Algernon Frederick Rous de Horsey

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Admiral SIR Algernon Frederick Rous de Horsey, K.C.B., Royal Navy (25 July, 1827 – 22 October, 1922) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

De Horsey was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 26 July, 1846.

On the day of the failed Chartist demonstration in London on 10 April, 1848, de Horsey was serving as a Special Constable "and was required to patrol the vicinity of Grosvenor-square and Upper Grosvenor-street, where my father lived." Sixty-six years later he still served as a Special Constable.[1]

He was promoted to the rank of Commander on 10 June, 1853.

He was promoted to the rank of Captain on 7 September, 1857.

Flag Rank

De Horsey was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 7 May, 1875, vice Osborn.[2] He was appointed Commander-in-Chief on the Pacific Station on 6 August, 1876, and took command on 23 September. In July, 1879, he received Their Lordships' severe displeasure for installing a poop on Triumph without sanction, and received Their displeasure again for the "tone" of his explanation. The Board apparently unanimously considered de Horsey "totally unfit" to command and placed their opinion on the record "for information of future Boards of Admiralty." He struck his flag on 10 September and arrived back in Britain on 13 October. He was promoted to the rank of Vice-Admiral on 27 November, vice Inglefield.[3]

During his five years on half-pay de Horsey wrote a number of letters to The Times newspaper, on subjects as varied as bilge keels on the Atalanta, ship insurance, and telegrams.

He was appointed Senior Officer in Command of the Channel Squadron on 4 December, 1884, the Board of the day having decided that having apologised the earlier Board's decision should be put aside. He was promoted to the rank of Admiral on 29 April, 1885, vice Ryder,[4] and hoisted his flag at the main the following day. On 7 May he struck his flag.

Upon the death of Sir Provo Wallis on 13 February, 1892, de Horsey, as the senior Admiral on the Active List, ought to have been promoted to the rank of Admiral of the Fleet. Instead, Queen Victoria chose Sir John E. Commerell to fill the vacancy.[5] In accordance with the provisions of the Order in Council of 22 February, 1870, de Horsey was placed on the Retired List on 25 July.[6]

On the occasion of the King's birthday, de Horsey was appointed an Ordinary Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, in the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.) on 9 November, 1903.[7]

On 7 November, 1913, de Horsey was appointed a Deputy Governor of the Isle of Wight.[8]

He resigned the chairmanship of the Isle of Man bench in 1918.[9]

He left a son and two daughters. His son, Spencer Victor Yorke de Horsey, had an eventful career and reached flag rank. One of his daughters married Captain Thomas V. W. Phillips, R.A. Their son was Admiral Sir T. V. S. Phillips who was killed with the loss of Force Z in 1941 off Malaya.

Lady de Horsey died on 1 March, 1929, at Melcombe House, Isle of Wight, aged ninety-three.[10]


  • "Doyen of the Navy" (Obituaries). The Times. Monday, 23 October, 1922. Issue 43169, col A, p. 12.
  • Clowes, Sir Wm. Laird (1903). The Royal Navy: A History From the Earliest Times to the Death of Queen Victoria. Vol. VII. London: Sampson Low, Marston and Company Limited.

Service Records

Naval Appointments
Preceded by
George Hancock
Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Station
6 Aug, 1876 – 10 Sep, 1879
Succeeded by
Frederick H. Stirling
Preceded by
H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh
Senior Officer in Command, Channel Squadron
4 Dec, 1884[11]
Succeeded by
William H. Whyte


  1. "Wanted A Commander in Chief" (Letters to the Editor). The Times. Tuesday, 14 April, 1914. Issue 40497, col E, p. 9.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 24208. p. 2627. 14 May, 1875.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 24787. p. 6939. 28 November, 1879.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 25466. p. 1984. 1 May, 1885.
  5. Clowes. The Royal Navy. Vol. VII. pp. 13-14.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 26311. p. 4316. 29 July, 1892.
  7. The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27613. p. 6851. 9 November, 1903.
  8. The London Gazette: no. 28773. p. 7965. 14 November, 1913.
  9. "News in Brief" (News in Brief). The Times. Friday, 15 February, 1918. Issue 41714, col F, p. 3.
  10. "Lady de Horsey" (Obituaries). The Times. Saturday, 2 March, 1929. Issue 45141, col D, p. 14.
  11. De Horsey Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 312.