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Royal Naval Biography/Chappell, Edward


When midshipman of the Kingfisher sloop, Captain R. W. Cribb, assisted in boarding and cutting out the Spanish privateer schooner Isabella la Demos, from under the batteries of a small bay near La Guira, on the Spanish Main, in April 1805. On his return from this service, his captain thus addressed him:– “Mr. Chappell, my first lieutenant,” (Standish) “has informed me of your gallant conduct. Take this” (the Spanish commander’s) “sword for your reward, and God grant that you may always shew yourself as undaunted as you then were.”

The Kingfisher was with the squadron under Sir John T. Duckworth at the battle of St. Domingo, Feb. 6th, 1806, after which Mr. Chappell assisted in completing the destruction of two French line-of-battle ships, and bringing off their crews through a tremendous sea[1].

In May following, we find the Kingfisher employed off Rochefort, where she rendered essential assistance to the Pallas frigate Captain Lord Cochrane, after her gallant action with a French squadron under the batteries of l’Isle d’Aix[2]. On the 27th Sept. 1806, she was with the squadron under Sir Thomas Louis, at the capture of le Presidente frigate[3].

Mr. Chappell was present at the capture of the Danish West India islands, in Dec. 1807; and belonged to the Intrepid 64, when she engaged, and was very severely handled by, two French frigates. He served on shore, under Captain C. J. W. Nesham, at the reduction of Martinique, in Feb. 1809[4]; and was severely wounded in the thigh, when commanding a gun-boat at the defence of Cadiz, in 1810. His promotion to the rank of lieutenant took place on the 18th April, 1811. He subsequently served under Captains Donald Campbell and Edward Stopford, in the Rosamond 20, on the Newfoundland station[5]. In Feb. 1815, he was appointed first lieutenant of the Leven 20, Captain B. S. Bluett, which ship appears to have been very actively employed on the coast of la Vendee, during the war of one hundred days. His next appointment was, Aug 20th, 1816, to the coast blockade, under Captain William M‘Culloch. In 1818, we find him superintendent of one of the ships lent by government for the reception of distressed seamen. He obtained the rank of commander on the 19th April, 1826; and is now agent for H.M. packets on the Milford station.

This officer has published two “Narratives,” one “of a Voyage to Newfoundland and the Coast of Labrador,” the other “of a Voyage to Hudson’s Bay, in H.M.S. Rosamond, containing some account of the north-eastern coast of America, and of the tribes inhabiting that remote region.” Both of these publications are illustrated with plates and charts.