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Thread: The Atlantic campaign of 1806.

  1. #51
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    Captain Stephen Poyntz.



    This officer entered the Navy on the 11th of March, 1784, on board the Blenheim, Capt. Boxer, lying at Plymouth. In the course of the same year he sailed for the coast of Africa in the Grampus, Capt. Thompson; and, in 1785-6, he served at Newfoundland in the Winchelsea, Capt. Pellew. After cruizing for a few months on the Halifax station in the Adamant 50, Capt. Knox, he was made Lieutenant into the Thisbe, Capt. George on the 1st of Jan 1791.
    He next, in Jan 1793, joined the Leda frigate, Capt. Campbell, attached to the force in the Mediterranean. He attained the rank of Commander on the 31st of Oct 1795, in the Childers sloop, on the Channel station. He was made Post on the 5th of Dec. 1796, into the Camilla 24, also employed in the Channel; and was subsequently appointed, on the 16th of Aug 1797, to the Solebay 32, in the West Indies. On the 1st of Jan 1801 he joined the Beaulieu 40, in the Channel, where he remained until May 1802.

    On the 7th of Aug 1804,he removed to the Melampus 36, on the Home and West India stations. then on the 14th of Oct 1806, for two months, to the Tartar 32, at Halifax, and on the13th of Feb 1810, to the Edgar 74, in which ship he served in the Baltic until the following Dec. In the Childers Capt. Poyntz effected the capture, on the 14th of Sept 1796, of La Bonne Espérance a privateer, of 2 swivels and 25 men; and, in company with the Melampus, Capt. Graham Moore, aided in taking, on the13th of Nov following, Aetna corvette, of 18 guns, pierced for 20.
    During his command of the Solebay he gained a prize, in the course of 1798, of the privateers Augustine of 2 guns and 23 men, Destin of 4 guns and 46 men, and Prosperite of 8 guns and 61 men. He also gallantly enforced the surrender, on the 24th of Nov 1799, off the island of St. Domingo, of a French squadron, consisting of L’Egyptienne armed store-ship, of 20 guns and 137 men, Eole ship-corvette, of 18 guns and 107 men, Levrier brig-corvette, of 12 guns and 96 men, and Vengeur schooner, of 8 guns and 91 men.

    Capt. Poyntz was in command of the Beaulieu in 1801, when the boats of that ship and of the Doris and Uranie frigates cut out La Chevrette corvette, of, 20 guns and 350 men, one of the most surprising exploits of the kind ever achieved. In the Melampus we find him capturing two brigs, each carrying two long 24-pounders, one 18-pounder, and 50 men, most of them soldiers; four luggers of one long 18-pounder and 25 men each, from Bordeaux bound to Brest; and a Spanish privateer, the Hydra, of 28 guns and 192 men, 3 of whom were killed and several wounded before she surrendered.

    In Sept 1806, being in the same ship in company with the Belleisle and Bellona 74’s, he contributed to the destruction, off Cape Henry, of the French 74 L’Impétueux.

    He became a Rear-Admiral on the 12th of Aug 1819, a Vice-Admiral on the 22nd of July 1830, and a full Admiral on the 23rd of Nov 1841.He died on the12th of May, 1847, at his seat, Bedhampton, near Portsmouth, aged 78.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Rear-Admiral Thomas Louis.

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    Thomas Louis was born in 1758 to John and Elizabeth Louis. John was a schoolmaster in Exeter, and family legend maintained that his grandfather had been an illegitimate son of King Louis XIV, although this cannot be verified. Louis joined the Navy in 1769 aged eleven, and first went to sea aboard the sloop HMS Fly. In 1771 he moved to the larger HMS Southampton and under her captain John MacBride he subsequently moved to first HMS Orpheus and subsequently the ship of the line HMS Kent. In 1775 he gained his first experience of foreign service, joining HMS Martin on the Newfoundland Station.

    War with America.

    In 1776, at the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War, Louis joined the frigate HMS Thetis and in her returned to Europe, there joining the ship of the line HMS Bienfaisant. In this ship he was promoted to lieutenant the following year, and in 1778 participated at the First Battle of Ushant, a British victory in the Atlantic under Augustus Keppel. In 1780, Bienfaisant was engaged at the Battle of Cape St Vincent, where the ship was badly damaged in a bitter exchange with the larger Spanish battleship Phoenix. During the storm which followed the battle, Louis took command of the captured Phoenix and saw her safely to Gibraltar. A week before, at the Action of 8 January 1780, he had performed a similar feat with another captured Spanish ship of the line, the Guipuzcoana.
    After repairs, Louis commanded Phoenix on her return to Britain and was rejoined there by the Bienfaisant. In this ship, Louis was subsequently involved in the capture of the large French privateer Comte d'Artois, which mounted 60 guns. In 1781, Louis moved with his captain to the frigate HMS Artois and was then given his first independent command, the small armed vessel HMS Mackworth and escorted coastal shipping off Plymouth. In 1782 he was posted to the impress service in Sligo and Cork and in early 1783 was made post captain. During the peace, Louis lived on his half-pay in reserve near Torquay. He married Jacquetta Belfield in early 1784 and the couple had seven children. His eldest son, John Louis would later become an admiral in his own right, and his third son fought with the Royal Horse Artillery at the Battle of Waterloo.

    Captaincy.

    In 1793 the French Revolutionary Wars broke out and Louis was immediately recalled to service to command HMS Cumberland in the Channel Fleet. In 1794 he moved to the new HMS Minotaur under the command of Admiral MacBride, and participated in the Atlantic campaign of May 1794, narrowly missing the Glorious First of June. In 1796 he convoyed supplies to the West Indies and then joined the Mediterranean fleet under Horatio Nelson. Two years later, Louis and Minotaur were present at the Battle of the Nile on 1 August 1798. At the battle, Minotaur fought a two-hour duel against Aquilon, ultimately forcing her surrender and there is a possibly apocryphal story that Louis was personally thanked by the seriously wounded Nelson, who is reported to have said "Farewell dear Louis, I shall never forget the obligation I am under to you for your brave and generous conduct; and now, whatever may become of me, my mind is at peace".

    During 1799, Louis, under the command of Thomas Troubridge, participated in operations to disrupt the French invasion of Italy, seizing Civitavecchia and Louis personally entering Rome and raising the Union Flag over the city. In 1800, Minotaur was Lord Keith's flagship at the Siege of Genoa and the following year Louis commanded her at the invasion of Egypt. Following the Peace of Amiens, Louis briefly took command of HMS Conqueror. Less than a year later he was promoted to rear-admiral, raised his flag in the fourth rate HMS Leopard, commanded by Francis Austen, and oversaw 40 small craft seeking to disrupt French invasion preparations at Boulogne.

    Trafalgar and San Domingo.

    In 1805, Louis and Austen joined Nelson's fleet in the Mediterranean, taking over HMS Canopus. Canpous participated in the chase across the Atlantic after Villeneuve's fleet and the ensuing blockade of Cadiz. On 2 October, Nelson dispatched Canopus to Gibraltar to collect supplies for the fleet, despite strenuous objections from Louis that they would miss the forthcoming battle. Despite Nelson's assurances that they would not, on 21 October the Franco-Spanish fleet sallied out and was destroyed at the Battle of Trafalgar without Louis.

    Disappointed at these events, Louis was sent under John Thomas Duckworth in late 1805 to pursue a French squadron that had reached the West Indies. The British force reached the French in February 1806 off the coast of San Domingo and in a lengthy battle drove the French flagship and another ship of the squadron ashore in flames and captured the rest. In reward of his service at this action, Louis was presented with a gold medal (his second after the Nile) and made a baronet. He returned to the Mediterranean later in the year, but had contracted an illness and spent sometime convalescing. This period was disturbed in November 1806 however when Duckworth was sent by Lord Collingwood to reconnoitre the Dardanelles.

    Three months later Louis led a division of Duckworth's force in a major attempt to force passage of the channel in what later became known as the Dardanelles Operation. Although Duckworth's force reached Constantinople they were heavily battered by enemy fire and were forced to withdraw soon afterwards, Canpous suffering severely from massive stone shot fired from Turkish cannon. For his service in this operation, Louis was highly praised by Duckworth.

    Louis returned with the fleet to rejoin British forces in Alexandria, Egypt, but the unidentified sickness that had plagued him in the West Indies returned and he became gravely ill. He died in May 1807 and his body was transferred to Malta for burial, being interred at Manoel Island. His death was widely mourned in the fleet, particularly among the common sailors, with whom he had always been popular.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  3. #53
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    Captain Francis Austen.



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    Born the son of the Reverend George Austen and Cassandra Austen (the daughter of the Reverend Thomas Leigh), and the brother of the novelist Jane Austen, Francis Austen joined the Royal Navy in April 1786. After graduating at the Royal Naval Academy at Portsmouth, he was appointed to the fifth-rate HMS Perseverance on the East Indies Station. Promoted to midshipman in December 1789, he joined the third-rate HMS Crown and then transferred to the fifth-rate HMS Minerva in November 1791. In HMS Minerva he took part in a blockade of the coast of Mysore.

    Promoted to lieutenant on 28 December 1792, Austen transferred to the sloop HMS Despatch and then returned to England at the end of 1793. In March 1794 he joined the sloop Lark, a brig that was part of a fleet that evacuated British troops from Ostend and Nieuwpoort after the French captured the Netherlands during the French Revolutionary Wars. In March 1795 HMS Lark was part of a squadron that escorted Princess Caroline of Brunswick to England.

    Austen transferred to the fifth-rate HMS Andromeda in May 1795 and to the second-rate HMS Glory in Autumn 1795. In HMS Glory he escorted the troops of General Ralph Abercromby destined for the West Indies in December 1795. He moved to the fifth-rate HMS Shannon in early 1796, to the fifth-rate HMS Triton in September 1796 and to the fifth-rate HMS Seahorse in March 1797. He then joined the second-rate HMS London in February 1798 and took part in the blockade of Cádiz.

    After securing the patronage of Admiral Lord Gambier, he was promoted to commander on 3 January 1799 and became commanding officer of the sloop HMS Peterel in February 1799. In HMS Peterel he captured some 40 ships, was present at the capture of a French squadron in June 1799 and led an operation when the French brig Ligurienne was captured and two others were driven ashore off Marseille in March 1800. He also took part in the blockade of Genoa in May 1800 and, having been promoted to captain on 13 May 1800, was present at the blockade of Abu Qir in August 1800.

    Austen became Flag Captain to Lord Gambier, in the second-rate HMS Neptune in August 1801 and earned a reputation for seeing to the welfare and health of his men. On the outbreak of Napoleonic Wars he was appointed to raise and organise a corps of Sea Fencibles at Ramsgate to defend a strip of the Kentish coast. He went on to be commanding officer of the fourth-rate HMS Leopard, flagship of Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Louis, in May 1804 and then took part in the blockade of Boulogne. He next became commanding officer of the third-rate HMS Canopus, a French ship of the line captured in the Battle of the Nile (as the Franklin), early in 1805. In HMS Canopus he took part in the pursuit of the French Fleet, under the command of Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, to the West Indies and back in Summer 1805.

    Austen was temporarily detached from the fleet for convoy duty in the Mediterranean and missed the Battle of Trafalgar. However, he did command HMS Canopus at the Battle of San Domingo, leading the lee line of ships into the battle, in February 1806. He went on to be commanding officer of the third-rate HMS St Albans in March 1807. On 13 July 1808, the East India Company gave Austen £420 with which to buy a piece of plate: this was a substantial gift (perhaps the equivalent of a year's salary) in thanks for his having safely convoyed to Britain from Saint Helena seven of their Indiamen, plus one extra (voyage chartered) ship. In HMS St Albans he observed the Battle of Vimeiro from the deck of his ship in August 1808 and then embarked British troops retreating after the Battle of Corunna in January 1809.

    Austen became Flag Captain to Lord Gambier, Commander-in-Chief of the Channel Squadron, in the first-rate HMS Caledonia in September 1810. He went on to be commanding officer of the third-rate HMS Elephant in the North Sea in 1811 and took part in a blockade of the Scheldt. In HMS Elephant he captured the United States privateer Swordfish in December 1812 during the War of 1812. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 4 June 1815.

    Senior command.

    Promoted to rear admiral on 22 July 1830, Austen was advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 28 February 1837 and promoted to vice admiral on 28 June 1838. He became Commander-in-Chief, North America and West Indies Station, with his flag in the third-rate HMS Vindictive, in December 1844. His main role was to protect British commercial interests during the Mexican–American War, which broke out in 1846, and to disrupt the activities of slave traders.

    Promoted to full admiral on 1 August 1848, he was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 18 May 1860 before being appointed Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom on 5 June 1862 and then Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom on 11 December 1862 He was promoted to Admiral of the Fleet on 27 April 1863.

    Austen died at his home Portsdown Lodge at Widley in Hampshire[ on 10 August 1865 and was buried in the churchyard at St Peter and St Paul, Wymering, Portsmouth.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Vice-Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth.



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    Born in Leatherhead, Surrey, England, Duckworth was one of five sons of Sarah Johnson and the vicar Henry Duckworth A.M. of Stoke Poges, County of Buckinghamshire. The Duckworths were descended from a landed family, with Henry later being installed as Canon of Windsor. John Duckworth went to Eton College, but began his naval career in 1759 at the suggestion of Edward Boscawen, when he entered the Royal Navy as a midshipman on HMS Namur. Namur later became part of the fleet under Sir Edward Hawke, and Duckworth was present at the Battle of Quiberon Bay on 20 November 1759. On 5 April 1764 he joined the 50-gun HMS Guernsey at Chatham, after leaving HMS Prince of Orange, to serve with Admiral Hugh Palliser, then Governor of Newfoundland. He served aboard HMS Princess Royal, on which he suffered a concussion when he was hit by the head of another sailor, decapitated by a cannonball. He spent some months as an acting lieutenant, and was confirmed in the rank on 14 November 1771. He then spent three years aboard the 74-gun HMS Kent, the Plymouth guardship, under Captain Charles Fielding. Fielding was given command of the frigate HMS Diamond in early 1776, and he took Duckworth with him as his first lieutenant. Duckworth married Anne Wallis in July 1776, with whom he had a son and a daughter.

    American Revolution.

    After some time in North America, where Duckworth became involved in a court-martial after an accident at Rhode Island on 18 January 1777 left several men dead, the Diamond was sent to join Vice-Admiral John Byron's fleet in the West Indies. Byron transferred him to his own ship, HMS Princess Royal, in March 1779, and Duckworth was present aboard her at the Battle of Grenada on 6 July 1779. Duckworth was promoted to commander ten days after this and given command of the sloop-of-war HMS Rover. After cruising off Martinique for a time, he was promoted to post captain on 16 June 1780 and given command of the 74-gun HMS Terrible. He returned to the Princess Royal as flag-captain to Rear-Admiral Sir Joshua Rowley, with whom he went to Jamaica. He was briefly in command of HMS Yarmouth, before moving into HMS Bristol in February 1781, and returned to England with a trade convoy. In the years of peace before the French Revolution he was a captain of the 74-gun HMS Bombay Castle, lying at Plymouth.

    French Revolutionary wars service.

    Fighting against France, Duckworth distinguished himself both in European waters and in the Caribbean. He was initially in command of the 74-gun HMS Orion from 1793 and served in the Channel Fleet under Admiral Lord Howe. He was in action at the Glorious First of June. Duckworth was one of few commanders specifically mentioned by Howe for their good conduct, and one of eighteen commanders honoured with the Naval Gold Medal, and the thanks of both Houses of Parliament. He was appointed to command the 74-gun HMS Leviathan in early 1794, and went out to the West Indies where he served under Rear-Admiral Sir William Parker. He was appointed commodore at Santo Domingo in August 1796. In 1798 Duckworth was in command of a small squadron of four vessels. He sailed for Minorca on 19 October 1798, where he was a joint commander with Sir Charles Stuart, initially landing his 800 troops in the bay of Addaya, and later landing sailors and marines from his ships, which included HMS Cormorant and HMS Aurora, to support the Army. He was promoted to rear-admiral of the white on 14 February 1799 following Minorca's capture, and "Minorca" was later inscribed on his coat of arms. In June his squadron of four ships captured Courageux.
    In April 1800 was in command of the blockading squadron off Cadiz, and intercepted a large and rich Spanish convoy from Lima off Cadiz, consisting of two frigates (both taken as prizes) and eleven merchant vessels, with his share of the prize money estimated at £75,000. In June 1800 he sailed to take up his post as the newly appointed Commander-in-Chief at Barbados and the Leeward Islands Station, succeeding Lord Hugh Seymour.
    Duckworth was nominated a Knight Companion of the most Honourable Military Order of the Bath in 1801 (and installed in 1803), for the capture of the islands of St. Bartholomew, St. Martin, St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix and defeat of the Swedish and Danish forces stationed there on 20 March 1801. Lieutenant-General Thomas Trigge commanded the ground troops, which consisted of two brigades under Brigadier-Generals Fuller and Frederick Maitland, of 1,500 and 1,800 troops respectively. These included the 64th Regiment of Foot (Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Pakenham), and the 2nd and 8th West Indies Regiments, two detachments of Royal Artillery, and two companies of sailors, each of about 100 men. The ships involved, in addition to Leviathan, included HMS Andromeda, HMS Unite, HMS Coromandel, HMS Proselyte, HMS Amphitrite, HMS Hornet, the brig HMS Drake, hired armed brig Fanny, schooner HMS Eclair, and tender Alexandria. Aside from the territory and prisoners taken during the operation, Duckworth's force took two Swedish merchantmen, a Danish ship (in ballast), three small French vessels, one privateer brig (12-guns), one captured English ship, a merchant-brig, four small schooners, and a sloop.


    West Indies.

    From 1803 until 1804, Duckworth assumed command as the commander-in-chief of the Jamaica Station, during which time he directed the operations which led to the surrender of General Rochambeau and the French army, following the successful Blockade of Saint-Domingue.
    Duckworth was promoted to vice-admiral of the blue on 23 April 1804, and he was appointed a Colonel of Marines He succeeded in capturing numerous enemy vessels and 5,512 French prisoners of war. In recognition of his service, the Legislative Assembly of Jamaica presented Duckworth with a ceremonial sword and a gold scabbard, inscribed with a message of thanks. The merchants of Kingston provided a second gift, an ornamental tea kettle signifying Duckworth's defence of sugar and tea exports Both sword and kettle were subsequently gifted to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.
    Duckworth remained in Jamaica until 1805, returning to England that April aboard HMS Acasta. On his return to England again, he was called to face court-martial charges brought by Captain James Athol Wood of HMS Acasta, who claimed that Duckworth had transgressed the 18th Article of War; "Taking goods onboard other than for the use of the vessel, except gold & etc." Duckworth had apparently acquired some goods, and in wishing to transport them home in person reassigned Captain Wood to another vessel on Jamaica station knowing that the vessel was soon to be taken under command by another flag officer. Consequently, Duckworth was able to take the goods to England as personal luggage, and Wood was forced to sail back as a passenger on his own ship. The court-martial was held on board HMS Gladiator in Portsmouth on 25 April 1805, but the charge was dropped on 7 June 1805.

    Atlantic.

    In 1805 the Admiralty decided that Duckworth should raise his flag aboard HMS Royal George and sail to join Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson off Cadiz. However, the Plymouth Dockyards could not make Royal George ready to sail in time, and Duckworth was directed to raise his flag in HMS Superb, with Captain Richard Keats as his flag-captain. By the time of his arrival on 15 November, the Battle of Trafalgar had been fought. Duckworth was ordered to take command of the West Indies squadron involved in the blockade of Cadiz, with seven sail of the line, consisting of five 74-gun ships, the 80-gun HMS Canopus and the 64-gun HMS Agamemnon, and two frigates.
    Although known for a cautious character, he abandoned the blockade and sailed in search of a French squadron under Admiral Zacharie Allemand, which had been reported by a frigate off Madeira on 30 November, on his own initiative. While searching for the French, which eventually eluded him, he came across another French squadron on 25 December, consisting of six sail of the line and a frigate. This was the squadron under Contre-Admiral Jean-Baptiste Willaumez, heading for the Cape of Good Hope, and pursued by Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Strachan. Duckworth gave chase, but with his squadron scattered, decided not to risk engaging with his one ship, and gave it up.

    Return to the West Indies.

    Duckworth then set sail for the Leeward Islands to take on water, dispatching the 74-gun HMS Powerful to reinforce the East Indies squadron. There, at Saint Kitts, he was joined on 21 January 1806 by the 74-gun ships HMS Northumberland and HMS Atlas commanded by Sir Alexander Cochrane,[18] and on 1 February a brig Kingfisher commanded by Nathaniel Day Cochrane, which brought news of French at San Domingo. The French had a squadron of five ships: the 120-gun Imperial, two 84-gun and two 74-gun ships and two frigates, under the command of Vice-Admiral Corentin Urbain Leissègues which escaped from Brest and sought to reinforce the French forces at San Domingo with about 1,000 troops. Arriving at San Domingo on 6 February 1806, Duckworth found the French squadron with its transports anchored in the Occa bay. The French commander immediately hurried to sea, forming a line of battle as they went. Duckworth gave the signal to form two columns of four and three ships of the line.

    Battle of San Domingo.

    Duckworth at once made the signal to attack and "with a portrait of Nelson suspended from the mizzen stay of the Superb with the band playing 'God Save the King' and 'Nelson of the Nile', bore down on the leading French ship Alexandre of 84 guns and engaged her at close quarters. After a severe action of two hours, two of the French ships were driven ashore and burnt with three others captured. Only the French frigates escaped.
    Despite this, it is thought that Duckworth used his own ship cautiously, and the credit for the victory was due more to the initiative of the individual British captains. Duckworth nearly grounded his own ship as he attempted to board Impérial.
    His victory over the French Admiral Leissègues off the coast of Hispaniola on 6 February together with Admiral Alexander Cochrane's squadron was a fatal blow to French strategy in the Caribbean region, and played a major part in Napoleon's eventual sale of Louisiana, and withdrawal from the Caribbean. It was judged sufficiently important to have the Tower of London guns fire a salute. San Domingo was added to Duckworth's coat of arms as words; a British sailor was added to the supporters of the Arms in 1814.
    A promotion to vice-admiral of the white in April 1806 followed, along with the presentation of a sword of honour by the House of Assembly of Jamaica, while his naval feats were acknowledged with several honours, including a sword of honour by the corporation of the City of London. A great dinner was also held in his honour as the Mansion House. On his return to England, Duckworth was granted a substantial pension of £1,000 from the House of Commons, and the freedom of the city of London.
    Santo Domingo was the last significant fleet action of the Napoleonic Wars which, despite negative claims made about his personality, displayed Duckworth's understanding of the role of naval strategy in the overall war by securing for Britain mastery of the sea, and thus having sea-oriented mentality having placed a British fleet in the right strategic position. Duckworth also displayed the willingness of accept changing tactics employed by Nelson, and maintained the superiority of British naval gunnery in battle.

    Mediterranean.

    Duckworth was appointed second in command of the Mediterranean Fleet primarily on consideration by the Admiralty of having a senior officer in the forthcoming operations with the Imperial Russian Navy. Sailing in the 100-gun first-rate HMS Royal George with eight ships of the line and four smaller vessels, he arrived at the island of Tenedos with orders to take possession of the Ottoman fleet at Constantinople, thus supporting Dmitry Senyavin's fleet in the Dardanelles Operation. Accompanying him were some of the ablest Royal Navy officers such as Sidney Smith, Richard Dacres and Henry Blackwood but he was in doubt of having the capability to breach the shore batteries and reach the anchored Ottoman fleet. Aware of Turkish efforts to reinforce the shore artillery, he nevertheless took no action until 11 February 1807 and spent some time in the strait waiting for a favourable wind. In the evening of the same day Blackwood's ship, HMS Ajax accidentally caught fire while at anchor off Tenedos, and was destroyed, although her captain and most of the crew were saved and redistributed among the fleet.
    Finally on 19 February at the Action at Point Pisquies (Nagara Burun), a part of the British force encountered the Ottoman fleet which engaged first. One 64-gun ship of the line, four 36-gun frigates, five 12-gun corvettes, one 8-gun brig, and a gunboat were forced ashore and burnt by the part of the British fleet.
    The British fleet consisted of HMS Standard, under Captain Thomas Harvey, HMS Thunderer, under Captain John Talbot, HMS Pompee, under flag captain Richard Dacres, and HMS Repulse, under Captain Arthur Kaye Legge, as well as the frigate HMS Active, under Captain Richard Hussey Mowbray, under the command of Rear-Admiral Sir Sidney Smith, commanding the rear division. They took one corvette and one gunboat, and the flags of the Turkish Vice-Admiral and Captain Pasha in the process, with adjacent fortifications destroyed by landing parties from HMS Thunderer, HMS Pompée, and HMS Repulse, while its 31 guns were spiked by the marines. The marines were commanded by Captain Nicholls of HMS Standard who had also boarded the Turkish ship of the line. There were eight 32 lb and 24 lb brass guns and the rest firing marble shot weighing upwards of 200 pounds.
    On 20 February the British squadron under Duckworth, having joined Smith with the second division of ships under command of Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Louis, reached the Ottoman capital, but had to engage in fruitless negotiations with the Sultan's representatives, advised by Napoleon's ambassador Sébastiani, and with the accompanying British ambassador Charles Arbuthnot and Russian plenipotentiary Andrey Italinski, the latter being carried aboard on HMS Endymion, under the command of Captain Thomas Bladen Capel, due to the secret instructions that were issued as part of his orders for the mission, and therefore losing more time as the Turks played for time to complete their shore batteries in the hope of trapping the British squadron.
    Smith was joined a week later by Duckworth, who observed the four bays of the Dardanelles lined with five hundred cannon and one hundred mortars as his ships passed towards Constantinople. There he found the rest of the Turkish fleet of twelve ships of the line and nine frigates,] all apparently ready for action in Constantinople harbour. Exasperated by Turkish intransigence, and not having a significant force to land on the shore, Duckworth decided to withdraw on 1 March after declining to take Smith's advice to bombard the Turkish Arsenal and gunpowder manufacturing works. The British fleet was subjected to shore artillery fire all the way to the open sea, and sustaining casualties and damage to ships from 26-inch calibre (650 mm) guns firing 300-800 pound marble shot.
    Though blamed for indecisiveness, notably by Thomas Grenville, the First Lord of the Admiralty, Duckworth announced that
    "I must, as an officer, declare to be my decided opinion that, without the cooperation of a body of land forces, it would be a wanton sacrifice of the squadrons to attempt to force the passage."
    After his departure from Constantinople, he commanded the squadron protecting transports of the Alexandria expedition of 1807, but that was forced to withdraw after five months due to lack of supplies. Duckworth summed up this expedition, in reflection on the service of the year by commenting that:-
    "Instead of acting vigorously in either one or the other direction, our cabinet comes to the miserable determination of sending five or six men-of-war, without soldiers, to the Dardanelles, and 5000 soldiers, without a fleet, to Alexandria."
    Soon after, he married again, on 14 May 1808 to Susannah Catherine Buller, a daughter of William Buller, the Bishop of Exeter. They had two sons together before his death, she survived him, dying on 27 April 1840.

    The Channel Fleet.

    Duckworth's career however did not suffer greatly, and in 1808 and 1810 he went on to sail in HMS San Josef and HMS Hibernia, some of the largest first-rates in the Royal Navy, as commander of the Channel Fleet, One of the least pleasant duties in his life was his participation in the court-martial of Admiral Lord Gambier, after the Battle of the Basque Roads.

    Newfoundland and War of 1812.

    Probably because he was thought of as irresolute and unimaginative, on 26 March 1810 Duckworth was appointed Governor of Newfoundland and Commander-in-Chief of the Newfoundland Squadron's three frigates and eight smaller vessels.[48] Although this was a minor command in a remote station spanning from Davis Strait to the Gulf of St Lawrence, he also received a promotion to admiral of the blue, flying his flag aboard the 50-gun HMS Antelope.
    While serving as Governor he was attacked for his arbitrary powers over the territory, and retaliated against the pamphleteer by disallowing his reappointment as surgeon of the local militia unit, the Loyal Volunteers of St John, which Duckworth renamed the St John’s Volunteer Rangers, and enlarged to 500 officers and militiamen for the War of 1812 with the United States.
    Duckworth also took an interest in bettering relationship with the local Beothuk Indians, and sponsored Lieutenant David Buchan's expedition up the Exploits River in 1810 to explore the region of the Beothuk settlements.
    As the governor and station naval commander, Duckworth had to contend with American concerns over the issues of "Free Trade and Sailor's Rights." His orders and instructions to captains under his command were therefore directly concerned with fishing rights of US vessels on the Grand Banks, the prohibition of United States trade with British colonials, the searching of ships under US flag for contraband, and the impressment of seamen for service on British vessels. He returned to Portsmouth on 28 November in HMS Antelope after escorting transports from Newfoundland.

    Semi-retirement.

    On 2 December 1812, soon after arriving in Devon, Duckworth resigned as governor after being offered a parliamentary seat for New Romney on the coast of Kent. At about this time he found out that his oldest son George Henry had been killed in action while serving in the rank of a Colonel with the Duke of Wellington, during the Peninsular War. George Henry had been killed at the Battle of Albuera at the head of the 48th (Northamptonshire) Regiment of Foot. Sir John was created a baronet on 2 November 1813, adopting a motto Disciplina, fide, perseverantia (Discipline, fidelity, perseverance), and in January 1815 was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth 45 miles from his home; a post considered one of semi-retirement by his successor, Lord Exmouth. However, on 26 June that year it became a centre of attention due to the visit by HMS Bellerophon bearing Napoleon to his final exile, with Duckworth being the last senior British officer to speak with him before his departure on board HMS Northumberland.
    Duckworth died at his post on the base in 1817 at 1 o'clock, after several months of illness; after a long and distinguished service with the Royal Navy. He was buried on 9 September at the church in Topsham, where he was laid to rest in the family vault, with his coffin covered with crimson velvet studded with 2,500 silvered nails to resemble a ship's planking.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Captain Richard Goodwin Keats.

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    Keats was born at Chalton, Hampshire the son of Rev. Richard Keats, Rector of Bideford and King's Nympton in Devon and Headmaster of Blundells School, Tiverton, by his wife, Elizabeth. His formal education was brief. At the age of nine, in 1766, he entered New College School and was then admitted briefly to Winchester College in 1768 but lacked scholastic aptitude and determined on a career in the Royal Navy.

    Early naval career.

    Keats entered the navy as a midshipman in 1770 aboard the 74-gun HMS Bellona under Captain John Montagu and followed Montagu when he was promoted rear-admiral, given command of the North American Station and the governorship at Halifax. He served in a number of ships on the Newfoundland station under his patron and his patron’s son Captain James Montagu.
    In April 1777 he was promoted to Lieutenant under Captain Robert Digby in HMS Ramillies in which he took part in the First Battle of Ushant on 27 July 1778. As one of Digby’s followers he was moved with him to the second-rate, ninety-gun HMS HMS Prince George. His Royal Highness Prince William Henry, later William IV served aboard the Prince George as a midshipman for almost two years during this time.
    In 1780 Keats was on Prince George with Admiral Rodney’s fleet at the Moonlight Battle that culminated in the relief of Gibraltar. Keats was with the fleet once more when it again relieved the beleaguered rock in 1781. In September 1781 Keats returned to the North American station with Digby in HMS Lion.

    Command.

    On 18 January 1782 Keats was put in command of the store ship HMS Rhinoceros which was later fitted out as a floating battery in the defense of New York City. By May 1782 he had been transferred to HMS Bonetta sloop in which he was part of the squadron that captured a French squadron including the 38-gun Aigle which was bought into British service. The Bonetta was paid off in 1785 and between that time and 1789 Keats lived in France.
    On 24 June 1789 he was promoted to post-captain in HMS Southampton, possibly at the behest of the Duke of Clarence (Prince William Henry) as a royal favour to a friend. Between 1790 and 1793 Keats commanded the HMS Niger frigate on the Channel Station. He commissioned HMS London in 1793 as the newly appointed flag-captain to the Duke of Clarence but was to be disappointed when the Board of Admiralty determined that it would be dangerous for the Prince and recalled him to London.

    Western Frigate Squadron.

    In 1794 Keats was in Sir John Borlase Warren’s squadron in the Channel in command of the 32-gun frigate HMS Galatea. In her he took part in the running battles along the French, English and Irish coasts that became highly publicized and exemplified the romantic image of naval warfare as it was perceived by the general public. In 1795 Galatea captured La Revolutionnaire.
    In the same year the Galatea took part in the failed landing of an invasion force at Quiberon Bay. The invasion force consisted of French Royalist émigré, counter-revolutionary troops in support of the Chouannerie and Vendée Revolt. They were landed by the Royal Navy on 23 June. The aim of the invasion was to raise the whole of western France in revolt, bring an end to the French Revolution and restore the French monarchy. The Landing of the émigrés at Quiberon was finally repulsed on 21 July, dealing a disastrous blow to the royalist cause.
    On 23 August 1795 Keats in the Galatea drove the French frigate Andromaque ashore and set her alight to stop the French refloating her.
    In May 1797 Galatea was at the Nore anchorage and Keats along with several other captains was put ashore during the fleet mutiny.
    Subsequently he commissioned the newly built 40-gun HMS Boadicea. Under Keats she served on the Channel station for several years during which time she captured at least three prizes. The first was the 22-gun Spanish ship Union, which she captured on 14 August 1797. On 9 December 1798 Boadicea captured the 20-gun French privateer L´Invincible General Bonaparte. The Admiralty took this vessel into service as the 18-gun sloop HMS Brazen. On 1 April 1799 Keats also captured L'Utile, a Brig of 16-Guns. During this time Keats was stationed mainly off Brest. He continued there until 1800 when he was reassigned by Earl St. Vincent to Ferrol.

    HMS Superb and the Battle of Algeciras Bay.

    By March 1801 Keats was placed in command of the ship with which he is most associated. HMS Superb was a 74-gun third-rate ship-of-the-line ordered in 1795 and completed in 1798.
    In July 1801 she was stationed off Cadiz and took part in the second Battle of Algeciras Bay. During the French and Spanish retreat Admiral Sir James Saumarez hailed the Superb and ordered Keats to catch the allied fleets rear and engage. The Superb was a relatively new ship and had not been long on blockade duty. As a consequence she was the fastest sailing ship-of-the-line in the fleet. As night fell Keats sailed the Superb alongside the 112-gun Real Carlos on her starboard side. Another Spanish ship, the 112-gun San Hermenegildo, was sailing abreast, on the port side, of the Real Carlos. Keats fired into the Real Carlos and some shot passed her and struck the San Hermenegildo. The Real Carlos caught fire and Keats disengaged her to continue up the line. In the darkness the two Spanish ships confused one another for British ships and began a furious duel. With the Real Carlos aflame the captain of the Hermenegildo determined to take advantage and crossed the Real Carlos’ stern in order to deal a fatal broadside that would run the length of the ship through the unprotected stern. A sudden gust of wind brought the two ships together and entangled their rigging. The Hermenegildo also caught fire and the two enormous three-deck ships exploded. The Superb continued on relatively unscathed and engaged the French 74-gun St. Antoine under Commodore Julien le Roy. The St. Antoine struck after a brief exchange of broadsides. The action came to an end with the intervention of Captain Amable Troude aboard the Formidable. Troude placed his ship, which had been damaged in the earlier engagement and could not keep up with the main allied fleet, between the escaping allied fleet and the British. He fought off four ships before escaping into Cadiz.
    Both Troude and Keats were highly praised by their commanders and the general public. Troude received an audience with Napoleon. Nelson said of Keats in a letter to the Duke of Clarence: “Our friend Keats is quite well in his own person he is equal in my estimation to an additional Seventy-four; his life is a valuable one to the State, and it is impossible that your Royal Highness could ever have a better choice of a Sea friend, or Counsellor, if you go to the Admiralty.”
    After the Treaty of Amiens in 1802 Keats and Superb remained in the Mediterranean under Admiral Sir Richard Bickerton. When Nelson relieved Bickerton and took command of the fleet in the Mediterranean Keats remained with him off Toulon and accompanied the fleet to the West Indies in 1805 in the famous chase of Admiral Villeneuve that culminated in the Battle of Trafalgar.After the fleets return to the European waters Superb was sent to Portsmouth to re-fit. Unfortunately she did not rejoin the fleet off Cadiz until November 1805 missing the Battle of Trafalgar by less than a month.
    On 9 November 1805 Keats was made an honorary Colonel of Marines, received the thanks of Parliament and a presentation sword from the Lloyd's Patriotic Fund.

    The West Indies and the Battle of San Domingo.

    Admiral Duckworth took Superb as his flagship in 1806. Duckworth took the fleet blockading Cadiz and chased Contre-Admiral Jean-Baptiste Willaumez to the West Indies. Vice-Admiral Corentin Urbain Leissègues had separated from Willaumez in the Atlantic and made for Santo Domingo to resupply and refit. Duckworth was in the process of resupplying his ships at St. Kitts when he learned of the French squadron anchored in Santo Domingo. Duckworth took his squadron of seven line-of-battle ships and attacked Leissègues' five ships of the line. The Battle of San Domingo was the last open sea fleet action of the Napoleonic War. During the battle Superb suffered 62 casualties in what became an almost total victory for the Royal Navy. Of the five French line-of-battle ships engaged two were captured and three driven on shore and later destroyed. The British did not lose a single ship.

    The Baltic and the Second Battle of Copenhagen.

    By 1807 Superb had returned to the Channel and Keats was relieved by Sir Richard Strachan. Keats then took command of HMS Ganges and was promoted commodore with Admiral Gambier’s squadron in the Baltic where between 16 August and 7 September he took part in the Second Battle of Copenhagen. During the battle Keats placed a portrait of Nelson on the mizzen mast. It was later said that the portrait had encouraged and inspired the officers and men aboard.
    Keats was promoted rear-admiral on 2 October 1807 and moved into HMS Mars. He led the expedition with Lieutenant General Sir John Moore to the aid of the Swedish at Gothenburg. As a reward for his services he made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.
    Keats moved his flag to the Superb in early 1808. After convoying the Swedish trade from Gothenburg to England he joined Sir Richard Strachan on his expedition to the Scheldt river. On the Superb’s return to Portsmouth in 1809 she was paid off and Keats was promoted to rear-admiral of the blue squadron.
    On 26 December 1809 was given the post of His Majesty's Commissioner for the Civil Affairs of Malta. In 1810 after a nearly twenty one year’s continuous service took leave ashore.

    Governor of Newfoundland.

    After only a few months however Keats hoisted his flag in HMS Implacable and took command of naval forces off Cadiz. On 1 August 1811 Keats was promoted vice-admiral and joined Sir Edward Pellew off Toulon.
    Keats was forced to haul down his flag in 1812 due to ill health and in recognition of his service on 9 March 1813 he was made Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Newfoundland. During his term as governor the British government agreed for the first time to let Newfoundland settlers lease land for cultivation. Keats granted 110 leases around St. John's in the first year alone. In 1816 he returned to England and was succeeded as Governor of Newfoundland by Francis Pickmore.
    On 7 May 1818 Keats was promoted to the honorary title of Major-General of His Majesty's Royal Marine Forces. On 12 August 1819 Keats was promoted Admiral of the Blue.

    Governor of Greenwich Hospital, death and funeral.

    In 1821 he was further honoured by his appointment as governor of Greenwich Hospital and investiture as Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath.
    Keats died in Greenwich on 5 April 1834 and his funeral was held at the hospital chapel with the Admiralty Board in attendance. His coffin was borne by six admirals as pall-bearers.
    William IV ordered a bust of his friend to be erected in the chapel and it remains there, under the organ loft on the left hand side of the main entrance. The right hand side is occupied by a bust of Sir Thomas Hardy.

    Family.

    In 1816 Keats married Mary, eldest daughter of the late Francis Hurt of Alderwasley in Derbyshire. There were no children from the marriage.
    Last edited by Bligh; 09-09-2017 at 14:15.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  6. #56
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    Captain Robert Stopford.

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    Stopford was the third son of James Stopford, 2nd Earl of Courtown, and his wife Mary (née Powys). He joined the Royal Navy in 1780 and became a Lieutenant in 1785. Commander Stopford was captain of Ferret between December 1789 and October 1790. In 1790 he was promoted to captain at the age of 22 and was briefly captain of HMS Lowestoffe.

    Stopford fought at the Battle of the Glorious First of June in 1794, commanding the frigate HMS Aquilon (32). During the battle Aquilon had the task of standing off and repeating the signals from the flagship. Aquilon also towed the Marlborough out of the line of fire when she was dismasted, for which Lord Howe thanked him personally. One of Stopford's officers on Aquilon was Francis Beaufort, the inventor of the Beaufort Wind-Scale.

    On 10 March 1796, Stopford was captain of the fifth rate frigate HMS Phaeton, of 38 guns, when she engaged and captured the 20-gun French corvette Bonne Citoyenne of Cape Finisterre. Stopford took her back to England as his prize. The Royal Navy then bought her in as HMS Bonne Citoyenn, a sixth rate sloop of war. During his service in the Channel, Phaeton captured in all some 13 privateers and three vessels of war, as well as recovering numerous vessels that the French had taken.

    In 1799, Stopford was appointed captain of the 74-gun third rate HMS Excellent in the Channel Fleet. He sailed Excellent to the West Indies where he hoisted a commodore's pennant and served for eight months as the Commander-in-Chief of the Leeward Islands Station in 1802.

    In 1803, Stopford became captain of the ship of the line HMS Spencer (74), in Horatio Nelson's fleet.
    He became a Colonel of Marines in November 1805 and received a gold medal for his conduct at the Battle of San Domingo in 1806, while still in command of Spencer. Stopford was wounded during the battle; he recovered, but the wound would plague him for the rest of his life.

    He took part in the British invasions of the Río de la Plata and Battle of Copenhagen of 1806-07, and attacked Rochefort in 1808. Stopford played an important part in the Battle of the Basque Roads. He was appointed to command HMS Caesar (80), with a squadron of two ships of the line and five frigates. On 23 February 1809 he fell in the four French frigates under the batteries of Sable d'Olonne, an action which left them disabled. Stopford continued his blockade until Lord Gambier chased a fleet of ten French sail of the line into the Basque Roads and assumed command. In the summer of 1809 he was called as a witness at the Court-martial of James, Lord Gambier which assessed whether Admiral Lord Gambier had failed to support Captain Lord Cochrane. Gambier was controversially cleared of all charges.

    In 1810, he sailed to South Africa to become Commander-in-Chief of the Cape of Good Hope Station. He directed the operations that resulted in the capture of Java when on 8 August 1811, the Dutch settlement of Batavia capitulated to the British under Stopford and Lieutenant-General Sir Samuel Auchmuty. The British fleet consisted of some 100 vessels, including eight cruisers belonging to the East India Company. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth in 1827.

    Stopford became Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom in 1834. His last active post, in his early seventies, was as commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean fleet during the Syrian War against the forces of Mehemet Ali. As Vice Admiral on board HMS Princess Charlotte (100) and subsequently HMS Phoenix, he was in command of the combined British, Turkish, and Austrian fleet during the bombardment of Acre on 3 November 1840. For his services in the Syrian War, Stopford was given the Freedom of the City of the City of London and presented with a commemorative "freedom box". The ornate silver and oak box is part of the collection of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. The following year he became Governor of the Greenwich Hospital at Greenwich, with the rank of Admiral.
    Family.

    Stopford married Mary, daughter of Robert Fanshawe, in 1809.
    Their eldest son, Robert Fanshawe Stopford (1811–1891), also rose to the rank of Admiral, and their second son, James John Stopford (1817–1868), became a Vice Admiral.

    Stopford died in June 1847, aged 79.
    He is buried in Greenwich Hospital Cemetery. The cemetery was largely made into a pocket park in the late 19th century but his name is listed on the west face of the Officers in the centre of the park.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  7. #57
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    Captain Pulteney Malcolm.


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    He entered the navy in 1778, during the American Revolutionary War, on the books of the Sibyl, commanded by his uncle, Captain Pasley. With Pasley he afterwards served in the Jupiter, in the squadron under Commodore George Johnstone, and was present at the action in Porto Praya and at the capture of the Dutch Indiamen in Saldanha Bay. In 1782 the Jupiter carried out Admiral Pigot to the West Indies. Malcolm was thus brought under the admiral's notice, was taken by him into the flagship, and some months later, on 3 March 1783, was promoted to be lieutenant of the Jupiter.

    He continued serving during the peace, and in 1793, at the beginning of the French Revolutionary Wars, was first lieutenant of the Penelope frigate on the Jamaica stationn, under the command of Captain Bartholomew Rowley. The Penelope's service was peculiarly active. In company with the Iphigenia she captured the French frigate Inconstante, on the coast of San Domingo, on 25 November 1793; she captured or cut out many privateers or merchant vessels; and Malcolm, as first lieutenant, commanded her boats in several sharp conflicts.

    1794–1804, Post-Captain.

    Early in 1794 Commodore Ford took him into his flagship the Europa, and on 3 April promoted him to the command of the Jack Tar, which he took to England. On 22 October he was posted, and a few days later appointed to the Fox frigate. In February 1795 he convoyed a fleet of merchant ships to the Mediterranean; thence he went to Quebec, and afterwards was employed for some time in the North Sea. Later on he was sent out to the East Indies, and towards the end of 1797 into the China Seas, under the command of Captain Edward Cooke, in whose company he entered Manila Bay under false colours, on 14 January 1798 in the bloodless Raid on Manila, and carried off three Spanish gunboats. After some further cruising among the islands the Fox returned to India, where, on 18 June, Malcolm was appointed by Rear-Admiral Rainier to be his flag captain in the Suffolk, and afterwards in the Victorious. He continued to serve in this capacity during the war. On her homeward passage, in 1803, the Victorious proved exceedingly leaky, and, meeting with heavy weather in the North Atlantic, was with difficulty kept afloat till she reached the Tagus, where she was run ashore and broken up. Malcolm, with the officers and crew, returned to England in two vessels which he chartered at Lisbon.

    1804–1805, Battle of Trafalgar.


    In February 1804 Malcolm went out to the Mediterranean in the Royal Sovereign, in which, on her arrival, Sir Richard Bickerton hoisted his flag, and Malcolm was appointed to the Kent, then with Nelson blockading Toulon. He was, however, almost immediately sent to Naples, where, or in the neighbourhood, he remained during the year. His transfer to the Renown in July did not change his station. It was not till the beginning of 1805 that he was permitted to rejoin the flag, and to exchange into the Donegal, in time to take part in the celebrated pursuit of the French fleet to the West Indies (see Horatio Nelson). On the return of the fleet to the Channel, the Donegal, with others, was sent to reinforce Collingwood off Cadiz, and was still there when Nelson resumed the command on 28 September.

    On 17 October Donegal was sent to Gibraltar for water and a hurried refit. On the 20th Malcolm learnt that the combined fleet was coming out of Cadiz. His ship was then in the Mole, nearly dismantled; but by the greatest exertions he got her out that night, and on the 22nd she sailed from Gibraltar with her foreyard towing alongside. It was blowing a gale from the westward, but she succeeded in getting through the Straits, and on the morning of the 24th rejoined the fleet, too late for the battle of Trafalgar, fought on the 21st, but in time to render most valuable assistance to the disabled ships and more disabled prizes. She captured the Rayo, which had made a sally from Cadiz on the 23rd; and in the night of the 24th, when some of the prisoners on board the French ship Berwick cut the cable and let her go on shore, on which she almost immediately broke up, the Donegal's boats succeeded in saving a considerable number of her men. She afterwards took charge of the Spanish prize Bahama, and brought her to Gibraltar. Writing to Sir Thomas Pasley on 16 December Collingwood said: "Everybody was sorry Malcolm was not there [sc. at Trafalgar], because everybody knows his spirit, and his skill would have acquired him honour. He got out of the Gut when nobody else could, and was of infinite service to us after the action."

    1806–1816, Captain to Rear-admiral.

    The Donegal continued off to cruise off Cadiz till the close of the year, when she sailed for the West Indies with Sir John Duckworth, and took an important part in the battle of San Domingo, 6 February 1806. Malcolm was afterwards sent home in charge of the prizes, and in a very heavy gale rescued the crew of the Brave as she was on the point of foundering. He received the gold medal for St. Domingo, and was presented by the Patriotic Fund with a vase valued at a hundred guineas. In 1808 he was engaged in convoying troops to the Peninsula, and in 1809, still in the Donegal, was attached to the Channel Fleet, then commanded by Lord Gambier, and took part in the battle of the Basque Roads. In the summer of 1809 he was called as a witness at the Court-martial of James, Lord Gambier which assessed whether Gambier had failed to support Captain Lord Cochrane at the battle. Gambier was controversially cleared of all charges. In November 1810 Malcolm led an attack on a French frigate squadron anchored at Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue at the Action of 15 November 1810, which ultimately led to the destruction of the Elisa.

    The Donegal was paid off in 1811, and Malcolm was appointed to the Royal Oak, which he commanded off Cherbourg till March 1812, when he accepted the post of captain of the fleet to Lord Keith, his uncle by marriage. He was promoted to be rear-admiral on 4 December 1813, but remained with Keith till June 1814, when, with his flag in the Royal Oak, he convoyed a detachment of the army from Bordeaux to North America, and served during the war with the United States as third in command under Sir Alexander Cochrane and Rear-admiral (afterwards Sir) George Cockburn. On 2 January 1815 he was nominated a K.C.B., and during "The Hundred Days' War" commanded a squadron in the North Sea, in co-operation with the army under the Duke of Wellington.

    1816–1838, Commander-in-chief.

    In 1816–17 he was Commander-in-chief on the Saint Helena station, specially appointed to enforce a rigid blockade of the island and to keep a close guard on Napoleon Bonaparte. He was advanced to vice-admiral on 19 July 1821, and Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet from 1828 to 1831. In 1832 he commanded on the coast of Holland, with the fleets of France and Spain under his orders; and in 1833–4 was again commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean. He was nominated a G.C.M.G. on 21 January 1829, and a G.C.B. on 26 April 1833.
    In the final years of his life, he became Chairman of the Oriental Club which had been founded by his brother General Sir John Malcolm.

    He attained the rank of Admiral of the Blue in 1837. He died at East Lodge, Enfield, London, on 20 July 1838.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Captain Robert Plampin.

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    Plampin was born in 1762, the son of naval officer John Plampin of Chadacre Hall, in Suffolk. Intended for a career at sea, Plampin joined the Navy in 1775, aged 13, and served aboard HMS Renown under Captain Francis Banks off the coast of North America during the American Revolutionary War. In 1778, Plampin moved to HMS Panther at Gibraltar and subsequently moved in 1780 to HMS Sandwich, the flagship of Admiral Sir George Rodney. In Sandwich Plampin participated in the Battle of Martinique in April 1780, and subsequent operations, earning a promotion to lieutenant aboard HMS Grafton and returning to Britain. In 1781, he operated in HMS Leocadia off Newfoundland, remaining on the station for the remainder of the war.

    Placed in reserve following the end of the war in 1783, Plampin traveled widely in Europe, making specific studies of the French language in 1786 and the Dutch language in 1787. At the Spanish Armament in 1790, Plampin became a lieutenant on the new ship of the line HMS Brunswick under Sir Hyde Parker. Parker was impressed by his subordinate's language skills and intelligence and, in 1793, suggested Plampin for a mission to the Netherlands, at that time allied to Britain in the French Revolutionary Wars. Plampin assumed command of a flotilla of gunboats based in the Dutch harbour of Willemstad, then under siege by a French army under General Charles François Dumouriez. When the French withdrew from Willemstad later in the year, Plampin was awarded a gold medal and chain by the Dutch government. Plampin subsequently became a lieutenant in HMS Princess Royal and sailed for the Mediterranean, joining the British fleet assisting the Royalist forces at the Siege of Toulon. Plampin became an interpreter for Rear-Admiral Samuel Goodall and then for Lord Hood until the end of the siege, when Plampin was promoted to commander and sent home with despatches.

    Independent command.

    In February 1794, Plampin was given command of the small sloop Albion and then the floating battery Firm, operating off the Scheldt and the Dutch coast. In April 1795, he returned to the Mediterranean as a post captain in the sixth rate HMS Ariadne, acting as a scout for Captain Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Genoa and present but not engaged at the Battle of the Hyères Islands. In September 1795, Plampin took command of the frigate HMS Lowestoft, which was soon after struck by lightning and badly damaged. After repairs, Plampin returned to Britain where Lowestoft was paid off.

    In November 1798, Lowestoft returned to service with Plampin in command for operations in the West Indies. After three years on convoy escort duty in the Caribbean, Lowestoft was wrecked in the Windward Passage with three merchant ships. As the frigate was carrying a large quantity of specie, Plampin summoned the small ship HMS Bonetta and successfully transferred the money and all of the frigates crew into the tiny vessel. For saving the specie, Plampin was paid the reward he had originally been promised for bringing it safely to Britain and was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing in the loss of his ship.

    After the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars in 1803, Plampin was briefly given command of HMS Antelope before moving to the ship of the line HMS Powerful attached to the Channel Fleet. In the autumn of 1805, he was sent to Cadiz to join the squadron under Sir John Thomas Duckworth that was observing the remains of the Franco-Spanish fleet destroyed at the Battle of Trafalgar in the autumn.

    In November, Duckworth received accounts of a French squadron raiding off North Africa and sailed to investigate. Although the squadron he pursued escaped, Duckworth did encounter another force under Jean-Baptiste Willaumez on 25 December. Although he pursued the French for two days, Duckworth could not bring Willaumez to battle and eventually gave up the pursuit, ordering his squadron to sail for the Caribbean (where they later encountered another French squadron at the Battle of San Domingo), but detaching Plampin to the Indian Ocean in case Willaumez was intending to raid there.

    Arriving in the Indian Ocean, Plampin found no sign of Willaumez (who had remained in the Atlantic), but did discover that British trade was under constant attack from French frigates and privateers based on Île de France, which particularly targeted the large East Indiamen. On 13 June 1806, Plampin captured the small privateer Henrietta off Trincomalee, but was especially concerned by the depredations of the large privateer frigate Bellone, which carried 34 guns. Disguising Powerful as an East Indiaman, Plampin cruised off Ceylon in search of the enemy and on 9 July discovered Bellone under pursuit by the Royal Navy sloop HMS Rattlesnake. Moving to cut Bellone off, Powerful was hampered by light winds and Bellone almost slipped between Plampin's ship and shore. However, the breeze gradually increased and Plampin was able to close with the privateer. The French ship defended itself and a running fight began that lasted for 105 minutes before Bellone surrendered, having caused greater casualties on Powerful than had been suffered herself.

    Napoleon's gaoler.

    After a brief voyage to Java, disease spread aboard Powerful and Plampin himself was taken ill, returning to Britain to recuperate. Rejoining the service in 1809, Plampin commanded HMS Courageux at the disastrous Walcheren Expedition and in 1810 commanded the squadron at Basque Roads near Brest in HMS Gibraltar. In 1812, he commanded the 98-gun HMS Ocean off Toulon and in 1814 was promoted to rear-admiral. In 1816, following the end of the wars, Plampin was appointed commander at the Cape of Good Hope Station.

    Part of Plampin's duties was to observe the former French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who was kept prisoner in a house on the island of Saint Helena, deep in the Atlantic Ocean. Plampin regularly visited his prisoner and the two had a number of conversations that were recorded by the naval historian James Ralfe.

    On his return to Britain in September 1820, Plampin applied to become a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, but was informed by Lord Melville that such awards could only be made for service in the face of the enemy. Melville did however praise Plampin's war record in his reply. In 1825, Plampin was again recalled to service, commanding the Irish squadron based at Cork, until 1828, by which time he was a vice-admiral. He retired to his country home near Wanstead and managed his estates in Essex. He also travelled in Europe and it was on one such journey, in February 1834, that Plampin died in Florence. His remains were brought back to England and buried at Wanstead. He was survived by his wife Fanny, who died in 1864, but the couple had no children.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  9. #59
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    Captain Sir Edward Berry.

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    Berry was born in 1768, the son of a London merchant who died at an early age leaving a widow, 5 daughters and 2 sons in perilous financial circumstances. His early education was provided by his uncle, the Rev. Titus Berry, in Norwich. It was under the patronage of one of Titus Berry's former pupils Lord Mulgrave, that in 1779 Berry entered the Navy as a volunteer aboard the Burford, at the age of 10.

    Service in the French Revolutionary Wars.

    As a reward for his gallantry in boarding a French ship, Berry was promoted to Lieutenant on 20 January 1794 and in May 1796 was appointed to HMS Agamemnon with Captain Nelson, whom he followed upon his move to HMS Captain in June. He was soon to win his commander's esteem, and in a letter to Admiral Sir John Jervis, Nelson wrote, 'I have as far as I have seen every reason to be satisfied with him [Berry], both as a gentleman and an officer'. On sending Nelson's report to the Admiralty, Jervis added 'Lieutenant Edward Berry, of whom the Commodore writes so highly, is a protégé of mine and I know him to be an officer of talents, great courage and laudable ambition'. Indeed, whilst Nelson was ashore during the siege of Porto Ferrajo, Berry commanded the ship in such a way as to make him the subject of his captain's 'fullest approbation', and he received the rank of Commander on 12 November 1796.

    Whilst awaiting a posting he remained aboard HMS Captain during the Battle of Cape St Vincent in February 1797. Although Berry had no specific duties during the battle, he again displayed his courage when Nelson came alongside the Spanish ship San Nicholas and gave orders to board her. Wrote Nelson, 'The first man who jumped into the enemy's mizzen-chains was Captain Berry, late my first lieutenant; he was supported from our spritsail-yard, which hooked in the mizzen-rigging... Having pushed on to the quarter-deck, I found Captain Berry in possession of the poop, and the Spanish Ensign hauling down'.

    In October of the same year Nelson was invested as a Knight of the Bath, accompanied on the occasion by Berry. When the King remarked upon the loss of Nelson's right arm, he wittily replied, indicating Berry, "But not my right hand, your majesty". It was agreed between them that when Nelson next hoisted his flag, Berry would be his Flag Captain.

    With word of French plans to occupy Egypt, Nelson wrote to Berry in late 1797, 'If you mean to marry, I would recommend your doing it speedily, or the to-be Mrs. Berry will have very little of your company, for I am well, and you may expect to be called for every hour'. On 12 December Berry was indeed married to his cousin, Louisa Forster, and a week later appointed as Flag Captain of HMS Vanguard.

    The Battle of the Nile and afterward.

    On 1 August 1798, the campaign culminated in the explosive Battle of the Nile, at Aboukir Bay. During this, Nelson was struck on the head by a piece of flying langrage and fell, bleeding heavily, only to be caught by Captain Berry, to whom he uttered the words "I am killed. Remember me to my wife". His wound was slight, however, and he escaped with mild concussion. He was well enough that evening to witness the shattering explosion of the French battleship L'Orient. Only 4 of the 17 major French ships escaped destruction or capture and with French losses six times greater than those of the British, it was a triumphant victory.

    After the battle, Hardy was promoted to Flag Captain and Berry embarked for Britain in HMS Leander, carrying Nelson's despatches. During the voyage, however, the Leander was accosted and captured by one of the two surviving French ships, the 74-gun Généreux, and Berry was severely wounded by a flying fragment of another man's skull, which was "driven through his arm". It was a bloody and courageous battle, as described by one of the main-deck gunners, Tim Stewart, "We fired everything at [the French] we could get hold of - crow-bars, nails, and all sorts... We killed nearly three hundred of them before we surrendered, and our brave captain ordered our colours to be hauled down."

    As a result of his capture, Berry did not reach England until December, at which point the news of the Nile had already been received. However, he wrote in a letter that upon his return to Norwich, "the people received me with mad joy. In short, I'm so great a man that I'm very in and out everywhere to the great annoyance of my pocket and distress of my feelings." Berry's account of the Battle, titled Authentic Narrative of the proceedings of his Majesty's squadron under the command of the Rear-Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson... drawn up from the minutes of an officer of rank in the squadron was subsequently published in The Sun and The True Briton newspapers, and became a bestseller in pamphlet form. Britain revelled in Nile memorabilia, including ceramic jugs embossed with reliefs of Nelson and Berry - 'Heroes of the Nile'. On 12 December he was knighted and given the Freedom of the City of London. The ornate gold and enamel presentation box is part of the collection of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

    In the spring of 1799 he was appointed to HMS Foudroyant and sent to assist in the blockade of Malta. Here he assisted in the capture of Guillaume Tell and Généreux, the two French ships that escaped the Battle of the Nile, the latter being his own former captor.

    On 30 March, Berry wrote to Nelson from the Foudroyant, "My very dear Lord, had you been a partaker with me of the glory, every wish would have been gratified. How very often I went into your cabin, last night, to ask if we were doing right; for, I had nothing to act upon!..." This goes some way towards illustrating Berry's dependence upon Nelson and perhaps helps to explain his failure to cultivate a more successful later career. Nelson himself confided in a letter to his wife Frances a few months earlier, "I shall be worn to death by being obliged to fag and think of those things which... excellent Captain Hardy takes entirely from me." There is no doubting Berry's supreme gallantry and general amiability, but he had a certain reputation for blustering foolhardiness. It was Thomas Hardy and not Berry who would become Nelson's indispensable right-hand man.

    The following June, the Foudroyant carried the Queen of Naples from Palermo to Livorno, but a short time later Berry returned to England.

    Later actions.

    It was five years before Berry again took significant command. His failure to obtain a posting had left him feeling restless and somewhat slighted by the Admiralty, "A man's standing in the Service and his reputation all goes for nought," he wrote bitterly. It fell to Nelson to placate him, "It is vexing to be unemployed at such a moment, but it is useless to fret oneself to death when the folks aloft don't care a pin about it." It took a change of leadership in the Admiralty to present Berry with the chance of another commission. Nelson: "I sincerely hope, now that a change has taken place, that you will get a ship. I attribute none of the tyrannical conduct of the late Board to Lord St Vincent... he was dreadfully ill-advised."

    The end to Berry's yearnings came on his arrival at Trafalgar in 1805, captain of HMS Agamemnon. "Here comes that fool Berry! Now we shall have a battle," exclaimed Nelson. Berry had rather a reputation as a fighter, though perhaps not as a master tactician, "Captain Codrington of HMS Orion found some wry amusement in seeing Berry in the Agamemnon blazing away for all he was worth, apparently at friend and foe alike", notes Oliver Warner in A Portrait of Lord Nelson. "It was typical of Berry's luck that, having long and restlessly awaited a new ship, he should have been given the Agamemnon, before having the infinite happiness of joining Nelson on the eve of his greatest battle." After a close escape from capture on her outward voyage, the Agamemnon had no particular opportunities for distinction at Trafalgar, and escaped the mêlée without heavy losses, engaging with the Santissima Trinidad and Admiral Dumanoir's division in the closing stages of the fight. At the battle's close, Berry took to his ship's boat in order to speak to Nelson on the Victory but by the time he arrived Nelson had just died, an unfortunate piece of timing which Berry would regret for the rest of his life.

    In 1806 Captain Berry fought in the Agamemnon at the battle of San Domingo, being highly praised for his actions. That same year he became a baronet and he remained in sea service throughout the war, subsequently commanding Sceptre during 1811, Barfleur the following year and one of the Royal Yachts.

    Later career and last years.

    He bought a house in Norwich in 1814. On 2 January 1815 he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath and on 19 July 1821 he became a Rear Admiral.

    During these years, despite constant entreaties to the Admiralty, he never took up further important postings. However, his record is exceptional. He was the only officer in the Royal Navy at the time, except Collingwood, to have had three medals, having commanded a line-of-battle ship in the Battle of the Nile, Trafalgar and San Domingo. Following several years of severe illness and extreme debility, he died on 13 February 1831 at his residence in Bath and was buried in a nearby churchyard where his grave can still be seen. Since he left no children, his baronetcy became extinct with his death.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  10. #60
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    Captain Richard Dalling Dunn.


    .
    Baptized at St Michael Queenhy on the 6th of August 1767 the son of James & Elizabeth Dunn..

    He had a quite remarkable career, indeed at least two of his exploits were used in the Hornblower books.
    He usually served under Admiral Duckworth.

    Entered the Navy on the 9th of December 1779, as a Supernumerary, on board the Sybil.
    He became a Midshipman or Master's Mate on the 26th of September 1781.
    A hundred and sixty Lieutenants, among whom Dunn was one, were originally appointed on 22nd November 1790.
    For the more readily distinguishing the seniority of these Lieutenants, it has been deemed expedient that the eldest fifteen of those Lieutenants, shall take rank on the 13th of November, and the like number on each succeeding day up to the 22nd, in the order of the former list.

    Dunn was confirmed as a Lieutenant on the 17th of November 1790.
    He became Commander on the 24th of December 1798 and finally a Post-Captain on the 29th of October 1801.

    During his career he commanded the following ships.
    Incendiary 14, Armide 38, (possibly Thalia 36?) Acasta, Hibernia 120, L'Hercule 74, Royal George 100, Formidable 90 and finally Dublin 78.
    He faced a court-martial after his surrendering of the fire ship Incendiary to Admiral Ganteaume after a long chase, but was exonerated when evidence showed that she was only carrying 7 guns at the time (apart from being totally out-classed). I assume he was later exchanged for a French captain.
    He was at the battle of San Domingo, led the capture of Curacao, commanded the flagship Royal George, forcing passage at the Dardanelles.
    There were some extaordinary exploits involved in his actions.

    Died on the 11th of June 1813.
    Buried on the 24th of June 1813.

    Capt. Richard Dalling Dunn RN is buried in Teigngrace Church.
    The circumstances of his death appear to have been deliberately covered up. He may well have committed suicide.
    The careful wording on his memorial has no mention of his young wife and son on it.
    It was Nelson himself who gave him his first ship, although he almost always served under Admiral Duckworth.
    Hence his son being Richard Duckworth Dunn.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  11. #61
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    Captain James (John?) William Spranger.



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    He was a Royal Navy officer active during the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars.
    He was appointed Lieutenant on 23 August 1790, and Commander on 7 June 1794. In 1795, he commanded the sloop HMS Rattlesnake in the expedition to capture Cape Town. He commanded a battalion of sailors from the fleet at the Battle of Muizenberg, and was mentioned in both the Army and Navy despatches from this engagement.
    He was later recorded as a captain with seniority from 1795, suggesting his appointment to post was made after this engagement; it is certainly known that the promotion of Temple Hardy, the commander of the other sloop at the Cape, was made the day before the despatches were published.

    On 2 December 1796, in command of the frigate HMS Crescent, he led a squadron which destroyed a French settlement in Madagascar and captured five merchant vessels. In 1799 he briefly commanded the HMS Stately before she became a troopship, and in 1801 took command of the newly commissioned frigate HMS Aeolus, serving in the Baltic sea and then to the West Indies.

    In May 1805 he was in command of the frigate HMS Amethyst, cruising off the Texel, and from the records of one of his crew, it appears he was appointed to the command of HMS Warrior, a 74-gun third-rate, with effect from 12 July 1806. Warrior served first in the Channel squadron and then later in the Mediterranean.
    Whilst commanding Warrior in the Mediterranean in 1809, he led the naval portion of the force which captured the Ionian Islands. After Warrior had returned to Chatham for repairs in 1811, he was given command of HMS Barham (74) in 1812, again operating off the Texel. On 4 June 1814 he was appointed Rear-Admiral of the Blue.

    He died on 9 February 1822, at Albany in Piccadilly. His will was proven on 2 May 1822, giving his final residence as Pinner in Middlesex
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  12. #62
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    Rear-Admiral Alexander Cochrane.

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    Alexander Inglis Cochrane was born a younger son of the Scottish peer Thomas Cochrane, the eighth Earl of Dundonald, and his wife. He joined the Royal Navy as a boy and served with British naval forces in North America. He served during the American War of Independence.

    Cochrane also participated in the Egyptian operations in 1801. When Alexandria fell, Cochrane, in the 74-gun third-rate HMS Ajax, with the sixth-rate HMS Bonne Citoyenne, the HMS Cynthia, the brig-sloops HMS Port Mahon and HMS Victorieuse, and three Turkish corvettes, were the first vessels to enter the harbour.

    About 1802/3 Cochrane alienated the Spanish Governor of Ferrol when Cochrane incited an attack on Spanish treasure ships returning from South America,. The effect of Cochrane's actions was to bring Spain back into the war on France side in 1804.

    Cochrane also had been incensed that the brilliant Sir Edward Pellew, a tarpaulin officer, had been preferred over himself, a well connected aristocrat, as Admiral of the White to the East Indies station. Cochrane tried to implicate Sir Edward Pellew, who had good relations with the Governor of Ferrol, in fraud, then making seriously damaging and unfounded allegations against Sir Edward Pellew's secretary Fitzgerald. These were never substantiated and destroyed Fitzgerald's career but didn't accomplish the destruction of its target, who later became Viscount Exmouth.

    In 1805 he was made commander of the Leeward Islands Station. He conducted operations against the French and Spanish on 6 February 1806 at the Battle of San Domingo during the Napoleonic Wars. A cannonball blew his hat off his head while he was on the deck of his flagship, HMS Northumberland. He was knighted and appointed KCB on 29 March 1806 in recognition of his service.[1] Other rewards included thanks from both Houses of Parliament, freedom of the city of London, and a sword valued at 100 guineas.

    In Barbados, Cochrane met with General Francisco de Miranda, who had been defeated by Spanish naval forces in an attempt to liberate Venezuela. As Spain was then at war with Britain, Cochrane and the governor of Trinidad agreed to provide some support for an unsuccessful second attempt to invade Venezuela.
    Following the concern in Britain that neutral Denmark was entering an alliance with Napoleon, with the rank of Rear-Admiral, in 1807 he sailed in HMS Belleisle (74 guns) as commander of the squadron of ships that was sent to occupy the Danish West Indies. In 1809 he commanded naval forces in the conquest of Martinique. He held the position of Governor of Guadeloupe from 6 February 1810 to 26 June 1813.

    From April 1814, during the War of 1812 against the United States, Cochrane, then a Vice Admiral, served as Commander-in-Chief of both the North American Station, based at the new dockyard in Bermuda and the Jamaica Station, based at Port Royal. He landed the force under Major-General Robert Ross that burned Washington and pushed successful naval forays at the same time. Initially he wanted to attack Rhode Island in New England after the success at Washington, but he was dissuaded by Ross and Admiral Cockburn, who wanted to go after the bigger prize of Baltimore, Maryland.
    During the Battle of Baltimore, Cochrane directed the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, which proved ineffectual. He resisted calls by his junior officers to attack the fort more aggressively with frigates at close range. He ordered a diversionary raid by boats to assist the army encamped near Baltimore in their proposed attack on Hampstead hill (which they cancelled and withdrew), but this diversion had no success. In the bombardment of Fort McHenry, Cochrane's fleet used bomb vessels and a rocket ship for a long-range bombardment to minimize casualties and damage to the fleet from the fort's return fire, which inspired Francis Scott Key's poem that became "The Star-Spangled Banner," the US national anthem.

    Cochrane led the British force that won the Battle of Lake Borgne in December 1814, in Louisiana. His forces built a hard short road to New Orleans for use by British armed forces. But, the British army was defeated at the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815. News that Britain had ratified the peace treaty (the Treaty of Ghent) had not reached the combatants at the Battle of New Orleans. The peace treaty was being carried to Washington, D.C., for ratification by the U.S. Congress.

    The Duke of Wellington held that the failure of the New Orleans campaign was largely the fault of Cochrane. In a eulogy to General Edward Pakenham -- Wellington's brother-in-law, killed at New Orleans, he said:

    "I cannot but regret that he was ever employed on such a service or with such a colleague. The expedition to New Orleans originated with that colleague.... The Americans were prepared with an army in a fortified position which still would have been carried, if the duties of others, that is of the Admiral (Sir Alexander Cochrane), had been as well performed as that of he whom we now lament."

    Despite the lack of success at New Orleans, the British nonetheless went on to force the surrender of Mobile, Mississippi Territory, and to capture the flagship, U.S.S. President and its commodore Stephen Decatur, outside the New York Harbor.
    Cochrane was thence promoted to admiral in 1819. From 1821 to 1824, he was Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth.

    He died in Paris on 26 January 1832.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Captain Joseph Spear.




    Spear was born in Weymouth, Dorset and entered the Royal Navy in 1779, joining the 74-gun HMS Marlborough as a midshipman. The Marlborough was commanded at this time by Captain Taylor Penny, also from Weymouth, and a previous acquaintance was probably responsible for Spear obtaining a position on the ship. Marlborough was one of the ships assigned to the fleet under Sir George Brydges Rodney and sent to relieve Gibraltar in early 1780. Spear's ship was in action several times within a few months, firstly at the interception and capture of a convoy of Spanish ships of the Caracas Company on 8 January, and then at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent on 16 January. Marlborough was then detached with a small squadron under Admiral Robert Digby and ordered to escort a convoy to Menorca. While returning to Britain from Gibraltar, Digby's squadron came across the French 64-gun Protée, escorting a fleet of transports bound for Mauritius. The Protée and three transports were duly captured.
    .
    Spear then served in the Western Approaches for the rest of 1780, where Marlborough was again in action at the end of the year, capturing the Dutch 64-gun Prinses Carolina on 30 December 1780. 1781 was spent with the Western squadron, and in January 1782 Spear sailed with his ship for the West Indies with Rodney's fleet. Marlborough was in action at the Battle of the Saintes on 12 April 1782, sustaining casualties of three killed and sixteen wounded. Following the British victory at the Saintes, Marlborough sailed to North America with Admiral Hugh Pigot in July, and spent between September and October at New York. She was then active in the blockade of Cap-François for the remainder of the war. Following the signing and ratification of the Treaty of Paris, the war came to an end and Marlborough sailed back to Britain to be paid off. Spear left the ship and managed to find further employment in the navy.

    Spear served first aboard the sloop HMS Orestes, later transferring to the 64-gun HMS Ardent and then to the 74-gun HMS Bellona. It was while serving on Bellona that Spear received his promotion to lieutenant, on 15 October 1790. He went on to serve on the East Indies station as first-lieutenant of the sloop HMS Swan.

    French Revolutionary Wars.

    Spear returned to Britain after the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars, and received postings to a number of ships. He was first aboard the 74-gun HMS Audacious, but later transferred to the 28-gun HMS Triton. His later ships were the 74-gun HMS Saturn and the 50-gun HMS Jupiter. Spear was serving aboard the latter vessel when she was used to carry Caroline of Brunswick from Cuxhaven to Greenwich in March 1795 for her marriage to the Prince of Wales. He then served aboard the 64-gun HMS St Albans, the flagship of Vice-Admiral George Vandeput at Halifax. Vandeput promoted Spear to his first command, making him master and commander of the sloop HMS Lily in March 1799.
    He remained in command of Lily until 1802, when he transferred to HMS Chichester, a former 44-gun frigate, now armed en flûte, and sailed her back to Britain in February 1803. Britain had been temporarily at peace with France after the signing of the Treaty of Amiens, but with the outbreak of war in March 1803, Spear was ordered back to the West Indies, transporting the second battalion of the Royal Scots from Portsmouth to Barbados in June 1803. He landed the troops successfully in Carlisle Bay, and happened to notice a brig passing by flying Dutch colours. Anticipating that war with the Batavian Republic was imminent, Spear sent his boats out and detained the Dutch ship. Two days later Commodore Samuel Hood arrived with despatches announcing that all Dutch ships were to be seized. Hood thanked Spear for his timely action, and the brig, Vrow Elizabeth, and her cargo of coffee and cotton, were sold for £20,000 in prize money.

    Napoleonic Wars.

    With the resumption of the wars, Spear took an active part in the campaign against French and Dutch possessions in the West Indies. He supported the reductions of Saint Lucia, Tobago, Demerara, Essequibo and Berbice, and afterwards escorted a convoy from Tortola to Britain. After refitting Chichester, Spear returned to the Leeward Islands to serve under the station commander, Rear-Admiral Alexander Cochrane. Cochrane appointed him to several temporary acting commands, at first to the 36-gun HMS Ethalion. While commanding the Ethalion he recaptured the British ship Eliza, which had been captured while carrying provisions from Cork to Antigua. Spear was appointed to command the experimental sloop HMS Dart in January 1806. Spear's command of Dart was briefly interrupted by a further acting commission, this time as captain of Cochrane's flagship, the 74-gun HMS Northumberland. Spear took part in the pursuit of a French squadron in June 1806 which had recently arrived in the Caribbean under Jean-Baptiste Philibert Willaumez, and was again moved from his ship, this time to become acting captain of the 74-gun HMS Agamemnon.

    Returning to command Dart during the second half of 1806, Spear captured the 8-gun schooner privateer Jeune Gabriella on 9 November 1806, and also recaptured a brig bound from Halifax to Trinidad with a cargo of fish. Dart was sailing in company with the sloop HMS Wolverine during these events. Spear was transferred to take command of the sloop HMS Nimrod in 1807, and continued to operate with success against privateers, capturing the 5-gun Nouvelle Entreprise on 27 December 1807. He also captured the Spanish packet ship Firmeza during his time with Nimrod.

    Goree vs Pylade and Palinure.

    In early 1808 Spear was transferred to take command of the sloop HMS Goree, aboard which he continued in the West Indies. While lying at anchor off Marie-Galante on 22 April 1808, two brigs were spotted sailing northwards. Spear determined that they were enemies after they made no response to his private signal, and set off in pursuit. The two brigs, mounting 16 guns each and so constituting the superior force, hauled up and fired on Goree, badly damaging her sails and rigging, and disabling her. They were then forced to flee when another British ship, the 14-gun HMS Superiere arrived on the scene. Goree had one man killed and four wounded in the brief engagement, while the two brigs had combined losses of eight killed and twenty-one wounded. The brigs were later discovered to be the French Pylade and Palinure. The Palinure was later captured, causing Sir Alexander Cochrane to write in his report "the last of the two [Palinure] which were so gallantly beaten by His Majesty's sloop Goree." On his return to Marie-Galante Spear came ashore to be received by the entire garrison drawn up presenting arms, drums playing a march and fifes playing Rule, Britannia!. Cochrane wrote a personal letter to Spear saying "I am sorry that the spirit and gallantry displayed by yourself, officers, and crew, did not meet with the success which you all so evidently deserved". Though the action was unsuccessful and therefore not gazetted, the Admiralty acknowledged Spear's deed by confirming the appointment of his acting second-lieutenant Thomas Clack.

    Spear was then to have transferred from Goree to the sloop HMS Fawn, pursuant to orders brought out by Commander George Alfred Crofton. Crofton was to supersede Spear in command of Goree, but Crofton observed that "as a battle often caused officers and men to become more strongly attached to each other, Captain Spear would probably wish to continue in the Goree; in which case he himself had no objection whatever to take the Fawn". Cochrane approved the gesture, writing out two commissions for Spear and Crofton, leaving the names of the ships blank to allow them to come to a mutual agreement. Spear chose to remain with Goree and Crofton instead took command of Fawn.

    Goree, with Spear still in command, made one more important capture in 1808, taking the 8-gun privateer General Villaret on 24 November. General Villaret was carrying a cargo of sugar, coffee and cotton at the time of her capture. Spear then assisted in the Invasion of Martinique in early 1809, and was given the honour of carrying Cochrane's despatches back to London, with Cochrane's instructions to the Lords of the Admiralty to apply to Spear for more information, describing him as "an old and deserving commander". He arrived on 12 April 1809 and was promptly promoted to post-captain the following day.

    Captaincy.

    Spear received his first appointment as a post-captain in April 1810, when he was given command of the 100-gun HMS Royal Sovereign. He commanded her in the Mediterranean Fleet under Admiral Sir Charles Cotton, maintaining the blockade of Toulon. In March 1811 he was appointed to command the 98-gun HMS Temeraire, the flagship of Rear-Admiral Francis Pickmore, and for the most part the blockade was uneventful. Though possessing a powerful fleet, the French commander avoided any contact with the blockading force and stayed in port, or else made very short voyages, returning to the harbour when the British appeared.

    Temeraire's one brush with the French during this period came on 13 August 1811. Having received orders to sail to Menorca, Spear attempted to tack out of Hyères Bay. As he tried to do so, the wind fell away, leaving Temeraire becalmed and caught in a current which caused her to drift towards land. She came under fire from a shore battery on Pointe des Medes, which wounded several of her crew. The most serious casualty was her master, Robert Duncan, who had one of his legs shot off as he stood talking to Spear. Temeraire's boats were quickly manned, and together with boats sent from the squadron, she was towed out of range of the French guns. She then sailed to Menorca and underwent repairs. During this period an epidemic of yellow fever broke out, infecting nearly the entire crew and killing around a hundred crewmen. Spear was one of those badly affected, and the commander in chief of the Mediterranean Fleet, Sir Edward Pellew, ordered him back to Britain with his ship. Health gradually improved as she sailed through the Atlantic. Spear was to have commanded Temeraire's replacement in the Mediterranean, the 100-gun HMS Royal George, but his ill health prevented this.

    Later life.
    Despite his eventful career, his low position on the seniority lists meant that Spear never lived to be promoted to flag rank. He died in 1837, still a post-captain.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  14. #64
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    Captain John Harvey.


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    Born in 1772 at Eastry, Kent to Captain Harvey and Judith Harvey neé Wise, Harvey was raised with his brothers at home and in the 1780s joined his uncle Captain Henry Harvey's ship HMS Rose off the North American station to train as a midshipman. His service continued until 1790 when at 18 he was promoted to lieutenant. Actively employed at the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars, Harvey was aided by family influence and gained command of the sloop HMS Actif on 5 September 1794 in the West Indies. Within three months, supported by the influence gained from his father's death at the Glorious First of June in the same year, Harvey was made post-captain, receiving promotion on 16 December. His brother Edward Harvey also received promotion to midshipman at the same time.

    Thanks to family influence Harvey gained a prime commission in January 1795, serving aboard his uncle's flagship the second-rate HMS Prince of Wales as captain. In her, Harvey was extensively engaged during the following year, seeing action at the victory of the Battle of Groix where three enemy ships were taken and supporting the invasion of Quiberon Bay by Sir John Brolase Warren in 1796. In early 1797 Harvey followed his uncle to Trinidad, and supported the invasion of the island, helping capture it and the Spanish force there. Harvey was chosen to be sent home with the dispatches telling of the victory. Not long after arriving in England, Harvey married his first cousin in Sandwich, Kent.

    Napoleonic Wars.

    During the next few years Harvey commanded several ships, including the frigates HMS Southampton and HMS Amphitrite in the West Indies and as part of the Cadiz blockade. Benfitting from the Navy reforms surrounding the Peace of Amiens, Harvey took command of the HMS Agamemnon in which he participated in Sir Robert Calder's action at the Battle of Cape Finisterre in 1805, part of the prelude to the Battle of Trafalgar which Harvey narrowly missed. At Finisterre Harvey's ship suffered only three wounded and he left the ships to take over HMS Canada. Thus it was Sir Edward Berry who led the Agamemnon at Trafalgar a few months later.

    During the next eight years, Harvey fulfilled the blockade duties of any captain of a ship of the line, not achieving any major victories but steadily doing his duty with quiet success. From HMS Canada, Harvey moved first to HMS Leviathan and then the HMS Royal Sovereign, a first-rate on which he was promoted to rear-admiral in December 1813. Flag rank limited Harvey's employment prospects and it was not until the war was over that he was actively employed again, becoming commander-in-chief of the Leeward Islands Station between 1816 and 1818.

    In 1819, Harvey retired and settled in Deal, Kent with his wife and daughter to lead a quiet life of the gentry. Promotions and honours steadily increased over the years, Harvey adding to the Companion of the Order of the Bath he had received in 1815 with elevation to Knight Commander in 1833 and promotion to vice-admiral in 1825 and full admiral just weeks before his death in January 1837. Harvey died on 17 February 1837 at his home in Deal.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  15. #65
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    Captain Jonas Rose.


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    Jonas Rose died on 20 Jul 1820. He served in the Royal Navy.

    Ranks:
    Cdr (1795)
    Capt (1801)

    This is all I been able to find so far on this particular Captain.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  16. #66
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    Captain David Atkins.







    Nationality British
    Roles Sailor
    First Known Service1784/09/20CSORN
    Last Known Service1811/12/24CSORN
    Date of Death1811/12/24BWAS-1714
    Cause of Death Drowned CSORN

    Event History

    Date from Date to Event Source
    1784/09/20 Lieutenant CSORN
    1795/05/29 Captain CSORN
    1799 Dordrecht (64), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1793
    1799/01 1799/08 Sans Pareil (80), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1793
    1799/07/02 Attack on Aix Roads
    1800/01 1800/04 Wilhelmina (32), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1793
    1801/01 1802/02 Princess Royal (90), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1714
    1802 Iris (32), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1714
    1805 1811/02 Seine (36), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1793
    1811/02 1811/12/24 Defence (74), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1714

    Sources
    ID Description Author Type
    CSORN Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy David Bonner Smith Web Site
    BWAS-1714 British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714 - 1792 Rif Winfield Book
    BWAS-1793 British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793 - 1817 Rif Winfield
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  17. #67
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    Captain Murray Maxwell.

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    Murray Maxwell was born in 1775 to James and Elizabeth Maxwell; his father was a British Army officer with the 42nd Regiment of Foot (known as the "Black Watch") and the son of Sir Alexander Maxwell, second of the Maxwell Baronets of Monreith. The family lived in Penninghame in Wigtownshire, Scotland, and Murray was intended for the armed forces from an early age: six of Murray's eight brothers would also join the Army or Navy.
    In 1790, at the age of 14, he was sent to sea on board HMS Juno, then commanded by Samuel Hood. He had been in Juno for three years when the French Revolutionary Wars broke out, and was on board when the frigate was forced to make a desperate escape from Toulon harbour under heavy fire from French Republican batteries during the siege of the city.
    Later that year, he was engaged in the invasion of Corsica and the siege of Bastia, during which he made such a favourable impression that when Hood transferred to HMS Aigle in 1794, he requested that Maxwell accompany him. Maxwell was transferred again during 1794, this time to the small frigate HMS Nemesis under the command of Hood's relative Captain Samuel Hood Linzee.
    In December 1795 Maxwell was taken prisoner when Nemesis was captured by a superior French force in Smyrna harbour. Despite Smyrna's neutrality, the large French frigate Sensible and the smaller corvette Sardine entered the port, followed later by the corvette Rossignol, and called on Nemesis to surrender. Linzee protested at the illegal nature of the French demands, but decided it would be futile to engage the significantly stronger force inside a neutral harbour, and complied with the French order. Maxwell was rapidly exchanged, and returned to service aboard HMS Hussar under Captain James Colnett. However, on 27 December 1796, Hussar was wrecked off Southern France, and Maxwell once again became a prisoner of war.
    Exchanged a second time, he joined HMS Blenheim, and later moved to HMS Princess Royal, before being made lieutenant in October 1796. Following his promotion, Maxwell was not employed at sea again until 1802. In 1798 he married the daughter of an army officer, Grace Callander Waugh.

    Napoleonic Wars.

    At the conclusion of the Peace of Amiens and the start of the Napoleonic Wars, Maxwell returned to sea-service in command of the sloop-of-war HMS Cyane. Within days of the start of the war, Cyane captured two French transports destined for the Caribbean, and later served in the West Indies, on one occasion exchanging fire with two large French frigates off Martinique.
    In 1803, Maxwell was involved in the capture of St Lucia, for which he was made captain of the ship of the line HMS Centaur—the flagship of his former commander Sir Samuel Hood. In this ship Maxwell participated in the capture of the French and Dutch colonies of Tobago, Demerera and Essequibo in 1803, following which his promotion to post captain was confirmed.
    He also blockaded Martinique, and was subsequently involved in the operation to seize Diamond Rock, overseeing the construction of a gun battery on its summit. This fortified position was able to severely restrict French shipping entering or leaving Fort-de-France. Present at the capture of Surinam and Berbice in 1804, Maxwell was the senior naval officer at the surrender of Surinam by its Dutch governor. His actions at Surinam: commanding the naval forces in the siege and capturing a succession of Dutch forts along the Suriname River, were highly commended. Maxwell's decisive leadership was essential in the rapid movement of troops by water to prevent the Dutch preparing fresh defensive positions; the colony surrendered after the British reached Paramaribo, giving up 2,000 prisoners, several ships, large quantities of supplies and the colony itself, with its valuable plantations. British losses numbered less than 30.

    Mediterranean service.

    In 1805 Maxwell took command of the frigate HMS Galatea off Jamaica, participating in the Atlantic campaign of 1806 as part of the squadron under Rear-Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane that drove off a French attack on the Jamaica convoy near Tortola on 4 July 1806.
    In 1807, Maxwell was transferred to the Mediterranean in HMS Alceste. He was initially part of a raiding squadron that attacked coastal batteries and positions along the Spanish coast in support of the Peninsular War. In April 1808, shortly before Spain became an ally of Britain, he successfully destroyed a Spanish convoy carrying military stores off Rota. Over the next two years Maxwell became an expert at raiding the French, Italian and Spanish coasts, destroying numerous Italian Martello Towers and small armed vessels. In May 1810 he was commended for a raid at Frejus, where he led a landing party that stormed and destroyed a coastal fort and seized a coastal convoy.

    Adriatic campaign.

    Maxwell's most notable service came during the Adriatic campaign of 1807–1814. Alceste was despatched to the Adriatic Sea to support James Brisbane in the absence of William Hoste, who had been wounded at the Battle of Lissa in March 1811. On 4 May, Maxwell and Brisbane led an attack on Parenza, where a brig carrying supplies to Ragusa had taken shelter. Seizing an island at the mouth of the harbour, the British established a mortar position overlooking the anchorage, and sank the brig with a heavy bombardment.
    In November 1811, with the temporary absence of Brisbane, Maxwell became the senior officer in the Adriatic. Seven months later, a convoy of French frigates carrying cannon from Corfu to Trieste was spotted attempting to slip past his base of operations on the island of Lissa. Ashore in Port St. George, Maxwell was informed by telegraph, and led Alceste and the rest of his squadron—HMS Active and HMS Unite—in pursuit. On 29 November, after a night's chase, the British caught their opponents near Pelagosa. The French force consisted of the large frigates Pauline and Pomone, and the armed storeship Persanne. In the battle that followed, Unite pursued and, after a lengthy chase, seized the smaller Persanne, while Maxwell and James Alexander Gordon in Active engaged the frigates. The action was bitterly contested, the British taking 61 casualties, including Gordon who lost a leg. However, Alceste and Active successfully isolated Pomone, and when another British ship, HMS Kingfisher, appeared in the distance, Pauline fled. Alone and having lost heavily, Pomone surrendered. The prizes were later sold along with their cargo of 200 cannon. Maxwell, despite attributing most of the credit for the victory to the wounded Gordon, was rewarded in 1812 with command of HMS Daedalus, a former Italian frigate captured at the Battle of Lissa.

    HMS Daedalus.
    .
    Maxwell commanded Daedalus for less than a year. On 2 July 1813 the frigate ran aground on a shoal off Galle, Ceylon, causing serious damage to her keel. Although she was soon brought off, the leaks created in the grounding became so severe that Maxwell had no option but to order his crew to cease their desperate attempts to keep her afloat and abandon ship. He was the last to leave and shortly after he had been transported to a nearby East Indiaman, Daedalus rolled over and sank. Maxwell returned to Britain to face a court martial but was exonerated for the frigate's loss and reappointed to Alceste. In 1815 he was made a Companion of the Order of the Bath for his naval service, and although the war against France had ended, was retained for active duty at the special request of Lord Amherst.

    Voyage to China and shipwreck.

    In 1816 Maxwell was ordered to escort Lord Amherst on a diplomatic mission to the Jiaqing Emperor of China. Alceste was accompanied by the small sloop HMS Lyra, under Captain Basil Hall, and the East Indiaman General Hewitt, which carried gifts for the Emperor. The small convoy called at Madeira, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, Anjere and Batavia, and arrived at Peiho after nearly six months at sea in July.
    Amherst went ashore with his party, instructing Maxwell to meet him at Canton once his diplomatic mission was complete. The mission was expected to last several months, so Maxwell and Hall agreed to use the time to become the first British sailors to explore the Yellow Sea and beyond. Between them, Lyra and Alceste visited the Gulf of Pecheli, the West coast of Korea and the "Loo-Choo" (Ryukyu) Islands—in some cases as the first European ships known to have sailed these waters.
    During the journey, Maxwell saw the Great Wall of China and discovered serious inaccuracies in the charts of Western Korea, finding it lay 130 miles east of its supposed position. The expedition also made the first known British government contacts with both the Koreans and the Ryukyu Islanders, who ignored instructions from Chinese officials not to communicate with the British ships.
    Maxwell arrived off the Pearl River in November 1816 and prepared to sail to Whampoa for his reunion with Amherst. Amherst's mission had foundered on the British party's refusal to kowtow to the Jiaqing Emperor and offer him tribute as overlord, and Amherst and his retinue had to retire to Whampoa with their mission incomplete. At the mouth of the Pearl, Alceste was refused permission to enter the river and perfunctorily ordered to halt by a local mandarin, who threatened to sink the frigate if it tried to force passage. Responding angrily that he would pass the river with or without the mandarin's permission, Maxwell attacked the Chinese defences, breaking through a blockade of junks and firing on the forts guarding the river mouth, scattering their defenders. He sailed on to Whampoa without further impediment, without casualties; Chinese losses were reportedly 47 killed and many wounded. Maxwell himself had fired the first cannon as a statement that he took personal responsibility for the exchange of fire—reportedly, the first cannonball was ironically marked "Tribute from the King of England to the Chinese". Collecting Amherst and his party from Whampoa, Maxwell sailed back down the Pearl River and, in January 1817, began the return journey to Britain, visiting Macao and Manila.
    On 18 February 1817 Alceste entered the Gaspar Strait between Bangka and Liat, traversing largely uncharted waters. Some hours later the frigate struck a hidden reef and grounded, sustaining severe damage to her hull. Despite Maxwell's best efforts to free his ship the carpenter reported that Alceste was taking on water and would rapidly sink if refloated. Ordering the ship to be abandoned, Maxwell gave the ship's barge to the ambassador and supervised the construction of a raft which, with the remaining boats, safely convoyed the crew, passengers and a quantity of supplies to a nearby island, formed largely of impenetrable mangrove swamps. The last to leave Alceste, Maxwell arrived on shore on the morning of 19 February. A council of officers subsequently decided that Amherst would take the ship's boats and 50 men and attempt to reach Batavia, four days sail away. It was essential that Amherst reach Batavia quickly, as the supplies salvaged from the wreck, especially of drinkable water, would only last a few days shared among all 250 survivors.

    Attack by Dayaks.

    To keep up morale following Amherst's departure, Maxwell began organising his remaining 200 men (and one woman) to secure their position and gather supplies. The men were divided into parties, with one ordered to dig a well while another returned to the wreck of Alceste to salvage what weapons and equipment they could. A third party was ordered to clear a path to the island's central hill, where a cool cave could be used as a larder and trees felled to form a protective stockade. By the end of the first day the well was producing a steady supply of water.
    The party aboard Alceste, having determined that the ship was in no immediate danger of sinking, decided to remain aboard overnight. However, at dawn they awoke to discover the ship surrounded by Dayak (or Malay) proas armed with swivel guns. The party escaped on the raft, only reaching the island ahead of the pursuing proas with the assistance of boats sent to meet them carrying armed Royal Marines. With the wreck vacated, the Dayaks began enthusiastically looting it and several proas approached the island, landing their crews on offshore rocks to both observe the British and store their salvage. Maxwell hastily organised defensive positions in case the Dayaks attacked the island, completing the stockade on the island's hill and preparing sharpened stakes and hundreds of improvised cartridges for the group's 30 muskets. Over the next few days the proas approached the island several times, but despite attempts by the British to communicate with them, never landed. Eventually, on 22 February, Maxwell took advantage of the divided Dayak positions to drive their observers off the rocks, with the intention of recapturing the wreck. This was initially successful, but the departing Dayaks set fire to Alceste, burning her to the waterline. The destruction of the frigate's upper works exposed her hold, and the next morning the stranded sailors were able to collect some supplies that had floated out.
    During the early morning of 26 February, British sentries spotted two proas attempting to land at the cove where the remaining British boats were anchored. Taking one of the boats to intercept the proas, Lieutenant Hay boarded a Dayak canoe and captured it, despite fire from the Dayak guns. Four Dayaks were killed, two captured, and five jumped into the sea and drowned themselves, having scuttled their proa. Later in the day fourteen more proas appeared, led by a large vessel carrying a rajah. These approached the island and several Malays came ashore, a number of British sailors being admitted on board the rajah's canoe in return. The inability of either side to speak the others language hindered negotiations, and the Malays retreated to their boats late in the day. The rajah subsequently directed renewed salvage operations on the wreck, seeking especially the copper nails that had held the ship's beams together. By 2 March there were nearly 30 proas off the island, 20 of which were detached to open an ineffective long-range fire on the British positions ashore, accompanied by frenzied drumming and the bashing of gongs. Although further attempts were made to communicate with the proas, and messages successfully passed to them in the hope someone in authority would transmit them to nearby settlements, the British crew expected an attack at any moment. In preparation, Maxwell gathered his men together and spoke to them:
    My lads, you must all have observed the great increase in the enemy's force, and the threatening posture they have assumed. I have reason to believe they will attack us this night. I do not wish to conceal our real state, because I do not believe there is a man here who is afraid to face any sort of danger. We are in a position to defend ourselves against regular troops, far less a set of naked savages, with their spears and krisses. It is true they have swivels in their boats, but they cannot act here. I have not observed that they have any muskets, but if they have, so have we. When we were first thrown on shore we could only muster seventy-five musket ball cartridges — we now have sixteen hundred. They cannot send up, I believe, more than five hundred men; but with two hundred such as now stand around me, I do not fear a thousand — nor fifteen hundred of them. The pikemen standing firm, we will give them such a volley of musketry as they will be little prepared for; and when they are thrown into confusion, we will sally out, chase them into the water, and ten to one but we secure their vessels. let every man be on the alert, and should these barbarians this night attempt our hill, I trust we shall convince them they are dealing with Britons.
    So loud was the cheering that followed this address that the proas fell silent, the Dayaks apparently unnerved. In the morning however the 20 canoes were still offshore and, with the anticipated rescue overdue and supplies running low, a desperate plan was made to use the ship's boats to board and capture enough Dayak vessels to enable the entire crew to reach Batavia. However, while these plans were being formed the British East India Company's (EIC) armed brig Ternate appeared on the southern horizon.
    Determined to make one last show of defiance, Maxwell ordered the marines to wade towards the proas at low tide and open fire on them. This achieved no hits, but did persuade the Dayaks to move further offshore, and they departed entirely when the Ternate was spotted.The following day the survivors embarked on board Ternate, Maxwell having lost not one man on either the shipwreck or the island. At Batavia the crew were reunited with Amherst and his party, who had sent Ternate to search for them and subsequently chartered the East Indiaman Caesar for the remainder of the journey to Britain.

    Napoleon.

    The voyage to Europe remained eventful. In the Indian Ocean Caesar caught fire and was almost destroyed, and after stopping at Cape Town, the Indiaman visited St Helena, where Amherst, Maxwell and the other officers were introduced to the former French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, then a prisoner on the island. At the meeting Bonaparte recalled Maxwell's conduct in the action of November 1811 and commended him on his victory, saying "Vous êtes très méchant. Eh bien! Your government must not blame you for the loss of the Alceste, for you have taken one of my frigates".

    Later service.

    Returning to Britain in August 1817, where the story of his shipwreck and subsequent difficulties had become headline news, Maxwell was widely praised for his leadership. In the court martial convened to investigate the incident he was exonerated of all blame, and especially commended for his calm and authoritative control of the situation. Chief among the witnesses on his behalf was Lord Amherst himself. The court martial reported that "his coolness, self-collectedness and exertions were highly conspicuous, and everything was done by him and his officers within the power of man to execute".
    The following year he was knighted, and in 1819 made a Fellow of the Royal Society. That same year the HEIC presented him with £1,500 as a reward for his services in China and to compensate him for his financial losses in the wreck. An account of the Yellow Sea voyage by Basil Hall was published in 1818 under the title "Account of a Voyage of Discovery to the West Coast of Corea and the Great Loo-Choo Islands". The book was dedicated to Sir Murray Maxwell, and proved popular.
    Maxwell stood in the 1818 general election, seeking to become Member of Parliament for Westminster. He was narrowly defeated by less than 400 votes, losing to Sir Samuel Romilly and Sir Francis Burdett. The campaign ruined him financially, and after a "severe personal injury" in Covent Garden when he was struck in the back by a paving stone thrown from a mob opposed to his candidacy, he was left with disgust for the political process.[2][30] Maxwell's lungs were badly damaged; he never fully recovered from the injury, and never again became involved in politics, instead returning to the Navy in 1821 as captain of HMS Bulwark, the flagship of Admiral Sir Benjamin Hallowell at Chatham. The same year, the Arctic explorer Henry Parkyns Hoppner, who had served under Maxwell aboard the Alceste on the mission to China, named Murray Maxwell Bay on Baffin Island after his former captain.
    By 1823 Maxwell was in command of HMS Gloucester organising operations against smugglers,[ and later in the year he was given a foreign posting in command of HMS Briton off South America. Here he observed the Peruvian War of Independence and was present at the surrender of Callao, forming a friendship with the defeated General Rodil. This posting proved a frustrating experience for Maxwell, who broke his kneecap on the outward journey and never fully recovered use of the limb. He also failed to gain any of the financial rewards that overseas postings could bring, and was unable to restore his shattered finances, returning a poorer man than when he had left.
    Still feeling the chest injury sustained during the 1818 election, Maxwell returned to Britain in 1826 and entered retirement; during this period he also reportedly had a bout of depression, especially following the sudden death of his youngest daughter in 1827. In 1830, he was recalled by the newly crowned King William IV. A former naval officer himself, King William selected a number of senior Navy officers to be his aides de camp, including Maxwell, who was subsequently appointed to succeed John Ready as Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island on 14 March 1831. As Maxwell sailed from his home in Scotland to London to make preparations for his departure, he was suddenly taken ill. Medical assistance was unavailable for 48 hours during the passage, and the weather too rough for him to go ashore in an open boat in his condition. As a result, Maxwell died shortly after arriving at Green's Hotel in Lincoln's Inn Fields, London. Maxwell was buried at St Marylebone Parish Church, and was survived by his wife and their son John Balfour Maxwell, who died in 1874 as an admiral of the Royal Navy.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  18. #68
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    Captain Robert Dudley Oliver.





    Oliver was born in 1766 and entered the Navy aged 15, joining HMS Prince George in 1779 as a shipmate of the young Prince William. Prince George was the flagship of Rear-Admiral Robert Digby, and in 1781 was sent to the coast of North America during the American Revolutionary War. Oliver remained in the Americas aboard Prince George until the end of the war seeing action at the Battle of St. Kitts and the large Battle of the Saintes in 1782, at which Prince George was heavily engaged.

    Oliver was not employed in the interwar years, but in 1790 he was promoted to lieutenant during the Spanish Armament and remained in service in the frigate HMS Active in the North Sea. In 1794 he moved to the frigate HMS Artois under Captain Edmund Nagle that formed part of the squadron under Commodore Sir John Borlase Warren. Artois was heavily engaged at the Action of 21 October 1794, when the French frigate Révolutionnaire was captured. In recognition of his service in the battle, Oliver was promoted to commander, serving first on the sloop HMS Hazard off Ireland and then in the guardship HMS Nonsuch in the Humber in 1796.

    In February 1798, Oliver was promoted to post captain and took command of the small frigate HMS Nemesis, escorting a convoy to Quebec. The following year he took command of the larger frigate HMS Mermaid operating in the Mediterranean and in 1802 he convoyed General Lord Hutchinson back to Britain. During the Peace of Amiens he was unemployed, but he returned to sea in 1803 as captain of the frigate HMS Melpomene, operating off the French coast until 1805, when he was sent to the Spanish coast to join the fleet under Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson at Cadiz. Melpomene was not engaged at the Battle of Trafalgar, but assisted in the aftermath of the battle by towing damaged prizes away from the battle site.

    In recognition of his assistance at Trafalgar, Oliver was given command of the ship of the line HMS Mars, whose captain, George Duff had been killed in the battle. Mars joined the blockade of the French Atlantic coast, and in July 1806 successfully chased down and captured the French frigate Rhin following Lamellerie's expedition. In September 1806, Oliver was placed in reserve, returning to service in May 1810 aboard HMS Valiant, ordered to operate off the coast of the United States. Following the outbreak of the War of 1812, Valiant was detached to Virginia, operating along the coastline against local shipping. In 1814, Oliver resigned his command and returned to Britain.

    He never served at sea again, although he continued to be promoted in rank on the Navy list, becoming a full admiral in 1841. He lived with his wife Mary, daughter of Sir Charles Saxton whom he married in 1805, and their five sons and one daughter in the town of Dalkey, near Dublin in Ireland. Oliver spent his time in retirement as an active member of various religious societies in Dublin, including the local Bible Society. He died at his home in September 1850, 36 years after his retirement from the Navy.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  19. #69
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    Captain Henry Digby.

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    The nephew of Robert Digby, Henry was born in Bath on 20 January 1770. His father, the Hon. Rev. William Digby, was the younger brother of Edward Digby, 6th Baron Digby and later became Dean of Durham and Chaplain Ordinary to King George III. Henry was one of ten children and the oldest of four boys; two of whom, Charles George (1780) and Joseph (1786), also served in the Royal Navy. The younger, Joseph, later becoming a vice-admiral. On 2 April 1783, Henry was entered onto the muster roll of HMS Jason then HMS Vestal from 1 May till 6 March 1784 as a captain's servant. After a six-week break, on 16 April he was entered into the books of HMY Royal Charlotte until the end of the year when he finally went to sea aboard the 50-gun HMS Europa and sailed for the West Indies.

    Naval career.

    Digby was to spend the next two and half years aboard the Europa. He was almost immediately promoted from Captain's servant to Able Seaman and shortly after, to Midshipman. On 4 July 1787, after a brief return to England, he was appointed, first to the Janus and then the Salisbury on the North American station. Digby's father died in November 1788 and he returned home but by December he was aboard the sloop Racehorse trying to stop the smuggling trade in the North Sea. He returned to England once more on 22 September 1789 and did not go to sea again until the following August during which time he passed his lieutenant's exam. After a short probationary period aboard HMS Bellerophon, he was confirmed as fourth lieutenant of the Lion in October 1790. Returning from the West Indies in September 1791, Digby spent a year and eight months in England dealing with family affairs, following the death of his mother.

    On 5 May 1793, Digby was appointed first lieutenant of HMS Eurydice serving in the Channel Squadron, and from there to the Proserpine on 16 February 1794. Appointed second lieutenant to the 5th rate HMS Pallas on 25 March, he received a commendation for saving hundreds of lives when, on 1 May 1795, the first-rate HMS Boyne caught fire and exploded in Spithead. Digby took a small boat close into the blazing ship to rescue men struggling in the water despite the risk of instant annihilation should the ammunition store catch alight, as happened later that day. Shortly after, on 20 May 1795, Digby joined HMS Dictator as first lieutenant and stayed with her until he was promoted in August that year.

    First commands.

    In August 1795, Digby was promoted to commander of the 16 gun fireship, HMS Incendiary, operating in Quiberon Bay and the Channel. On 16 December 1796 he made Post Captain and was appointed to the 6th rate, 28 gun, Aurora, escorting convoys in the waters around Portugal and Spain and damaging the enemy's commercial interests wherever possible. In these first two commands, Digby took 57 enemy vessels before transferring to HMS Leviathan under Commodore John Duckworth and was present at the capture of Minorca in November 1798. In 1799 he was given a lucrative independent cruise in the frigate HMS Alcmene. Patrolling the waters in and around Portugal and the Azores, Digby captured dozens of small merchant ships and a 28 gun French privateer, Courageux.

    Digby's habit of using his own funds to pay prize money to his crew straight away, rather than have to wait for a judgement from an Admiralty court; coupled with his aggressive, near-record-breaking prize taking; made him extremely popular with seamen and officers alike and he was never short of volunteers to sail with him. One particular capture, that of the Santa Brigida, contained such wealth that even an Ordinary Seaman received £182.

    Capture of the Santa Brigida

    Digby claimed that a dream caused him to change course and as a result, at dawn on 16 October 1799, the Alcmene encountered two British frigates. HMS Naiad and HMS Ethalion were chasing two 34 gun Spanish frigates, Santa Brigida and Thetis. Digby's ship joined the pursuit and soon after a fourth frigate arrived. At 7.00am the two Spaniards parted company so Naiad followed one frigate, together with Alcmene and the newly arrived Triton, while Ethalion, set after the other frigate. By 11.30am, Ethalion had caught up with her quarry and after a short engagement the Spanish vessel struck her colours. Ethalion had no casualties though the Spaniard had one man killed and nine wounded. Triton, the fastest of the three British frigates, led the chase of the second frigate. The next morning Triton struck some rocks off Muros as she tried to prevent her quarry from reaching port. Triton got off the rocks and resumed the chase despite taking on water. She and Alcmene then exchanged fire with the Spanish frigate, which surrendered before Naiad could catch up.

    The Santa Brigida's cargo included 1,400,000 Pieces of Eight and Digby's share of the prize fund came to £40,731, not including the ship itself which wasn't purchased. This was more than twice the total prize money Digby had thus far accrued in his career (around £20,000).

    Peace.


    Digby returned to England in early 1801 and spent 10 weeks without a ship. In May he took command of HMS Resistance, on the North American station, in which he captured the French privateer Elizabeth, the last capture before the Peace of Amiens. Digby spent the next three years on half pay, though in February 1805 he was in temporary command of HMS Leda. He was next given command of HMS Africa in July 1805. An old, small battleship, Africa possessed just 64 guns and was considered by many as much too small to serve in the line of battle in a major fleet engagement. Ordered to join Nelson's fleet off Cadiz, Digby arrived just days before the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October.

    Trafalgar.

    The Africa was also a poor sailor, and on the morning of the battle, as a result of bad weather and a missed signal during the night, Digby found his ship far off station to the north and was thus very isolated. Nelson saw the predicament and sent a signal instructing Digby to "Make all sail", intending him to pull back from the enemy rather than risk being overwhelmed as there were ten enemy ships between Africa and the British fleet, all larger than Africa in size.

    Digby indignantly received the order and then deliberately misinterpreted it as an instruction to close with the British fleet to the south, and so weaved between the advancing enemy, engaging each in turn with both broadsides before reaching the melee surrounding the enormous Spanish flagship, the 130 gun Santissima Trinidad. Believing that she had surrendered, Digby dispatched his first lieutenant, John Smith, on board to take the surrender. Smith and his party actually reached the Spanish quarterdeck unmolested before realising that the ship was still fighting. Fortunately in that chivalrous age the Spanish admiral allowed Smith's party to return to their boat unharmed. Sailing south from the battle, Africa encountered the Intrépide and fought her continuously for 40 minutes until HMS Orion arrived and the French ship surrendered as she was outnumbered. In this fight Africa was very badly damaged and lost 62 men killed or wounded, including most of her officers.

    The damage suffered by the Africa was highlighted in March 2006 when the BBC television programme Antiques Roadshow examined a book that was extensively damaged by a cannonball. Digby's inscription inside read ... this book was shivered in this manner by a whole shot, knocking to pieces the bookcase ... off Cape Trafalgar on 21 October 1805 ... on board the 'Africa' (64 guns). signed Henry Digby.

    Some 10 years after the battle, Digby received some criticisms for his actions. On hearing a rumour that Nelson had disapproved of Digby's behaviour at Trafalgar, Hardy wrote: ".....I beg to assure you that Lord Nelson expressed great satisfaction at the gallant manner in which you passed the enemy's line; and I assure you he appeared most fully satisfied with the conduct of the Africa. I shall be most happy personally to contradict the report, if you will inform me of the Captain's name who conveyed it to you".

    Later life.

    On 17 April 1806, he married Lady Jane Elizabeth Coke, a renowned beauty, and daughter of Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester. They had three children, the eldest son, Edward St Vincent, born 1806, became the 9th Baron Digby in 1856. Their daughter, born in 1807, was the scandalous adventuress, Jane Digby. Their youngest child, Rev. Hon. Kenelm Henry Digby, held the office of rector of Tittleshall, and Honorary Canon of Norwich.

    For his role at Trafalgar, Digby received a further £973 prize money and a proportion of a government grant amounting £2389 7s 6d, which together with the money accumulated from earlier successes paid for a large manor and a very comfortable life. In 1815 his uncle, Admiral Robert Digby, died leaving Henry the estate in Minterne Magna to which he retired with his family. Digby did not leave the Royal Navy, however, and continued to serve for many years, advancing by seniority through the ranks, making rear admiral in 1819 and vice admiral in 1830. He received the Order of the Bath in 1815 and served as High Sheriff of Dorset in 1835.

    Digby was appointed Commander-in-Chief, The Nore in 1840. He died in 1842 and was buried in the local churchyard with many of his family, where his tombstone can still be seen. At the time of his death he was a full admiral of the Blue and had become a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  20. #70
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    Captain Richard Lee.



    Richard Lee was born in approximately 1765, entering the Royal Navy at the age of just 12 as a midshipman on the sloop HMS Speedwell, then captained by Commander John Harvey. Lee later transferred to the ship of the line HMS Triumph, which was attached to the fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney. With Rodney, Triumph participated in the victory over the Spanish at the Battle of Cape St Vincent and the inconclusive Battle of Martinique against the French during 1780. Later in the year, Rodney's fleet sailed to New York City and en route seized the captured armed Jamaica ship Lion. Lee was made master of Lion and cruised the coastline near Sandy Hook, on one occasion fighting a brief engagement with the American privateer Retaliation, which was driven into Neversink. For his services, Lee was promoted to lieutenant and awarded a large financial reward from the merchants of New York.

    In 1781, Lee returned to Britain and joined first HMS Recovery and then HMS Raisonnable, in which he participated in the relief of Gibraltar during the Great Siege. With the fleet under Lord Howe, Lee subsequently participated in the indecisive Battle of Cape Spartel. Lee remained in service during the peace that followed, initially on HMS Swallow and then on the fourth rate HMS Centurion in the West Indies under Rear-Admiral Philip Affleck. Under Affleck's patronage, Lee received a promotion to commander in HMS Serpent and acted as a convoy escort during the opening months of the French Revolutionary Wars, for which service he was given substantial financial rewards by the convoy's merchants and insurers. Serpent was subsequently deployed in support of allied forces during the siege of Nieuwpoort, returning in June 1794 when Lee was promoted to post captain.

    Lee's first full command was HMS Hind in the English Channel, followed by HMS Greyhound in the Caribbean and the HMS Assistance in the Channel once more. In 1802, Lee survived the loss of Assistance in a shipwreck off Dunkirk, when two hired maritime pilots grounded the vessel on a sandbar. Two men were drowned in the wreck, and Lee was subsequently admonished for placing too much trust in hired pilots. The pilots were each imprisoned for six months. After three years unemployed, Lee returned to service in early 1805, taking over the 74-gun HMS Courageux and joining the squadron under Sir Richard Strachan in the Bay of Biscay. On 4 November 1805, Courgueux was heavily engaged at the Battle of Cape Ortegal, in which four French ships of the line that had escaped from the Battle of Trafalgar were defeated and captured.

    In 1806, Lee took command of HMS Monarch, and again took part in an important action while serving with the blockade squadron under Sir Samuel Hood off Rochefort. At the Action of 25 September 1806, seven French ships attempted to break out the port for the West Indies. Intercepted within hours by Hood's squadron of ships of the line, the French fled, only Monarch managing to keep in touch. In the ensuing engagement, four French frigates were captured although Monarch suffered considerable damage to her masts and rigging. Over the next several years, Lee was employed in the blockade of the Tagus, assisting the flight of the Portuguese Royal family in 1807 and negotiating peace with the Spanish forces in the Rio de la Plata. In 1809, after his return to Britain, Lee joined the disastrous Walcheren Expedition, and remained in Monarch in the North Sea until 1812, when his ship was deemed no longer serviceable and broken up.

    Advanced to rear-admiral, Lee was unable to secure a commission at sea and effectively retired from the service, although he continued to rise in rank and stature: in 1815 he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath and in 1816 was awarded the Order of the Tower and Sword by the Portuguese Royal family in recognition of her services towards them. He became a vice-admiral in 1821 and a full admiral in 1830.

    He died on 5 August 1837, at his home in Walmer, Kent
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  21. #71
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    Captain William Lukin.

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    Early life.

    William Lukin was born in the village of Felbrigg, Norfolk on 20 September 1768. He was the son of the Rev. George Lukin and Susan Katherine Doughty. His father was the rector of Felbrigg and Aylmerton. The Rev. George Lukin was the half brother of William Windham.[3] who was the local squire of Felbrigg Hall and one time member of parliament for Norwich and Secretary at War in the Cabinet. Windham had a special affection for all the children of the Rev. Lukin and in particular William Lukin who would eventually become his heir. The young William Lukin went to sea probably around 1781 at the age of 13. He appears to have been a keen seaman and a fast learner and survived the harsh life in the navy, and by 1786 he had become a midshipman.

    Promotion through the ranks.

    In 1793 Lukin had become a Lieutenant, and by 1795 he had been given command of HMS Hornet, a 16-gun sloop. Soon after this appointment he was given the rank of Captain and with this promotion he was given HMS Thames, a vessel of 32 guns, which had been re-captured on 8 June 1796 from the French who had initially captured the ship in 1793. As Britain faced war with France, Lukin’s career began to rise steadily in the Royal Navy especially with a powerful patron like William Windham. Windham did all he could to assist Lukin’s rapid advancement within the Navy through his great friendship with Lord George Spencer, who was the First Lord of the Admiralty.

    Spithead mutiny.

    In April 1792 Captain William Lukin found himself embroiled in the Spithead mutiny. Sixteen ships of the line of the Channel fleet refused to sail and mounted a collective mutiny at Spithead. Their demands were concerned with improved pay and conditions, and better treatment in general. Some officers considered to ill-treat their crews were sent ashore and their permanent removal demanded. Lukin was recorded as performing well in quelling the discontent and as a result helped the mutiny at Spithead to be resolved in a peaceful and organised manner and within a few weeks the seamans' demands had been met and a Royal Pardon granted. It was noted Captain Lukin’s vessel, HMS Thames[ was the first to be ready to resume its duties within the Royal Navy.

    War between Britain and France.

    On 18 May 1803 Britain declared war with France and one response to these events was that the Secretary at War, Charles Yorke introduced a bill in Parliament to increase the armed forces by creating reserve army of 30,000 men. At the behest of William Windham, Lukin was given the task of establishing a local militia in North East Norfolk. This role he embraced with great gusto and was successful in the task.

    Back to sea.

    Now the war with France had started, William Lukin was given command of various warships with the most notable being the 74-gun third-rate ship of the line HMS Mars.

    Rochefort, Bay of Biscay.

    Lukin took the Mars into Action of 25 September 1806 in the naval battle fought off the French Biscay port of Rochefort. A French convoy of five frigates and two corvettes, sailing to the French West Indies with supplies and reinforcements, under the command of Commodore Eleonore-Jean-Nicolas Soleil, was intercepted by a British squadron of six ships of the line that was keeping a close blockade of the port as part of the Atlantic campaign of 1806. The British ships, under the command of Commodore Sir Samuel Hood, spotted the French convoy early in the morning of 25 September, just a few hours after the French had left port, and immediately gave chase. Although the French ships tried to escape, they were heavily laden and the strong winds favoured the larger ships of the line, which caught the French convoy after a five-hour pursuit, although they had become separated from one another during the chase. Soleil had ordered his ships to split. One of the French ships, the Infatigable, a 40-gun Valeureuse class frigate, was heading north. Lukin took HMS Mars out of the British line and went in pursuit of Infatigable. Failing to outrun HMS Mars, Captain Lukin forced the Infatigable to surrender after a brief cannonade. Later in the action, Commodore Eleonore-Jean-Nicolas Soleil’s flagship, the 44-gun frigate Gloire, which by now had sustained damaged, could not distance herself from the British flagship HMS Centaur sufficiently before support arrived in the form of HMS Mars. With his ship undamaged, Lukin was able to easily catch the fleeing frigate and opened fire at 14:30pm, combat continuing for half an hour before Soleil surrendered his badly damaged frigate. These deeds brought with them a considerable sum in prize money.

    Bombardment of Copenhagen.

    HMS Mars and Captain Lukin participated in the bombardment, which took place between the 16 August and the 5 September known as the Second Battle of Copenhagen (or the Bombardment of Copenhagen), which was a British preemptive attack on Copenhagen, targeting the civilian population in order to seize the Dano-Norwegian fleet. This action was taken because there was concern in Britain that Napoleon might try to force Denmark to close the Baltic Sea to British ships, perhaps by marching French troops into Zealand. The British believed that access to the Baltic was "vitally important to Britain" for trade as well as a major source of necessary raw materials for building and maintaining warships, and that it gave the Royal Navy access to help Britain's allies, Sweden and (before Tilsit) Russia, against France. After the Danes rejected British demands to surrender, the British fleet under Admiral Gambier bombarded the city from 2 to 5 September 1807. Captain Lukin and HMS Mars which had joined the fleet on 8 August, participated in this bombardment which resulted in Danish General Peymann surrendering both the city and the fleet on 7 September 1807.

    Final command.

    William Lukin’s final command in the service of the Royal Navy was as captain of the 50-gun fourth rate ship of the line HMS Chatham. This new command brought to a close the naval career of Lukin. He had served his country with reliability and efficiency throughout the Napoleonic wars with one or two outstanding actions. Lukin effectively left the navy in 1814 with the rank of vice admiral of the blue, just a year away from the end of the war; he saw no further active service.

    Felbrigg Hall.

    William Windham as Lukin became on the death of his wife, when he inherited Felbrigg Hall, died on 4 June 1833, and was the last of his line.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  22. #72
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    Captain Charles Boyles.







    Boyles became a lieutenant in 1777 and a captain in 1790. During the French wars he served in the West Indies, the Channel and the Mediterranean. He became a rear-admiral in 1809 and from 1810 to 1812 served in the Mediterranean, in the Trident and the Canopus. He became a vice-admiral in 1814.


    Event History.

    Date from Date to Event Source
    1777/10/10 Lieutenant CSORN
    1783/04/11 Commander CSORN
    1784 1784/08/11 Barbadoes (14), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1714
    1787/03 1789 Zebra (16), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1714
    1790/11/22 Captain CSORN
    1793/06/21 1795/12 Swiftsure (74), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1714
    1794/05/06 Swiftsure vs Atalante
    1795/12 1796 Raisonnable (64), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1714
    1801/01 1801/02 Saturn (74), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1714
    1801/02 1801/10 Belleisle (74), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1793
    1801/09 1802/07 Captain (74), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1714
    1804/03 1805 Courageux (74), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1793
    1805/05 1808/09 Windsor Castle (98), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1714
    1805/07/22 3rd Battle of Cape Finisterre
    1805/11/04 Battle of Cape Ortegal
    1806/09/25 Action off Rochefort
    1807/02/19 1807/02/20 Forcing the Dardanelles
    1807/03/01 1807/03/03 Passage of the Dardanelles
    1809/10/25 Rear-Admiral of the Blue CSORN
    1810/07/31 Rear-Admiral of the White CSORN
    1811 1812/02 Canopus (80), as Flag Officer, Rear-Admiral of the White BWAS-1793
    1812/08/12 Rear-Admiral of the Red CSORN
    1814/06/04 Vice-Admiral of the Blue CSORN
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  23. #73
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    Captain Richard King.

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    King was the son of Sir Richard King, 1st Baronet, a wealthy and high-ranking member of the Navy. King was placed on board ship at fourteen thanks to the influence of his father and made Post Captain just six years later, an achievement made possible by his father's rank of admiral. Normally an officer would be waiting double or triple that time before gaining such a prestigious rank. Nonetheless, King was no incompetent, and proved his worth as captain of HMS Sirius, capturing four enemy privateers whilst in command, as well as sitting on the navy board which condemned Richard Parker to death for his part in the Nore mutiny in 1797.

    At the Action of 24 October 1798, King captured two Dutch ships. In 1801 he captured a French frigate, and was rewarded with command of the large 74 gun ship of the line HMS Achille.

    A month before the battle of Trafalgar, sensing that there was glory to be won in the coming operations off Cadiz, King used his influence with his father in law, Admiral Sir John Duckworth, to persuade Nelson to give him a position in the blockading fleet. Since his reputation was good, Nelson endorsed the move and King joined just in time to catch the combined fleet off Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. The seventh ship in Collingwood's division, Achille was heavily engaged, chasing off the Spanish Montanez and the battling alongside HMS Belleisle with the Argonauta. Whilst chasing this ship through the melee, Achille was cut off by her namesake, the French Achille, with whom she began a savage cannonade until joined by the French ship Berwick, whom Achille turned her attention on. An hour of savage fighting forced the French craft to eventually surrender, but at the cost of 13 dead and 59 wounded, severe losses in comparison with most of the British fleet.

    King was, along with the other captains, voted many honours following the battle, and unlike several of his compatriots retained his command at sea, being engaged the following year in the action against a French frigate squadron in an action in which Sir Samuel Hood lost an arm. The same year he inherited his fathers baronetcy and transferred to the Mediterranean, where in 1812 he made the jump to Rear-Admiral and second in command to Edward Pellew.

    He was appointed KCB on 2 January 1815 and served as commander-in-chief on the East Indies Station from 1816. Continuing in service postwar in 1819 as a Vice-Admiral and Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, King served as commander in chief in the East Indies and also remarried following his first wife's death to the daughter of Admiral Sir Charles Cotton, Maria Susannah.

    As Commander-in-Chief, The Nore from 1833 after an eventful life, King continued his successful career past the age many of his contemporaries retired at. Such devotion to duty often has a price, and King died in office in 1834 whilst at Sheerness from a sudden outbreak of cholera. He was buried nearby, survived by twelve children and his second wife.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  24. #74
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    Captain John Gore.

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    Gore joined the Royal Navy in August 1781, as a Captain's Servant, and would have served as a Midshipman, before gaining promotion to Lieutenant on 26 November 1789 and Commander on 24 May 1794.
    The Royal Navy had just captured the French corvette Fleche at the capture of Bastia, in which Gore had played a significant role and had been injured. The Navy took the corvette into service as HMS Fleche and commissioned her under Gore. He fitted her out and sailed her to Malta where he negotiated with the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller Emmanuel de Rohan-Polduc for seamen, supplies, and the like.

    On 13 September Gore was a witness at the trial of Lieutenant William Walker, commander of the hired armed cutter Rose, on charges that Walker had accepted money from merchants at Bastia to convoy their vessels to Leghorn, where the court martial took place. Walker was acquitted.

    Gore received promotion to post captain on 14 November 1794. When in command of HMS Triton he took part in the successful Action of 16 October 1799 in which two Spanish frigates were captured and more than 2 million silver dollars taken. While commanding the 32-gun frigate HMS Medusa, he took part in the Action of 5 October 1804.

    Promoted to rear-admiral on 4 December 1813, he became Commander-in-Chief, The Nore from 1818 to 1821. Promoted to vice-admiral on 27 May 1825, he served as Commander-in-Chief, East Indies and China Station from 1831 to 1834.

    Family.

    On 15 August 1808, at St George's, Hanover Square, he married Georgiana Montagu, daughter of Admiral Sir George Montagu and Charlotte Wroughton. The couple had four children.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  25. #75
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    Commander John(Joseph?) Ore Masefield.




    Nationality British
    Roles Sailor
    First Known Service1795/04/17 CSORN
    Last Known Service1808/12 CSORN

    Event History.

    Date from Date to Event Source
    1795/04/17 Lieutenant CSORN
    1799/07/08 1800/03/13 Achille (74), Lieutenant ref:559
    1801/04/27 Commander CSORN
    1802/05 1806 Atalante (16), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1793
    1806/09 1806/10 Polyphemus (64), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1714
    1806/09/25 Action off Rochefort
    1807/02 1808/12 Raleigh (16), as Commanding Officer BWAS-1793

    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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