Men of the Time, eleventh edition/Alcester (Baron), Frederick Beauchamp Paget Seymour
ALCESTER (Baron) The Right Hon. Frederick Beauchamp Paget Seymour, G.C.B., is the only surviving son of the late Sir Horace Beauchamp Seymour, M.P., by his first wife, Elizabeth Mallett, daughter of the late Sir Lawrence Palk, Bart.; and a grandson of Vice-Admiral Lord Hugh Seymour. He was born in Bruton Street, London, on April 12, 1821, was educated at Eton, and entered the Royal Navy in Jan., 1834, receiving his lieutenant's commission in March, 1842. He became a captain in 1854, rear-admiral in 1870, vice-admiral in 1876, and admiral in 1882. He served as a volunteer in the Burmese war of 1852–3 as aide-de-camp to General Godwin, and led the storming party of Fusiliers at the capture of the works and pagoda of Pegu. He was also present in numerous other engagements on land and water, was four times gazetted, and awarded the Burmese medal with the clasp for Pegu, at the close of the campaign. In 1854 he served against the Russians in the operations in the White Sea, and is in receipt of the Baltic medal. A few years later, viz., 1860–1, as commodore in command of the Australian station, he took part in the operations of the Naval Brigade in New Zealand, again distinguishing himself, and receiving the New Zealand medal and the Companionship of the Bath. In 1866 he was appointed an aide-de-camp to the Queen. From 1868 till 1870 he was private secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty, and he commanded the Detached Squadron from December, 1870, till May, 1872, from which date till March, 1874, he was one of the Lords of the Admiralty. From October, 1874, till November, 1877, when he was made a K.C.B., he commanded the Channel Squadron, and he was appointed commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean in February, 1880. In September of the same year he assumed the supreme command of the Allied Fleet of the European Powers, which made a naval demonstration off the Albanian coast in consequence of the refusal of the Porte to agree to the cession of Dulcigno to Montenegro. Eventually the Turks consented to the cession, and the object for which the European fleet had been assembled in the Adriatic having thus been achieved, it dispersed on Dec. 5. Sir Beauchamp Seymour received the thanks of Her Majesty's Government for the manner in which he performed his duty on this occasion, and he was created a Grand Cross of the Bath in the following year (1881). In the warlike operations in Egypt in 1882 he took a conspicuous part, as commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean fleet. On the 6th of July he demanded of Arabi Pasha the instant cessation of the works on the forts at Alexandria, under penalty of bombardment; and on the 10th he dispatched an ultimatum to the Egyptian Ministry, demanding, not only the cessation of all defensive works, but also the surrender of the forts at the mouth of the harbour. Early on the morning of the 11th eight British ironclads and five gunboats advanced to the attack, and although the Egyptian gunners fought their guns exceedingly well, the forts were, in a few hours, laid in ruins or silenced, with slight loss on the British side, and with trifling damage to the ships. On the following day flags of truce were hoisted on shore, and in the afternoon one of the British officers, being sent to treat with the enemy, discovered that the city had been completely abandoned by Arabi and his troops, and that the flags had been merely used as devices to enable the army to withdraw from the city without further molestation. Sir Beauchamp Seymour remained in supreme command at the occupation and arrangement of affairs in Egypt until the arrival of the army under the command of General Sir Garnet Wolseley. For his distinguished services he received the thanks of Parliament, and was elevated to the peerage by the title of Baron Alcester of Alcester, in the county of Warwick.