Royal Naval Biography/Paget, William
RIGHT HON. LORD WILLIAM PAGET
[Post-Captain of 1826.]
Second son of the Marquis of Anglesey, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, K.G., G.C.B., &c. &c. &c., by Lady Caroline Elizabeth, daughter of the fourth Earl of Jersey.
This officer was born on the 1st of March, 1803; and he appears to have first embarked as midshipman, on board the Severn 50, commanded, pro tempore, by Captain the Hon. Robert C. Spencer, in Mar. 1817. He shortly afterwards followed that officer into the Ganymede 26; and we subsequently find him serving on board the Glasgow and Briton frigates. His first commission beats date April 18th, 1823; from which period he served as a lieutenant of the Aurora 46, Captain Henry Prescott, and Fly 18, acting Commander William F. Martin, on the South American station, until promoted to the command of the Fly, April 20th, 1825. On the 23d of Dec. following, he was appointed to the Philomel sloop, fitting out for the Mediterranean station; and an the 18th of Oct. 1826, advanced to the rank of captain. From Nov. 1827 till Feb. 1829, he commanded the Royal Charlotte yacht, at Dublin; and on the 12th of Dec. in the latter year, he was appointed to the North Star 28, in which ship he has already visited Madeira, Barbadoes, Jamaica, Halifax, and Bermuda.
On the 5th of Feb. 1831, a court-martial was assembled at Portsmouth, to enquire into circumstances connected with the punishment and death of William Heritage, a boy belonging to the North Star, and to try Lord William Paget for his conduct on the occasion. On the 7th, having heard the evidence produced by the father of the deceased boy, in support of the charge, and by Lord William in his defence, together with what he had to allege in aid thereof, and having maturely and deliberately weighed and considered the whole, the court decided that the charge of cruelly flogging the said William Heritage had not been proved against the prisoner, but that it was “altogether unfounded and malicious;” and that the death of the boy was in no way to be attributed to the conduct of his captain; that it had been proved that the said boy had received, during the period of his service on board the North Star, only twelve lashes; that the offence committed by the deceased was sufficient to justify the infliction of those lashes; and that the order for the punishment of the boy subsequently given, which appears to have led to his jumping overboard, was also justified by his repeated misconduct. The court did, therefore, adjudge Lord William Paget to be “most fully and most honorably acquitted.”
His lordship married, Jan. 22d, 1827, the only daughter of Lieutenant-General Baron de Rottenburg, Knight of the Royal Hanoverian Guelphic Order.