Royal Naval Biography/Shaw, Isaac


Obtained the rank of lieutenant in June, 1801. We first find him serving under Captain (now Commodore) Charles Bullen, who “speaks in high praise of his gallantry,” in command of the boats of la Volontaire frigate, at the capture and destruction of a fort near Marseilles, in 1809[1]. On the 26th of Dec. 1811, that officer’s successor reported to Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Pellew as follows:

H.M.S. Volontaire, off Palamos.

“Sir,– While off the Medas Islands this morning, a boat informed me that an enemy’s schooner had arrived at this port the night before last. I immediately stood in and anchored off the mole, where she was lying. Lieutenant Shaw, with Mr. Banantyne, master’s-mate, in the boats, went to bring her out, while the marines under Lieutenants Burton and Campbell, of that corps, admirably maintained a covering position on the mole-head, against a party of French troops, who disputed the post with them. As large reinforcements were pouring in from the adjacent garrisons, and the vessel was grounded, Lieutenant Shaw act fire to her; but floating afterwards, he towed her out to us, when the fire was extinguished; not, however, before it had done great damage.

“She proves to be la Decidé, a new privateer, mounting two long six-pounders, pierced for six, carrying a cargo of provisions from Cette to Barcelona. This service, so laudably performed by all employed, has, fortunately, been attended with no other accident than one marine wounded.

(Signed)G. G. Waldegrave.”

On the 20th of April, 1812, Lieutenant Shaw assisted at the capture and destruction of a French national schooner and twenty merchant vessels, near the mouth of the Rhone;[2] and on the 23d of June following, he commanded the boats of the Volontaire, at the capture of a felucca, la Colombe, mounting one long gun and eight swivels, with a complement of 45 men. On this occasion, he had a midshipman and two sailors wounded; of the enemy three were slain and seven wounded. On the 31st of Mar. 1813, Captain Waldegrave reported the capture and destruction of two strong batteries and fourteen merchant vessels, at Morjean, by detachments from the Volontaire, Undaunted, and Redwing, the whole under the command of Lieutenant Shaw; who, on the 2d of May in the same year, was wounded whilst similarly employed[3]. His promotion to the rank of commander took place on the 9th of Aug. 1813.