Rear Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons

"A Naval Biographical Dictionary"

W R O’Byrne. 1849.

Information found in Cardiff Library.

Lyons, Edmund. 1st Baron Lyons 1790-1858.

LYONS, Bart.,GCB.,KCH.,KSL.,KCRG., (Captain, 1814. F.P,1819: HP,1827)

Sir Edmund Lyons, born 21 Nov.1790, is second surviving son of the late John Lyons,Esq. of Antigua, and of St.Austen’s House,Lymington,Hants, by Catherine, daughter of Joseph Walrond,Esq.,of Mountrath, Co.Devon, and brother of Capt.John Lyons.RN.

This officer entered the Navy, in June 1801, as Fst.cl.Vol.,on board the Royal Charlotte yacht, Capt.Sir Harry Burrard Neale. In Jan.1802 he removed to the Maidstone frigate, Capt.Richard Hussey Moubray, with whom, in Aug.1803, he was transferred to the Active 38. After sharing in much service on the Mediterranean station, and enacting a Midshipman’s part in Sir John Duckworth’s expedition to the Dardanells, where he assisted in demolishing the formidable redoubt on Point Pesquies, he returned to England in 1807 on board the Bergere sloop, Capt.G B Winyates. Sailing towards the close of the same year for the East Indies in the Monmouth 64, Capt.Edw.Durnford King, he was there, in June 1808, three months after he had joined the Russell 74, flag ship of Rear Admiral Wm.O’Brien Drury, appointed Acting Lieutenant of the Caroline 36, Capt.Henry Hart.

In the following August he became attached, in a similar capacity, to the Baracouta brig, and to that vessel, commanded by Capts.Wm.Wells and Wm.Fitzwilliam Owen, he was confirmed by commission dated 22 Nov.1809. At the celebrated capture,in Aug.1810, of the island of Banda Neira, Mr Lyons obtained mention as being among the foremost to escalade the walls of the castle of Belgica, an achievement for boldness in the design and conduct in the execution rarely paralleled. In Dec.following, on the arrival of the Baracouta with news of the conquest at Madras, we find him immediately appointed Flag Lieutenant to Rear Admiral Drury in the Minden 74. Continuing, on the death of the Commander-in-Chief, to serve in the same ship under Capt.Edw.Wallis Hoare, he proceeded in the spring of 1811 to the coast of Java, there to await the arrival of an expedition fitting out at the different ports of India for the subjugation of that island.

While stationed in the Sunda Strait, Mr Lyons extreme zeal for the service, and his gallantry of his nature, led him to the performance of an exploit which so far surpassed all his Captain’s ideas of possibility as to elicit from him a declaration that it was beyond all comment. This was nothing less than the storming and capture, on the night of 30 July 1811, with not more than 35 men, and with but trifling loss, of the strong fortress of Marrack, mounting 54 guns and garrisoned by 180 soldiers and the crews of two boats.

Previously to the latter event Mr Lyons had been of material assistance to Capt.Geo.Sayer, of the Leda frigate, in reconnoitring and procuring information relative to the force and position of the enemy. During the operations which were shortly afterwards regularly commenced, he was at first intrusted with the command of a flotilla of five gunboats recently captured by Cap.Robt.Maunsell, and was then allowed to serve in the batteries opposed to Fort Cornelis. After the glorious assaults on that stronghold his health became so impaired from the exertions he had undergone that he felt himself under the necessity of invaliding, and he accordingly returned home in the Caroline 36, Capt.Christ.Cole.

Being awarded on his arrival, a second promotal commission, dated 21 March 1812, Capt.Lyons was next, 5 April 1813, appointed to the command of the Rinaldo 10, in which vessel, it appears he escorted Louis XVIII. to France and the Allied Sovereigns to England, besides affording a passage to Mr Planta, the bearer of the treaty of Paris. Although advanced to Post rank 7 June 1814, he was not again employed until 1828, on 18 Jan., in which he obtained command of the Blonde 46, fitting for the Mediterranean.

In the following Oct.,after having for some time blockaded the port of Navarin, we find him directing the movements of the naval part of an expedition ordered to co-operate with the French in the siege of Morea Castle, the last hold of the Turks in the Peloponnesus. During an arduous service of twelve days and nights, in very unfavourable weather, which proceeded its unconditional surrender, he distinguished himself in an especial manner, and having landed, was almost constantly in the trenches, exposed to a tremendous fire of great guns and musketry. The greatness, indeed, of Capt.Lyons exertions, added to the satisfaction afforded to the French by his cordial behaviour towards them, led to his being invested with the insignia of the order of St.Louis of France and of a Knight Commander of the order of the Redeemer of Greece.

In the summer of 1829 the Blonde conveyed Sir Robt.Gordon as Ambassador to Constantinople. She was afterwards the first British man-of-war that ever entered the Black Sea and in Jan.1831 she took Sir John Malcolm from Alexandria to Malta. Removing about the latter period to the Madagascar 46, Capt.Lyons was afforded an opportunity, in May 1832, of witnessing Ibrahim Pacha’s bombardment of St.Jean d’Acre, and in the early part of 1833, of attending King Otho and the Bavarian Regency from Trieste to Greece. He paid the Madagascar off 17 Jan.1835, and has not been since afloat. In the course of the month last mentioned he was nominated KCH.,and received the honour of Knighthood.

Sir Edm.Lyons who has filled the office of Minister Plenipotentiary at the court of Athens since July 1835, was created a Baronet for his civil services in 1840, and a GCB. 10 July 1844. He married 18 July 1814, Augusta, second daughter of the late Capt.Josias Rogers,RN. who commanded the Quebec frigate at the capture of the French West India islands in 1794, and niece of the late Rear Admiral Thos.Roders. By that lady he has issue with two daughters (the one married to the Baron Philip de Wurtzburg, the other to the Earl of Arundel and Surrey) two sons, the elder of whom Rich.Bickerton Pemell Lyons, is an attache to the embassy in Greece, and the younger, Edm.Moubray Lyons, a Commander in the RN.

Agent – Joseph Woodhead.

"Men of the time".

Biographical sketches also of women of the time. 1856.

Information found in Cardiff Library.

Lyons, Rear Admiral Sir Edmund.

Was born in 1790, and in his eleventh year entered the navy, as first class volunteer, on board the Royal Charlotte yacht. After seeing much service in the Mediterranean, the youthfull sailor went as a midshipman in Duckworth’s expedition to the Dardanelles, and took part in the demolition of the reboubt on Point Pesquies. About the close of 1807 he sailed for the East Indies, and while there, in the following year, was appointed acting Lieutenant in the Barracouta brig. When the island of Banda Neira was taken, in 1810 Lieut.Lyons signalised his courage and prowess by being the first to escalade the walls of the castle of Belgica, and on arrival of his vessel at Madras with the news of the victory, he was forthwith nominated Flag Lieutenant to Admiral Drury in the Minden. In that ship he proceeded, about the opening of 1811, to the coast of Java, there to await the arrival of a squadron which was fitting out at different ports of India for the subjugation of the Island. While stationed in the Sunda Strait, Lieut.Lyons naval zeal and natural gallantry led him to the performance of a most daring exploit. This was nothing less than the successful storming, on the night of July 30,1811, with not more than thirty five men, and with but trifling loss, of the strong fortress of Marrack, mounting fifty four guns, and garrisoned by 180 soldiers and the crew of two boats.

Previously to his exploit he had materially assisted in reconnoitring and procuring information relative to the force and position of the enemy. During the operations, which were soon afterwards regularly commenced. Lieut.Lyons was at first intrusted with the command of a flotilla of five gunboats recently captured and was then allowed to serve in the batteries opposed to Fort Cornelis. After the glorious assaults on that stronghold his health became so impaired from the exertions he had undergone, that he was under the necessity of invaliding.

Having been promoted on his arrival in England, Capt.Lyons was in April 1813, appointed to the command of the Rinaldo, in which vessel he had the distinction of carrying Louis XVIII. and the allied sovereigns to England. He was not again on active service till 1828, when he was nominated to the command of the Blonde, fitting out for the Mediterranean, and in the autumn of the ensuing year, after having for some time blockaded the port of Navarino, he directed the movements of a naval part of an expedition ordered to co-operate with the French in the siege of Morea Castle, the last stronghold of the Turks in the Peloponnesus. During an arduous service of twelve days and nights, in very unfavourable weather, which preceded its unconditional surrender, he greatly distinguished himself, and having landed, he was almost constantly in the trenches, exposed to a tremendous fire of great guns and musketry.

The importance of Captain Lyons exertions added to the satisfaction afforded to the French by his cordiality towards them, led to his being invested with the insignia of the Order of St Louis of France, and that of a Knight Commander of the Order of the Redeemer of Greece. Towards the close of 1831 Captain Lyons was removed into the Madagascar, and in May 1832 witnessed Ibrahim Pacha’s bombardment of St.Jean d’Acre. In 1833 he escorted King Otho and the Bavarian Regency from Trieste to Greece. In 1835 he paid off the Madagascar, was nominated a KCH. and received the honour of knighthood. He filled the office of Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of Athens, was created a Baronet for his civil services in 1840, a Civil GCB. in 1844, and a Military GCB. July 5,1855.

His commission of Rear Admiral of the Blue bears date Jan.1850. When war broke out with Russia Sir Edmund was nominated second in command of the English fleet in the Black Sea, where, during 1854, he performed signal service, and having in 1855, on the retirement of Admiral Sir Deans Dundas, been promoted to the Chief Command, he linked his name with the brilliant exploits in the Sea of Azoff. The Sultan has conferred on him the Order of the Medjidie of the first class.

Sir Edmund is popular in private life for his amiable manners and bonhommie, and is understood to be a pleasant personage, not without a taste for literature. Some years ago his daughter was married to the Earl of Arundel and Surrey, son and heir of the Duke of Norfolk, an alliance which was probably contributed (along with undoubted merit) to the Admiral’s success.

"The English Cyclopaedia. Div.III.7v"

C Knight. 1856.

Information found in Cardiff Library.

Lyons, Edmund, Lord.

Better known as Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons,GCB.,is the second son of the late John Lyons,Esq.of Burton House, near Christchurch,Hants, where he was born on the 21st of November 1790. At an early age he was sent to Hyde Abbey School, near Winchester, then under Dr Richards, who numbered among his pupils George Canning, Dean Gaisford, and Wolfe the author of the celebrated "Ode on the Burial of Sir John Moore".

In June 1801 he entered the services of the navy under the late Admiral Sir Harry Burrard Neale, on board HMS the Royal Charlotte, whence, in the following year, he was transferred to the Maidstone, Captain R Moubray. In 1807 he served under the late Sir J T Duckworth in the Dardanelles, on board the Active, and was engaged in the successful attack on the redoubt of Point Pesquies, on the Adriatic shore. In November 1809 he became Lieutenant of the Barracouta brig, and in the following year he formed one of the storming party who attacked by night the castle of Belgica, in the island of Banda Neira, and by a gallant exploit added another Dutch to the British possessions in the Indian Seas. In 1811 he stormed and captured the strong fortress of Marrack, on the coast of Java, but was forced to return home to England to recruit his health. In 1813 he was appointed to the Rinaldo, in which vessel he conveyed Louis XVIII. to France, and brought the allied sovereigns back to England.

He obtained post rank in 1814, but was not actively employed between that date and 1828, when, in command of the Blonde, he took part in blockading Navarino, and superintended the naval expedition sent to aid the French in their investment of the castle of Morea, the last hold of the Sultan in the Peloponnesus. On this occasion he is reported to have served in the trenches without intermission for twelve days and nights, and on the cessation of hostilities, his courteous bearing, professional skill and unflinching bravery were rewarded by the orders of St.Louis of France and the Redeemer of Greece. In 1829 he was employed to convey Sir R Gordon, the British ambassador to Constantinople, in the Blonde, and in the year 1831 to took the late Sir John Malcolm as far as Alexandria on his route to Persia. It is not a little singular that Captain Lyons’s ship, the Blonde, should have been the first British vessel of war that ever entered the Black Sea, and that in her he should have visited both Odessa and Sebastopol upwards of twenty years before the breaking out of the recent war against Russia. In 1832, while commanding the Madagascar, he was eye witness of the bombardment of Arce by Ibrahim Pasha, in the following year he escorted King Otho and the Bavarian embassy from Trieste to Athens, in order to assume the kingdom of Greece.

Having paid off the Madagascar in the early part of 1835, he received the honour of Knighthood from King William IV. and soon afterwards was appointed minister plenipotentiary and ambassador extraordinary at the court of Athens. The duties of this post he continued to discharge with great ability and discretion for upwards of fourteen years, bur resigned it in February 1849 on becoming ambassador to the Swiss cantons, whence he was transferred in 1851 in order to fill the same high post of the court of Stockholm. The latter appointment he resigned towards the close of 1853, when a rupture with Russia had become imminent.

On the breaking out of the Russian war, Sir E Lyons took the post of second in command in the Black Sea, under Admiral Sir J W Deans-Dundas, on whose resignation in June 1855 he became commander-in-chief of the Black Sea fleet. The Transport of the English troops from Varna to the Crimea, in September 1854, was executed under the direction of Sir E Lyons without the loss of a single man. At the battle of the Alma 20th September he supported the French army ashore by bringing the guns of his ship, the Agamemnon, to bear upon the left flank of the Russians, and he was an eye witness of the engagements at Balaklava and Inkermann (October and November), though, as a naval officer, he could take no part in them. He planned the expedition against the Russian forts along the Sea of Azoff (May and June 1855), which was gallantly executed by his son, Captain Moubray Lyons of the Miranda, who died soon afterwards at Therapia from the effects of a would received off Sebastopol. In the last and successful assault on that city (September 1855), Sir E Lyons was prevented by a strong gale of wind from bringing his fleet into action and taking a part in the success of the day. On his return to England he was met with the warmest welcome, he was presented with the freedom of the city of London, and received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament for his service in the Black Sea, and in June 1856 was elevated to the peerage as Baron Lyons of Christchurch,Co.Hants.

By his wife Augusta, daughter of the late Captain Josias Rogers,RN. and who died at Stockholm in 1852, Lord Lyons has an only surviving son, attache to the embassy at Florence, and now British Resident at Rome.

LYONS,EDMUND LORD. (EC.vol.III.col.990)

Lord Lyons lived but a few months after the memoir just citied was written. He died at Arundel Castle on the 23rd of November 1858, two days after attaining his 68th birthday, and was succeeded by his eldest son.

RICHARD BICKERTON PEMELL LYONS. second Lord Lyons, the distinguished diplomatist, born April 26th,1817. He was educated at Winchester and Christ Church,Oxford, and having adopted the diplomatic profession, served as attache to the embassy at Athens 1830-1844, Dresden 1852, and as secretary of legation at Florence 1853-1858. In December, 1858, he was appointed British minister at Washington, which post he retained till February 1865, when he returned home in consequence of ill health.

In November 1867, he was nominated ambassador to the Emperor of the French, and retains his postion, though now (1871) accredited to the Provisional Government.

Lord Lyons was created GCB. in 1862 and in 1865 sworn in a menber of the Privy Council. In June 1865 the University of Oxford conferred on him the honorary degree of DCL.

"The Imperial Dictionary of Universal Biography". 16v.

J F Waller. 1857-63

Information found in Cardiff Library.

Lyons, Edmund.

First baron, Admiral, a distinguised naval officer and diplomatist, was born at Burton House, near Christchurch,Hampshire, on the 21st of November 1790. The second son of a Hampshire gentleman, he made his first cruise at the early age of eight, and at nineteen was Lieutenant of the Barracouta, long employed in the Indian seas against the Dutch. In the capture of the Island of Banda Neira in 1810 he distinguished himself at the escalade of the castle of Belgica, and still more highly the following year by storming, with a handful of men, the strongly garrisoned and defended fortress of Murrack on the coast of Java.

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