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Tyler, Sir Charles (1760–1835), naval officer, was the son of Peter Tyler (d. 1763), a captain in the 52nd regiment, and his wife, Anne, daughter of Henry, eighth Lord Teynham. He entered the navy in 1771, and served for a few months on the Barfleur, guardship at Chatham, as servant of the captain, Andrew Snape Hamond, with whom he afterwards was in the Arethusa, on the North American station. In 1774 he was moved into the Preston, the flagship of Vice-Admiral Samuel Graves, and afterwards carrying the broad pennant of Commodore William Hotham. In 1777 he was invalided owing to an injury to his left leg, as the result of which it was ‘necessary to remove the small bone, so that for two years he was unable to move except on crutches’, and was left permanently lame (memorial, TNA: PRO). On 5 April 1779 he was promoted lieutenant on the Culloden, in which he served in the Channel Fleet until September 1780, and after that in the Britannia, the flagship of Vice-Admiral Darby, until April 1782, and in the Edgar, again with Commodore Hotham, until the end of the war. He was promoted commander on 31 December 1782, and in July 1783 commanded the armed ship Chapman; from 1784 to 1789 he commanded the Trimmer, stationed at Milford to suppress smuggling. In 1790 he commanded the Tisiphone, on similar service in the channel, and on 21 September 1790 was advanced to post rank. In March 1793 he was appointed to the frigate Meleager (32 guns), in which he went out to the Mediterranean with Lord Hood; after the capture of Calvi he was moved into the San Fiorenzo, one of the prizes; and in February 1795 to the Diadem (64 guns), in which he took part in the desultory action of 14 March.

Shortly after this Tyler was concerned in a case of peculiar importance in the history of naval discipline. A detachment of the 11th regiment was serving on board the Diadem, in lieu of marines, and the officer in command, Lieutenant Fitzgerald, assuming that he was independent of naval control, behaved with contempt towards his superior officers. Tyler reported the case to the admiral, who ordered a court martial. Fitzgerald denied the legality of the court, and refused to make any defence. The court overruled his objections, heard the evidence in support of the charge, and cashiered Fitzgerald. The duke of York issued an order that soldiers serving on warships were subject to military rule only. The superior naval officers protested against this, as subversive of discipline afloat and contrary to act of parliament; eventually all the soldiers were disembarked, and replaced by marines.

During late 1795 and early 1796 the Diadem was frequently attached to the squadron under the orders of Nelson in the Gulf of Genoa, and on the coast of Italy. Later Tyler was moved into the frigate Aigle, in which he captured several of the enemy's privateers in the Mediterranean, and in the channel; and on 18 July 1798, while seeking to join the squadron under Nelson, he was wrecked near Tunis. In February 1799 he was appointed to the Warrior (74 guns), one of the Channel Fleet, and of the fleet which in 1801 went into the Baltic under the command of Sir Hyde Parker. On returning from the Baltic, the Warrior was sent to Cadiz, and in January 1802 to the West Indies, one of a small squadron, under Tyler as senior officer, to watch the French expedition to San Domingo. In July the Warrior returned to England, and was paid off.

When the war resumed, Tyler was appointed to command a district of sea fencibles. In February 1805 he commissioned the Tonnant (80 guns), for service in the channel, but was afterwards sent to the fleet off Cadiz. On 21 October he served at Trafalgar, where the Tonnant was the fourth ship in the lee line, got early into action, and lost twenty-six killed and fifty wounded. Tyler was severely wounded by a musket-ball in the right thigh, and was granted a pension of £250. He was promoted rear-admiral on 28 April 1808, and in May hoisted his flag as second in command at Portsmouth. In June he was sent to Lisbon, and was there with Sir Charles Cotton in September to receive the surrender of the Russian fleet. From 1812 to 1815 he was commander-in-chief at the Cape of Good Hope, and his service ended with his return to England in March 1816. He was promoted vice-admiral on 4 December 1813, and admiral on 27 May 1825. He was made a KCB on 2 January 1815, and a GCB on 29 January 1833.

Tyler was twice married. His first wife was Anne (d. 1784), only daughter of Charles Rice RN. Charles, their son, died a captain on the retired list of the navy in 1846. Tyler married, on 25 November 1788, Margaret (d. 15 July 1835), daughter of Abraham Leach of Pembrokeshire. Tyler died at Beaufort Buildings, the Spa, Gloucester, on 28 September 1835.

Sir George Tyler (1792–1862), naval officer, Charles Tyler's eldest son from his second marriage, was born in Pembrokeshire, on 28 December 1792. He attended the Royal Naval College, Portsmouth, from 1806, and entered the navy in 1809. In a boat attack in Quiberon Bay in 1811 he lost his right arm. He was his father's flag lieutenant at the Cape of Good Hope, and became a commander in 1815 and a captain in 1822. He married, on 21 September 1819, Harriet Margaret, daughter of the Right Hon. John Sullivan, and Lady Harriet, daughter of George, third earl of Buckinghamshire; they had seven sons and four daughters. From 1833 to 1840 Tyler was lieutenant-governor of the island of St Vincent. He was made a KH on 4 March 1833, and knighted again in November 1838; he became a rear-admiral in 1852, and was made vice-admiral in 1857. From February 1851 to December 1857 he was a Conservative MP for Glamorgan. He resided at Cotrel, Glamorgan. He died at Dunraven Castle, Glamorgan, on 4 June 1862.

J. K. Laughton, rev. Andrew Lambert


D. Syrett and R. L. DiNardo, The commissioned sea officers of the Royal Navy, 1660–1815, rev. edn, Occasional Publications of the Navy RS, 1 (1994) · O'Byrne, Naval biog. dict. · Dod's Peerage (1858) · Burke, Gen. GB (1937) · WWBMP, vol. 1 · GM, 2nd ser., 4 (1835), 649 · GM, 3rd ser., 13 (1862), 116 · service book, passing certificate and memorial, TNA: PRO · J. McArthur, Principles and practice of courts martial, 2 vols. (1813)


NMM, journals, letter-books, logs, and order books

Wealth at death  

under £25,000—Sir George Tyler: will, 1862