Royal Naval Museum



Biography: Thomas Ussher


Born in 1779 in Dublin. Thomas Ussher joined the Navy at the age of twelve, as Midshipman onboard HMS Squirrel. In 1796, he became acting Lieutenant on HMS Minotaur. He was severely wounded during a boat action against the French in April 1798, and was invalided for a few months. In June 1799, with the cutter from HMS Pelican, he attacked a French privateer Le Tromeur in San Domingo, Caribbean. During
his service on the Pelican, Ussher was involved in twenty-one boat actions. In September 1800, Ussher was sent home on half pay after being wounded during action.

He was given command of the brig HMS Colpoys in April 1804, and in this ship undertook several boat actions in the waters off the North coast of Spain and the Bay of Biscay. Backed by testimonials from Earl St Vincent and Admirals Cornwallis and Graves, Ussher was promoted to command the sloop HMS Redwing in 1806, and took part in a number of small craft actions. He served for the remainder of the Napoleonic Wars in command of a number of ships in different stations until 1814, when he became Captain of HMS Undaunted, and conveyed Napoleon to exile in Elba after his surrender.

In June 1815, Ussher was promoted to Companion of the Bath, and in 1831, he was knighted. From 1831 until 1838 he served as Superintendent at the dockyards of Bermuda and Halifax. He was promoted Rear Admiral on 9th November 1846, and in July 1847, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief at Queenstown, Republic of Ireland. He died at on the 6th June 1848 at Queenstown.

© Royal Naval Museum Library, 2004
The information contained in this information sheet is correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the library for a bibliography of further reading materials, if available.

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