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Thread: The Battle of Cape Finisterre (1805).

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    Default The Battle of Cape Finisterre (1805).

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    In the Battle of Cape Finisterre (22 July 1805) off Galicia, Spain, the British fleet under Admiral Robert Calder fought an indecisive naval battle against the combined Franco-Spanish fleet which was returning from the West Indies. Failing to prevent the joining of French Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve's fleet to the squadron of Ferrol and to strike the shattering blow that would have freed Great Britain from the danger of an invasion, Calder was later court-martialled and severely reprimanded for his failure and for avoiding the renewal of the engagement on 23 and 24 July. At the same time, in the aftermath Villeneuve elected not to continue on to Brest, where his fleet could have joined with other French ships to clear the English Channel for an invasion of Great Britain.

    Strategic background.

    The fragile Peace of Amiens of 1802 had come to an end when Napoleon formally annexed the Italian state of Piedmont and on 18 May 1803 Britain was once again at war with France.

    Napoleon planned to end the British blockade by invading and conquering Britain. By 1805 his Armée d'Angleterre was 150,000 strong and encamped at Boulogne. If this army could cross the English Channel, victory over the poorly trained and equipped militias was very likely. The plan was that the French navy would escape from the British blockades of Toulon and Brest and threaten to attack the West Indies, thus drawing off the British defence of the Western Approaches. The combined fleets would rendezvous at Martinique and then double back to Europe, land troops in Ireland to raise a rebellion, defeat the weakened British patrols in the Channel, and help transport the Armée d'Angleterre across the Straits of Dover.

    Villeneuve sailed from Toulon on 29 March 1805 with eleven ships of the line, six frigates and two brigs. He evaded Admiral Nelson's blockading fleet and passed the Strait of Gibraltar on 8 April. At Cádiz he drove off the British blockading squadron and was joined by six Spanish ships of the line. The combined fleet sailed for the West Indies, reaching Martinique on 12 May.
    Nelson was kept in the Mediterranean by westerly winds and did not pass the Strait until 7 May 1805. The British fleet of ten ships reached Antigua on 4 June.

    Villeneuve waited at Martinique for Admiral Ganteaume's Brest fleet to join him, but it remained blockaded in port and did not appear. Pleas from French army officers for Villeneuve to attack British colonies went unheeded — except for the recapture of the island fort of Diamond Rock — until 4 June when he set out from Martinique. On 7 June he learned from a captured British merchantman that Nelson had arrived at Antigua, and on 11 June Villeneuve left for Europe, having failed to achieve any of his objectives in the Caribbean.

    While in the Antilles, the Franco-Spanish fleet ran into a British convoy worth 5 million francs escorted by the frigate Barbadoes, 28 guns, and sloop Netley. Villeneuve hoisted general chase and two French frigates with the Spanish ship Argonauta, 80 guns, captured all the ships but one escort.

    On 30 June the combined squadron captured and burned an English 14-gun privateer. On 3 July the fleet recaptured Spanish galleon Matilda, which carried an estimated 15 million franc treasure, from English privateer Mars, from Liverpool, which was towing Matilda to an English harbour. The privateer was burned and the merchant was taken in tow by the French frigate Sirène.

    The fleet sailed back to Europe, and on 9 July the French ship Indomptable lost its main spar in a gale that damaged some other vessels slightly. The Atlantic crossings had been very difficult according to Spanish Admiral Gravina who had crossed the Atlantic eleven times. So with some ships in bad condition, tired crews and scarce victuals, the combined fleet sighted land near Cape Finisterre on 22 July.


    Battle.


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    Calder's Action, July 22nd 1805
    by Thomas Whitcombe

    News of the returning French fleet reached Vice Admiral Robert Calder on 19 July. He was ordered to lift his blockade of the ports of Rochefort and Ferrol and sail for Cape Finisterre to intercept Villeneuve. The fleets sighted each other at about 11:00 on 22 July.

    After several hours of manoeuvring to the south-west, the action began at about 17:15 as the British fleet, with Hero (Captain Alan Gardner) in the vanguard, bore down on the Franco-Spanish line of battle. In poor visibility, the battle became a confused melee. Malta formed the rear-most ship in the British line in the approach to the battle, but as the fleets became confused in the failing light and thick patchy fog, the commander of Malta Sir Edward Buller found that he was surrounded by five Spanish ships. After a fierce engagement in which Malta suffered five killed and forty wounded the British ship battled it out, sending out devastating broadsides from both port and starboard. At about 20:00 Buller forced the Spanish 80-gun San Rafael to strike, and afterwards sent the Malta's boats to take possession of the Spanish 74-gun Firme. Calder signalled to break-off the action at 20:25, aiming to continue the battle the next day. In the failing light and general confusion some ships continued to fire for another hour.

    Daybreak on 23 July found the fleets 27 kilometres (17 mi) apart. Calder was unwilling to attack a second time against superior odds, he had to protect the damaged Windsor Castle and Malta with her large captured Spanish prizes and he had to consider the possibility that the previously blockaded fleets at Rochefort and Ferrol might put to sea and effect a junction with Villeneuve's combined fleet. Accordingly, he declined to attack and headed northeast with his prizes.

    Villeneuve's report claims that at first he intended to attack, but in the very light breezes it took all day to come up to the British and he decided not to risk combat late in the day. On 24 July a change in the wind put the Franco-Spanish fleet to the windward of the British — the ideal position for an attack — but instead of attacking, Villeneuve turned away to the south. When he arrived at A Coruña on 1 August he received orders from Napoleon to proceed immediately to Brest and Boulogne, but perhaps believing a false report of a superior British fleet in the Bay of Biscay, he returned to Cádiz, reaching that port on 21 August.


    Aftermath.


    The battle was inconclusive and both admirals, Villeneuve and Calder, claimed victory. The British human losses were 39 officers and men killed and 159 wounded; the allied losses 476 officers and men killed and wounded, with a further 800 ill. Calder was relieved of his command, court-martialled, and sentenced to be severely reprimanded for his failure to renew the battle on 23 and 24 July. He never served at sea again. Villeneuve failed to push on Brest, retired to refit at Vigo, then slipped into Coruña, and on 15 August decided to make for Cadiz. The direction of Villeneuve on Cadiz ruined all hopes of Napoleon to make an invasion and landing on England, thus Napoleon, frustrated by Villeneuve's lack of élan, was forced to abandon his plan of invading Britain. Instead, the Armée d'Angleterre, renamed the Grande Armée, left Boulogne on 27 August to counter the threat from Austria and Russia. A few weeks after the battle he wrote: "Gravina is all genius and decision in combat. If Villeneuve had had those qualities, the battle of Finisterre would have been a complete victory."
    Villeneuve and the combined fleets remained at Cádiz until they came out to their destruction at the battle of Trafalgar on 21 October.


    Order of battle.


    British fleet.


    Calder had fifteen ships of the line (Prince of Wales, Glory, Barfleur, Windsor Castle, Malta, Thunderer, Hero, Repulse, Defiance, Ajax, Warrior, Dragon, Triumph, Agamemnon, and Raisonnable), two frigates (Egyptienne and Sirius), and two smaller vessels.
    Ship Casualties Damage
    Dead Wounded Rigging Masts and spars Hull and others
    Hero (74), Capt. Alan Gardner 1 4 Much torn Foremast and fore spars seriously damaged Several shots in flotation line
    Ajax (74), Capt. William Brown 2 16 Much torn Topsail spar A cannon blasted causing battery damages
    Triumph (74), Capt. Henry Inman 5 6 Much torn Topsail spar Two dismounted cannons
    Barfleur (98), Capt. George Martin 3 7 Foremast and fore spar
    Agamemnon (64), Capt. John Harvey 0 3 Fore spar, mizzen mast and main spar
    Windsor Castle (98), Capt. C. Boyles 10 35 Much torn Fore spar and most of foremast, main mast, main spar, foremast and bowsprit
    Defiance (74), Capt. Philip Durham 1 7 Much torn Spar of top mizzen sail, main mast, spar of foremast
    Prince of Wales (98), Flagship of Adm. Calder, Capt. W. Cumming 3 20 Much torn Spar of foremast, spar of top mizzen mast and spar of main mast Rudder completely ripped off
    Repulse (64), Capt. the Honourable Arthur Kaye Legge 0 4 Much torn Bowsprit
    Raisonnable (64), Capt. Josias Rowley 1 1 Several spars Some encrusted bullets
    Dragon (74), Capt. Edward Griffith 0 4
    Glory (98), Flagship of Rear-Adm. Sir Charles Stirling, Capt. Samuel Warren 1 1 Much torn Spar of foremast
    Warrior (74), Capt. Samuel Hood Linzee 0 0 Much torn Some spars Shored starboard
    Thunderer (74), Capt. William Lechmere 7 11 Much torn Mizzen mast, and spars of fore and main masts Several encrusted shots
    Malta (80), Capt. Edward Buller 5 40 Much torn Larger spars, and all masts
    Egyptienne (40), Capt. Hon. Charles Fleeming
    Sirius (36), Capt. William Prowse
    Nile (lugger), Lieut. John Fennell
    Frisk (cutter), Lieut. James Nicholson
    Franco-Spanish fleet.

    Villeneuve had twenty ships of the line (six Spanish: Argonauta, Terrible, América, España, San Rafael, Firme; fourteen French: Pluton, Mont-Blanc, Atlas, Berwick, Neptune, Bucentaure, Formidable, Intrépide, Scipion, Swiftsure, Indomptable, Aigle, Achille, and Algésiras) with seven frigates, and two brigs, one of which was Furet.
    (according to Juan Ramón Viana Villavicencio)
    Ship Fleet Casualties Damage
    Dead Wounded Rigging Masts and spars Hull and others
    Argonauta (80), Flagship of Lieutenant-General Federico Gravina, Flag-Captain Rafael de Hore 6 5 Mizzen and fore masts knocked down Cutwater torn down
    Terrible (74), Commander Francisco Vázquez de Mondragón 1 7 Much torn Two cannons dismounted, slide ripped off, one shot flotation high
    América (64), Comm. Juan Darrac 5 13 All masts bullet-riddled 60 shots
    España (64), Comm. Bernardo Muñoz 5 23 Much torn Mizzen mast down, several spars Rudder partly obliterated, some damage in hull
    San Rafael (80), Comm. Francisco de Montes (captured) 41 97 All torn Utterly dismantled Bullet riddled
    Firme (74), Comm. Rafael de Villavicencio (captured) 35 60 All torn Fully dismantled Shot riddled
    Pluton (74), Comm. Cosmao-Kerjulien 14 24
    Mont-Blanc (74), Comm. Guillaume-Jean-Noël de Lavillegris (DOW) 5 16
    Atlas (74), Comm. Pierre-Nicolas Rolland 15 52 Captain Rolland wounded
    Berwick (74), Comm. Jean-Gilles Filhol de Camas 3 11
    Neptune (80), Comm. Esprit-Tranquille Maistral 3 9
    Bucentaure (80), Flagship of Adm. Villeneuve, Comm. Jean-Jacques Magendie 5 5
    Formidable (80), Flagship of Rear-Admiral Dumanoir, Comm. Letellier 6 8
    Intrépide (74), Comm. Louis-Antoine-Cyprien Infernet 7 9
    Scipion (74), Comm. Charles Berrenger 0 0
    Swiftsure (74), Comm. Charles-Eusèbe Lhospitalier de la Villemadrin 0 0
    Indomptable (80), Comm. Jean Joseph Hubert 1 1
    Aigle (74), Comm. Pierre-Paulin Gourrège 6 0
    Achille (74), Comm. Louis-Gabriel Deniéport 0 0
    Algésiras (74), Flagship of Rear-Admiral Charles René Magon de Médine, Comm. Gabriel-Auguste Brouard 0 0
    Cornélie (44),
    Rhin (44), Comm. Michel-Jean-André Chesneau
    Didon (40), Comm. Pierre-Bernard Milius
    Hortense (40), Comm. Delamarre de Lamellerie
    Hermione (40), Comm. Jean-Michel Mahé
    Sirène (40),
    Thémis (40),
    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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    Capt. Alan Gardner.


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    Born the son of Admiral Alan Gardner, 1st Baron Gardner, he followed his father into the Royal Navy. In 1796 he was captain of the frigate HMS Heroine, in 1802 he was captain of Resolution, and in 1805 of the 74-gun HMS Hero – in the latter he was present at the action off Ferrol in 1805, and led the vanguard at the Battle of Cape Finisterre later that year.

    In 1815 it was announced that he was to be created a viscount, but he died before the patent had passed the Great Seal. He passed on the title of Baron Gardner to his son, Alan.
    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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    Capt. William Brown.





    William Brown was born in 1764, the second son of John Suffield Brown, a local landowner and Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire. Aged 13 he joined the navy by 1777 and was a captain's servant. After two years of service in the American Revolutionary War in the Apollo she returned to the Channel Fleet, where William was lucky to escape with a wounded hand after being shot by a sharpshooter in the rigging of a French frigate they had engaged, the shot having passed through the brim of his hat. Apollo subsequently joined Admiral Rodney's fleet for the relief of Gibraltar and Menorca when she participated in the Moonlight battle.
    William was then with Lord Robert Manners in HMS Resolution for two years and was present at the Battle of the Saints. He accompanied his wounded captain in the HMS Andromache to return to England and was with Manners when he died.
    He was an efficient officer who passed for lieutenant in 1788 and was made commander of the 18-gun sloop HMS Zebra during the Spanish armament in 1790.
    In the first year of the French Revolutionary Wars he was in command of HMS Fly.
    By the time of his promotion to captain, Brown had already seen extensive service in the Mediterranean and in the Channel Fleet, Brown was made a post captain and given the frigate HMS Venus. and was attached to Lord Howe's force during the Atlantic campaign of May 1794. At the culminating battle on the Glorious First of June, Brown's ship acted as a repeater for Howe's signals to emphasise them to captains further away from the flagship. Late in the action he also helped tow wrecked ships out of the battleline.
    Late in 1794, Brown married Catherine Travers, who died in 1795 shortly after the birth of their son John William Brown. Following his wife's death, Brown took service at sea in command of HMS Alcmene under Admiral John Jervis and had to have a mutineer executed by the crew off Cadiz. After two years of service with Lord St Vincent (as Jervis had become), he retired to a Lisbon hospital in 1797. He recovered by the spring of 1798 and was given command of the ship of the line HMS Defence by Lord St Vincent from March 1798, but was superseded by Captain John Peyton, who had been appointed by the First Lord at the same time.
    In 1799, Brown took passage to Gibraltar to command the frigate HMS Santa Dorothea, but on arrival was instead made captain of the 80-gun HMS Foudroyant. Brown took this ship to serve with Nelson off Malta and Nelson switched Brown with Thomas Masterman Hardy on HMS Vanguard.

    Napoleonic Wars.

    In 1801, Brown left Vanguard and moved into HMS Robust, in which he served for one year in the Channel Fleet under Lord St Vincent. He then commanded the frigate HMS Hussar in the Cork Squadron.
    During the Peace of Amiens, Brown married Martha Vere Fothergill and the couple had four children. He then commanded HMS Romney in the Atlantic.
    Early in 1805, Brown was transferred to HMS Ajax with the fleet under Sir Robert Calder. Calder led his force against the Franco-Spanish fleet of Pierre-Charles Villeneuve on 22 July 1805 at the Battle of Cape Finisterre. During the battle, which was fought in thick fog, Brown turned his ship away to inform his admiral the enemy was changing direction in the fog.
    Although opinion was and still is divided on where the fault lay for the failure to destroy Villeneuve at the battle, Calder's fleet did seriously damage their opponents and capture two ships. In Britain however there was anger that the victory was not more comprehensive and Calder demanded a court martial to clear his name. One of the captain he brought back to England from Cadiz with him was Brown, who left Ajax in the hands of Lieutenant John Pilfold.
    Whilst Calder and Brown were in Britain, Nelson led the British fleet, including Ajax to complete victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. Calder was highly criticised at his trial and lost much prestige, Brown continued to serve with several senior staff positions. Amongst these was command of the Malta Dockyard and the Sheerness Dockyard, duties he performed efficiently.
    In 1812, Brown was promoted to rear-admiral and given the command of the Channel Islands station.
    In 1813, Brown was transferred to the Jamaica Station as commanding naval officer of the island and it was during service there that he contracted yellow fever and died on 20 September 1814.
    He was buried in Kingston.
    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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    Capt. Henry Inman.


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    Henry Inman was born in 1762, the son of the vicar of the Somerset village of Burrington, Reverend George Inman. Educated by his father until the age of 14, Inman was sent to join the Royal Navy in 1776, posted aboard the 90-gun second rate HMS Barfleur. Barfleur's captain was Sir Samuel Hood, later to become Viscount Hood, who formed a close personal and professional attachment to his subordinate that continued throughout Inman's military service. After two years on Barfleur, Inman was transferred to the frigate HMS Lark in 1778 for service off New England. The American Revolutionary War had broken out three years earlier, but Barfleur had been based in Britain and so there had been no opportunity for action aboard Hood's ship. His career in Lark was cut short on 5 August 1778, when Captain John Brisbane, the senior officer off Rhode Island, ordered the frigate beached and burnt with four other ships when a French fleet under Vice-Admiral Comte d'Estaing appeared off the harbour. Inman and the rest of the crew were transferred to shore duties and over the following week engaged D'Estaing's ships from fixed gun batteries as they bombarded the British positions.

    Inman had lost all his personal possessions in the destruction of Lark and was forced to replace his uniform from his own wages when the Navy refused to provide compensation. Returning to Britain in the frigate HMS Pearl, Inman was promoted to lieutenant in 1780 and returned to the Americas in HMS Camel, transferred soon afterwards into HMS Santa Monica in the West Indies. Shortly after his arrival however, Inman was once again shipwrecked when Santa Monica grounded off Tortola. Although the crew reached the shore in small boats, the ship broke up rapidly and once again Inman lost all of his possessions. Remaining on shore service in the West Indies for the next two years, Inman was again employed in the aftermath of the Battle of the Saintes, appointed to the prize crew of the captured French vessel Hector for the journey to Britain. Hector's masts and hull had been seriously damaged in the battle, requiring lighter spars to be fitted and 22 of her 74 guns removed to make her more seaworthy. As the fleet could not spare men to man her, the 223-strong prize crew was made up of men pressed in the Caribbean, principally invalids unfit for frontline service.

    On 14 August 1782, Hector separated from the rest of the prize ships in heavy weather and on 22 August encountered two large French frigates, Aigle of 40 guns and Gloire of 32 guns. Together these vessels significantly outclassed the leaky ship of the line in weight of shot, but Captain John Bourchier determined to resist the French attack, preparing Hector as the French approached. The French ships surrounded Hector at 02:00 and the engagement was furiously contested, with Bourchier wounded early on and many of his officers following him below with serious injuries. Within a short period, Inman was the only officer remaining on deck, but he was able to successfully drive the French away following a failed attempt to board, although Hector was left in a severely damaged state with 75 men killed or wounded. A hurricane that followed the battle inflicted further damage and the ship was badly flooded, seawater ruining the food supplies and threatening to sink the ship completely. Some of the crew were so ill and exhausted that they collapsed and died while manning the pumps. Inman only managed to prevent the remaining sailors from fleeing below decks by carrying loaded pistols and threatening men who refused his orders. Once the storm had abated it was clear that Hector was foundering; her rudder and masts had been torn away and the pumps were unable to keep pace with the water leaking through the battered hull.] For two weeks Inman made desperate efforts to keep the ship afloat, as food and water supplies ran low and the hull began to collapse in on itself. Fortunately for the men aboard Hector, the tiny snow Hawke appeared and approached the ship of the line to render assistance. Throwing his cargo overboard, Captain John Hill worked with Inman to supervise the transfer of all of Hector's remaining men, many of whom were wounded or sick, into Hawke as Hector rapidly sank. No men were lost in the operation and Inman was the last to leave, Hector disappearing ten minutes after the boat carrying him reached Hawke. The snow set sail for St John's in Newfoundland, its crew and passengers subsisting on short rations; they arrived off the port on the same day they consumed the last water supplies.


    French Revolutionary Wars.


    With the Peace of Versailles in 1783, the war ended and Inman was placed on half-pay in reserve, suffering from poor health caused by his ordeal on Hector. Retiring to his father's house in Somerset, Inman was not employed again until 1790, when the Spanish Armament provoked a rapid expansion of the Navy. He was initially commissioned into the frigate HMS Latona under Captain Albemarle Bertie, but in the aftermath of the emergency Inman was given command of the 14-gun cutter HMS Pigmy, stationed on the Isle of Man. He also married the daughter of Commander Thomas Dalby in 1791; the couple would have a son and a daughter. With the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars in 1793, Inman was transferred to Lord Hood's flagship HMS Victory in the Mediterranean, receiving a promotion to commander on 11 September. Serving during the Siege of Toulon, Inman assisted in the removal of captured French ships from Toulon harbour and as a reward was promoted to post captain on 9 October and given command of the newly captured HMS Espion. While she was stationed off Hyères, Aurore engaged French Republican gun batteries, expending 20,000 cannonballs in November and December.

    When Toulon fell to the Republicans on 18 December 1793, Inman was initially sent to Corsica and then tasked with carrying a large number of Republican prisoners of war to Malta. With an understrength crew, Inman had difficulty in controlling the prisoners, who deliberately holed the bottom of the ship during the voyage. On arriving at Malta, Inman anchored his leaking ship in deep water under the guns of the port's defensive batteries and then removed his entire crew, leaving instructions with the prisoners that they could either pump out the water and repair the damage or drown when the ship sank. The prisoners repaired the ship and were taken into captivity on Malta. Transferred from Aurore, Inman spent a brief period on the frigate HMS San Fiorenzo before returning to Britain in command of the fourth rate HMS Romney.
    Romney was paid off on arrival in Britain and Inman returned to the reserve until 1796, when he was made temporary captain of Lion and then took command of the frigate HMS Espion. Ordered to sail for the River Clyde, Inman set sail with his family on board but Espion, an old ship in a poor state of repair, was struck by a gale in the English Channel and was almost destroyed. Eventually reaching safety in Spithead, Espion was reduced to the reserve until extensive repairs could be made and Inman was again placed on half-pay. He was reinstated in 1797 as temporary commander of the ship of the line HMS Belliqueux in the immediate aftermath of the Nore Mutiny. Belliqueux had been heavily involved in the uprising: three members of the crew were under sentence of death and six others facing severe punishment for their part in the revolt. Inman was consequently afraid for his life and for the next six months slept with three loaded pistols beside him. Belliqueux was assigned to the blockade of the French Atlantic seaport of Brest and Inman continued to perform this service after he was moved to HMS Ramillies during 1798, in which he participated in the chase that eventually led to the capture of Hercule. He was subsequently posted to the frigate HMS Andromeda in early 1799.


    Désirée and Copenhagen.

    .
    On 2 August 1799, Inman seized the neutral merchant ship Vrienden carrying a cargo of hemp. Although the vessel's legal state was uncertain, no merchant claimed its cargo and in 1802 she was condemned and sold for over £247 In November 1799, Andromeda was attached to the force that evacuated the Duke of York's army following the failure of the Expedition to Holland and he remained in the region, observing movements off the Elbe. Andromeda also participated in the Raid on Dunkirk on 7 July 1800, when four French frigates were attacked by a squadron of British ships in Dunkirk harbour. Although an assault with fireships failed, HMS Dart captured the French frigate Désirée, with Inman following in the cutter Vigilant, crewed by thirty volunteers from Andromeda. Under fire from all sides, Inman successfully boarded the French ship following her surrender and brought her out of the harbour, sending the crew ashore on parole to avoid having to assign men to guard them. Désirée was brought back to Britain and commissioned into the Royal Navy, Inman taking command of the new frigate.

    In 1801, Désirée was attached to the fleet gathering at Yarmouth under Sir Hyde Parker and Lord Nelson for service in the Baltic Sea against the League of Armed Neutrality. Sailing for Denmark in March, the fleet anchored off Copenhagen and on 1 April a squadron under Nelson closed with the Danish fleet, which was anchored in a line of battle protecting the harbour. Désirée was ordered to operate at the Southern end of the Danish line, engaging shore batteries and nearby ships while their attention was focused on the main British battle-line. When the battle began at 10:00 on 2 April, Inman engaged the Provesteen, which was firing on the 50-gun HMS Isis. Désirée succeeded in inflicting considerable damage on the Danish ship and drew some fire away from the battered Isis. Once Provesteen had been abandoned by her Danish crew Désirée was engaged with a number of Danish shore batteries, but due to poor aim of the Danish gunners, who fired over the frigate throughout the engagement, she was not badly damaged and suffered only four men wounded in the battle. At 14:00 Danish fire slackened and shortly afterwards Nelson began to withdraw his ships out of range of the Danes. A number of his ships of the line grounded on the complicated shoals in the region and when Désirée came to the assistance of HMS Bellona] she too became stuck. Bellona was hauled off by Isis shortly afterwards, but Désirée was forced to remain on the sandbank for two days until boats from the squadron could be spared to drag her free.


    Napoleonic Wars.


    At the Peace of Amiens, Désirée remained in service with orders to sail for the West Indies. Inman, whose health was beginning to suffer, resigned command and returned to his family on half-pay until the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars in 1803, when he was given the 64-gun ship of the line HMS Utrecht. In 1804 he moved from Utrecht to the 74-gun HMS Triumph and in February 1805 was attached to the fleet under Sir Robert Calder stationed off Cape Finisterre during the Trafalgar campaign. At 11:00 on 22 July, Calder sighted the French and Spanish fleet under Vice-Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve emerging from the fog off Ferrol and attacked, Triumph third in line behind HMS Hero and HMS Ajax. The battle lines tacked and closed with one another, beginning a general action at 18:00, eventually separating at 21:30. Triumph was heavily engaged in the melee, in which two Spanish ships were captured, and suffered severe damage although light casualties of five killed and six wounded. On 26 July, Inman was briefly detached from the fleet to chase away the French frigate Didon before returning to her station in the battle line, but the action was not resumed, Calder ordering the fleet to return to Britain. In the aftermath of the battle, Calder faced a court martial for his failure to resume the engagement and Inman was called to give evidence: when questioned as to why he had not informed Calder about the damage to his ship, Inman replied "I did not think that a proper time to trouble the admiral with my complaints".

    Inman's health had suffered during his long career at sea, and although he returned to sea in December 1805 aboard Triumph during the Atlantic campaign of 1806 as part of the squadron under Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Strachan, his ill-health forced his replacement by Sir Thomas Hardy in May. Returning to his family ashore, Inman was initially given command of the sea fencibles at King's Lynn before he was made Admiralty commissioner at Madras by Lord Mulgrave in 1809. The journey to India broke his health completely and he died on 15 July 1809, just ten days after arriving in Madras.
    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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    Capt. George Martin.


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    George Martin was born in 1764, the son of William Martin, a captain in the navy, and his wife Arabella, the daughter of Admiral of the Fleet Sir William Rowley. George's great-uncle was Admiral Sir William Martin, who had fought in the War of the Austrian Succession under Admirals Norris and Vernon. His name was entered on the books of the yacht HMS Mary on 13 December 1771, but he did not actually enter the navy until 20 November 1776, when he became a captain's servant aboard his uncle, Joshua Rowley's ship, HMS Monarch. He remained in Rowley's service for several years, rising to able seaman and then midshipman.

    American War of Independence.

    Martin saw action at the Battle of Ushant on 27 July 1778, before transferring with now Rear-Admiral Rowley to the latter's new flagship, the 74-gun HMS Suffolk, on 8 December that year to serve under Captain Hugh Cloberry Christian.
    Suffolk went out to the West Indies and formed part of Admiral John Byron's fleet at the Battle of Grenada on 6 July 1779.
    Martin transferred to the 44-gun frigate HMS Actaeon, and then to the 14-gun sloop HMS Chameleon, before joining the sloop HMS Rover under Captain John Thomas Duckworth.
    Duckworth appointed Martin midshipman and second master's mate during his time on Rover, with Martin seeing action as part of Admiral Sir George Rodney's fleet at the Battle of Martinique and the subsequent engagements off the island during April and May. After these engagements Martin was transferred to Hart, under James Vashon until 15 July 1780, before being appointed as lieutenant aboard the 74-gun HMS Russell under Captain Thomas Hanwell the following day. Martin returned to serving with his old commander, John Thomas Duckworth, aboard the 98-gun HMS Princess Royal, and followed him when he moved to take command of the 44-gun HMS Ulysses on 26 June 1781.
    He was then transferred to serve aboard the 90-gun HMS Sandwich, until moving ashore on 30 September 1781. Martin was then promoted to commander and appointed to his first command on 9 March 1782, taking over the sloop HMS Tobago. A further promotion to post-captain followed soon after as he took command of the 50-gun HMS Preston on 17 March 1783. With the draw-down of the navy following the end of the war, Martin sailed Preston back to Britain, and paid her off on 2 April 1784.

    The peace, and the French Revolutionary Wars.

    West Indies.

    Martin spent five years without a ship, but returned to service with an appointment to command the 24-gun HMS Porcupine on 9 July 1789. He was active off the coast of Ireland until paying her off on 21 August 1792. The outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars offered further opportunities for employment, and on 12 March 1793 he took command of the 32-gun HMS Magicienne and joined the squadron based at Jamaica. After his return to England Martin was transferred to take command of the 74-gun HMS Irresistible on 8 February 1795, after her previous captain, Richard Grindall, had been injured at the Battle of Groix. In November Martin was assigned to escort an expedition to the Leeward Islands under Vice-Admiral Sir John Laforey, with a military force commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Ralph Abercromby. The expedition was forced back to port by violent storms, while a second attempt under Rear-Admiral Hugh Cloberry Christian in December suffered the same fate. The expedition sailed again in March the following year, and succeeded in reaching the West Indies in April, where Irresistible covered the landing of troops. Later that year Irresistible helped to chase the 36-gun French Perçante ashore off San Domingo.

    Cape St Vincent.

    Returning to British waters Martin was assigned to Sir John Jervis's fleet, and saw action at the Battle of Cape St Vincent on 14 February 1797. During the battle Irresistible sustained casualties of five killed and 14 wounded. The 74-gun HMS Captain had been present at the battle flying the flag of Commodore Horatio Nelson. Captain had been badly damaged in the battle, and Nelson transferred his pennant to Irresistible the day after the battle. He remained aboard her until Captain had been repaired, and returned to sea aboard Captain in late March.

    Ninfa and Santa Elena.

    Martin and Irresistible remained off the Iberian coast, enforcing the blockade of Cadiz. On 26 April 1798 two Spanish frigates, the Ninfa and the Santa Elena were spotted approaching the port. Irresistible, in company with the 36-gun HMS Emerald chased them into Conil Bay and brought them to action at 2 pm. After an hour and a half of fighting the two Spanish ships surrendered, with the Santa Elena being driven onshore and wrecked. The Ninfa was later added to the Royal Navy as HMS Hamadryad. Sir John Jervis was later to record that the skill and daring involved in chasing the Spanish ships past the dangerous reefs at the entrance to the bay made the action "one of the most notable that had ever come under his observation".

    Mediterranean.

    Martin was assigned to serve with the Channel Fleet under Lord Bridport, after which he transferred to take command of the 74-gun HMS Northumberland on 14 July 1798, serving as the flagship of Sir John Colpoys. He served in the Mediterranean with Rear-Admiral Sir John Duckworth's squadron from June 1799, and the following year was part of the blockade of Malta. He helped to capture the 74-gun Généreux on 18 February that year, after which the Généreux was commissioned into the navy as HMS Genereux and joined the blockading forces. In May Martin became commander of the blockade and on 24 August 1800 the Northumberland, Genereux and HMS Success captured the French frigate Diane off Malta. The French garrison at Valletta surrendered to him in September, after which Martin moved to support Admiral Lord Keith's operations off Egypt. He received the Turkish gold medal in 1802 for his services in this campaign, and came ashore on 21 September with the end of the war following the Peace of Amiens.

    Napoleonic Wars.

    Finisterre and flag rank.

    Returning to service with the resumption of hostilities in 1803, Martin took command of the 74-gun HMS Colossus on 22 May and joined the Channel Fleet. He was nominated a Colonel of Marines on 23 April 1804, and the following day transferred to the 90-gun HMS Glory. He remained in her until taking command of the 90-gun HMS Barfleur on 21 November, and was still in command when he joined Sir Robert Calder's fleet and took part in the Battle of Cape Finisterre on 22 July 1805. He afterwards resigned his command, on 16 September, and moved ashore, receiving a promotion to rear-admiral on 9 November. He gave evidence in the court-martial in Calder's conduct at Finisterre towards the end of December, and on 17 January 1806 took up the post of second in command at Portsmouth. He held the position until 9 November 1806, when he returned to sea, joining Collingwood's fleet blockading the remnants of the French and Spanish fleet at Cadiz, before moving to the Italian coast.] He hoisted his flag aboard the 74-gun HMS Montagu in 1807, and continued in the Mediterranean. He was also aboard the 90-gun HMS Queen.

    Mediterranean command.

    Martin oversaw the capture of the Italian islands of Ischia and Procida in June 1809, and in October he and his flagship HMS Canopus were dispatched with a small squadron to chase several French ships that had escaped from Toulon under Rear-Admiral François Baudin. Martin and his force discovered the French and chased them to the harbour of Cette at the mouth of the Rhone, where two ships, the 80-gun Robuste and the 74-gun Lion ran aground. Martin made plans to attack them, but their crews abandoned and burnt them on 26 October before he could carry them out. After a promotion to vice-admiral on 31 July 1810 Martin took command of the naval forces at Palermo, which had been tasked with supporting Sir John Stuart's forces in Calabria. The King of Naples, Ferdinand I appointed Martin to the Order of Saint Januarius on 6 July 1811 for his good service during these duties.

    Last years at sea.

    Martin returned to England and went ashore on striking his flag on 14 October 1810. He returned to sea in 1812, flying his flag aboard the 78-gun HMS Impetueux and took command of the forces off Lisbon. He remained in this role for the next two years, shifting his flag to HMS Stately and then HMS Rodney in 1813. He struck his flag on 24 June 1814 and the following day was nominated a Knight Bachelor on the occasion of the Prince Regent's visiting the fleet at Spithead. On 2 January 1815 he received a further honour, when he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath, and on 20 February 1821 he was further advanced to a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.

    Postwar.

    Martin continued to serve in the navy after the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Advanced to full admiral on 19 July 1821, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth on 27 March 1824, with his flag aboard the 100-gun HMS Victory. He stepped down from the position on 30 April 1827, and on 23 January 1833 was appointed Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom. He became Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom in April 1834, a post he held until November 1846. He was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George on 17 May 1837 in recognition for his services against the French at Malta, and was promoted to Admiral of the Fleet on 9 November 1846. He briefly became Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom again on 10 July 1847 until his death later that month. Martin also served for some time as the vice-president of the Naval Charitable Society.

    Personal life, and death.

    Martin married twice, the first time on 3 April 1804 to Harriet Bentinck, the sister of Vice-Admiral William Bentinck. Harriet died on 15 October 1806, and Martin remarried, uniting with Ann Locke on 2 June 1815. Ann died on 1 March 1842, neither marriages having produced any children.
    Admiral of the Fleet Sir George Martin died on 28 July 1847 in Berkeley Square, Westminster at the age of 83. His sword is currently held in the collections of the National Maritime Museum.
    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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    Capt. 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 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.

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    Capt. Philip Durham.

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    Destined to be one of the luckiest men in the Georgian Navy, Philip Charles Durham was born in Largo, Fife in 1763, the fourth child and third son of James Durham His maternal grandmother was the diarist Margaret Calderwood. He came from a wealthy landed family, and entered the navy aged fourteen in 1777 aboard the ship of the line HMS Trident. His first year at sea became rather difficult when he found himself under a tyrannical and occasionally sadistic commander, who reduced the ship to a state of near mutiny on a couple of occasions.

    In 1778 Durham procured his discharge and afterwards obtained a position on HMS Edgar in British waters where conditions were far more pleasant and educational. On this ship he saw his first action during the Great Siege of Gibraltar, gaining the attention of Admiral Richard Kempenfelt, with whom he served on HMS Victory and HMS Royal George. Durham was watch officer on 29 August 1782 when, through no fault of his own, the Royal George, which was heeled for repairs, suddenly and catastrophically sank at Spithead. Being on deck, Durham was able to jump overboard and swim to safety, but the Admiral and over 800 persons lost their lives.

    Durham was transferred to HMS Union in which he saw further service at the siege of Gibraltar before making a cruise to the West Indies and then another one down the African coast in HMS Raisonnable as a junior lieutenant. With failing health and the end to the war that year however, Durham was temporarily retired from the navy and spent the next two years living in France before returning to the sea. In 1786 he served in HMS Barfleur.

    The emergency in 1790 brought him promotion to Commander on 2 November 1790 and command of HMS Daphne. From there he moved in 1791 to HMS Cygnet.

    On 12 February 1793 Durham took command of the small brig HMS Spitfire. Spitfire was pierced for 14 guns but only carried ten.
    The next day he captured the French privateer Afrique. The capture of Afrique was the first capture of the war of a vessel flying La tricolore. For this feat Lloyd's of London gave him a piece of plate worth 100 guineas, or £300, their first such award of the war.
    Durham received promotion to post captain on 24 June 1793 and command of the frigate HMS Narcissus. From her, on 22 October, he moved to HMS Hind.

    In Hind he brought in a convoy of 157 merchant ships from the Mediterranean in the face of enemy opposition. This feat provoked accolades and rewards, and he took over the frigate HMS Anson in 1796. Anson was the biggest frigate in the Navy, cut down (razeed) from a ship of the line to oppose large French frigates, and in her fought numerous actions, especially at the Battle of Donegal in October 1798.

    On 28 March 1799 he married Lady Charlotte Matilda Bruce, daughter of royal governess Lady Elgin and sister of the Lord Elgin of Elgin Marbles fame, and continued his service in home waters until the Peace of Amiens. Following the resumption of hostilities, Durham was given HMS Defiance, which he took to join Admiral Sir Robert Calder's fleet in 1804 and participated in the battle of Cape Finisterre after which he was informally reprimanded by Calder for being "over zealous" in pursuit of the enemy. Following the battle Admiral Calder requested a court martial to acquit his own conduct and called Captain Durham to appear in his defence along with two other captains. Unlike his two comrades, Durham flatly refused to leave his ship which had been repaired at Portsmouth and specially requested by Lord Nelson and so was still in command at the Battle of Trafalgar a few months later. The other two captains, William Brown and William Lechmere commanding HMS Ajax and HMS Thunderer missed the battle whilst in England.

    At the Battle of Trafalgar, Defiance headed straight for the Spanish flagship Principe de Asturias but was blocked by the Berwick, a captured British ship in French service. Deliberately ramming her opponent, Defiance tore off most of the French ship's bow and devastatingly raked her before fighting a long gun duel with the battered Aigle as the Berwick wallowed in her wake (she sank after the battle). The Defiance was unable to gain the upper hand against the Aigle, and so a young midshipman named Jack Spratt swam between the ships and leaped on board, fighting alone against the entire French crew until support could be given from his ship. The British crew then swarmed across the Frenchman and captured her. Durham was twice wounded in the hand-to-hand combat, but was highly praised by both Admiral Collingwood and Thomas Masterman Hardy for his actions. Retiring with his battered ship (which had suffered 17 men killed 53 wounded, and heavy damage), Durham arrived in England in time to take part in Calder's court-martial anyway, as well as be a banner bearer at Nelson's funeral.

    Following his recovery and receipt of the usual awards for a Trafalgar captain, Durham was transferred to HMS Renown which he commanded in the English Channel and the Mediterranean until 1810 when he was made a Rear-Admiral. In 1814 he was given command of the Leeward Islands Station and captured two enemy frigates on his way there in HMS Venerable. He remained at this post until the end of the war in 1815 when the French West Indies surrendered to him. He was Knighted and created Knight Commander (KCB). Following his first wife's death in 1816 he married, in 1817, wealthy heiress Anne Isabella Henderson ] but this marriage was also childless. In 1819, was promoted to Vice Admiral He was on friendly terms with King George III, who was especially fond of Durham's long, rambling invented tales, often shouting "That's a Durham!" when he heard such a tale regardless of the raconteur.

    His semi-retirement was punctuated in 1830 with a promotion to full admiral ] and conferment as a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath on 1 December. He was elected a Member of Parliament for Queenborough in 1830, though this was overturned on petition and he did not take his seat. He was successfully elected for Devizes in 1834. He became the naval Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth (1836–1839) and was the second president of the Army and Navy Club in London.

    Durham journeyed to Italy on private business, making it to Rome and Naples before he was struck down at age 81 by bronchitis. He died a short while later, on 2 April 1845.
    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.

  8. #8
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    Admiral Robert Calder.

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    Robert Calder was born in Kent, England, to Sir James Calder and Alice Hughes, daughter of Admiral Robert Hughes. His father was the 3rd Baronet Calder of Muirton, who had been appointed Gentleman Usher of the Privy chamber to the queen by Lord Bute in 1761. His elder brother, who succeeded to his father's baronetcy, was Major General Sir Henry Calder. Calder was educated in Maidstone, before joining the Royal Navy in December 1758 at the age of thirteen.


    Career.


    Calder initially served aboard his cousin's ship, the 70-gun Nassau, in the American theatre of the Seven Years' War. En route to England, in September 1759, Nassau was dismasted in storm and arrived at her destination with nine foot of water in her hold.

    As a Midshipman, Calder received £1,800 in prize money for his part in the capture of the Spanish treasure ship Hermione on 21 May 1762, and was subsequently promoted to Lieutenant. At that rank he served aboard HMS Essex, under Captain the Hon. George Faulkner, in the Caribbean. In 1780 he attained the rank of Post-Captain. He commanded the frigate HMS Diana under Admiral Richard Kempenfelt, and acquitted himself honourably in the various services to which he was called, but for a long time had no opportunity of distinguishing himself.
    In 1796 he was appointed Captain of the Fleet to Admiral John Jervis, and saw action at the battle of Cape St Vincent on 14 February 1797. After the battle he was selected to carry the dispatches announcing the victory back to Britain, and was knighted by George III on 3 March 1797 for his services. He also received the thanks of Parliament, and was created 1st Baronet Calder of Southwick on 22 August 1798.
    In 1799 he was promoted to Rear-Admiral; and in 1804, now a Vice-Admiral, was despatched with a small squadron in pursuit of a French force under Admiral Ganteaume, conveying supplies to the French in Egypt. In this he was unsuccessful, and returning home at the peace he struck his flag.

    In the War of the Third Coalition (1805–1806) he was in command of the squadrons blockading the ports of Rochefort and Ferrol, in which (amongst others) ships were being prepared for the invasion of England by Napoleon I. Calder held his position with a force greatly inferior to that of the enemy, and refused to be enticed out to sea.

    On its becoming known that Napoleon intended to break the blockade of Ferrol, as a prelude to his invasion, the Admiralty ordered Rear-Admiral Charles Stirling to join Calder and intercept the Franco-Spanish fleet on their passage to Brest. The approach of the enemy was concealed by fog; finally on 22 July 1805 the fleets came into sight. The allies outnumbered the British; but Calder ordered his fleet into action. The ensuing battle was battle of Cape Finisterre: fifteen British ships had engaged twenty French and Spanish ships and captured two. The British losses were 39 officers and men killed and 159 wounded; the allies lost 158 dead and 320 wounded. After four hours, as night fell, Calder gave orders to discontinue the action. Over the following two days the fleets remained close to one another, but did not re-engage. Calder focused on protecting his newly won prizes, while the French Admiral Villeneuve declined to force another engagement. Villeneuve left the area on the 24th, sailing to Ferrol, and eventually Cádiz, instead of resuming his course to Brest. Villeneuve had failed in all his objectives: he had landed no troops in Ireland, and the plan of linking with the fleet at Brest, driving off the British Channel squadrons, and supporting Napoleon's invasion of Britain came to nothing: the Armée d'Angleterre waited uselessly at Boulogne as before. In the judgment of Napoleon, his scheme of invasion was baffled by this day's action; but much indignation was felt in England at the failure of Calder to win a complete victory.

    In consequence of the strong feeling against him Calder demanded a court-martial. Nelson was ordered to send Calder home, and allowed him to return in his own 98-gun ship the Prince of Wales, even though battle was imminent. Calder left in early October 1805, missing the battle of Trafalgar. The court-martial was held on 23 December 1805, and resulted in an acquittal on the charges of cowardice and disaffection.
    However, Calder received a severe reprimand for not having done his utmost to renew the engagement,] and never served at sea again.

    In the natural course of events he was promoted Admiral on 31 July 1810 and created a Knight Commander, Order of the Bath on 2 January 1815. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth in 1810.

    He died at Holt, near Bishop's Waltham, in Hampshire, in 1818.
    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. #9
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    Captain Arthur Kaye Legge .




    Arthur Kaye Legge was born in 1766, the sixth son of William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth and his wife Frances-Catherine. Among his siblings were George Legge, 3rd Earl of Dartmouth, Edward Legge, Bishop of Oxford and Lady Charlotte Feversham, the wife of Lord Feversham. Entering the Navy at a young age, Legge served aboard HMS Prince George with the young Prince William off the Eastern Seaboard of North America.

    By 1791, Legge was a lieutenant and held an independent command in the Channel Fleet as captain of HMS Shark. The outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars in 1793 saw Legge promoted, becoming a post captain in the frigate HMS Niger. In this vessel, Legge served in the fleet under Lord Howe that fought in the Atlantic campaign of May 1794 and the ensuing Glorious First of June. As a frigate captain, Legge was not actively engaged in the battle, but did perform numerous scouting missions during the campaign, relayed signals to the fleet during the battle and gave a tow to badly damaged ships in its aftermath.

    In 1795, Legge took command of HMS Latona and formed part of the squadron that escorted Caroline of Brunswick to Britain before her marriage to Prince George. In 1797 he moved to HMS Cambrian and operated independently off the French Channel coast, sailing from Weymouth. During these services he frequently spent time with royalty visiting the port and captured a number of French prizes. Legge remained in command of Cambrian until the Peace of Amiens in 1802.

    With the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars in 1803, Legge was recalled to the Navy and took command of the ship of the line HMS Revenge. In 1805 Revenge was ordered to cruise off the Spanish coast and captured a valuable Spanish merchantship and also participated in the Battle of Cape Finisterre under Robert Calder against the combined Franco-Spanish fleet of Pierre-Charles Villeneuve. By 1807, Revenge was stationed with the Mediterranean Fleet and participated in the Dardanelles Operation under John Thomas Duckworth. During the attempt to reach Constantinople, Revenge suffered ten men killed and 14 wounded. Legge was later part of the naval contingent in the Walcheren Expedition and, with thousands of his men, contracted malaria and was evacuated home, severely ill.

    Flag rank.

    In July 1810, Legge was promoted to rear-admiral and the following year was appointed to be commander at Cadiz in Revenge. The Spanish port was an important position as it was the seat of the Spanish government during the Peninsular War which was raging at that time. Legge performed well in this position and returned to Britain in September 1812 to become admiral in command of the River Thames. Legge held this command, from the frigate HMS Thisbe until the end of the war in 1815.

    As a member of the nobility, Legge had numerous royal contacts, and became a Groom of the Bedchamber to King George III in 1801, a position that he held in London until 1812 and afterwards at Windsor, to where the mentally unbalanced king had retreated, until the king's death in 1820. Legge later marched in the procession at George III's funeral.

    By the time of his retirement, Legge had risen to vice-admiral and been made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. He later became a full admiral in 1830. Legge never married, and on his death in 1835, he was reported to have left over £3,000 to his butler, £1,000 each to his groom, footman, coachman and housekeeper and other substantial amounts to his other servants. He was buried in the family vault in Lewisham.
    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. #10
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    Capt. Josias Rowley.

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    He joined the Royal Navy in 1778, age 13, in HMS Suffolk in the West Indies.
    Promoted to post captain in 1795, age 30, he commanded HMS Braave (40 guns) at the Cape of Good Hope and then HMS Impérieuse (38 guns) in the East Indies. He also commanded HMS Raisonnable (64 guns) and took part in the Battle of Cape Finisterre in 1805.

    In 1798 he became the Member of the Irish House of Commons for Downpatrick.

    In 1808 he became commander-in-chief, Cape of Good Hope Station. In 1809, as commodore of a small squadron off Mauritius, working with the commander of the East India Company troops at Rodrigues, he successfully raided the island of Réunion.

    In March 1810 he moved into HMS Boadicea (38 guns) and transported a larger landing party which arrived on Réunion and captured the island. Meanwhile, a force led by Captain Samuel Pym RN was being out-flanked by French frigates attacking Grand Port, Mauritius. HMS Africaine was captured by the French frigates Iphigénie and Astrée in the engagement. Rowley then re-captured Africaine the same day. Vice-Admiral Albemarle Bertie arrived on 29 November and took the surrender of Mauritius on 3 December 1810.

    Rowley was then given command of HMS America (74 guns) in the Mediterranean. He was created a baronet in December 1813, promoted rear-admiral in 1814 and appointed KCB in 1815.

    In the summer of 1815, age 50, with his flagship Impregnable (98 guns), under Lord Exmouth he sailed once more to the Mediterranean. In 1818 he was appointed commander-in-chief on the Cork Station. In 1821 he became MP for Kinsale, County Cork. Promoted to vice-admiral in 1825, he was made commander-in-chief, Mediterranean Fleet in 1833.

    Death at home.

    He died on 10 January 1842, about age 76, in the Mount Campbell family estate at Drumsna in County Leitrim. He was buried and commemorated at the nearby Annaduff Parish Church.

    In literature.

    The 1809-1810 campaign was used by author Patrick O'Brian as the setting for the fourth in the series of Aubrey–Maturin series books, The Mauritius Command. The fictional Captain Jack Aubrey takes the place of Rowley in the novel.
    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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    Capt. Edward Griffith (Colpoys.)




    Griffith was born in the late 1760s, possibly 1767, into a Royal Navy family. His uncle was John Colpoys, later to become a prominent admiral of the French Revolutionary Wars. In 1782, aged 15, Griffith entered the Navy under his uncle's patronage, joining the new frigate HMS Phaeton. He remained in the Navy during the peace of 1783 to 1793 and by the time the French Revolutionary War broke out he was a lieutenant in HMS Boyne, the flagship of Sir John Jervis during his campaign in the West Indies. While serving in the Caribbean, Griffith was promoted to commander and took command of the ship HMS Avenger, returning to Europe in May 1794 after being promoted to post captain. He immediately became the captain of the second rate HMS London, the flagship of his uncle and joined the Channel Fleet, fighting at the Battle of Groix in 1795.

    In 1797, Griffith lost his command of HMS London in highly controversial circumstances at the outbreak of the Spithead Mutiny. With disaffection spreading throughout the fleet, a delegation of admirals met with the leading mutineers on the fleet flagship HMS Queen Charlotte, hoping to quell the uprising. When this failed, the leaders of the mutiny met to discuss their next moves, choosing Colpoys flagship London as their base. As the delegates from other ships came aboard, Admiral Colpoys, with Griffith at his side, demanded that they leave. They refused and a fight broke out, during which shots were fired, although whether the first came from the mutineers or Colpoys' Royal Marines was never firmly established. Several mutineers were killed and the firing caused the entire ship to rise in mutiny against its officers. Taken prisoner, Colpoys, Griffith and the other officers were held by the mutineers for four days before they were sent on shore. The mutiny was eventually quelled, the mutineers gaining most of their demands and returning to their ships as promised.

    Continued service on London was of course impossible for both Griffith and Colpoys, and Griffith was hastily despatched to the frigate HMS Niger off the French Atlantic coast, later moving to the frigate HMS Triton. In these ships, Griffith was successful, capturing three French privateers. In 1800 he was attached to an expedition against Ferrol in the frigate HMS Diamond, in which he remained until 1804.
    After the Peace of Amiens, Griffith moved to the ship of the line HMS Dragon and served with Sir Robert Calder's fleet during the Trafalgar campaign, fighting at the Battle of Cape Finisterre on 22 July 1805. He was not present at the Battle of Trafalgar in October 1805 and in the aftermath of the campaign assisted in escorting troops convoys in the Mediterranean.

    In 1807, Griffith took command of the new ship of the line HMS Sultan, participating in the blockade of Toulon. While employed in this duty on 12 August 1808, Sultan was struck by lightning and badly damaged at Menorca, the blast fatally electrocuting nine sailors and injuring three more.

    In 1812, Griffith was promoted to rear-admiral and given command of a squadron operating off the Maine coast following the outbreak of the War of 1812. Griffith's operations were successful and in September 1814 he led an amphibious operation up the Penobscot River to re-establish New Ireland (Maine), seizing several towns and forcing the United States Navy to scuttle the frigate USS Adams at Hampden rather than see her captured by Griffith's forces. (He was the namesake of Fort Griffith (Maine), which was established in 1814 and abandoned the following year.)

    Griffith remained off Maine until 1816, when he moved north to become the commander of the naval base at Halifax, Nova Scotia, a position that made him senior officer of the North American Station. He stayed in this post for five years, receiving a promotion to vice-admiral in 1820, and on his return to Britain in early 1821 was presented with a letter from the town's prominent citizens thanking him for his service. When his uncle John Colpoys died shortly afterwards, Griffith added his surname to his own and became Edward Griffith Colpoys.

    Between 1821 and 1830, Griffith Colpoys remained at home with his family, before returning to Halifax in 1830 to take up his old position as commander of the North American Station, which had just been merged with the Jamaica station, making Griffith Colpoys senior officer north of the Caribbean. However his health was rapidly failing and despite elevation to a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in May 1831 he was replaced in 1832, sailing for Bermuda.

    During the voyage his health took a turn for the worse and he died on Ireland Island on 8 October 1832, having selected his burial plot the day before. He left three sons and a daughter, two of his sons served in the Navy, but his third son died just a few weeks after his father while stationed at Cape Town,
    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.Charles Stirling.

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    Charles Stirling was born in London on 28 April 1760 and baptised at St. Albans on 15 May. The son of Admiral Sir Walter Stirling, he was born into a family with a long and proud naval tradition. Stirling joined the Royal Navy and was promoted to captain in 1783. On 11 August 1789 he married Charlotte Grote at Greenwich, London. He was involved in the famous battle of the Glorious First of June in 1794, the capture of Seine at the Action of 30 June 1798 during which he was wounded, and took part in the July 1801 Battle of Algeciras as captain of the 74-gun HMS Pompée. Later that year he was appointed Commissioner at Jamaica Yard.

    Admiral.

    Stirling was recalled to England in late 1804, and on arrival was promoted to rear admiral and hoisted his flag in the 98-gun HMS Glory, which had been one of the famous ships involved in the Glorious First of June battle, and was now the flagship of the Rochefort squadron. Stirling immediately arranged for his nephew James to transfer to his ship as a midshipman. James Stirling would remain under his uncle's command until 1808, and would be enormously influenced by his uncle, both professionally and personally.

    On 22 July 1805, Stirling took part in the Battle of Cape Finisterre under Sir Robert Calder, during which his squadron attacked the combined French and Spanish fleets off Cape Finisterre. In July 1806 he was given command of the ship HMS Sampson and order to convoy General Samuel Auchmuty's troops to Buenos Aires, where he would relieve Admiral Sir Home Riggs Popham, who, with troops under William Carr Beresford, had captured Buenos Aires in the first of a series of British invasions of the Río de la Plata. By the time he arrived, Buenos Aires had been retaken by the Spanish, so after relieving Popham and transferring to Popham's ship, the HMS Diadem, Stirling aided Auchmuty in a successful attack on Montevideo. He was later praised in both Houses of Parliament and in the British press for his good judgement.

    Shortly after the capture of Montevideo, Stirling was relieved and ordered to take up the office of naval Commander-in-Chief at the Cape of Good Hope Station. He was recalled to London after about 5 months. On 31 July 1810, he was promoted to vice admiral, and given the Freedom of the City of London. He also received a sword with "gallant and meritorious conduct at the capture of the Fortress of Monte Video" inscribed on the hilt. Stirling took an extended period of leave, but in October 1811 returned to active service to take up an appointment as Commander-in-Chief of the Jamaica Station. When war broke out with America, he was placed under the command of Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren in September 1812, and led his squadron in harassing American shipping and conducting coastal raids in the Bermuda area.

    Court martial.

    In June 1813 Stirling was relieved and ordered to return to London. On arriving in London late in 1813, he learned that he had been recalled to face charges of accepting payment for protecting foreign seamen. The specific charges were contained in a letter written by Commissioner Wolley at Jamaica, who claimed "that His Majesty's Naval Service had been brought into disrepute in consequence of it being spoken of publicly that ships of war were hired out to convoy vessels going to the Spanish Main." Wolley cited a specific incident, when Stirling was said to have received $2000 for the hire of His Majesty's sloop Sappho. Aspects of the charge were dismissed, but the verdict that was handed down in May 1814 was "that the charge had been in part proved." Although it was agreed that Stirling's actions were excusable on humanitarian grounds, he had acted against regulations. He was retired on half pay, and barred from further promotion.

    Stirling appealed in July and won a number of concessions: a restoration to flag officer status and the right to continue to be addressed as "senior vice admiral of the white". The admiralty, however, refused to return him to active service.

    Later life.

    Stirling's wife died on 25 March 1825 at Woburn Farm, Chertsey, Surrey. Stirling was reported as seriously ill in September 1833, and he died at Woburn Farm on 7 November 1833.
    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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    Capt. Samuel Warren.




    Samuel Warren was born in Sandwich, Kent, on 9 January 1769. He entered the navy in January 1782, serving as a midshipman aboard the 64-gun HMS Sampson under the command of Captain John Harvey, who was a relation of Warren's. Warren went out in Sampson with the fleet sent to relieve Gibraltar under Lord Howe, and later saw action at the Battle of Cape Spartel on 20 October 1782. Warren later served aboard the 10-gun cutter HMS Busy, the 32-gun HMS Druid, the 74-gun HMS Colossus, the 98-gun HMS London, and the 100-gun HMS Royal Sovereign.
    He was promoted to lieutenant on 3 November 1790 and appointed to the 44-gun HMS Argo, followed by the 74-gun HMS Ramillies. He was serving aboard the Ramillies, commanded by Captain Henry Harvey, soon after the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars.[2][3] Ramillies formed part of Lord Howe's fleet during the Atlantic campaign of May 1794, and Warren was involved in Howe's victory at the Glorious First of June that year. From the Ramillies Warren moved to the 100-gun HMS Royal George and was again in action against the French, when Royal George became the flagship of Admiral Lord Bridport, and took part in the Battle of Groix on 23 June 1795.

    Command.

    Warren was promoted to commander on 1 March 1797 and appointed to the 18-gun HMS Scourge. He took her out to the West Indies and enjoyed considerable success against French warships, privateers and merchant vessels over the three-year period of his command. He took the 6-gun privateer Sarazine off Marie-Galante on 28 September 1797, followed by the capture, with the assistance of HMS Aimable, the 14-gun brig Triomphe on 6 April 1798. Scourge went on to capture the 2-gun privateer Chasseur off Puerto Rico on 8 April 1798, and destroyed another small privateer on 1 May 1798. Before his departure from the Caribbean, Warren received the thanks of the House of Assembly of Tobago for his services, and sailed back to Britain to pay off Scourge. He arrived on 22 August 1800, and in September the following year Warren was appointed to command the bomb vessel HMS Vesuvius. Vesuvius was appointed to the squadron in the Channel under the command of Rear-Admiral Horatio Nelson, aboard HMS Lion. He paid her off after the signing of the Treaty of Amiens, and was promoted to post-captain on 29 April 1802.

    Napoleonic Wars.

    Left without a ship during the peace, the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars provided further opportunities for Warren. He was asked by Rear-Admiral William Domett to be his flag captain, and commissioned the 98-gun HMS Glory. Domett was unable to raise his flag due to ill-health, and instead Glory became the flagship of Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Stirling. Stirling retained Warren as his flag-captain, and Glory sailed in July 1805 to join the fleet amassing off Cape Finisterre under Vice-Admiral Robert Calder, with orders to intercept a Franco-Spanish fleet under Vice-Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve. Calder successfully made the interception and Warren commanded Glory at the Battle of Cape Finisterre on 22 July 1805.
    Warren left Glory in July the following year, still serving with Stirling and going out with him as a passenger aboard HMS Sampson to participate in operations off the Río de la Plata. On their arrival off Montevideo Stirling appointed Warren to command his flagship, the 64-gun HMS Diadem, and the navy operated in support of the assault on the city.

    Baltic service.

    On 8 June 1808 he superseded Captain Edward Rotheram in command of the 74-gun HMS Bellerophon. Warren was ordered to join the fleet in the North Sea, blockading the Dutch ports as part of Rear-Admiral Alan Gardner's squadron. By 1809 the strategic situation in the Baltic had deteriorated after Russia signed the Treaties of Tilsit and began to support France. Bellerophon was ordered to join the fleet stationed in the Baltic under Admiral Sir James Saumarez. Saumarez dispatched Bellerophon and HMS Minotaur north to the Gulf of Finland in June, and on 19 June the two ships came across three suspicious looking luggers, anchored off Hango. The water was too shallow to allow them to approach the luggers, so Warren dispatched a boat party. The British boarded the luggers, but found themselves in a trap, when numerous Russian shore batteries and several gunboats opened fire on them. The British commander promptly ordered the luggers to be burnt, reboarded his men and landed them next to the nearest Russian shore battery. The battery, defended by 100 sailors, was stormed and carried, the British spiked the guns and destroyed the magazine, before returning to the ships with only five men wounded.
    By July Bellerophon was part of a squadron commanded by Captain Thomas Byam Martin of HMS Implacable. They were off Percola Point on 7 July when a flotilla of eight Russian gunboats was sighted. A boat party led by Lieutenant Hawkey of Implacable made an attempt to cut-out the vessels that evening. Hawkey was killed in the attempt, but Bellerophon's Lieutenant Charles Allen took over command, and six of the gunboats were captured, and a seventh destroyed, with 12 craft containing stores for the Russian Army also being taken. Bellerophon made several cruises during the rest of the year, visiting the Åland Islands and Karlskrona, before returning to Britain with a convoy in November 1809.
    East Indies.
    Batavia, capital of the Dutch East Indies. Warren was part of the British force which captured the city, and the island of Java, in 1811.
    After paying off Bellerophon Warren was appointed to command the 44-gun HMS President in September 1810. He was assigned to transport Lucien Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, and his family from Malta to England, after which he sent to reinforce the British squadrons in the East Indies. He left for the Cape of Good Hope on 31 December 1810, in company with the frigates HMS Malacca and HMS Galatea. After calling at the Cape, Warren pressed on to the East Indies, and became involved in the operations to capture Java between August and September 1811. On 4 September he was sent into Cirebon to negotiate the surrender of the town to the British. The garrison agreed to surrender, with several important French and Dutch officers falling into British hands. After the surrender of the island to the British on 18 September by General Jan Willem Janssens, Warren accompanied the commander in chief, Vice-Admiral Robert Stopford, back to Britain. He was then appointed to the 74-gun HMS Blenheim, and commanded her in the Mediterranean from June 1813 until the peace in 1814.

    Later life.

    With the final end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, Warren was nominated one of the first Companions of the Bath in the restructuring of the order. He took command of the 74-gun HMS Bulwark in 1818 and was flag captain to Rear-Admiral Sir John Gore, moving to take over the 46-gun HMS Seringapatam in 1820. Warren commanded her until paying off on 5 February 1824. His services while in command of her included transporting Sir Benjamin Bloomfield, the ambassador to Stockholm, in mid-1823. Warren became resident agent of transports at Deptford in January 1830, and commodore in the Thames in 1831, commanding the yacht HMY William and Mary. He then became Captain Superintendent at Woolwich Dockyard until his promotion to rear-admiral on 10 January 1837. He had been nominated a Knight Commander of the Royal Guelphic Order on 3 August 1835, and knighted at the same time. He was advanced to a Knight Commander of the Bath on 18 April 1839.

    Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Warren died at Southampton on 15 October 1839. He had married in 1800, and left behind a large family.
    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. #14
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    Capt. Samuel Hood Linzee.

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    Linzee was born in Plymouth, Devon, the son of John Linzee and Susannah Inman, and named in honour of Lord Samuel Hood, who was married to his father's cousin, Susannah. His father was a Royal Navy captain, and had served during the American War, commanding the sloop Falcon from October 1774 until after July 1776, and saw action at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. Although his infant son Samuel's name appeared on the ship's muster roll as captain's servant and senior clerk, it is highly improbable that Samuel was on board the ship, but it did count towards the years of sea time necessary for all candidates for a lieutenant's commission. Samuel Linzee subsequently received his on 21 July 1790, aged only sixteen and a half.

    He was promoted to commander on 5 November 1793, and to post-captain on 8 March 1794, only two months past his 20th birthday, and given command of the 28-gun sixth-rate frigate Nemesis.

    On 9 December 1795, the French frigate Sensible and corvette Sardine captured Nemesis while she was at anchor in the neutral port of Smyrna. Nemesis did not resist and Linzee protested the illegality of the action. The British frigates Aigle and Cyclops blockaded the three ships until Ganteaume's squadron drove the British ships off. The French sailed Nemesis to Tunis in January 1796, but the British recaptured her on 9 March. Linzee travelled home via Venice, Vienna, Dresden, Prague, and Berlin, and eventually returned to England in a packet boat from Hamburg in mid-1796.

    At 8 a.m. on 26 January 1801, Linzee, newly in command of the 36-gun frigate, Oiseau (the former Cléopâtre) sighted the French 36-gun frigate Dédaigneuse, which was bound from Cayenne to Rochefort with despatches. The Oiseau pursued Dédaigneuse alone until noon the next day when, with Cape Finisterre in sight, the frigates Sirius and Amethyst joined the chase. Eventually Dédaigneuse surrendered to the Oiseau around 2.45 p.m. on the 28th, and was taken into service in the Royal Navy.

    Linzee commanded the 74-gun ship Zealous during the Battle of Copenhagen on 2 April 1801, and was in the fleet of Rear Admiral George Campbell which sailed from England to Port Royal in 1802, and returned to England in May of that year.
    He commanded the 74-gun Warrior from early 1805 until April 1806, and was part of Sir Robert Calder's fleet when he engaged a combined French and Spanish fleet at the Battle of Cape Finisterre on 22 July 1805.

    In February 1807 Linzee was appointed commander of the 74-gun ship Maida. One of his first duties, on 6 March, was to sit on the court martial of Sir Home Riggs Popham after the failed invasion of South America. On 19 July 1807 he commanded Maida in the bombardment of Copenhagen and the capture of the Danish fleet.

    Linzee went to command the Barfleur for a brief period in January and February 1809, the Triumph from 1809 to 1811, the Dreadnought from August 1810 to December 1811, Temeraire in March 1812, and then the Union from April to August 1812. He was appointed a Colonel of Marines on 20 July 1811.

    Linzee was promoted to the flag rank of Rear Admiral of the Blue on 12 August 1812, then to Rear Admiral of the White on 4 December 1812, Rear Admiral of the Red on 4 June 1813, and finally to Vice-Admiral of the Blue on 12 August 1819.

    Death.

    Linzee died on 1 September 1820, at his home at Stonehouse, Devon, at the age of 46, after an attack of apoplexy caused him to fall from his horse a few days before. A monument can be found in the north aisle of the Church of St. Andrews, Plymouth.
    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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    Capt. William Lechmere.



    Lechmere was born in 1752, the son of Richard Lechmere and his wife Elizabeth, née Corfield. He was the nephew of Nicholas Lechmere, 1st Baron Lechmere. William joined the Royal Navy and was commissioned as a lieutenant on 20 December 1774. He served during the American War of Independence, being promoted to commander on 23 September 1782 and appointed to command the sloop HMS Thorn. Thorn had been recently recaptured from the Americans, and Lechmere sailed her to Britain and paid her off for repairs and refitting at Sheerness Dockyard. He recommissioned her in April 1783 and sailed to Newfoundland in May 1784. He later returned to Britain, but was back at Newfoundland in April 1785, before Thorn was paid off in November 1785.

    Interwar and return to service.

    Lechmere took advantage of the peace and married Elizabeth, the daughter of Sir John Dashwood-King, at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster on 31 October 1787. He was promoted to post captain on 21 September 1790, but it was not until August 1794, after the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars, that he took up his first independent command, the 74-gun HMS Saturn. Lechmere commanded Saturn in the Downs as the flagship of Rear-Admiral George Vandeput. He was transferred to the 50-gun HMS Jupiter in January 1795, and remained in command of her until February 1796. During this time Jupiter flew the broad pennant of Commodore John Willett Payne and also served as a Royal escort for Princess Caroline of Brunswick. Princess Caroline left from Cuxhaven on 28 March 1795 in the Jupiter and, delayed by poor weather, landed at Greenwich on 5 April.

    Lechmere took command of the 64-gun HMS St Albans in 1796, during which time she was the flagship of Vice-Admiral George Vandeput on the Halifax station. He went out to Lisbon in February 1797 and there captured the Spanish privateer Atrebedo on 28 February. He moved to the 74-gun HMS Resolution in July 1797 and resumed his previous duties as commander of Vandeput's flagship at Halifax. He commanded Resolution until paying her off in October 1798. He then appears to have been unemployed for a period, as he is not recorded in command of a ship until April 1805, when he superseded Captain William Bedford, and commissioned the 74-gun HMS Thunderer.

    Present at Finisterre, absent at Trafalgar.

    Thunderer was assigned to the fleet under Admiral Robert Calder, tasked with intercepting the Franco-Spanish fleet under Vice-Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve as it returned from the Caribbean. Calder intercepted the combined fleet and brought them to battle on 22 July 1805. Thunderer was involved in the fighting as the second to last ship in Calder's line, and had seven men killed and eleven wounded. Thunderer, HMS Malta and several of the frigates had drifted some six miles distant of the admiral on the morning of 23 July, and took no part in the second indecisive clash of the battle. The fleets then parted, with Calder's force sailing to the north with the prizes, where they met the fleet arriving from the West Indies under Lord Nelson. After sending several ships, including Thunderer, into port, Calder sailed south to join Vice-Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood off Cadiz.

    While refitting, Lechmere received orders to join Collingwood at Cadiz, and on repairs being completed, joined Vice-Admiral Nelson's 100-gun HMS Victory and the 36-gun HMS Euryalus under Captain Henry Blackwood off Plymouth and sailed for Cadiz. Calder had been criticised for failing to win a decisive victory, and on arriving off Cadiz and assuming command of the fleet, Nelson passed on the Admiralty's orders to Calder which summoned him back to Britain to face a court martial. Nelson was also required to allow those captains who had fought with Calder and wished to give evidence in his support to return to England to give evidence at his court-martial. Lechmere was one of those who agreed to go, as did Captain William Brown of HMS Ajax. Brown and Lechmere handed command of their ships temporarily over to their first lieutenants, John Pilfold and John Stockham respectively, and sailed for Britain with Calder on 14 October, five days before the combined fleet sailed from Cadiz, and seven days before the Battle of Trafalgar took place. Consequently Lechmere was absent when the battle took place, and Stockham instead received a share of the rewards of a grateful nation, being promoted to post captain, while Lechmere was overlooked.

    Later commands.

    Despite having missed his opportunity to take part in the decisive naval battle of the wars, Lechmere received several other commands, taking over the 98-gun HMS Prince in the Mediterranean on 13 April 1806, and commanding her until her return to Plymouth in October that year. He was appointed a Colonel of Marines on 6 October 1806. His final seagoing command was the 98-gun HMS Dreadnought, which he took over on 26 December 1806 and commanded in the English Channel until his promotion to rear-admiral of the blue on 28 April 1808. He does not appear to have ever raised his flag, but continued to be promoted. He was advanced to rear-admiral of the red on 31 July 1810, vice-admiral of the blue on 12 August 1812, and finally vice-admiral of the white on 4 June 1814.

    Vice-Admiral William Lechmere died at Hill House, Steeple Aston, Oxfordshire on 12 December 1815 at the age of 63. He had had a number of children, several of whom followed him into 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.

  16. #16
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    Capt. Edward Buller.

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    Edward Buller was born in Admiralty House, Whitehall, Westminster on 24 December 1764. He was the second son of John Buller and his wife Mary, daughter of Sir John St Aubyn, 3rd Bt. The Bullers were a prominent family in Cornwall and Devon, and Edward's father was member of parliament for East Looe, a Lord of the Admiralty and later a Lord of the Treasury. Edward was sent to be educated at Westminster School in 1774, and jointed the navy in 1777, at the age of 12. He became a midshipman aboard Lord Mulgrave's 74-gun HMS Courageux, and took part in the Battle of Ushant on 27 July 1788. Buller received his commission as lieutenant in 1782 and joined the 64-gun HMS Sceptre under Captain Samuel Graves. The Sceptre went out to the East Indies as part of Sir Edward Hughes' fleet, and Buller saw action at most of the subsequent engagements between Hughes and the Bailli de Suffren, being wounded during one of them.

    Acquitting himself well under fire, Buller was promoted to master and commander on 26 April 1783 and given command of the 18-gun sloop HMS Chaser. Chaser was present at the Battle of Cuddalore in June, and was at sea off the Coromandel Coast in November when she became caught in a great hurricane that swept the area. For some time it was feared by those on shore at Madras and Bombay that Chaser had foundered with the loss of all aboard, but Buller had managed through skilful seamanship to navigate the Gulf of Mannar, a passage previously thought unsafe for navigation, and so survive the storm. Soon after this Buller sailed the Chaser back to Britain, a passage made hazardous by her worn out state, but she arrived safely, whereupon Buller paid her off.

    North America.

    Buller was then appointed to command the 16-gun sloop HMS Brisk and sent to North America to combat smuggling operations there. He also used his time to make detailed surveys of the harbours and anchorages along the coast. In April 1789 news reached Buller that a large merchant vessel had been wrecked on the Isle of Sable, and that a number of the crew had survived, but were now stranded on the island at risk of starvation. Buller requested and was given permission to attempt a rescue mission, and despite the risk involved, anchored the Brisk off the shore and for three days attempted a landing, hampered by the sandbanks and shoals. Despite firing signal guns, no sign of any shipwrecked men could be found and after realising that the initial reports were probably groundless, Buller returned to Halifax.
    ]
    French Revolutionary Wars.

    Promotion to post-captain came on 19 July 1790, with an appointment to command the 28-gun HMS Dido. Buller returned to Britain and paid her off at the end of the year, and was given command of the 24-gun HMS Porcupine in 1792. He served in the English Channel, before being transferred to take command of the 44-gun HMS Adventure. While escorting a convoy of 13 Dutch merchants from Nova Scotia to Britain he was intercepted by a French squadron, and narrowly escaped. The merchants were released from his protection after being escorted past the danger, but were then promptly rounded up by British cruisers following the embargo placed on Dutch property. Buller was appointed to command HMS Crescent in 1795 and joined Captain William Essington's HMS Sceptre in escorting the India fleet to the Cape of Good Hope. During the voyage a Spanish squadron was spotted, consisting of a ship of the line and two frigates. Initially mistaking them for French ships Buller and Essington bore up to attack them, but broke off when the Spanish raised Spanish ensigns. The British captains were unaware that Spain had allied with France and was now at war with Britain, a fact known to their Spanish counterparts, and so unknowingly passed up the opportunity to attack the Spanish ships, which were heavily laden with specie from the Caribbean.

    Arriving with the convoy at the Cape of Good Hope, Buller spent some time on the station and was present with Lord Keith's fleet when the Dutch squadron surrendered at Saldanha Bay. He was then compelled to return home to attend to personal matters, and transferred into the 64-gun HMS America for the voyage home. Unable to take up a sea-going command due to his personal affairs, Buller accepted command of the Sea Fencibles based from the Lyme to Cawsand Bay.

    Buller returned to sea in 1799, taking command of the 74-gun HMS Edgar in the English Channel. He transferred to the 74-gun HMS Achille in April 1801, and took part in the blockade of the French ports of Brest and Rochefort.

    Napoleonic Wars.

    Buller went ashore during the Peace of Amiens, and was elected as Member of Parliament for East Looe in 1802, but with the outbreak of hostilities again in 1803, was appointed to the 80-gun HMS Malta and employed in the blockade of the French and Spanish Atlantic ports.

    He was made a Colonel of Marines on 28 April 1805, and was assigned to the fleet under Sir Robert Calder and took part in the Battle of Cape Finisterre on 22 July 1805. During the battle Buller found himself isolated from the rest of the fleet due to the patchy fog and failing light, and was surrounded by five enemy ships. He fought them off, forcing the Spanish 84-gun San Rafael to strike, and afterwards sending the Malta's boats to take possession of the Spanish 74-gun Firme. Malta had suffered considerably during the battle, having her mizzen top mast and mizzen sail yard shot away, and her mizzen and main masts damaged. Her rigging and sails were cut up, with her casualties amounting to five dead and forty wounded.

    Buller remained with Malta into 1806, and in August was placed with Sir Thomas Louis' squadron to escort troops for a secret expedition. Before the force sailed news reached them that a French fleet had put to sea under Jérôme Bonaparte. Louis ordered the troops to be disembarked, and immediately set of in pursuit. Since Louis' assigned flagship, HMS Canopus was not yet ready to take his flag, Buller offered the Malta as a replacement, and Louis accepted. The British force was unable to bring Bonaparte's fleet to battle before they escaped back into Lorient, but on 27 September they encountered the 44-gun French frigate Président, returning from the Caribbean where she had cruised with L'Hermite's expedition. Président was chased down by the British squadron and forced to strike her colours. During the cruise Malta sprang her mainmast and was sent back to Britain by Louis to effect repairs.

    The Malta, with Buller still in command, went to sea again in early January 1807 with orders to join Lord Collingwood's fleet in the Mediterranean. Collingwood placed Buller in command of the inshore squadron, where he continued to distinguish himself. In one particular instance he destroyed the beached transport Mary, which had run aground carrying stores for 25,000 troops, and which Buller burnt to prevent them falling into enemy hands. On another occasion while Malta was refitting at Gibraltar, Buller learnt that a Portuguese frigate had been wrecked on the Spanish coast. Buller at once went out and attempted to save the crew, working for several hours in pounding surf and twice being swept away, but refusing to leave until there were no more men to be saved. Perhaps because of these exertions, Buller became seriously ill with a fever, but recovered to resume his station. His health had been weakened however, and he applied to be superseded, returning to Britain later in 1807.

    Flag rank and later life.

    Buller was promoted to rear-admiral on 28 April 1808, and was created a baronet on 30 October 1809. He was appointed second in command at Plymouth in late 1809, holding the position until autumn 1812, during which time he was promoted to vice-admiral on 12 August 1812. While at Plymouth Captain Robert Corbet, a man notorious for his harsh discipline and, at times, tyrannical behaviour was appointed to a new ship, Africaine. The crew of Africaine at first refused to hear his commission, forcing the commander at Plymouth, Admiral William Young, to bring another ship alongside and run out her guns to prevent any mutinous actions. Buller was appointed to investigate the matter, and one day while sitting near Buller at table, Corbet was heard to remark 'The service will not be good for any thing until captains can flog their lieutenants if needful, as well as the ship's company; absolute power over all in the ship is the thing.' Buller replied 'Why then, admirals must in justice have the power of flogging captains - have a care, Corbet, and don't come under my orders, for I won't spare you!'

    Buller received no further active employment after this. He continued to hold the seat of East Looe until 1820, and in 1807 succeeded his brother, John Buller as recorder for the borough.

    Sir Edward Buller died at his seat of Trenant Park on 15 April 1824 at the age of 59. The baronetcy became extinct upon 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.

  17. #17
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    Capt. Hon. Charles Fleeming.


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    Born Charles Elphinstone in 1774, he was the son of John Elphinstone, the 11th Lord Elphinstone, and his wife Anne Ruthven. He entered the Navy and by March 1794 and the age of 20 had reached the rank of commander aboard the sloop HMS Tisiphone.
    He moved aboard the 26-gun HMS Tartar on 7 October 1795 and commanded her until her loss in 1797 while attempting to cut some French merchantmen out under the batteries at Puerto Plata, on Saint-Domingue. He was then appointed to the 50-gun HMS Diomede in March 1798 which he commanded initially in the North Sea, but departing for the Cape of Good Hope on 6 December that year.
    He spent the rest of the war on the East Indies station, stepping down in December 1802 following the Peace of Amiens. He briefly entered politics during this period, having been elected Member of Parliament for the constituency of Stirlingshire on 13 January 1802. He had assumed the name Fleeming on the death of his grandmother, the only surviving child of John, 6th Earl of Wigtoun, and his succeeding to the family's estates.

    Napoleonic Wars.

    With the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars in 1803 Elphinstone returned to active service, commanding the 40-gun HMS Egyptienne from April that year. While Fleeming was in command the Egyptienne took the 16-gun Epervier on 27 July, and the 14-gun privateer Chiffonette on 30 August 1803. Serving aboard the Egyptienne as a midshipman during this time was future-Admiral Charles John Napier. The two were on bad terms, that would later lead to Napier challenging Fleeming to a duel. The two met at the appointed time, but were reconciled by their seconds, and did not fight. The two were not fully reconciled as friends though until some years later.
    Fleeming and the Egyptienne supported Vice-Admiral Robert Calder's fleet at the Battle of Cape Finisterre on 22 July 1805.Egyptienne did not participate in the fighting herself, but while reconnoitring in advance of the fleet she captured a Danish merchant brig. After the battle she took the disabled Spanish 74-gun Firme into tow. After the battle, Admiral Robert Calder requested a court-martial to review his decision not to pursue the enemy fleet after the engagement. Fleeming was one of the witnesses. The court martial ruled that Calder's failure to pursue was an error of judgement, not a manifestation of cowardice, and severely reprimanded him.
    On 2 October Egyptienne captured the French brig-sloop Acteon, under Capitaine de Frégate Depoge, off Rochefort. She was armed with 16 6-pounder guns and had a crew of 126 men. The navy took Acteon into service under her own name. On 20 November Egyptienne captured the 12-gun Spanish letter of marque Paulina. The chase took nine hours, during which the Paulina threw eight of her guns overboard. She was out of Pasajes (Spain), on her way to cruise the West Indies.
    By late December Fleeming had left Egyptienne and was at Calder's court-martial. Fleeming then moved to command HMS Revenge in 1806, HMS Bulwark with the Mediterranean Fleet in 1807, and HMS Standard in 1811. He was appointed a Colonel of Royal Marines on 12 August 1812, and reached flag rank with a promotion to rear-admiral on 4 December 1814. He was appointed commander-in-chief at Gibraltar in 1814 and became the first Master of the Royal Calpe Hunt.

    Later life.

    Fleeming continued to rise through the ranks after the end of the wars with France. He was made a vice-admiral on 19 July 1821, was in command at the West Indies by 1828, and became an admiral in 1837. He had been re-elected three times as MP for Stirlingshire before his naval career intervened, but returned to politics during his retirement from active service, regaining the seat in 1832 and holding it until 1835.
    Fleeming was Commander-in-Chief, West Indies from 1828 to 1829, Commander-in-Chief, The Nore from 1834 to 1837and briefly Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth from April to November 1839.
    He succeeded Sir Thomas Hardy as Governor of Greenwich Hospital in September 1839, holding the position until his death from influenza at Leamington on 30 October 1840 at the age of 66. He was buried in Leamington parish church on 7 November.
    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. #18
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    Capt. William Prowse.

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    Prowse appears to have been of very humble origins, little is known about his birth or childhood, but he appears to have been born to a working-class Devon family of Cornish origin in 1752. He probably went to sea aboard merchant ships initially, but is first recorded in the Navy on 13 November 1771 as an able seaman aboard the Hamoaze guardship, the 74-gun HMS Dublin. Prowse remained aboard her for the next four years, only leaving her on 26 February 1776. His next posting was to the 74-gun HMS Albion, which he joined in November that year, being rated as midshipman and master's mate on 31 August 1778 by Captain George Bowyer. Prowse and the Albion were by then serving on the North American station, and went on to see action at the Battle of Grenada on 6 July 1779 and the Battle of Martinique on 17 April 1780. Prowse was wounded in one of the clashes at Martinique, being struck in the head by a large splinter.
    The Albion was paid off on 21 December 1781 and having passed his examination for lieutenancy on 17 January 1782 and by 6 December 1782 he had received his commission and was on 22 December 1782 appointed to the 90-gun second rate HMS Atlas under Captain George Vandeput. Prowse was moved again on 14 April to join the 28-gun sixth rate HMS Cyclops under Captain Brabazon Christian. Prowse continued to serve off North America until March 1784. Prowse then disappears from naval records, and may have spent several years on merchant ships. He briefly reappears in 1787, when tensions with the Netherlands led to his return to service under his old patron Captain Bowyer, now serving on the 74-gun HMS Bellona, but again left the service when the crisis had passed. The Nootka Sound crisis in 1790 led to another mobilisation of the fleet and Prowse returned to the navy, initially serving aboard the 98-gun HMS Barfleur and then aboard the 64-gun HMS Stately under Captain Robert Calder. The last few years of peace for Prowse were spent aboard Lord Hood's flagship at Portsmouth, the 90-gun HMS Duke, from August 1791 until January 1793.

    French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

    The outbreak of war with France in February 1793 saw Prowse being appointed, on 20 March 1793, to the 90-gun HMS Prince, commanded by Captain Cuthbert Collingwood and flying the flag of Prowse's old commander, now Rear-Admiral Bowyer. He followed both Collingwood and Bowyer when they moved aboard Prowse's old ship the Barfleur on 28 December 1793, Prowse becoming the sixth lieutenant. The Barfleur went on to be part of Lord Howe's fleet, and was present at the Glorious First of June where Bowyer lost a leg, and Prowse too was wounded in the leg when a shot hit and dismounted the gun he was attempting to aim, and tore away part of his thigh. He apparently had to have his leg amputated.
    .
    He was invalided ashore, but recovered quickly and returned to service aboard Robert Calder's 74-gun HMS Theseus as his first lieutenant. Calder and the Theseus sailed to the West Indies and after carrying out several minor engagements with French shore batteries, returned to Britain as a convoy escort in July 1795. Calder and Prowse transferred aboard the 32-gun fifth rate HMS Lively and sailed to the Mediterranean to join Sir John Jervis aboard his flagship HMS Victory. Jervis appointed Prowse to his first independent command, the 14-gun sloop HMS Raven on 20 October 1796. Raven was with Jervis's fleet at the Battle of Cape St Vincent on 14 February 1797, and was used to repeat signals. She also, in company with four frigates and another sloop, gave chase to the Spanish four-decker Santísima Trinidad but they eventually lost her. For his services Jervis promoted Prowse to post-captain on 6 March 1797and appointed him to command the captured Spanish prize Salvador del Mundo. Prowse took his ship home for paying-off in November but since no ship could be found for him, went on half-pay.
    He finally returned to active service when Rear-Admiral Sir Robert Calder asked for him to be his flag-captain aboard his flagship HMS Prince of Wales. He briefly served in the West Indies, and returned to Britain on the Peace of Amiens in 1802. With the Prince of Wales paid off, Prowse was given command of the 36-gun frigate HMS Sirius in August 1802, where he took part in the blockades of the French and Spanish coasts. With the resumption of the war in May 1803 Sirius was deployed into the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay, becoming part of Calder's fleet in 1804.

    Battle of Cape Finisterre.

    With Calder's fleet patrolling off Cape Finisterre in anticipation of the arrival of the combined Franco-Spanish fleet under Pierre-Charles Villeneuve, Prowse and the Sirius, in company with HMS Egyptienne were despatched to scout for the enemy. Villeneuve had been reported as having arrived in the area and on 22 July Prowse located the allied feet, with the frigate Siréne at the rear, towing a captured merchant. Prowse closed on the Siréne, intending to cut her off and board her, but Villeneuve ordered his ships to wear in succession and reverse their course to meet Calder's advancing fleet. Prowse suddenly found himself facing the entire combined fleet, which was fast bearing down on him, led by the Spanish Admiral Federico Gravina aboard the Argonauta. With his tiny frigate heavily outclassed, Prowse began to beat away to leeward as the fleet passed him on the opposite tack. Gravina, aware of the convention that a ship of the line did not open fire on a frigate, ordered that the Sirius not be fired upon and the next Spanish ships also held fire. Shortly afterwards Calder's van came into range of the fleet and a general action ensued, whereby the Sirius was fired on by the España and had two men killed and three wounded. After the battle Prowse was sent to Plymouth with the captured Spanish 74-gun Firme in tow.

    Nelson and Trafalgar.

    Villeneuve led the rest of his fleet into Cadiz on 21 August 1805, and the Sirius was sent to form part of the British fleet blockading them there. With Nelson's arrival to take command of the fleet, the main body was moved out to sea, with a chain of four frigates and four ships of the line established to observe the fleet in Cadiz and transmit signals about their movements to the British fleet. Sirius was the closest to the port and at first light on 19 October it was observed that the enemy were preparing to put to sea. Sirius immediately signalled the next frigate in the line, Henry Blackwood's HMS Euryalus, 'Enemy have their topsails hoisted'. Thus Prowse began the process that would lead to the interception of the combined fleet two days later. An hour later at 7 a.m. Sirius ran up three flags to signal code number 370, 'Enemy ships are coming out of port or getting under sail'. The signal was repeated down the line, reaching Nelson 48 miles away aboard HMS Victory at 9.30 a.m.
    The next morning, 20 October 1805, a strange sail was reported off the entrance to the harbour. Prowse asked for and was given permission by Blackwood to investigate, and closed on the stranger. By the time this had been achieved the 74-gun Héros had come within range and opened fire. Sirius nevertheless stopped the stranger with a shot across her bow and sent an officer over to inspect her. It was determined that the ship in question was a neutral American merchant, and she was allowed to continue on her way. Prowse recovered the boat and hauled away from the French warship. The entire combined fleet had finally put to sea by 10 a.m., whereupon a burst of rainy squalls caused the frigates to lose sight of it until midday.
    Prowse and the other frigates continued to shadow the fleet until 7.30 a.m. on 21 October, when Nelson signalled the four frigate captains; Prowse of the Sirius, Blackwood of the Euryalus, Capel of the Phoebe, and Dundas of the Naiad, to come aboard the Victory. There they received their orders for the battle, which were to take station windward of the Victory and so repeat his signals to the rest of the fleet. They were also to observe the progress of the battle, report on escaping ships, take over surrendered enemy ships that had not been taken and take in tow dismasted British ships or their prizes. They then all went below and witnessed Nelson's will. Departing Victory to return to Sirius as the former closed on the enemy line, Prowse said goodbye to his nephew, Captain Charles Adair, who was commander of the marines on Victory.
    During the battle Sirius maintained her station out of the immediate battle, and suffered no casualties. After its end, she moved in and took the Victory under tow, but as the weather worsened she handed over to the larger 64-gun HMS Polyphemus. The week after the battle Prowse was sent into Cadiz with a note from Collingwood to the Marquis de Solana, requesting the use of the town's facilities for the Spanish prisoners.

    Continued service and later years.

    Prowse remained aboard the Sirius in the Mediterranean serving under Vice-Admiral Collingwood. On 17 April 1806 he engaged an enemy flotilla off Civitavecchia. The flotilla consisted of the 18-gun corvette Bergère, three armed brigs, a bomb vessel, a cutter and three gunboats. The Bergère held off the Sirius until Prowse forced her surrender. For this action Prowse was mentioned in despatches and awarded a sword from the Lloyd's Patriotic Fund. The Sirius was paid off in May 1808 and in March 1810 Prowse took command of the 74-gun HMS Theseus. He was nominated a Companion of the Bath on 4 June 1815, and a Colonel of the Royal Marines on 12 August 1819. He commanded her in the North Sea until 23 December 1813, after which he went onshore and saw no further active service.
    He was promoted to rear-admiral on 19 July 1821 and died on 23 March 1826 in St Pancras, London at the age of 72.
    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. #19
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    Lt.James Nicholson.


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    NationalityBritish
    RolesSailor
    First Known Service1795/03/04
    Last Known Service1805/08/02

    Event History

    Date from Date to Event Source
    1795/03/04 Lieutenant CSORN
    1799/10 1799 Black Joke (10), as Commanding Officer B083
    1800/11 1800 Suwarrow (10), as Commanding Officer W005
    1805 Frisk (8), as Commanding Officer NMMWH
    1805/07/22 3rd Battle of Cape Finisterre
    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. #20
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    Lieut. John Fennell.




    All that I can find on this officer is that he was made Lieutenant in 1794. and died in 1843.

    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.

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