Infobox Military Person
name= Sir Barrington Reynolds
lived= 1786 –
3 August, 1861
allegiance= flagicon|United Kingdom
serviceyears= 1795 to 1861
Royal Navy Admiral
French Revolutionary Wars• Destruction of the "Droits de l'Homme" Napoleonic WarsBombardment of Acre, 1840 Operations against Brazilian slavers, 1849-1852
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Admiral Sir Barrington Reynolds, GCB was a senior and long-serving officer of the British
Royal Navywho went to sea with his father aged only nine during the French Revolutionary Warsand was captured by the French aged eleven. Returning to service on his release soon afterwards, Reynolds experienced the successive deaths of his elder brother and his father on active service during the Napoleonic Warsas well as severe bouts of ill-health himself. Leaving the service at the end of the war, Reynolds returned to the Navy in the 1840s after an absence of thirty years and played a major role in the final destruction of the illegal trade in African slaves to Brazil. Reynolds was honoured for this service and retired again to his family seat in Cornwall, where he died aged 75.
Barrington Reynolds was the second son of Captain
Robert Carthew Reynolds, a successful and long-serving Royal Navy officer who had once served under Samuel Barringtonwho is probably the origin of Barrington's christian name. Like his elder brother, Barrington Reynolds had been born at the family seat in Penair, Cornwall, but aged only nine he was brought onto his father's ship the frigateHMS "Amazon" for service as a captain's servant. Britain was engaged at this time in the French Revolutionary Warsand "Amazon" was attached to the squadron under Sir Edward Pellew which harassed French shipping along the Biscay Coast. In February 1797, "Amazon" and Pellew's ship HMS "Indefatigable" engaged the much larger French ship of the line"Droits de l'Homme" in a storm off Brest. During the engagement, skilful manouvering by the British drove the French ship onto rocks with the loss of hundreds of lives. "Amazon" too was wrecked, but Captain Reynolds succeeded in beaching her rather than running her onto rocks and as result all but six of her crew survived to become prisoners of war.
Barrington Reynolds was released with his father a year later and returned to service on HMS "Pomone", before transferring to "Indefatigable" as a
midshipman, his first commission away from his father. When Pellew moved to HMS "Impetueux" he took the young Reynolds with him and the midshipman gained combat experience in several raiding operations on the French coast under the command of Lieutenant John Pilfold. Late in 1800 Reynolds briefly rejoined his father in HMS "Orion" before being promoted lieutenant on HMS "Courageux" he soon moved to HMS "Hussar" and later transferred again, to the frigate HMS "Niobe" in which he remained for the next five years until 1808. In 1804 his elder brother, Lieutenant Robert Reynolds, was killed in action off Martinique. [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/23436/23435?docPos=4 Reynolds, Robert Carthew] , " Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", J. K. Laughton, Retrieved 30 March 2008]
In 1808, Reynolds moved to HMS "Russell" but less than a year later was given his first command, the hulk HMS "Arrogant". In February 1811 he became a
commanderand took over the sloop HMS "Hesper" in which he participated in the attack on Javaand was promoted to post captainas a reward, taking over the HMS "Sir Francis Drake". The Admiraltyconfirmed his promotion in 1812, in recognition of the services of his father, who had died in the wreck of HMS "St George" on Christmas Eve1811. [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/23406 Reynolds, Sir Barrington] , " Oxford Dictionary of National Biography", J. K. Laughton, Retrieved 30 March 2008] He returned to Britain in August 1812 in command of HMS "Bucephalus" and remained in her for a year before entering semi-retirement due to ill-health. Following the end of the war in 1815, Reynolds was offered continued service as a frigate captain in the reduced Navy, but was forced to turn the post down due to a protracted bout of ill-health.
Reynolds settled into an early retirement for his convalescence, marrying Eliza Anne Dick in 1832 and living between London and his family estate at
Penair, Cornwall. In 1838, Reynolds health had sufficiently recovered that he could return to sea, taking command of the ship of the lineHMS "Ganges" in the Mediterranean and being made a Companion of the Order of the Bath. In "Ganges", Reynolds participated in the bombardment of Acre during operations against Egyptian forces. Reynolds was promoted to rear-admiralin 1848, and given command at the Cape of Good Hope, with instructions to clamp down on the illegal slave traders who operated from West Africa.
Reynolds was so successful off Africa, that at Admiralty dispatched him to cruise off the Brazilian coast on the same service. Over the next three years, Reynolds and his squadron captured dozens of slave ships, boarded and captured more at anchor on the Brazilian coast and, despite loud protests from the Brazilian government, raided Brazilian harbours along the coast, burning the empty slave ships which sheltered in them. In reply to the protests, Reynolds wrote to the Admiralty that "Nothing can be done with the Brazilian government on this matter except by compulsion". The actions of the forces under Reynolds' command have been credited with destroying the Brazilian slave trade completely by 1851.
Retiring once more, Reynolds was promoted to vice-admiral in 1855 and full admiral in 1860. He was also advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. He died in 1861 at the family home and was buried in St Clement's Churchyard, Truro in
Truro. He was survived by his wife.
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Royal Navy officer
DATE OF BIRTH=1786
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
3 August 1861
PLACE OF DEATH=
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