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Royal Naval Biography/Abbot, Charles


RIGHT HON. CHARLES LORD COLCHESTER.
[Post-Captain of 1826.]

Grandson of the Rev. Dr. Abbot, Rector of the parish of All Saints, Colchester, whose widow married Mr. Jeremy Bentham, an eminent practitioner in Chancery, to whom her first husband’s children, John and Charles, were indebted for an excellent education. The eldest of these sons married a lady of fortune, and purchased the valuable situation of Clerk of the Rules of the Court of King’s Bench, with a condition, that in the event of his demise, the place should devolve to his brother. The latter, after practising for some years as a barrister-at-law, and representing the borough of Helstone in two parliaments, was appointed, in 1801, Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and Keeper of the Privy Seal in that part of the United Kingdom: in 1802, he was elected M.P. for Woodstock, and chosen Speaker of the House of Commons; in 1806, we find him elected to represent the University of Oxford; and in 1817, upon retiring from the above high office, the duties of which he had always fulfilled with great dignity and impartiality, he was elevated to the peerage, by the title of Baron Colchester.

Mr. Charles Abbot, the eldest son of this distinguished lawyer and statesman, by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Philip Gibbes, Bart, of Springhead, in the island of Barbadoes, was born in London, Mar. 12th, 1798; and first embarked as midshipman, on board the Revenge 74, flag-ship of Rear-Admiral the Hon. A. K. Legge, April 8th, 1811. From June 1812 till Nov. 1813, he was a student at the Royal Naval College; and between the latter date and Mar. 13th, 1814, he appears to have been a passenger on board various ships, to join the Bacchante frigate. Captain (afterwards Sir William) Hoste, employed in the Adriatic. He subsequently proceeded to the North American station, under the command of Captain Francis Stanfell; and continued to serve with that officer, until paid off at Portsmouth, July 27th, 1815. His next voyage was in the Alceste frigate, to the Yellow Sea, from whence he accompanied Lord Amherst to the Chinese capital and Canton[1]. Henry Ellis, Esq. third Commissioner of the Embassy, in the advertisement to his journal, acknowledges himself to be chiefly indebted to the Hon. Charles Abbot for the drawings and geographical illustrations.

On the 22d of June, 1818, being then a lieutenant of nine months’ standing, this officer was appointed to the Liffey 50, Captain the Hon. Henry Duncan, C.B., under whom he served until promoted to the command of the Racehorse sloop, on the Mediterranean station, Jan. 27th, 1821. He afterwards commanded and lost the Columbine of 18 guns. His advancement to the rank of captain took place Jan. 2Gth, 1826; and he succeeded to the honors of the British peerage, on the demise of his father, in 1829.

Lord Colchester now commands the Volage 28, on the South American station. His only brother, the Hon. Philip Henry Abbot, is a barrister-at-law.

Agent.– Messrs. Stilwell.