Admiral Sir William Fanshawe Martin, G.C.B., was the eldest son of Admiral Sir Thomas Byam Martin and entered the Navy as a First Class Volunteer in the Prince Frederick in June 1813. After serving in several ships, including two flying his father's flag, he joined the Alceste in 1816 and went in her to China with Lord Amherst's embassy, fortunately surviving the loss of that ship when she was wrecked on the journey home the following year. Rated midshipman in 1818 whilst in the royal yacht Prince Regent, he was promoted Lieutenant in 1820 and, in 1823, by which time he was in command of the sloop Fly on the South American station, he "rendered important services to British interests in Callao". Made Captain in June 1824, he remained at sea holding various commands until placed on half-pay in 1845 and having received the C.B. in 1843. Superintendent of Portsmouth Dockyard from 1853-58, a crucial period encompassing the Crimean War, he was then made C.-in-C. Mediterranean in 1860 [K.C.B., 1861], returning home as an Admiral in 1863. Thereafter C.-in-C. at Devonport, 1866-69, after which he retired from the service, he was advanced to G.C.B. in 1873 and made Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom in 1878.