Admiral Sir Erasmus Gower (1742-1814)

Associated People K - L

Listed alphabetically by Surname

Kempthorne, Vice-admiral James RN (1735-1808).

Noted as a lieutenant in HMS Terpsichore and HMS Guadeloupe in 1763 to 1766, Captain Ruthven, where Gower served under him. In 1778 Lieutenant Kempthorne was commended by Captain Griffiths for his role in destroying a large number of rebel boats and boat-building equipment which were being assembled in readiness for an assault on Rhode Island. Among others commended was Lieutenant Henry Stanhope (qv). Promoted to post captain into HMS London, (98), 25th September 1781, as flag captain to Rear-admiral Joshua Rowley (qv). Promoted to rear-admiral of the red in 1805 and vice-admiral of the blue in 1806, he died at his house in Helston, aged 73, on 14th June 1808.

Kerr, Vice-Admiral Lord Mark Robert RN (1776-1840).

Lieutenant 1st November 1794, commander 1st November 1796, captain 7th March 1797, rear-admiral 19th July 1821, vice-admiral 10th January 1837. Kept a journal as a midshipman aboard HMS Lion 1792-94 1 Microfilm copy held, courtesy PRO Northern Ireland - MIC/598 . Compiled another manuscript version after 1828 and that copy was offered for sale in New York in 2004 for US$95,000. A talented artist, his first journal, to date unpublished, is a valuable addition to the often referenced journals of other members of the embassy to China. In particular it adds much to our knowledge of the passage of the Lion while Macartney (qv) and his entourage were absent from the vessel. Details held in the later (post 1828) journal are not known but it is presumed to be an improved and embellished copy of the original. It is assumed that Midshipman Kerr was chosen by Macartney (rather than by Gower) to accompany the embassy to China, Macartney having his seat in Antrim, as did the Kerr/MacDonell family. Lord Mark Robert Kerr was the son of William John Kerr, 5th Marquess of Lothian and Elizabeth Fortescue. He was born on 12 November 1776. He married Charlotte MacDonnell, Countess of Antrim, daughter of Sir Randal William Mac Donnell, 1st Marquess of Antrim and Hon. Letitia Morres, on 18 July 1799 at Hanover Square, Mayfair, London, England.

Gower promoted Mark Kerr to lieutenant during the voyage of the Lion, 1792-4 and he rose quickly through the ranks thereafter. Captain Kerr was appointed to HMS Fisgard, (44), in September 1804 and a month later he captured several Spanish ships worth more than £14,000. On 2nd November 1804, Nelson, himself quite ill, wrote to Lord Melville: '...I fear Lord M Kerr is falling into the same complaint [as I have]. I have now got him to the fleet and shall keep an Eye upon him for he is too valuable an Officer and good a Man to be lost for want of care.' 2 White. Nelson... 304. In April 1805, Mark Kerr discovered that the French Toulon fleet, sought by Nelson, were in the Atlantic and he passed this information on to Vice-admiral Orde who relayed the message to England.

In 1835 he was honoured with membership of the Jenner Society. He died on 9 September 1840 aged 63. There is a memorial in the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Shiplake, Oxfordshire. 'In memory of Vice Admiral Lord Mark Robert Kerr (Third son of William John Kerr Fifth Marquis of Lothian) whose remains are interred beneath this tablet. He departed this life Sept. 9th 1840 in the 64th year of his age. Most exemplary as a Christian, a husband, a father and a friend' 3 NMM - Memorials database. Memorial: M5208. . Some of his naval logs are still held in private hands in Glenarm Castle and were, until recently, accessible to guests staying at the castle.

Lara, Surgeon Benjamin RN (c.1770-1848).

Surgeon in HMS Princess Royal 1801-2 under Gower and again in HMS Isis 1805-6 when he had reason to report on able seaman John Cummings who had reportedly swallowed 20 clasp knives. Lara transferred from Isis in December 1806. Cummings died in 1809 and fragments of knives were found in his stomach and bowel. On Princess Royal, January 1802, a seamen fell overboard from, and was run over by, the ship’s launch and another boat sent to haul him in. When finally brought aboard Princess Royal he was treated by Dr Lara, employing 'the means directed by the Humane Society for nearly of an hour, without success; but, by persevering, the man was so far restored within an hour and a half, to be able to speak - and in four hours from the accident he was perfectly recovered'. 4 Portsmouth Telegraph or Mottley's Naval and Military Journal, Monday, January 25, 1802

Dr Lara married, in October 1817, Rachel, second daughter of Thomas Walters of Hackney. Lara was shown as resident physician at Portsea. Several times during the first two decades of the nineteenth century, Dr Lara placed advertisements seeking donations towards the upkeep of young families left destitute by the death of their bread winner. In 1832 a woman, Martha Plimrose, who was proved to have arranged for a forgery of Dr Lara’s signature on a claim for 18 shillings from the Navy Board, was sentenced to death. Dr Lara placed his substantial house at 31 Prince George’s Street Portsea on the market in September 1832. The house was auctioned a year later and Dr Lara moved into a rented property at number 64 in the same street. In September 1834 Dr Lara and Surgeon Kidd (from the garrison) were called in by a Spanish doctor, Llort, physician to Donna Francisca, 5 Maria Francesca de Asis, daughter of King John VI of Portugal. wife of Don Carlos, 6 Second surviving son of King Charles IV of Spain. to assist in treating Her Highness who was suffering from a bilious fever. However their treatment was apparently not successful as a later newspaper article indicates that the Princess de Beira, 7 Sister of Maria Francesca, and second wife of Don Carlos. in appreciation of their attention to her deceased sister, sent Dr Kidd a brilliant ring and to Dr Lara, twenty pounds. Nothing further has been discovered about Dr Lara.

Lowe, Rear Admiral Abraham RN (1771-1854).

A long term follower of Gower. Gower defended him when he was ordered off HMS Triumph at Spithead. See Bates, Champion of the Quarterdeck: Admiral Sir Erasmus Gower (1742-1814), Appendix A - Associated People.

Laugharne, Vice-admiral John RN (?-1819).

Of Laugharne in Carmarthenshire, Wales. Was first lieutenant in HMS Romney in 1782, Captain Lewes, where he made a favourable impression on surgeon Robert Robertson (qv). Made post captain in 1790. Captain of HMS Isis with Gower as Governor of Newfoundland in 1806. He married Charlotte Elliot (1765-1788) on 27th July 1785 (daughter of Rev. Philip Elliot). Both were of Laugharne, Carmarthenshire. Charlotte died at Laugharne three years later. It is not known if John Laugharne married again or if there were any children. Vice-admiral (white) John Laugharne died at Laugharne, Wales, on 12th October 1819.

Lutwidge, Admiral Skeffington RN (1737-1814).

Seventh son of Thomas Lutwidge, of Holm Rood, Cumberland. Lieutenant 1759. Captain 1773 and commanded Carcase bomb ketch towards the North Pole on an expedition proposed by the Royal Society. Horatio Nelson sailed with him. Served in HMS Terrible, (74), in the fleet under Vice-Admiral Lord Hood off Toulon. HMS Sandwich 8 From which Parker (qv) directed the mutiny in 1797. was his flagship as commander-in-chief at the Nore 1797-1800. Promoted Vice-admiral Blue (1795), Vice-admiral Red (1799), Admiral Blue (1801), Admiral White (1805) and Admiral Red (1810). A close friend of Nelson and Lady Hamilton. Also a friend of Robert Kingsmill (qv) and Gower. Gower dined with him in 1785 while awaiting appointment to commander-in-chief East Indies. Admiral Lutwidge died in August 1814.