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National Maritime Museum

Bethune, Charles Ramsey Drinkwater (1802-1884)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 DRW

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Bethune, Charles Ramsey Drinkwater (1802-1884)

Date(s): [1815-1835]

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 4 vols

Name of creator(s): Bethune | Charles Ramsey Drinkwater | 1802-1884 | Admiral


Administrative/Biographical history:

Bethune was the son of the army officer and historian Colonel John Drinkwater (d 1844) and it was not until 1837 that he took the name Bethune. He entered the Navy in 1815 as a first-class volunteer in the NORTHUMBERLAND and sailed in her from 1815 to 1816 on the voyage taking Napoleon to exile in St Helena. In 1817 he joined the LEANDER in North America; he then went to South America, where he served in the SUPERB and the CREOLE from 1819 until 1823. Still on this station, he was promoted to lieutenant, 1823, and joined the DORIS and then the BARHAM until promoted to commander in 1828. From 1828 to 1829 he commanded the ESPIEGLE, Jamaica Station. He was promoted to captain in 1830. At Palmerston's request, in 1835, he joined the Embassy of the Earl of Durham (1792-1840) to Russia to report on the naval installations in the Black Sea. Later he served in the East Indies and in the China War. He was made rear-admiral in 1855, vice-admiral in 1862, admiral in 1866 and retired in 1870.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Charles Ramsey Drinkwater Bethune comprising letters, written mainly by Bethune to his family, 1815 to 1835, and a number of watercolours.


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 presented in 1958 by Captain R M Roberts.



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

Naval affairs | Military affairs | Military science | Social sciences
Naval operations | Military operations | Military engineering
Watercolour painting | Painting | Fine arts

Personal names
Bethune | Charles Ramsey Drinkwater | 1802-1884 | Admiral

Corporate names
Royal Navy

Saint Helena | Southern Africa
North America
South America