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Uncatalogued: Hamilton, Sir John, d.1858 & Smithett, Sir Luke, Fl. 1814-1871, Royal Navy Packet Service


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Collection Archive
Gallery locationNot on display

Record details:

Biographical details Smithett joined the packet service in 1814 and was on the Dover Station from 1821 to 1825, when he went to the Port Patrick (SW Scotland) service. He returned to Dover in 1831 and was still there in 1837 when the operation of the mail steam vessels was transferred from the control of the Post-Master General to that of the Admiralty; he continued to serve at Dover until 1855, when another change in policy led to the substitution of contract packets; the naval connection was formally ended in 1860. Smithett subsequently held occasional employment as a pilot for the Royal Yacht but no record can be found of any further service after 1857. He was knighted in 1862. He was unsuccessful in an attempt to rescue Louis Phillipe I and his family when he, as last king of France, abdicted in 1848. He was in command of the vessel which brought the Emperor and Empress of France in 1855 and was at Calais in 1854 at the embarkation of the French Fleet for the Baltic. Sir John Hamilton was uncle to Sir Luke Smithett. Luke entered the packet service in 1814 and took up the position of mail officer with Hamilton on board the LORD DUNCAN. This he did until in 1921 he took up position as master of his own packet.
Description Four volumes of bound letters, circa 1820-1860; slip case containing letter from Baron Stockmar to Smithett, 6 February 1858, enclosing part of a letter to him from Queen Victoria on the death of Hamilton; packet of letters concerning Smithett's unsuccessful attempt to rescue Louis Phillipe and his family, 1848 and loose letters to Smithett, 1854-1870. See also SMI/1.
Date made 1854-1870

Finding Reference MSS/84/004
Catalogue section Uncatalogued material
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Extent 1 box
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