English admiral
Born 1824 Died 1901

Arthur William Acland Hood, born on the 14th of July 1824, was the younger son of Sir Alexander Hood of St Andries, Somerset, 2nd baronet, and grandson of Captain Alexander Hood, RN., who, when in command of the Mars, fell in action with the French 74-gun ship Hercule, 21st of April 1798.

At the age of twelve Hood entered the navy, and whilst still a boy saw active service on the north coast of Spain, and afterwards on the coast of Syria. After passing through the established course of gunnery on board the Excellent in 1844-1845, he went out to the Cape of Good Hope as gunnery mate of the President, the flagship of Rear-Admiral Dacres, by whom, on the 9th of January 1846, he was promoted to be lieutenant. As gunnery lieutenant he continued in the President till 1849; and in the following year he was appointed to the Arethusa frigate, then commissioned for the Mediterranean by Captain Symonds, afterwards the well-known admiral of the fleet. The outbreak of the Russian war made the commission a very long one; and on the 27th of November 1854 Hood was promoted to be commander in recognition of his service with the naval brigade before Sebastopol.

In 1855 he married Fanny Henrietta, daughter of Sir C. F. Maclean. In 1856 he commissioned the Acorn brig for the China station, and arrived in time to take part in the destruction of the junks in Fatshan creek on the 1st of June 1857, and in the capture of Canton in the following December, for which, in February 1858, he received a post-captain's commission. From 1862 to 1866 he commanded, the Pylades on the North American station, and was then appointed to the command of the Excellent and the government of the Royal Naval College at Portsmouth. This was essentially a gunnery appointment, and on the expiration of three years Hood was made Director of Naval Ordnance. He was thoroughly acquainted with the routine work of the office and the established armament of the navy, but he had not the power of adapting himself to the changes which were being called for, and still less of initiating them; so that during his period of office the armament of the ships remained sadly behind the general advance. In June 1874 he was appointed to the command of the Monarch in the Channel Fleet, from which he was relieved in March 1876 by his promotion to flag rank. From 1877 to 1879 he was a junior lord of the Admiralty, and from 1880 to 1882 he commanded the Channel Fleet, becoming vice-admiral on 23rd July 1880. In June 1885 he was appointed first sea lord of the Admiralty.

The intense conservatism of his character, however, and his antagonistic attitude towards every change, regardless of whether it was necessary or not, had much to do with the alarming state of the navy towards 1889. In that year, on attaining the age of sixty-five, he was placed on the retired list and resigned his post at the Admiralty. After two years of continued ill-health, he died on the 15th of November 1901, and was buried at Butleigh on the 23rd. He had been promoted to the rank of admiral on the 18th of January 1886; was made K.C.B. in December 1885; G.C.B. in September 1889; and in February 1892 was raised to the peerage as Lord Hood of Avalon, but on his death the title became extinct. (J. K. L.)

Being the entry for HOOD OF AVALON, ARTHUR WILLIAM ACLAND HOOD, BARON in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.

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