Charles Rowley was born on 16th December 1770, the youngest son of Sir Joshua Rowley, bart. and first cousin of Sir Josias Rowley, bart. He entered the Navy in April 1785, served in different ships on the North American station from November 1786 to October 1788, was with Prince William Henry - afterwards King William IV - in the Pegasus and Andromeda and then again was on the North American station. Later, he was in Newfoundland, with Vice-Admiral Milbanke, by whom, on 8th October 1789, he was promoted to be lieutenant and put in command of the Trepassy, where he remained until February 1791. In 1794, he went out to North America in the Resolution, the flagship of Rear-Admiral George Murray, by whom he was promoted to be commander on 20th April, and captain on 1st August 1795. He then commanded the Cleopatra until May 1796, the Hussar till the following October and, from October 1796 to August 1798, the Unite in the Channel. In 1800, he was flag-captain to Sir Charles Cotton in the Prince George. From March 1804 to November 1805, he was in the Ruby, for the most part in the North Sea. From November 1805 to May 1814, he commanded the Eagle in the Mediterranean, in the expedition to Walcheren in 1809, off Cadiz in 1810 and, from 1811, in the Adriatic. There, he repeatedly distinguished himself in engagements with the enemy's batteries and especially at the capture of Fiume, on 3rd July, and of Trieste, in October 1813. The Emperor of Austria conferred on him the Order of Maria Theresa, which he received permission to wear. On 4th June 1814, he was promoted to be rear-admiral and, on 2nd January 1815, was nominated a KCB. From 1815 to 1818, he was commander-in-chief at the Nore and at Jamaica from 1820 to 1823. He became a vice-admiral on 27th May 1825, was a lord of the admiralty in 1834-5, was made a GCH on 7th October 1835, a baronet on 22nd February 1836, a GCB on 4th July 1840 and an admiral on 23rd November 1841. From December 1842 to September 1845, he was commander-in-chief at Portsmouth. He married, on 7th December 1797, Elizabeth, youngest daughter of Admiral Sir Richard King, bart. and they lived together at Hill House (now Cranbourne Court) in Winkfield. She died on 11th January 1838 and he, in Brighton, on 10th October 1845.
Edited from Sidney Lee's 'Dictionary of National Biography' (1897).
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