Norwich Duff

Norwich Duff
Born (1792-08-15)15 August 1792
9 South Castle Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, Great Britain
Died 21 April 1862(1862-04-21) (aged 69)
Bath, Somerset, England, UK
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Years of service 1805-1862
Rank Vice-Admiral
Relations Captain George Duff RN

Admiral Norwich Duff FRSE (15 August 1792 – 21 April 1862[1]) was a Royal Navy officer.


The son of Captain George Duff RN, and Sophia Dirom, he was born at 9 South Castle Street, Edinburgh. He entered the Royal Navy in July 1805, just before his 13th birthday, serving aboard his father's ship HMS Mars as a midshipman. In October 1805 at the Battle of Trafalgar his father was killed.

Duff was promoted to lieutenant in September 1811 and was appointed flag-lieutenant to the commander-in-chief in February 1814. He served on HMS Euralyus. He was promoted to commander on 15 June 1814 and appointed to command of the 18-gun brig-sloop HMS Espoir, part of the naval force in the Chesapeake during the War of 1812, and later took part in the attack on New Orleans.[2]

In October 1816 Duff was appointed to command of the 10-gun brig-sloop HMS Beaver and sent to the Caribbean,[3] where he assumed command of the 18-gun HMS Rifleman in September 1817. He returned to England in August 1818.[4]

He undertook an extensive continental European tour in 1819 of which he kept a journal. He was promoted to Post captain on 23 April 1822.

In 1833 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh his proposer being Alexander Dirom.[5]

On the 10 June 1833 he married Helen Mary Shoolbred (daughter of East India Company Surgeon John Shoolbred 1766-1831) at Bath, Somerset and with her produced eight recorded children. The couple's eldest daughter, (Helen) Sophia Duff 1834 - 1930, married Boscawen Trevor Griffith (whose name later changed to Griffith-Boscawen) as a result of which Norwich became the maternal grandfather of Arthur Sackville Trevor Griffith-Boscawen 1865 - 1946, a prominent British Conservative politician during the early decades of the twentieth century. Another daughter, Henrietta, was a novelist.[6]

Duff was promoted to rear admiral on 8 October 1852, and to vice admiral on 28 November 1857.

He died at Bath, Somerset, England on 21 April 1862. There is a portrait of him by Sir Henry Raeburn, and a metal plaque commemorates him in Bath Abbey.[7]


In 1833 he married Helen Mary Shoolbred (1811-1895), daughter of Dr John Shoolbred FRSE of the East India Company.[8]

See also


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