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Hardy, Sir Thomas Masterman

HARDY, SIR THOMAS MASTERMAN, Bart. (1769-1839), British vice-admiral, of the Portisham (Dorsetshire) family of Hardy, was born on the sth of April 1769, and in 1781 began his career as a sailor. He became lieutenant in 1793, and in 1796, being then attached to the " Minerve " frigate, attracted the attention of Nelson by his gallant conduct. He continued to serve with distinction, and in 1798 was promoted to be captain of the " Vanguard," Nelson's flagship. In the " St George " he did valuable work before the battle of Copenhagen in 1801, and his association with Nelson was crowned by his appointment in 1803 to the " Victory " as flag-captain, in which capacity he was engaged at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805, witnessed Nelson's will, and was in close attendance on him at his death. Hardy was created a baronet in 1806. He was then employed on the North American station, and later (1819), was made commodore and commander-in-chief on the South American station, where his able conduct came prominently into notice. In 1825 he became rear-admiral, and in December 1826 escorted the expeditionary force to Lisbon. In 1830 he was made first sea lord of the admiralty, being created G.C.B. in 1831. In 1834 he was appointed governor of Greenwich hospital, where thenceforward he devoted himself with conspicuous success to the charge of the naval pensioners; in 1837 he became vice-admiral. He died at Greenwich on the 20th of September 1839. In 1807 he had married Anne Louisa Emily, daughter of Sir George Cranfield Berkeley, under whom he had served on the North American station, and by her he had three daughters, the baronetcy becoming extinct.

See Marshall, Royal Naval Biography, ii. and iii. ; Nicolas, Despatches of Lord Nelson; Broadley and Bartelot, The Three Dorset Captains at Trafalgar (1906), and Nelson's Hardy, his Life, Letters and Friends (1909).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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