Sosa : 174
Contre-amiral de la Royal Navy (1825)

  • Born 1 January 1769 - Hilgay, County Of Norfolk, ENGLAND
  • Deceased in 1834 - Southampton, Hampshire, Angleterre, ROYAUME-UNI , age at death: 65 years old


 Spouses and children





Individual Note

Thomas Manby was born in 1769. He joined the Royal Navy in 1783 and was appointed to accompany Captain George Vancouver on his voyage to the North Pacific Ocean and the Pacific Northwest in 1790. The purpose of this voyage was to carry the Nootka treaty into effect, to go to the Sandwich Islands and then the Northwest Coast, there to examine all the European settlements, explore the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and investigate the story of the "Washington's" having circumnavigated Vancouver Island. The expedition departed with two ships, the Discovery and the Chatham. Manby was first a mate on the Discovery and was later appointed the master of the Chatham.
The expedition proceeded to the Cape of Good Hope. They entered the Indian Ocean on August 17, 1791 and stopped at New Holland, New Zealand, and Otahita Island, en route to the Sandwich Islands. They then sailed to the Pacific Northwest in search of a Northwest Passage, explored the Northwest Coast, including the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Port Discovery, Nootka Sound and Karakakooah Bay. The voyage was completed in 1795. Manby was later commissioned and rose to the rank of Rear Admiral. He died in 1834.
(l'orignal de son journal est conservé à l'université de Yale)
The journal is divided into two parts. It is arranged in chronological order. The first part covers the voyage from Deptford, England around the Cape of Good Hope to Australia, New Zealand, the Sandwich Islands, and the coast of America, February 10, 1791 to April 19, 1792. The second part covers the explorations along the coast in search of a Northwest Passage, the Straits of Juan de Fuca, Nootka Sound, the Columbia River, San Francisco and Monterey, winter in the Sandwich Islands and then the return to the Northwest coast and Nootka Sound. The journal ends on June 30, 1793.

Manby (1769-1834) entered the Royal Navy in 1783 and made an early name for himself on George Vancouver’s explorations of the northern Pacific. He commanded the captured French privateer HMS Bourdelais from 1799 to 1802 and in 1801 fought a famous little action in her against three French ships of much superior manpower, driving two off and sinking the third. Manby retired from active service on health grounds in 1808, but was promoted Rear-Admiral by seniority in 1825. He died in a Southampton hotel from a opium overdose in 1834. The pencil notation referred to reads ‘Inventor of the Life Boat’, but this was in fact one of the claims to fame of his elder brother George William Manby (1765-1854), a gentleman engineer and inventor who promoted many life-saving devices.

Thomas Manby was born in Hilgay, Norfolk on 01 January 1769. His father, Matthew Pepper Manby had been a marine officer and a captain in the Welch fusiliers. Importantly, he had been aide-de-camp to George, Marquis of Townshend when the marquis was lord lieutenant of Ireland from 1767 to 1772. The Townshend home was Raynham Hall in Norfolk, only a few kilometres to the northeast of Hilgay. A friendship had developed between the families that proved very useful as Townshend helped Thomas Manby's career and Thomas repaid him by having features named after the marquis on the Northwest Coast of America.
Manby joined the Royal Navy in 1783 and went to sea on the Hyaena on the Irish station. In 1785, he went to the West Indies on the Cygnet before transferring to the Amphion and then the Illustrious. Manby was then selected for Vancouver's voyage to the Northeast Pacific. Thomas Manby joined the Discovery on 29 December 1790 as a master's mate until 01 June 1791. He was an A.B. from 01 June 1791 to 26 September 1792. Manby transferred to become master of the Chatham on 27 September. On 25 November 1794, Manby moved back to be 3rd lieutenant on the Discovery. He kept a log (Adm 53/403 ff 187 to 245. Discovery. 16 Dec. 1790 to 05 Jun.1792; ff 252 to 257. Discovery. 06 Jun. 1792 to 26 Sep. 1792; Adm 51/2251. Chatham. 27 Sep. 1792 to 08 Oct. 1794; Adm 53/403 ff 246 to 251. Chatham. 09 Oct. 1794 to 25 Nov. 1794; ff 257 to 300. Discovery. 02 Dec. 1794 to 02 Jul. 1795). His journal, which was written in the form of letters to John Lees in Ireland, is held at Yale University Library. Manby Point at Yakutat Bay was named after him.
After the Vancouver expedition, Manby, who had been acting lieutenant on the Discovery, was confirmed in that rank on 27 October 1795. He was posted to the Juste in 1796 and then, early in 1797, Manby was given command of the Charon having been promoted commander on 15 February 1797. An expedition to the Pacific was planned but did not eventuate. Instead the Charon transported troops, led convoys and cruised against privateers.
Manby was promoted captain on 22 January 1799 and, at the end of the year, was appointed to the Bourdelais, which was being refitted at Plymouth. A former French privateer, it had been captured in 1799. The Bourdelais was commissioned on 04 February 1800 by Captain Manby and sailed in a gale on 13 April for Cork. The weather off the south of Ireland was very bad and Bourdelais needed repairs, which necessitated a return to Plymouth. She came out of dock on 15 May and sailed on a cruise off the coasts of Spain and Portugal on 02 May. On 12 June, the Phoenix, a Danish schooner, was captured near Corunna.
Manby and the Bourdelais returned to Plymouth on 27 July. However, on 09 November, the ship was damaged in a gale in the Channel and had to go into Portsmouth harbour for more repairs. In early December 1801, the Bourdelais sailed from Portsmouth with a convoy to the West Indies but it was dispersed in a gale off Cape Finisterre, On 08 January 1801, off Palma, a strange sail was sighted to the south-east. Two boats were despatched under Lieutenant Robert Barrie (a colleague from the Vancover expedition) to investigate. After a 14 hour row Barrie recaptured the Adventure (a London vessel, recently taken by the Mouche, a French privateer). With knowledge gained, Manby searched for another vessel recently captured by the Mouche and retook the Aurora off Santa Cruz in Teneriffe.
In late January 1801, the Bourdelais was ordered to cruise off Barbados to provide protection for the scattered convoy and, on the 29th, Manby saw three enemy sail to windward, two brigs and a schooner. He shortened sail to allow them to come up and, at sunset, wore round to give them battle. One of the brigs was attacked while the others kept out of range. The Curieuse surrendered and first lieutenant Barrie took possession though it later sank. The other two French ships sailed away. Manby learned that the ships had been sent out from Cayenne by Victor Hugues 28 days before to intercept the outward bound West Indies fleet. The Bourdelais made for Carlisle Bay in Barbados, arriving on 01 February 1801.
During 1801 and early 1802, Manby was employed in cruising in the Bourdelais. When peace came he took over from Captain Dundas in the Juno and sailed it back to Britain, arriving on 08 July. In November 1802, Thomas Manby was given the appointment as captain of the Africaine by Earl St. Vincent. The ship was commissioned at Deptford and Manby was ordered to blockade two French frigates in Helvoetsluys. They remained on this service for two years until the frigates were dismantled. The Africaine joined other vessels watching the Dutch fleet in the Texel. During a gale off the Texel a piece of Africaine's rudder broke off and damaged the stern post causing a refit at Sheerness.
Manby then went back to the West Indies as the Africaine escorted a large convoy there on 19 June 1805, calling at Surinam, Demerara, and various islands. She arrived in Barbados with a crew of 340 men all in perfect health. Sir Alexander Cochrane ordered him to return to Britain with the homebound trade, taking as passengers invalids from the hospitals in Barbados. 48 hours after sailing, yellow fever broke out which killed one third of the crew in the six weeks it took her to reach Falmouth. The surgeon and the assistant surgeon died on the second day and Manby, himself, carried out their duties dispensing large doses of calomel on the advice of a doctor at St Kitts. Manby had an attack of the fever and it affected his subsequent health. After spending 40 days in quarantine off the Scilly Islands, the Africaine was put out of commission at Sheerness.
About the time of Manby's appointment to the Africaine, he was presented by Lady Townshend to the Princess of Wales, who was friendly towards him. It was suggested by some that the Princess had been too familiar with Manby and that Manby was even the father of one of her children! Manby swore an affidavit on 22 September 1806 that the rumours were 'a vile and wicked invention, wholly and absolutely false'.
In 1807, Manby sailed to Jersey in the Thalia (originally the Unicorn) to be in command of a small squadron. He captured a French privateer, the Requin, off Cherbourg on the morning of 29 October. The next year, 1808, Manby, in the Thalia and accompanied by the Medusa and Locust, was sent to the Davis Strait in a fruitless search for two French frigates supposed to be threatening the Greenland fishery. After 12 weeks of sailing in fog among icebergs, Manby found an anchorage on the coast of Labrador, which he named Port Manvers, before returning to Britain via Cadiz and Gibraltar.
Manby's health was no longer good and he gave up his command. He purchased an estate at Northwold in Norfolk, where he settled for the rest of his life. Thomas married Judith Hammond on 01 March 1810 at Northwold, Norfolk. Together, they had two daughters. One daughter was called Georgina Manvers Manby. Manby was promoted to the rank of rear-admiral of the blue in 1825 and of the white in 1830.
Manby wrote his will (see below) on 18 February 1833 when he was living at Somerford near Christchurch in Hampshire. The tone of the writing suggests he was very ill and had lost his sight. It may also be that he was living in Hampshire, estranged from his wife, though she is the principal beneficiary of the will. He died from an overdose of opium at the George Hotel, Southampton, on 13 June 1834 and, given the circumstances just mentioned, the action may have been suicide. The will was proven on 25 June 1834 11/1833).
Text of will
In the name of God, amen
I, Thomas Manby, Rear Admiral of the White, do make this my last will and testament on this 18th day of February 1833 at Summerford near Christchurch, Hants.
That when it shall please almighty to move me from this world that I give all and every thing I possess to my wife, Judith Manby, my house and lands with all the property I hold at Northwold in the County of Norfolk
and money in the 3 per cent xxxxx, this day amounts to six thousand and twenty four pounds, out of which I have settled one hundred a year on my daughter, now a widow, from the time of her marriage
and the remainder of my funded property I hope my wife will give to my youngest daughter, Georgina Manvers Manby, when she marries.
My wife will possess one hundred a year from her uncle and aunt, Thomas Savery, esq., and two hundred a year for her life from Alderman Wood and all the money at my lawyers and agents
and I do regret I have nothing more to leave her, all my other effects such as plate, books, etc I have long disposed of and I pray God to bless her and my xxx children. I write with difficulty and from having nearly lost the use of my sight.
My bankers, Messrs. Barclay & xxxxx, 54 Lombard St., will xxxxx with her for all my funded property as will my agents, Thomas Stillwell, 22 Arundel St., Strand.
I, Thomas Manby, Rear Admiral, who this day xxxx his seal SS and witness by his servants at Summerford near Christchurch, Hants this 18th of February 1833. James xxxx, Sarah xxxx, Sarah Coale.
I wish to be buried in the parish of Christchurch, a small marble slab placed in the wall near my grave.
Thomas Manby, Rear Admiral of the White.
On the 25th June 1834 xxxx with the will xxx of the goods, chattels and credits of Thomas Manby, formerly of Summerford near Christchurch in the County of Southampton and late of Montague Square in the parish of Saint Marylebone in the County of Middlesex, a rear admiral in His Majesty's Navy, deceased, was granted to Judith Manby, wife of the xxxx xxx and the reiduary legal named in the said will, having first sworn duly to xxx xxxx.
Notes for the will. Somerford has now been consumed by Christchurch and is a suburb to the east of the town centre. It has been tranferred from Hampshire into Dorsetshire.
I do not know the name of the widowed daughter (dec. 2005).
The use of the name Manvers is intriguing. In 1808, Manby had named an inlet, Port Manvers, on the coast of Labrador. Charles Herbert Pierrepont succeeded as 2nd Earl Manvers in 1816. He was a captain in the Royal Navy at the same time as Manby so it is possible they became close friends.
Thomas Savery - a connection between Manby and Savery (albeit thirty years after Vancouver's voyage) may explain the name for an island in the Georgia Strait. Saverys (or Savarys) lived in Norfolk.
Stillwell had been a partner with the Sykes family of naval agents until they died off. John Sykes had been a companion of Manby on the Vancouver voyage.

Voir aussi

  Photos and archival records

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sosa Thomas MANBY, Chevalier , Seigneur de Bawdes, de Ste Catherine (Lincolnshire) et de Lincoln Inn (Middlesex) 1656-1729   sosa Julian Mary SELBY   sosa Thomas HICKIN   sosa ? ?        


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sosa Francis MANBY, Sir , Ecuyer, seigneur de Bawdes   sosa Ann HICKIN   sosa John WOODCOCK, Ecuyer , Seigneur de Kings Synn, Norfolk   sosa ? ?


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sosa Matthew Pepper MANBY, Seigneur de Hilgary Norfolk 1735-1774   sosa Mary WOODCOCK 1741-1783

sosa Thomas MANBY, Contre-amiral de la Royal Navy (1825) 1769-1834

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