Josias Rowley

Admiral Sir Josias Rowley, 1st Baronet, GCB, GCMG (1765 – 10 January 1842), known as "The Sweeper of the Seas", was an Anglo-Irish naval officer who commanded the campaign that captured the French Indian Ocean islands of Réunion and Mauritius in 1810.

Sir Josias Rowley, Bt
JosiasRowley
Admiral Sir Josias Rowley
Born1765
Died10 January 1842
AllegianceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
RankAdmiral
Commands heldHMS Lark
HMS Braave
HMS Impérieuse
HMS Raisonnable
HMS Boadicea
HMS America
Cape of Good Hope Station
Cork Station
Mediterranean Fleet
Battles/warsNapoleonic Wars
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George

Birth and family

Rowley was born in 1765 the second son of Clotworthy Rowley and Letitia (née Campbell), of Mountcampbell, Drumsna, County Leitrim, in the West of Ireland. His father was Barrister and MP for Downpatrick in the Irish Parliament. His paternal grandfather was Admiral of the Fleet Sir William Rowley, KCB.[1]

Naval career

He joined the Royal Navy in 1778, age 13, in HMS Suffolk in the West Indies.[2]

Promoted to post captain in 1795, age 30, he commanded HMS Braave (40 guns) at the Cape of Good Hope and then HMS Impérieuse (38 guns) in the East Indies.[2] He also commanded HMS Raisonnable (64 guns) and took part in the Battle of Cape Finisterre in 1805.[2] In 1798 he became the Member of the Irish House of Commons for Downpatrick.[2]

In 1808 he became commander-in-chief, Cape of Good Hope Station.[3] In 1809, as commodore of a small squadron off Mauritius, working with the commander of the East India Company troops at Rodrigues, he successfully raided the island of Réunion.[2]

In March 1810 he moved into HMS Boadicea (38 guns) and transported a larger landing party which arrived on Réunion and captured the island.[2] Meanwhile, a force led by Captain Samuel Pym RN was being out-flanked by French frigates attacking Grand Port, Mauritius.[2] HMS Africaine was captured by the French frigates Iphigénie and Astrée in the engagement.[2] Rowley then re-captured Africaine the same day.[2] Vice-Admiral Albemarle Bertie arrived on 29 November and took the surrender of Mauritius on 3 December 1810.[2]

Rowley was then given command of HMS America (74 guns) in the Mediterranean. He was created a baronet in December 1813, promoted rear-admiral in 1814 and appointed KCB in 1815.[2]

In the summer of 1815, age 50, with his flagship Impregnable (98 guns), under Lord Exmouth he sailed once more to the Mediterranean.[2] In 1818 he was appointed commander-in-chief on the Cork Station. In 1821 he became MP for Kinsale, County Cork.[2] Promoted to vice-admiral in 1825, he was made commander-in-chief, Mediterranean Fleet in 1833.[2]

Death at home

He died on 10 January 1842, about age 76, in the Mount Campbell family estate at Drumsna in County Leitrim. He was buried and commemorated at the nearby Annaduff Parish Church. He was unmarried, without heir to his titles. He was survived by his younger brothers Vice Admiral Samuel Rowley (also commemorated within Annaduff Parish Church) and The Reverend John Rowley, incumbent rector at Virginia in County Cavan.

In literature

The 1809-1810 campaign was used by author Patrick O'Brian as the setting for the fourth in the series of Aubrey–Maturin series books, The Mauritius Command. The fictional Captain Jack Aubrey takes the place of Rowley in the novel.

See also

References

  1. ^ Burkes Peerages
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Laughton, J. K.; Lambert, Andrew (2004). "Rowley, Sir Josias, baronet (1765–1842), naval officer". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 2 September 2015. (Subscription required (help)).
  3. ^ Hiscocks, Richard. "Cape Commander-in-Chief 1795-1852". morethannelson.com. morethannelson.com. Retrieved 19 November 2016.

Bibliography

External links

Parliament of Ireland
Preceded by
Jonathan Chetwood
Clotworthy Rowley
Member of Parliament for Downpatrick
1798 – 1801
With: Clotworthy Rowley
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
George Coussmaker
Member of Parliament for Kinsale
1821 – 1826
Succeeded by
John Russell
Military offices
Preceded by
Charles Stirling
Commander-in-Chief, Cape of Good Hope Station
1808
Succeeded by
Sir Albemarle Bertie
Preceded by
Benjamin Hallowell
Commander-in-Chief, Cork Station
1818–1821
Succeeded by
Lord Colville
Preceded by
Sir Pulteney Malcolm
Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet
1833–1837
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Stopford
Honorary titles
Preceded by
George St Vincent Wilson
High Sheriff of Suffolk
1841
Succeeded by
Edward Bridgman
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of the Navy)
1813 – 1842
Extinct
Action of 13 September 1810

The Action of 13 September 1810 was an inconclusive frigate engagement during the Napoleonic Wars between British Royal Navy and French Navy frigates during which a British frigate was defeated by two French vessels near Isle de France (now Mauritius), but British reinforcements were able to recapture the ship before the French could secure her. The British frigate was HMS Africaine, a new arrival to the Indian Ocean. She was under the command of Captain Robert Corbet, who had served there the previous year. Corbet was a notoriously unpopular officer and his death in the battle provoked a storm of controversy in Britain over claims that Corbet had either committed suicide at the shame of losing his ship, been murdered by his disaffected crew, or been abandoned by his men, who were said to have refused to load their guns while he remained in command. Whether any of these rumours were accurate has never been satisfactorily determined, but the issue has been discussed in several prominent naval histories and was the subject of at least one lawsuit.

The action came about as a direct consequence of the Battle of Grand Port three weeks earlier, in which a British squadron had been destroyed in a failed attack on Grand Port harbour on Isle de France. This gave the French forces on the island a significant regional advantage, outnumbering the British frigate on the recently captured Île Bourbon, commanded by Commodore Josias Rowley, by six to one. British reinforcements were hastily despatched to the area but the French were blockading Île Bourbon in force and the arriving reinforcements were in constant danger of attack by more powerful French units. Africaine was the first ship to reinforce Rowley's squadron, but within three days of her arrival in the region was engaged by two French ships while attempting to drive them away from Saint Denis on Île Bourbon. Corbet was severely wounded in the opening exchanges and subsequently died. Although his crew fought hard, they were overwhelmed by the French frigates and forced to surrender, only for Rowley to arrive in HMS Boadicea and drive off the French warships, recapturing Africaine.

Action of 18 September 1810

The Action of 18 September 1810 was a naval battle fought between British Royal Navy and French Navy frigates in the Indian Ocean during the Napoleonic Wars. The engagement was one of several between rival frigate squadrons contesting control of the French island base of Île de France, from which French frigates had raided British trade routes during the war. The action came in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Grand Port, in which four British frigates had been lost, and just four days after a fifth British frigate had been captured and subsequently recaptured in the Action of 13 September 1810. In consequence of the heavy losses the British force had suffered, reinforcements were hastily rushed to the area and became individual targets for the larger French squadron blockading the British base at Île Bourbon.

HMS Ceylon had been despatched by the British authorities at Madras after the Battle of Grand Port to reinforce the remains of the squadron under Commodore Josias Rowley on Île Bourbon. Searching for Rowley off Île de France, Ceylon was spotted by French Commodore Jacques Hamelin who gave chase in his flagship Vénus, supported by a corvette. Vénus was faster than Ceylon, and although Captain Charles Gordon almost reached the safety of Île Bourbon, he was run down and forced to engage the French ship during the night, both frigates inflicting severe damage on one another before the wounded Gordon surrendered to the approaching corvette. As dawn broke, Rowley's flagship HMS Boadicea arrived, recaptured Ceylon, drove off the corvette and forced the battered French flagship to surrender, capturing Hamelin. This was the last ship-to-ship action in the region before the successful invasion of Île de France in December 1810: without Hamelin the French squadron, short on supplies and low on morale, did not contest British control of the region and failed to even attempt to disrupt the invasion fleet.

Action of 3 July 1810

The Action of 3 July 1810 was a minor naval engagement of the Napoleonic Wars, in which a French frigate squadron under Guy-Victor Duperré attacked and defeated a convoy of Honourable East India Company East Indiamen near the Comoros Islands. During the engagement the British convoy resisted strongly and suffered heavy casualties but two ships were eventually forced to surrender. These were the British flagship Windham, which held off the French squadron to allow the surviving ship Astell to escape, and Ceylon. The engagement was the third successful French attack on an Indian Ocean convoy in just over a year, the French frigates being part of a squadron operating from the Île de France under Commodore Jacques Hamelin.

Although a British frigate squadron under Josias Rowley was under orders to eliminate the French raiders, Rowley was distracted by the planned invasion of Île Bonaparte, which began the following week. Combined with limited British resources in the region, this allowed the French frigates significant freedom to attack British interests across the Ocean. The attack on Île Bonaparte was however part of a wider British strategy to seize and capture French raiding bases, and the success of the operation severely limited future French operations as Hamelin's squadron was required for the defence of Île de France. As a result, this was the last successful attack on a British merchant convoy in the Indian Ocean during the Napoleonic Wars.

Battle of Grand Port

The Battle of Grand Port was a naval battle between squadrons of frigates from the French Navy and the British Royal Navy. The battle was fought during 20–27 August 1810 over possession of the harbour of Grand Port on Isle de France (now Mauritius) during the Napoleonic Wars. The British squadron of four frigates sought to blockade the port to prevent its use by the French through the capture of the fortified Île de la Passe at its entrance. This position was seized by a British landing party on 13 August, and when a French squadron under Captain Guy-Victor Duperré approached the bay nine days later the British commander, Captain Samuel Pym, decided to lure them into coastal waters where his superior numbers could be brought to bear against the French ships.

Four of the five French ships managed to break past the British blockade, taking shelter in the protected anchorage, which was only accessible through a series of complicated reefs and sandbanks that were impassable without an experienced harbour pilot. When Pym ordered his frigates to attack the anchored French on 22 and 23 August, his ships became trapped in the narrow channels of the bay: two were irretrievably grounded; a third, outnumbered by the combined French squadron, was defeated; and a fourth was unable to close to within effective gun range. Although the French ships were also badly damaged, the battle was a disaster for the British: one ship was captured after suffering irreparable damage, the grounded ships were set on fire to prevent their capture by French boarding parties and the remaining vessel was seized as it left the harbour by the main French squadron from Port Napoleon under Commodore Jacques Hamelin.

The British defeat was the worst the Royal Navy suffered during the entire war, and it left the Indian Ocean and its vital trade convoys exposed to attack from Hamelin's frigates. In response, the British authorities sought to reinforce the squadron on Île Bourbon under Josias Rowley by ordering all available ships to the region, but this piecemeal reinforcement resulted in a series of desperate actions as individual British ships were attacked by the more powerful and confident French squadron. In December 1810 an adequate reinforcement was collected, with the provision of a strong battle squadron under Admiral Albemarle Bertie, that rapidly invaded and subdued Isle de France.

British Mauritius

British Mauritius was a British crown colony off the Southeast coast of Africa. Formerly part of the French colonial empire, the crown colony of Mauritius was established after a British invasion in 1810 and the subsequent Treaty of Paris that followed. British rule ended on 12 March 1968, when Mauritius became independent.

Charles Gordon (Royal Navy officer)

Admiral Charles Gordon, CB (c. 1781 – 3 October 1860) was an officer of the British Royal Navy during the nineteenth century. Gordon's most notable action was the Action of 18 September 1810, when he was seriously wounded in battle and his frigate HMS Ceylon captured by the French frigate Vénus. Gordon was recaptured by Commodore Josias Rowley the following day and later took part in the capture of Île de France. This was the second occasion on which Gordon had been captured, but he had also distinguished himself in operations against Persian Gulf pirates in the campaign of 1809 and was flag captain at the capture of Île de France in December 1810. His later career was unremarkable, although he eventually rose to become an admiral and was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath before his death in 1860.

Downpatrick (Parliament of Ireland constituency)

Downpatrick was a constituency represented in the Irish House of Commons until 1800.

Ferdinand-Alphonse Hamelin

Ferdinand-Alphonse Hamelin (2 September 1796 – 10 January 1864), French admiral, was born in Pont-l'Évêque, Normandy.

He went to sea in 1806 as cabin boy with his uncle, Jacques Félix Emmanuel Hamelin, on the frigate Vénus. The Vénus was part of the French squadron in the Indian Ocean, and young Hamelin had an opportunity of seeing much active service. She, in company with another and a smaller vessel, captured the English frigate Ceylon in 1810, but was immediately afterwards captured herself by the Boadica, under Commodore Josias Rowley (1765–1842). Young Hamelin was a prisoner of war for a short time.

He returned to France in 1811. On the fall of the Empire he had better fortune than most of the Napoleonic officers who were turned ashore. In 1821 he became lieutenant, and in 1823 took part in the French expedition under the Duke of Angoulême into Spain. In 1828 he was appointed captain of the Acton, and was engaged till 1831 on the coast of Algiers and in the conquest of the town and country. His first command as flag officer was in the Pacific, where he showed much tact during the dispute over the Marquesas Islands with England in 1844.

He was promoted vice-admiral in 1848. During the Crimean War he commanded in the Black Sea, and co-operated with Admiral Dundas in the bombardment of Sevastopol on 17 October 1854. His relations with his English colleague were not very cordial. On 7 December 1854 he was promoted to admiral. Shortly afterwards he was recalled to France, and was named minister of marine.

His administration lasted till 1860, and was remarkable for the expeditions to Italy and China organized under his directions; but it was even more notable for the energy shown in adopting and developing the use of armour. The launch of the Gloire—the example of constructing seagoing ironclads. When Napoleon III made his first concession to Liberal opposition, Admiral Hamelin was one of the ministers sacrificed. He held no further command, and died on 10 January 1864.

HMS Boadicea (1797)

HMS Boadicea was a frigate of the Royal Navy. She served in the Channel and in the East Indies during which service she captured many prizes. She participated in one action for which the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal. She was broken up in 1858.

Henry Lambert

Captain Henry Lambert RN (died 4 January 1813) was an officer of the British Royal Navy during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. During his career, Lambert served in numerous ships and several military actions with success, participating in the capture of Île Bonaparte in the Indian Ocean as second in command under Josias Rowley. Lambert is best known however for being captain of the frigate HMS Java on 29 December 1812 when she was captured in the Mid-Atlantic by USS Constitution during the War of 1812. Lambert was mortally wounded in the battle and died seven days later in Salvador, Brazil.

Invasion of Isle de France

The Invasion of Isle de France was a complicated but successful amphibious operation in the Indian Ocean, launched in November 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars. During the operation, a substantial British military force was landed by the Royal Navy at Grand Baie on Isle de France (now Mauritius). Marching inland against weak French opposition, the British force was able to overwhelm the defenders in a series of minor engagements, culminating in the capture of the island's capital Port Napoleon and the surrender of Charles Decaen, the French governor. The surrender eliminated the last French territory in the Indian Ocean and among the military equipment captured were five French Navy frigates and 209 heavy cannon. Isle de France was retained by Britain at the end of the war under the name of Mauritius and remained part of the British Empire until 1968.

Invasion of Île Bonaparte

The Invasion of Île Bonaparte was an amphibious operation in 1810 that formed an important part of the British campaign to blockade and capture the French Indian Ocean territories of Île Bonaparte (now Réunion) and Isle de France (now Mauritius) during the Napoleonic Wars. These islands formed a fortified base for a French frigate squadron under Commodore Jacques Hamelin to raid British convoys of East Indiamen travelling between Britain and British India. Hamelin's ships had destroyed two convoys the previous year despite the attention of a squadron of Royal Navy ships under Commodore Josias Rowley. Rowley had responded by raiding the fortified anchorage of Saint Paul on Île Bonaparte and capturing one of Hamelin's frigates and two captured East Indiamen.

The raid had an unforeseen consequence, when the commander of Île Bonaparte General Nicolas Des Bruslys, committed suicide rather than lead the garrison against the British landing parties. This encouraged Rowley to consider a larger operation to seize the whole island. Using the small British-held island of Rodriguez as a base, Rowley and his British Army counterpart Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Keating planned to land two forces either side of the island's capital Saint Denis and force the governor to capitulate before the island's militia could be mobilised against them.

The plan was launched on 7 July 1810 as two combined forces of British sailors, soldiers, sepoys and Royal Marines landed at separate beaches. Although a number of men were drowned in the heavy surf, the majority of the invasion force reached the beaches safely and marched inland, attacking French outposts as they approached the capital. Recognising that his demoralised garrison would be unable to defend Saint Denis and that the militia would take too long to mobilise, the French commander Colonel Chrysostôme de Sainte-Suzanne surrendered the island, its garrison and its stores to Rowley.

John Colville, 9th Lord Colville of Culross

Admiral John Colville, 9th Lord Colville of Culross (15 March 1768 – 22 October 1849) was a Royal Navy officer who became Commander-in-Chief, Cork Station.

Lucius Curtis

Admiral of the Fleet Sir Lucius Curtis, 2nd Baronet, KCB, DL (3 June 1786 – 14 January 1869) was a senior officer of the Royal Navy during the nineteenth century. The son of Sir Roger Curtis, 1st Baronet, Lord Howe's flag captain at the Glorious First of June, Lucius served during the Napoleonic Wars and was heavily involved in the Mauritius campaign of 1810. During this campaign, Curtis commanded the frigate HMS Magicienne with the blockade squadron under Josias Rowley and was still in command when the ship was destroyed at the Battle of Grand Port. Magicienne grounded on a coral reef early in the engagement and despite the best efforts of Curtis and his crew, the ship had to be abandoned, Curtis setting her on fire to prevent her subsequent capture.

After Curtis was freed from captivity in December 1810, he was cleared of any wrongdoing in the loss of his ship and returned to his naval career. He later rose to become an Admiral of the Fleet. As his eldest son predeceased him, the baronetcy in 1869 passed to his second son, Arthur.

Mauritius campaign of 1809–11

The Mauritius campaign of 1809–1811 was a series of amphibious operations and naval actions fought to determine possession of the French Indian Ocean territories of Isle de France and Île Bonaparte during the Napoleonic Wars. The campaign lasted from the spring of 1809 until the spring of 1811, and saw both the Royal Navy and the French Navy deploy substantial frigate squadrons with the intention of disrupting or protecting trade from British India. In a war in which the Royal Navy was almost universally dominant at sea, the campaign is especially notable for the local superiority enjoyed by the French Navy in the autumn of 1810 following the British disaster at the Battle of Grand Port, the most significant defeat for the Royal Navy in the entire conflict. After their victory, the British used the original Dutch name of Mauritius for Isle de France. In 1814, Île Bonaparte was returned to France, who eventually renamed it La Réunion.

The Royal Navy had been planning an operation against Isle de France since neutralizing the threats from Cape Town and Java in the Dutch East Indies in 1806, but was forced to act earlier than expected following the despatch from France of a powerful frigate squadron under Commodore Jacques Hamelin in late 1808. This French force was able to capture a number of East Indiamen and disrupt trade routes across the Indian Ocean by raiding the convoys in which the merchant ships travelled. Forced to confront this enemy, Admiral Albemarle Bertie at the Cape of Good Hope ordered Commodore Josias Rowley to blockade the French islands and prevent their use as raiding bases.

For the next two years, the British raided ports and anchorages on the French islands while the French attacked trade convoys in the wider ocean. The British were able to slowly reduce the French presence by eliminating their bases through limited invasions, but suffered a major setback at Grand Port in August 1810 and were forced onto the defensive in the autumn. Hamelin was eventually defeated only after being personally captured on his flagship Vénus by Rowley, shortly before substantial reinforcements arrived under Bertie to seize Isle de France. Throughout the campaign Hamelin was unable to secure reinforcement from France—almost all attempts to break through the British blockade of French ports proved futile and only one frigate successfully reached the Indian Ocean before the surrender of Isle de France. The final such attempt arrived off Mauritius in May 1811, only to discover that the island was in British hands. On the return journey, the force was attacked by a British squadron off Madagascar and defeated, leaving the British in complete control of the Indian Ocean.

Raid on Saint-Paul

The Raid on Saint-Paul was an amphibious operation conducted by a combined British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Marines force against the fortified French port of Saint Paul on Île Bonaparte (now known as Réunion) during the Napoleonic Wars. The operation was launched on 20 September 1809 as both a precursor to a future full-scale invasion of Île Bonaparte and in order to capture the French frigate Caroline and the East Indiamen she had seized in the Action of 31 May 1809 which were sheltering in the harbour. The operation was a complete success, with British storming parties capturing the batteries overlooking the port, which allowed a naval squadron under Commodore Josias Rowley to enter the bay and capture the shipping in the harbour.

The French defenders of the town, despite initially resisting the attack, were unable to prevent the seizure of the port's defensive fortifications. The British force later withdrew under pressure from the main garrison of the island, burning warehouses containing over £500,000 worth of silk captured from British merchant ships. Ultimately the French were unable to effectively oppose the invasion, the island's governor General Des Bruslys retreating to Saint-Denis rather than engage the British and later committing suicide. The transportation of forces from the recently captured island of Rodrigues, the co-ordination of land and naval forces and the failure of the French defenders to co-ordinate an effective response were all features of the subsequent invasion and capture of Île Bonaparte in July 1810.

Robert Wauchope (Royal Navy officer)

Robert Wauchope, (1788–1862) was a British admiral and inventor of the time ball. He was the fifth son of Andrew Wauchope (d.1823) of Niddrie-Marischall, Midlothian, Scotland, and Alice Baird (d.1814), daughter of William Baird of Newbyth.

He joined the Royal Navy in 1802, was commissioned in 1808, and served in the Napoleonic wars, notably as a lieutenant in Captain Samuel Pym's disastrous attack on Mauritius in August 1810. After the destruction of his ship, the Magicienne, Wauchope set off in a cutter to Réunion, 140 miles away, to warn Commodore Josias Rowley. He was picked up by Rowley the next day, and took part in Admiral Albemarle Bertie's capture of Mauritius in December 1810. He was promoted to captain in 1814 after which he commanded HMS Eurydice. He visited Napoleon on St Helena 1816 and was stationed for the next three years at the Cape and St Helena.

He became "born again of the Holy Spirit" (Short Narrative, 84) in 1819 and expressed his disapproval to Admiral Robert Plampin of his "living openly with a kept mistress" (ibid, 87). His religious views contributed to him spending all but four years thereafter on half pay.

He married in 1822 Anne Carnegie, fourth daughter of Sir David Carnegie, bt., and settled in Easter Duddingston, Midlothian and later at Moorhouse Hall in Cumberland. Their only child died a minor in 1844.

It was then essential for the calculation of longitude that a ship's marine chronometer be accurate, but the astronomical calculations to ensure accuracy were such that could only conveniently be made in observatories. In 1818 Wauchope became interested in developing a method of signalling from an observatory to ships the exact time so that the chronometers on board could be rated. He advised the Admiralty of his Plan for ascertaining the rates of chronometers by signal, which described his "time ball", a large hollow metal sphere rigged on a pole and attached to a mechanism so that it might be dropped at an exact time each day. In 1829 a test was made of his device at Portsmouth on the south coast of England, where the Royal Naval Academy was situated. In 1833 time balls were constructed at Greenwich, and in 1836 at Liverpool and Edinburgh. Wauchope submitted his scheme to American and French ambassadors when they visited England. The US Naval Observatory was established in Washington D.C. and the first American time ball went into service in 1845.

In 1834 his brother-in-law, Admiral Patrick Campbell, invited him to be his flag captain. Wauchope accepted on the condition that no prostitutes were to be allowed on board the ship. His insistence on this resulted in him being summoned before Sir Thomas Hardy the First Sea Lord, who ordered him to resign his commission. Wauchope told Sir Thomas: "It is written that whoremongers shall not enter heaven" (ibid, 103), and appealed to Sir James Graham, the First Lord of the Admiralty. He was allowed to take command of HMS Thalia in June 1834 and was again stationed at the Cape where he became an intimate friend of Sir John Herschel. In 1836-7 he patrolled off West Africa to intercept slavers. His active naval career ended on his return to England in 1838.

He retired to Dacre Lodge in Cumberland. In 1849 he was promoted to rear admiral, in 1856 to vice admiral and in 1861, the year before his death, to Admiral of the Blue. In that year he published an anti-Darwinian pamphlet, Proofs of the Possible Cause and Recent Date of the Boulder Drift, Connecting it with the Post Tertiary Period and Noachian Deluge, and wrote his memoirs, A Short Narrative, for the instruction of his great nephew, Andrew Gilbert Wauchope.

At the time of his death, time balls were in use on every inhabited continent. Although rendered obsolete on the introduction of radio time signals, operational examples survive atop the Royal Observatories at Greenwich and Cape Town, at Sydney Observatory, at Lyttelton in New Zealand, on Nelson's Monument on Calton Hill in Edinburgh, and at Deal.

He is buried in Dacre Churchyard, Penrith, Cumbria, England. (i.e. near Dacre Lodge) under an unusual tombstone that is triangular in cross section. The grave is immediately on the right as one enters the churchyard.

Rowley baronets

There have been three baronetcies created for members of the Rowley family, one in the Baronetage of Great Britain and two in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. Two of the creations are extant as of 2007.

The Rowley Baronetcy, of Tendring Hall (Stoke-by-Nayland) in the County of Suffolk, was created in the Baronetage of Great Britain on 27 June 1786 for the naval commander Rear-Admiral Joshua Rowley. He was the son of Admiral of the Fleet Sir William Rowley. The second Baronet sat as Member of Parliament for Suffolk. The third Baronet was a Vice-Admiral of the Blue. The sixth Baronet was a colonel in the Army. The seventh Baronet served as Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk between 1978 and 1994. He died in 1997. In 2002 his kinsman Sir Charles Robert Rowley, 7th Baronet, of Hill House (see below) established his claim to the title.

The Rowley Baronetcy, of the Navy, was created in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom on 2 November 1813 for the Anglo-Irish naval commander Sir Josias Rowley. He was the nephew of the first Baronet of the 1786 creation. Rowley never married and the title became extinct on his death in 1842.

The Rowley Baronetcy, of Hill House in the County of Berkshire, was created in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom on 21 March 1836 for the naval commander Admiral Charles Rowley. He was the fourth son of the first Baronet of the 1786 creation. The seventh Baronet established his claim to the 1786 baronetcy in 2002. The eighth Baronet, Sir Richard Rowley, is a member of the Executive Committee of the Standing Council of the Baronetage.

William Rowley (Royal Navy officer)

Admiral of the Fleet Sir William Rowley KB (c. 1690 – 1 January 1768) was a Royal Navy officer. He distinguished himself by his determination as commander of the vanguard at the Battle of Toulon in February 1744 during the War of the Austrian Succession. He went on to be Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet in August 1744 and successfully kept the Spanish and French fleets out of the Mediterranean area but was relieved of his command following criticism of his decision as presiding officer at a court-martial.

Rowley later became a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty on the Board of Admiralty. He was a Member of Parliament for Taunton and then for Portsmouth.

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