Dmitry Nickolaevich Senyavian was born in a noble family on August,6, 1763 in Konlevo village of the Kaluga gubernia (province).
After finishing the Naval Corps in 1777 he served on the ships of the Baltic Navy in the rank of naval cadet.
In 1780 -1781 he was a warrant officer on the ship "Prince Vladimir" and made a voyage to Lisbon.
In 1781 he was sent to the forming Black Sea Navy. In the Russian-Turkish war Senyavin commanded several battleships and took part in the military operations. In the battle at Caliackria Senyavin commanded the battleship "Voznesenie Gospodne" ("Ascention of God").
In the Ionian campaign of the Russian Navy (1798-1800) agaist the Napoleonic Forces Senyavin in the rank of captain commanded the ship "Saint Peter" with three attached ships. In 1798 he took possession of the poweful French fortress of Saint Maura.
In 1803 Senyavin was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral.
In the second archipelago expedition of the Russian Navy (1805-1807) he commanded all Russian Navy Forces in the Mediterranean Sea in the rank of Vice-Admiral. In 1806 Russian sailors under the command of Senyavin took hold some important French fortress on the Adriatic Sea coast (Cattaro and others) and fought successfully against the French troops of the Coprs of Marmon.
In December of 1806 the main forces of the Russian Squadron blocked the Dardanelles and defeated the outnumbered Turkish Navy in the battles at the Dardanelles and the Aphon Mountain. After this battle Turkey asked for truce.
After coming back to St.Petersburg in 1809, Alexander I, who hated Senyavin for his independence and innovation nominated him on a minor post of the commander of the Revel seaport and dismissed him in 1813.
In 1825 when the war against Turkey was about to happen he was returned to the military service in the rank of General-Aide-de-Camp and appointed the Commander of the Baltic Navy. In 1826 he was promoted to the rank of Admiral and got a post of Senator.
In 1827 he commanded of the Baltic Sea Navy Squadron and made a voyage to Portsmouth. He died in April of 1831 year.
The name of Senyavin was given to several ships of the Russian Navy. Also in honour of Senyavin the group of the Caroline Islands was named.