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Sir William Parker
1 December 1781 – 13 November 1866
Admiral of the Fleet Sir William Parker Bt
Place of birth Almington, Staffordshire
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Rank Admiral of the Fleet
Commands held First Naval Lord
Battles/wars Napoleonic Wars
Awards GCB

Admiral of the Fleet Sir William Parker, 1st Baronet, GCB (1 December 1781 – 13 November 1866) was born at Almington, Staffordshire, England. He was not related to the previous Admiral Sir William Parker. His father, George Parker, was the second son of Sir Thomas Parker, who had been Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer. Sir Thomas Parker's nephew (by marriage to his daughter Martha) was John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent.

Naval career

William Parker entered the Royal Navy in February 1793 as a captain's servant on the HMS Orion, serving under Captain John Thomas Duckworth. The Orion was part of the Channel fleet under Lord Howe and took part in the Battle of The Glorious First of June. When Captain Duckworth was assigned to another ship, Leviathan, Parker followed him, and sailed with him to the West Indies where Duckworth appointed him acting lieutenant of the frigate Magicienne. In May 1798 he was appointed to the Queen, flagship of Sir Hyde Parker, and on May 1, 1799 became acting captain of the Volage. During the next few months he cruised in the Gulf of Mexico and the coast of Cuba.

In 1800 he returned to England and then spent nearly a year in the North Sea with the blockade fleet off Brest. He became Post Captain in October 1801. In November he assumed command of HMS Amazon, which he commanded for nearly 11 years. He was attached to the fleet under Admiral Lord Nelson and accompanied the fleet to the West Indies. The Amazon was then sent on a cruise westward and therefore missed the Battle of Trafalgar. She was later attached to a squadron under Sir John Borlase Warren, participating in the capture of the French ships Marengo and Belle Poule at the Action of 13 March 1806. Parker was almost constantly on the move with the Amazon, mainly along the coast of Spain and Portugal, until January 1812 when the ship was paid off.

Parker purchased Shenstone Lodge near Lichfield, where he lived for the next 15 years. In 1827, however, he returned to sea as captain of HMS Warspite, and acted in 1828 as senior officer off the coast of Greece. In December that year he was appointed to command the royal yacht. On 22 July 1830 he was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral and in April 1831 was appointed second in command of the Channel Squadron, under Sir Edward Codrington. In September 1831 he was detached on an independent command on the Tagus, aboard Asia where he went to protect British interests during the Portuguese Civil War. When he returned to England he was appointed one of the Lords of the Admiralty. He left the Admiralty in 1841, and was appointed commander-in-chief in China. Parker sailed for Hong Kong and assumed command of the squadron on 10 August 1841. The British proceeded to capture Amoy, Ningpo, Woosung and Shanghai, ending with the seizure of Chin-kiang-foo and closing the entrance to the Grand Canal on July 21, 1842. Parker received a G.C.B. in 1843, a good-service pension in 1844 and a baronetcy in 1841. In November of that year he had been appointed Vice-Admiral and in 1845 was commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean. In 1846, because of his knowledge of Portugal and its politics, he was appointed to command the Channel Fleet. In 1848, however, he returned to the Mediterranean. In 1852 he attained the rank of Admiral and returned to England.

He continued to be active, serving as a consultant on a variety of projects. In 1863 he became an Admiral of the Fleet. He died on 13 November 1866 from complications from bronchitis. He was buried in his parish churchyard near his home at Shenstone Lodge, and a monument to his memory was erected in Lichfield Cathedral.


Military offices
Preceded by
George Dundas
Second Naval Lord
Succeeded by
Sir John Beresford, Bt
Preceded by
Sir John Beresford, Bt
Second Naval Lord
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Troubridge, Bt
Preceded by
Sir George Cockburn
First Naval Lord
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Adam
Preceded by
Lord Amelius Beauclerk
First and Principal Naval Aide-de-Camp
Succeeded by
The Earl of Lauderdale
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Francis Austen
Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Sir George Francis Seymour
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New title Baronet
(of Shenstone)
Succeeded by
William Biddulph Parker

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