Thursday, October 31, 2019

A Memorial to an Admiral

Moving along in our review of some of the heraldic memorials and monuments in Canterbury Cathedral, we come to a comparatively modest memorial to Admiral of the Blue* Richard Edwards, Esq.

The inscription reads:

To the Memory of
Richard Edwards, Esqr.
Admiral of the Blue
who departed this Life the 3d Februy, 1795,
in the 76th Year of his age

His remains are interred under
a Black Marble nearly beneath this

It appears that he was promoted to the rank of Admiral of the Blue less than a year before his death in Fordwich, Kent. Nonetheless, he served a long and distinguished career, and was twice Governor of Newfoundland, Canada, both times in time of war: first in 1757 for the defense of the colony against the French; and second in 1779 for the defense of the colony against American privateers.

This painting of then-Rear Admiral of the Blue Richard Edwards was made by Nathaniel Dance in 1780.

Richard Edwards Royal Navy Admiral by Nathaniel Dance 1780.jpg

At the top of this memorial is a painted depiction of his coat of arms:

The arms are blazoned: Per bend sinister ermine and counter-ermine a lion rampant and a bordure engrailed or.

* That is, Admiral of the Blue Squadron of the Royal Navy, at that time the third highest rank in the Navy, the two higher officers being 1, the Admiral of the Fleet, and 2, the Admiral of the White Squadron. (In 1805 a new rank, Admiral of the Red Squadron was added between the Admiral of the Fleet and the Admiral of the White Squadron, making Admiral of the Blue Squadron the fourth highest rank in the Navy.)

Stuff you might never otherwise have known had you not read this blog.

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