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Papers of Rear Admiral Henry Hamilton Beamish, Rear Admiral Tufton Percy Hamilton Beamish, Lord Chelwood of Lewes (Tufton Victor Hamilton Beamish) and some earlier family material

Reference Code: GBR/0014/BEAM


  • Creation: 1824 - 1989


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Rear Admiral H H Beamish was born in 1829 and entered the Navy in 1845 and, after a short period in South America, he spent seven years between 1846 and 1853 in the Far East. He served in HMS Vernon, HMS Fox and then in HMS Hastings, the flagship, and took part in the Second Burmese War. During the Crimean War he served in the British fleet in the Baltic and then returned to the Far East as gunnery Lieutenant in HMS Calcutta for the Second China War. In May 1860 he was given command of the brig HMS Wrangler on the West African Station and was employed in the hunt for slavers. In 1864 he was promoted to Captain and returned to England. In 1870 he was given command of HMS Agincourt. In 1871 Agincourt ran aground on the Pearl Rock off Gibraltar. Beamish was court martialled, and severely reprimanded. In 1875 he was given command of HMS Pallas in the Mediterranean. In 1878 he was made ADC to Queen Victoria and in 1880 he was promoted Rear-Admiral and retired. He died in 1901.

His son, Rear Admiral Tufton Percy Hamilton Beamish, was born in 1874. From 1908-10 he was Flag Commander to Prince Louis of Battenberg, 1912-13 Assistant Chief of War Staff and from 1914-15 he commanded HMC Invincible and was present at the Battle of the Falklands. He subsequently commanded HMS Cordelia, 1915-17, and was present at the Battle of Jutland. He worked at the Admiralty, 1917-19. He served as the Unionist MP for Lewes between 1924-31 and 1936-45. He died in 1951.

Tufton Victor Hamilton Beamish was born 27 January 1917. He was the only surviving son of Rear-Admiral T. P. H. Beamish, CB, DL. He was educated at Stowe School and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. In 1937 Lord Chelwood became 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, and served in Palestine (1938-39). During the Second World War (1939-45) he served in France, Belgium (1940), Malaya [later part of Malaysia] (1942), India and Burma [later Myanmar] (1942-43), North Africa and Italy (1943-44). In 1940 he was awarded the Military Cross. He served as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Lewes Division of East Sussex, from 1945 to February 1974. He was an Opposition defence spokesman, 1965-67 and a member of the Monnet Action Committee for United States of Europe, 1971-76. He was knighted in 1961 and made a life peer (Lord Chelwood of Lewes) in 1974. He died in 1989.


1 collection

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by Lord Chelwood (Tufton Victor Hamilton Beamish), in 1974, in 1986 (via the Imperial War Museum), and by his widow in 1990.


This collection (fonds) level description and catalogue was produced by Andrew Riley of Churchill Archives Centre from a word processed list in October 2004.


Beamish, Tufton Percy Hamilton, 1874-1951, Rear Admiral

2004-11-01 09:47:40+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

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