Ryder, Alfred Phillipps (DNB00)

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

RYDER, Sir ALFRED PHILLIPPS (1820–1888), admiral of the fleet, born on 27 Nov. 1820, was seventh son of Henry Ryder [q. v.], bishop of Lichfield, and of his wife Sophia, daughter of Thomas March Phillipps of Garendon Park, Leicestershire. He entered the navy in May 1833, passed his examination in July 1839, and in the special competitive course at the Royal Naval College won his commission as lieutenant on 20 July 1841. He was then appointed to the 42-gun frigate Belvidera, in which he served in the Mediterranean till his ship was paid off in 1845. On 15 Jan. 1846 he was promoted to the rank of commander, and in May 1847 was appointed to the steam sloop Vixen, on the North America and West Indies station, from which he was promoted on 2 May 1848, for brilliant service at the capture of Fort Serapique on the San Juan river. From 1853 to 1857 he commanded the Dauntless frigate in the Channel, and afterwards in the Black Sea during the Russian war. From 1863 to 1866 he was controller of the coastguard, and was promoted to be rear-admiral on 2 April 1866. He was second in command of the Channel fleet in 1868–9, and was afterwards naval attaché at Paris. On 7 May 1872 he became vice-admiral, was commander-in-chief in China from 1874 to 1877, became admiral on 5 Aug. 1877, and from 1879 to 1882 was commander-in-chief at Portsmouth. On 24 May 1884 he was nominated a K.C.B., and was promoted to the rank of admiral of the fleet on 29 April 1885. After resigning the Portsmouth command he lived for the most part at Torquay. His health, never robust, was impaired, and he suffered from depression of spirits. In April 1888 he came to London for medical treatment, and while taking a trip on the river was drowned near Vauxhall pier. He was buried on 5 May at Hambleden, near Henley-on-Thames. Ryder was a man of high attainments, and made persistent exertions to raise the standard of education in the navy. He devoted much of his time on shore to scientific study, and was the author of some pamphlets on professional subjects, including one on a new method of determining distances at sea.

[O'Byrne's Naval Biogr. Dict.; Times, 2–3 May 1888; Catalogue of the Royal United Service Institution Library; Navy Lists; personal knowledge.]

J. K. L.