Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Ussher K.C.H, C.B.
- Born: 1779
- Marriage: Elizabeth Deborah Foster in 1802 in St.Marylebone
- Died: 6 Jan 1848 aged 69
Info from Jeremy Archer research.
Commanded HMS Redwing in the actions of 7 May 1808 and 31 May 1808.
Conveyed Napolean from Frejus to Elba in 1814 whilst commanding HMS Undaunted. ( and refused to testify that the emperor was mad).
Had issue; 4 sons and 3 daughters.
Changed death date after Wendy found obit in Times Court section ; said he leaves 3 sons and 2 daughters. First son post captain in the Navy, second captain in Marines and youngest in commissary department, serving in Canada.
"Napoleon also gave Sir Thomas Ussher a snuff box with his miniature on the lid set in diamonds. (Although this was left in his will to two of his daughters, passed into the hands of his eldest son, at the time Consul-General and Charge d'Affairs at Port-au-Prince in Haiti, and was exhibited at the London Exhibition in 1862, where it attracted much attention; on the eldest son's death, in 1886, it passed into other hands)."
"On 24 July 1830 he was appointed Equerry to the household of Queen Adelaide; was created in 1831 a K.C.B. (accompanied by the honour of a Knighthood); and advanced to the rank of Admiral on 9 Nov 1846. He filled the posts of Commissioner of Bermuda and Halifax Dockyards from 1831 to 1838, and of Naval Commander-in-Chief at Cork from 1 July 1847 to his death. He published in 1849 in 1849 "A Narrative of the First Abduction of Napoleon." of which copies are in the Libraries of the British Museum and of Trinity College Dublin.
An extract from the London Times, May 1848, says,
"The late Admiral Sir Thomas Ussher, K.C.B., Commander-in-Chief of Her Majesty's Naval Forces on the Irish Station, late of Cove at Cork, who died on 6 Jan last at the age of 69, had made his will in July 1845, leaving his two daughters Caroline and Elizabeth Ussher all his property, for their absolute use. By a memorandum written after the execution of his will, he also leaves to his daughters the snuff box presented to him by the Emperor Napoleon, containing a celebrated miniature of the Emperor by Isabel, surrounded with magnificent brilliants, His Majesty, King George the Fourth, had offered him (Sir Thomas) 3,000 pounds for it, and a private individual a very much larger sum."
William IV was very fond of Sir Thomas Ussher, who was his Equerry for some time. His two daughters were remarkable for their beauty. An amusing anecdote is told of the youngest daughter and the "Sailor King". "At the first Drawingroom held by Queen Adelaide and William the Fourth after their coronation, Miss E. Ussher was presented, as a matter of course, although already well known to the King, while he was Duke of Clarence, owing to his friendship of many years standing with her father. At the moment of presentation, however, some hesitation occurred owing to a slight informality, as Lord James O'Brien was handing her forward. At this the King, in his hearty stentorian voice, called out, "Is that Bessy Ussher? God bless her! Why I've known here since she was a baby!" And a hearty and resounding kiss, planted on either cheek of the blushing girl, gave ample testimony to the sincerity of his declaration and the vigour of his regard."
Sir Thomas had married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Forster, Esq., of Grove House, Buckinghamshire. She was a Forster of the old blood. The Northumbrians have a saying, "The Almighty first made Northumberland, and then He made the Forsters."
From the Royal Navy Museum;
Born in 1779 in Dublin. Thomas Ussher joined the Navy at the age of twelve, as Midshipman onboard HMS Squirrel. In 1796, he became acting Lieutenant on HMS Minotaur. He was severely wounded during a boat action against the French in April 1798, and was invalided for a few months. In June 1799, with the cutter from HMS Pelican, he attacked a French privateer Le Tromeur in San Domingo, Caribbean. During
his service on the Pelican, Ussher was involved in twenty-one boat actions. In September 1800, Ussher was sent home on half pay after being wounded during action.
He was given command of the brig HMS Colpoys in April 1804, and in this ship undertook several boat actions in the waters off the North coast of Spain and the Bay of Biscay. Backed by testimonials from Earl St Vincent and Admirals Cornwallis and Graves, Ussher was promoted to command the sloop HMS Redwing in 1806, and took part in a number of small craft actions. He served for the remainder of the Napoleonic Wars in command of a number of ships in different stations until 1814, when he became Captain of HMS Undaunted, and conveyed Napoleon to exile in Elba after his surrender.
In June 1815, Ussher was promoted to Companion of the Bath, and in 1831, he was knighted. From 1831 until 1838 he served as Superintendent at the dockyards of Bermuda and Halifax. He was promoted Rear Admiral on 9th November 1846, and in July 1847, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief at Queenstown, Republic of Ireland. He died at on the 6th June 1848 at Queenstown.
Thomas married Elizabeth Deborah Foster, daughter of Thomas Foster and Deborah Senior, in 1802 in St.Marylebone. (Elizabeth Deborah Foster died on 11 Jan 1835 in Nova Scotia, Canada.)