Thomas Hamilton

1754 -1815. He was a younger son of Dr William Hamilton of Dublin.

Hamilton was commissioned lieutenant on 29 April 1778, and he was promoted commander of the Rattlesnake 18 on 29 November 1785 by Commodore Phillips Cosby on the Mediterranean station in succession to Commander John Melcombe, who had committed suicide on a point of honour. He retained her into the following year when she returned to Portsmouth from Gibraltar on 23 June and was paid off.

He was posted captain on 22 November 1790 of the Cleopatra 32 for purposes of rank only, and 29 October 1793 was appointed to the Resource 28, which he appears to have joined some weeks later, and in which he went out to the Leeward Islands in March 1794 to join Vice-Admiral Sir John Jervis’ campaign. Here he transferred to the Ceres 32 in May, but by August his command was back in England where he left her on account of his ill-health.

Hamilton did not see any further service at sea, but he did command the Sea Fencibles at Margate for several years over the turn of the century, and in June 1803 he was appointed a commissioner of the Transport Board. Three years later, in June 1806, it was announced that he was to succeed Captain Sir Andrew Snape Hamond as a commissioner of the Navy, and although he was promoted rear-admiral on 25 October 1809 he retained his position as a commissioner and the handsome sinecure that went with it against all precedence until December 1813.

Hamilton was further advanced to the rank of vice-admiral on 4 June 1814, and he died on 26 June 1815.

In 1786 he married Sally Keeble, the daughter of the composer John Keeble. A son, Rev. John Leveson Hamilton, was born at Little Hadham, Hertfordshire. His residence at the time of his death was given as Newman Street, Middlesex.

Hamilton was an expert on naval architecture, and he designed a gunboat that was well received and saw service at Gibraltar.