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 Sir James Saumarez 
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Post Sir James Saumarez
Sir James Saumarez first caught me eye when reading of his rout of French and Spanish ships at Algeciras, and on my recent holiday which Don C mentioned, and which I elaborated on in another thread I was fortunate that the ship dropped anchor at St Peter Port, Guernsey in the Channel Islands, and I was thus able, to some extent, to track down the Saumarez family.

I have my own photographs for use on Susan's forthcoming gallery, but in the meantime, I'm posting a couple of websites for information.

The first thing you see when you set foot on shore is the SeaGuernsey Mast dedicated to Sir James and which flies the ensigns of visiting vessels.

I mentioned my interest to the guide of our walking tour of the town and she pointed out stuff not normally mentioned like the site of the old family home, now a colourful public garden.(photograph duly taken!)

My main point of interest to visit was the Town Church which displays a beautifully carved memorial to Sir James. Thankfully, I was able to take my own photographs freely and others which are also mentioned on that website, and more to the Saumarez family which are not.

An island tour took us by Sausmarez Manor whetting my appetite for a future visit to Guernsey. It was only a whistle stop visit but if I visit again I would go to Castel Church (please scroll down) which is in the centre of the island and where Sir James is buried. There is so much on Guernsey dedicated to the memory of this very distinguished family.

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Mon Jun 04, 2007 1:47 pm
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Hello Mil,

I like the personal anecdotes you come across that flesh out the bare biographical details of naval/historical characters.

Your link to Sir James' memorial recounts his devout religious faith and this was not just idle eulogy; he was a very vigorous, earnest Christian and I am trying to find out whether he was the officer known as 'Dismal Jimmy'.

There is a little anecdote in 'The Nelson's of Burnham Thorpe' by M Eyre Matcham, the granddaughter of Nelson's sister Catherine, which illustrates this:

She notes that Admiral Fanshawe, when a young man, went to call on 'old Lord de Saumarez, then Sir James, aboard the Victory. After a time the bell for prayers rung. I got up to take my leave. 'We are going to prayers,' he said, 'will you not stay?'

I excused myself saying I had some friends to call on.

'Young man,' he said, 'who can you better call upon than your God?'

I felt what he said, but was too proud to yield, but I never forgot it'.


Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:25 pm
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polly wrote:
I am trying to find out whether he was the officer known as 'Dismal Jimmy'.

That probably refers to James Gambier, who was also referred to as "Gloomy" or "Preaching" Jimmy/Jemmy.

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Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:43 pm
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Susan:

thanks for that!

P.


Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:45 pm
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I recently bought volume 1 of the "Memoirs and Correspondence of Admiral Lord de Saumarez" by Sir John Ross, but so far have only had time to dip into it.

In a lieutenant's log of my ancestor, Charles Mansfield, from his time in the frigate La Fortunée, I also came across mention of the arrival of the fire ship Tisiphone, commanded by Saumarez, at St Kitts in 1782 during the seige of Brimstone Hill and with intelligence for Samuel Hood from Kempenfelt. To reach Hood's fleet quickly, Saumarez had to sail through the dangerous narrows between Nevis and St Kitts. As the Tisiphone was a new fast sailing design, a few days later he was ordered back to England with dispatches, but fortunately just as he was departing found that Captain Stanhope of the Russel, 74, was looking for an exchange to get back to England. Thus, only about 6 months after being promoted Commander, Saumarez was now promoted Post Captain of a 74 and two months later took part in Rodneys defeat of de Grasse at the battle of the Saintes, in which the Russel played an important part in the capture of de Grasse's flagship, the 110-gun Ville de Paris, which struck to Hood's Barfleur. (Sadly the Ville de Paris was lost with all hands on the voyage back to England).

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Wed Sep 12, 2007 10:25 pm
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Tony wrote:
I recently bought volume 1 of the "Memoirs and Correspondence of Admiral Lord de Saumarez" by Sir John Ross, but so far have only had time to dip into it.



.....I haven't got that particular book but while visiting the Guernsey Museum & Art Gallery, I did buy James Saumarez - The Life and Achievements of Admiral Lord de Saumarez of Guernsey by David Shayer who was born on the island. Like yours, mine is yet to be read. :)

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Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:12 am
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From The Times of November 2nd, 1793:

" ..... The family of Captain Saumarez, who commands the Crescent frigate, were almost all of them bred up to the navy; and some of them have signalized themselves in a very particular manner. Captain Philip Saumarez, uncle to the present Captain, went round the world with Lord Anson; and afterwards, when commanding the Nottingham, captured a French man of war of 64 guns; and in an engagement under Admiral Sir Edward Hawke, he lost his life in the moment of victory.

Another uncle, (Thomas), when commanding the Antelope, of 50 guns, took the Belliquex, a French man of war of 64 guns, in the Bristol Channel ..."



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Mon Jul 07, 2008 10:36 am
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New book: Admiral Saumarez Versus Napoleon - The Baltic, 1807–12 by Tim Voelcker

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Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:33 pm
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susan wrote:




...that sounds like another good one to add to the collection! ;)


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Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:58 pm
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Post Re: Sir James Saumarez
As I mentioned in the thread in the Non-Fiction section, I'm reading David Shayer's book about Saumarez. In it, he writes of a "coolness" between Nelson and Saumarez. I can't recall reading about that anywhere else. Shayer gives a couple of examples of occasions where Saumarez felt slighted by Nelson. He also points out the differences in their personalities. From what I know of Saumarez, I think I can understand that he would not have been too happy about some of Nelson's "weaknesses."

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Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:53 am
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Post Re: Sir James Saumarez
Syrett & DiNardo, Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy, 1660-1815 list two James Samaurez’s, viz. (1) Lieut. 07 Sep 1776 & (2) Lieut. 25 Jan 1778. They are the same man with the first commission as the extra [flag?] Lieutenant in service to VAdm’l Lord Shuldham on Chatham, 4th/50, and the second his commission as Lieutenant & Commander, HM Armed Galley Alarm, scuttled to avoid capture six months later.


Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:55 pm
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Post Re: Sir James Saumarez
This article on English Wikipedia covers much of the discussion so far. He was certainly different from Nelson in character.
I bought my copy of Tim Voelcker's book direct from the author at a goodly discount. Perhaps he still has some! Tim's email

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Viking


Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:57 pm
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Post Re: Sir James Saumarez
I erred above when I said Saumarez commanded HM Armed Galley Alarm which was scuttled at Rhode Island in 1778 to avoid capture by the French. Lieut. Phillip d’Auvergne commanded the Alarm whereas Saumarez commanded HM Armed Galley Spitfire.

The Spitfire and the Alarm were run ashore side by side in Sakonnet Passage as reported by Captain John Brisbane, Senior Naval Officer at Rhode Island at that time to Lord Howe, viz. [extract] “The Kingsfisher landed two of her Guns, some Ammunition, and all her Provisions; but on the two French Frigates of 36 Guns each, getting under Weigh, and standing towards her, [her] Captain thought proper to set the Kingsfisher on fire, as did the Galleys about 2 O’Clock on the 30th Instant [July 1778].” (Captain John Brisbane to Lord Howe, ADM 1/488, ff. 323-325)

John Ross, Memoirs and Correspondence of Admiral Lord de Saumaraz (2 vols., 1838) can be downloaded from Google books.
http://books.google.com/books?id=2QQFAAAAYAAJ
http://books.google.com/books?id=FhhGAQAAIAAJ

I have only read the chapters pertaining to the American war but I found the book well written and easily read, particularly when one considers it was published in 1838.


Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:14 pm
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