COMMISSION SIGNED BY SIR JOHN BARROW
CHAMBERLAIN, William Charles (1818-1878), Rear-admiral. Commission to Mr W.C Chamberlain as Mate of Her Majesty’s Steam Vessel Stromboli, 10th September 1840, printed with manuscript insertions on parchment sheet (11 x 13 inches), with the autograph signature of John Barrow. With folds, but otherwise in extremely fine condition.
William Charles Chamberlain was the eldest son of Sir Henry Chamberlain and his second wife, Anne Eugenia née Morgan. Shortly after this commission, Chamberlain was promoted Lieutenant on board the Stromboli for service in the Mediterranean. He became Commander in 1847 of Britomart serving off the west coast of Africa, and held further commissions as Commander and Captain; was Superintendent at the Devonport dockyard; and finally attained the rank of Rear-Admiral.
Chamberlain married firstly Elizabeth Jane Hall in 1845 (daughter of Captain Basil Hall, R.N.), by whom he had 3 sons: Basil Hall Chamberlain (1850-1935), a Japanologist; Henry Chamberlain (1853-1923), a Lieutenant-Commander in the Royal Navy; and Houston Stewart Chamberlain (1855-1927), a racialist writer. He married secondly in 1872, Sarah Morgan Holroyd.
The signatory, Sir John Barrow (1764–1848), was a great promoter of exploration and was a pre-eminent author of travels and the lives of explorers. He held a secretaryship of the Admiralty for forty years up to his retirement in 1845.