William Luard

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Sir William Luard
Born(1820-04-07)7 April 1820
Died19 May 1910(1910-05-19) (aged 90)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Navy
Commands heldRoyal Naval College, Greenwich
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath

Admiral Sir William Garnham Luard KCB (7 April 1820 – 19 May 1910) was a leading British naval figure during the latter half of the 19th century.[1]

Naval career[edit]

Born in 1820, he was the eldest son of a local magistrate, William Wright Luard J.P., D.L. of Witham Lodge,[2] Witham, Essex (formerly of Hatfield Peverel Priory) and Charlotte Garnham, only child of Thomas Garnham of Felsham Hall, Suffolk.[3] The Luards were a prominent family of Protestant Huguenot merchants who had fled to England in the late 17th century as part of the mass exodus of Huguenots from France to England that followed the 1685 revocation of the Edict of Nantes.[3]

Luard entered the Royal Naval College (formerly the Royal Naval Academy) at Portsmouth at the age of 13 and later studied at Portsmouth Naval College. He served extensively and saw action in the South China Sea, for which he was recognized in dispatches and decorated for gallantry and bravery several times including being named Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB).[4]

After a distinguished career as a naval officer, including as captain and commander of HMS Formidable and HMS Conqueror, he served as superintendent of the Sheerness Dockyard and the Malta Dockyard. From 1882 to 1885, he was President of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich.[4]

He was awarded the Burmese War Medal for dispersing the pirates of Chin-a-poo and received the Medal of the Legion of Honour, 4th Class, from Emperor Napoleon III. He was promoted Rear-Admiral in 1875, Vice-Admiral on 15 June 1879,[5] and Admiral in 1885.[4]

Luard was advanced to KCB by Queen Victoria in 1897, during her diamond jubilee year.[4]

Luard married Charlotte Du Cane (an anglicization of the original French surname 'Du Quesne') in 1858. She was from another French Huguenot family (see Jean Du Quesne, the elder and descendants), with landed estates at Braxted Park and Coggeshall.[6][7] Admiral and Lady Luard had 11 children.[4]

A staunch Liberal and supporter of Prime Minister William Gladstone, Luard retired to his estate in Essex[8] where he served as a Justice of the Peace and as an active member of the court of Quarter Sessions. He died in 1910 as a result of injuries sustained in a carriage accident.[4]


  1. ^ The Illustrated Naval and Military Magazine, Volume V, W.H. Allen & co, 1886
  2. ^ see Men of Bad Character: the Witham Fires of the 1820s by Janet Gyford
  3. ^ a b A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain, Volume 2 By Sir Bernard Burke, p. 909
  4. ^ a b c d e f Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  5. ^ "No. 24734". The London Gazette. 17 June 1879. p. 3967.
  6. ^ Worldroots.com Archived 14 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ The English 'Du Quesnes' were from a branch of the family of the famous French Admiral Abraham Duquesne, Marquis du Bouchet — see Jean Du Quesne, the elder
  8. ^ The Lodge, Witham, Essex

See also[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Edward Rice
Admiral Superintendent, Malta Dockyard
Succeeded by
John McCrea
Preceded by
Sir Geoffrey Hornby
President, Royal Naval College, Greenwich
Succeeded by
Sir Thomas Brandreth