Admiral of the Fleet
Sir James Elphinstone Erskine,
K.C.B.


Updated 18-Oct-2007


Personal Details
Event Date / details Source
Date of Birth 2 December 1838 2
Place of Birth    
Name of father Mr James Erskine 2
Profession of father    
Wife's Name Margaret Eliza Constable 4
Date of Marriage 1885 4
Place of Marriage    
Children One son - David Victor Fairfax (March 1886), one daughter (name unknown) 3
Date of Death 25 July 1911 4
Place of death Venlaw, Peeblesshire 4
Place of Burial    


Rank History
Rank Date attained Source
Entered Service 1852 2
Sub Lieutenant 1 January 1858 5
Lieutenant 28 June 1859 5
Commander 4 August 1862 5
Captain 4 November 1868 1
Rear-Admiral 18 January 1886 1
Vice-Admiral 14 February 1892 1
Admiral 23 August 1897 1
Admiral of the Fleet 3 October 1902 1


Honours and Knighthoods
Honour or Knighthood Date awarded Date Gazetted Source
Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (C.B.)      
Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (K.C.B.)   22 March 1897 1


Major appointments
From To Appointment Source
1880   Private Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty (Lord Northbrook) 2
  1881? In command, H.M.S Nelson 1
20 Jan 82 1884? Commodore, Australian Station 1 / 2
15 Feby 1886   Appointed junior naval Lord of Admiralty 1
1888 1891 Senior Naval Officer, Coast of Ireland 2
17 April 95 25 Sept 97 Assumed command of N American Station 1
16 August 98   Member of the Royal Commn to inquire into the Newfoundland French Shore Question. 1 / 2


The format for the early volumes of the service histories - ADM 196/40 and 196/41 does not follow the sectioned format adopted by the later volumes but comprises a series of notes. This simple format has been follwed here also.

Service history
Source: Service Record ADM 196/40 (continued from Vol I Fo 417)
4 Nov 1868 Captain
29 June 81 Nelson commd
12 Aug 81 Inspection of Nelson by C in C Sheerness, credit given for state of ship
20 Jan 82 Assumed command & appointed Commodore 2nd Class Australian Station
21 Jan 1882 Hoisted Broad Pendant & took command of the station
1st January 1883 A.D.C. to the Queen
30 OCt 84 Undated commission as Commodore 1st Class & 1st Captain of H.M.S Nelson issued 30 Oct 84. to take effect from date H.M.S. Nelson is recommissioned.
12 Nov 84 Successor appointed from 12 Nov 84
15 Jan 85 Hoisted Broad Pendant as Commodore 1st Class 15 Jan 1885
22 Jan 1885 Superceded in command by Rear Ad Thyne Jan 22 1885
23 Feby 1885 Admiralty convey with pleasure approval of H.M. Government for judicious measures adopted and efficient manner in which he carried out the Proclamation of British Protectorate in New Guinea.
29 March 1885 Arrived home
10 April 1885 Satisfaction expressed at the efficient manner in which he carried out general duties of the Australian command and the onorous and difficult duties required of H.M. Ships among the islands within the limits of the station.
21 June 85 Married M.E. Constable
18 January 1886 Rear Admiral
15 Feby 1886 Appointed junior naval Lord of Admiralty (Gazette)
9 Aug 88 Ceased duties
1 Jan 1889 To hoist Flag on 1st January 1889 as Senior Officer on Coast of Ireland - Orders given in M. on 1st Lord's minute of 29 Nov 88
9 March 1890 Shifted Flag to Triumph new Flag Ship of Queenstown
31 Dec 91 Superd from appointment on Coast of Ireland 31 Dec 91
31 Dec 91 Transferred command
14 February 1892 Vice Admiral
16 July 94 Appointed Umpire during manoeuvres of 1894. ?Twice? to Court as on Committee under ?Qui?? of May?
5 March 95 Appointed Commander in Chief of the North American and West Indies Station vice Hopkins
5 March 95 Hoisted Flag in President
17 April 95 Assumed command of N American Station
3 March 97 F.O. transmits copy of despatch from French Naval Commr of Courtesy displayed by him in connection with Newfoundland Fishery duties
22 June 97 Made K.C.B.
23 August 1897 Admiral
24 August 1897 Superseded as C in C N Am & W, Indies on promotion to Admiral
15 Sept 97 ?Gave up? command of N America Station
25 Sept 97 Struck Flag in ??????
25 Sept 97 My Lords express satisfaction of the manner in which he had carried out the important duties during period of his command of the North American & W. Indies Station.
16 August 98 Appt to be a member of the Royal Commn about to be sent to Newfoundland to inquire into the French Shore Question
6 Nov 98 From service connected with the French Shore Question
8 Nov 98 Arrived in England
24 Mar 99 Reports cessation of duties on Newfoundland Commission
20 April 1901 Appointed First and Principal Naval Aide de Camp to His Majesty the King vice Culme-Seymour
3 October 1902 Admiral of the Fleet
2 Decr 1908 Retired (age)
25 July 1911 Died


Sources
1 ADM 196/40 - Service History National Archives
2 Times, 26 July 1911 Worcestershire County Council Library Service
3 Times, 29 July 1911 Worcestershire County Council Library Service
4 London Gazette (various dates) www.gazettes-online.co.uk
5 Royal Navy List and Naval Recorder, January 1908 Royal Naval Museum and Admiralty Library, Portsmouth