Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Hamilton, Charles (1767-1849)

HAMILTON, Sir CHARLES (1767–1849), admiral, born 6 July 1767, was eldest son of Sir John Hamilton. His father was a grandson of Sir William Hamilton of Chelston, brother of James Hamilton, sixth earl of Abercorn [q. v.]; he was a captain in the royal navy, was created a baronet in 1776 for his gallant conduct during the siege of Quebec in the previous year, and died 24 Jan. 1784; by his wife Cassandra Agnes, daughter of Edward Chamberlayne of Maugersbury, Gloucestershire, he had two sons, Charles and Edward [q. v.] In 1776 Charles Hamilton was entered on the books of the Hector, then commanded by his father, and in the following year was nominated to the Royal Naval Academy at Portsmouth, from which in 1779 he was again appointed to the Hector. In her he went out to the Jamaica station; and on 20 Oct. 1781 was made lieutenant into the Tobago sloop. On the death of his father, 24 Jan. 1784, he succeeded to the baronetcy. In 1789 he was promoted to be commander of the Scorpion, and was advanced to post rank 22 Nov. 1790. Early in 1793 he was appointed to the Dido frigate, which, after a summer in the North Sea and on the coast of Norway, was sent out to the Mediterranean, where, in the following spring, Hamilton served at the sieges of Bastia, Calvi, San Fiorenzo, and in the reduction of a martello tower at Girolata. In July he was moved into the San Fiorenzo, one of the captured frigates, and shortly after into the Romney, in which he returned to England. He then commissioned the Melpomene, which he commanded for upwards of seven years, in the operations on the coast of Holland in 1799 [see Mitchell, Sir Andrew], as senior officer on the coast of Africa, and at the reduction of Goree in 1800: and in the West Indies, where he also carried out the duties of commissioner at Antigua till July 1802. In 1801 he was returned to parliament as member for Dungannon, and in 1807 for Honiton, which he continued to represent till 1812, although at the time serving actively afloat. In November 1803 he was appointed to the Illustrious of 74 guns, in the Channel fleet, and afterwards to the Téméraire and Tonnant. On 1 Aug. 1810 he was promoted to be rear-admiral, and hoisted his flag on board the Thisbe frigate, as commander-in-chief in the Thames, a post which he held till his promotion to be vice-admiral 4 June 1814. From 1818 to 1824 he was governor and commander-in-chief at Newfoundland; attained the rank of admiral 22 July 1830, was nominated a K.C.B. 29 Jan. 1833, and died at his residence, Iping, near Midhurst in Sussex, on 14 Sept. 1849. He married in 1803 Henrietta Martha, daughter of Mr. George Drummond, and left issue a son, who succeeded to the baronetcy.

[Marshall's Roy. Nav. Biog. i. 411; O'Byrne's Nav. Biog. Diet,; Gent. Mag. 1784 pt. i. 150, 1850 pt. i. 315; Burke's Peerage and Baronetage.]

J. K. L.