Huskisson, Thomas (DNB00)

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HUSKISSON, THOMAS (1784–1844), captain in the navy, son of William Huskisson (d. 1790) of Oxley, near Wolverhampton, and half-brother of William Huskisson [q.v.], was born on 31 July 1784. He received his early education at the grammar school of Wolverhampton, and entered the navy in July 1800 on board the Beaver sloop, from which, a few months later, he was moved to the Romney, going out to the East Indies under the command of Captain Sir Home Popham [q.v.] On the Romney's being paid off he was appointed to the Defence with Captain George Hope, in which he was present in the battle of Trafalgar, when he was stationed on the poop in charge of the signals. Huskisson was afterwards moved into the Foudroyant, flagship of Sir John Borlase Warren [q.v.], in which he was present at the capture of the Marengo and Belle Poule on 13 March 1806. In August he received a commission as acting-lieutenant of the Foudroyant, which was confirmed by the admiralty on 15 Nov. In 1807 he was signal-lieutenant to Lord Gambler on board the Prince of Wales, in the expedition to Copenhagen, and in 1808 went out to the West Indies in the Melpomene, from which he was promoted to the command of the Pelorus on 18 Jan. 1809. In her he assisted in the reduction of a French ship under the battery at Point-a-Pitre, and in the reduction of Guadeloupe. In 1810 he was appointed acting-captain of the Blonde, which he brought home; and on 14 March 1811 he was posted to the Garland of 28 guns, and in June 1812, still in the West Indies, was moved into the Barbadoes, which, as the French privateer Brave, had won a wide reputation for exceptional speed in 1804 (Marshall, iii. 387). As war was just then declared against the United States, Huskisson had reason to hope that this remarkable speed might win for him both distinction and profit, and was therefore cruelly disappointed when, being sent with a small convoy to Halifax, the ship was lost in a fog on Sable Island on 28 Sept. 1812, a misfortune which put him out of the way of active service during the continuance of the war. In the summer of 1815 he commanded the Euryalus on the coast of France, and from 1818 to 1821, again in the Euryalus, was in the West Indies, where for two periods of six months he was senior officer of the station, with a broad pennant. In 1821-2 he commanded the Semiramis at Cork, as flag-captain to Lord Colville, and in March 1827 was appointed paymaster of the navy by his brother William, then treasurer of the navy. In 1830, when the office of paymaster was abolished, Huskisson was promised the first vacant commissionership of the navy; but the navy board itself was abolished about the same time, and pending the occurrence of some other vacancy of corresponding value, he was appointed one of the captains of Greenwich Hospital. The death of his brother and the change of ministry were fatal to his prospects, and at Greenwich Hospital he remained till his death on 21 Dec. 1844, combining with his other duties during a great part of this time (1831-40) the superintendence of the hospital schools. He married, in 1813, Elizabeth, daughter of Francis Wedge of Aqualate Park, Staffordshire, and had issue four sons and two daughters.

[Marshall's Roy. Nav. Biog. vi. (suppl. pt.ii.) 338; O'Byrne's Nav. Biog. Dict.; private information.]

J. K. L.