Rear Admiral Sir Charles Adam

6th Oct 1780 - 16th Sep 1853

Claimant or beneficiary


Naval officer and politician.

Awarded £6405 13s 8d for ownership of enslaved persons on an estate in British Guiana by virtue of a transfer on 25/04/1835 of a part of the mortgage, as judgement creditor and as executor of his brother Francis James Adam, also a judgement creditor.

  1. Second son of William Adam 1751-1839 (a Whig politician), of Blairadam, Kinross, and of Eleanora (1749–1808), daughter of the tenth Lord Elphinstone, and sister of Captain Elphinstone, afterwards Admiral Lord Keith. John Adam (1779–1825), administrator, and Frederick William Adam, army officer, were two of his siblings.

    Married to Elizabeth (1822-1871), daughter of Patrick Brydone (traveller and author, 1736–1818; also in Oxford DNB)

    Children included his sole son, William Patrick Adam, (1825-81), who worked for the East India Company and was Liberal MP for Clackmannan and Kinross, 1859-80.

    MP for Kinross in 1831–2; Clackmannan and Kinross from 1833-1841. Whig.

    Had distinguished naval career: he entered the navy at an early age and then May 1825: rear-admiral; 1837: vice-admiral; 1848: admiral. August 1835: made KCB.

    First naval lord, November–December 1834, April 1835-September 1841, July 1846-July 1847. Worked closely with his brother-in-law Gilbert Elliot, Earl of Minto, and his friend Henry Eden, Lord Auckland.

    'He was a trusted colleague of the foreign secretary, Palmerston, with whom he formed a good working relationship.'

    August 1841-May 1845: Commander-in-chief in the West Indies.

    Governor of the Royal Naval Hospital, Greenwich (where he died in 1853).

    Following his death, on 1 July 1856, administration of his estate was granted to his son, William Patrick Adam.

  2. Rear Admiral Sir Charles Adam claimed for ownership of enslaved persons on Nismes estate, in part in his own right (for claim no. 662) and in part as executor of Francis James Adam (q.v.) (for claim no. 663). The will of Francis James Adam of Westminster Middlesex was proved 25/09/1820. Francis James Adam was almost certainly Sir Charles Adam's brother, the Francis James Adam born 24/03/1791 who was baptised 06/05/1791 at Mortlake Surrey, son of William and Eleanora Adam.


T71/885 British Guiana claim no. 663 (Nismes); T71/887 British Guiana claim no. 2398A&B (Vrouw (?) Anna).

  1. David Wilkinson, ‘Adam, William (1751–1839)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [accessed 09/09/2012]; Katherine Turner, ‘Brydone, Patrick (1736–1818)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [accessed 09/09/2012]; History of Parliament online (1820-1832)

  2. PROB 11/1634;, England and Wales Christening Records 1530-1906 [database online].

Further Information

Elizabeth Brydone
1 son, 1 daughter
Sailor (Royal Navy)
Oxford DNB Entry

Associated Claims (3)

£14,904 0s 5d
Awardee (Judgement creditor)
£8,748 19s 3d
Unsuccessful claimant
£5,781 11s 4d
Awardee (Executor or executrix)

Legacies Summary

Physical (1)

Country house
Blair Adam 
description →
In the Adam family from 1733 (when it was built). Charles Adam succeeded to Blair Adam in...
notes →
For the building's history and copies of plans see the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland website. (Link...

Political (2)

Local Government
office →
Lord Lieutenant
1839 - 1853
election →
Clackmannan and Kinross [pre-1832] Clackmannan and Kinross [pre-1832]
1831 - 1832
election →
Clackmannan and Kinross [1832- ] Clackmannan and Kinross [1832- ]
1832 - 1841

Relationships (1)


Addresses (3)

Blairadam, Kinross-shire, North-east Scotland, Scotland
Barns, Kinross, Kincardineshire, North-east Scotland, Scotland
Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich, Kent, London, England