Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Tucker, Thomas Tudor

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

TUCKER, THOMAS TUDOR (1775–1852), rear-admiral, third of the eight sons (all in the public service) of Henry Tucker, secretary of the council of the Bermudas, was born on 29 June 1775. Henry St. George Tucker [q. v.] was his eldest brother. After two voyages in the service of the East India Company, he entered the navy in 1793 as master's mate of the Argo, with Captain William Clark, whom he followed to the Sampson and the Victorious, in which last he was present at the reduction of the Cape of Good Hope. On 21 March 1796 he was appointed acting lieutenant of the Suffolk on the East India station, in which and afterwards in the Swift sloop, again in the Victorious and in the Sceptre, he served as acting lieutenant for nearly four years. On her way homewards the Sceptre was lost in Table Bay, on 5 Nov. 1799. A great part of her crew perished, and Tucker was left to find his own passage to England. On arriving in London he learned that the admiralty refused to confirm his irregular promotion, and, after passing a second examination, he was made a lieutenant on 20 May 1800, into the Prince George, in which, and afterwards in the Prince, he served in the Channel fleet till the peace. In June 1803 he was appointed to the Northumberland, carrying the flag of Rear-admiral Cochrane, at the first off Ferrol, and later on in the West Indies, where, on 6 Feb. 1806, he was present in the battle of St. Domingo [see Cochrane, Sir Alexander Forrester Inglis; Duckworth, Sir John Thomas]. He was then appointed by the admiral acting commander of the Dolphin, and, in succession, of several other ships; but the rank was not confirmed till 15 Feb. 1808. In April he was moved into the Epervier, in which, and afterwards in the Cherub, he repeatedly distinguished himself in the capture of the enemy's vessels even when protected by batteries, and in February 1810 he assisted in the reduction of Guadeloupe. On the special recommendation of the commander-in-chief, Sir Francis Laforey, he was promoted to post rank on 1 Aug. 1811, but was continued in the Cherub, which he took to England in September 1812, in charge of a large convoy.

He was immediately ordered to refit the ship for foreign service, and early in December sailed for South America, and on to the Pacific, where, at Juan Fernandez, he joined Captain James Hillyar [q. v.] of the Phœbe, with whom he continued, and assisted in the capture of the United States frigate Essex, near Valparaiso, on 28 March 1814, when Tucker was severely wounded. The small force of the Cherub had, necessarily, little influence on the event of the action; but in the previous blockade she had rendered important service in helping to frustrate the enemy's attempts to escape. In August 1815 she returned to England, and was paid off. Tucker afterwards commanded the Andromeda and the Comus for a few months, but after May 1816 had no employment. On 4 July 1840 he was nominated a C.B.; and on 1 Oct. 1846 was put on the retired list, with the rank of rear-admiral. He died in London on 20 July 1852. He married, in 1811, Anne Byam Wyke, eldest daughter of Daniel Hill of Antigua, and left issue a son and three daughters.

[Marshall's Roy. Nav. Biogr. vi. (suppl. pt. ii.) 419; O'Byrne's Nav. Biogr. Dict.; Gent. Mag. 1852, ii. 539.]

J. K. L.