Royal Naval Biography/Collier, Edward
EDWARD COLLIER, Esq.
[Post-Captain of 1814.]
Was born at Blockley, co. Worcester, in 1783. He entered the naval service, Feb. 26, 1796, under the patronage of the late Hon. Sir George C. Berkeley, and served his time as midshipman on board the Formidable 98, Maidstone and Seahorse frigates. Victorious 74, and Centurion 50, the two latter ships bearing the flag of Vice-Admiral Peter Rainier, commander-in-chief in India, to whom he had been recommended by Captain Edward James Foote, of the Seahorse.
The alarming situation of the Centurion, in a tremendous hurricane, off Ceylon, in Dec. 1802, has been noticed at p. 144 of Suppl. Part I. For his exertions on that occasion, Mr. Collier was immediately afterwards promoted into the Arrogant 74. In Feb. 1803, he accompanied an expedition sent against the pirates on the Guzzurat coast, the result of which has also been stated in our memoir of Captain Dobbie.
About Nov. following, Mr. Collier exchanged into the St. Fiorenzo frigate, of which he was third lieutenant at the capture of la Psyche French 36, commanded by Mons. Bergeret, Feb. 14, 1805. The “able support” he afforded his captain on that occasion is duly acknowledged in the official account of the action, as will be seen by reference to p. 347 of Suppl. Part II.
From this period. Lieutenant Collier served as second of the St. Fiorenzo, until Mar, 1808, when he left her at Point de Galle, in consequence of a very severe indispositon, and returned home invalided, in the Monmouth 64. Early in 1809, he was appointed first of the Thames 32, Captain the Hon. G. G. Waldegrave, with whom he continued until promoted for his gallant conduct at the capture and destruction of a Neapolitan convoy, near Amanthea, July 25, 1810.
In Sept. 1812, Captain Collier received an appointment to the Manly brig, in which he was ’successively employed off the Scheldt, in convoying the trade to Newfoundland, and as a cruiser on the North American station. On the 13th Nov. 1813, that vessel was driven high and dry on shore, in Halifax harbour, during a heavy gale from the S.S.W., and in such a situation, that it required the labour of three weeks to get her off again.
A reinforcement of seamen for the squadron on the Canadian lakes being at that time most earnestly requested by Sir James Lucas Yeo, the commander, officers, and crew of the Manly immediately offered their services, which were readily accepted by Rear-Admiral Griffith, then commanding at Halifax, who despatched them, with other volunteers, to St. John’s, New Brunswick, where no time was lost in preparing for their march to Kingston, an account of which is contained in a letter from Lieutenant (now Commander) Henry Kent, published in the Naval Chronicle for 1815.
After enduring many hardships. Captain Collier and his gallant followers, about 220 in number, reached the place of their destination in time to assist at the capture of Oswego, the official details of which service have been given at p. 215 of Suppl. Part II. Previous to the attack, Captain Collier, with some gun-boats under his command, was “sent close in, for the purpose of inducing the enemy to shew his fire, and particularly the number and position of his guns. This service,” says the military commander, “was performed in the most gallant manner, the boats taking a position within point-blank shot of the fort, which returned the fire from four guns, one of them heavy.” During the attack. Captain Collier commanded an hermaphrodite rigged vessel, stationed off the town, and “behaved much to the satisfaction” of his commodore.
After the storming of Fort Oswego, the subject of this memoir succeeded Captain Mulcaster in the command of the Princess Charlotte 42, which appointment was confirmed by the Admiralty, Nov. 18, 1814. During the remainder of the war with America, we find him employed in a variety of arduous services on the different lakes. He returned to England in Dec. 1815, bringing with him a detachment of seamen lately employed in Canada.
Captain Collier’s next appointment was, Sept. 1818, to the Mersey 26, in which ship he served the usual period of three years, on the Halifax station, and afterwards formed part of his Majesty’s escort from Calais. The Mersey was paid off at Portsmouth, Nov. 30, 1821.
Agents.– Messrs. Maude & Co.
- See Suppl. Part I. p. 490.
- Lieutenant-General Gordon Drummond.