Sir Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt, 1st Baronet

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Eustace Henry William Tennyson d'Eyncourt
Sir Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt (Bain Collection).png
Born (1868-04-01)1 April 1868
Hadley House, Barnet, Hertfordshire <Oxford Index>
Died 1 February 1951(1951-02-01) (aged 82)
Westminster, London. (Death certificate)
Known for Director of Naval Construction
Notable awards Fellow of the Royal Society[1]
Spouse Janet Finlay (married about 1898, Scotland)

Sir Eustace Henry William Tennyson d'Eyncourt, 1st Baronet, KCB, FRS[1] (1 April 1868 – 1 February 1951)[2] was a British naval architect and engineer. As Director of Naval Construction for the Royal Navy, 1912–1924, he was responsible for the design and construction of some of the most famous British warships. On 20 February 1915 Winston Churchill appointed him Chairman of the Landships Committee at the Admiralty, which was responsible for the design and production of the first military tanks to be used in warfare.[3]

D'Eyncourt was grandson of the politician Charles Tennyson d'Eyncourt, who was uncle of the poet Alfred Lord Tennyson. Thus Eustace was also nephew of Admiral Edwin Tennyson d’Eyncourt.

Design characteristics[edit]

In his battlecruisers, "large light cruisers" and the Hawkins-class cruisers, d'Eyncourt evolved a novel hull form: in cross-section the hull was an isosceles trapezoid, with the ship's sides sloping inboard at an angle of 10 degrees from the vertical, while outboard of this, external bulges extended over the full length of the machinery spaces. The result was a hull structure of great strength, and the sloping sides increased the possible spread of impact of shells, thus giving greater resistance to penetration.

The aesthetic side of naval architecture has seldom been given much attention, though it is as much of an art as the architecture of buildings; in general appearance (in terms of harmonious proportion as regards length, beam, and freeboard, as well as the size of the superstructure and funnels in relation to the hull), the opinion has been expressed that d'Eyncourt created some of the most elegant and eye-pleasing warships ever designed, the prime example being the battle cruiser Hood.[4]

Ship designs[edit]

D'Eyncourt was not necessarily the principal designer of the vessels listed below, but had ultimate responsibility for them.

Battleships and Battlecruisers[edit]


"Large light cruisers", later aircraft carriers[edit]



Other types[edit]

Monitors, Patrol boats, Minesweepers, Sloops, Gunboats for China Station, Merchant ship conversions into seaplane carrier


D'Eyncourt was chairman of the Landships Committee, created by Winston Churchill, which oversaw the design and production of Britain's first military tank.[5] (See also the Mark VIII (tank).)


D'Eyncourt summarized his World War I work in an article "Naval Construction During the War", published in Engineering, 11 April 1919, pp. 482–490. He also published an autobiography entitled A Shipbuilder's Yarn (London: Hutchinson, 1948).

Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New creation
Tennyson-d’Eyncourt baronets
(of Carter's Corner Farm)
Succeeded by
Sir Eustace Gervais Tennyson d'Eyncourt, 2nd Baronet


  1. ^ a b Lillicrap, C. S. (1951). "Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt. 1868-1951". Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society 7 (20): 341–326. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1951.0005. JSTOR 769023.  edit
  2. ^
  3. ^ Churchill, p. 316
  4. ^ Oscar Parkes, British Battleships
  5. ^ Churchill, p. 316