James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez

James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez

Infobox Military Person
name= James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez
born=11 March 1757
died=9 October 1836
placeofbirth=St Peter Port, Guernsey
placeofdeath= Guernsey

allegiance= flagicon|United Kingdom United Kingdom
serviceyears= 1770 - 1821
rank= Royal Navy Vice-Admiral of Great Britain
battles= Battle of the Dogger Bank, 1781 Battle of the Saintes, 1782 Battle of Groix, 1795 Battle of Cape St Vincent, 1797 Battle of the Nile, 1798 Battle of Algeciras, 1801
awards= Order of the Sword Baronetcy Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath Freedom of the City of London

James Saumarez, 1st Baron de Saumarez or Sausmarez, GCB (11 March 1757–9 October 1836) was an admiral of the British Royal Navy, notable for his victory at the Battle of Algeciras.

Early life

He was born at St Peter Port, Guernsey to an old island family, the de Sausmarez. Many of his ancestors had distinguished themselves in the naval service, and he entered it as midshipman at the age of thirteen.

Naval Service

Upon joining the navy he dropped the second 's' to become de Saumarez. For his bravery at the attack of Charleston in 1776 on board HMS "Bristol" he was raised to the rank of lieutenant, and he was promoted commander for his gallant services at the Battle of Dogger Bank, 5 August 1781, when he was wounded.

Commanding HMS "Russell" (74 guns), he contributed to Rodney's victory over de Grasse at the Battle of the Saintes on (12th of April 1782).

For the capture of "La Reunion", a French frigate, in 1793, he was knighted. While in command of a small squadron he was on 5 June 1794 attacked by a superior French force on the way from Plymouth to Guernsey, but succeeded in gaining a safe anchorage in Guernsey harbour. After being promoted to HMS "Orion", 74, in 1795, he took part in the defeat of the French fleet at the Battle of Groix off Lorient, on the 22nd of June, distinguished himself in the Battle of Cape St. Vincent in February 1797, and was present at the blockade of Cadiz from February 1797 to April 1798, and at the Battle of the Nile, where he was wounded.

On his return from Egypt he received the command of HMS "Caesar", 80, with orders to watch the French fleet off Brest during the winters of 1799 and 1800. In 1801 he was raised to the rank of Rear Admiral of the Blue, was created a baronet, and received the command of a small squadron which was destined to watch the movements of the Spanish fleet at Cadiz. Between the 6th and 12th of July he performed a brilliant piece of service, in which after a first repulse at Algeciras he routed a much superior combined force of French and Spanish ships at the Battle of Algeciras. For his services Saumarez received the order of the Bath and the freedom of the City of London. In 1803 he received a pension of £1200 a year.

On the outbreak of the war with Russia in 1809 he was given command of the Baltic fleet. He held it during the wars preceding the fall of Napoleon, and his tact was conspicuously shown towards the government of Sweden at the crisis of the invasion of Russia. Charles XIII bestowed on him the grand cross of the military Order of the Sword.

At the Peace of 1814 he attained the rank of Admiral; and in 1819 he was made Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom, in 1821 Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom. He was raised to the peerage as Baron de Saumarez in 1831, and died at Guernsey in 1836. In celebration of de Saumarez's achievements there is a statue of him in the National Maritime Museum in London.


*Sir John Ross, "Memoirs of Admiral Lord de Saumarez" (2 vols, 1838)
*Shayer, David "James Saumarez: The Life and Achievements of Admiral Lord de Saumarez of Guernsey" (La Société Guernesiaise 2006)

ee also

* Ch. 6, Saumarez: The Fleet Officer and Division Commander, in gutenberg|no=18314|name=Types of Naval Officers, by A. T. Mahan

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