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Royal Naval Biography/Cuming, William

Rear-Admiral of the Blue; and a Companion of the most honorable Military Order of the Bath.

This officer, a native of Totness in Devonshire, went to sea at an early age; served twenty-three years as a Midshipman and Lieutenant; was made a Commander in 1795; commanded the Alliance store-ship, attached to the Mediterranean fleet, in 1796; and as a reward for his services on that station, was posted by Earl St. Vincent into his own flag-ship, the Victory, of 100 guns. His post-commission bears date Oct. 13, 1797.

In Jan. 1801, he obtained the command of the Russell, 74, and soon after accompanied the expedition sent against Copenhagen, where he assisted at the capture and destruction of the Danish line of defence, on the glorious 2d April[1]. Subsequent to his return from the Baltic, he was employed off Cadiz, under the orders of Sir James Saumarez.

On the renewal of hostilities in 1803, Captain Cuming was appointed to the Prince of Wales, a second rate, bearing the flag of Sir Robert Calder, with whom he continued to serve till that officer struck his flag in the autumn of 1805. During the remainder of the war he commanded in succession the Isis, of 50 guns, Sampson 64, and Bombay 74; the latter employed in the blockade of Toulon. He was nominated a C.B. in 1815, and advanced to the rank of Rear-Admiral July 19, 1821.

Residence. – Southbrent, Ashburton, Devon.

  1. See p. 368. N.B. – The Russell, although she accidentally grounded when proceeding to her station, was engaged from the first to the last of the battle; and, according to Lord Nelson’s official letter, was so situated as to render essential service.