Royal Naval Biography/Keen, Robert
ROBERT KEEN, Esq.
[Post-Captain of 1810.]
Was made a Lieutenant in 1783; appointed to the Penelope cutter in 1793; and promoted to the rank of Commander in 1797.
On the 21st June, 1798, Captain Keen, then commanding the Chapman hired armed ship, joined a squadron of frigates under the orders of Sir Thomas Williams, employed in cooperation with the King’s troops near Wexford; and was directed by that officer to anchor close in shore, for the purpose of covering the boats of the squadron, which had been sent to block up the entrance of the harbour, the Irish rebels having collected a number of vessels, in order to secure their retreat if hard pressed by the royalists. At the same time. Captain Keen was ordered to land, and endeavour to possess himself of a fort at the entrance; which service he performed with great promptitude and alacrity, compelling 200 rebels to fly, with the loss of their colours and three pieces of cannon: Finding the fort in his possession, the boats immediately pushed up the harbour and secured the enemy’s vessels. General Lake having in the mean time obtained a signal victory over their main body at Vinegar Hill, and a detachment from his army having entered Wexford so opportunely as to prevent that town from being laid in ashes.
Captain Keen’s subsequent appointments were, to the Spitfire sloop, the Rye district of Sea Fencibles, and the Echo, a new brig, in which vessel he captured the French lugger privateer Capricieux, of 16 guns, near Dieppe, March 11, 1810. His advancement to post rank took place Oct. 21, in the same year.
Agent.– John Copland, Esq.