Henry John Rous - Encyclopedia

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HENRY JOHN ROUS (1795-1877), British admiral and sportsman, was born on the 23rd of January 1795, the second son of the 1st earl of Stradbroke. He was educated at Westminster School, and entered the British navy in 1808, serving as a midshipman in the expedition to Flushing. He was afterwards appointed to the "Bacchante," and received a medal for bravery in various actions and expeditions. In 1823 he was made captain, and served in the Indian and New Holland stations from 1823 to 182 9. In 1834 he was appointed to the command of the "Pique," a 36-gun frigate, which ran ashore on the coast of Labrador and was much damaged. Rous, however, brought her across the Atlantic with a sprung foremast and without keel, forefoot or rudder, and though the ship was making 23 ins. of water an hour. Rous, always fond of sport, retired from the navy, and became in 1838 a steward of the Jockey Club, a position which he held almost uninterruptedly to his death. In 1855 he was appointed public handicapper. He managed the duke of Bedford's stables at Newmarket for many years, and wrote a work on The Laws and Practice of Horse Racing that procured for him the title of "the Blackstone of the Turf." In 1841 he was returned M.P. for Westminster, and in 1846 Sir Robert Peel made him a lord of the admiralty. He died on the 19th of June 1877.

For the naval career of Admiral Rous see O'Byrne, Naval Biographical Dictionary (London, 1849). A vivid sketch of him as a turf authority will be found in Day's Turf Celebrities (London, 1891).

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