O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'
O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'


The Royal NavyO'Byrne

The following is the entry for Richard Arthur in William O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'.

ARTHUR, C.B. (Rear-Admiral of the Blue, 1846. f-p., 24; h-p., 35.)

Richard Arthur, born in 1779, is son of the late John Arthur, Esq., of Plymouth, by Catherine, daughter of Thos. Cornish, Esq.; brother of Col. Sir Geo. Arthur, Bart., K.C.H., late Governor of Bombay, and formerly Lieut.-Governor of Upper Canada, and of Van Diemen’s Land; and uncle of Capt. Fred. Leopold Arthur, 4th foot.
This officer entered the Navy, in 1788, as Captain’s Servant, on board the Powerful 74, Capt. Andrew Sutherland, guard-ship at Portsmouth, and during the remainder of the peace served in the Southampton 32, Capt. Rich. Goodwin Keats, Valiant 74, commanded by H.R.H. the Duke of Clarence, and Druid 32, Capt. Joseph Ellison. In 1793 he sailed for the East Indies as Midshipman of the Heroine 32, Capt. Alan Gardner, and, after assisting at the reduction of Trincomalee and Colombo, in 1795-6, was sent in command of three transports laden with stores and provisions for Rear-Admiral Rainier’s squadron at Amboyna, where he joined that officer in his flag-ship, the Suffolk 74. From March, 1797, until officially promoted, 28 Feb. 1800, Mr. Arthur continued to serve in the East Indies as Acting Lieutenant on board the Orpheus 32, Capts. Benj. Wm. Page and Wm. Hills, and Trident 64, Capts. Alex. Milner and John Turner. Returning then to England, he became in succession attached, on the Cadiz, Mediterranean, and Jamaica stations, to the Dreadnought, 98, Capt. Jas. Vashon, Excellent and Triumph 74’s, Capts. Frank Sotheron and Sir Robt. Barlow, and Hercule 74, flag-ship of Rear-Admiral Jas. Rich. Dacres. On 1 Nov. 1805, the subject of this memoir, who had previously borne a useful part in repeated actions with the gun-boats off Cadiz, was promoted to the rank of Commander for his gallant conduct in cutting out, in command of the Hercule’s boats, a Spanish schooner from under the batteries of Santa Martha, and capturing four others (one armed) in the Gulf of Maracaibo. Being next appointed, 25 Sept. 1806, to the Vesuvius bomb, he accompanied Lord Gambler’s subsequent expedition to Copenhagen, where he served with the in-shore squadron under Capt. Peter Puget on the occasion of its being attacked by the Danish flotilla, and in his general conduct acquired the entire approbation of his superior officers. On paying off the Vesuvius, in Dec. 1807, Capt. Arthur was employed in superintending the discharge of the Danish line-of-battle ships at Portsmouth. On 12 April, 1808, he joined the Cherokee brig, of 10 guns and 70 men, which vessel, during the Scheldt expedition of 1809, he commanded as one of the advanced squadron above Bach. He subsequently, on 11 Jan. 1810, being off Dieppe, distinguished himself by running in under the batteries and attacking seven lugger privateers, anchored within 200 yards of the pier-head, one of which, L’Aimable Nelly, of 16 guns and 60 men, he succeeded in boarding and bringing out. In acknowledgment of this dashing exploit, he was at once promoted to Post-rank, by commission dated back to the day on which it was achieved. From 10 Oct. 1812, until 1 Dec. 1815, Capt. Arthur further commanded the Andromeda 24, off Lisbon and in the Mediterranean. He was not however again employed until the summer of 1844, when, after 28 years of incessant application, he was appointed Captain of the Victory 104, and Superintendent of the Ordinary at Portsmouth, which situation he resigned on being constituted, 23 Sept., in the same year, Captain of the Ocean 80, and Superintendent of Sheerness Dockyard. He was superseded in the latter appointment on advancement to Flag-rank, 9 Nov. 1846.
Rear-Admiral Arthur was nominated a C.B. 28 July, 1838, and from 28 Aug. 1840, until his last promotion, was in the receipt of the Captain’s Good Service Pension. He married, in Nov. 1809, Elizabeth, daughter of the Rev. Wm. Wells, Rector of East Allington, Co. Devon, by whom he has issue three sons and one daughter.


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