Royal Naval Biography/Buchanan, William
WILLIAM BUCHANAN, Esq.
[Post-Captain of 1809.]
Was made a Lieutenant in 1794, and served as second of the Leviathan, a third rate, bearing the broad pendant of Commodore Duckworth, at the capture of Minorca, Nov. 15, 1798. The following is an extract of that officer’s public letter to Earl St. Vincent, reporting the surrender of the island:
“There is high merit due to Lieutenant William Buchanan, whom I landed as second in command under Captain (James) Bowen, with more than 250 seamen: there were likewise the Leviathan’s and Centaur’s marines with the army, to the number of 100; but other essential service calling Captain Bowen on board his ship, the command of the seamen devolved on Lieutenant Buchanan, and, as will appear by the strongest accompanying testimony given him from the commander-in-chief of the troops, he performed the services with the army with the greatest ability and exertion.”
Copy of General Stuart’s testimonial.
“Sir,– I have the honor to return you, and the gentlemen employed on shore under your command, my sincere thanks for your activity, zeal, and assistance, in forwarding the light artillery of the army; neither can too much praise be given to the seamen for their friendly and cheerful exertions under very hard labour; – exertions that were accompanied with a propriety of behaviour which I greatly attribute to your management, and which will ever merit my acknowledgments; and affords me the satisfaction of assuring you that I am, with sincere regard, yours, &c.
“To Lieutenant Buchanan.”
We have already mentioned, that the captors of Minorca found a brig of war on the stocks. This vessel was named the Port Mahon, and launched Oct. 31, 1799; on which occasion Lieutenant Buchanan was promoted, and appointed to command her. In 1800, he captured a French privateer of inconsiderable force, and several small merchantmen: he was also employed blockading Malta, previous to the surrender of that island.
In the following year, we find Captain Buchanan serving under the orders of Lord Keith, and receiving the Turkish medal for his services on the coast of Egypt. He returned home in the Port Mahon, July 26, 1802; and was appointed to the Sea Fencible service, between Dungeness and Sandgate, at the renewal of hostilities in 1803. His post commission bears date Oct. 12, 1809; at which period he commanded la Fleche of 16 guns, on the Channel station.