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A Naval Biographical Dictionary/Hotham, Charles

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HOTHAM, K.C.B. (Captain, 1833. f-p., 19; h-p., 10.)

Sir Charles Hotham, born in 1806, is eldest son of the Rev. Fras. Hotham, Prebendary of Rochester (second son of the second Lord Hotham, one of the Barons of the Court of Exchequer), by Anne Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Thos. Hallett Hodges, Esq., of Hemsted Place, Kent; and first cousin of Capt. Hon. Geo. Fred. Hotham, R.N. Sir Charles, who is brother-in-law of Lieut.-Colonel Grieve of the 75th Regt., has also a brother, Augustus Thomas Hotham, in the Army.

This officer entered the Navy 6 Nov. 1818; and on the night of 23 May, 1824, when Midshipman of the Naiad 46, Capt. Hon. Robt. Cavendish Spencer, served in the boats under Lieut. Michael Quin at the gallant destruction of a 16-gun brig, moored in a position of extraordinary strength alongside the walls of the fortress of Bona, in which was a garrison of about 400 soldiers, who, from cannon and musket, kept up a tremendous fire, almost perpendicularly, on the deck. He was made Lieutenant, 17 Sept. 1825, into the Revenge 76, flag-ship of Sir Harry Burrard Neale in the Mediterranean; and next appointed – 15 May, 1826, to the Medina 20, Capts. Timothy Curtis and Wm. Burnaby Greene, on the same station – and, 8 Dec. 1827, and 26 July, 1828, as First, to the Terror and Meteor bombs, Capts. Wm. Fletcher and David Hope. As a reward for his distinguished exertions on the occasion of the wreck of the Terror, more particularly alluded to in our memoir of Capt. Hope, Mr. Hotham was promoted by the Lord High Admiral to the rank of Commander 13 Aug. 1828. After an interval of half-pay he obtained an appointment, 17 March, 1830, to the Cordelia 10, and returned to the Mediterranean, whence he ultimately came home and was paid off in Oct. 1833 – having been raised to Post-rank on 28 of the preceding June in compliment to the memory of his uncle the late Vice-Admiral Hon. Sir Henry Hotham, G.C.B., G.C.M.G. His next appointment was, 25 Nov. 1842, to the Gorgon steam-sloop, stationed on the S.E. coast of America. In Nov. 1845, having assumed command of a small squadron, he ascended the river Parana, in conjunction with a French naval force under Capt. Trehouart, and on 20 of that month, after a hard day’s fighting, succeeded in effecting the destruction of four heavy batteries belonging to General Rosas at Punta Obligado, also of a schooner-of war carrying 6 guns, and of 24 vessels chained across the river. Towards the close of the action he landed with 180 seamen and 145 marines, and accomplished the defeat of the enemy, whose numbers had originally consisted of at least 3500 men, in cavalry, infantry, and artillery, and whose batteries had mounted 22 pieces of ordnance, including 10 brass guns, which latter were taken off to the ships, the remainder being all destroyed. The loss of the British in this very brilliant affair amounted to 9 men killed and 24 wounded. In acknowledgment of the gallantry, zeal, and ability displayed throughout its various details by Capt. Hotham, he was recommended in the most fervent terms of admiration by his Commander-in-Chief, Rear-Admiral Sam. Hood Inglefield, in his despatches to the Admiralty, and he was in consequence nominated a K.C.B. 9 March, 1846. Since 13 May in that year he has been employed as Commodore on the coast of Africa, with his broad pendant successively flying in the Devastation and Penelope steamers.

While Sir Chas. Hotham was in the Gorgon, that vessel was blown far on shore in a hurricane at Colonia, and it was only by the most indomitable and procrastinated exertion on the part of himself and his crew that she was saved. Agents – Messrs. Halford and Co.