Royal Naval Biography/Matson, Henry

[Post-Captain of 1802.]

This officer was born at Sandwich, co. Kent; and entered the naval service, in 1790, as a Midshipman on board the Arrogant, of 74 guns, commanded by his maternal uncle the late Captain John Harvey, whose heroic conduct on the memorable 1st June, 1794, we have already noticed at p. 613 of our first volume.

From the Arrogant Mr. Matson was very soon removed into the Rose of 28 guns; in which ship, and the Hussar frigate, he completed his probationary term of service on the Halifax station, where he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the Rover, a Bermuda built sloop of war, about the month of June, 1796.

In the following year Lieutenant Matson proceeded to the West Indies, and joined the Prince of Wales, a second rate, bearing the flag of his uncle the late Sir Henry Harvey, K.B., by whom he was made a Commander, and appointed to the Cyane of 18 guns, Mar. 22, 1799. His post commission bears date Dec. 15, 1802.

After serving for some time as Flag-Captain to Commodore Sir Samuel Hood, he commanded the Blenheim of 74 guns, as a private ship, till July 1803, when he joined the Venus frigate, and sailed for England as convoy to the homeward bound trade. During the ensuing four years we find him employed as a cruiser on the Irish, Boulogne, and Leeward islands’ stations. On the 10th July, 1805, he captured l’Hirondelle, French privateer, of 16 guns and 90 men; and early in 1807, la Determinée, of 14 guns and 108 men. He returned to England with a valuable fleet under his protection in the autumn of 1807; and on his arrival was presented by the masters thereof with a piece of plate, as a testimony of their gratitude for the attention he had paid to them during the voyage.

Captain Matson’s next appointment was, in Mar. 1809, to the St. Fiorenzo of 40 guns, which frigate formed part of the expedition sent against Walcheren in the summer of that year. He was put out of commission in Mar. 1810; and has ever since been on half pay.

Agents.– Messrs. Maude.