Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Calder, Sir Robert, baronet, a distinguished British naval officer, was born on July 2nd, 1745, and, entering the navy, assisted, in 1762, in the capture of the rich register ship Hermione in the Mediterranean. He subsequently served in the West Indies as a lieutenant, and in 1780 was made a post captain. In 1794 he commanded the Theseus, 74, in Lord Howe's fleet, but was not fortunate enough, having been just previously dispatched with a convoy, to be present at the victory of the Glorious First of June. In 1796, in the Victory, 100, he became captain of the fleet to Sir John Jervis, and, as such, participated with honour in the battle off Cape St. Vincent on February 14th, 1797. For this service he was at once knighted, and in the following year he received a baronetcy. On February 14th, 1799, he was promoted to be rear-admiral, and in 1801, with part of the Channel fleet, was dispatched in pursuit of Rear-Admiral Gantheaume, who had escaped from Brest. He did not, however, succeed in catching him. In 1804 he became vice-admiral, and on July 22nd, 1805, being then again in command of a squadron in the Channel, with fifteen sail of the line under his orders, met a combined Franco-Spanish fleet of twenty sail of the line. In spite of his inferiority he gallantly attacked the enemy, and succeeded in capturing the San Rafael, 84, and the Firme, 74. Having been, nevertheless, blamed for not further pursuing his advantage, Sir Robert demanded a court-martial, which ultimately declared that he had not done his utmost to renew the engagement and to take or destroy every ship of the enemy. This neglect was attributed to an error in judgment, and the vice-admiral was, in consequence, severely reprimanded. Public opinion, when it had had time to cool, recognised that the conclusion was not just. Calder's victory was indeed a real victory, and, in the view of many, it was more important in its political and strategical than even in its material results. In the middle of 1810 this gallant officer became commander-in-chief at Portsmouth, and on July 31st of the same year he reached the rank of admiral. He died at his seat at Holt, near Bishop's Waltham, on September 1st, 1818.