Sir Thomas Hastings was the son of a clergyman and born in 1790. In 1803 he joined the navy and served on the ‘Undaunted’ as First Lieutenant when she took Napoleon to Elba. He was promoted to Commander in 1825.
A favourite of William IV, Hastings was selected as Captain of the ‘Excellent’ – a gunnery training ship at Portsmouth – in 1832 and he served there for thirteen years. In 1839, Hastings was knighted for his services and when he retired from the ‘Excellent’ he was appointed Principal Storekeeper of the Ordnance. Here he worked to improve the design of heavy artillery. When the department of the Ordnance was moved to the War Office in 1855, he was put on the retired list. By 1866, Hastings had been promoted to Admiral.
Sir Thomas Hastings died at his home in London in 1870.