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John Hopkins (Royal Navy officer)

Admiral Sir John Ommanney Hopkins GCB (13 July 1834 – 29 September 1916) was a Royal Navy officer who went on to be Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet.

Sir John Hopkins
Born13 July 1834
Died29 September 1916 (1916-09-30) (aged 82)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branchNaval Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Years of service1848–1899
Commands heldHMS Liverpool
HMS Narcissus
HMS Royal Adelaide
HMS Temeraire
North America and West Indies Station
Mediterranean Fleet
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

Naval careerEdit

Hopkins joined the Royal Navy in 1848.[1] Promoted to Captain in 1867, he commanded successively HMS Liverpool, HMS Narcissus, HMS Royal Adelaide and HMS Temeraire.[1] He became Commander of HMS Excellent, the Gunnery School at Portsmouth, in 1880.[1] In 1881 he became Private Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty and in 1883 he was made Captain-superintendent of Sheerness Dockyard and Director of Heavy Ordnance in 1883.[1] He went on to be Admiral-superintendent of Portsmouth Dockyard in 1886 and Junior Naval Lord and then Third Naval Lord and Controller of the Navy in 1888.[1]

Hopkins had the distinction in 1893 of parading his brigade of Royal Marines in New York City in the first display of British military force in that City since the American Revolutionary War.[2]

Promoted to Vice Admiral in 1891 Hopkins was appointed Commander-in-Chief, North American and West Indies Station later that year [3] before being made Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet in 1897[4] during which tour he hosted a visit to Malta by the Kaisar Wilhelm II.[5] He was a supporter of improvements in gunnery and at this time experimented with a new type of salvo firing.[6] He retired as a full admiral in 1899[1] and was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the 1899 Birthday Honours.[7]

In 1903 he served on the Royal Commission responsible for examining the conduct of the Second Boer War.[8] Hopkins predicted the threat from Zeppelins as the threat of World War I approached and lobbied for investment in aerial defence.[9] He died in 1916.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f William Loney RN
  2. ^ The Third Montreal Field Battery: Its Origin and Its Services by Lt. Col. A. A. Stevenson
  3. ^ A Naval Appointment The Melbourne Argus, 15 September 1896
  4. ^ News and Notes in Brief Evening Post, 1897, Page 2
  5. ^ 1898 - The German Kaiser in Malta (Michael Galea) Archived 16 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine German-Maltese Circle
  6. ^ Naval Firepower: Battleship Guns and Gunnery in the Dreadnought Era By Norman Friedman, A. D. Baker, p. 292
  7. ^ "No. 27086". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 June 1899. p. 3585.
  8. ^ The South African War Star, issue 7794, 27 August 1903, Page 2
  9. ^ Wants $5,000,000 for Aerial Defence; Sir John Hopkins Suggests That England Vote That Sum for Security The New York Times, 6 May 1913
  10. ^ Sir John Hopkins The New York Times, 1 August 1916
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir William Graham
Third Naval Lord and Controller of the Navy
Succeeded by
Sir Jackie Fisher
Preceded by
Sir George Watson
Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station
Succeeded by
Sir James Erskine
Preceded by
Sir Michael Culme-Seymour
Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet
Succeeded by
Sir John Fisher