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Royal Naval Biography/Wroot, Michael Milsom


MICHAEL MILSOM WROOT, Esq.
[Commander.]

Was born at Whitgift, near Howden, co. York. We first find him serving on board the Requin brig. Lieutenant S. Powell, employed in Quiberon Bay, where he suffered shipwreck on a sunken rock, in the night of Feb. 1st, 1801. Owing to this disaster, twenty-one of that vessel’s crew were taken prisoners; and the remainder only saved from almost inevitable death or captivity by the boats of the Excellent 74, Captain the Hon. Robert Stopford.

Mr. Wroot was appointed an acting lieutenant in July 1807; and obtained his first commission on the 21st Nov. following. During the last two years of the European war, he served under the flag of Lord Amelius Beauclerk, in the Royal Oak 74, principally employed in cruising off the Azores, and between the North Cape and Iceland, for the purpose of intercepting the national ships and privateers of America.

In May 1814, Lord Amelius having struck his flag, the Royal Oak, then commanded by Captain Edward Dix, was ordered to the mouth of the Gironde river, from whence she conveyed Rear-Admiral (now Sir Pulteney) Malcolm to Bermuda and the mouth of the Potowmac, accompanied by a body of troops under Major-General Ross, destined to capture the North American capital. On the termination of the operations against Washington, Baltimore, and Alexandria, of which we have, in former volumes, given outlines, Rear-Admiral Malcolm was left with a squadron under his command in the Patuxent, from whence he soon proceeded to Negril bay, Jamaica, the grand rendezvous of the expedition against Louisiana.

Lieutenant Wroot commanded the boats of the Royal Oak at the capture of the American flotilla, on Lac Borgne, Dec. 14th, 1814[1]; and had the command of a party of seamen on shore, brigaded under Captain Sir E. T. Troubridge, at the unsuccessful siege of New Orleans. Since then he has served in the Active 46; Superb 78, bearing the broad pendant of Sir Thomas M. Hardy, on the South American station; Bulwark J6; and, as flag-lieutenant to Lord Amelius Beauclerk, in various ships on the Lisbon station; where he was appointed by that officer. May 11th, 1827, second captain of the Spartiate 76; and, in the beginning of July following, governor of the forts at the entrance of the Tagus, garrisoned by British marines, which responsible office he retained until the presence of the army under Lieutenant-General Sir W. H. Clinton, sent out to protect Portugal from invasion, was no longer requisite. He returned home in the Spartiate, May 1st, 1828.

Commander Wroot married in 1832, Harriet, daughter of Captain John Wentworth Holland, R.N.