The 1st Viscount Exmouth
Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth
|Born||19 April 1757|
|Died||23 January 1833 75) (aged|
Teignmouth, Devon, England
|Years of service||1770–1820|
|Commands held|| Commander-in-Chief, East Indies |
|Battles/wars|| American War of Independence |
French Revolutionary Wars
Second Barbary War
|Awards||Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath|
|Relations||Israel Pellew (brother)|
Admiral Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth, GCB (19 April 1757 – 23 January 1833) was a British naval officer. He fought during the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary Wars, and the Napoleonic Wars. His younger brother Israel Pellew also pursued a naval career.
Pellew was born at Dover, the second son of Samuel Pellew (1712–1764), commander of a Dover packet,and his wife, Constantia Langford.
The Pellew family was Cornish, descended from a family that came originally from Normandy, but had for many centuries been settled in the west of Cornwall. Edward's grandfather, Humphrey Pellew (1650–1721), a merchant and ship owner, son of a naval officer, resided at Flushing manor-house in the parish of Mylor. Part of the town of Flushing was built by Samuel Trefusis, MP for Penryn; the other part was built by Humphrey Pellew, who was buried there. He also had a property and a tobacco plantation in Maryland. Part of the town of Annapolis stands on what was, before the revolt of the colonies, the estate of the Pellews.
On the death of Edward's father in 1764 the family removed to Penzance, and Pellew was educated for some years at Truro Grammar School.He was a pugnacious youth, which did not endear him to his headmaster. He ran away to sea at the age of 14, but soon deserted because of unfair treatment to another midshipman. Pellew described himself as "pock-marked, ugly, uninteresting and uneducated"; a naval historian adds that he was "tough, brave, skilful, lucky, and unscrupulous".
In 1770, Pellew entered the Royal Navy on board HMS Junowith Captain John Stott, and made a voyage to the Falkland Islands. In 1772, he followed Stott to the Alarm, and in her was in the Mediterranean for three years. In consequence of a high-spirited quarrel with his captain, he was put on shore at Marseilles where he found an old friend of his father's in command of a merchant ship. He was able to get a passage to Lisbon and so home. He afterwards was in the Blonde which took General John Burgoyne to America in the spring of 1776 under the command of Captain Philemon Pownoll. In October, Pellew and midshipman Brown were detached for service in the Carleton tender on Lake Champlain under Lieutenant Dacres. During the Battle of Valcour Island on 11 October, Dacres and Brown were both severely wounded, and the command devolved on Pellew. Pellew extricated the vessel from a position of great danger by his personal gallantry. As a reward for his service, he was immediately appointed to command the Carleton. In December, Lord Howe promised him a commission as lieutenant when he could reach New York, and in the following January Lord Sandwich wrote promising to promote him when he came to England. In the summer of 1777, Pellew and a small party of seamen were attached to the army under Burgoyne, and he was present in the fighting at Saratoga, where his youngest brother John was killed. He and the rest of the force were taken prisoner. After the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga, he was repatriated.
He returned to England and was promoted on 9 January 1778 to be lieutenant of the Princess Amelia guardship at Portsmouth. He wanted to be appointed to a seagoing ship, but Lord Sandwich considered that he was bound by the terms of the surrender at Saratoga not to undertake any active service. Towards the end of the year, he was appointed to the Licorne which went out to Newfoundland in the spring of 1779, returning in the winter, when Pellew was moved into the Apollo with his old captain Pownoll. On 15 June 1780, the Apollo engaged a large French privateer, the Stanislaus, off Ostend. Pownoll was killed by a musket-shot, but Pellew continued the action and dismasted the Stanislaus, driving her on shore where she was protected by the neutrality of the coast. On the 18th, Lord Sandwich wrote to him: "I will not delay informing you that I mean to give you immediate promotion as a reward for your gallant and officer-like conduct." On 1 July, he was accordingly promoted to the command of the Hazard sloop, which was employed for the next six months on the east coast of Scotland and was then paid off.
In March 1782, Pellew was appointed to the Pelican, [ citation needed ] On 28 April while cruising on the coast of Brittany, he engaged three privateers and drove them on shore. In special reward for this service, he was promoted to post rank on 25 May and, ten days later, was appointed to the temporary command of the Artois, in which he captured a large frigate-built privateer on 1 July.a small French prize, so small indeed that he used to say "his servant could dress his hair from the deck while he sat in the cabin."
From 1786 to 1789, he commanded the frigate Winchelsea under the Commander-in-Chief, Newfoundland,returning home each winter by Cadiz and Lisbon. Afterwards, he commanded the Salisbury on the same station as flag-captain to Vice-Admiral Milbanke. In 1791, he was placed on half-pay and tried his hand at farming on Treverry Farm near Helston, a property owned by his brother who was a senior customs officer of Flushing. This met with indifferent success, during which time he attempted to sell a bull, only to find that it was in the ownership of a neighbouring farmer.
The Russians offered him a command in the Russian navy but Pellew declined the offer. He was still struggling with the difficulties of his farm when the revolutionary government of France declared war on Great Britain on 1 February 1793.
Pellew immediately applied for a ship and was appointed to the Nymphe, a 36-gun frigate which he fitted out in a remarkably short time. He had expected a good deal of difficulty in manning her and had enlisted some 80 Cornish miners who were sent round to the ship at Spithead. He put to sea with these and about a dozen seamen, plus officers who were obliged to help in the work aloft. He filled his complement of crew by pressing from the merchant ships in the Channel, but with very few seasoned navy men. On 18 June, Nymphe sailed from Falmouth on the news that two French frigates had been seen in the Channel.
At the Action of 18 June 1793, Nymphe fell in with the Cléopâtre , also of 36 guns and commanded by Captain Jean Mullon, one of the few officers of the ancien régime who still remained in the French navy. After a short but very sharp action, Cléopâtre's mizzenmast and wheel were shot away, making the ship unmanageable, and it fell foul of the Nymphe. Pellew's crew boarded her in a fierce rush and captured her. Mullon was mortally wounded, and died trying to swallow his commission, which in his dying agony he had mistaken for the code of secret signals. The code thus fell intact into Pellew's hands; he sent it to the admiralty. Cléopâtre was the first frigate taken in the war and was brought to Portsmouth. The Earl of Chatham presented Pellew to the king on 29 June, and the king knighted him.
Pellew transferred to HMS Arethusa in December 1793. In 1794, Arethusa was part of the western squadron of frigates based at Falmouth under Sir John Borlase Warren. On 23 April, the squadron engaged a French squadron to the southwest of Guernsey, the stronger British force quickly overpowering their opponents in an action where Arethusa played the primary role in fighting the Pomone, at the time the largest frigate in service. Pomone surrendered after an engagement that lasted less than half an hour. The French had suffered between 80 and 100 casualties; Arethusa had only three dead and five wounded. Warren's squadron went on to destroy one frigate and capture another. They also drove ashore the corvettes Alerte and Espion , both of which had been Royal Navy sloops. Pellew refused to burn either ship, as they contained wounded men, and the French later refloated Espion. The squadron also captured many vessels from French coastal convoys.
By 1794, he was commodore of the Western Frigate Squadron. In 1795, he took command of HMS Indefatigable, the ship with which he is most closely associated. The squadron also comprised the frigates HMS Argo, HMS Concord, HMS Révolutionnaire, and HMS Amazon.
He was a good swimmer and noted for saving the lives of several seamen who had fallen overboard. The most striking life-saving event was on 26 January 1796 when the East Indiaman Dutton was carrying more than four hundred troops, together with many women and children, when it ran aground under Plymouth Hoe. Due to the heavy seas, the crew and soldiers aboard were unable to get to shore. Pellew swam out to the wreck with a line and, with help from young Irishman Jeremiah Coghlan, helped rig a lifeline that saved almost all aboard. For this feat he was created a baronet on 18 March 1796.
On 13 April 1796, off the coasts of Ireland, his squadron captured the French frigate Unité, and the Virginie nine days later.
His most noted action was the Action of 13 January 1797, cruising in company with HMS Amazon, when the British sighted the French 74-gun ship of the line Droits de l'Homme. Normally, a ship of the line would over-match two frigates, but by skillful sailing in the stormy conditions, the frigates avoided bearing the brunt of the superior firepower of the French. In the early morning of 14 January, the three ships were embayed on a lee shore in Audierne Bay. Both the Droits de l'Homme and Amazon ran aground, but Indefatigable managed to claw her way off the lee shore to safety.
Pellew was also responsible for pressing young violinist and composer Joseph Antonio Emidy who had been playing in the Lisbon Opera orchestra.
Pellew was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1804. He was then appointed Commander-in-Chief, East Indies. It took six months to sail out to Penang, so he took up the appointment in 1805.
When in February 1808 Pellew was at sea in his flagship, HMS Culloden, he heard of the outbreak of war between the United Kingdom and Denmark. He immediately sailed to the Danish settlement at Tranquebar, taking it by surprise. When Admiral Drury arrived to replace Pellew as C-in-C, East Indies, and to seize Tranquebar, he found that he was too late. Pellew's seizing the moment gained him some £40,000–50,000 in prize money.
Following his return from the east in 1809, he was appointed to the position of Commander-in-Chief, North Sea from 1810 to 1811and Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, from 1811 to 1814, and again from 1815 to 1816.
In 1814, he was made Baron Exmouth of Canonteign. In 1816, he led an Anglo-Dutch fleet against the Barbary states. Victory at the Bombardment of Algiers secured the release of the 1,200 Christian slaves in the city.For this action, he was created 1st Viscount Exmouth on 10 December 1816. Following his return to England, he became Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth from 1817 to 1821, when he effectively retired from active service. He continued to attend and speak in the House of Lords. In 1832, he was appointed Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom and Admiral of the Red Squadron of His Majesty's Fleet, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath, also of the Royal and distinguished Order of Charles III of Spain, of the Military Order of William of the Netherlands, of the Royal Sicilian Order of St. Ferdinand and Merit, of the Order of St Maurice and St Lazarus of Sardinia, Knight of the Most Honourable and Most Ancient Order of the Annunziata of the Royal House of Savoy, High Steward of Great Yarmouth, and one of the Elder Brethren of the Hon. Corporation of the Trinity House.
He bought Bitton House in Teignmouth in 1812 and it was his home until his death in 1833. He was buried in Christow on the eastern edge of Dartmoor on 30 Jan 1833. A note on the parish burial record states, "No Singing, No Sermon". The museum in Teignmouth has a comprehensive collection of artefacts that belonged to him.
On 28 May 1783, Pellew married Susan Frowde.They had four sons and two daughters. These children were:
The Sir Edward Pellew Group of Islands situated in the Gulf of Carpentaria were named after Pellew by Matthew Flinders, who visited them in 1802. Other Australian geographical features include Cape Pellew (adjacent to the islands) and Exmouth Gulf.
Point Pellew, Alaska was named after Pellew by Captain George Vancouver during his expedition in 1794.
Palau (formerly the Pellew or Pelew Islands), east of the Philippines, is often said to be named for Edward Pellew, but it was called that by Captain Henry Wilson in 1783 which was well before Pellew came to prominence. It appears to be an anglicization of the indigenous name Belau.
There is also a building named after him in HMS Raleigh, where Naval basic training is conducted, that is used as sleeping quarters for new recruits. Additionally, a Sea Cadet Unit in Truro is called T.S. Pellew.
A building at Wyvern Barracks in Exeter, Devon is used as a temporary billet and a training facility for the Army Cadet force as well as other units. It was handed over to the army from the navy. However, it retains the name Pellew House in memory of Sir Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth.
Pellew is featured as the Captain of Indefatigable in some of C. S. Forester's fictional Horatio Hornblower novels. In the television adaptations, he is portrayed by Robert Lindsay and given a more prominent role. He appears as a midshipman in the novel Jack Absolute by Chris Humphreys. Pellew is the name of a minor character in several of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey–Maturin novels, including The Reverse of the Medal and The Surgeon's Mate . He has a small role as a captain in the American Revolution in Rabble in Arms , a historical novel by Kenneth Roberts. He appears in Alexander Kent's Adam Bolitho novel Relentless Pursuit , which partially relates to Pellew's expedition against the Barbary States. He also appears in the twenty-second Thomas Kydd novel, To The Eastern Seas by Julian Stockwin.
Sir John Thomas Duckworth, 1st Baronet, GCB was an officer of the Royal Navy, serving during the Seven Years' War, the American War of Independence, the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars, as the Governor of Newfoundland during the War of 1812, and a member of the British House of Commons during his semi-retirement. Duckworth, a vicar's son, achieved much in a naval career that began at the age of 11.
The Bombardment of Algiers was an attempt by Britain and the Netherlands to end the slavery practices of Omar Agha, the Dey of Algiers. An Anglo-Dutch fleet under the command of Admiral Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth bombarded ships and the harbour defences of Algiers.
Pownoll Bastard Pellew, 2nd Viscount Exmouth was an English peer and officer of the Royal Navy. He was the eldest son of Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth and his wife Susan Pellew. Like his father, and his younger brother Fleetwood Pellew, he served in the Royal Navy and attained the rank of Post Captain in 1806. He did not achieve great success in the Navy despite the influence of his father.
Admiral Sir Israel Pellew, KCB, RN, was an English naval officer who spent his career under the shadow of his more successful older brother Edward Pellew.
HMS Arethusa was a 38-gun Minerva-class fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy built at Bristol in 1781. She served in three wars and made a number of notable captures before she was broken up in 1815.
The Action of 23 April 1794 took place between a British squadron of five frigates under the command of Sir John Borlase Warren and three frigates and a corvette under the command of Chef d'escadre F. Desgarceaux during the French Revolutionary Wars. Three of the French ships were captured.
The Action of 13 January 1797 was a minor naval battle fought between a French ship of the line and two British frigates off the coast of Brittany during the French Revolutionary Wars. During the action the frigates outmanoeuvred the much larger French vessel and drove it onto shore in heavy seas, resulting in the deaths of between 400 and 1,000 of the 1,300 persons aboard. One of the British frigates was also lost in the engagement with six sailors drowned after running onto a sandbank while failing to escape a lee shore.
William Mounsey CB was a British officer of the Royal Navy. He served during the American Revolutionary, the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, rising to the rank of Captain.
Cléopâtre was a 32-gun Vénus class frigate of the French Navy. She was designed by Jacques-Noël Sané, and had a coppered hull. She was launched in 1781, and the British captured her in 1793. She then served the Royal Navy as HMS Oiseau until she was broken up in 1816.
Admiral Sir Fleetwood Broughton Reynolds Pellew CB KCH was an officer of the Royal Navy who served during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
Sir Lawrence William Halsted GCB was an officer of the Royal Navy who served during the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.
The Java campaign of 1806–1807 was a minor campaign during the Napoleonic Wars by British Royal Navy forces against a naval squadron of the Kingdom of Holland, a client state of the French Empire, based on the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies. Seeking to eliminate any threat to valuable British merchant convoys passing through the Malacca Straits, Rear-Admiral Sir Edward Pellew determined in early 1806 that the Dutch naval forces based at Java, which included several ships of the line and three frigates, had to be defeated to ensure British dominance in the region. Lacking the forces to effect an invasion of the Dutch colony, Pellew instead sought to isolate and blockade the Dutch squadron based at Batavia in preparation for raids specifically targeting the Dutch ships with his main force.
The Raid on Griessie was a British attack on the Dutch port of Griessie on Java in the Dutch East Indies in December 1807 during the Napoleonic Wars. The raid was the final action in a series of engagements fought by the British squadron based in the Indian Ocean against the Dutch naval forces in Java, and it completed the destruction of the Dutch squadron with the scuttling of three ships of the line, the last Dutch warships in the region. The British squadron—under the command of Rear-Admiral Sir Edward Pellew—sought to eliminate the Dutch in an effort to safeguard the trade route with China, which ran through the Straits of Malacca and were in range of Dutch raiders operating from the principal Javan port of Batavia. In the summer of 1806, British frigates reconnoitred Javan waters and captured two Dutch frigates, encouraging Pellew to lead a major attack on Batavia that destroyed the last Dutch frigate and several smaller warships. Prior to the Batavia raid however, Dutch Rear-Admiral Hartsinck had ordered his ships of the line to sail eastwards, where they took shelter at Griessie, near Sourabaya.
The Action of 18 June 1793 was the first decisive and one of the most celebrated encounters between British and French frigates during the French Revolutionary Wars. The action occurred off Start Point in Devon, when the British frigate HMS Nymphe encountered and chased the French frigate Cléopâtre. During the previous month, Cléopâtre and another frigate, Sémillante, had been successfully raiding British merchant shipping in the English Channel and Eastern Atlantic from their base at Cherbourg. In response, the British frigates Nymphe and HMS Venus had been ordered to intercept and defeat the French frigates and on 27 May Venus and Sémillante fought an inconclusive engagement off Cape Finisterre.
Pellew is a surname, and may refer to:
Concorde was a 32-gun frigate of the French Navy, lead ship of her class. Built in Rochefort in 1777, she entered service with the French early in the American War of Independence and was soon in action, capturing HMS Minerva in the West Indies. She survived almost until near the end of the war when HMS Magnificent captured her in 1783. Not immediately brought into service due to the draw-down in the navy after the end of the war, Concorde underwent repairs and returned to active service with the outbreak of war with France in 1793 as the fifth-rate HMS Concorde.
Philemon Pownoll of Sharpham in the parish of Ashprington in Devon, England, was an officer of the Royal Navy who saw service during the War of the Austrian Succession, the Seven Years' War and the American War of Independence, rising to the rank of post-captain.
HMS Nymphe was a fifth-rate frigate of the British Royal Navy, formerly the French Nymphe, lead ship of her class. HMS Flora, under the command of Captain William Peere Williams, captured Nymphe off Ushant on 10 August 1780. Indiscriminately referred to as Nymph, Nymphe, La Nymph or La Nymphe in contemporary British sources, she served during the American, French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. On 19 May 1793, while under the command of Captain Edward Pellew, she captured the frigate Cléopâtre, the first French warship captured in a single-ship action of the war. After a long period of service in which she took part in several notable actions and made many captures, Nymphe was wrecked off the coast of Scotland on 18 December 1810.
The Action of 21 October 1794 was a minor naval engagement between Great Britain and France fought off the Breton coast of France during the second year of the French Revolutionary Wars. French frigates had been raiding British Atlantic trade routes with considerable success since the outbreak of the war, and in response the Admiralty had formed a frigate squadron to patrol the French Channel and Atlantic coasts in search of French raiders. On 13 October 1794, the large, modern and powerful 40-gun French frigate Révolutionnaire under the command of Captain Antoine René Thévenard sailed from Le Havre for a raiding cruise against British trade routes in the Atlantic. Eight days later, while rounding the Breton headland of Ushant about 25–30 nautical miles (56 km) out to sea, Révolutionnaire encountered the British frigate squadron, commanded by Commodore Sir Edward Pellew, which had secured a number of victories over French raiding frigates during the previous two years.
Susan Pellew was the wife of Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth.
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|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Barnstaple |
With: William Devaynes
| Commander-in-Chief, East Indies Station |
(jointly with Thomas Troubridge)
William O'Bryen Drury
Sir Richard Strachan
| Commander-in-Chief, North Sea |
Sir William Young
Sir Charles Cotton
| Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet |
Sir Charles Penrose
Sir Charles Penrose
| Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet |
Sir Charles Penrose
Sir John Duckworth
| Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth |
Sir Alexander Cochrane
The Lord de Saumarez
| Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom |
Sir Edward Thornbrough
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation|| Viscount Exmouth |
| Baron Exmouth |
|Baronetage of Great Britain|
|New creation|| Baronet |