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Royal Naval Biography/Smith, Andrew


ANDREW SMITH, Esq
Rear-Admiral of the Blue.

This officer is descended from a very respectable family in North Britain; was born in Edinburgh March 20, 1763, and commenced his naval career in June 1779, on board the Princess of Wales, a hired armed ship. He afterwards served for a short time in the Santa Margaritta frigate, and in June 1780, joined the Victory, of 100 guns, bearing the flag of Admiral Geary, Commander-in-Chief of the Channel fleet. On the 3d of the following month he was present at the capture of twelve sail of French merchantmen, from Port-au-Prince, St. Domingo, whose cargoes were valued at 91,000l. sterling.

In Feb. 1781, Mr. Smith was removed into the Fortitude, 74, commanded by the late Sir Richard Bickerton, and forming part of the armament sent under Vice-Admiral Darby to the relief of Gibraltar, in the spring of that year[1]. On her return to Spithead, the Fortitude received the flag of Sir Hyde Parker, who had recently been appointed to the command of a squadron destined to escort seven hundred sail of merchant vessels from Leith to the Baltic. Returning from that service, Sir Hyde fell in with the Dutch Admiral Zoutman off the Dogger Bank, and a bloody battle ensued, during which the Fortitude had 20 men killed and 67 wounded[2]. During the remainder of the war she was employed in a variety of services, and among others assisted at the capture of a French convoy by the fleet under Vice-Admiral Barrington[3]; at the relief of Gibraltar by Lord Howe[4]; and was engaged in the partial action with the combined fleets of France and Spain, off Cape Spartel, Oct. 20, 1782, on which occasion she had 2 men killed and 9 wounded.

The Fortitude was paid off at Plymouth in April 1783, and Mr. Smith soon after joined the Ratler sloop, in which he went to the coast of Guinea, and from thence to the West Indies, where he was removed into the Adamant, of 50 guns, bearing the flag of Sir Richard Hughes, with whom he returned to England in 1786.

From this period, Mr. Smith does not appear to have been afloat till June 1789, when we again find him serving under the same officer in the Adamant, on the American station. From that ship he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in the Ratler, Aug. 10, 1790, and continued in her till she was put out of commission in June, 1792. His next appointment was to the Incendiary fire-vessel, in which he served from Feb. 1793 to Aug. 1794, and then became first Lieutenant of the Defence, 74, commanded by the present Lord Gambier, with whom he was appointed to the Prince George, a second rate, attached to the Channel fleet under Lord Bridport.

Immediately after the action off l’Orient, June 23, 1795[5], on which occasion the Prince George was commanded by Captain William Edge, our officer was advanced to the rank of Commander, and early in the following year appointed to the Calypso sloop of war. His post-commission bears date Jan. 6, 1797. We now lose sight of him till 1805, when he obtained an appointment to the Sea Fencibles at Lynn, whence he was removed to the Berwick district in Sept. 1807, and continued on the same service until the breaking up of that corps in 1810. During the ensuing three years he superintended the Impress service at Greenock; and from Nov. 1813 to Sept. 1815, commanded the Latona, bearing the flag of Sir W. Johnstone Hope, at Leith. His promotion to the rank he now holds took place July 19, 1821.

Rear-Admiral Smith married, April 20, 1795, Maria, only child of the late William Hulke, Esq., by whom he has two sons and two daughters.

Residence.– Hawthornlee, Berwickshire, N.B.