Peter Lindsay Weir, AM is an Australian film director. He was a leading figure in the Australian New Wave cinema movement, with films such as the mystery drama Picnic at Hanging Rock, the supernatural thriller The Last Wave and the historical drama Gallipoli; the climax of Weir's early career was the $6 million multi-national production The Year of Living Dangerously. After the success of The Year of Living Dangerously, Weir directed a diverse group of American and international films covering most genres—many of them major box office hits—including Academy Award-nominated films such as the thriller Witness, the drama Dead Poets Society, the romantic comedy Green Card, the social science fiction comedy-drama The Truman Show and the epic historical drama Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World. For his work on these five films, Weir accrued six Academy Award nominations as either a director, writer or producer. Since 2003, Weir's productivity has declined, having directed only one subsequent feature, the critically acclaimed but financial flop The Way Back.
Weir was born in the son of Peggy and Lindsay Weir, a real estate agent. Weir attended The Scots College and Vaucluse Boys' High School before studying arts and law at the University of Sydney, his interest in film was sparked by his meeting with fellow students, including Phillip Noyce and the future members of the Sydney filmmaking collective Ubu Films. After leaving university in the mid-1960s he joined Sydney television station ATN-7, where he worked as a production assistant on the groundbreaking satirical comedy program The Mavis Bramston Show. During this period, using station facilities, he made his first two experimental short films, Count Vim's Last Exercise and The Life and Flight of Reverend Buckshotte. Weir took up a position with the Commonwealth Film Unit, for which he made several documentaries, including a short documentary about an underprivileged outer Sydney suburb, Whatever Happened to Green Valley, in which residents were invited to make their own film segments. Another notable film in this period was the short rock music performance film Three Directions In Australian Pop Music, which featured in-concert colour footage of three of the most significant Melbourne rock acts of the period, The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band and Wendy Saddington.
He directed one section of the three-part, three-director feature film Three To Go, which won an AFI award. After leaving the CFU, Weir made his first major independent film, the short feature Homesdale, an offbeat black comedy which co-starred rising young actress Kate Fitzpatrick and musician and comedian Grahame Bond, who came to fame in 1972 as the star of The Aunty Jack Show. Homesdale and Weir's two aforementioned CFU shorts have been released on DVD. Weir's first full-length feature film was the underground cult classic, The Cars That Ate Paris, a low-budget black comedy about the inhabitants of a small country town who deliberately cause fatal car crashes and live off the proceeds, it was a minor success in cinemas but proved popular on the then-thriving drive-in circuit. The plot of "Cars" had been inspired by a press report Weir had read about two young English women who had vanished while on a driving holiday in France, this film, along with the earlier Homesdale, set the basic thematic pattern which has persisted throughout Weir's subsequent career – all of his feature films deal with people who face some form of crisis after finding themselves isolated from society in some way – either physically, socially/culturally or psychologically.
Weir's major breakthrough in Australia and internationally was the lush, atmospheric period mystery Picnic at Hanging Rock, made with substantial backing from the state-funded South Australian Film Corporation and filmed on location in South Australia and rural Victoria. Based on the novel by Joan Lindsay, the film relates the purportedly "true" story of a group of students from an exclusive girls' school who mysteriously vanish from a school picnic on Valentine's Day 1900. Credited as a key work in the "Australian film renaissance" of the mid-1970s, Picnic was the first Australian film of its era to gain both critical praise and be given substantial international theatrical releases, it helped launch the career of internationally renowned Australian cinematographer Russell Boyd. It was acclaimed by critics, many of whom praised it as a welcome antidote to the so-called "ocker film" genre, typified by The Adventures of Barry McKenzie and Alvin Purple. Weir's next film, The Last Wave was a supernatural thriller about a man who begins to experience terrifying visions of an impending natural disaster.
It starred the American actor Richard Chamberlain, well-known to Australian and world audiences as the eponymous physician in the popular Dr. Kildare TV series, would star in the Australian-set major series The Thorn Birds; the Last Wave was a pensive, ambivalent work that expanded on themes from Picnic, exploring the interactions between the native Aboriginal and European cultures. It co-starred the Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil, whose performance won the Golden Ibex at the Tehran International Festival in 1977, but it was only a moderate commercial success at the time. Between The Last Wave and his next feature, Weir wrote and directed the offbeat low-budget telemovie The Plumber (
Richard Henry Dana Jr.
For other men with the same name, see: Richard Henry Dana. Richard Henry Dana Jr. was an American lawyer and politician from Massachusetts, a descendant of an eminent colonial family, who gained renown as the author of the American classic, the memoir Two Years Before the Mast. Both as a writer and as a lawyer, he was a champion of the downtrodden, from seamen to fugitive slaves and freedmen. Dana was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on August 1, 1815 into a family that had settled in colonial America in 1640, counting Anne Bradstreet among its ancestors, his father was critic Richard Henry Dana Sr.. As a boy, Dana studied in Cambridgeport under a strict schoolmaster named Samuel Barrett, alongside fellow Cambridge native and future writer James Russell Lowell. Barrett was infamous as a disciplinarian, he often pulled students by their ears and, on one such occasion, nearly pulled Dana's ear off, causing the boy's father to protest enough that the practice was abolished. In 1825, Dana enrolled in a private school overseen by Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom Dana mildly praised as "a pleasant instructor", though he lacked a "system or discipline enough to ensure regular and vigorous study."
In July 1831, Dana enrolled at Harvard College, where in his freshman year his support of a student protest cost him a six-month suspension. In his junior year, he contracted measles. Fatefully, the worsening vision inspired him to take a sea voyage, but rather than going on a fashionable Grand Tour of Europe he decided, despite his high-class birth, to enlist as a merchant seaman. On August 14, 1834 he departed Boston aboard the brig Pilgrim, captained by Frank Thompson, bound for Alta California, at that time still a part of Mexico; this voyage would bring Dana to a number of settlements in California. After witnessing Thompson's sadistic practices, including a flogging on board the ship, he vowed that he would try to help improve the lot of the common seaman; the Pilgrim collected hides for shipment to Boston, Dana spent much of his time in California at San Diego's Point Loma curing hides and loading them onto the ship. To return home sooner, he was reassigned by the ship's owners to a different ship: the Alert.
Of the return trip around Cape Horn in the middle of the Antarctic winter, Dana gives the classic account. He describes terrifying storms and incredible beauty, giving vivid descriptions of icebergs, which he calls incomparable; the most incredible part is the weeks and weeks it took to negotiate passage against winds and storms—all the while having to race up and down the ice-covered rigging to furl and unfurl sails. At one point he has an infected tooth, his face swells up so that he is unable to work for several days, despite the need for all hands. After the Horn has been rounded he describes the scurvy. In White-Jacket, Herman Melville wrote, "But if you want the best idea of Cape Horn, get my friend Dana's unmatchable Two Years Before the Mast, but you can read, so you must have read it. His chapters describing Cape Horn must have been written with an icicle."On September 22, 1836, Dana arrived back in Massachusetts. He thereupon enrolled at what is now Harvard Law School called the Dane Law School.
Graduated in 1837, he went on to specialize in maritime law. In the October 1839 issue of a magazine, he took a local judge, one of his own instructors in law school, to task for letting off a ship's captain and mate with a slap on the wrist for murdering the ship's cook, beating him to death for not "laying hold" of a piece of equipment; the judge had sentenced the captain to ninety days in the mate to thirty days. In 1841, Dana published The Seaman's Friend, which became a standard reference on the legal rights and responsibilities of sailors, he defended many common seamen in court. During his voyages he had kept a diary, in 1840 he published a memoir, Two Years Before the Mast; the term, "before the mast" refers to sailors' quarters, which were located in the forecastle, officers' quarters being near the stern. His writing evidences his sympathy for the oppressed. With the California Gold Rush in the decade, Two Years Before the Mast would become sought after as one of the few sources of information on California.
Dana became a prominent abolitionist, helping to found the anti-slavery Free Soil Party in 1848 and represented the fugitive slave Anthony Burns in Boston in 1854. He was a member of an organization that assisted fugitive slaves. In 1853 Dana represented William T. G. Morton in Morton's attempt to establish that he discovered the "anaesthetic properties of ether". In 1859, while the U. S. Senate was considering whether the United States should try to annex the Spanish possession of Cuba, Dana traveled there and visited Havana, a sugar plantation, a bullfight, various churches, hospitals and prisons, a trip documented in his book To Cuba and Back. During the American Civil War, Dana served as a United States Attorney, argued before the Supreme Court that the United States Government could rightfully blockade Confederate ports. After the close of the war he resigned his office, as he did not approve of President Andrew Johnson's policy of Reconstruction, denounced by "Radical Republicans" as being too moderate in terms of African American civil rights and punishment of former Confederates, entered private practice.
The Royal Navy is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France; the modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century. From the middle decades of the 17th century, through the 18th century, the Royal Navy vied with the Dutch Navy and with the French Navy for maritime supremacy. From the mid 18th century, it was the world's most powerful navy until surpassed by the United States Navy during the Second World War; the Royal Navy played a key part in establishing the British Empire as the unmatched world power during the 19th and first part of the 20th centuries. Due to this historical prominence, it is common among non-Britons, to refer to it as "the Royal Navy" without qualification. Following World War I, the Royal Navy was reduced in size, although at the onset of World War II it was still the world's largest.
By the end of the war, the United States Navy had emerged as the world's largest. During the Cold War, the Royal Navy transformed into a anti-submarine force, hunting for Soviet submarines and active in the GIUK gap. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, its focus has returned to expeditionary operations around the world and remains one of the world's foremost blue-water navies. However, 21st century reductions in naval spending have led to a personnel shortage and a reduction in the number of warships; the Royal Navy maintains a fleet of technologically sophisticated ships and submarines including two aircraft carriers, two amphibious transport docks, four ballistic missile submarines, six nuclear fleet submarines, six guided missile destroyers, 13 frigates, 13 mine-countermeasure vessels and 22 patrol vessels. As of November 2018, there are 74 commissioned ships in the Royal Navy, plus 12 ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary; the RFA replenishes Royal Navy warships at sea, augments the Royal Navy's amphibious warfare capabilities through its three Bay-class landing ship vessels.
It works as a force multiplier for the Royal Navy doing patrols that frigates used to do. The total displacement of the Royal Navy is 408,750 tonnes; the Royal Navy is part of Her Majesty's Naval Service, which includes the Royal Marines. The professional head of the Naval Service is the First Sea Lord, an admiral and member of the Defence Council of the United Kingdom; the Defence Council delegates management of the Naval Service to the Admiralty Board, chaired by the Secretary of State for Defence. The Royal Navy operates three bases in the United Kingdom; as the seaborne branch of HM Armed Forces, the RN has various roles. As it stands today, the RN has stated its 6 major roles as detailed below in umbrella terms. Preventing Conflict – On a global and regional level Providing Security At Sea – To ensure the stability of international trade at sea International Partnerships – To help cement the relationship with the United Kingdom's allies Maintaining a Readiness To Fight – To protect the United Kingdom's interests across the globe Protecting the Economy – To safe guard vital trade routes to guarantee the United Kingdom's and its allies' economic prosperity at sea Providing Humanitarian Aid – To deliver a fast and effective response to global catastrophes The strength of the fleet of the Kingdom of England was an important element in the kingdom's power in the 10th century.
At one point Aethelred II had an large fleet built by a national levy of one ship for every 310 hides of land, but it is uncertain whether this was a standard or exceptional model for raising fleets. During the period of Danish rule in the 11th century, the authorities maintained a standing fleet by taxation, this continued for a time under the restored English regime of Edward the Confessor, who commanded fleets in person. English naval power declined as a result of the Norman conquest. Following the Battle of Hastings, the Norman navy that brought over William the Conqueror disappeared from records due to William receiving all of those ships from feudal obligations or because of some sort of leasing agreement which lasted only for the duration of the enterprise. More troubling, is the fact that there is no evidence that William adopted or kept the Anglo-Saxon ship mustering system, known as the scipfryd. Hardly noted after 1066, it appears that the Normans let the scipfryd languish so that by 1086, when the Doomsday Book was completed, it had ceased to exist.
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, in 1068, Harold Godwinson's sons Godwine and Edmund conducted a ‘raiding-ship army’ which came from Ireland, raiding across the region and to the townships of Bristol and Somerset. In the following year of 1069, they returned with a bigger fleet which they sailed up the River Taw before being beaten back by a local earl near Devon. However, this made explicitly clear that the newly conquered England under Norman rule, in effect, ceded the Irish Sea to the Irish, the Vikings of Dublin, other Norwegians. Besides ceding away the Irish Sea, the Normans ceded the North Sea, a major area where Nordic peoples traveled. In 1069, this lack of naval presence in the North Sea allowed for the invasion an
John Marcellus Huston was an American film director and actor. Huston was a citizen of the United States by birth but renounced U. S. citizenship to become an Irish resident. He returned to reside in the United States, he wrote the screenplays for most of the 37 feature films he directed, many of which are today considered classics: The Maltese Falcon, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Asphalt Jungle, The African Queen, The Misfits, Fat City and The Man Who Would Be King. During his 46-year career, Huston received 15 Oscar nominations, won twice, directed both his father, Walter Huston, daughter, Anjelica Huston, to Oscar wins in different films. Huston was known to direct with the vision of an artist, having studied and worked as a fine art painter in Paris in his early years, he continued to explore the visual aspects of his films throughout his career, sketching each scene on paper beforehand carefully framing his characters during the shooting. While most directors rely on post-production editing to shape their final work, Huston instead created his films while they were being shot, making them both more economical and cerebral, with little editing needed.
Some of Huston's films were adaptations of important novels depicting an "heroic quest," as in Moby Dick, or The Red Badge of Courage. In many films, different groups of people, while struggling toward a common goal, would become doomed, forming "destructive alliances," giving the films a dramatic and visual tension. Many of his films involved themes such as religion, truth, psychology and war. Huston has been referred to as "a titan", "a rebel", a "renaissance man" in the Hollywood film industry. Author Ian Freer describes him as "cinema's Ernest Hemingway"—a filmmaker, "never afraid to tackle tough issues head on." John Huston was born on August 1906, in Nevada, Missouri. He was the only child of Canadian-born Walter Huston, his father was an actor in vaudeville, in films. His mother worked as a sports editor for various publications, but gave it up after John was born, his father gave up his stage acting career for steady employment as a civil engineer, although he returned to stage acting within a few years.
He became successful on both Broadway and in motion pictures. He had Scottish, Scots-Irish and Welsh ancestry. Huston's parents divorced in 1913, when he was six, as a result much of his childhood was spent living in boarding schools. During summer vacations, he traveled with each of his parents separately — with his father on vaudeville tours, with his mother to horse races and other sports events. Young Huston benefited from seeing his father act on stage, as he was drawn to acting; some critics, such as Lawrence Grobel, surmise that his relationship with his mother may have caused his five marriages, why few of his relationships lasted. Grobel wrote, "When I interviewed some of the women who had loved him, they referred to his mother as the key to unlocking Huston's psyche." According to actress Olivia de Havilland, "she was the central character. I always felt, he seemed pursued by something destructive. If it wasn't his mother, it was his idea of his mother."As a child he was ill and was treated for an enlarged heart and kidney ailments.
He recovered after an extended bedridden stay in Arizona, moved with his mother to Los Angeles, where he attended Abraham Lincoln High School. He dropped out after two years to become a professional boxer, by age 15 was a top-ranking amateur lightweight boxer in California, he ended his brief boxing career after suffering a broken nose. He "plunged" himself into a multitude of interests, including abstract painting, ballet and French literature and horseback riding. Living in Los Angeles he became "infatuated" with the new film industry and motion pictures, but as a spectator only. To Huston, "Charlie Chaplin was a god."He moved back to New York to live with his father, acting in off-Broadway productions, John had a few small roles. He remembers, while watching his father rehearse, being fascinated with the mechanics of acting: What I learned there, during those weeks of rehearsal, would serve me for the rest of my life. After a short period acting on stage, having undergone surgery, he traveled on his own to Mexico.
During his two years there, among his other adventures, he got a position riding as an honorary member of the Mexican cavalry. He married a girlfriend from high school, Dorothy Harvey, their marriage lasted seven years. During his stay in Mexico, he wrote a play called "Frankie and Johnny", based on the ballad of the same title. After selling it he decided that writing would be a viable career, he focused on it, his self-esteem was enhanced when H. L. Mencken, editor of the popular magazine American Mercury, bought two of his stories, "Fool" and "Figures of Fighting Men." During subsequent years his stories and feature articles were published in Esquire, Theatre Arts, The New York Times. He worked for a period on the New York Graphic. In 1931, when he was 25, he moved back to Los Angeles with his hopes aimed at writing for the blossoming film industry, where the silent film industry had given way to "talkies", writers were in demand. In addition, his father had earlier moved there where he was successful in a number of films.
He received a script editing contract with Samuel Goldwyn Productions, but after six months of receiving no assignments, quit to work for Universal Studios, whe
HMS Pandora (1900)
HMS Pandora was a Pelorus-class cruiser of the Royal Navy. There were eleven "Third class" protected cruisers in the class, designed by Sir William White. While well armed for their size, they were workhorses for the overseas fleet on "police" duties and did not serve with the main battlefleet, they displaced 2,135 tons, had a crew complement of 224 men and were armed with eight QF 4 inch guns, eight 3 pounder guns, three machine guns, two 18 inch torpedo tubes. With reciprocating triple expansion engines and a variety of boilers, the top speed was 20 knots. HMS Pandora was laid down at Portsmouth Dockyard on 3 January 1898, launched on 17 January 1900, when she was christened by Mrs. Napier, daughter of Admiral Sir Michael Culme-Seymour, Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth, she was commissioned for the 1901 naval maneuvers carried out a series of propeller trials at Portsmouth under Commander Somerset Gough-Calthorpe, before she was paid off on 13 September 1901. On 7 November 1901 she was commissioned by Commander John Francis Murray-Aynsley to relieve HMS Melita on the Mediterranean Station, she arrived at Malta early the following month.
In June 1902 she visited Cyprus, in September that year she was in the Aegean Sea visiting Nauplia. In 1906, her Commander was William Sullivan, second son of Admiral Sir Francis Sullivan, 6th Baronet. Pandora was sold for scrap in July 1913. World War I Naval Combat webpage Miramar Ship Index listing
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World is a 2003 American epic period war-drama film co-written and directed by Peter Weir, set in the Napoleonic Wars. The film's plot and characters are adapted from three novels in author Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey–Maturin series, which includes 20 completed novels of Jack Aubrey's naval career; the film stars Russell Crowe as Jack Aubrey, captain in the Royal Navy, Paul Bettany as Dr. Stephen Maturin, the ship's surgeon; the film, which cost $150 million to make, was a co-production of 20th Century Fox, Miramax Films, Universal Pictures, Samuel Goldwyn Films, released on November 14, 2003. The film grossed $212 million worldwide; the film was critically well received. At the 76th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, it won in two categories, Best Cinematography and Best Sound Editing and lost in all other categories to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. During the Napoleonic Wars, Captain Jack Aubrey of HMS Surprise is ordered to fight the French privateer Acheron.
Acheron ambushes Surprise, causing heavy damage, while remaining undamaged by the British guns. The ship's boats tow Surprise into a fog bank to evade pursuit. Aubrey's officers tell him that Surprise is no match for Acheron, that they should abandon the chase. Aubrey points out, he orders the Surprise refitted rather than returning to port for repairs. Shortly afterwards, Acheron again ambushes Surprise, but Aubrey slips away in the night by using a decoy raft and ship's lamps. Following the privateer south, Surprise rounds Cape Horn and heads to the Galapagos Islands, where Aubrey is convinced that Acheron will prey on Britain's whaling fleet; the ship's doctor, Maturin, is interested in the islands' unique flora and fauna, Aubrey promises his friend several days' exploration time. When Surprise reaches the Galapagos, they recover the survivors of a whaling ship destroyed by Acheron. Aubrey hastily pursues the privateer, dashing Maturin's expectation of more time to explore. Surprise is becalmed for several days.
The crew becomes disorderly. Midshipman Hollom unpopular with the crew, is named a "Jonah" by the sailors; as the tension rises, crew member Nagle refuses to salute Hollom on the deck, is flogged for insubordination. That night, Hollom commits suicide by jumping overboard with a cannonball; the next morning, Aubrey holds a service for Hollom. The wind picks up again, Surprise resumes the chase; the next day, Marine officer Captain Howard attempts to shoot an albatross but accidentally hits Maturin instead. The surgeon's mate informs Aubrey that the bullet and a piece of cloth it took with it must be removed soon, otherwise they will fester, he recommends the delicate operation be performed on land. Despite closing on Acheron, Aubrey takes the doctor back to the Galapagos. Maturin performs surgery on himself using a mirror. Giving up the pursuit of the privateer, Aubrey grants Maturin the chance to explore the Galapagos islands and gather specimens before they head for home. While looking for a species of flightless cormorant, the doctor discovers Acheron on the other side of the island.
Maturin abandons most of his hurries to warn Aubrey. Surprise readies for battle once more. Due to Acheron's stronger hull, Surprise must be at close quarters to damage her. After observing the camouflage ability of one of Maturin's specimens, Aubrey disguises Surprise as a whaling ship; the Acheron falls for the Surprise launches her attack. With the back wheels of the cannons taken off, the cannons are able to fire upon the Acheron's mainmast while Captain Howard's Marine sharpshooters pick off the crew of the Acheron from above; the Acheron is disabled when the mainmast falls into the sea. Aubrey leads boarding parties, engaging in fierce hand-to-hand combat. Upon capturing the ship, Aubrey is informed by the ship's doctor that the French captain is dead and is given the Captain's sword. Acheron and Surprise are repaired; as Acheron sails away, Maturin mentions. Realising the French captain deceived him by pretending to be the ship's doctor, Aubrey gives the order to change course to intercept the Acheron and escort her to Valparaíso, for the crew to assume battle stations.
Maturin is once again denied the chance to explore the Galapagos, but Aubrey wryly notes that since the bird he seeks is flightless, "it's not going anywhere", the two play Musica notturna delle strade di Madrid by Luigi Boccherini as the Surprise turns in pursuit of the Acheron once more. In Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, all cast members are male, putting it in a group of about 120 films made since 1934 with an all-male cast. There are a few female extras in one scene but none of these are listed as cast members; the film is drawn from the Aubrey-Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian, but matches the events in no one novel. The author drew from real events in the Napoleonic Wars, as he describes in the introduction to the first novel and Commander. Many have speculated on; the author claims. The Royal Navy Museum considers Captain Lord Cochrane as the inspiration for the character in the first novel and Commander. Taylor, author of a biography of Pellew, puts forth Captain Sir Edward Pellew as one of the inspirations for Aubrey's fictional career and tra
George Elphinstone, 1st Viscount Keith
Admiral of the Red George Keith Elphinstone, 1st Viscount Keith GCB was a British admiral active throughout the Napoleonic Wars. Fifth son of the 10th Lord Elphinstone, he was born near Stirling, Scotland. Two of his brothers went to sea, he followed their example by entering the Royal Navy in 1761, in HMS Royal Sovereign but transferred to HMS Gosport commanded by Captain John Jervis, afterwards Earl Saint Vincent. In 1767, he made a voyage to the East Indies in the British East India Company's service, put £2000 lent him by an uncle to such good purpose in a private trading venture that he laid the foundation of a handsome fortune, he became lieutenant in 1770, commander in 1772, post captain in 1775. During the war in America he was employed against the privateers, with a naval brigade at the occupation of Charleston, South Carolina. In January 1781, when in command of the 50-gun HMS Warwick, he captured a Dutch 50-gun ship which had beaten off a British vessel of equal strength a few days before.
On 15 September 1782 in the Delaware Bay he led a squadron that captured the French 38 gun frigate Aigle during which Captain Latouche Tréville was taken prisoner. After peace was signed he remained on shore for ten years, serving in Parliament as member first for Dunbartonshire, for Stirlingshire, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1790. When war broke out again in 1793, he was appointed to the 74-gun HMS Robust, in which he took part in the occupation of Toulon by Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood, he distinguished himself by beating a body of the French ashore at the head of a naval brigade of British and Spaniards. He was entrusted with the duty of embarking the fugitives. In 1794 he was promoted rear-admiral, in 1795 he was sent to occupy the Dutch colonies in South Africa thereby establishing the Cape of Good Hope Station, he had a large share in the capture of the Cape in 1795, in August 1796 captured a whole Dutch squadron in Saldanha Bay. In the interval he had gone on to India, where his health suffered, the capture at Saldanha was effected on his way home.
When the Nore Mutiny broke out in 1797 he was appointed to the command, was soon able to restore order. He was successful at Plymouth, where the squadron was in a state of effervescence. At the close of 1798, he was sent as second in command to St Vincent, it was for a long time a thankless post, for St Vincent was at once half incapacitated by ill-health and arbitrary, while Horatio Nelson, who considered that Keith's appointment was a personal slight to himself, was peevish and insubordinate. In May 1799, he was unable to counter Bruix' expedition due to sparring among the British naval commanders. Keith was unable to bring them to action, he returned to the Mediterranean in November as commander-in-chief. He co-operated with the Austrians in the siege of Genoa, which surrendered on 4 June 1800, it was however afterwards lost in consequence of the Battle of Marengo, the French made their re-entry so that the admiral had considerable difficulty in getting his ships out of the harbour. The close of 1801 and the beginning of the following year were spent in transporting the army sent to recover Egypt from the French.
As the naval force of the enemy was driven into port, the British admiral had no opportunity of an action at sea, but his management of the convoy carrying the troops, of the landing at Aboukir, was admired. He was made Baron Keith of the United Kingdom, an Irish barony having been conferred on him in 1797. On the renewal of the war in 1803 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief, North Sea, which post he held till 1807. In February 1812 he was appointed commander-in-chief in the English Channel, in 1814 he was raised to a viscounty. During his last two commands he was engaged first in overlooking the measures taken to meet a threatened invasion, in directing the movements of the numerous small squadrons and private ships employed on the coasts of Spain and Portugal, in protecting trade, he was at Plymouth when Napoleon surrendered and was brought to England in HMS Bellerophon by Captain Maitland. The decisions of the British government were expressed through him to the fallen Emperor. Lord Keith refused to be led into disputes, confined himself to declaring that he had his orders to obey.
He was not much impressed by the appearance of his illustrious charge and thought that the airs of Napoleon and his suite were ridiculous. Lord Keith died in 1823 at Tulliallan Castle, near Kincardine-on-Forth, his property in Scotland, was buried in the parish church, he was twice married: in 1787 to daughter of Colonel William Mercer of Aldie. He had a daughter by the second being Georgina Augusta Henrietta Keith, but no son, thus the viscounty became extinct on his death, but the British and Irish baronies descended to his elder daughter Margaret, who married the Comte de Flahault de la Billarderie, only to become extinct on her death. A portrait of him by Owen is in the Painted Hall in Greenwich and another by George Sanders in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. In Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey-Maturin series Lord Keith and his wife'Queeney' appear in several of the best-selling novels, he is mentioned in passing in Robert Brightwell's "Flashman and the Seawolf", based loosely on the exploits of Thomas, Lord Cochrane (as indeed is, in part, the character of Ja