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Hardy, Charles (1680?-1744) (DNB00)


HARDY, Sir CHARLES, the elder (1680?–1744), vice-admiral, first cousin of Sir Thomas Hardy (1666-1732) [q. v.], son of Philip Le Hardy (1651-1705), commissioner of garrisons in Guernsey, and grandson of John Le Hardy (1606-1667), solicitor-general of Jersey, entered the navy on 30 Sept. 1695 as a volunteer on board the Pendennis, under the command of his cousin, Thomas Hardy. He afterwards served in the Portsmouth and Sheerness, and on 28 Feb. 1700-1 was promoted to be third lieutenant of the Resolution, with Captain Basil Beaumont [q. v.]; in December 1702 he was appointed to the Weymouth of 48 guns, and two years later to the Royal Ann guardship. On 27 Nov. 1705 he was promoted to the command of the Weasel sloop; in September 1706 was moved by Sir John Leake into the Swift, and on 14 Jan. 1708-9 was appointed to the Dunwich, in which, on 28 June 1709, he was advanced to post rank. In 1711 he commanded the Nonsuch, and in 1713 the Weymouth, but without any opportunity of special distinction. In 1718 he was captain of the Guernsey, employed in the Baltic under Sir John Norris [q. v.], and in 1719-20 of the Defiance, on similar service. In January 1725-6 he was appointed to the Grafton, but in May was moved into the Kent, which he commanded in the fleet under Sir Charles Wager [q. v.], in the Baltic, and afterwards in support of Gibraltar. In November 1727 he was moved by Wager into the Stirling Castle, and returned to England in the following April. On 9 Feb. 1729-30 he was appointed to the command of the Carolina yacht, which he held till promoted to be rear-admiral, on 6 April 1742, and about the same time, in consideration of his long service in the royal yacht, he received the honour of knighthood. On 7 Dec. 1743 he was advanced to the rank of vice-admiral, a few days later was appointed one of the lords-commissioners of the admiralty, and early in the following year to command the squadron ordered to convoy a fleet of victuallers and storeships to Lisbon. Having performed this duty he returned to England by the end of May, without misadventure, except the loss of the Northumberland, a 70-gun ship, which, having parted company from the squadron, was captured by the French on 8 May [see Watson, Thomas]. Hardy then resumed his seat at the admiralty, but died a few months later, on 27 Nov. 1744.

He married Elizabeth, only daughter of Josiah Burchett [q.v.], for many years secretary of the admiralty, and had issue three sons: Josiah, governor of the Jerseys, North America, and afterwards consul at Cadiz (d. 1790); Sir Charles the younger [q. v.], admiral and governor of Greenwich Hospital; and John, rear-admiral, known as the compiler of a 'List of the Captains of his Majesty's Navy from 1673 to 1783' (4to, 1784), who died in 1796. He had also three daughters.

Charles was a common name in the family, and since many of its members entered the navy confusion must be guarded against. An uncle of the subj ect of this memoir, Charles Hardy, had a son Charles, a captain in the navy, taking post from 1707 until 1714, when his name was removed from the list; he died on 11 June 1748, leaving a son Charles (1723-1783), who also served for a few years as a lieutenant in the navy.

[Charnock's Biog. Nav. iv. 9; Beatson's Nav. and Mil. Memoirs, vol. i.; official documents in the Public Record Office; Jersey Armorial [cf. Hardy, Sir Thomas].]

J. K. L.