Edmund Lyons, 1st Baron Lyons
Admiral Edmund Lyons, 1st Baron Lyons, GCB
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

Royal Guelphic Order
The Royal Guelphic Order, sometimes also referred to as the Hanoverian Guelphic Order, is a Hanoverian order of chivalry instituted on 28 April 1815 by the Prince Regent . It has not been conferred by the British Crown since the death of King William IV in 1837, when the personal union of the...

 (21 November 1790 – 23 November 1858) was a British naval commander and diplomat who led a distinguished career in the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

, culminating with the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

 and his appointment as Commander of the Black Sea Fleet. He also held various diplomatic posts, including ambassadorial positions in Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 and to the newly established court of King Otto of Greece
Otto of Greece
Otto, Prince of Bavaria, then Othon, King of Greece was made the first modern King of Greece in 1832 under the Convention of London, whereby Greece became a new independent kingdom under the protection of the Great Powers .The second son of the philhellene King Ludwig I of Bavaria, Otto ascended...



Edmund Lyons was born at Whitehayes House, Burton, near Christchurch, Hampshire, 21 November 1790. He died at Arundel Castle, Sussex, 23 November 1858. He was the fourth son of John Lyons
John Lyons of Antigua
John Lyons was an Antiguan politician.Lyons was born on the island of Antigua. His father, John Lyons , was an eminent figure on Antigua, being a member of council from 1764-1775...

 of Antigua and St. Austin's, Hants, and Catherine (née Walrond), daughter of Maine Swete Walrond, 5th Marquis de Vallado
Marquis de Vallado
The title Marquis de Vallado is a Spanish title bestowed upon Humphrey Walrond on August 5, 1653 by King Philip IV of Spain.Humphrey Walrond was a distinguished Royalist commander, and subsequent Governor of Barbados...


Naval service

He joined the Royal Navy in 1803 and in 1810 was in the 18-gun sloop HMS Barracouta at the capture of Banda Neira
Banda Neira
Banda Neira is the only settlement of significant size on any of the Banda Islands, located in the Maluku province of Indonesia. The town is located on the central island of the Bandas group, Banda Neira, the only one of the islands with enough flat space to allow a small town...

 in New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

 from the Dutch. The following year he led a launch's crew in the storming of Fort Marrack west of Batavia. In 1814 he commanded the sloop HMS Rinaldo in the fleet that escorted the French King Louis XVIII from England to France. After the peace following the Napoleonic Wars Lyons was, like many other officers, unable to find employment, until in 1828 he was appointed to command the 46-gun frigate HMS Blonde
HMS Blonde (1819)
HMS Blonde was a 46-gun modified Apollo-class fifth-rate frigate of 1,103 tons burthen. She undertook an important voyage to the Pacific in 1824...

, in which he attacked a Turkish force in Morea
The Morea was the name of the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. It also referred to a Byzantine province in the region, known as the Despotate of Morea.-Origins of the name:...

 Castle near Patras
Patras , ) is Greece's third largest urban area and the regional capital of West Greece, located in northern Peloponnese, 215 kilometers west of Athens...

. In 1829 he cruised in the Black Sea
Black Sea
The Black Sea is bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean...

, and in 1831 was appointed to command of the frigate HMS Madagascar
HMS Madagascar (1822)
HMS Madagascar was a 46-gun fifth-rate Seringapatam-class frigate, built at Bombay and launched on 15 November 1822.The Bavarian Prince Otto who had been selected as the King of Greece was delivered to his new capital Nafplion in 1833....

, whose previous captain, Sir Robert Spencer
Robert Spencer
Robert Bruce Spencer is an American author and blogger best known for critiques of Islam and research into Islamic terrorism and jihad. He has published ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers, and is a regular contributor to David Horowitz's FrontPage Magazine and Human Events...

, had died at Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

. Lyons brought the Madagascar home to England but sailed again in her for the Mediterranean in February 1832, and in August transported the newly-chosen King Otto of Greece from Brindisi
Brindisi is a city in the Apulia region of Italy, the capital of the province of Brindisi, off the coast of the Adriatic Sea.Historically, the city has played an important role in commerce and culture, due to its position on the Italian Peninsula and its natural port on the Adriatic Sea. The city...

 to Nauplia.


His friendship with the Greek King was an important factor in his subsequent career. After Madagascar returned to England in 1834 Lyons saw no opening for him in the peacetime navy but accepted a diplomatic mission to Greece from Lord Palmerston; after this was concluded he was appointed British Minister at Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 and left the Navy at the age of 45. In 1849 he became Minister Plenipotentiary to the Confederated States of the Swiss Cantons and in view of his services was made a Rear-Admiral of the Blue in the following year. In 1851 he was appointed Minister at Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...


Crimean War

In 1853 at the urging of Sir James Graham he was persuaded to return to naval service and was appointed second-in-command of the Mediterranean fleet. He also received a pension of £900 per annum for his years of diplomatic service. Hoisting his flag as Rear-Admiral of the White on board the steam frigate HMS Terrible
HMS Terrible (1845)
HMS Terrible was when designed the largest steam-powered wooden paddle wheel frigate built for the Royal Navy. She was designed by Oliver Lang and laid down at HMNB Devonport under the name HMS Simoom, but was renamed on 23 December 1842, and launched on 6 February 1845...

 on 5 November 1853, he left England for the Dardanelles
The Dardanelles , formerly known as the Hellespont, is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with its counterpart the Bosphorus. It is located at approximately...

, where he joined his flagship, the steam ship of the line HMS Agamemnon
HMS Agamemnon (1852)
HMS Agamemnon was a Royal Navy 91-gun battleship ordered by the Admiralty in 1849 in response to the perceived threat from France by their possession of ships of the Napoléon class...

 of 91 guns. Throughout 1854 Lyons was an invaluable second to the naval commander-in-chief, Admiral Sir James Deans Dundas
James Whitley Deans Dundas
Admiral Sir James Whitley Deans Dundas GCB was a Royal Navy officer and a First Sea Lord.-Naval career:...

, throughout the operations, reconnoitering Russian positions, co-operating with the French and Turkish navies, transporting the British army to the Crimea, and taking a leading part in the bombardment of Sevastopol
Sevastopol is a city on rights of administrative division of Ukraine, located on the Black Sea coast of the Crimea peninsula. It has a population of 342,451 . Sevastopol is the second largest port in Ukraine, after the Port of Odessa....

. On 20 December Admiral Dundas departed from the fleet, which he left under the command of Rear-Admiral Lyons, who was presently confirmed as Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet
Mediterranean Fleet
Several countries have or have had a Mediterranean Fleet in their navy. See:* Mediterranean Fleet * French Mediterranean Fleet* Mediterranean Squadron * United States Sixth Fleet...



Edmund Lyons was created K.C.H. (1835), G.C.B (Civil & Military), G.C.M.G., Baronet (1840) and, in 1856, elevated to the peerage as Baron Lyons, of Christchurch. He was the recipient of various other foreign honours, namely:
  • 1828 - Knight of the Order of St Louis (France)
  • 1833 - Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer
    Order of the Redeemer
    The Order of the Redeemer , also known as the Order of the Savior, is an order of Greece. The Order of the Redeemer is the oldest and highest decoration awarded by the modern Greek state.- History :...

  • Grand Cross of the Order of the Medjidie, 1st Class (Ottoman Empire)
  • Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour (France)
  • Grand Cross of the Military Order of Savoy (Italy)

Death and issue

Edmund, Lord Lyons, died on 23 November 1858. His body was interred in the vault beneath the Fitzalan Chapel at Arundel Castle
Arundel Castle
Arundel Castle in Arundel, West Sussex, England is a restored medieval castle. It was founded by Roger de Montgomery on Christmas Day 1067. Roger became the first to hold the earldom of Arundel by the graces of William the Conqueror...

. A full lifesize marble statue by Matthew Noble
Matthew Noble
Matthew Noble was a British sculptor.-Life:Noble was born in Hackness, near Scarborough, as the son of a stonemason, and served his apprenticeship under his father. He left Yorkshire for London when quite young, there he studied under John Francis...

 was erected to his memory in 1860 in St. Pauls Cathedral, London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...


In 1814 he had married Augusta Louisa Rogers (1791–1852), younger daughter and co-heiress of Captain Josias Rogers, R.N., by whom he had two sons and two daughters:
Anne Theresa Bickerton Lyons
Anne Theresa Bickerton Lyons
Hon. Anne Theresa Bickerton Lyons was born in 1815, to Edmund Lyons and Augusta Louisa...

1815 1894 married 1839, Philip Hartmann Veit von Würtzburg, Baron von Würtzburg
Richard Bickerton Pemell Lyons 1817 1887 2nd Baron Lyons, 1st Viscount (1881), gazetted an Earl (1887)
Edmund Moubray Lyons
Edmund Moubray Lyons
Edmund Moubray Lyons was born October 27, 1819, the second son of Admiral Sir Edmund Lyons and Augusta Louisa .Edmund entered the Royal Naval College on 1829-07-10...

1819 1855 Captain R.N.; killed in the Crimean War
Augusta Mary Minna Catherine Lyons 1821 1886 married 1839, Henry Granville Fitzalan-Howard, Lord Fitzalan, later 14th Duke of Norfolk
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