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National Maritime Museum

Foley, Admiral Sir Thomas (1757-1833)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 FOL

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Foley, Admiral Sir Thomas (1757-1833)

Date(s): 1797-1832

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 2ft; 62cm

Name of creator(s): Foley | Sir | Thomas | 1757-1833 | Knight | Admiral


Administrative/Biographical history:

Foley entered the Navy in 1770 and after early service in Newfoundland and the West Indies was promoted to lieutenant in 1778. During the American War he saw service in the Channel, North America and the West Indies. In 1782 he was promoted to commander and in 1790 to captain. After a period on the Home Station, he was Flag-Captain in the BRITANNIA at the battle of Cape St Vincent, 1797, and in the GOLIATH he led the Fleet into action at the Nile, 1798. In 1800, Foley was appointed to the ELEPHANT in the Channel Fleet, going later to the Baltic, where he served at the battle of Copenhagen, 1801. Foley 'was then ill and unfit for service for several years until his appointment as Commander-in-Chief in the Downs from 1811 to the peace, 1815. He had been promoted to rear-admiral in 1808, became a vice-admiral in 1812 and in 1825 an admiral. In 1830 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth, where he served until his death. There is a privately printed biography by John Beresford Herbert, The life and services of Admiral Sir Thomas Foley, G.C.B., Rear-Admiral of Great Britain (Cardiff, 1884).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir Thomas Foley, consisting of about 630 letters received by Foley between 1797 and 1832. Much of the correspondence concerns the promotion of young officers. There are approximately 140 correspondents; those with more than a few letters include Prince William Henry, Admiral Sir Richard Bickerton (1759-1832), Admiral Sir Richard Keats (q.v. ), Robert Saunders Dundas, Lord Melville (q.v.), Earl St Vincent (q.v.), Admiral Sir Robert Stopford (q.v.), Admiral Sir William Young (1751-1821) and Vice-Admiral Sir William Hope (1766-1831).


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were purchased in 1953 from Christie's through the Caird Fund.



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Jun 2011.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2010-08-26

Napoleonic Wars (1800-1815) | Wars (events)
Naval affairs | Military affairs | Military science | Social sciences

Personal names
Bickerton | Sir | Richard Hussey | 1759-1832 | Knight | Admiral
Dundas | Robert Saunders | 1771-1851 | 2nd Viscount Melville | Scots statesman
Foley | Sir | Thomas | 1757-1833 | Knight | Admiral
Hope | Sir | William Johnstone | 1766-1831 | Knight | Vice Admiral
Jervis | John | 1735-1823 | Earl of St Vincent | Admiral of the Fleet
Keats | Sir | Richard Goodwin | 1757-1834 | Knight | Admiral | Governor of Newfoundland
Stopford | Sir | Robert | 1768-1847 | Knight | Admiral
William Henry | 1743-1805 | Prince | Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh
Young | Sir | William | 1749-1815 | 2nd Baronet | Governor of Tobago

Corporate names
Royal Navy