store-ships were again under weigh. At 9–30, the Philomel, still at her post, tacked, the wind blowing a light breeze from the E. S. E., and at 10•30 she exchanged a few distant shot with them, as they were rounding Point Escampebarion. In ten minutes afterwards, Captain Halliday, who was lyingto on the larboard tack, at some distance outside the brig, exchanged shot with the enemy's advanced frigates: meanwhile the store-ships, favored by the wind and protected by their friends, got into Toulon. Having accomplished this object, the French squadron under Rear-Admiral Baudin, in the Majestueux of 120 guns, continued working out, in the hope, apparently, of capturing the Philomel, whose commander now made all possible sail to get clear of the enemy. At noon their two headmost frigates opened a fire upon the brig, which she returned with her stern-chasers. About half an hour afterwards, the Repulse also commenced firing her stern guns; but finding that the shot of the frigates were passing over the Philomel, Captain Halliday instantly bore up to keep astern of her, and treated them with so heavy and well-directed a fire, that, in the course of a quarter of an hour, they wore, and joined the line-of-battle ships, several of which were also, by this time, far advanced in the chase, By 5 pm the whole of Mons. Baudin's division were again at anchor in the outer road. At the time this daring act was performed by Captain Halliday, the British fleet was out of sight to leeward, except one 74 and a frigate, both of which were about 9 miloes distant in the same direction. In a spirit of honorable gratitude Captain Guion thus appropriately telegraphed the Repulse, "You repulsed the enemy, and nobly saved us; grant me permission to return thanks." Captain Guion was posted into the Rainbow of 26 guns, 26 Sept. 1811; and we subsequently find him actively employed in co-operation with the patriots of Catalonia, His last appointment was, Nov.29, 1822, to the Tribune frigate. Agents.-Messrs. Cooke, Halford, and Son.


Note on the Back
Portrait of Polini


Capt. Gardiner Henry Guion (Londen, 22 Feb 1775 ; bapt. St Olave, London, 1 Apr 1775, – Thun, CH, 27 Sep 1832 ) son of Daniel Guion and Ann Harwood)

Gardiner had one daughter with Polini and married after the death of Polini in July 1802 Harriet Grindal Holt, niece of Admiral Richard Grindall. Their gdaughter, Emily Fox, told her sons that Polini was from the Bonaparte family from Corsica. This is a nice tale and completely impossible. Polini belonged to one of the Corican families that were not pardoned by Napoleon. They were evacuted with other Corsican families in November 1796 on the transportship the Tartar. She is moste likely a daughter of Mario Giuseppe Luiggi and Laura Maria Peraldi.

Anne Mary Guion

Daughter Anne Mary Guion (London, 4 Nov 1798, ; bapt 6 Aug 1802, St George the Martyr, Queen Square, HolbornLonden, 12 Mar 1876) married Windsor, 12 Aug 1828 Charles James Fox, son of Joseph Fox

Last Will[edit]

[PROB 11/1815] A This is the last Will and Testament of me Gardiner Henry Guion Captain in the Royal Navy being in sound health of body and mind I do hereby (annulling and cancelling all former wills and testaments at any time made) appoint and constitute my dear Sister in law Sarah Guion my sole Executrix and residuary legatee giving and bequeathing to her all my Estates real and personal of which I may be possessed or may be entitled to as residuary legatee under the will of my late wife Harriet Grindal Guion together with all arrears of interest due to me under my marriage settlement whereof Mr Richard Holt and Mr John Holt are trustees and who I hope will do justice and consider that I have been deprived during my life of my wife's legacy to me and the sum settled on me by my mother which was disposed of for the benefit of my late wife (so his mother, who died 1811, lived when he married Harriet) under a promise from the trustee that it should be replaced by the house at Frensham I consider as the property of my said Executrix Sarah Guion++ she having lent me a sum of money more than equal to the purchase of it and as it is my Intention to sell it and place the said purchase money in the funds in her name this is to notify that the said house at Frensham is already her property though not legally conveyed to her in consequence of its being on sale but in case of my death before the said house be disposed of I bequeath it to her and all property of every sort at my disposal. Signed and seal with my seal this 10th day of March 1822 Gardiner Henry Guion Seal.

B Being in treaty with Mr Richard and John Holt for an arrangement with the legatees under the will of my deceased wife Harriet Grindal Guion and having accepted their offer of paying half the principal sums bequeathed to them at my decease which agreement when completed will leave at my disposal the remainder I hereby confirm and by this codicil to give all the proceeds and residue of my property to my said Sister in law Sarah Guion in consideration of her great kindness in giving me all her plate linen and the furniture of the Tribune I consider myself her debtor for the whole of my fit out and as I shall desire my agents to insure my property on board the Tribune for three hundred pounds in the event of any accident to that ship she is to recover the same and is to have the same for her use. Written and signed at Chatham the 20 February 1823 G.H.Guion. Witness W.Payne W.R.Payne Junior

I republish and declare this to be my last will and testament dated at Saltham in the County of Middlesex this 23rd day of February 1823. G.H.Guion Witness F.I.Hartwell Bart. Louisa Hartwell James Dobson.

Proved at London as contained in paper writings marked A and B – 14 May 1833– before the worshipful William Robinson Doctor of Law and Surrogate by the oath of Sarah Guion widow the sole Executrix to whom admon was granted being first sworn duly to admr.- Signed 1867

++ Sarah Guion, née Fuller-Harnett was the wife of his brother Daniel Oliver Guion and stepdaughter of William Carrique Ponsonby from Crotto House

  1. ^ Henry Cort, Quirks of History
  2. ^ Ships of the old Navy
  3. ^ Strandingsmuseum St. George
  4. ^ Archive of the Royal Navy
  5. ^ Royal Naval Biography; or Memoirs of the services of all flag-Officers, superannuated rear-Admirals, retired Captains, post.captains and Commanders, whose Names appeared on the Admiralty List of Sea-Officers at the commencement of the year 1823
  6. ^ Genealogy of the Guion Family