A Naval Biographical Dictionary/Spratt, Thomas Abel Brimage

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SPRATT. (Lieutenant, 1841.)

Thomas Abel Brimage Spratt, born 11 May, 1811, at East Teignmouth, is eldest son of Retired Commander James Spratt, R.N.

This officer entered the Navy, in June, 1827, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Victory 104, flag-ship at Portsmouth of Hon. Sir Robt. Stopford; and from 1832 until April, 1846, was almost uninterruptedly employed in the Mediterranean, as Midshipman, Mate (he passed his examination 27 Jan. 1835), and Lieutenant (commission dated 15 Oct. 1841), in the Mastiff and Beacon suryeying-vessels, both commanded by the present Capt. Thos. Graves. On 26 Oct. 1837 he plunged overboard from the Beacon, and at great risk saved the life of a marine, Samuel Turner, who, while scraping the side of the ship, had accidentally fallen into the sea. In a public letter to the Commander-in-Chief Capt. Graves, after detailing this occurrence, says, “His (Mr. Spratt’s) conduct with me during a servitude of upwards of five years having been invariably most exemplary, and his being also most indefatigable and attentive, as well as a valuable assistant in the particular service in which we are employed, will, I trust, lead you to consider his case worthy of the consideration of my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty.” On the occasion of Mr. Spratt’s advancement to the rank of Lieutenant, Capt. W. A. B. Hamilton, then Private Secretary to Lord Haddington, observes, in a note addressed to his father. Commander Spratt, “His Lordship directs me to make known to you the great satisfaction it has afforded him to recommend to the Board for this promotion a young officer so highly spoken of as your son has been, both by Capt. Beaufort, Hydrographer of the Admiralty, and Capt. Graves.” “Your eldest son,” writes the present Sir Wm. Parker in 1846, “now five years a Lieutenant in the surveying-service, stands decidedly high in that branch of his profession.” From 1 March, 1847, until April, 1848, Mr. Spratt commanded the Volage 22, surveying-vessel, again in the Mediterranean.

In 1838 the Lieutenant communicated to the Geographical Society some ‘Remarks on the Supposed Situation of Minoa and Nissea;’ and in 1846 he published a volume of ‘Travels in Ancient Lycia.’ He married, 27 Feb. 1844, Sophia, only daughter of Edw. Price, Esq., by whom he has issue.