|NAVAL OFFICER (ENGLAND)|
BORN 6 Dec 1798, Plymouth, Devon - DIED 2 Jan 1885, Ilfracombe, Devon|
GRAVE LOCATION Bristol: Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bath Road
James Hosken entered the Royal Navy in 1808 during the Napoleonic
Wars. After twenty years of service in West India and at home,
he joined the merchant navy and between 1833 and 1836 he was
the captain of a ship that salied between Liverpool and South
From 1837 onwards he studied the marine steam engine and he was appointed captain of the steamship SS Great Western. In April, 1838 he succesfully brought the ship from Bristol to New York during its maiden voyage, reducing the time of an Atlantic crossing from 34 days to 17 days (and later 13 days). In 1844 he became the captain of the SS Great Britain, at that time the largest ship of all. Btduring its fifth voyage the ship stranded near Ireland and allthough the ship could be refloated several months later this ended his career in the merchant service.
In 1851 he returned to the navy, where he was promoted to commander in 1853. In 1857 a promotion to captain followed and he retired in 1868. Promotions to read-admiral (1875) and admiral (1879) followed before he died in 1885.