Baynes, Rear Admiral Robert Lambert
b. 1796
d. 1869
Robert Lambert Baynes was rear admiral and commander in chief of the Pacific Station, with headquarters in Valparaiso, Chile.1 He entered the Royal Navy in 1810, served with distinction in the Mediterranean and was appointed rear admiral on 7 February 1855, while serving in the Baltic.2 Appointed commander in chief of the Pacific Station on 8 July 1857, Baynes was ordered north on 28 June 1858 to help maintain order during the Fraser River gold rush, arriving in his flagship, the Ganges, in time to attend the inauguration of the government of British Columbia at Fort Langley on 19 November.3
He then returned to Valparaiso and returned to Esquimalt again in August 1859 at the height of the San Juan Island dispute, rejecting James Douglas's request to land marines on the island to oust the Americans.4 The San Juan boundary dispute, combined with the events of the gold rush, prompted Baynes to press the Admiralty to transfer the headquarters of the Pacific Station from Valparaiso to Esquimalt, which was done in 1862.5 Baynes was knighted for services on 18 April 1860, departed Esquimalt in the Ganges in September 1860, and arrived in England in April 1861.6 He was promoted to vice-admiral in 1861 and to admiral in 1865, by which time he had retired from active service.7 He died on 7 September 1869 in London.8
  • 1. Barry M. Gough, Baynes, Sir Robert Lambert, Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
  • 2. Ibid.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Ibid.
  • 8. Ibid.
Mentions of this person in the documents
People in this document

Douglas, James

Vessels in this document

HMS Ganges

Places in this document

British Columbia


Fort Langley

Fraser River


San Juan Island