Richard James Meade, 4th Earl of Clanwilliam (1832 - 1907) MP

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Death: Died in Badgemore, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England
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About Richard James Meade, 4th Earl of Clanwilliam,_4th_Earl_of_Clanwilliam\

Admiral of the Fleet Richard James Meade, 4th Earl of Clanwilliam, GCB, KCMG (3 October 1832 – 4 August 1907), styled Lord Gillford until 1879, was a British Royal Navy officer and peer.


Lord Gillford was the eldest son of Richard Meade, 3rd Earl of Clanwilliam and his wife, Elizabeth.

Naval career

After finishing Eton, he joined the navy in 1845 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1852. Later that year, he was appointed to HMS Impérieuse, on which he served in the Gulf of Finland during the Crimean War.

In 1856, Gillford was appointed to HMS Raleigh bound for China for the Second Opium War and when the ship was wrecked near Hong Kong, he joined Henry Keppel during the campaign at Foshan in 1857. He was afterwards appointed to HMS Calcutta and took part in the storming of Guangzhou where he was severely wounded in the left arm by a bullet fired from a gingal. He was then mentioned in dispatches and was appointed to HMS Hornet on his promotion as Commander in 1858.

Gillford was further promoted to Captain in 1859 and from 1862-66 he commanded HMS Tribune in the Pacific and HMS Hercules with the Channel Fleet from 1868-71. In 1872, he became an aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria and the command of the steamship reserve at Portsmouth. He joined the Board of Admiralty as Junior Naval Lord on the formation of Disraeli's ministry in 1874, where he sat until Gladstone was elected again in 1880. He was appointed a CB in 1877 and made Second Naval Lord in 1879.

He succeeded to his father's titles in 1879 and promoted to Vice-Admiral in 1881. He was appointed KCMG in 1882 and Commander-in-Chief of the North America and West Indies Station in 1885 and promoted to Admiral in 1886. Following his appointment as a KCB in 1887, he became a commissioner of the Royal Patriotic Fund Corporation in 1888, was Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth from 1891 and promoted to Admiral of the Fleet in 1895, being further promoted to GCB later that year. Lord Clanwilliam retired in 1902.


On 17 June 1867, Clanwilliam had married Elizabeth Kennedy (the eldest daughter of Sir Arthur Kennedy) and they later had eight children:

Lady Katharine Meade (d. 1954)
Lady Beatrice Meade (d. 1952)
Lady Adelaide Jane Meade (d. 1960), married Hon. Stanley Colville.
Lady Elizabeth Selina Georgiana Meade (d. 1924), married Hon. Edward Dawson.
Richard Charles Meade, Lord Gillford (1868–1905)
Arthur Meade, 5th Earl of Clanwilliam (1873–1953)
Hon. Herbert Meade-Fetherstonhaugh (1875–1964)
Hon. Edward Brabazon Meade (1878–1963)

Lord Clanwilliam died from pneumonia in 1907 in Henley-on-Thames. He was buried at the family vault at Wilton, Wiltshire and his titles passed to his eldest surviving son, Arthur.

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Admiral of the Fleet Richard James Meade, 4th Earl of Clanwilliam, GCB, KCMG's Timeline

October 3, 1832
June 17, 1867
Age 34
St. George's Church, St. George Street, Hanover Square, London, England
Age 40
November 3, 1875
Age 43
August 4, 1907
Age 74
Badgemore, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England
August 8, 1907
Age 74
Wilton Crescent, Belgravia, Westminster, Middlesex, England