Page:Dictionary of National Biography. Sup. Vol II (1901).djvu/62

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Colomb
Colquhoun
50

On 12 Dec. 1863 Colomb was promoted to the rank of commander, but continued attached nominally to the Edgar or the Victory, for the perfecting of his system of signalling. In 1867 he was for some time lent to the royal engineers, to improve the system of military signalling, and in July 1868 commissioned the Dryad for the East India station. Of his experiences in that command he wrote an interesting account under the title of 'Slave Catching in the Indian Ocean' (1873, 8vo). On 4 April 1870 he was advanced to post rank, and for the greater part of the next four years was employed at the admiralty preparing the 'Manual of Fleet Evolutions,' officially issued in 1874. For the next three years, 1874–7, he commanded the Audacious on the China station, as flag captain to Vice-admiral (Sir) Alfred Phillipps Ryder [q. v.]; in 1880 he commanded the Thunderer in the Mediterranean, and from 1881 to 1884 was captain of the steam-reserve at Portsmouth, from which in September 1884 he was appointed to the Duke of Wellington as flag captain to Sir Geoffrey Thomas Phipps Hornby [q. v. Suppl.] This was his last active service. On 20 May 1886 he was retired for age, being still nearly a year from the top of the captains' list. He became a rear-admiral on 6 April 1887, and vice-admiral on 1 Aug. 1892. He settled down at Botley in Hampshire, and there he died suddenly, of an affection of the heart, on 13 Oct. 1899. He married in 1857 Ellen Bourne, daughter of Captain Hook, who survives him, and left issue, besides two daughters, six sons, of whom five are in the public service. A good lithograph portrait has been published since his death.

Always a man of strong literary instincts, in his retirement he devoted himself more and more to the study of history as a key to the many problems of naval policy and strategy which are continually arising. The science of naval evolutions he had, theoretically, a complete mastery of, though hard fate prevented him from combining practice with his theory, and thus his views did not always, among naval men, meet with that ready acceptance which many believed they were entitled to. An untiring correspondent of the 'Times,' he had an opinion to express on every naval subject of the day; at the meetings at the Royal United Service Institution he was a regular attendant and a frequent speaker as well as the contributor of several important papers, some of which were published in a small volume under the title of 'Essays on Naval Defence' (1893, cr. 8vo). He was also the author of 'Naval Warfare: its ruling principle and practice historically treated' (1891, roy. 8vo), a work whose very great merit is somewhat obscured by what many would think its needless length; and a 'Memoir of Sir Astley Cooper Key' (1898, 8vo), which, as a professional biography, is among the very best. For the last two or three years he had been working at a memoir of Arthur Herbert, earl of Torrington [q. v.], whose character and whose conduct of the battle of Beachy Head he considered to have been grossly misrepresented by our most popular historians. He was also the author of numerous pamphlets on naval matters.

[O'Byrne's Nav. Biogr. Dict. 2nd edit.; Times, 16 Oct. 1899; United Service Mag. November and December 1899, N.S. xx. 214, 305; Colomb and Bolton's The System of flashing Signals adopted in her Majesty's Army and Navy; Encyclopædia Brit. 9th edit. s.n. 'Signals;' Navy Lists; personal knowledge; private information.]

J. K. L.


COLQUHOUN, Sir PATRICK MACCHOMBAICH (1815–1891), diplomatist, author, and oarsman, born on 13 April 1815, was the eldest son of the Chevalier James Colquhoun, and great-grandson of Patrick Colquhoun [q. v.] His father was charge d'affaires of the king of Saxony, the duke of Oldenburg, and of the Hanseatic republics, Lubeck, Bremen, and Hamburg; he was also political agent for many of the West Indian islands, a knight of the Ottoman empire, and commander of the Saxon order of merit. Patrick entered Westminster School on 25 May 1826, left in August 1832, and was admitted pensioner of St. John's College, Cambridge, on 27 Feb. 1833. He graduated B.A. in 1837, M.A. in 1844, and LL.D. in 1851; he was also LL.D of Heidelberg (1838). On 1 May 1834 he was admitted student of the Inner Temple, and on 4 May 1838 he was called to the bar; he became Q.C. in 1868, bencher of his inn in 1869, and treasurer in 1888. Through his father's connection with the Hanse towns, he was in 1840 appointed their plenipotentiary to conclude commercial treaties with Turkey, Persia, and Greece. These duties occupied him four years, and on his return to England in 1844 he joined the home circuit. In 1845 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, during Hallam's presidency; he was placed on the council in 1846, was made librarian in 1852, vice-president in 1869, and president in succession to the duke of Albany in 1886. During his residence in England he wrote his 'Summary of the Roman Civil Law,' a substantial work in four large volumes (London, 8vo,