Henry Byam Martin

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Sir Henry Byam Martin
Portrait of Henry Byam Martin.jpg
Sir Henry Byam Martin
Born (1803-06-25)25 June 1803
Plymouth, Devon, England
Died 9 February 1865(1865-02-09) (aged 61)
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service 1818 - 1865
Rank Admiral
Awards KCB

Admiral Sir Henry Byam Martin KCB (25 June 1803 – 9 February 1865) was a senior Royal Navy officer and watercolour artist.

Naval career[edit]

Martin was born in 1803 the second son of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Thomas Byam Martin comptroller of the navy (1815–1831).[1] Educated at the Royal Naval College Martin first went to sea in October 1818, by 1840 he was Captain in charge of HMS Carsyfort off the coast of Syria when he was involved in action off Tartus during the Syrian War and he took part in the capture of Acre on 3 November 1840. His actions earned him an appointment as a Commander of the Order of the Bath.[1]

From 1846 to 1847, he was sent to the Society Islands in the South Pacific to spy on the Franco-Tahitian War and investigate the sovereignty claim of Queen Pōmare IV over the Leeward Islands.[2][3]

He was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1854 and was appointed as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath for his work during the war with Russia in 1855.[1]

Sir Henry Byam Martin is a direct descendant of Sire Martin de Tours, Lord Combe Martin. Lord Kemys, a general officer for William the Conqueror.


Temple of Jupiter Olympus, Athens, 11 July 1835

During his travels with the Navy Martin sketched and painted what he had seen.


His elder brother William Martin also became a senior naval commander.


  1. ^ a b c "Naval and Military Intelligence". Official Appointments and Notices. The Times (25018). London. 14 February 1865. col A, p. 12. 
  2. ^ Dodd, Edward (1983). The Rape of Tahiti. Dodd, Mead & Company. pp. 120–130. 
  3. ^ Martin, Henry Byam (1981). The Polynesian Journal of Captain Henry Byam Martin, R.N. Canberra: Australian National University Press. pp. 7–11. ISBN 0708116094. 

Further reading[edit]