O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'
O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'

Royal NavyO'Byrne

The following is the entry for Thomas Dilnot Stewart in William O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'.

STEWART. (Commander, 1843. f-p., 24; h-p., 15.)

Thomas Dilnot Stewart, born 1 Jan. 1796, is only son of John Stewart, Esq., of Brookstreet, near Sandwich, by Margaret, daughter of Mr. Thos. Staines, of Dent de Lion, near Margate, and sister of Lieut. Wm. Staines, R.N., who died at Haslar 17 Oct. 1797, and of the late Capt. Sir Thos. Staines, R.N., K.C.B. This officer entered the Navy, 30 July, 1808, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Leviathan 74, Capt. John Harvey, with whom he continued employed as Midshipman in the same ship and in the Royal Sovereign 100, on the Home and Mediterranean stations, until Dec. 1811. In the Leviathan he was present, 26 Oct. 1809, at the self-destruction, near the mouth of the Rhone, of the French ships of the line Robuste and Lion. On leaving the Royal Sovereign he was placed under the orders of his uncle, Sir T. Staines, in the Hamadryad 36, commanded afterwards by Capt. Edw. Chetham, on the Irish station; and from 29 June, 1812, until 21 Aug. 1815, he was again employed with his relative as Master’s Mate, Acting-Master, and Acting-Lieutenant, in the Briton 38. In that frigate he assisted, while cruizing in the Bay of Biscay, at the capture of the Sans Souci privateer of 14 guns and 120 men, La Melanie letter-of-marque, the Joel Barlow, an American vessel of the same description, and six unarmed merchantmen. He also aided in recapturing an English ship and two brigs, in driving on shore two coasting traders, and in taking five American vessels, the whole of them valuably laden. The Briton being ordered in 1814 to the Pacific in quest of an American frigate. Sir Thos. Staines, while there, and in company with the Tagus 38, took formal possession, 28 Aug., of Nooaheevah, one of the chief of the Marquesas islands; and on 17 Sept. he fell in unexpectedly with an island, which proved to be Pitcairn's, where the crew of the Bounty had secreted themselves after their mutiny in 1789, and had eluded all pursuit. With the exception of one man, Alex. Smith, alias John Adams, none of them were by this time left, but their descendants had become somewhat numerous and flourishing, and, in the words of Sir Thomas, "bade fair to raise a progeny beautifully formed as any in Europe." On 19 Sept. 1815, a short time after the Briton had been paid off, Mr. Stewart was advanced to the rank of Lieutenant. His subsequent appointments were – 25 Oct. 1815, to the Orontes 36, Capt. Nathaniel Day Cochrane, lying at Sheerness – 21 Feb. 1816, to the Pique 36, Capts. Arthur Farquhar, Jas. Haldane Tait, Houston Stewart, and John Mackellan, on the Jamaica station, whence he invalided in Oct. 1817 – 7 April, 1818, for six months, to the Bulwark 74, bearing the flag of Sir John Gore in the river Medway – 16 April, 1819, to the command, which he retained until 11 Nov. 1822, of the Swan cutter of 10 guns – 16 Oct. 1824 and 5 March, 1825, to the Ramillies 74 and Hyperion 42, Coast Blockade ships, Capts. Wm. M‘Cullooh and Wm. Jas. Mingaye – 5 Dec. 1826, after three months of half-pay, to the Windsor Castle 74, Capts. Edw. Durnford King and Hon. Duncombe Pleydell Bouverie, stationed at first as a guard-ship at Plymouth, and employed next off Lisbon (whither he escorted a body of troops) and in the Mediterranean – 19 March, 1829, as First, to the Southampton 52, flag-ship of Sir Edw. W. C. R. Owen in the East Indies, on his return whence towards the close of 1832 he was employed under Capt. John Milligen Laws in blockading the Dutch ports during the attack made by the French upon Antwerp – 11 Aug. 1840 (he had not been afloat since the paying off of the Southampton in Jan. 1833), to the Victory 104, as Flag-Lieutenant to Hon. D. P. Bouverie, then Admiral Superintendent at Portsmouth – and 30 Aug. 1841, to the command of the Heroine, a new brig just launched, fitting for service on the west coast of Africa. While commanding the Swan Lieut. Stewart succeeded, 1 Feb. 1821, in boarding and carrying in a gale of wind off Berwick, after a chose of five hours, the Midas smuggling cutter, mounting 6 guns, with a complement of 21 men 1 of whom was killed, and laden with a cargo of Hollands and other contraband articles. For achieving this exploit he received the thanks of the Admiralty; as he afterwards did for the very valuable assistance he rendered to the Mayor of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Mr. Robt. Bell (whose acknowledgments he also elicited), in suppressing, in Oct. 1822, a riotous attempt made by the seamen (28 of whom he secured) to obstruct the navigation of that port. In the Heroine he was chiefly employed among the Cape de Verde islands and on the neighbouring coast. Ill health, produced by the climate, rendering necessary his return to England, he left the Heroine at Ascension 1 April, 1843; and on 19 July following he was at length, after on amount of far more than ordinary service, advanced to the rank of Commander. He has since been on half-pay. Commander Stewart married, in Jan. 1822, Elizabeth, third daughter of Geo. Palliser, Esq., many years Clerk of the Cheque at Chatham Dockyard, natural son, and heir to the estates, of the late Admiral Sir Hugh Palliser, Bart. By that lady he has issue two sons, the elder, John Henry, 1st Lieutenant R.M. (1842), and three daughters.

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