Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Moore, Graham

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MOORE, Sir GRAHAM (1764–1843), admiral, third surviving son of Dr. John Moore (1729–1802) [q. v.], was younger brother of Lieutenant-general Sir John Moore [q. v.] and of James Carrick Moore [q. v.] He entered the navy in 1777, and served in the West Indies, on the North American station, and in the Channel. On 8 March 1782 he was promoted to be lieutenant of the Crown, one of the fleet with Lord Howe at the relief of Gibraltar, and in the rencounter with the allied fleet off Cape Spartel in October 1782. After the peace he went to France to perfect himself in the language, but was recalled by an appointment to the Perseus, in which, in the Dido, and in the Adamant, flagship of Sir Richard Hughes at Halifax, he served continuously till promoted, 22 Nov. 1790, to be commander of the Bonetta sloop; in her he returned to England in 1793. On 2 April 1794 he was posted to the Syren frigate, employed during the year in the North Sea, and afterwards on the coast of France, as one of the squadron under the orders of Sir Richard John Strachan [q. v.] In September 1795 he was moved into the Melampus of 42 guns, and, remaining on the same station, cruised with distinguished success against the French privateers and coasting trade. In the summer of 1798 he was attached to the squadron on the coast of Ireland, under Sir John Borlase Warren [q. v.], assisted in the defeat of the French squadron on 12 Oct., and on the 14th captured the Resolve of 40 guns, with five hundred men, including soldiers, on board. In February 1800 he went out to the West Indies; but after eighteen months he broke down under the trial of a summer in the Gulf of Mexico, and in August 1801 was compelled to invalid.

On the renewal of the war in 1803 he refused to stay on shore, and was appointed to the Indefatigable, a 46-gun frigate, attached to the fleet off Brest under Admiral Cornwallis. In September 1804, in consequence of the threatening attitude of Spain, and the intelligence that a large quantity of treasure expected at Cadiz was intended for the service of France, Moore, in command of a small frigate squadron, four in all, was sent to watch off Cadiz and intercept the treasure ships. On 4 Oct. they were sighted, four frigates under the command of a rear-admiral. The two squadrons approached each other in line of battle. On a shot being fired across his bows the Spanish admiral brought to, and Moore sent an officer on board to say that he had orders to detain the ships and carry them to England, that he wished to execute his orders without bloodshed, but the admiral's determination must be made at once. The Spanish admiral refused to yield to a nominally equal force. A sharp action took place, three of the Spanish frigates were captured, the fourth was blown up, with the loss of nearly all on board. The treasure taken amounted to upwards of three and a half million dollars, and was condemned as the prize of the captors, although war was not declared till 24 Jan. 1805, more than three months afterwards.

In August 1807 Moore was appointed to the 74-gun ship Marlborough, on the coast of Portugal. In November he was ordered to hoist a broad pennant and escort the royal family of Portugal to the Brazils. With a squadron of four English and five Portuguese ships of the line, besides frigates, smaller vessels, and a large number of merchantmen, he sailed from the Tagus on 27 Nov., and arrived at Rio de Janeiro on 7 March 1808. Before leaving again for Europe he was invested by the prince regent with the order of the Tower and Sword. In the autumn of 1809 the Marlborough formed part of the force under Sir Richard Strachan in the Walcheren expedition; and when the island had to be evacuated, Moore was charged with the destruction of the basin, arsenal, and sea defences of Flushing. In August 1811 he was offered the command of the Royal Sovereign yacht; he declined it, preferring active service, and in January 1812 he was appointed to the Chatham of 74 guns. On 12 Aug. 1812 he was promoted to the rank of rear-admiral, after which for a short time he commanded in the Baltic, with his flag in the Fame. In 1814 he was captain of the fleet to Lord Keith in the Channel [see Ephhinstone, George Keith, Viscount Keith]. On 2 Jan. 1815 he was nominated a K.C.B., and on the escape of Napoleon from Elba was ordered out to the Mediterranean as second in command. The appointment was cancelled on the abrupt termination of the war, and in the following spring Moore was appointed one of the lords of the admiralty. In this post he remained for four years.

On 12 April 1819 he was promoted to be vice-admiral, and in 1820 went out as commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean, with his flag in the Rochefort. Shortly after his arrival on the station he took the king of Naples to Leghorn, on his way to attend the congress at Laybach. On the king's return to Naples he wished to confer on Moore the grand cross of the order of St. Ferdinand and Merit, 'for the important services rendered to the king and the royal family by the British squadron during the revolution.' Moore, however, declined it as contrary to the regulations of the English service. He was nominated a G.C.M.G. on 28 Sept. 1820. He returned to England in 1823, and admiral 10 Jan. 1837. From 1839 to 1842 he was commander-in-chief Plymouth. During the latter part of the time his health was very much broken. He died at Cobham in Surrey on 25 Nov. 1843, and was buried there in the churchyard, where there is a plain monument to his memry. Moore married in 1812 Dora, daughter of Thomas Eden, deputy-auditor of Greenwich Hospital, brother of William, first lord Auckland. By her he had issue one son, John, who was promoted to the rank of commander in the navy three days before his father's death, and died a captain in 1866.

Moore's portrait was painted by Sir T. Lawrence, P.R.A.

[Memoir of Sir Graham Moore, by Sir Robert Gardiner; Marshall's Roy. Nav. Biog. ii. (vol. i. pt. ii.) 533; Ralfe's Naval Biog. iii. 206; James's Naval Hist.; information from the vicar of Cobham.]

J. K. L.