Commander Nares (1831-1915) was captain of HMS Boscawen – a boys’ training ship moored off the Town Quay - between 1 September 1863 and 14 July 1865. His influential naval career is summarized in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He was part of the polar expedition in search of Sir John Franklin in 1852. He was captain of the first ship (HMS Newport) to sail through the Suez Canal in 1869, sneaking ahead of the French yacht L’Aigle. He was captain of HMS Challenger between 1872 and 1874 – a voyage regarded as the foundation of modern oceanography – and led the British Arctic Expedition in 1875-6. Appointed a fellow of the Royal Society in 1875 and knighted in 1876, he retired from the navy with the rank of vice-admiral. The seminal training manual – The Naval Cadet’s Guide – was published in 1860 when he was a lieutenant in charge of training cadets in HMS Britannia. A third edition – now under the title Seamanship – was published in 1865 whilst Nares was stationed in Southampton.
George Nares married Mary Grant, eldest daughter of a Portsmouth banker, in 1858. Their third daughter, Fanny Maria Nares, was baptized on 1 March 1865 in St Peter’s parish: George’s address is given as Carlton Crescent. Fanny was twice married. Her first husband – who she married in Surbiton on 12 August 1884 – was the Reverend Frederick William Pelly (1854-98), son of the Liverpool merchant Augustus Edward Pelly and part of a family whose fortune had been made in the Canadian trade. A relative, John Henry Pelly, was governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company between 1822 and 1852. Frederick was ordained a priest in the diocese of St Alban’s in December 1880. In 1884 – presumably accompanied by his new wife – he moved to Saskatchewan in Canada as priest-in-charge of Qu’Appelle Station. The following year he was appointed principal of the newly-established St John’s College. The family returned to England in 1886 and in November 1889 Frederick was appointed vicar of Balmer-cum-Belchamp Walter in Essex. The family later moved to the United States of America. At his death, Frederick was assistant professor of Roman Law and political history in the Catholic University of America in Washington DC. Three years later – in January 1901 – Fanny married her second husband, the Middlesex solicitor Louis Henry Shadbolt (1854-1939). She died in 1960.

see also

Boscowen, HMS

Further reading:
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 40


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