Admiral Alexander Hood, 1st Viscount Bridport

We’re slowly but surely working our way through the mutiny of the Channel Fleet at Spithead and the the North Sea Fleet at The Nore with the help of Mainwaring’s Floating Republic.

We’ll take a time out from the action to introduce characters who are central to the story. One of these is Admiral Lord Bridport, commander of the Channel Fleet.

Alexander Hood, brother of Samuel Hood, was born in 1726 and entered the navy at age 15. He was appointed a lieutenant in 1746 and served in that rank for ten years before being promoted to commander. He caught the eye of Rear Admiral Sir Charles Saunders and served as his flag captain before commanding a frigate with some distinction at the Battle of Quiberon Bay and in single ship actions.

He was promoted to rear admiral in 1780. At the end of the American Revolution he went on half pay and served in the House of Commons. He was recalled to the colors when war broke out with Revolutionary France and fought under Lord Howe at the Glorious First of June. For his heroism he was created Lord Bridport.

On 23 June 1795, with his flag in HMS Queen Charlotte, he fought the inconclusive Battle of Groix against the French off the Île de Groix and captured three ships. Wikipedia says he was criticized within the navy for failing to win a more decisive victory, though that seems hard to credit as it doesn’t seem much less decisive than most of the other sea battles of the era.

In that same year he succeeded to command of the Channel Fleet and held that command until his retirement in 1800.

Some accounts of the Spithead mutiny paint Bridport as somewhat feckless and indecisive during this crisis. I’m not certain that assessment bears up under analysis.

He died in 1814.


Filed under Age of Sail, Mutiny, Naval Biography

7 responses to “Admiral Alexander Hood, 1st Viscount Bridport

  1. Pingback: The Breeze at Spithead, Part 5. « Age Of Sail

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  5. Pingback: The Breeze At Spithead. Part 9. The Grand Finale. « Age Of Sail

  6. Pingback: The Gale At The Nore. Part 1. Prelude. « Age Of Sail

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