Royal Naval Biography/Brenton, John
JOHN BRENTON, Esq.
Knight of the Imperial Russian Order of St. Wladimer.
[Post-Captain of 1822.]
This officer entered the naval service, in Aug. 1798, as midshipman on board the Asia 64, bearing the flag of Admiral George Vandeput, at Halifax; and continued in that ship under the command of Captain (now Admiral) Robert Murray, until her return to England, in 1800; when he joined the Assistance 50, on the North Sea station, but was soon removed from her into the Caesar 80, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Sir James Saumarez, under whom he bore a part at the battle of Algeziras, July 6, 1801, and was present at the subsequent capture and destruction of a French 74 and two Spanish first rates, in the Gut of Gibraltar.
After witnessing the evacuation of Minorca, in 1802, Mr. Brenton joined the Kent 74, bearing the flag of Sir Richard Bickerton, Bart, at Malta; and we subsequently find him serving under the same excellent officer in the Royal Sovereign of 100 guns, and Queen 98, on the Mediterranean station, where he was appointed acting lieutenant of the latter ship, about July 1805. He afterwards received two other appointments of the same nature from Lord Collingwood, first to the Nautilus sloop. Captain Edmund Palmer, who perished with 61 of his officers and crew on the barren rocks of Cerigotto, in Jan. 1807; and the last to the Il Defonso Spanish 74, taken at Trafalgar, in which ship he returned to England, without either of his acting orders being confirmed.
Mr. Brenton next joined the Hibernia 110, bearing the flag of Earl St. Vincent, commander-in-chief of the Channel fleet, by whom he was made acting lieutenant of the London 98, Captain Thomas Western. His first Admiralty commission, appointing him to the Orion 74, Captain (now Sir Edward) Codrington, bears date Sept. 6, 1806.
After serving in that ship for some time off Cadiz, Lieutenant Brenton returned to the Hibernia, then bearing the flag of Sir James Saumarez in the fleet blockading Brest; and he appears to have followed that distinguished admiral into the Diomede 50, and Victory first rate, on the Guernsey and Baltic stations, continuing with him until appointed to the command of a division of gun-boats employed in the defence of Riga, against the French and Prussian armies, under Marshals Macdonald and Yorck. The Russian Order of St. Wladimer, of the 4th class, was conferred upon him by the Emperor Alexander, as a reward for his zealous co-operation with the Russian commanders, particularly during the expedition against Mittau, and his “highly meritorious conduct upon this occasion” having been duly represented by Sir James Saumarez, in a letter to the Admiralty, dated Oct. 17, 1812, he was promoted to the rank of commander on the 20th of the following month. From June 27, 1814, to Nov. 1815, he commanded the Hasty brig, on the Irish station. His post commission bears date Dec. 26, 1822.
Captain Brenton married, in Sept. 1815, his cousin Henrietta, fourth daughter of the late Rear-Admiral Brenton, and sister to Captains Sir Jahleel and Edward Pelham Brenton, R.N.