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National Maritime Museum

Hewett, Sir William Nathan Wrighte, Vice-Admiral (1834-1888)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 HEW

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Hewett, Sir William Nathan Wrighte, Vice-Admiral (1834-1888)

Date(s): [1852-1965]

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 1 box and oversize packet

Name of creator(s): Hewett | Sir | William Nathan Wrighte | 1834-1888 | Knight | Admiral


Administrative/Biographical history:

Hewett entered the navy in 1847, serving as midshipman in the second Anglo-Burmese War of 1852-3. In 1854 he was acting mate of the BEAGLE and in command of a Lancaster gun in the battery before Sevastopol, he gallantly opened fire on a Russian column ordered to spike the gun and withdraw the men. His action proved decisive using grapeshot and wheeling the gun around and firing within 300 yards. His involvement at Inkermen (5 Nov 1854) proved distinguished and Captain Lushington promoted him to Lieutenant and with seniority on 26 October 1854. He was also appointed Commander of the Beagle until 1857. One of the first recipients of the Victoria Cross for his conduct on 26 October and 5 November 1854, he appeared In the Gazette on 24 February 1857. Later Hewett was appointed commander of the ROYAL YACHT in 1858, then continued to command the VIPER, RINALDO and BASILISK. He was flag captain to Sir H Kellet in the OCEAN, 1870-2 and captain of DEVASTATION, 1872-3. From 1873-6 he was commodore and commander- in- chief on the west coast of Africa. He was made KCB on 31 March 1874 and later was also KCSI, chevalier of the Legion d?Honneur, member of the order of the Mejidiye and the Abyssinian order of Solomon. In 1877 he was appointed to the ACHILLES and commander-in- chief in the East Indies in April 1882. He became vice-admiral on 8 July 1884 and between 1886-8 was in command of the channel fleet. He was sent as a patient to Haslar Hospital, Gosport, where Hewett died on 13 May 1888.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir William Nathan Wrighte Hewett. The collection includes his commissions and certificates of service, official letters from the Admiralty concerning honours and awards, Admiralty correspondence 1856-84, private letters 1852-1965, votes of thanks from the House of Commons and Lords, 1874-1885 and including his passport book and note books.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

In transit - item unavailable from May to August 2011

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 collection has been on loan since September 1978 and presented to the NMM on 28 June 2007.



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Jul 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: 2011-04-19

Naval affairs | Military affairs | Military science | Social sciences
Naval education

Personal names
Hewett | Sir | William Nathan Wrighte | 1834-1888 | Knight | Admiral

Corporate names