MEMOIR OF THE HONOURABLE GEORGE KEITH ELPHINSTONE K.B., VISCOUNT KEITH, ADMIRAL OF THE RED.

Allardyce, Alexander.


£150.00




1st.ed., Edinburgh & London, 1882. Viii + 433 pp. Port. frontis., + 2 other photogravure plates , + 4 maps & plans (3 fldg.). Original brown cloth ; gilt, with armorial gilt front cover ; edges uncut. 22 x 16cm. Lord Keith’s dates on spine ; head of spine chipped o/w V.G. Armorial Bookplate of Admiral Sir Arthur Cavenagh Leveson, GCB, RN., 1868-1929. (Admiral Leveson entered BRITANNIA in 1881 and qualified in gunnery in 1891. He was serving as Gunnery Lieutenant aboard HMS VICTORIA when the battleship collided with the CAMPERDOWN off Tripoli, Lebanon and quickly sank taking 358 officers and men with her. On the outbreak of WWI, he was second-in-command of the 2nd Battle Squadron and fought at Jutland in 1916 and was mentioned in dispatches and received various awards. Appointed Rear-Admiral Commanding H.M. Australian Fleet in 1917 ; commanded 5th Battle Squadron in 1918 ; and 2nd Battle Squadron in 1919. He was C-in-C on the China station 1922-1925). This remains the only full biography of a remarkable seaman - George Elphinstone, later Admiral Lord Keith (1746-1823). Elphinstone was born in the county of Stirling and his biographer, Alexander Allardyce (1846-1896) based his study largely on the subject’s own journals, dispatches and letters. Elphinstone’s early days in the Royal Navy included service under Jervis, and in 1767 he undertook a voyage to China. During the American War of Independence, he served chiefly ashore and fought in the reduction of Charleston in 1780. When war with France broke out in 1793 Elphinstone took possession of Fort La Malgue near Toulon. In the following year, he became a rear-admiral and in 1795 was appointed c-in-c of the Indian Squadron. He compelled the Dutch to retire from their camp at Muizenberg and in 1796 he received the surrender of a Dutch squadron in Saldanha Bay and captured the Cape of Good Hope. The Sheerness mutiny was suppressed largely by his efforts in 1797 and he allayed disaffection among the sailors at Plymouth, becoming Lord Keith that same year. In 1799, he was in Spanish waters when he sighted and chased a French fleet that eluded him and entered Brest, the enemy having escaped from the Mediterranean. In 1800 Keith entered Genoa which he had successfully blockaded in co-operation with an Austrian force. He took over the command of the Mediterranean from St. Vincent and had Nelson under his orders - although the two men did not rub along and Nelson returned to England. Keith went on to command the North Sea in 1803 and played a significant role in Napoleon’s exile to St. Helena in 1815. He died in 1823, the same year as Jervis, his old commander.


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