Sir Samuel Hood, 1st Baronet

Vice-Admiral Sir Samuel Hood, 1st Baronet KB (27 November 1762 – 24 December 1814), of 37 Lower Wimpole Street, London,[3] was an officer of the Royal Navy. He served as a Member of Parliament for Westminster in 1806.

Samuel Hood, 1st Baronet

Vice-Admiral Sir Samuel Hood, 1st Baronet, portrait by unknown artist, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
Born27 November 1762 (1762-11-27)
DiedDecember 24, 1814(1814-12-24) (aged 52)
Madras, India
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Navy
Years of service1776 – 1814
Commands heldHMS Juno
HMS Aigle
HMS Zealous
HMS Venerable
East Indies Station
Leeward Islands Station
Battles/warsFirst Battle of Ushant, 1778
Battle of the Saintes, 1782
Battle of the Nile, 1798
AwardsOrder of Saint Ferdinand and of Merit
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Sword
Knight of the Order of the Bath
RelationsAdmiral Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood (1724–1816);
Admiral Alexander Hood, 1st Viscount Bridport (1726–1814)
Arms of Hood Baronets (later Barons St Audries): Azure, a fret argent on a chief sable three crescents or,[1] being a difference of arms of Hood, Viscount Bridport, with tinctures of chief inverted
Memorial tablet to Hood family in St Mary's Church Netherbury, erected in 1914 by public subscription. Details ancestry of Sir Samuel Hood, 1st Baronet
Hood, far left, at the Hustings for the Westminster Election, November 1806. "Dressed in uniform, with his empty right sleeve, turning in profile to the left, away from Sheridan, putting his hand to his mouth to cover a smile"[2]

He is not to be confused with his father's first cousin Admiral Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood (1724–1816) who sponsored both him and his elder brother Captain Alexander Hood (1758–1798) into the Royal Navy.[4]


He was born on 27 November 1762, the 3rd son of Samuel Hood (1715–1805), a purser in the Royal Navy, of Kingsland in the parish of Netherbury in Dorset,[5] by his wife Anne Bere, a daughter of James Bere of Westbury in Wiltshire.[6] His father's first cousins were the famous brothers Admiral Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood (1724–1816) and Admiral Alexander Hood, 1st Viscount Bridport (1726–1814), sons of Rev. Samuel Hood (1691/2-1777), Vicar of Butleigh and prebendary of Wells Cathedral both in Somerset and Vicar of Thorncombe in Devon. The 1st Baronet's two elder brothers were also naval officers, like Samuel all "gallant Dorset sailors" (as the latter's 1914 monument in Netherbury Church records[7][8]), namely Captain Arthur Hood (1755–1775) (drowned while serving in the West Indies on board HMS Pomona) and Captain Alexander Hood (1758–1798) (killed in the hour of victory while commanding HMS Mars in her famous duel with the French ship 'Hercule').[9] The mural monument in Butleigh Church to the 1st Baronet and his brothers is inscribed with verse by the poet Robert Southey, including the lines referring to their early lives and kinsmen:

Divided far by death were they whose names
In honour here united as in birth
This monumental verse records they drew
Among the western hills their natal breath
And from those shores beheld the ocean first
Whereon in early youth with one accord
They chose their way of fortune; to that course
By HOOD and BRIDPORT's bright example drawn
Their kinsmen, children of this place, and sons
Of one who in his faithful ministry
Inculcated within these hallowed walls
The truths of mercy to mankind reveal'd

He entered the Royal Navy in 1776 at the start of the American War of Independence.[10] His first engagement was the First Battle of Ushant on 27 July 1778, and, soon afterwards transferred to the West Indies, he was present, under the command of his cousin, at all the actions which culminated in Admiral George Rodney's victory of 12 April 1782 in the Battle of the Saintes.

After the peace, like many other British naval officers, Hood spent some time in France, and on his return to England was given the command of a sloop, from which he proceeded in succession to various frigates. In the 32-gun fifth-rate frigate Juno his gallant rescue of some shipwrecked seamen won him a vote of thanks and a sword of honour from the Jamaica assembly.[10]

French Revolutionary Wars

Early in 1793, after the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars, Hood went to the Mediterranean in Juno under his cousin Lord Hood, and distinguished himself by an audacious feat of coolness and seamanship in extricating his vessel from the harbour of Toulon, which he had entered in ignorance of Lord Hood's withdrawal. In 1795, in Aigle, he was put in command of a squadron for the protection of Levantine commerce, and in early 1797 he was given command of the 74-gun ship of the line Zealous, in which he was present at Admiral Horatio Nelson's unsuccessful attack on Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Captain Hood conducted the negotiations which relieved the squadron from the consequences of its failure.[10]

Napoleonic Wars

Zealous played an important part at the Battle of the Nile. Her first opponent was put out of action in twelve minutes. Hood immediately engaged other ships, the Guerriere being left powerless to fire a shot.

When Nelson left the coast of Egypt, Hood commanded the blockading force off Alexandria and Rosetta. Later he rejoined Nelson on the coast of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, receiving for his services the order of St Ferdinand.[10]

In the 74-gun third-rate Venerable Hood was present at the Battle of Algeciras on 8 July 1801 and the action in the Straits of Gibraltar that followed. In the Straits his ship suffered heavily, losing 130 officers and men.

In 1802, Hood was employed in Trinidad as a commissioner, and, upon the death of the flag officer commanding the Leeward Islands Station, he succeeded him as commodore.[11] Island after island fell to him, and soon, outside Martinique, the French had scarcely a foothold in the West Indies. Amongst other measures Hood took one may mention the garrisoning of Diamond Rock, which he commissioned as a sloop-of-war to blockade the approaches of Martinique. For these successes he was, amongst other rewards, appointed a Knight Companion of the Order of the Bath (KB).[10]

In command next of the squadron blockading Rochefort, Sir Samuel Hood lost an arm during the action of 25 September 1806 against a French frigate squadron. Promoted to Rear Admiral a few days after this action, Hood was in 1807 entrusted with the operations against Madeira, which he brought to a successful conclusion.[10]

In 1808 Hood sailed to the Baltic Sea, with his flag in the 74-gun Centaur, to take part in the Russo-Swedish war. In one of the actions of this war Centaur and Implacable, while unsupported by the Swedish ships (which lay to leeward), cut out the Russian 50-gun ship Sevolod from the enemy's line and, after a desperate fight, forced her to strike. King Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden rewarded Admiral Hood with the Grand Cross of the Order of the Sword.[10] He became a baronet on 1 April 1809.[12]

Later career

Having been present in the roads of A Coruña at the re-embarkation of the army of Sir John Moore after the Battle of A Coruña, Hood thence returned to the Mediterranean, where for two years he commanded a division of the British fleet. On 1 August 1811 he was promoted to vice admiral.[10]

He departed Portsmouth at the end of September with his family and Captain Webley aboard HMS Owen Glendower 36 under Captain Bryan Hodgson. They were put back into Lymington within days due to bad weather. He departed again at the end of October. After a very rough voyage, Hood eventually arrived at Madras in 1812 where he took HMS Illustrious 74 as his flagship in his last command, that of Commander in Chief of the East Indies Station. He moved with Captain Webley to HMS Minden 74 once she was brought out from Portsmouth by Captain Alexander Skene in January 1813. Minden remained as his flagship through December 1814 with his friend Captain George Henderson taking command in April 1814.[13][14][15] "In the summer of 1814 [Admiral Hood] made a voyage, in his majesty’s ship Minden, to the eastern parts of his station.” [16] He eventually arrived at Semarang, Java on 29 June 1814. Hood then "sailed on the Minden from Batavia on 1 August 1814 for Madras.[17][18]

While serving in the East Indies Station - "His command was uneventful, the war [in that area] having been brought to an end with the reduction of Java and Mauritius: and the time was mainly occupied in regulating and reforming points of organization or discipline and the methods of victualling, in which he introduced some substantial reforms, effecting a saving to the government of something like thirty per cent.” [19]


He married Mary Elizabeth Frederica Mackenzie, eldest daughter and heiress of Francis Mackenzie, 1st Baron Seaforth, but left no issue.

Death, burial and succession

Mural monument to Sir Samuel Hood, St. Mary's Church, Madras

Hood was about to retire and return to England. Rear-Admiral Sir George Burlton had been appointed to succeed him, but before the exchange could take place Hood died at Madras on 24 December 1814 after a three-day fever following a visit to Tippoo Sahib's former palace at Srirangapatna.[13] "In him it may truly be said, that the British nation lost one of its most experienced and gallant defenders, a long-tried friend and companion of the Immortal Nelson."[20] He was buried at St. Mary's Church, Madras, where survives his mural monument. The heir to his baronetcy, under special remainder, was his nephew Sir Alexander Hood, 2nd Baronet (1793–1851), son of his elder brother Captain Alexander Hood (1758–1798) by his wife Elizabeth Periam, daughter and sole heiress of John Periam (1714–1788) of Wootton House[21][22][23] (alias "Butleigh Wootton") in the parish of Butleigh, Somerset.


Admiral Hood Monument, Butleigh, Somerset

A lofty column, the Admiral Hood Monument, was raised to his memory on a hill on the Wootton House estate, 3/4 of a mile (1.2 km) to the south-west of Wootton House,[24] Butleigh, Somerset, inherited by his nephew and heir Sir Alexander Hood, 2nd Baronet (1793–1851) from his mother Elizabeth Periam. The Butleigh connection started with Sir Samuel Hood's great uncle (and the father of his two famous Admiral cousins) Rev. Samuel Hood (1689–1777) who was Vicar of Butleigh and of Thorncombe in Somerset and was a Prebendary of Wells Cathedral. The south face of its base is inscribed:[25]

This monument is dedicated to the late Commander by the attachment and reverence of British officers of whom many were his admiring followers in these awful scenes of war; in which, while they call forth the grandest qualities of human nature, in his likewise gave occasion for the exercise of its most amiable virtues. He died at Madras, December 24th 1814.

Other monuments survive in Butleigh Church (with an inscription written by the poet Robert Southey) and in St. Mary's Church, Madras. The Hoods Tower Museum in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, gains its name from the fire control tower named after him at Fort Ostenburg.


  1. Montague-Smith, P.W. (ed.), Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Companionage, Kelly's Directories Ltd, Kingston-upon-Thames, 1968, p. 974
  2. "Print; satirical print | British Museum".
  3. Brian Murphy & R. G. Thorne, biography of Hood, Sir Samuel (1762–1814), of 37 Lower Wimpole Street, Mdx., published in History of Parliament: House of Commons 1790–1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
  4. P. Acland - Hood Butleigh Parish News 1989
  5. Per Somerset and Dorset Notes and Queries: Samuel Hood (1715-1805) was the son of Alexander Hood (c.1675-1756) of Mosterton, by his wife Ann Way. "He entered the Navy on April 9th 1761, and served as purser or pay master in the Druid from April 25th 1761 to November 24th 1765. The next day he was appointed to a like post in the Alarm, where he continued until August 18th 1772. His next duty was to act as purser in the Elizabeth guard-ship stationed at Portsmouth, his appointment being dated July 28th 1772, when he was within three years of the age of three score. I have not been able to ascertain when he relinquished his naval duties, but he eventually retired to his small estate at Kingsland in Netherbury where he died ten days after Trafalgar, October 31, 1805, aged 90." (quoted in The Hood Peerage Pedigree Database )
  6. Murphy & Thorne
  7. see File:HoodMonument St Mary'sChurch Netherbury Dorset.jpg
  8. "To the glory of God and in memory of three gallant Dorset sailors, sons of Samuel Hood, Purser, R.N., of Kingsland, Netherbury"
  9. "The HOOD Peerage Pedigree Database - Individual Data of Person P951".
  10. Sir Samuel Hood, 1st Baronet at Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  11. Haydn, Joseph (13 June 2008). The Book of Dignities: Containing Lists of the Official Personages of the British Empire ... from the Earliest Periods to the Present Time ... Together with the Sovereigns and Rulers of Europe, from the Foundation of Their Respective States; the Peerage of England and Great Britain Original 1851 Digitized by the University of Michigan. Longmans, Brown, Green, and Longmans. p. 279.
  12. "No. 16241". The London Gazette. 28 March 1809. p. 418.
  13. Hiscocks, Richard. "The Royal Navy 1776-1815 A Biographical History and Chronicle"
  14. Winfield, Rif. "British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793-1817 Design, Construction, Careers and Fates" Chatham Publishing, London 2005 (page 77 "Minden").
  15. O’Byrne, William R. "A Naval Biographical Dictionary: Comprising the Life and Services of Every Living Officer in Her Majesty’s Navy, Vol. 1" 1849 - Publ. J. Murray [pages 493-494 - for 'Henderson', scroll down to 510 and 511 in the google page numbers.]
  16. Hall, Basil (Captain, RN) "Fragments of Voyages and Travels, Third Series, Vol. 2" - Whittaker, Treacher, & Co. London 1833 (Page 270 - Chapter 9 Visit to the Sultan of Pontiana in Borneo--Sir Samuel Hood)$b556492&view=1up&seq=286&skin=2021
  17. Carey,Peter (Editor). "The British in Java, 1811-1816 : a Javanese account : a text full edition, English synopsis, and commentary on British Library Additional Manuscript 12330 (Babad bedhah ing Ngayogyakarta)" Oxford University Press. 1992. (Page 510, note 535)
  18. Arrivals and Departures (to and from Batavia) 1814-1815 (source: the Java Half-Yearly Almanac and Directory for 1815) [Arranged alphabetically by ships names]
  19. Lee, Sidney (editor) Dictionary of National Biography 1891 Macmillan and Co., New York/ Smith, Elder, & Co., London. Volume 27 (p. 263)
  20. Marshall, John Royal Naval Biography; Supplement Part 2 London 1828 (p. 419 - footnote)
  21. "Wootton House, Butleigh, Somerset".
  23. White marble memorial, east wall, Butleigh Church: Sacred to the memory of John Periam of Wootton House and late member of Exeter College Oxford to which his ancestors were considerable benefactors also a student of the Middle Temple who died Dec 29 1788 aged 74 Piety, Affection and Virtue, armed with a highly cultivated mind adorned the Character of this excellent Christian. "The sweet remembrance of thy duty shall flourish when he sleeps unduly".. Note: "The link to Sir William Periam, benefactor of Exeter College, claimed by the Milton and Butleigh Periam families, is probably fictitious since William only had daughters and no link can be found either to him, his brothers nor his traceable ancestors", per "THE SWORD OF JOHN PERIAM OF BUTLEIGH WOOTTON HOUSE"
  24. Map of monument map of Wootton House
  25. "ADMIRAL HOOD MONUMENT, Compton Dundon - 1056743 | Historic England".
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