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Royal Naval Biography/Skene, Alexander

[Post-Captain of 1802.]

This officer was made a Lieutenant in 1793; and obtained the rank of Commander, in the Lynx sloop of war, on the Halifax station, Nov. 18, 1799. His post commission bears date April 29, 1802. At the commencement of the late war he commanded the Lapwing of 28 guns; and subsequently the Leander 50, bearing the flag of the late Sir Andrew Mitchell, on the coast of America. His next appointment was to the Guerriere frigate, in which he captured the Malvina and Peraty, French privateers, the former of 14 guns and 60 men, the latter (formerly H.M. cutter Barbara) of 12 guns and 90 men. The Peraty was discovered cruising in the track of a valuable Jamaica fleet, of which she had obtained most correct information, as to their strength, number, and situation, from the master of an American brig, who had himself claimed and received the protection of that convoy, which he betrayed to the enemy in twenty-four hours after parting company.

Captain Skene was afterwards appointed in succession to the Hussar frigate, and several line-of-battle ships, on various stations. Towards the close of the late contest with America he served as Flag-Captain to the Hon. Sir Alexander Cochrane; as also during part of that officer’s recent command at Plymouth. He married, Mar. 30, 1814, Miss Charlotte Fordyce, niece to the Marquis of Huntley; and died at Edinburgh, Sept. 14, 1823. His brother John, a Lieutenant of the 42d regiment, fell a victim to the Walcheren fever, Oct. 3, 1810

A miniature of Captain Skene, by A. Robertson, was exhibited at the Royal Academy, in 1805.