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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 13:15.
    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.

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