Historic British Admiral's Sea Chest- Admiral Lord Sir William FitzRoy of Grafton

This authentic historical Sea Chest belonged to The Honorable William FitzRoy, June 1, 1782-- May 13, 1857 -- "Admiral Lord Sir William FitzRoy" as he insisted on being addressed. This chest dates to approximately 1810- made of Oak Boards, ¾" thick in original, un-restored, as found condition, with dovetailed corner joints and iron strapping. There are two large wrought iron handles on the exterior sides. The slightly domed lid has a heavy brass plaque [5¾" X 2 5/8"] inscribed- BEF Hon. William FitzRoy. The original lock with brass escutcheon and key is in perfect working order. The interior is lined with original paper, as shown in photo #6 [often used as endpaper in antique books of the same period]- the lid is lined with green felt padded with excelsior. once again, this Sea Chest has not been restored but is very sturdy, all the joints are tight, no holes or broken boards. There are a few missing nails to one of the hasp straps which is bent, as shown in photo #4. Dimensions- 35½" long, 21½" deep, 24¾" high. A word or two about Admiral Lord Sir William FitzRoy; In 1800, at the age of 18, Midshipman Lord William FitzRoy, 4th Son of The Duke of Grafton became a Lieutenant in The British Royal Navy, This commission was undoubtedly not earned but purchased, as was the custom of the time. In 1804 he became Post Captain and was appointed command of the Frigate HMS Macedonian in 1810. [The HMS Macedonian was the second ship to be lost by the British in the War of 1812- taken into the US Navy shortly after capture.] FitzRoy was generally thought of as arrogant and harsh to his crew. In March 1811 he faced Court Marshal charges of Falsifying Expense Reports [cooking the books] for profit. He was found guilty of "False Expense of Stores- Tyranny & Oppression" and dismissed from service. He was reinstated 5 months later and despite his general loutishness and flouting of Naval Authority he continued to advance in rank and although discreetly denied active command after 1811, he progressed inevitably up the Naval ladder becoming an Admiral and drawing an Admiral's pay until his death in 1857. He held the office of Member of Parliament for Thetford 1806-1812, was invested as a Knight Commander, Order of Bath. He married Georgiana Raikes in 1816 and had 2 children- Harriet Elizabeth and Francis Horatio.

Item ID: RL6982


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Margaret Mullich, Grantsville, MD   

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