Weasel brig, and in her, for the next three years, was actively engaged on the west coast of Italy, and especially on 25 July 1810, at Amantea, where, in company with the Thames frigate [see Waldegrave, Granville George] and Pilot, he commanded the boats of the squadron in the capture or destruction of thirty-two store-ships and seven gunboats (James, Naval History, v. 125). For his gallantry on this occasion Prescott was promoted to post rank, his commission being dated back to the day of the action, though it did not reach him till the following February. From August 1811 to June 1813 he commanded the Fylla, of 20 guns, on the Jersey station; and from 1813 to 1815 the Eridanus, in the Bay of Biscay. On 4 June 1815 he was nominated a C.B. From 1821 to 1825, in command of the Aurora frigate, he was senior officer at Rio Janeiro, or on the west coast of South America, and in October 1822 was voted a testimonial of the value of 1,500 dollars by the British merchants at Lima, in acknowledgment of the protection he had afforded to British interests. From 1834 to 1841 he was governor of Newfoundland; the period ‘was troubled with political squabbles and sectarian animosities,’ to allay which he found himself powerless; though he had, at the desire of the government, remained beyond the usual limit, he resigned at the end of seven years (Prowse, Hist. of Newfoundland, p. 448). On 24 April 1847 he was promoted rear-admiral, and in June was appointed one of the lords of the admiralty, an office which he resigned in December to become admiral-superintendent of Portsmouth Dockyard, where he remained till 1852. He was promoted to be vice-admiral on 15 April 1854, was nominated a K.C.B. on 4 Feb. 1856, became admiral on 2 May 1860, and on 9 June following was retired with a pension. On 2 June 1869 he was made a G.C.B. He died in London, at his residence in Leinster Gardens, on 18 Nov. 1874.
Prescott married, in 1815, Mary Anne Charlotte, eldest daughter of Vice-admiral Philip d'Auvergne, prince de Bouillon, and left issue. A portrait, from a photograph, is printed in Prowse's ‘Newfoundland’ (p. 448).
[O'Byrne's Naval Biogr. Dict.; Marshall's Roy. Nav. Biogr. vi. (Suppl. pt. ii.) 107; Navy Lists; Times, 20 Nov. 1874.]
PRESCOTT, ROBERT (1725–1816), general, was born in 1725 in Lancashire, where his family lost their estates owing to their opposition to the revolution of 1688. He was gazetted captain 15th foot, 22 Jan. 1755; major, 95th foot, 22 March 1761; lieutenant-colonel, late 72nd foot, 10 Nov. 1762; brevet-colonel, 29 Aug. 1777, and colonel, 13 Oct. 1780; colonel of the 28th regiment, 6 July 1789; major-general, 19 Oct. 1781; lieutenant-general, 12 Oct. 1793; and general 1 Jan. 1798. He served in the expeditions against Rochefort in 1757, and Louisburg in 1758. He acted as aide-de-camp to General Amherst in 1759, and afterwards joined the army under General James Wolfe. In 1761 he joined the 95th foot, which formed part of the force that was sent under General Robert Monckton [q. v.] to reduce Martinique. During the course of the American war of independence he was present with the 28th regiment at the battle of Long Island, the several engagements in Westchester county, and the storming of Fort Washington in November 1775. He was attached to the expedition against Philadelphia in 1777, and was present at the battle of the Brandywine. In 1778 he was appointed first brigadier-general in the expedition under General James Grant against the French West Indies. On 6 July 1789 he was appointed colonel of the 28th regiment. In October 1793 he was ordered to Barbados to take the command there, and in February 1794 he sailed with the troops to Martinique, where he landed without opposition. He effected the complete reduction of the island and forts, which capitulated on 22 March, and was afterwards appointed civil governor of the island. His judicious management of affairs prevented an uprising of the natives. The military and naval commanders at the time in the West Indies—General Sir Charles (afterwards first Earl) Grey [q. v.] and Admiral Sir John Jervis [q. v.]—were most severe in their treatment of the natives, and Prescott wrote to George III, through Lord Amherst, to expostulate against the harshness of his representatives. The French estimated Prescott's character so highly that, when the storming of Fort Mathilde at Guadaloupe, where Prescott's house was situated, was contemplated, express orders were given that his life was to be spared. After further service in the West Indies his health failed, and he obtained leave to return to England, arriving at Spithead on 10 Feb. 1795.
Prescott was sent out on 10 April 1796 to undertake the office of governor of Canada, in succession to Lord Dorchester, who did not know that he was to be recalled till Prescott arrived to supersede him. During the spring of 1796 Prescott made considerable additions to the fortifications of Quebec. The next year he was appointed, in addition, governor of Nova Scotia, and he remained at the head of the government of that colony,