Michael Seymour (Royal Navy officer, 1802–1887)

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Not to be confused with his father Sir Michael Seymour, 1st Baronet (1768–1834), also an admiral of the Royal Navy.
Sir Michael Seymour
Vice Admiral Michael Seymour1802-1887croppedsmall.jpg
Vice Admiral Michael Seymour. Engraving by F Holl after an original by A. de Salome
Born 3 December 1802
Died 23 February 1887
Horndean, Hampshire
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service 1813–1870
Rank Admiral
Commands held HMS Challenger
HMS Britannia
HMS Powerful
HMS Vindictive
China Station
Portsmouth Command
Battles/wars Crimean War,
Second Opium War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

Admiral Sir Michael Seymour, GCB (3 December 1802 – 23 February 1887), was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth.

Naval career[edit]

Born the third son of Admiral Sir Michael Seymour, 1st Baronet,[1] Michael Seymour entered the Royal Navy in 1813.[1] He was made Lieutenant in 1822, Commander in 1824 and was posted Captain in 1826.[1] From 1833 to 1835 he was captain of the survey ship HMS Challenger, and was wrecked in her off the coast of Chile.[1] In 1841 he was given command of HMS Britannia and then of HMS Powerful.[1] In 1845 he took over HMS Vindictive.[1]

From 1851 to 1854 he was Commodore Superintendent of Devonport Dockyard.[1] In 1854 he served under Sir Charles Napier in the Baltic during the Crimean War.[1] He was promoted to Rear-Admiral that same year and, when the Baltic campaign was resumed in 1855 under Admiral the Hon. Richard Dundas, Seymour was second in command.[1]

On 19 February 1856 he was appointed commander-in-chief of the East Indies and China Station.[1] Flying his flag in HMS Calcutta,[1] he conducted operations arising from the attack on the British Coaster Arrow,[1] helped destroy the Chinese fleet in June 1857,[1] took Canton in December,[1] and in 1858 he captured the forts on the Baihe (Hai River),[1] compelling the Chinese government to consent to the Treaty of Tientsin.[1] He was made GCB in 1859.[1] He sat as a Liberal Member of Parliament for Devonport from 1859 to 1863.[1] In 1863 he was made Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth, a post he held until 1866.[1] He retired in 1870.[1]

Seymour Road on Hong Kong Island was named after him.


In 1829 he married Dorothy Knighton: they had a son and three daughters.[1] He was the uncle of Sir Edward Hobart Seymour, also an admiral.


External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Sir James Stirling
Commander-in-Chief, East Indies and China Station
Succeeded by
Sir James Hope
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Thomas Erskine Perry and
James Wilson
Member of Parliament for Devonport
With: James Wilson, to August 1859
Sir Arthur William Buller, from August 1859
Succeeded by
William Ferrand and
Sir Arthur William Buller
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Henry Bruce
Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Pasley
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Provo Wallis
Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Office abolished
(recreated in 1901 with
Sir Michael Culme-Seymour, Bt)