June 27, 2014 18:27:35
Posted By Robert. Stephenson
Constantine Richard Moorsom (1792–1861) was a Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy. He commanded HMS Fury a Hecla-class bomb vessel which saw wartime service in the Bombardment of Algiers, an attack on Barbary pirates at Algiers in HMS Fury in August, 1816. Moorsom was the son of Admiral Sir Robert Moorsom, a veteran of Trafalgar. Moorsom was on the roster of HMS Revenge, his father's ship, when it was at the Battle of Trafalgar. However records show that Constantine was actually at school at the time of the battle. Moorsom rose to be chairman of the London & North Western Railway.
He commanded HMS Fury, a Hecla-class bomb vessel, in the Bombardment of Algiers, an attack on Barbary pirates at Algiers in August, 1816. As a result of the bombardment slaves were released and Moorsom's use of his vessel was put under investigation. It was found that the Fury had fired twice as many mortars as any other boat and that this was due to the fitting which Moorsom had devised. His methods were adopted as standard practice.
Moorsom became a post captain in 1818 and in 1822 his innovation came again to notice when he was put in command of HMS Ariadne. Ariadne had been a problem vessel after she was converted into a corvette with the addition of a quarter deck to her original frigate frame. This increased her draught and made her difficult to manage, however Moorsom redistributed the storage and not only reported that she was now seaworthy, he sailed her around the Cape of Good Hope to prove the point.
He served as a director of the London & Birmingham Railway from 1837 to 1839. He was promoted on 29 August 1851 to be a Rear-Admiral of the Blue. From 1852 until the time of his death on 26 May 1861, he was chairman of the London & North Western Railway. During this time he also chaired a committee for the British Association on steamship performance. He died at Russell Square in London after becoming a vice admiral in 1857 and having fathered a large family with his wife Mary Maude of Silaby Hall in Durham.