Royal Naval Biography/Arthur, Richard


RICHARD ARTHUR, Esq.
[Post-Captain of 1810.]

Brother of Colonel George Arthur, Lieutenant-Governor of Van Dieman’s Land; and of the late John Arthur, Esq. Collector of the Customs at Plymouth.

This officer entered the navy, in 1790, as a midshipman on board the Valiant 74; and at the commencement of the French revolutionary war, we find him proceeding in the Heroine frigate. Captain (afterwards Lord) Gardner, to the West Indies; where he served on board various ships until confirmed as a Lieutenant, about Feb. 1800. He also obtained the rank of Commander on the same station, in 1805.

Captain Arthur commanded the Vesuvius bomb, forming part of the British advanced squadron before Copenhagen, when repeatedly attacked by the Danish flotilla, in Aug. 1807[1] .His next appointment was, about April, 1808, to the Cherokee brig, mounting 8 eighteen-pounder carronades and 2 long sixes, with a complement of 65 officers, men, and boys. On the 11th Jan. 1810, he addressed an official letter to the commander-in-chief on the Downs station, of which the following is a copy:–

“Sir,– I have the honor to acquaint you, that on reconnoitering Dieppe yesterday, I perceived seven lugger privateers at anchor close together, within a cable’s length of the pier-head under the batteries; and deeming it, notwithstanding their numbers, practicable to capture or destroy some of them, I this morning, at one o’clock, the wind being southerly, stood in and perceived the whole seven at anchor, as when reconnoitred: I immediately ran between two, and laid one on board, which, after a fruitless attempt on the part of the enemy to board the Cherokee, I succeeded in bringing out, and which proves to be l’Amiable Nelly, a new lugger, of 16 guns, 106 tons, and 60 men.

“During the time we were under the batteries, the whole of the privateers kept up a constant fire of musketry; but, I am happy to state, only two were wounded, viz. Lieutenant Gabriel, and Mr. James Ralph, boatswain, both in the hand. The enemy had 2 killed and 8 wounded, 3 dangerously.

“I feel it a duty I owe to my officers and crew to state, their conduct deserves my warmest approbation, for the cool steadiness they shewed, both in attacking the enemy, and during the time we were under the batteries. I am, &c.

(Signed)R. Arthur.”

To Vice-Admiral Campbell.

For his daring conduct on this occasion. Captain Arthur was immediately promoted, and his post commission dated back to the day on which he made the successful attack. His last naval appointment was, Oct. 16, 1812, to the Andromeda of 22 guns.

Agent.– ___