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Royal Naval Biography/Elliot, Robert

[Post-Captain of 1808.]

A native of Roxburghshire, N.B. and brother to Major-General Henry Elliot.

This officer was born in Oct. 1769; and he appears to have entered the navy in 1781, under the patronage of Captain (afterwards Rear-Admiral) Thomas Lenox Frederick, with whom he first went to sea in the Diomede 44, which ship was actively and very successfully employed on the North American station until the cessation of hostilities in 1783[1].

After passing his examination for a Lieutenant (1788), Mr. Elliot accepted a commission in the Swedish marine, promotion at home being unattainable by any one destitute of parliamentary interest. Some of the battles in which he bore a part have been briefly noticed at p. 292 et seq. of our first volume.

At the conclusion of the war between Gustavus and Catharine, Mr. Elliot returned to England; and in July 1793, we find him appointed senior Lieutenant of the Savage sloop of war. He subsequently served as first of the Greyhound frigate; and towards the close of 1796, obtained the command of the Plymouth hired lugger, in which vessel he captured two French privateers and several merchantmen, one of the former mounting 14 guns, with a complement of 55 men. His promotion to the rank of Commander took place Feb. 14, 1801.

During the remainder of the French revolutionary war, Captain Elliot commanded the Good Design armed ship, attached to the Egyptian expedition; and his name appears in the list of officers who were presented with gold medals by the Turkish government, as an acknowledgment of their meritorious conduct whilst employed on that memorable service. He returned home from the Mediterranean in Feb. 1802.

Captain Elliot’s next appointment was, about April 1804, to the Lucifer bomb, then on the Downs station, but afterwards forming part of the squadron sent against Constantinople, under the orders of Sir John T. Duckworth, whom he also accompanied to Alexandria, in the spring of 1807. On his return from that place to Malta, he hoisted the flag of Sir Alexander J. Ball, whom he assisted in carrying on the port duties at Valette, until he received a post commission, dated June 27, 1808, appointing him to the Porcupine 24; in which ship he was actively employed on various services for upwards of five years. During the winter of 1813, we find him commanding the Surveillante frigate, on the north coast of Spain.

Although Captain Elliot has not been so fortunate as to have any opportunity of particularly distinguishing himself, yet we can safely aver that he has ever been a most active and zealous officer, meriting and obtaining at all times the approbation of the Admiralty, and of every superior under whom he more immediately served. He married Ann, daughter of Andrew Hilley, of Plymouth, Esq., by whom he has three children. His only son, Robert H. Elliott, is a Midshipman, R.N.

Agents.– Messrs. Stilwell.

  1. A biogrphical memoir of Rear-Admiral Frederick will be found in the Naval Chronicle, Vol. XXXVII, p. 265 et seq.