Royal Navy obituary in the Times newspaper
Royal Navy obituary in the Times newspaper

Royal NavyObituaries

The following obituary for Hon. Henry John Rous appeared in the Times newspaper.

Obituary in the Times newspaper
20 June 1877


We regret to announce the death last night of this veteran sportsman at his house in Berkeley-square. For some days, notwithstanding his advanced age hopes were entertained that he would rally from the illness which had prostrated him. Yesterday morning, however, the physicians reported an unfavourable change in the symptoms, with increasing weakness and exhaustion, and at half-past 10 last night the end came. Admiral the Hon. Henry John Rous was the second son of the late Earl of Stradbroke, and was born in January, 1795, so that he has passed away in his 83d year. In 1808 he entered the Navy, and served as a midshipman in the expedition to Flushing. He afterwards was appointed to the Bacchante, under Sir W. Hoste, and received a medal for bravery in various boat actions and land expeditions. In 1823 he was made Captain, and in command of the Rainbow served on the Indian and New Holland stations between l825 and l829. Some years afterwards he performed a feat of seamanship of which he was justly proud. While in command of the Pique, she struck on a reef of rocks on the Labrador coast, and was much damaged. Captain Rous, however, brought her across the Atlantic with a sprung foremast and without a keel, forefoot, or rudder, though the ship was making 23 inches of water an hour. This feat has often been cited as an instance of the resources and skill, to say nothing of the courage, of seamen of the old school; and the Admiral himself often expressed in the columns of The Times his fears that the introduction of steam had weakened the self-reliance of naval officers, and deteriorated their seamanship. in 1841 Admiral Rous was returned for Westminster in the Conservative interest, but was rejected in 1846. Notwithstanding his defeat, Sir Robert Peel appointed him a Lord of the Admiralty. It was as a sportsman, however, and not as a politician or even as a sailor, that Admiral Rous will best be remembered. For close upon 40 years he may be said to have been almost supreme as an authority upon the turf; and it was a supremacy marked by the most perfect fairness and good sense. He has been a steward of the Jockey Club almost uninterruptedly, we believe, since 1838, and his work on "The Laws and. Practice of Horse Racing" procured for him he title of the "Blackstone of the Turf." Few men have been more prominent in London society, and few will be more missed.

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