A Naval Biographical Dictionary/Walker, Leven Charles Frederick

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WALKER. (Lieut., 1822. f-p., 14; h-p., 17.)

Leven Charles Frederick Walker, horn in 1801, is son of the late Rear-Admiral Jas. Walker,[1] C.B., K.C.T.S. (whose father, Jas. Walker, married Lady Mary Leslie, daughter of Alexander, fifth Earl of Leven and Melville), by a daughter of General Sir John Irvine, K.B., many years Commander-in-Chief in Ireland; and nephew of the late gallant Colonel Leslie Walker, C.B. Another of his uncles was a Major of dragoons. He descends from an ancient family, the Walkers (Barons) of St. Fort, in Fifeshire.

This officer entered the Navy, 10 July, 1816, on board the Queen 74, to which, and the Northumberland 74, guard-ships in the river Medway, he continued attached, under the command of his father .and the late Sir Michael Seymour, until transferred, in Dec. 1818, to the Tribune 42, Capt. Nesbit Josiah Willoughby. While on the books of the Northumberland he was lent to the Royal Sovereign yacht, and assisted in bringing over from France the Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia. During the time he belonged to the Tribune, nearly three years, he was employed on the Irish and West India stations. On one occasion, when in pursuit of a smuggler in the barge, the ammunition, on which he was sitting, caught fire and exploded; and had he not jumped overboard, he must have lost his life. As it was, his leg was burnt and he was nearly drowned. At another time he dived after, near St. Kitts, and saved, a man who had fallen from the maintopsail-yard. In command of a schooner fitted as a tender, he succeeded, at different periods, in capturing a variety of smuggling vessels in the neighbourhood of Dominica, Guadeloupe, &c. Towards the close of 1821, he removed to the Sybille 44, bearing the flag of Sir Chas. Rowley at Jamaica. He was afterwards, while crossing the Isthmus of Darien, severely wounded by a gun accident in the right hand: he had the misfortune to lose a finger. As soon as he had passed his examination at the Naval College, which he did in so creditable a manner as to obtain a public compliment from Sir Jas. Hawkins Whitshed, the Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth, he was promoted, 6 Oct. 1822, to the rank of Lieutenant, and appointed to the Tamar 26, Capt. Thos. Herbert. In her he was again, for 12 months, employed in the West Indies; where he contributed to the capture and destruction of three piratical vessels. He served next, from 7 April, 1826, until he invalided in May, 1828, in the Clio 18, Capts. Robt. Aitchison and Robt. Deans, on the coasts of Ireland and Scotland; and from Nov. in the latter year until Feb. 1833 in the Coast Guard in England and Ireland. His exertions in the protection of the revenue procured him not only the “entire approbation” of the Comptroller-General, but, at the recommendation of that authority, the appointment, which he has held ever since he left the Coast Guard, of Inspector of the river Mersey. Lieut. Walker’s “humanity and gallantry” in twice jumping overboard from the Clio and saving life, occasioned his being each time recommended to the Admiralty, whose approbation he received; and on 28 Sept. 1844, his intrepidity in having in the preceding June, by dint of swimming, rescued a boy from being drowned in the Liverpool Docks, was acknowledged by the silver medal of the “Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society.” He is married and has a large family. Agent – Frederic Dufaur.

  1. Rear-Admiral Walker entered the Navy in 1776, on board the Southampton frigate. He obtained his first commission 18 June, 1781; served in the Torbay 74 during the operations against St. Christopher’s, under Sir Sam. Hood, and in Rodney’s action 12 April, 1782; and for his conduct as First and Signal Lieutenant on board the Niger, one of Lord Howe’s repeating frigates, in the action of 1 June, 1794, was advanced to the rank of Commander. For his gallant behaviour as Acting-Captain of the Monmouth 64 in the battle fought off Camperdown, on which occasion he compelled the Delft and Alkmaar ships of the line to surrender, after having engaged them for an hour and a half, he was confirmed to Post-rank 17 Oct. 1797. He commanded, subsequently, the Veteran 64, Braakel 56, Prince George 98, Prince 98, Isis 50, Tartar 32, Vanguard 74, Duquesne 74, Thalia 3C , and Bedford, Albion, Queen, and Northumberland, 74’s. In the Isis he bore a warm part under Lord Nelson, in the attack upon the enemy’s line of defence before Copenhagen 2 April, 1801; and while blockading St. Domingo, in 1803, in the Vanguard, he captured, among other vessels, the Duquesne 74 (the ship he was afterwards appointed to), and La Créole of 44 guns, with the French General Morgan and 530 troops on board; besides rescuing from the vengeance of the black general, Dessalines, the French garrison of St. Marc, in number 1100. In the Bedford he escorted the Royal Family of Portugal, in 1807, to the Brazils, where the Prince Regent, having expressly revived the Order of the Tower and Sword, created him a Knight Commander of it, in acknowledgment of the services he had rendered. In command of the same ship, Capt. Walker, in 1814, aided in bringing the Emperor of Russia and the King of Prussia over from Boulogne; and he also took out, in a squadron under his orders, the advanced guard of the army sent against New Orleans. He was nominated a C.B. 4 June, 1815, and advanced to Flag-rank 19 July, 1821. He died a Rear-Admiral of the Red after a few days illness at Blatchington, near Seaford, in the 67th year of his age, 13 July, 1831.