Royal Naval Biography/Haye, George
GEORGE HAYE, Esq.
[Captain of 1829.]
Was made a lieutenant in Aug. 1808; and commanded the barges of the Cerberus and Active frigates, at the capture of four Venetian trabaccolos, under a heavy fire of musketry from the soldiers quartered at Pestichi, on the N.E. coast of Italy, Feb. 3d, 1811. A few days afterwards he commanded the launch of the Active in another gallant affair, under the town of Ortano, as will be seen by the following extracts of an official letter written by Captain Henry Whitby, of the Cerberus:–
“Feb. 13th, 1811.
“On the morning of the 12th instant we discovered several vessels lying under the town of Ortano; and as the wind was light, the boats of both ships were despatched, under the orders of Lieutenant (James) Dickinson, first of the Cerberus, to bring them out if practicable. On the near approach of the boats to the vessels, a fire of great guns and small arms was instantly opened from an armed trabaccolo, and soldiers posted on the beach and hills commanding the bay; our boats formed in close order, gave three hearty cheers, and in a few minutes cleared all before them, the men from the vessels and the troops on shore running in all directions.
“To prevent any annoyance whilst the prizes were bringing out, Lieutenant Dickinson landed with the marines embarked in the Active, and a division of small-arm men, taking a strong position on the hills, and planting the British flag at the very gates of the town, whilst the launches, under Lieutenants Haye and Campston, with the barge of the Active, under Mr. James Gibson, master’s-mate, were employed in covering them with the carronades. This judicious and advantageous movement was of the greatest service to those employed at the sea-side, as it kept the soldiers and inhabitants, who had collected in great force, in check, and allowed the work which had been so ably undertaken, to be most fully completed; as in addition to the convoy, consisting of ten sail, (under the trabaccolo armed with six guns) which was found in the harbour, laden with grain, oil, &c. two large magazines filled with all sorts of naval and military stores, destined for the garrison of Corfu, was most completely destroyed by fire; and I feel convinced the enemy will suffer most severely by this capture, as they must have been some time in making so large a collection. * * * * * * I have much pleasure in adding, that our loss has been only four wounded; and when it is considered that they were exposed to a teasing fire from the bushes and houses, for five hours, it will I trust, be thought trifling in comparison with the annoyance the enemy have received. * * * * * * No language I can make use of is strong enough to express the zeal and conduct of every person concerned.”
On the 13th Mar. following, Lieutenant Haye was severely burnt on board the French prize-frigate Corona, taken the same day by a squadron under Captain William Hoste, near Lissa. On the 27th July, though then still an invalid, he very handsomely volunteered to assist in an attack upon twenty-eight vessels, lying in a creek near the island of Ragosuiza, and laden with grain for the garrison of Ragusa. On the 29th Nov., same year, he was slightly wounded in action with la Pomone French frigate, forming part of a squadron from Corfu bound to Trieste. On this latter occasion his captain, now Sir James Alexander Gordon, lost a leg; “but,” says the senior officer of the British force, “thank God he is doing well. His first lieutenant Dashwood, lost his arm soon after, and the ship was fought by Lieutenant Haye, in a manner that reflects the highest honor upon him; his services before had frequently merited and obtained the highest approbation.”
On the 19th May, 1812, Mr. Haye was promoted to the rank of commander; but he does not appear to have been again employed previous to Feb. 1814, when he received a commission for the Pelter brig, in which vessel he returned home from Bermuda about July, 1815. He subsequently commanded the Raleigh sloop, on the Mediterranean station, where he was serving when advanced to his present rank. Mar. 4th, 1829.