Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 04.djvu/334

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Beresford
Beresford
330

eight consecutive months. Beresford was then detached, in command of three ships of the line, to maintain the blockade of Lorient; and, though driven off for a few hours on 21 Feb. 1809 by the squadron under M. Willaumez, which had escaped from Brest (James, Naval History, iv. 392; Jurien de la Gravière, Souvenirs d'un Amiral (1860), ii. 137), he continued to do this till March, when he joined the fleet under the command of Lord Gambier, and served with it during the operations in Basque Roads. Early in 1810 the Theseus was paid off, and Beresford was appointed to the Poitiers, in which he was stationed for several months off Brest, as senior officer; he was afterwards sent to Lisbon, acting during the rest of the year in co-operation with the army under Lord Wellington. In 1811 he was employed in the North Sea, in the blockade of the Texel; and in 1812, on the breaking out of the war with the United States, was sent over to the coast of America. The service there, arduous and harassing without much room for distinction, lasted through nearly two years, during the latter of which he was authorised to bear a broad pennant as commodore. Pearly in 1814 he was appointed to the Royal Sovereign yacht, and on 24 April had the honour of carrying the king of France over to Calais. In May he was created a baronet, and attained the rank of rear-admiral 4 June. In the following September he hoisted his flag in the Duncan, and was sent to Rio de Janeiro to carry home the prince regent of Portugal. The prince, however, decided not to return to Lisbon at that time, and Beresford, after receiving from him the order of the Tower and Sword, returned to England. In August 1819 he was made a K.C.B. From 1820 to 1823 he commanded at Leith and on the coast of Scotland, and on his leaving he was presented with the freedom of the city of Edinburgh. From 1830 to 1833 he commanded at the Nore. He became a vice-admiral 19 July 1821, admiral 28 June 1838, and in 1836 was invested with the grand cross of the Hanoverian Guelphic order. From 1812 to 1823 he represented Coleraine in parliament; in 1823 was member for Berwick, and in 1832 for Northallerton; in 1835 he was elected member for Chatham, and was at the same time a junior lord of the admiralty. After this he took no further part in public affairs, but lived in comparative retirement at his seat at Bedale in Yorkshire, where he died, after a long illness, 2 Oct. 1844. He was married three times, and left a numerous family.

[Ralfe's Naval Biog. iv. 97; Marshall's Roy. Nav. Biog. ii. (vol. i. pt. ii.), 666***; Gent. Mag. (1844), xzii. 646, N.S.; documents in possession of the family.]

J. K. L.


BERESFORD, WILLIAM CARR, Viscount Beresford (1768–1854), general, was an illegitimate son of George de la Poer Beresford, earl of Tyrone, and afterwards first marquis of Waterford in the peerage of Ireland, and younger brother of Vice-admiral Sir John Poo Beresford [q. v.] He was born on 2 Oct. 1768, and received his earliest education in schools at Catterick Bridge and York until 1785, when he was sent to the military school at Strasburg. While still in France he received his first commission, an ensigncy in the 6th regiment, in August 1785, and accompanied his regiment to Nova Scotia in 1786. While there he met with a terrible accident out shooting, and lost the sight of his left eye. He obtained his promotion as lieutenant in the 16th regiment in 1790, and in January 1791 became a captain unattached. In the following May he was gazetted to a company in the 69th, which was under orders for the West Indies, but on the outbreak of the war with France he was sent on board the Britannia, 100 guns, the flag-ship of Vice-admiral Hotham, second in command of the Mediterranean fleet, with two companies of the 69th, who were ordered to serve as marines.

When the inhabitants of Toulon opened their port and received the English admiral. Lord Hood, the marines, and the various companies of regular troops serving as marines were landed in order to garrison the city. Beresford did his duty well enough, and was favourably mentioned in Lord Mulgrave's despatches, but did not especially distinguish himself. However, when Lord Hood was driven out of Toulon in December 1793, and removed the troops to Corsica, Beresford commanded the storming party at the tower of Martello, for which he received his brevet-majority in March 1794, and was present at the captures of Bastia, Calvi, and San Fiorenzo. He returned to England in August 1794 to be promoted lieutenant-colonel and to take command of a new regiment which had been raised for him on his father's estates; this regiment was soon broken up, and Beresford received instead the command of the 88th regiment, or Connaught Rangers, in September 1795. The 88th was destined to form part of the expedition under Sir Ralph Abercromby to reconquer the West Indies, but the terrible storm called 'Christian's storm,' from Sir Hugh Christian, the admiral, utterly dispersed it; two companies arrived safely in Jamaica and served through