Paul Frecker
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Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Hastings
15 July 1861

Volume 4, page 214, sittiing number 4925.

Born on 3 July 1790 at Whichford in Warwickshire, Thomas Hastings was the eldest son of Reverend James Hastings, later the Rector of Martley in Worcestershire. He entered the Royal Navy in September 1803.

[According to Wikipedia he was born on 25 January 1786 but the Dictionary of National Biography gives his birthdate as 3 July 1790. Various obituaries state he was 80 when he died in 1870 so presumably the DNB has the correct date.]

Having commanded a gunboat in the unsuccessful Walcheren expedition of 1809, he was promoted on 17 January 1810 to the rank of Lieutenant aboard the Badger in the North Sea. From 1811 to 1813 he was assigned to the Hyacinth and from 1813 to 1815 to the Undaunted along the Mediterranean coasts of France and Spain. He was 1st Lieutenant aboard the latter vessel when she took Napoleon to Elba in 1814 and for some time afterwards he was employed in keeping watch over the island. 

Following the war he continued on active service, principally in the Mediterranean, until he was promoted to the rank of Commander on 9 May 1825. Next followed a period aboard the sloop Ferret, again in the Mediterranean, until in April 1832 he was selected as the Captain of the Excellent, when it was instituted as a school of naval gunnery in Portsmouth. His service was officially recognised when he was knighted in 1839. When he retired from the Excellent in August 1845 he was appointed storekeeper of the ordnance, a post he held until it was abolished with the dissolution of the Board of Ordnance in 1855. On 23 November 1850 he was made a civil C.B. and on 27 September 1855 he was placed on the Retired List.

He was made a civil K.C.B. on 9 March 1859 and became in due course a Vice-Admiral on 4 October 1862 and an Admiral on 2 April 1866. He died at his residence in London on 3 January 1870, leaving an estate valued at £5000. 

[Most of the above is taken from his entry in the Dictionary of National Biography.]

On 12 May 1827 at St Mary’s in Bryanston Square he married Louisa Elizabeth, daughter of Humphrey Lowe of Bromsgrove in Worcestershire.

He appears on the 1861 census living at 61 Upper Seymour Street in Marylebone with his wife, an unmarried niece and seven servants, including a butler, a coachman and footman. 

‘Sir Thomas was an Officer of much experience, and was held in great respect throughout the service and by the Government he served. With his name are associated all the experiments made by thirteen years on board the Excellent, when attention was first given to improvements in gunnery. He was also for some years at the head of the Royal Naval College, Portsmouth. For ten years he held the post of Principal Ordnance Storekeeper and, as a member of the Board of Ordnance, he was the first to introduce Colt’s revolvers into the Navy as efficient substitutes for the old boarding pistol.’ (Naval & Military Gazette, 8 January 1870). 

code: cs1792
Rear-Admiral Thomas Hastings, Rear-Admiral Hastings, Thomas Hastings, Sir Thomas Hastings, Royal Navy, Camille Silvy, Silvy