What surprises me is that they were so old when they went out on their last commissions. Francis-William was 70 when he 1844 was selected C.-in C. of the North America and West India station.
Charles-John was also around 70 whe he went out on his last fatal mission as C.-in-C. of the East India and China station 1850.
Why did they send out people so old? Francis was a fit man, we know that, he lived to 91, but still..?
What I wonder is how were the Captains or Commanders selected.
Let's say that they needed to send a number of ships to somewhere for a certain mission. Did they annouce the job and those who were interested could volunteer? Or were they just selected? I suspect that there were room for some favouritism.
It must have been a competition for the jobs, since it was how they earned their money. Normally you didn't get much pay when standing by on shore. And unless you were of a wealthy family, going out was the possibility for money and honour.So I suppose that was why they went out on these last missions too.
Francis-William's last command was the year after his second wife Martha Lloyd and one of his sons had died, wich may have been one reason why he wanted to go out to sea again.
You always find some curious facts when going through the bios of the family members.
FWA had six sons and five daughters. Two sons joined the Navy and two joined the Church,one became a barrister,the last one died an infant. Of the five daughters sadly three died young at 29, 13 and 35. Of his eleven children only five survived him.