Sir Michael Seymour – father & son

September 10, 2014 at 11:52 pm (history, jane austen, people, portraits and paintings) (, , , , , , )

In the “Smith & Gosling” family it is often DIFFICULT to differentiate the generations: so many similar (SAME) Names!

As is the case here, with Rear-Admiral Sir Michael Seymour (1st baronet):

and his third son, Admiral Sir Michael Seymour, GCB:


Richard Seymour speaks of his father with such great affection and attention to detail in the Memoir of Rear Admiral Sir Michael Seymour, Bart, K.C.B. that I leave it to him to tell you about Sir Michael “the father”, as I call him.

It’s Richard’s brother, Sir Michael the son, that I want to say a few words about tonight.

Michael grabs my attention because he married Dora Knighton – daughter of Sir William Knighton, a confidante of the Prince of Wales/George IV. Richard writes of this cousin, often distinguishing her from his sister Dora (yes, there were TWO Dora Seymours!) by referring to her as “Dora K.” She is a sweet-faced young lady in the portrait of her by Linnell. Dora (Knighton) Seymour interests me intensely! But it’s her husband that I find more information about.

An item readers of Two Teens in the Time of Austen will be surprised to hear: Captain Michael Seymour served under Vice-Admiral Sir Francis Austen, Jane’s brother. See this inquiry into the service details of HMS Vindictive.

Michael was a delightful artist, and we find some of his work online:


  1. Charlotte Frost said,

    Love the link to Captain Seymour’s watercolours. A few years ago I went to a talk on how people learnt about new lands via illustrations, and that type of topographical illustration was taught to naval officers as a surveying skill. Beauty and utility!

    • Janeite Kelly said,

      Hi, Charlotte – aren’t they wonderful?!? The amazing thing is that they portray images “close to home” for me, while being so rooted in the past; as well as considering how Michael got here: via the Royal Navy.
      That must have been a quite interesting talk! I do recall reading about the military’s teaching such skills, at this period. Makes sense! And yet why are women disparaged for acquiring (and often excelling at) these same skills?
      At the very least, the ability to draw well (and obviously these artists ENJOYED making their works of art) gave a souvenir of a home, or a day out, or a trip abroad. We’re lucky to be able to view them now.
      Thanks for writing,

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