PD228A: 1842c Admiral Sir Charles Richardson 9th Plate Richard Beard Patentee Daguerreotype With Wharton Royal Coat of Arms Pinchbeck Tray – Includes A Rare First Edition Book Detailing Admiral Richardson’s Life and Service:
Hugely important image of Admiral Sir Charles Richardson (identified on vintage note behind the image and backed up through other portraits) of Her Majesty’s Royal Navy. Sir Charles joined the navy in 1787 and quickly rose through the ranks serving with distinction in many important conflicts in and around the time of Admiral Lord Nelson (massive full service history available upon request). The dag was most likely taken at Richard Beard’s Regent Street studio in either 1841 or more probably 1842 (due to the heavy use of gold chloride on display) using Wolcott’s patented camera (as evidenced by the plate holder banding to the peripheries) by Jabez Hogg (his known signature which resembles JUB can be found etched in the copper on the back of the plate – see scan) . The images of Richardson’s KCB medal and the painted portrait are for reference purposes only and are not included.
Book Details: A Tar of the Last War: Being The Services and Anecdotes of Sir Charles Richardson K.C.B. By Rev. C. E. Armstrong. 1855 – London – Longman, Brown and Green
8″ by 5″, xv, 228pp. An extremely scarce work on Sir Charles Richardson by Rev. C. E. Armstrong. Very Scarce First Edition. Bound in blind embossed and gilt decorated blue cloth boards. By Charles Edward Armstrong (1820/2-1872), Wor. Coll. Oxford and Master of Hemsworth Hospital Yorkshire.
The book is a reflection of the life of Admiral Sir Charles Richardson (1789-1850), and includes for example his thoughts on incompetent commanders in the period 1787-1822 and the state of the British navy overall. The book was serialised in the Spectator newspaper and popularised throughout England in the mid 1850’s (5th of May 1855).
Sir Richardson Bio:
Vice-Admiral of the White Sir Charles Richardson, K.C.B., joined the Royal Navy as Captain’s Servant in H.M.S. Vestal (Captain R.J. Strachan), November 1787; after accompanying an embassy to China he removed with Strachan to H.M.S. Phoenix 36 guns and ‘was present, 19 Nov. 1791, while cruising off the Malabar coast in company with the Perseverance frigate, in an obstinate engagement (produced by a resistance on the part of the French Captain to a search being imposed by the British upon two merchant vessels under his orders) with La Résolue of 46 guns, whose colours were not struck until she had herself sustained a loss of 25 men killed and 40 wounded, and had occasioned one to the Phoenix of 6 killed and 11 wounded. While on the East India station Mr. Richardson was for several months employed in the boats in co-operating up different rivers, with the army under Sir Robert Abercromby in its operations against Tippoo Saib’ (O’Byrne refers); having attained the ranks of Midshipman and Master’s Mate and having fought with H.M.S. Royal George in Lord Howe’s actions of 29th May and 1st June 1794, Richardson was appointed Lieutenant in H.M.S. Circe (Captain P. Halkett), August 1794 – ‘of that frigate he was First-Lieutenant during the great mutiny at the Nore; where his exertions in preventing the crew from acquiring the ascendancy gained him, in common with his Captain and the other officers of the ship, the thanks of the Admiralty. The Circe forming one of Lord Duncan’s repeaters in the action off Camperdown 11 Oct. 1797, Lieut. Richardson on that occasion achieved an important exploit. Fearing lest the Dutch Admiral, De Winter, after his own ship had been dismasted and silenced, should effect his escape on board some other, he volunteered to go in an open boat and take him out. Succeeding in his object he had the honour of presenting him in person to the British Commander-in-Chief [Admiral A. Duncan]; who in consequence received him on promotion in Jan. 1798 on board his flag ship the Venerable 74, and made him, 6 March following his Signal Lieutenant in the Kent 74 (Captain W.M. Hope)’ (O’Byrne refers); The following year Richardson was sent with the expedition to Holland, where he commanded a division of seaman, attached to the army under Sir Ralph Abercromby, from the period of the debarkation near the Helder until the surrender of the Dutch squadron under Admiral Storey; with the conclusion of the expedition Richardson was ordered home in charge of a Dutch 68 gun ship; after assisting Abercromby again, this time in Egypt, he removed to H.M.S. Penelope (Captain the Hon. H. Blackwood); nominated Acting-Commander H.M.S. Alligator 28 guns, armée-en-flûte, July 1802, ‘While in that ship, to which he was confirmed 9 Oct. 1802, Capt. Richardson directed the movements of the flotilla employed at the reduction of Demerara, Essequibo, and Berbice in 1803, and was highly spoken of in the public despatches for his exertions at the taking of Surinam in the spring of 1804 [London Gazette 1804, pp. 755, 761]. On 6 July in that year he was in consequence invested by Sir Samuel Hood with the command of the Centaur 74, the ship bearing his broad pennant, an act which the Admiralty confirmed 27 Sept. ensuing’ (O’Byrne refers); Richardson returned to England in March 1805; appointed to H.M.S. Caesar (bearing the flag of his old friend and patron Sir Richard J. Strachan), January 1806; he was employed in the latter off Rochefort and subsequently in the Mediterranean, ‘On the 23d Feb. 1809, the Caesar, then bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Stopford, but still commanded by Captain Richardson, assisted [with the Defiance and the Donegal] at the destruction of three French frigates in the Sable d’Olonne, and on that occasion sustained considerable damage in her bowsprit and rigging, by the fire from several batteries under which they had sought refuge’ (Royal Naval Biography, Marshall refers); served with Strachan in the expedition to the Scheldt, during which the town of Camvere offered it’s surrender to Richardson, him being the senior naval officer on shore present; terms were agreed with him and Lieutenant-General Fraser, ‘During the investment of Flushing he landed at the head of a brigade of seaman, and commanded a battery of six 24-pounders with much effect. His services throughout the operations were so important and his zeal and bravery so very conspicuous that he elicited the public praise of the Earl of Chatham, the Military Commander-in-Chief, and the high approbation of Lieutenant-General Sir Eyre Coote, who conducted the siege, and of Major-General McLeod, commanding officer of the Royal Artillery [Sir Richard J. Strachan’s Despatches, 4.8.1809 and 16.8.1809, London Gazette 1809, pp. 1233, 1322]’ (Ibid); Richardson exchanged into the frigate Semiramis, for service off Lisbon, April 1810; whilst serving with the latter in company with H.M.S. Diana (Captain W. Ferris) at the mouth of the river Gironde, 25.8.1811, they discovered 4 sail under the escort of a brig of war, the Diana accounted for the Teazer (formerly a British vessel) whilst Richardson succeeded ‘in driving on shore, and burning under the guns of the batteries at Royan, Le Pluvier national brig of 16 guns and 136 men’ (O’Byrne); the Semiramis suffered only 3 wounded, and Richardson received the thanks of the Admiralty (London Gazette 1811, p.1752); Richardson captured a large number of prizes, including the Grand Jean Bart privateer of 14 guns and 106 men; the Semiramis was paid off 29.8.1814, and Richardson was shortly after nominated a C.B. ‘as a reward for his meritorious conduct during a period of more than twenty-six years, passed in active service at sea and co-operation with troops on shore in every quarter of the globe’; after three years with H.M.S. Leander Richardson was appointed to H.M.S. Topaze, ‘and proceeded in her from Pulo Penang to China, where 14 of his crew were dangerously wounded by the natives, while employed filling water at Lintin…. Two Chinese having been killed by the Topaze’s fire, disputes ensued with the authorities at Canton, which led to the suspension of all commercial intercourse, the embarkation of the British factory without passes, and the departure of all the Hon. Company’s ships lying in the Tigris. At length, however, a Mandarin of high rank was sent on board the frigate to discuss this unpleasant affair; and he proving a sensible and moderate man, the business was satisfactorily adjusted, and matters restored to their former footing, in the spring of 1822’ (Marshall refers); Richardson was invalided to the Cape of Good Hope in the same year; Rear-Admiral 1837 (K.C.B. 1841); Vice-Admiral of the White, December 1847. His prizes will have made him a wealthy man. Certainly he bought the estate of Painsthorpe Hall, East Yorkshire where he died, aged 81 in 1850.