Hindmarsh, John (DNB00)

From Wikisource
 
Jump to: navigation, search

HINDMARSH, Sir JOHN (d. 1860), rear-admiral and colonial governor, entered the navy in 1793 as a volunteer on board the Bellerophon, in which ship he remained for the next seven years, and in her was present at the battle of 1 June 1794, in Cornwallis's retreat 17 June 1795 [see Cornwallis, Sir William], at the battle of the Nile 1 Aug. 1798, and the capture of the forts at Gaeta in 1799. In the battle of the Nile the Bellerophon, while accidentally anchored, was exposed to the full weight of L'Orient's broadside, was dismasted and sustained exceptional loss. The captain, Darby, went below wounded, and for a few minutes Hindmarsh was the only officer on deck, just as L'Orient burst into flames. He ordered the cable to be cut, and, setting the spritsail, got the ship clear of the imminent danger in a manner that elicited the warm approval of Captain Darby, who afterwards personally introduced him to Nelson and Lord St. Vincent as having saved the ship. He lost the sight of an eye. In May 1800 he followed Captain Darby to the Spencer, and in her was present in the actions at Algeziras on 6 July and in the Straits of Gibraltar on 12 July 1801 [see Saumarez, James, Lord de Saumarez]. In 1803 he went out to the Mediterranean in the Victory, and in Aug. was promoted by Nelson to be lieutenant of the Phœbe, in which he was present at Trafalgar, 21 Oct. 1805. In Nov. he was moved into the Beagle sloop, for four years cruising against the French coasting privateers. In April 1809 the Beagle convoyed the fireships to Basque road, and took part in the subsequent operations [see Cochrane, Thomas, tenth Earl of Dundonald; Gambier, James, Lord]. Hindmarsh was afterwards appointed first lieutenant of the Nisus, with Captain Philip Beaver [q.v.] , and in her took part in the reduction of Mauritius and Java. In May 1813 he returned to England invalided, and was promoted to commander's rank 15 June 1815. In March 1830 he was appointed to command the Scylla in the Mediterranean, and was posted from her on 3 Sept. 1831. He is said to have gone out to Alexandria in September 1834, ‘for the purpose of assuming a high command in the Egyptian navy’ (Marshall, xii. 474). In Feb. 1836 he was appointed first governor of South Australia, and in May was nominated K.H. He sailed in the Buffalo for Australia in June. On 28 Dec. he and his party landed at Holdfast Bay, and ‘under a venerable gum tree, a short distance from the shore, the orders in council creating South Australia a British colony’ and Hindmarsh's commission as governor were read (Harcus, South Australia, p. 12; Foster, South Australia, p. 49). With him was associated Mr. (afterwards Sir John) Fisher, as commissioner for the sale of crown lands, but the dual government did not work well, and Hindmarsh was recalled in Feb. 1838. Fisher was removed; and the new governor, George Gawler [q. v.], was vested with sole authority. From Sept. 1840 till 1856 Hindmarsh was lieutenant-governor of Heligoland. On 31 Jan. 1856 he was advanced to flag rank, and died on 31 July 1860; his wife had died at Brighton on 2 April 1859 (Gent. Mag. new ser. vi. 551). He left one son, John, a barrister, and two daughters, one of whom, Mary, married Mr. G. M. Stephen, brother of Sir Alfred Stephen, chief justice of New South Wales; the other, Jane, married Mr. A. M. Mundy, colonial secretary for South Australia, and nephew of Admiral Sir George Mundy [q. v.]

[O'Byrne's Naval Biog. Dict.; Annual Register, 1860, p. 448; Gent. Mag. new ser. ix. 327.]

J. K. L.