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Royal Naval Biography/Baldwin, John

[Post-Captain of 1819.]

Was made lieutenant. Mar. 25, 1803; and obtained the next step by his able and gallant conduct, as first of the Astraea frigate. Captain Charles Marsh Schomberg, in action with a French squadron off Madagascar, on the 20th May, 1811[1]. His commission as commander bears date Nov. 18th following, at which period he was appointed to the Trojan brig of 10 guns, on the North Sea station. He subsequently commanded the Flamer 12; and, since the peace, the Fly 18, at Newfoundland.

The Fly was wintering at St. John’s when Vice-Admiral Pickmore, died there, Feb. 24, 1818. The next day, she was ordered to commence cutting through the ice, for the purpose of conveying the body of the deceased governor to England; but although there were about 300 men, besides her own crew, daily employed on it, the canal was not sufficiently large to permit her to pass through until Mar. 18th, a period of three weeks. The distance cut was 2850 yards; the ice was from two and a half to five feet thick; the blocks cut out of it were from 33 to 35 feet in breadth, all of which were hauled up on the main body by a single rope. Added to this labour, the channel cut was almost every morning frozen to between six and seven inches thick; and the operation of clearing this away was obliged to be performed daily. The Fly arrived at Portsmouth, April 16, 1818, and was soon afterwards paid off for re-commissioning.

Captain Baldwin’s promotion to post rank took place Aug. 12th, 1819.

Agents.– Messrs. Cooke, Halford, and Son.