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Home-Loney-Background-The Royal Navy-Obituaries

The following obituary for William Houston Stewart appeared in the Times newspaper.

Obituary from the Times newspaper
14 November 1901

Admiral Sir William Houston Stewart, G.C.B.

We regret to announce the death, of Admiral Sir William Houston Stewart, G.C.B., which took place yesterday at 51, Hans-road, S.W.

Sir W. Houston Stewart was the third son of the late Admiral of the Fleet Sir Houston Stewart, G.C.B. He entered the naval service in 1835, and as a midshipman of the Tweed saw service during the Carlist War of 1836-37, doing duty on shore with the Royal Marine battalion under General Sir de Lacey Evans. As a midshipman of the Carysfort in the Mediterranean he was present at the bombardment of St. Jean d’Acre in 1840, and was mentioned in despatches for gallant conduct at the attack on Tortosa, For these services he received the Syrian and Turkish medals with clasp. He also received the thanks of the Humane Society for saving life. In 1841 he became a mate after passing the customary examination and on June 28, 1842, received his commission as lieutenant. In this grade he served as flag lieutenant to Sir E.D. King, the Commander-in-Chief at the Nore, and also passed an examination in steam at Woolwich, which was exceptional at the time. In May, 1848, he was commissioned as commander with the influence of his father and friends, and almost immediately hoisted his pennant in the Virago, paddler. While in this vessel he was instrumental in retaking the revolted Chilian colony of Sandy Point in the Straits of Magellan and bringing the garrison prisoners to Valparaiso. He at the same time released the illegally captured British brigantine Eliza Cornish, with freight of dollars and silver ore, and the American barque Florida. For this service he received the thanks of the French, American, and Chilian Governments. Returning home he was on July 9, 1854, promoted to captain and in command of the Firebrand was present at the naval operations in the Black Sea during the Crimean campaign, and specially mentioned for services at the bombardment of Sevastopol, where he was wounded. He was rewarded with the Crimean and Turkish medals, Sevastopol clasp, Medjidieh of the 4th class, Legion of Honour, and C.B. In the second year’s operations of the war he was transferred to the Baltic commanding the Dragon, and at the bombardment of Sveaborg was placed in charge of a division of gun-boats and mortar boats. He was specially commended in despatches for his "conspicuous zeal and ready resource" and received |the Baltic medal. His next appointment was as Captain-Superintendent of Chatham Dockyard, 1863 to 1868.

Attaining flag rank in April, 1870, Rear-Admiral Stewart was made Superintendent of Devonport Dockyard in that year, and so continued until 1872, when he was transferred to a similar post at Portsmouth Yard. After a very short time he left Portsmouth for Whitehall, and remained at the Admiralty as Comptroller of the Navy until 1881. During this period he was promoted to Vice-Admiral, November 12, 1876, made K.C.B., June 2, 1877, and became Admiral, November 23, 1881. In December of the last-named year he was made Commander-in-Chief at Devonport, a post he held for three years, and retired shortly afterwards.

Sir Houston Stewart, who was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a member of the council of the Royal United Service Institution, and connected with many benevolent naval societies, continued to take the keenest interest in service matters to the last. He was made G.C.B. in June, 1887, on the occasion of the celebration of the completion of the 50th year of Queen Victoria’s reign, and from 1804 held a good service pension for flag-officers. He was married twice, first in 1850 to a daughter of Eyre Coote, Esq., West-park, Hants, and secondly to a daughter of Admiral the Hon. Keith Stewart, C.B. He lost his only son, who was in the Navy, during operations in the Eastern Sudan.

18 November 1901Mr. Archibald W. Houston Stewart writes from Bedford to point out that the late Admiral Sir William Houston Stewart had two sons, of whom he is the survivor.

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