Paget, Lord Clarence Edward
b. 1811-06-17
d. 1895-03-22
Lord Clarence Edward Paget was born on 17 June 1811. Paget was a naval officer, a politician, and later in his life, the political and acting Secretary to the Admiralty under Edward Aldophus Seymour.1 As a member and secretary of the Admiralty, Paget was responsible for the relay of information about colonial naval boats which included the HMS Devastation, Grappler, and Forward.2 Paget was educated at Westminster School and entered the Navy on 29 May 1823. In the navy he would serve as a midshipman on board the HMS Asia, until his subsequent promotion to lieutenant on 14 May 1831, and commander in 1837.3 His position as commander led to his authority of the sloop Pearl at the North American station, his work on the Pearl led to his promotion as captain on 26 March 1839.4
Paget had the command over various ships until 1846 when he expanded his career into politics and was appointed Secretary to the Board of Ordnance, and in 1847 was elected as the Liberal MP for the borough of Sandwich, a position that he held until 1852 -- regaining his seat in 1857.5 It was in this period of the late 1850s that Paget collaborated with economic radicals and spoke outwardly against the conservative nature of the navy.6 After his stint with radical politicians, Lord Palmerston appointed Paget as acting Secretary to the Admiralty in June of 1859 which he held until April 1866.7
On 24 April 1865, Paget reached the rank of vice-admiral and resigned soon after from the Admiralty; instead, he took up a position as Commander-in-Chief for the Mediterranean Fleet which lasted only three years until he returned to England.8 Upon his arrival, Paget attempted to gain the position of First Lord under Gladstone but was unsuccessful. Therefore, without further employment and reaching the rank of Admiral he retired in 1876.9 Paget was made GCB in May 1886, and remained in this state until his death on 22 March 1895 at 65 Regency Square, Brighton.10
During his retirement, Paget devoted most of his time to the arts and became an accomplished sculptor. Overall, in his official career, Paget has been described as an effective naval officer even amongst hardship.11 As a young man he was granted the opportunity to meet the Tsar of Russia, from whom he learned and observed various naval and military manoeuvres. However, it was also in these years that he suffered from a venereal disease which permanently damaged his eyesight and hindered elements of his “effective” career.12
  • 1. Andrew Lambert, Paget, Lord Clarence Edward, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  • 2. Paget to Rogers, 29 June 1863, 6387, CO 60/17, 33.
  • 3. Lambert, Paget.
  • 4. Ibid.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. Ibid.
  • 7. Ibid.
  • 8. Ibid.
  • 9. Ibid.
  • 10. Ibid.
  • 11. Ibid.
  • 12. Ibid.
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