Letters and Papers of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Thomas Byam Martin
Admiral Hamilton edited three volumes of Byam Martin’s papers which were issued out of sequence.
Half this volume consists of another autobiographical collection, ‘Reminiscences and Notes’, written after those in Vol III but dealing with his early life up to 1794. These are followed by correspondence of his father illustrating his entry into the Navy in 1786 and early service, and his own from 1795 to 1807. In appendices are printed the Captain’s Orders of the Andromeda in 1788, when Prince William Henry commanded her and Martin was a midshipman, and the proceedings of the court martial of Captain Lumsdame in 1793 in which Martin was involved.
Richard Vesey-Hamilton was born on 28 May 1829, the son of a vicar. He was educated at the Royal Naval School in Camberwell and joined the Royal Navy in July 1843. He twice volunteered to take part in missions to search for Franklyn’s ill-fated expedition to the North-West Passage. He saw action in the Second Opium War of 1857 and served both in the East and the West Indies. He was promoted to rear-admiral in 1877 serving at the Admiralty, and later as Commander-in-Chief China Station in 1885. As a full admiral he became Second Naval Lord in 1888 and First Naval Lord in 1889. He became President of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich in 1891, retiring from the Royal Navy in 1894 being awarded the GCB in 1895. In retirement he wrote, and died at his home in Chalfont St. Giles on 17 September 1912.