Ellis, Samuel Burdon (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

ELLIS, Sir SAMUEL BURDON (1787–1865), general, son of Captain Charles Ellis, R.N., entered the royal marine light infantry as a second lieutenant on 1 Jan. 1804. He was at once sent on board ship, and, after first seeing service in Sir Robert Calder's action off Cape Finisterre, was present at the battle of Trafalgar, and was promoted lieutenant in 1806. He was present in the Walcheren expedition in 1809 and in the capture of Guadeloupe in 1810, and being on board the Nymphe was employed off the coast, first of Spain and then of southern France during the latter years of the Peninsular war. He specially distinguished himself in the operations which the navy took in helping to form the siege of Bayonne, after Wellington's victory of the Nive and Soult's retreat on Toulouse. His ship was then ordered to the North American coast, where she captured the American frigate the President after a fierce fight, during which Ellis particularly distinguished himself, being the first man to board the enemy. On the conclusion of peace Ellis had no further opportunity to see service, and it was not until 15 Nov. 1826, when he had been more than twenty years in the marines, that he was promoted captain. It was not until many more years had passed, during which Ellis was employed in many different ships, that he again saw service in the capture of Fort Manora, which commands the entrance to the harbour of Kurrachee in Scinde, in 1839. He next commanded the marines employed in the Persian Gulf, and was mentioned in despatches for his services in bringing off the political resident at Bushire during a riot there, and saving his life. When the Chinese war broke out in 1840 he had the good fortune to be employed on the China station, and for his services in command of a battalion of marines at the capture of Chusan on 5 July 1840, and at the battle of Chuenpee on 7 Jan. 1841, he was promoted major by brevet on 6 May 1841. Before the news of his promotion reached him he had still further distinguished himself with his marines in the bombardment of the Bogue forts; he commanded the advance on Canton, and the services of his men were so great at the storming of the Canton forts on 26 May 1841, that he was promoted lieutenant-colonel by brevet, antedated to that day, and made a C.B. He then commanded a battalion of marines at Ningpo and Chusan until the conclusion of the war, when he returned to England. He was promoted colonel on 3 Nov. 1851, and commanded the Chatham division of the royal marines until he became major-general on 20 June 1855. He was promoted lieutenant-general in 1867, made a K.C.B. in 1860, promoted general in 1862, and died at Old Charlton on 10 March 1860, after having been for more than sixty years an officer of marines, at the age of seventy-eight.

[Hart's Army List; Gent. Mag. April 1865.]

H. M. S.