Charles Tyler

Last updated
Charles Tyler
Admiral Charles Tyler KCB.JPG
Born1760
Cavan [1]
Died(1835-09-28)28 September 1835
Gloucester
Buried
St Nicholas Church, St Nicholas , Cardiff, Wales
AllegianceFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Ireland
Service/branchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg  Royal Navy
RankAdmiral
Commands held

HMS Meleager
HMS Diadem
HMS Aigle
HMS Warrior
commander of a unit of Sea Fencibles
HMS Tonnant

Contents

Cape of Good Hope Station
Battles/wars

Admiral Sir Charles Tyler, GCB (1760 – 28 September 1835) was a naval officer in the British Royal Navy who gained fame during the Napoleonic Wars as a naval captain that fought at the Battle of Copenhagen (1801) and Battle of Trafalgar, becoming one of Nelson's Band of Brothers.

Early life

Tyler was born in County Cavan, Ireland [2] [3] in 1760, the son of Captain Peter Tyler of the Oxfordshire Light Infantry and his wife the Hon. Anna Maria Roper, daughter of Henry Roper, 8th Baron Teynham. His father died when he was three years old. In 1771, at eleven years of age, he joined the Royal Navy aboard HMS Barfleur (1768) under Captain Andrew Snape Hamond as a Captain's servant boy. His rapid promotion to the rank of midshipsman within his second year at sea suggest the captain favored him and may have known his family. [4] [5] He rose steadily through the ranks during the American Revolutionary War, although during that period he had little opportunity to distinguish himself. In 1779 he was promoted to lieutenant, [6] jumping to commander in 1782 [7] and retaining his position throughout the peacetime Navy of 1783 to 1790, when he was made post-captain. [8]

French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars

Upon the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars, Tyler was in command of the frigate HMS Meleager during the siege of Toulon and the invasion of Corsica the following year. He first met Nelson in the course of these campaigns, and was present when the latter lost an eye at the Siege of Calvi.

Transferring to HMS Diadem soon afterwards, he was present at Lord Hotham's disappointing Battle of Genoa and then spent the next several years operating against North African pirates in the frigate Aigle before she was accidentally wrecked on Plane Island. Returning to the fleet, Tyler was acquitted of blame for the loss of his ship and was given the ship of the line HMS Warrior which he commanded off Cadiz before returning to England and participating under Admiral Nelson at the Battle of Copenhagen where he was commended for his actions.

During the Peace of Amiens Tyler was returned to shore as commander of a unit of Sea Fencibles, but in 1803 was back at sea, commanding the 80-gun HMS Tonnant, which Nelson had captured at the battle of the Nile. Tonnant was a large, modern ship with a heavy payload, capable of taking on the largest enemy ships. Tyler carefully drilled his crew until Tonnant was amongst the most efficient and powerful ships in the fleet. Tyler was specially requested by Nelson for the Cadiz blockade in 1805, and thus participated in the Battle of Trafalgar, although not before he was forced to travel to Naples where his son was under arrest for desertion from the navy (out of love for a ballerina) and crippling debts. Unknown to Tyler until much later was the fact that Nelson personally paid the young man's debt and used his influence to have him released and reinstated into the Navy albeit with a stern warning about responsibilities.

Trafalgar

At Trafalgar, Tyler was originally second in line from Collingwood's flagship HMS Royal Sovereign, but due to its speed was swapped to third in line. Because of this forward positioning the ship was quickly and intensely engaged in the battle. Tonnant first forced the Spanish Monarca to surrender (although she later attempted to escape) before colliding with the Algésiras which soon became hopelessly entangled in the British ship's rigging. This resulted in a savage series of close-range bombardments and boarding actions during which Tyler was shot in the thigh and French Admiral Magon was killed. Once the Algésiras finally surrendered, the Tonnant although badly battered, was still able to attack and capture the San Juan Nepomuceno at the close of the battle.

Struggling back to Gibraltar with over 70 casualties on board, including Tyler himself, the Tonnant relied heavily on other ships for aid, and thus was unable to prevent the Algésiras from escaping to Cadiz Harbour after her crew rose up against the prize crew, although the San Juan Nepomuceno did arrive at Gibraltar thanks to heroic efforts by her Spanish crew and British prize crew. Briefly returning to London to celebrate and recover, Tyler received the thanks of parliament and numerous awards from the nation before returning to his ship in the Mediterranean where he continued to serve, overseeing the surrender of the Russian fleet at Lisbon in 1808.

Later career

Tyler's continued service brought more honours, including command of the Cape of Good Hope Station based in Cape Town in 1812, [9] a role which was followed by post-war promotion to rear admiral. [10] In April 1816 he was initiated into the Order of the Bath. [11] He was named Vice Admiral. [12] Following his elevation to admiral he did not hold any more sea postings, retiring and reaching full Admiral [13] of the White and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath [14] by his death in September 1835 in Gloucester, just two months after the death of his wife of many years, Margaret. They were buried together in the St Nicholas Church in Glamorgan where a marble monument still can be seen to their memory.

Family

He married two times. His first wife was Anne Rice with whom he had three children. She died early into the marriage leaving him as a young widow. He remarried and his second wife was Margaret Leach with whom he had three children. From this marriage one of his sons called George Tyler followed him into the navy and rose to the rank of Vice-Admiral. It later emerged that Admiral Nelson had cleared debt for the George Tyler while he was a junior officer with a strong reprimand shortly before the Battle of Trafalgar. George settled down and got married and through this marriage his daughter Caroline Tyler was born. She married the Earl of Dunraven and Mount Earl and the couple inherited Adare Manor in Ireland. Her son Colonel Windham Wyndham-Quin wrote the biography on his famous great-grandfather titled 'Sir Charles Tyler - Admiral of the White'. In 2005 the family sold Admiral Tyler's sword at Bonham's auction house for $430,000. The family tree of the Tylers shows the family was divided between living in Wales and Ireland with several rising to the highest ranks of the army and the navy with several Admirals and Generals listed through several generations including a great-grandson Admiral Godfrey Harry Brydges Mundy.

Further reading

See also

Related Research Articles

Battle of Trafalgar major sea battle during the Napoleonic Wars

The Battle of Trafalgar was a naval engagement fought by the British Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815).

Sir Thomas Hardy, 1st Baronet 18th and 19th-century Royal Navy admiral

Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, 1st Baronet, GCB was a Royal Navy officer. He took part in the Battle of Cape St Vincent in February 1797, the Battle of the Nile in August 1798 and the Battle of Copenhagen in April 1801 during the French Revolutionary Wars. He served as flag captain to Admiral Lord Nelson, and commanded HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in October 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars. Nelson was shot as he paced the decks with Hardy, and as he lay dying, Nelson's famous remark of "Kiss me, Hardy" was directed at him. Hardy went on to become First Naval Lord in November 1830 and in that capacity refused to become a Member of Parliament and encouraged the introduction of steam warships.

Sir John Orde, 1st Baronet Royal Navy admiral

Sir John Orde, 1st Baronet was the third son of John Orde, of Morpeth, Northumberland, and the brother of Thomas Orde-Powlett, 1st Baron Bolton. Remembered as a professional enemy of Nelson, Orde's quarrel was actually more with Lord St Vincent and he never attacked Nelson personally.

Cuthbert Collingwood, 1st Baron Collingwood Royal Navy admiral

Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, 1st Baron Collingwood was an admiral of the Royal Navy, notable as a partner with Lord Nelson in several of the British victories of the Napoleonic Wars, and frequently as Nelson's successor in commands.

Cosme Damián de Churruca y Elorza Basque Spanish noble, an Admiral of the Royal Spanish Armada

Cosme Damián de Churruca y Elorza was a Basque Spanish noble, an Admiral of the Royal Spanish Armada, scientist and Mayor of Mutriku, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar while commanding the ship of the line San Juan Nepomuceno.

HMS <i>Tonnant</i> 80-gun ship of the line

HMS Tonnant was an 80-gun ship of the line of the Royal Navy. She had previously been Tonnant of the French Navy and the lead ship of the Tonnant class. The British captured her in August 1793 during the Siege of Toulon but the French recaptured her when the siege was broken in December. Rear-Admiral Horatio Nelson captured her at Aboukir Bay off the coast of Egypt at the Battle of the Nile on 1 August 1798. She was taken into British service as HMS Tonnant. She went on to fight at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, during the Napoleonic Wars.

HMS <i>Royal Sovereign</i> (1786)

HMS Royal Sovereign was a 100-gun first-rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, which served as the flagship of Admiral Collingwood at the Battle of Trafalgar. She was the third of seven Royal Navy ships to bear the name. Designed by Sir Edward Hunt, she was launched at Plymouth Dockyard on 11 September 1786, at a cost of £67,458, and was the only ship built of her time built to such a large draught. Due to the high number of Northumbrians on board the crew were known as the Tars of the Tyne.

Thomas Fremantle (Royal Navy officer) Royal Navy admiral

Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Francis Fremantle, was a British naval officer in the Royal Navy whose accolades include three separate fleet actions, a close friendship with Lord Nelson, and a barony in Austria. He was the father of Sir Admiral Charles Fremantle, after whom the city Fremantle, in Western Australia, is named.

French ship <i>Formidable</i> (1795) 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy launched in 1795

Formidable was an 80-gun Tonnant-class ship of the line of the French Navy, laid down in August 1794 and given the name Formidable, on 5 October, but renamed Figuieres on 4 December 1794, although the name was restored to Formidable on 31 May 1795 after she was launched at Toulon on 17 March 1795. She participated in the Battle of Algeciras, the Battle of Cape Finisterre and several other actions before the British captured her at the Battle of Cape Ortegal on 4 November 1805. The British took her into service as HMS Brave. She was sold to be broken up in April 1816.

French ship <i>Algésiras</i> (1804)

Algésiras was a Téméraire class 74-gun French ship of the line built at Lorient in 1804, named after the Battle of Algeciras.

French ship <i>Neptune</i> (1803) 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy launched in 1803

Neptune was a Bucentaure-class 80-gun ship of the line of the French Navy. Built during the last years of the French Revolutionary Wars she was launched at the beginning of the Napoleonic Wars. Her brief career with the French included several major battles, though she spent the last 12 years of her life under the Spanish flag.

French ship <i>Indomptable</i> (1789)

Indomptable ("Indomitable") was a Tonnant-class 80-gun ship of the line in the French Navy, laid down in 1788 and in active service from 1791. Engaged against the Royal Navy after 1794, she was damaged in the Battle of Trafalgar and wrecked near the Spanish city of Cadiz on 24 October 1805.

Spanish ship <i>San Juan Nepomuceno</i> ship

San Juan Nepomuceno was a Spanish ship of the line launched in 1765 from the royal shipyard in Guarnizo (Cantabria). Like many 18th century Spanish warships she was named after a saint. She was a solidly built ship of proven seaworthy qualities. Captured by the British Royal Navy during the Battle of Trafalgar, the ship was renamed first HMS Berwick, then HMS San Juan. The ship was discarded in 1816.

HMS <i>Swiftsure</i> (1787) Elizabeth-class ship of the line

HMS Swiftsure was a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the British Royal Navy. She spent most of her career serving with the British, except for a brief period when she was captured by the French during the Napoleonic Wars in the Action of 24 June 1801. She fought in several of the most famous engagements of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, fighting for the British at the Battle of the Nile, and the French at the Battle of Trafalgar.

George Johnstone Hope Royal Navy admiral

Rear-Admiral Sir George Johnstone Hope, KCB, KSO was a British naval officer, who served with distinction in the Royal Navy throughout the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, including service at the Battle of Trafalgar. A close personal friend of Admiral Nelson, he received many honours following the battle, and later served as a Lord of the Admiralty.

Sir Richard King, 2nd Baronet Royal Navy admiral

Vice Admiral Sir Richard King, 2nd Baronet KCB was an officer in the Royal Navy during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, who fought with distinction at the battle of Trafalgar despite being amongst the youngest captains present.

Captain John Conn was a senior captain in the Royal Navy, whose career, which included service at the battles of the Saintes, the Glorious First of June, Copenhagen and Trafalgar, ended in a shipboard accident before he could reap the rewards of his long service. Conn could also claim membership of Nelson's "Band of Brothers", a clique of dashing naval officers who participated in Nelson's campaigns during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, as well as a close friendship with the admiral himself, who once said: "A better or more zealous officer than Captain Conn is not in His Majesty's service."

Henry William Bayntun British admiral

Sir Henry William Bayntun GCB was a senior officer in the Royal Navy, whose distinguished career in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars was a catalogue of the highest and lowest points of the Navy during the conflict. His record includes extensive operations in the West Indies followed by shipwreck, the battle of Trafalgar and the disastrous expedition to Buenos Aires in 1807.

Admiral Sir Thomas Bladen Capel was an officer in the British Royal Navy whose distinguished service in the French Revolutionary War, the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812 earned him rapid promotion and great acclaim both in and out of the Navy. He was also a great friend of Admiral Nelson and can be considered a full member of Nelson's "band of brothers".

Vice-Admiral Sir Patrick Campbell, KCB was a senior British Royal Navy officer of the early nineteenth century who was distinguished by his service in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. During his service in a number of ships in the Mediterranean and English Channel, Campbell saw several small ship actions and was successful in every one, even surviving a double shipwreck in 1805. Following the war, Campbell retired for ten years before returning to service, later commanding at the Cape of Good Hope.

References

  1. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/trafalgarancestors/details_print.asp?id=17263
  2. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/trafalgarancestors/details_print.asp?id=17263
  3. https://archive.org/stream/sircharlestylerg00wynd/sircharlestylerg00wynd_djvu.txt
  4. https://archive.org/stream/sircharlestylerg00wynd/sircharlestylerg00wynd_djvu.txt
  5. http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/trafalgarancestors/details_print.asp?id=17263
  6. 5 April 1779
  7. 31 December 1782
  8. 21 September 1790
  9. Hiscocks, Richard. "Cape Commander-in-Chief 1795-1852". morethannelson.com. morethannelson.com. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  10. Rear Admiral of the Blue 28 April 1808, of the Red 31 July 1810
  11. KCB 20 April 1816
  12. Vice Admiral of the Blue 4 December 1813, of the White 4 June 1814, of the Red 19 July 1821
  13. Admiral of the Blue 27 May 1825, of the White 22 July 1830
  14. GCB 1 May 1833
Military offices
Preceded by
Robert Stopford
Commander-in-Chief, Cape of Good Hope Station
1812–1814
Succeeded by
George Cockburn