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Royal Naval Biography/Russell, Robert


ROBERT RUSSELL, Esq.
[Commander.]

Is, we believe, related to the Marchioness of Cleveland.

This officer passed his examination on the 8th April, 1826, being then upwards of twenty years of age; obtained his first commission on the 30th April, 1827; served as lieutenant under Captain (now Sir Thomas) Fellowes, in the Dartmouth frigate, at the battle of Navarin; and was promoted to the command of the Wolf sloop, on the Mediterranean station, Dec. 2d, 1829. He joined that vessel, from the Dartmouth, Feb. 12th, 1830; and was dismissed the service for getting her ashore at the back of the Isle of Wight, on the night of March 10th following. His trial by court-martial took place at Portsmouth, and his judges agreed that the Wolf “was run on shore by the inattention and neglect of her commander, and of Mr. Richard Hodges, her master, by not making a proper allowance for the flood tide, and by disobeying the standing orders stated in the general printed instructions, at page 87, – that on all occasions when a ship is in pilot water, or in the neighbourhood of land, of rocks, and of shoals, the captain or commander is to take particular care that the lead is kept constantly going, whether the pilot or master think it necessary or not; and at page 107, – that the master is to be always attentive to the manner in which she is conducted, and to see the lead carefully hove.” In addition to the dismissal of Commander Russell, Mr. Hodges was sentenced to be severely reprimanded, and placed at the bottom of the list of masters.

The subject of this sketch was restored to his former rank about Nov. 1830; and appointed to the Victor sloop, lying in the River Douro, destined to the West Indies, Dec. 27th, 1831. He subsequently captured a Spanish vessel from Africa, bound to Cuba, having on board 526 slaves. He returned home, via Halifax and Newfoundland, Sept. 23d, 1834.