Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Herbert, Thomas (1793-1861)

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652596Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 26 — Herbert, Thomas (1793-1861)1891John Knox Laughton

HERBERT, Sir THOMAS (1793–1861), rear-admiral, second son of Richard Townsend Herbert of Cahirnane, co. Kerry, by his second wife, Jane, daughter of Anthony Stroughton of Ballyhorgan, was born in February 1793, and in July 1803 entered the navy on board the Excellent with Captain Sotheron, in which he went out to the Mediteranean, and was present at the operation on the coast of Italy and in the Bay of Naples in 1806. He was afterwards moved into the Klonde frigate with Captain Volant Vashon Ballard [q. v.] In her he was present, December 1807, at the reduction of the Danish West Indian Islands, and on Ballard's recommendation was made lieutenant by Sir Alexander Cochrane on 1 Aug. 1809, a promotion which was confirmed by the admiralty on 10 Oct. During the four following years he was lieutenant of the Pompée with Sir James Athol Wood [q. v.] on the West Indian, home, and Mediterranean stations; and in 1814 was appointed first lieutenant of the Euryalus, with Captain (afterwards Sir Charles) Napier (1786-1860)[q. v.], and took active part in the operations in the Potomac, consequent on which he was promoted to the rank of commander on 19 Oct. 1814. In September 1821 he commissioned the Icarus for the West Indies, where in the following May he was transferred to the Carnation, and on 25 Nov. 1822 was posted to the Tamaz. After destroying three piratical vessels on the coasts of Cuba and Yucatan, she was brought home by him and paid off in August 1823. In 1829 he was high sheriff for co. Kerry. He had no further service afloat till November 1837, when he was appointed to the Calliope frigate, and sent to the coast of Brazil. After acting as senior officer there and in the river Plate, in January 1840 he was ordered round to Valparaiso, and thence on to China. On his arrival in October he was for a couple of months, pending the arrival of Rear-admiral George Elliot [q. v.], senior officer in the Canton River, and after the admiral's arrival had the actual command of the operations against Chuenpee and the Bogue Forts, himself, in the Nemesis steamer [see Hall, Sir William Hutcheon], opening a way through creeks behind Annaughoy, and destroying a 20-gun battery which guarded the rear of that island. Continuing in command of the advanced squadron he captured the fort in Whampoa Reach, and silenced the batteries commanding the approach to Canton. In June and July he was again senior officer in the Canton River, and on the arrival of Sir William Parker [q. v.] he was moved into the Blenheim of 72 guns, in which he took a distinguished part, in the capture of Amoy and Chusan, and commanded the naval brigade at the reduction of Chinghae. As a recognition of long service throughout this troublesome war, he was nominated a C.B. on 29 Jan, and a K.C.B. on 14 Oct. 1841; and peace having been concluded at Nankin October 1842, he returned to England in the Blenheim, which he paid off in March 1843. From 1847 to 1849 he was commodore on the east coast of South America, with a broad pennant in the Raleigh of 50 guns. From February to December 1853 he was a junior lord of the admiralty under the Duke of Northumberland, and on 26 Oct. 1853 he became a rear-admiral. From 1852 to 1857 he was M.P. for Dartmouth. He died 4 Aug. 1861.

[O'Byrne's Nav. Biog. Dict.; Burke's Landed Gentry; Annual Reg. 1861, ciii. 451; Times 6 Aug. 1861.]

J. K. L.