Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol III (1901).djvu/191

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Milne
Mitchell
177

the next twelve years to June 1859 he was a junior lord of the admiralty, and in acknowledgment of his long administrative service during a time of war and reorganisation he was made a civil K.C.B. on 20 Dec. 1858 ; he had previously been made a rear-admiral, 2 Jan. 1858.

In 1860 Milne was appointed to the command of the West Indies and North American station, which, during the American civil war, he exercised with great judgment and tact, at a time when the tension of public feeling on both sides of the Atlantic especially called for the exercise of these qualities. The duration of his command was extended by a year, and on 25 Feb. 1864 he was nominated a military K.C.B., with authority to wear both orders. From June 1866 to December 1868 he was senior naval lord of the admiralty, and from April 1869 to September 1870 was commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean. During the last two months of the time the Channel fleet joined the Mediterranean on the coast of Portugal, and the two were exercised together under the command of Milne, who was also desired to report on the behaviour of the Captain [see Burgoyne, Hugh Talbot; Coles, Cowper Phipps]. On 6 Sept. he inspected the ship, and commented on the very unusual state of things—the water washing freely over the lee side of the deck. In the very exceptional circumstances he did not think it necessary to do more than express his dislike of this to Coles; and indeed, in view of the strong feeling that had been excited in favour of the invention, it is almost certain that the outcry would have been very great if Milne had ordered the ship's sails to be furled, and the ship had in consequence weathered the gale in safety. It would have been said that he was prejudiced against the ship, and had refused to give her a fair trial. On the early morning of 7 Sept. the Captain turned over bodily and went to the bottom.

On 24 May 1871 Milne was made a G.C.B., and from 1872 to 1876 was again first naval lord of the admiralty. On 1 Nov. 1876 he was created a baronet. During his long career he was a member of many commissions and committees. He was a commissioner for the exhibition of 1851 in London, and again for that of 1867 in Paris; in 1879 he was chairman of Lord Carnarvon's committee to inquire into the state of defences of our colonies, and in 1881 of a commission on the defence of British possessions and commerce. In 1887 he was chairman of a committee of officers of the navy and marines for the presentation of a ‘jubilee offering’ to the queen. The presentation, of silver models of the Britannia, a first-rate ship of war in 1837, and of the Victoria, a first-class battleship of 1887, was actually made at Windsor on 22 Nov. 1888. During his later years he resided principally at Inveresk House, Musselburgh, and there he died, in consequence of a chill followed by pneumonia, on 29 Dec. 1896. He married in 1850, Euphemia, daughter of Archibald Cochran of Ashkirk, Roxburghshire, and by her (who died on 1 Oct. 1889) left issue, besides two daughters, one son, Archibald Berkeley Milne, a captain in the navy, who succeeded to the baronetcy.

[O'Byrne's Nav. Biogr. Dict.; Men and Women of the Time, (1895); Times, 30 Dec. 1896 ; Burke's Peerage and Baronetage ; Navy Lists.]

J. K. L.

MITCHELL, ALEXANDER FERRIER (1822–1899), Scottish ecclesiastical historian, born at Brechin on 10 Sept. 1822, was son of David Mitchell, convener of local guilds, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of James Ferrier of Broadmyre. After being educated at Brechin grammar school, he proceeded in 1837 to St. Mary's College, St. Andrews, winning an entrance bursary in classics. He graduated M.A. in 1841, and in 1844 was licensed to preach. After acting as assistant to the ministers at Meigle and Dundee, he was in 1847 ordained by Meigle presbytery to the charge of Dunnichen. Adhering to the established church during the secession movement, he became in 1848 a member of the general assembly. In the same year, when only twenty-six, he was appointed professor of Hebrew in St. Mary's College, and was one of the first to introduce into Scotland a scientific method of teaching Hebrew. As convener from 1856 to 1875 of the committee of the mission to the Jews, Mitchell did much to develop missions in the Levant, which he visited himself in 1857. His main interests lay, however, in Scottish ecclesiastical history, and in 1868 he succeeded John Cook as professor of divinity and ecclesiastical history in St. Mary's College.

Mitchell held his chair for twenty-six years, and during that period published a number of valuable works on Scottish ecclesiastical history. He was an active member of the Scottish Historical and Text Societies, and took a prominent part in the general councils of the Presbyterian Alliance, attending the meeting at Philadelphia in 1880. In 1885 he was elected moderator of the church of Scotland, and the address he delivered at the close of the session was separately published (Edinburgh and Lon-

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