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Royal Naval Biography/Halliday, Michael

[Post-Captain of 1799.]

This officer was born in Dec. 1765, at St. Petersburgh; where his father, a native of Dumfriesshire, N.B., practised as a Physician, and an inoculator of the small pox, after the introduction of that system into the Russian empire, by Baron Dimsdale. He entered the British naval service in Feb. 1782, as a Midshipman, on board the Africa of 64 guns; which ship formed part of the fleet under Sir Edward Hughes, in his last battle with M. de Suffrein, June 20, 1783[1]; on which occasion Mr. Halliday received a slight wound in the arm. The total loss sustained by the Africa, was 5 killed and 25 wounded.

Mr. Halliday, after serving for a short time in a merchant vessel, completed his time as a Midshipman in the Crown 64, Fairy sloop of war, and Sprightly cutter. He then accepted a Lieutenancy on board the Twelve Apostles, a Russian first rate, and served under several Admirals; one of whom, Povalishin, was killed in a general battle with the Swedes[2]. At the commencement of the war between England and the French republic, he embarked as a Master’s-mate in the Nymphe frigate, commanded by the present Viscount Exmouth; his promotion to the rank of Lieutenant in the British navy took place about Oct. 1793.

Mr. Halliday was first Lieutenant of the Inspector sloop of war, during the West India campaign in 1794; and subsequently served in the Stag frigate, St. George, a second rate, and Phoebe of 44 guns, the latter commanded by Captain (now Sir Robert) Barlow, whom he gallantly seconded in the action with la Nereide, a French frigate, which surrendered after a running fight of some duration, and close action of forty-five minutes[3].

In July 1798, Lieutenant Halliday was made a Commander, and appointed to the Woolwich 44, armed en flute. On the 29th June in the following year, he obtained post rank in the Leander, a 50-gun ship, which had been re-captured from the French at Corfu, and restored to England by the Russians[4]. During the greater part of the late war, Captain Halliday commanded the Sea Fencibles at Penzance.

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