A Naval Biographical Dictionary/Gambier, Robert

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GAMBIER. (Captain, 1814.)

Robert Gambier, born 3 Aug. 1791, at Wateringbury, co. Kent, is son of the late Commissioner Sam. Gambier, R.N., who died 11 May, 1813, by Jane, youngest daughter of Dan. Mathew, Esq., of Felix Hall, co. Essex; brother of Capt. G. C. Gambier, R.N., and of Sir Edw. John Gambier, Judge of Madras; nephew of Admiral Lord Gambier, G.C.B.;[1] and second-cousin of Capt. R. F. Gambier, R.N.

This officer entered the Navy, 3 Aug. 1804, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Lively 38, Capt. Graham Eden Hamond, lying in the river Thames, and from the following Sept. until the receipt of his first commission, dated 5 Sept. 1810, served, in the same capacity, and as Midshipman, Master’s Mate, and Acting-Lieutenant, in the Weymouth, Capt. John Draper, Diadem 64, Commodore Sir Home Popham, Sampson 64, Capt. Wm. Cuming, Surveillante 38, Capt. Sir Geo. Ralph Collier, and Salvador del Mundo and Namur, flag-ships of Admirals Wm. Young and Hon. Sir Henry Edwin Stanhope. Of these ships, the Diadem assisted at the reduction of the Cape, Buenos Ayres, and Maldonado, in 1806, and the Surveillante, besides contributing to the fall of Copenhagen, in Sept. 1807, effected the capture of Le Milan French national corvette, of 18 guns, off Ushant, 30 Oct. 1809. As Lieutenant, Mr. Gambier’s appointments, we find, were, to the Caledonia 120, flag-ship of Lord Gambier, Loire 38, Capt. Alex. Wilmot Schomberg, and Edinburgh 74, Capt. Robt. Rolles, on the Channel, Baltic, and Mediterranean stations. He assumed command, 30 Sept. 1812, of the Pelorus sloop, and, being promoted to Post-rank, 6 June, 1814, was afterwards employed as Captain, from 25 April, 1815, to 19 Nov. 1818, of the Myrmidon 20, and, from 18 June, 1825, until July, 1826, of the Pyramus 42. In Dec. 1820, Capt. Gambier also obtained an appointment in the Water Guard. While in the Myrmidon he was employed, under Capt. Fred. Lewis Maitland, in blockading the Maumusson passage until the surrender of Buonaparte, when he accompanied the Bellepheron to England, bringing with him several French officers, &c., belonging to the Emperor’s suite. He then sailed for the Mediterranean. In the Pyramus Capt. Gambier conveyed to Vera Cruz Mr. Morier, H.M. Commissioner to the republic of Mexico, and at the same time afforded a passage to Sir Robt. Ker Porter, Consul-General at Columbia. He accepted the Retirement 1 Oct. 1846.

He married, 27 Oct. 1815, Caroline, fourth daughter of Major-General Gore Browne, Lieutenant Governor of Plymouth and Commandant of the western district. Agents – Collier and Snee.


  1. Lord Gambier was born at the Bahamas 13 Oct. 1756. He commanded the Thunder bomb when that vessel was captured by the Comte d’Estaing in 1778; served on shore with the naval brigade, while Captain of the Raleigh 32, at the reduction of Charlestown, in 1780; commanded the Defence 74, on 28 and 29 May and 1 June, 1794, on which latter occasion he was the first to cut through the enemy’s line; became Governor and Commander-in-Chief at Newfoundland in 1802; co-operated with Lieut.-General Lord Cathcart, and was created a Baron of the United Kingdom for his seizure of the Danish fleet, in 1807; and was Commander-in-Chief of the Channel fleet when Lord Cochrane made his celebrated attack on the French shipping in Aix Roads in April, 1809. On 30 July, 1814, his Lordship was nominated the head of a commission for negociating a treaty of peace with the plenipotentiaries duly authorized for that purpose on the part of the United States of America. He had previously for many years filled a seat at the Board of Admiralty. He died Admiral of the Fleet 19 April, 1833.