Alexander Hood, younger brother of Samuel, Viscount Hood (q.v.), entered the Navy in 1741 and was made lieutenant in 1746. During the Seven Year War he served in the Mediterranean and under Hawke (q.v.) in the Channel. He was made captain in 1756 and, after further service in the Channel and in the Mediterranean, was promoted to rear-admiral in 1780. From 1784 to 1790 he was a Member of Parliament for Bridgwater, after which he sat for Buckingham until 1796. In 1787 he was promoted to vice-admiral and in 1794 to admiral. In that year he was appointed second-in-command of the Channel Fleet, under Lord Howe (q.v.), and took part in the battle of the First of June, after which he was given an Irish peerage. In the following year when Howe was ashore because of ill-health, he won a partial victory over the French Fleet. For this action, he was raised to the peerage of Great Britain. When Howe finally retired in 1797, Hood was made Commander-in-Chief of the Channel Fleet. In 1800 he was relieved by St. Vincent and accepted no further active command. He was created a viscount in the same year.
The papers form a small part of the collection presented by a descendant, Commander Mackinnon, in 1952. They consist of letters from Bridport to his first and second wives, 1761 to 1799. There are also a number of other letters, including two from Lord Howe, 1787.