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Sir John Orde papers

 Collection
Call Number: OSB MSS 133

Scope and Contents

The Orde Papers consist of correspondence, letterbooks, order books, signal logs, and related naval and Admiralty papers that document aspects of Sir John Orde's naval career, primarily during the Napoleonic Wars. The papers span the dates 1789-1878, but the bulk of the material dates from between 1796 and 1805, and provides substantial information related to Orde's bitter disputes with the Admiral of the Fleet John Jervis, Lord St. Vincent; his rivalry with Horatio Nelson; and his career frustration with the entire Admiralty Board. The collection also contains information on his tenure as governor of Dominica and his suppression of mutinies at Plymouth and on the Princess Royal. The Orde Papers offer valuable insight into the Royal Navy's organization and actions during a crucial period of the Napoleonic Wars, as well as into the often conflicting professional agendas of the individual officers under its command.

Dates

  • 1789 - 1878
  • Majority of material found within 1798 - 1805

Creator

Language

English

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Sir John Orde Papers are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Lot 119 from Christie's sale of Wednesday, 7 June 2006. The Sir John Orde Papers were purchased from Bernard Quaritch, Ltd. on the James Marshall and Marie-Louise Osborn Fund, 2006.

Arrangement

The collection is organized into four series: I. Correspondence; II. Letterbooks, Order Books, and Orders; III. Signal Books and Logs; and IV. Admiralty Papers.

Extent

11.38 Linear Feet (17 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.orde

Overview

The papers consist of correspondence, letterbooks, order books, signal logs, and related naval and Admiralty papers that document aspects of Sir John Orde's naval career, primarily during the Napoleonic Wars. The collection provides substantial information related to Orde's bitter disputes with Admiral of the Fleet John Jervis, Lord St. Vincent; his rivalry with Horatio Nelson; and his professional frustration with the workings of the Admiralty Board and its bureaucracy. The collection also contains information on Orde's tenure as governor of Dominica and his suppression of mutinies at Plymouth and on board the Princess Royal. In addition to Lord St. Vincent and Horatio Nelson, correspondents include Baron Gambier, Sir John Duckworth, Sir Evan Nepean, Viscount Melville, and other contemporary naval and political figures.

Sir John Orde, 1751-1824

Sir John Orde, first baronet, naval officer and politician, was born in Morpeth, England in 1751, the youngest son of John Orde (circa 1704-circa 1786) and the brother of Thomas Orde-Powlett, first Lord Bolton. Orde entered the navy in 1766; in 1773 he was promoted to lieutenant; and, during the American War of Independence, he was promoted to captain and took part in the reduction of Charlestown and the capture of several American ships. In 1781 he married Margaret Emma (1759-1790), daughter of Richard Stevens of Charlestown.

After the war, Orde was appointed governor of Dominica, where he governed successfully enough to be awarded a baronetcy in 1790; but when war broke out with France in 1793, Orde returned to the navy. Promoted to Rear Admiral in 1795, he served in the Mediterranean Fleet under John Jervis, Earl St. Vincent. However, a complaint that St. Vincent wrongly attributed to Orde sparked an acrimonious dispute between them, resulting in St. Vincent's command that Orde return to England; Orde's request that St. Vincent be court-martialed; his frustrated attempts to challenge St. Vincent to a duel; and pamphlets that Orde circulated privately defending his actions.

In 1804, having been promoted to Vice Admiral several years earlier, he commanded a successful blockade of Cadiz on Spain's entry into the war. Following complaints by Horatio Nelson, however, that Orde's blockade restricted his own opportunities to obtain prize money, Orde requested to return to England despite the ongoing war, occasioning another scandal.

In 1805 Orde was promoted to Admiral of the Blue, in 1809 to Admiral of the White, and in 1814 to Admiral of the Red. From 1807 to 1812 he served as Member of Parliament for Yarmouth. He died in 1824 after a long illness and was buried in Hanwell, Middlesex. His second wife, Jane (circa 1773-1829), daughter of John Frere, died in 1829; their son, John Powlett Orde, inherited the baronetcy on his father's death.

For further information, see Orde's entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Title
Guide to the Sir John Orde Papers
Author
by Anna Chen and Diane Ducharme
Date
2009
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2010-02-10: Transformed with yale.addEadidUrl.xsl. Adds @url with handle for finding aid. Overwrites @url if already present.

Repository Details

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977