Anthony Hiley Hoskins

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Admiral SIR Anthony Hiley Hoskins, G.C.B., Royal Navy (1 September, 1828 – 21 June, 1901) was an officer of the Royal Navy.

Life & Career

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Hoskins born at North Perrott near Crewkerne, Somerset, on 1 Sept. 1828, was the fourth son of Henry Hoskins (1790–1876), rector of North Perrott, by his wife Mary, daughter of the Rev. William Phelips of Montacute. The Somerset branch of the Hoskins family settled in that county in the seventeenth century. Mary, daughter of Richard Hoskins, of a related branch of the family (of Beaminster, Dorset), married Samuel Hood and was mother of the two admirals, Samuel Hood, first Lord Hood, and Alexander Hood, first Lord Bridport. From school at Winchester Hoskins entered the navy in April 1842, taking with him a proficiency in classical learning unusual at his early age. In his first ship, the Conway, he is said, probably with some exaggeration, to have acted as Greek coach to one of the lieutenants, Montagu Burrows. In the Conway Hoskins remained for some years, participating in several fights with Arab slavers in the Mozambique and in the attack on Tamatave.[1] Afterwards, in the President, he continued on the same station, employed on similar service.

On 26 May 1849 he was made lieutenant, and while in the Castor on the Cape Station was lent to Sir Henry Smith as A.d.C. during the Kaffir war of 1851–2. In 1857 he took the gunboat Slaney out to China, and in her took part in the capture of Canton on 28 Dec. This won for him his promotion to commander's rank on 26 Feb. 1858; but remaining in the Slaney, he was in her in May in the gulf of Pe-che-li, and was present at the reduction of the Taku forts and in the operations in the Pei-ho leading to the occupation of Tien-tsin. On 12 Dec. 1863 he was promoted to be captain. In 1869–72 he commanded the Eclipse on the North American station; in 1873–4 the Sultan, in the Channel fleet; and in 1875–8 was commodore in Australian waters. On 22 January, 1877, Hoskins was appointed a Naval Aide-de-Camp to Queen Victoria, vice Stirling.[2] On the occasion of the Queen's birthday he was appointed an Ordinary Member of the Military Division of the Third Class, or Companion, of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.) on 2 June.[3] He was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral on 15 June 1879, and from 1880 was a Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty, from which post he was sent out to the Mediterranean, where the Egyptian troubles after the bombardment of Alexandria were urgently calling for reinforcements.

On 17 November, 1882, he was knighted and appointed an Ordinary Member of the Second Class, or Knight Commander, in the Military Division of the Order of the Bath (K.C.B.).[4] To June 1885, when he became vice-admiral, he was superintendent of naval reserves, and was then for nearly four years again a lord commissioner of the admiralty. From March 1889 he was commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean till 20 June 1891, when he was promoted to the rank of Admiral, vice Somerset,[5] and was appointed Senior Naval Lord of the Admiralty.

In accordance with the provisions of the Order in Council of 22 February, 1870, he was placed on the Retired List on 1 September, 1893.[6] He was appointed an Ordinary Member of the First Class, or Knight Grand Cross, in the Military Division of the Order of the Bath (G.C.B.) on 17 November.[7] In his retirement he lived mostly in London, taking much interest in naval and geographical societies till his death, which took place at Capel, near Dorking, on 21 June 1901. He was buried at North Perrott, when the king and the admiralty were officially represented. His portrait was executed by Henry Tanworth Wells, R.A., in 1901 for Grillion's Club. A caricature by "Spy" appeared in Vanity Fair during 1883.

Stern, strict, and even severe in his service relations, he was in his private and personal character one of the most genial of men.

He married, on 27 Oct. 1865, Dorothea Ann Eliza, second daughter of the Rev. Sir George Stamp Robinson, seventh baronet. She died on 7 Oct. 1901, without issue.

See Also


  • "Admiral Sir Anthony Hoskins" (Obituaries). The Times. Saturday, 22 June, 1901. Issue 36488, col D, p. 9.
  • Gordon, Andrew (2005). The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command. London: John Murray (Publishers). ISBN 0719561310. (on and

Service Records


  1. Clowes. The Royal Navy. Vol. VI. pp. 345-6.
  2. The London Gazette: no. 24413. p. 502. 2 February, 1877.
  3. The London Gazette: no. 24467. p. 3497. 2 June, 1877.
  4. The London Gazette: no. 25169. p. 5166. 17 November, 1882.
  5. The London Gazette: no. 26174. p. 3300. 23 June, 1891.
  6. The London Gazette: no. 26438. p. 5057. 5 September, 1893.
  7. The London Gazette: no. 26459. p. 6423. 17 November, 1893.
  8. Clowes. The Royal Navy. Vol. VII. p. 89.
  9. Clowes. The Royal Navy. Vol. VII. p. 89.
  10. Hoskins Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/36. f. 634.
  11. The Naval Staff of the Admiralty. p. 119.
  12. Clowes. The Royal Navy. Vol. VII. p. 87.
  13. The Naval Staff of the Admiralty. p. 118.