Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Rear-Admiral Peter Richards
17 August 1861

Volume 5, page 9, sitting number 5539.

Peter Richards was born at Maker in Cornwall in 1787 and joined the Royal Navy in 1798. In I828 he reached the rank of Captain and was given command first of HMS Asia and then of HMS Volage, before commanding HMS Cornwallis in the First Opium War against China. 

According to an obituary: ’Capt. Richards bore a distinguished part during the operations on the coast of China, where he served on shore in the attack on the enemy’s entrenched camp on the heights of Segaon, and at the taking of Chapoo, Woosung, Shanghae, and Chin-Kiang-Foo. As a reward for the admirable gallantry, spirit, and judgment he had throughout displayed, he was nominated a C.B., 24th September, 1842.

‘He was captain-superintendent of Chatham dockyard, 1849-54; a Lord of the Admiralty, 1854-7; and a commissioner of Greenwich Hospital, 1857-65. He was made a K.C.B. in 1865’ (Portsmouth Times and Naval Gazette, 20 March 1869).

His later commands were HMS Hibernia, HMS Royal Sovereign, HMS Cumberland and HMS Boscawen.

On reaching the rank of Rear-Admiral he was appointed Third Sea Lord in 1854 and served in that role in the Crimean War. In April 1862 he was promoted Vice-Admiral on the Reserve List. 

Admiral Richards never married. He appears on the 1861 census living at 38 Wimpole Street in London with his sister Lydia, also unmarried, and a staff of five servants, including a butler and a footman. 

Admiral Sir Peter Richards died on 16 March 1869 at his residence in Wimpole Street, leaving an estate valued at £14,000. He was buried in the churchyard of St Andrew’s at Ham in Surrey.

code: cs1791
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