Walker, Baldwin Wake (DNB00)

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WALKER, Sir BALDWIN WAKE (1802–1876), admiral, son of John Walker of Whitehaven (d. 1822), by Frances, daughter of Captain Drury Wake of the 17th dragoons, and niece of Sir William Wake, eighth baronet, was born on 6 Jan. 1802. He entered the navy in July 1812, was made a lieutenant on 6 April 1820, and served for two years on the Jamaica station, then for three years on the coast of South America and the west coast of Africa. In 1827 he went out to the Mediterranean in the Rattlesnake, and in 1828 was first lieutenant of the Etna bomb at the reduction of Kastro Morea [see Lushington, Sir Stephen]. For this service he received the cross of the Legion of Honour and of the Redeemer of Greece. He continued in the Mediterranean, serving in the Asia, Britannia, and Barham, and was made commander on 15 July 1834. In that rank he served in the Vanguard, in the Mediterranean, from September 1836 till his promotion to post rank on 24 Nov. 1838. By permission of the admiralty he then accepted a command in the Turkish navy, in which he was known at first as Walker Bey, and afterwards as Yavir Pasha. In July 1840 the Capitan Pasha took the fleet to Alexandria and delivered it over to Mehemet Ali, who then refused to let it go. Walker summoned the Turkish captains to a council of war, and proposed to them to land in the night, surround the palace, carry off Mehemet Ali, and send him lo Constantinople. This would probably have been done had not Mehemet Ali meantime consented to let the ships go. (Memoirs of Henry Rose, i. 285- 286). Walker afterwards commanded the Turkish squadron at the reduction of Acre [see Stopford, Sir Robert], for which service he was nominated a K.C.B. on 12 Jan. 1841; he also received from the allied sovereigns the second class of the Iron Crown of Austria, of St. Anne of Russia, and of the Red Eagle of Prussia.

Returning to England in 1845, he commanded the Queen as flag-captain to Sir John West at Devonport, and in 1846-7 the Constance frigate in the Pacific. From 1848 to 1860 he was Surveyor of the navy; he was created a baronet on 19 July 1856; he became a rear-admiral in January 1858, and in February 1861 was appointed commander-in-chief at the Cape of Good Hope, whence he returned in 1864. He became vice-admiral on 10 Feb. 1865, and admiral on 27 Feb. 1870. He died on 12 Feb. 1876. He married, on 9 Sept. 1834, Mary Catherine (d. 1889), only daughter of Captain John Worth, R.N. , and had issue. His eldest son. Sir Baldwin Wake Walker, the present baronet, Is a captain in the navy, and at the present time (1899) assistant director of torpedoes; his second son, Charles, was lost in the Captain on 7 Sept. 1870.

[O'Byrne's Naval Biogr Dict.; Times, 15 Feb. 1876; Navy Lists; Burke's Peerage, 1895]

J. K. L.