Sir Alexander Milne, 1st Baronet

Admiral of the Fleet Sir Alexander Milne, 1st Baronet, GCB (10 November 1806 – 29 December 1896) was a Royal Navy officer. As a captain on the North America and West Indies Station he was employed capturing slave-traders and carrying out fishery protection duties. He served as a Junior Naval Lord under both Liberal and Conservative administrations and was put in charge of organising British and French transports during the Crimean War. He became Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station and in this role he acted with diplomacy, especially in response to the Trent Affair on 8 November 1861 during the American Civil War, when USS San Jacinto, commanded by Union Captain Charles Wilkes, intercepted the British mail packet RMS Trent and removed, as contraband of war, two Confederate diplomats, James Mason and John Slidell. He became First Naval Lord in the third Derby–Disraeli ministry in July 1866 and in this role took advantage of the Government's focus on spending reduction to ask fundamental questions about naval strategy. He again became First Naval Lord in the first Gladstone ministry in November 1872, remaining in office under the second Disraeli ministry and identifying the critical need for trade protection at times of War and demanding new cruisers to protect British merchant shipping.

Sir Alexander Milne, Bt
Admiral Alexander Milne (1808-1896), by Walter William Ouless
Sir Alexander Milne (Walter William Ouless, 1879)
Born10 November 1806
Inveresk, Scotland
Died29 December 1896 (aged 90)
Inveresk, Scotland
AllegianceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service1817–1876
RankAdmiral of the Fleet
Commands heldHMS Crocodile
HMS Cleopatra
HMS Caledonia
HMS St Vincent
North America and West Indies Station
Mediterranean Fleet
Battles/warsCrimean War
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

Early career

HMS St Vincent
The first-rate HMS St Vincent which Milne commanded

Milne was born the second son of the Admiral Sir David Milne and Grace Milne (daughter of Sir Alexander Purves, Bt).[1] His older brother David was later known as David Milne-Home.[2]

Milne joined the Royal Navy in February 1817.[1] After initial training at the Royal Navy College at Portsmouth he joined his father's flagship, the fourth-rate HMS Leander, on the North American Station in 1819.[3] Over the next few years he served in the sixth-rate HMS Conway, third-rate HMS Ramillies, second-rate HMS Ganges and third-rate HMS Albion.[4] He became an acting lieutenant in the sloop HMS Cadmus on the coast of Brazil in June 1827 and was promoted to the substantive rank of lieutenant on 8 September 1827.[4] Promoted to commander on 25 November 1830, he joined the sloop HMS Snake on the West Indies Station in December 1836 and was employed capturing slave-traders.[3]

Promoted to captain on 30 January 1839, Milne was given command of the sixth-rate HMS Crocodile on the North America and West Indies Station and employed carrying out fishery protection duties before becoming Captain of the sixth-rate HMS Cleopatra also on the North America and West Indies Station in November 1840.[4] In HMS Cleopatra he was employed both capturing slave-traders and carrying out fishery protection duties.[3] He became Flag-captain in the first-rate HMS Caledonia to his father, who was then serving as Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth, in April 1842 and Flag-captain in the first-rate HMS St Vincent to Sir Charles Ogle, who was then serving as Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth, in October 1846.[4]

Milne became Fourth Naval Lord in the first Russell ministry in December 1847, Fifth Naval Lord in the first Derby ministry in March 1852 and Fourth Naval Lord in the Aberdeen ministry in January 1853,[5] when he was put in charge of organising British and French transports during the Crimean War.[1] He became Third Naval Lord in the first Palmerston ministry in November 1857.[5]

Senior command

The second-rate HMS Nile, Milne's flagship when her commanded the North America and West Indies Station in the early 1860s

Promoted to rear-admiral on 20 January 1858[6] and appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (Civil) on 20 December 1858,[7] Milne became Fourth Naval Lord in the second Derby–Disraeli ministry in April 1859.[5] During his service at the Admiralty from December 1847 to June 1859 he served under four different First Lords of the Admiralty in three Liberal and two Conservative administrations.[3]

Milne became Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station, hoisting his flag in the second-rate HMS Nile, in January 1860: in this role he acted with diplomacy, especially in response to the Trent Affair on 8 November 1861 during the American Civil War, when USS San Jacinto, commanded by Union Captain Charles Wilkes, intercepted the British mail packet RMS Trent and removed, as contraband of war, two Confederate diplomats, James Mason and John Slidell.[1] Milne was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (Military) on 25 February 1864[8] and promoted to vice-admiral on 13 April 1865.[9]

HMS Nile, Royal Navy Burying Ground, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Monument erected by Milne to his son and 14 other crew that died on HMS Nile at Halifax, Royal Navy Burying Ground (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Milne became First Naval Lord in the third Derby ministry in July 1866 and in this role took advantage of the Government's focus on spending reduction to ask fundamental questions about naval strategy.[1] He remained in office until the Derby ministry fell from power 18 months later.[4]

He became Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, hoisting his flag in the battleship HMS Lord Warden, in April 1869.[4] He was promoted to full admiral on 1 April 1870[10] and advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 20 May 1871.[11] "In the autumn of 1870 the Mediterranean Squadron, under the command of Sir Alexander Milne joined up with the Channel Squadron for the purpose of carrying out combined manoeuvres off the coast of Portugal, and Sir Alexander, being the senior admiral, took supreme command. The low freeboard, fully rigged turret-ship Captain had joined the Channel Squadron a short time before, and the combined fleet put to see from Vigo".[12] On 6 September "the fleet was sailing in two columns on the starboard tack in a fresh north-west breeze, and Sir Alexander Milne went on board the Captain in the afternoon to inspect her and see how she behaved at sea, as she was a novelty... During the time the Commander-in-Chief was on board the Captain the wind and sea had increased, and he had great difficulty in getting back to his own ship – the Lord Warden. In fact, the captain of the Captain (Hugh Burgoyne) tried to persuade him not to risk it, but to remain on board for the night and return in the morning. Sir Alexander, however, was a dour auld Scotsman and said he would get back to his ship, and did."[12] That night the Captain capsized and sank and "only the gunner and seventeen men were saved."[12]

He again became First Naval Lord in the first Gladstone ministry in November 1872, remaining in office under the second Disraeli ministry and identifying the critical need for trade protection at times of War and demanding new cruisers to protect British merchant shipping.[1] He retired from office in September 1876 and was created a baronet on 26 October 1876.[13]

In retirement he chaired a Royal Commission on the defence of British possessions and commerce abroad.[14] Promoted to Admiral of the Fleet on 10 June 1881,[15] he lived at Inveresk House in Inveresk where he died from pneumonia on 29 December 1896.[1] He was buried in Inveresk churchyard on 2 January 1897: the grave lies on the north edge of the original churchyard, near the north-west corner.[1]

Admiral Milne's family grave, Inveresk
Admiral Milne's family grave, Inveresk


In 1850 he married Euphemia Cochran (d.1889). They had two daughters and one son (Archibald Berkeley Milne).[1]

See also

  • O'Byrne, William Richard (1849). "Milne, Alexander" . A Naval Biographical Dictionary . John Murray – via Wikisource.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Alexander Milne". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. 2004. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  2. ^ "David Milne-Home". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Heathcote, p. 175
  4. ^ a b c d e f "William Loney RN". Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  5. ^ a b c Sainty, J C (1975). "'Lord High Admiral and Commissioners of the Admiralty 1660-1870', Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 4: Admiralty Officials 1660-1870". pp. 18–31. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
  6. ^ "No. 22088". The London Gazette. 29 January 1858. p. 433.
  7. ^ "No. 22211". The London Gazette. 21 December 1858. p. 5479.
  8. ^ "No. 22823". The London Gazette. 26 February 1864. p. 886.
  9. ^ "No. 22960". The London Gazette. 21 April 1865. p. 2131.
  10. ^ "No. 23603". The London Gazette. 1 April 1870. p. 2006.
  11. ^ "No. 23739". The London Gazette. 20 May 1871. p. 2473.
  12. ^ a b c Fitzgerald, Penrose (1913), Memories of the sea, Edward Arnold, pp. 278–9
    There is another similar account of Milne's inspection of Captain at: Ballard, George Alexander (1980), The black battlefleet, Nautical Publishing Company Ltd, pp. 110–1
  13. ^ "No. 24376". The London Gazette. 27 October 1876. p. 5719.
  14. ^ "No. 24761". The London Gazette. 12 September 1879. p. 5451.
  15. ^ "No. 24997". The London Gazette. 19 July 1881. p. 3548.


Further reading

  • Beeler, John (ed.) (2004). The Milne Papers: The Papers of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Alexander Milne, Bt., K.C.B. (1806-1896), Volume I (1820-1859). Navy Records Society, volume 147. Burlington, Vermont: Ashgate. ASIN B004H4IXPO.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Courtemanche, Regis A. (1977). No Need of Glory: The British Navy in American Waters 1860-1864. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0870214936.
Military offices
Preceded by
Lord John Hay
Fourth Naval Lord
Succeeded by
Arthur Duncombe
Preceded by
Arthur Duncombe
Fourth Naval Lord
Succeeded by
Sir Frederick Pelham
Preceded by
Henry Eden
Third Naval Lord
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Leeke
Preceded by
Sir Swynfen Carnegie
Fourth Naval Lord
April 1859 – June 1859
Succeeded by
Charles Frederick
Preceded by
Sir Houston Stewart
Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station
Succeeded by
Sir James Hope
Preceded by
Sir Frederick Grey
First Naval Lord
Succeeded by
Sir Sydney Dacres
Preceded by
Lord Clarence Paget
Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet
Succeeded by
Sir Hastings Yelverton
Preceded by
Sir Sydney Dacres
First Naval Lord
Succeeded by
Sir Hastings Yelverton
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
New creation
(of Inveresk)
Succeeded by
Archibald Berkeley Milne


was a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar and a leap year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar, the 1896th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 896th year of the 2nd millennium, the 96th year of the 19th century, and the 7th year of the 1890s decade. As of the start of 1896, the Gregorian calendar was

12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

Alexander Milne

Alexander Milne may refer to:

Alexander Milne (entrepreneur) (1742–1838), Scottish-American entrepreneur

Alexander Milne (civil servant) (died 1850), British civil servant

Sir Alexander Milne, 1st Baronet (1806–1896), Royal Navy admiral

Alexander Taylor Milne (1906–1994), English historian

Alec Milne (Alexander Soutar Milne, born 1937), Scottish former professional footballer for Cardiff City

Alec Milne (footballer, born 1889) (Alexander James Milne, 1889–1970), footballer for Doncaster Rovers and Stoke

Alex Milne (artist), Canadian comic book artist

Alan Alexander (A. A.) Milne (1882–1956), English writer

Archibald Berkeley Milne

Admiral Sir (Archibald) Berkeley Milne, 2nd Baronet (2 June 1855 – 4 July 1938) was a senior Royal Navy officer who commanded the Mediterranean Fleet at the outbreak of the First World War.

David Milne-Home

David Milne-Home of Milne Graden FRSE FGS PGSE LLD (1805–1890) was a Scottish advocate, geologist and meteorologist. He was the founder of the Scottish Meteorological Society in 1855, and served as its chairman. From 1874 to 1889 he served as president of the Edinburgh Geological Society

David Milne (Royal Navy officer)

Admiral Sir David Milne of Milne Graden GCB FRSE RN (May 1763 – 5 May 1845) was a Scottish Royal Navy admiral.

Edward Southwell Sotheby

Admiral Sir Edward Southwell Sotheby (14 May 1813 – 6 January 1902) was an English naval officer in the Royal Navy.

List of Royal Navy admirals (1707–current)

Admiral is a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, which equates to the NATO rank code OF-9, formally outranked only by the rank admiral of the fleet. The rank of admiral is currently the highest rank to which an officer in the Royal Navy can be promoted, admiral of the fleet being used nowadays only for honorary promotions.

This list aims to include all who have been promoted to the rank of admiral in the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom following the Acts of Union 1707, or to historical variations of that rank (the main article on the rank includes a history of the rank, including the pre-1864 use of colour for admirals of the various squadrons).

Royal Navy officers holding the ranks of rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral of the fleet are sometimes considered generically to be admirals. These are not listed here unless they gained the rank of full admiral.

For a very long time promotion to the ranks above captain was an entitlement of everyone who had become a captain and occurred in strict order of seniority as captain; this was enacted in 1718 and is still evident in Navy Lists of the 1940s. Various stratagems were developed to move those who had seniority over captains who it was actually desired to promote out of the way of the functional promotions, including promotion "without distinction of squadron", "dormant commissions", "superannuation", a variety of pension schemes, a "reserved list", and a "retired list";

these were frequently enacted by Order in Council. Despite being moved off the active list vice-admirals could still be promoted to admiral after all previously promoted vice admirals of their category had been promoted or died, whether on an honorific basis or as a means of granting them a pension increase.

Persons listed are shown with the titles they held at the time of their deaths whether or not these were held at the time of their promotion to the rank of full admiral.

Those who only held the rank of full admiral on an acting basis are not shown.

Milne (surname)

Milne is a surname of Scottish origin, and may refer to:

In military:

Sir Alexander Milne, 1st Baronet, British admiral

Archibald Berkeley Milne (1855–1938), admiral of the Royal Navy

Sir David Milne, British admiral

Duncan Grinnell-Milne (1896–1973), English First World War pilot

George Milne, 1st Baron Milne, British field marshal

John Theobald Milne, English first world war flying ace

MacGillivray Milne, United States Navy Captain, and the 27th Governor of American Samoa

William Johnstone Milne, Canadian recipient of the Victoria CrossIn science:

Colin Milne, Scottish botanist and priest

Edward Arthur Milne, British mathematician and astrophysicist

John Milne, English geologist

Malcolm Davenport Milne (1915–1991), physician and medical researcher

Stephen Milne (mathematician), American mathematician

William Grant Milne (?–1866), Scottish botanist

James Stuart Milne New Zealand mathematicianIn politics:

Charles Black Milne (1879–1935), Scottish politician, Unionist Party Member of Parliament for West Fife

Christine Milne, Australian politician

David Milne (Ontario politician)

Donald Milne, American politician and lawyer

Duane Milne, Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing the 167th legislative district

Eddie Milne (1915–1983), British Labour Party Member of Parliament for Blyth, later re-elected as an independent candidate

John Milne (politician) (1839–1922), Canadian Senator and businessman

John Sydney Wardlaw-Milne (1879–1922), British Conservative Party politician

Lance Milne (1915–1995), Australian Democrats member of the South Australian Legislative Council

Lorna Anne Milne, Canadian senator

Marion Milne, American businesswoman and politician

Nanette Milne, Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party politician

Robert Milne (Canadian politician) (1881–1953), Member of Parliament

Ross Milne (Canadian politician) (born 1932), retired Canadian politician

Seumas Milne (born 1958), British Labour Party Director of Communications and Strategy, also a journalist and writer

Sir William Milne (politician) (1822–1895), Australian wine merchant and politician

William Ross Milne, Canadian politicianIn literature:

A. A. Milne, author of Winnie-the-Pooh

Carly Milne, Canadian writer

Christian Milne (1773–?), Scottish poet of the Romantic Era

Christopher Robin Milne, son of A. A. Milne, appearing as Christopher Robin in Winnie the Pooh

Drew Milne, British poet and academic

Ewart Milne, Irish poet who was in the Spanish Civil War

Frances Margaret Milne (1846-?; pseudonym, "Margaret Frances"), Irish-born, American writer, librarian

John Clark Milne (1897–1962), Scottish poet who wrote in the Doric dialect of the Scots language.

Mary Christianna Milne Lewis, British mystery writer and children's author who wrote as Christianna Brand

Robert Duncan Milne (1844–1899), American science fiction writerIn sports:

Alec Milne, Scottish footballer who played for Cardiff City

Alec Milne (footballer born 1889), footballer who played in the Football League for Doncaster Rovers and Stoke

Andrew Milne (born 1990), professional footballer

Arthur Milne (footballer) (1915–1997), Scottish association football player, played for Dundee United, Hibs and St. Mirren

Athol Milne, Australian rules footballer

Billy Milne, Scottish footballer who played for Arsenal

Brian Milne (born 1973), American NFL football fullback

Callum Milne (born 1965), Scottish footballer

Cordy Milne (1914–1937), American motorcycle speedway rider

David Milne (rugby league), Australian Rugby League player

David Milne (rugby union), former Scottish international rugby union player

Elizabeth Milne (born 1990), New Zealand football player

Fiona Milne, Canadian rower

Gordon Milne (born 1937), English former footballer and football manager

Herbert Milne (born 1884), Australian rules footballer

Iain Milne (born 1958), former Scotland rugby union footballer

Jack Milne (1907–1995), international speedway rider

Jackie Milne (born 1911), Scottish footballer

Jimmy Milne (footballer, born 1911), Scotland player and manager

Kenny Milne (rugby union) (born 1961), former Scotland rugby union player

Kenny Milne (footballer) (born 1979), Scottish professional footballer with Scunthorpe United

Lachie Milne (born 1978), Australian slalom canoer

Leslie Milne (field hockey) (born 1956), US field hockey player

Malcolm Milne (born 1948), Australian Olympic skier

Pete Milne, former Major League Baseball outfielder

Ralph Milne, Scottish footballer with Dundee United and Manchester United

Ray Milne, former Scottish–U.S. soccer defender

Riley Milne, Australian rules footballer with Hawthorn

Robert Milne (footballer), Scottish-born footballer who played for Ireland

Ross Milne, Australian Olympic downhill skier

Shawn Milne (born 1981), American road bicycle racer

Stephen Milne, Australian rules footballer

Steven Milne (born 1980), Scottish footballer

Vic Milne (1897–1971), footballer who played Aston Villa

Wilfred Milne (born 1899), English former professional footballer

William Milne (sport shooter) (born 1852), British Olympic sport shooterIn other fields:

Alasdair Milne, former Director-General of the BBC

Alex Milne (artist), comic book artist

Alexander Milne (civil servant), British civil servant

Alexander Milne (entrepreneur), entrepreneur

Andy Milne, Canadian jazz pianist and composer in New York

Anna-Louise Milne, specialist of Twentieth Century Parisian History and Culture

Christopher Milne (born 1950), Australian actor and award-winning writer

Dan Milne, British actor/director who is possibly best known for his role in EastEnders

David Milne (artist) (1882–1953), Canadian painter

Glenn Milne, News Ltd. journalist and National Press Club vice-president

Hamish Milne, British pianist and a professor of Music

Lawrence Arabia, real name James Milne, solo artist and bassist for Okkervil River

James Lees-Milne (1908–1997), English writer and expert on country houses

Jennifer Keeler-Milne (born 1961), Australian contemporary artist

Jimmy Milne (trade unionist), STUC General Secretary

John Milne (journalist), retired BBC Scotland presenter

Joshua Milne (1776–1851), English actuary

Kevin Milne (born 1949), New Zealand television presenter

Kirsty Milne (1964–2013), English-born Scottish journalist

Mrs. Leslie Milne (1860–1932), English traveler in Northern Burma

Milne & Co, South Australian wine merchants

Paula Milne, British screenwriter who has been active since the 1970s

Robert Milne known as Robert Lyon (Australian settler), advocate of Australian Aboriginal rights

Ronald Milne (born 1957), British librarian and administrator

Stewart Milne (born 1950), businessman from Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Tom Milne (1926–2005), British film critic

Walter Milne (died 1558), the last Protestant martyr to be burned in Scotland

William Milne (missionary) (1782–1834), British Protestant missionary to China

William J. Milne (educator) (1843–1914), American educator

Milne baronets

The Milne Baronetcy, of Barnton, Dumfries, was a title in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia. It was created on 19 March 1686 for Robert Milne with remainder to his heirs male whatsoever. Sir Robert Milne purchased Barnton in 1680, but due to financial problems sold it before 1698. On the death of Sir John the baronetcy became either extinct or dormant.

The Milne Baronetcy, of Inveresk in the County of East Lothian, was a title in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom. It was created on 1 November 1876 for Sir Alexander Milne, a distinguished admiral of the Royal Navy. The baronetcy became extinct in 1938 on the death of the second Baronet, Sir Archibald Berkeley Milne.

Sebastopol Monument

The Sebastopol Monument (also known as the Crimean War monument and the Welsford-Parker Monument) is a triumphal arch that is located in the Old Burial Ground, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The arch commemorates the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855), which is one of the classic sieges of all time. This arch is the 4th oldest war monument in Canada (1860). It is the only monument to the Crimean War in North America. The arch and lion were built in 1860 by stone sculptor George Lang to commemorate British victory in the Crimean war and the Nova Scotians who had fought in the war.

Britain and France invaded Crimea and decided to destroy the Russian naval base at the capital Sevastopol. They landed at Eupatoria on 14 September 1854, intending to make a 35-mile triumphal march to Sevastopol the capital of Crimea, with 50,000 men.

To traverse the 35 miles, the British forces fought for a year against the Russians. Inscribed on the monument are names of the battles the British army fought to reach the capital: "Alma" (September 1854), "Balaklava" (October 1854), "Inkerman" (November 1854), "Tchernaya" (August 1855), "Redan" (September 1855), and, finally, "Sebastopol" (September 1855). (During the siege, the British navy made six bombardments of the capital: October 17, 1854; April 9, June 6, June 17, August 17, and September 5, 1855.) The culminating struggle for the strategic Russian port in 1854-5 was the final bloody episode in the costly Crimean War.

During the Victorian Era, these battles were repeatedly memorialized. The Siege of Sevastopol was the subject of Crimean soldier Leo Tolstoy's Sebastopol Sketches and the subject of the first Russian feature film, Defence of Sevastopol. The Battle of Balaklava was made famous by Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade" and Robert Gibb's painting Thin Red Line. (Treating the wounded from these battles was celebrated English nurse Florence Nightingale.)

The Nova Scotia memorial also commemorates two Haligonians, Major Augustus Frederick Welsford of the 97th Regiment and Captain William Buck Carthew Augustus Parker of the 77 Regiment, who both died in the Battle of the Great Redan in 1855 during the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855), in present-day Crimea which was annexed by Russia in 2014. The monument was unveiled on 17 July 1860. It cost 500 pounds.During March and April 1855, Nova Scotian Joseph Howe worked tiredlessly to recruit troops for the war effort. (Another Nova Scotian, Sir William Williams, 1st Baronet, of Kars also became famous during the Crimean War as Commander during the Siege of Kars. He later became Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia.)

Senior Naval Lords (1689–1771)
First Naval Lords (1771–1904)
First Sea Lords (1904–present)


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