Bathurst, Walter (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

BATHURST, WALTER (1764?–1827), captain in the royal navy, was a nephew of Dr. Henry Bathurst, bishop of Norwich [q. v.], being a son of another of the thirty-six children of Benjamin, younger brother of Allen, first Earl Bathurst. After being borne on the books of the guardship at Plymouth for more than a year, he was, on 5 Oct. 1781, appointed to the Yarmouth, which, in the beginning of 1782, accompanied Sir George Rodney to the West Indies, and participated in the glorious victory to leeward of Dominica 12 April. He afterwards served in the Perseus frigate, was made lieutenant on 15 Nov. 1790, and in April 1791 was appointed to the Ferret brig on the home station. He continued in her for nearly three years, and on 30 Dec. 1793 was appointed to the Andromache frigate, in which he served on the Newfoundland station, and afterwards with the fleet off Cadiz under Lord St. Vincent. In May 1797 he was transferred to the Ville de Paris, and on 3 July 1798 was appointed captain of the same ship by order from Lord St. Vincent. His promotion was not confirmed till 24 Oct. 1799; but he continued to command the Ville de Paris till May 1800, and for a great part of the time with Lord St. Vincent's flag at the main. He afterwards commanded the Eurydice frigate, the Terpsichore, and the Pitt, in the East Indies, in all of which he was fortunate in making several rich prizes. Having brought home the Pitt, rechristened Salsette, he still commanded her up the Baltic in 1808, and in July 1809 was employed in escorting part of Lord Chatham's army to Walcheren. The following year he was appointed to the Fame, 74 guns, in which he went out to the Mediterranean, and stayed there till the end of the war. He had no further service till 1824, when he commissioned the Genoa, 74 guns, which, on 20 Oct. 1827, formed part of the fleet commanded by Sir Edward Codrington at Navarino. The accident of position caused the Genoa's loss to be very heavy; her list of killed considerably exceeded that of any other ship in the fleet, and included the name of Captain Bathurst. It is sufficiently well known that the lord high admiral was to a great extent personally responsible for this action having been fought, and that he felt the most lively interest in the result; he was thus prompted to write, with his own hand, a letter of condolence to Bathurst's widow, the mother of five children. One of these, following his father's steps, entered the navy, and had attained the rank of commander, when he died at a comparatively early age.

[Gent. Mag. xcvii. ii. 563; Official Papers in the Public Record Office.]

J. K. L.