Thomas Abel Brimage Spratt (Biographical details)

Thomas Abel Brimage Spratt (military/naval; British; Male; 11 May 1811 - 12 March 1888)

Also known as

Spratt, Thomas; Spratt, Thomas Abel Brimage


Thomas Abel Brimage Spratt, English vice-admiral, hydrographer and geologist, was born at East Teignmouth. He was the eldest son of Commander James Spratt, RN, and entered the navy in 1827. He was attached to the surveying branch, and was engaged almost continuously until 1863 in surveying the Mediterranean. As commander of the "Spitfire" he rendered distinguished service in the Black Sea during the Crimean War, and was appointed CB in 1855.

At an earlier date he was associated with Edward Forbes, then naturalist to the "Beacon", and during the years 1841-1843 they made observations on the bathymetrical distribution of marine life. To Forbes he was specially indebted for his interest in natural history and geology, and together they published 'Travels in Lycia, etc.' (1847). Spratt investigated the caves at Malta and obtained remains of the pygmy elephant (Elephas melitensis), which was described by Hugh Falconer. He investigated the geology of several Greek islands, also the shores of Asia Minor, and made detailed observations on the Nile delta. He was especially distinguished for his 'Travels and Researches in Crete' (2 vols., 1865), in which he ably described the physical geography, geology, archaeology and natural history of the island. He was commissioner of fisheries from 1866 to 1873; and acting conservator of the Mersey from 1879 until the close of his life. He died at Tunbridge Wells on the 12th of March 1888.