Open main menu

Royal Naval Biography/Carew, Thomas


Nephew to the Right Hon. Sir John Newport, Bart., D.C.L. and M.R.I.A., many years representative in parliament for the city of Waterford.

Mr. Carew was made a lieutenant on the 16th July, 1805. We first find him in the Belliqueux 64, Captain George Byng,[1] under whom he served on shore, as a volunteer, with the marine brigade, at the reduction of the Cape of Good Hope, in Jan. 1806, and afterwards on the East India station. On the 26th Aug. 1807, he commanded a boat in an affray with two Malay proas, on which occasion Mr. Turner, acting lieutenant, and six men were killed. His subsequent gallant conduct as first lieutenant of the Piedmontaise frigate. Captain Charles Foote, at the storming of the defences of Banda-Neira, the principal of the Dutch Spice Islands, was duly represented by the senior officer, Captain (now Sir Christopher) Cole.[2]

On the 22d Nov. 1813, Lieutenant Carew was appointed to the Rodney 74, Captain Charles Inglis; in which ship he continued until promoted to the command of the Jasper sloop, June 7th, 1814.

In Aug. 1816, the Jasper accompanied the expedition destined against Algiers to Gibraltar; from whence she returned home with Lord Exmouth’s despatches. On the night of the 19th Jan. 1817, she was totally wrecked, in Plymouth Sound, when of 67 persons on board, including Mr. Edward Smith (master and commanding officer), Mr. Robert Marshall (purser), Mr. Godfrey Martin (master’s-mate), and Messrs. William Doles and S.W. Williams (midshipmen), with fifteen females, all but two men perished. The storm which caused her destruction is thus spoken of in the “Plymouth Telegraph:”

“During the greater part of Sunday, Jan. 19th, the weather bore a very portentous appearance, as if the elements were preparing a terrific mischief. As the night drew near, every thing betokened an approaching hurricane. The wind suddenly turned into the S.S.E. quarter and oscillating, at intervals, between that and S.S.W. blew with a fury, which, joined to an extraordinary high tide, the tremendous violence of the waves, and a pitchy darkness that might almost be felt, created the irresistible presentiment of some awful catastrophe. About four o’clock in the morning of Monday, the tempest had increased to a perfect hurricane, and within two lamentable hours from that period, we shudder to state, not less than three gallant vessels were shivered to atoms on the coast, within a short distance of each other; and at least seventy human beings instantaneously consigned by a watery death to eternity.

“The vessels proved to be the Jasper brig of war, Captain Carew, wrecked on the Bear’s Head, at Mount Batten; the Princess Mary packet. Captain Pocock, in Deadman’s Bay; and the Telegraph schooner, Lieutenant John Little, under the Eastern Hoe. Besides these unfortunate vessels, the Lapwing revenue cutter, Lieutenant Thomas Lipson, lying in Mill Bay (a place from which a vessel was never before known to drive), parted from her cables and went ashore, high and dry, over a ridge of rocks, with comparatively but little injury.”

On the 28th of the same month, a court-martial was assembled, in Hamoaze, to inquire into the circumstances attending the loss of the Jasper; when it appeared from the evidence of the two men who had escaped, and of Mr. Sidley, the harbour-master, that the sad catastrophe was the consequence of proper precaution not having been taken in due time to prevent the shipwreck, by veering away more cable and striking her top-masts, and by her having both lower-yards and top-gallant-masts aloft; but that no blame was imputable to Captain Carew, as he had left her properly moored, and in a good berth: he was therefore acquitted.

This officer, we are told, married a widow lady with a fortune of £80,000.


(Vol. IV. Part I. p. 207.)

Was promoted to the rank of captain on the 1st Mar. 1833.

  1. The late Viscount Torrington.
  2. See Vol. II. Part II. p. 508.