A Naval Biographical Dictionary/Laws, John Milligen

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LAWS. (Captain, 1833. f-p., 19; h-p., 19.)

John Milligen Laws, born 14 Feb. 1799, is son of the late G. Laws, Esq., of Waltington, co. Norfolk, by Lydia, eldest daughter of the late Robt. Seppings, Esq., and sister of the late Sir Robt. Seppings, Surveyor of the Navy, and of the late Lieut. John Milligen Seppings, for a long time Comptroller of Revenue-cruizers.

This officer entered the Navy, 19 Dec. 1809, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Sophie 18, Capt. Nicholas Lookyer, in which vessel he was for nearly two years employed in the Channel. In Oct. 1812 he became Midshipman of the Ramillies 74, Capts. Sir Thos. Masterman Hardy and Chas. Ogle, attached to the force on the coast of North America, where, besides participating in many boat affairs, and being frequently invested with the charge of a prize, he landed, it appears, at Washington, Baltimore, and Moose Island, and was wounded at New Orleans. After a brief servitude in the Iphigenia 36, Capt. Andrew King, lying at Chatham, Mr. Laws, in Oct. 1815, joined the Antelope 50, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral John Harvey in the West Indies; whence, in 1818, he came home as Acting-Lieutenant of the Scamander 36, Capt. Wm. Elliott. On his arrival in England he was confirmed by commission dated 11 Nov. in that year. His succeeding appointments were – 14 Oct. 1819, to the Spartan 46, Capt. Wm. Furlong Wise, whom he accompanied to the West Indies and South America – in 1821, to the Pyramus 42, Valorous 26, and Aurora 46, Capts. Fras. Newcombe, Jas. Murray, and Henry Prescott, employed at Home and again in South America – 7 May, 1824, to the command of the Falmouth mortar-vessel, in which he joined Sir Harry Neale off Algiers – and, next, to the Wellesley 74, Capt. Graham Eden Hamond, under whom he accompanied Lord Stuart de Rothesay to the Brazils. Attaining the rank of Commander, 1 July, 1825, Capt. Laws was next, 22 Nov. 1826, appointed in that capacity to the Satellite 18, employed at first as an experimental cruizer, and then on service in the East Indies. While on the latter station we find Capt. Laws affording rehef to some settlers in New Holland who had been hemmed in by the natives, and discharging for fourteen months the duties of Senior officer at Sydney. He also effected the capture of a band of convicts who had turned pirates, and, besides making a survey of the Society Islands and New Zealand, demonstrated the necessity of frequent visits to those parts. In Jan. 1831, after he had extensively examined the east coast of the Bay of Bengal, Capt. Laws was removed to the Cruizer 18, and sent to Pondicherry for the purpose of acknowledging the government of Louis Philippe. On 17 of the following April he became Acting-Captain of the Southampton 52, bearing the flag on the same station of Sir Edw. W. C. R. Owen, with whom he returned to England towards the close of 1832. He was then sent to join the fleet employed under Sir Pulteney Malcolm off Antwerp during the period of General Gerard’s attack on the citadel oi that place. On 7 Jan. 1833, in the course of which month the Southampton was paid off Capt Laws was confirmed in his present rank. He has not been since employed.

Capt. Laws is the Senior Officer of his rank on the List of 1833. He married, 20 June, 1836, Mary, only daughter of Chas. Mathias, Esq., of Lamphey Court, co. Pembroke, by whom he has issue two sons.