Kingsmill, Robert Brice (DNB00)


KINGSMILL, Sir ROBERT BRICE (1730–1805), admiral, son of Charles Brice, a captain in the army, was made a lieutenant on 29 April 1756, was appointed commander of the Swallow sloop in February 1761, and was confirmed in the rank on 3 July, consequent on his capture of a 10-gun privateer on the coast of France. In 1762 he commanded the Basilisk bomb at the reduction of Martinique and St. Lucia by Sir George Rodney, and on 26 May was posted to the Crescent. He returned to England in 1764. He had already married Elizabeth, only daughter of Hugh Corry of Newton, co. Down, and of his wife, Frances, only daughter of Sir William Kingsmill (d. 1698), knight, of Sidmonton, Hampshire. On the death of her last surviving maternal uncle, William Kingsmill, a bachelor, in 1766, Brice's wife succeeded to her grandfather's estates; on which Brice assumed by act of parliament the surname of Kingsmill by royal license. He commanded the Vigilant of 64 guns in the action off Ushant on 27 July 1778 [see Keppel, Augustus, Viscount], but after the courts-martial quitted the ship in disgust at the action of the admiralty. On the change of ministry in 1782 he was appointed to the Elizabeth, which after the peace was employed as a guardship. He was elected M.P. for Tregony, Cornwall, on 5 April 1784. In the Spanish armament of 1790 he commanded the Duke of 90 guns. On 1 Feb. 1793 he was promoted to be rear-admiral, and was shortly afterwards appointed commander-in-chief on the coast of Ireland, an arduous, though not brilliant post, which he held continuously till 1800, being advanced meanwhile to the rank of vice-admiral on 4 July 1794, and of admiral on 14 Feb. 1799. He was created a baronet on 24 Nov. 1800, and died without issue at Sidmouth on 23 Nov. 1805.

His brother Edward, principal surveyor of revenue at Belfast, also assumed the surname of Kingsmill in December 1787, and his son Robert succeeded his uncle as second baronet. On the second baronet's death in 1823 the title became extinct.

[Charnock's Biog. Nav. vi. 485; Ralfe's Nav. Biog. i. 354; Burke's Dormant and Extinct Baronetcies.]

J. K. L.