Sotheby, Edward Southwell (DNB12)

SOTHEBY, Sir EDWARD SOUTHWELL (1813–1902), admiral, born at Clifton on 14 May 1813, was second son in a family of two sons and three daughters of Admiral Thomas Sotheby (1759–1831) by his second wife, Lady Mary Anne (d. 1830), fourth daughter of Joseph Deane Bourke, third earl of Mayo and archbishop of Tuam. William Sotheby [q. v.] was his uncle. After going through the course at the Royal Naval College, Portsmouth, Edward went to sea in 1828. He passed his examination in 1832, was promoted to lieutenant on 3 Oct. 1835, and in Dec. was appointed to the Caledonia, of 120 guns, flagship in the Mediterranean. In April 1837 he joined the Dido, corvette, as first lieutenant, and in her served during the war on the coast of Syria in 1840, for which he received the medal and, on 30 Oct. 1841, his promotion to commander. In June 1846 he was appointed to command the sloop Racehorse, in which he took part in the later operations of the first New Zealand war and served in China till 1848. He commissioned the Sealark for the west coast of Africa in June 1850, and was employed cruising for the suppression of the slave trade. On 6 Sept. 1852 Sotheby was promoted to captain, and in Dec. 1855 was appointed to the Pearl, corvette, which he commanded on the East Indies and China station until 1858. In July 1857 the Pearl, with the frigate Shannon, Capt. William Peel [q. v.], was sent from Hong Kong to Calcutta on the receipt of news of the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny. Sotheby himself took command of the Pearl's brigade, which was landed on 12 Sept., and for the following fifteen months formed part of the Goruckpore field force during the operations in Oudh. Sotheby and his brigade were thirteen times mentioned in despatches, and received the thanks of both houses of parliament, of the governor-general of India, of the admiralty, and of the naval and military commander in India (cf. Forrest's Hist. of Indian Mutiny, ii. 262). In addition to the medal Sotheby was made a C.B. and an extra aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria (1858–67). In 1863 he commanded the Portland coastguard division, after which he was not again actively employed. He reached flag rank on 1 Sept. 1867, and retired on 1 April 1870. He was advanced to vice-admiral on the retired list on 25 Aug. 1873, was awarded the K.C.B. in 1875, and became admiral on 15 June 1879. After leaving the sea Sotheby devoted himself to philanthropic work; in 1886 he was a commissioner for investigating and reporting on the condition of the blind, and was for many years chairman of the Blind Institute in Tottenham Court Road.

Sotheby died at 26 Green Street, London, W., on 6 Jan. 1902, and was buried at Ecton, Northamptonshire. He married in 1864 Lucy Elizabeth, daughter of Henry John Adeane, of Babraham, Cambridgeshire, and granddaughter of John Thomas, first Baron Stanley of Alderley, by whom he had issue three sons.

[O'Byrne's Naval Biogr. Dict.; The Times, 8 Jan. 1902; R.N. List; Burke's Landed Gentry; Sir J. W. Kaye, Sepoy War in India; G. B. Malleson, Hist. of Indian Mutiny.]

L. G. C. L.