Royal Naval Biography/Wray, Luke Henry


Was made a lieutenant on the 14th April, 1805. We first find him serving on board the Port Mahon sloop, Captain Samuel Chambers, who, in June 1806, made a report as follows to the commander-in-chief on the Jamaica station:–

“Sir,– A Spanish armed brig was yesterday (25th), chased by H.M. sloop Port Mahon into the intricate harbour of Banes, which is defended by a hif^h tower mounted with two heavy guns. At 9 p.m. the boats were dispatched under the command of Lieutenant John Marshall, assisted by Lieutenant Wray, to get her out. This morning, at one o’clock, she was boarded under a heavy fire of great guns and small arms from the vessel and battery, (to which she was moored by a hawser,) and carried. Much difficulty attended getting her out, as she grounded within pistol-shot of the tower, from which several shots struck her. She proves to be the Spanish letter-of-marque San Josef, armed with one long 18-pounder on a pivot amidships, four 12-pounder carronades, and two long 4-pounders, with swivels, pikes, musketry, and thirty men, from Havannah bound to Campeachy, laden with brandy, dry goods, &c. It is very gratifying for me to add, that although several of the oars were broke, and the boats damaged by shot whilst rowing to the attack, yet not a man was hurt. I hope. Sir, you will conceive that the capture of this vessel, situated and defended as above recited, was fully adequate to the force employed, and that it reflects great credit on the officers and seamen employed. I have the honor to be, &c.

(Signed)Samuel Chambers.”

To Vice-Admiral J. R. Dacres, &c. &c.

On the 1st Nov. 1821, Mr. Wray was appointed senior lieutenant of the Andromache frigate, fitting out for the broad pendant of Commodore Nourse, on whose demise, Sept. 4th, 1824, he appointed himself to the command of that ship, then returning to Mauritius from the eastern coast of Africa. His promotion to the rank of commander took place Dec. 20th, 1824; and he appears to have arrived at Portsmouth in the l’Espiegle sloop, from the Cape of Good Hope station, Dec. 16th, 1825.