William Wharton (Royal Navy officer)

Admiral Sir William James Lloyd Wharton KCB FRS FGS (2 March 1843, London – 29 September 1905, Cape Town)[1] was a British admiral and Hydrographer of the Navy.[2]

Sir William Wharton
British Association members of the voyage around Africa 1905. W. Warton in the top row, 6th from right
Born(1843-03-02)2 March 1843
Died29 September 1905(1905-09-29) (aged 62)
Cape Town, South Africa
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Years of service1857 -
Commands heldHMS Shearwater
HMS Fawn
HMS Sylvia
AwardsKnight Commander of the Bath (1897)
Fellow of the Royal Society (1886)
Other workHydrographer of the Navy

Early life

He was born in London, the second son of Robert Wharton, County Court Judge of York. He was educated at Barney's Academy, Gosport and the Royal Naval Academy.[3]

Royal Navy service

He joined the Royal Navy in August 1857 and was promoted to lieutenant in 1863. He was promoted to commander in 1872. As captain of Shearwater he carried out extensive surveying the Sea of Marmora and the Bosphorus. As captain of Fawn he surveyed the seas off East Africa and as captain of Sylvia took valuable longitudinal readings. He was promoted to captain in 1880 and on 1 August 1884 he was appointed to the post of Hydrographer of the Navy, which he held for the next twenty years. in 1895 he was promoted to rear-admiral.


He was made Knight Commander of the Bath on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1886. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical and Astronomical Societies.


He died in South Africa of enteric fever at the age of 62. Mount Wharton in Antarctica and Wharton Basin in the Indian Ocean are named in his honour.



  1. wikisource:Wharton, William James Lloyd (DNB12)
  2. "Wharton, Sir William James Lloyd". Who's Who. Vol. 57. 1905. p. 1716.
  3. A. M. F. (Dec 1905). "Obituary: Admiral Sir W. J. L. Wharton, K. C. B., F. R. S.". The Geographical Journal. Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers). 26 (6): 684–686. JSTOR 1776080.
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