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A Naval Biographical Dictionary/Seymour, Michael

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SEYMOUR. (Capt., 1826. f-p., 17; h-p., 17.)

Michael Seymour, born 3 Dec. 1802, is third son of the late Rear-Admiral Sir Michael Seymour,[1] Bart., K.C.B., by Jane, third daughter of Capt. Jas. Hawker, R.N.; and nephew of Lieut. Rich. Seymour, R.N., First of the Amazon 38, who was killed in action with the French 40-gun frigate Belle Poule 13 March, 1806. He is brother of the present Sir John Hobart Culme Seymour, Bart., of Highmount, co. Limerick, Prebendary of Gloucester, Rector of Northchurch, Herts, and Chaplain-in-Ordinary to the Queen; of Capt. Jas. Seymour, of the 38th Regt., who died at Cawnpoor in 1827; of Commander Edw. Seymour, R.N. (1834), who died 13 June, 1837, at Horndean, in the 33rd year of his age; and of Wm. Hobart Seymour, Esq., of the 72nd Regt. One of his sisters, Mary Dora, was married, in 1830, to Commander O. G. S. Gunning, R.N.; another, Caroline, in 1841, to Capt. Geo. Carr, only son of the late Bishop of Worcester; and a third, Elizabeth, in 1839, to Capt. Geo. Howard Vyse, of the 2nd Life Guards.

This officer entered the Navy, 5 Nov. 1813, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Hannibal 74, in which ship, commanded by his father, he served for 10 months, principally in the Channel, and assisted at the capture, in March, 1814, of La Sultane French frigate of 44 guns. From 8 March, 1816, until 25 Oct. 1818, he studied at the Royal Naval College., He then joined in succession, on the Mediterranean and Home stations, the Rochfort 80, flag-ship of Sir Thos. Fras. Fremantle, Ganymede 26, Capt. Hon. Robt. Cavendish Spencer, a second time the Rochfort and again the Ganymede, and the Glasgow 50, Camelion 10, Seringapatam 46, Révolutionnaire 46, and Apolla yacht, Capts. Hon. Anthony Maitland, Wm. Jas. Mingaye, Sam. Warren, Hon. Fleetwood Broughton Reynolds Pellew, and Hon. Sir Chas. Paget. In the five ships last mentioned he held the rating of Midshipman. He obtained his first commission 12 Sept. 1822; became attached, 1 July, 1823, to the Sybille 48, Capt. Sam. John Pechell, employed in the West Indies and Mediterranean; attained the rank of Commander 6 Dec. 1824; was appointed in that capacity, 8 Aug. 1825, to the Camelion 10, on the Plymouth station; and was advanced, 5 Aug. 1826, to Post-rank. His subsequent appointments were – 7 Jan. and 12 Sept. 1827, to the Menai 26 and Volage 28, both on the South American station, whence he returned early in 1829 – 14 June, 1833, to the Challenger 28, in which ship he was wrecked on the coast of Chili 19 May, 1835 – 7 April, 1841, to the Britannia 120, bearing the flag of Sir John Acworth Ommanney in the Mediterranean – 22 Sept. 1841, to the Powerful 84, paid off at Portsmouth at the commencement of 1842 – and, 16 Jan. 1845, to the Vindictive 50, fitting for the flag of Sir Fras. Wm. Austen, Commander-in-Chief in North America and the West Indies, where he remained until 1848.

Capt. Seymour has been for several years Registrar and Secretary to the Order of the Bath. He married, 22 June, 1829, his first-cousin, Dorothea, eldest daughter of the late Sir Wm. Knighton, Bart., M.D., G.C.H., Auditor and Keeper of the Privy and Council Seals of the Duchy of Cornwall, and Keeper of the Privy Purse to George IV., by whom he has issue. Agents – Case and Loudonsack.


  1. Sir Michael Seymour was born 8 Nov. 1768, at Palace, co. Limerick, and entered the Navy 15 Nov. 1780, on board the Merlin sloop, commanded by his patron, Capt. Hon. James Luttrell; on accompanying whom into the Mediator 41, he look part, 12 Dec. 1782, in a gallant action fought between that ship and five of the enemy’s vessels, the result of which was, the capture of the Alexander- of 24 guns and 120 men, and the Menagère armée en flûte of 34 guns and 212 men. In Nov. 1790 he acquired the rank of Lieutenant, and in the summer of 1795 (having lost an arm in the Marlborough 74 in Lord Howe’s action 1 June, 1794) he was promoted to that of Commander. Prior to his attainment of Post-rank 11 Aug. 1800, he was for four years actively and successfully employed in the Spitfire 16, capturing, among other vessels, as many as six privateers, carrying, in the whole, 67 guns and 301 men, and a transport armed with 14 guns. He suhspquently commanded the Sphynx 20, Ville de Paris 110, Fisgard 38, Ville de Paris again, Colossus, Illustrious, and Warrior 74’s, Amethyst of 42 guns and 261 men, Niemen 38, Hannibal 74, and the Royal George yacht. For his valour and heroic conduct in the Amethyst, in effecting the capture of the French frigates La Thétis of 44 guns and 436 men, including troops, and Le Niemen of 46 guns and 339 men (alluded to in our memoir of Lieut. J. C Seymour) he received the honour of Knighthood, a gold medal from the King, the freedom of the cities of Limerick and Cork, and a sword, valued at 100 guineas, from the Patriotic Society; and was raised, 3! May, 1809, to the dignity of a Baronet. Sir Michael was also, in the Amethyst, present in the expedition to the Walcheren; and in the Hannibal he made prize, 26 March, 1814, of La Sultane frigate of 44 guns and 319 men. He was nominated a K.C.B. 2 Jan. 1815, became resident Commissioner afterwards at Portsmouth, attained Flag-rank 27 June, 1832, and from 1 Jan. 1833 until the period of his death, 9 July, 1834, commanded in chief in South America, with his flag in ths Spartiate 76. He was interred in the cemetery of Gambia, at Rio de Janeiro, July 15.