Open main menu

Royal Naval Biography/Hart, Henry

[Post-Captain of 1811.]

This officer is descended from Sir Harry Hart, who was a knight of the bath about 1650. That branch of the family to which he belongs formerly resided in Kent, but his father, the late Richard Hart, Esq. was settled at Uckfield, co. Sussex, and married Miss Blackman, whose sister, we believe, was the lady of the late Sir Thomas Miller, of Froyle, near Alton, in Hampshire, Bart.

Mr. Henry Hart entered the navy in 1796 as a midshipman on board the Indefatigable frigate, Captain Sir Edward Pellew, with whom he continued until the peace of Amiens[1], when he joined the Foudroyant 80, bearing the flag of Lord Keith, on the Mediterranean station. From that ship he was promoted into the Medusa frigate, June 1802.

It is unnecessary, in this place, to recapitulate the services in which Mr. Hart participated, while serving under the command of Sir Edward Pellew: the manner in which the Medusa was employed will be seen by reference to an enlarged memoir of Vice-Admiral Sir John Gore, at the end of Supp. Part II.

On the arrival of the Medusa at Madras, Lieutenant Hart met there the sincere and valuable friend under whose auspices he had first become a sailor, and who was then commander-in-chief on the East India station. By that officer he was immediately received on board the Culloden 74, as flag-lieutenant; and afterwards successively appointed acting-captain of the Duncan, Caroline, and Fox frigates.

The Caroline formed part of the squadron under Sir Edward Pellew, at the total extermination of the Dutch naval force in India, Dec. 11, 1807[2]. The boats of the Fox captured and brought out from under the batteries at Sapara, la Carravanne, a French vessel mounting eight 4-pounders, from Batavia, bound to Sourabaya, Mar. 23, 1809.

After serving nearly four years as an acting-captain, ill health obliged this officer to leave the East Indies, and on his return home he had the mortification to find that Lord Mulgrave had only confirmed him as a commander, by commission dated Oct. 12, 1807. That nobleman’s successor, however (the Right Hon. Charles Yorke), received him in the most handsome manner; immediately appointed him to the Thracian brig, of 18 guns; and followed up his disinterested kindness, by advancing him to post rank, on the 1st Aug. 1811.

Captain Hart’s next appointment was, Dec. 10, 1813, to the Revenge 74, bearing the flag of his friend Sir John Gore, on the Mediterranean station. In Mar. 1818, the same officer nominated him to be his flag-captain at Chatham, but a recent regulation at the admiralty prevented this arrangement from being carried into effect. He subsequently commanded the Sapphire 26, on the Jamaica station, from whence he returned home invalided, as a passenger on board the Tartar frigate, Aug. 28, 1820.

Agents.– Messrs. Cooke, Halford, and Son.