A Naval Biographical Dictionary/Paterson, William Love

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PATERSON. (Retired Commander, 1847. f-p., 1 9; h-p., 32.)

William Love Paterson was born 17 March, 1781, at Doneraile, co. Cork. His brother, Thos. Paterson, Master’s Mate of H.M.S. Arrow, was killed in a boat affair in the Gulf of Venice 4 June, 1804, aged 21.

This officer entered the Navy, 6 Oct. 1796, as a Volunteer, on board the Terpsichore 32, Capts. Rich. Bowen and Wm. Hall Gage. On 13 of the same month he assisted at the capture, off the port of Carthagena, of the Mahonesa Spanish frigate of 34 guns and 275 men, after a spirited contest of an hour and 20 minutes, in which the enemy sustained a loss of 30 men killed and as many wounded, and the British, out of 182 men, of only 4 wounded; and on 13 of the ensuing Dec. he was present, off Cadiz, in another most determined action of an hour and forty minutes, which terminated in the surrender to the Terpsichore (whose loss on the occasion amounted, out of 166 men, to 4 killed and 18 wounded) of the French frigate La Vestale of 36 guns and at least 270 men, 30 of whom were killed and 37 wounded. In the summer of 1797 we find Mr. Paterson co-operating in the bombardment of Cadiz, and employed, as Midshipman, in the Terpsichore’s barge. In Lord Nelson’s attack upon Santa Cruz, Teneriffe, where Capt. Bowen was killed. Quitting the Terpsichore in Jan. 1800, he served, during the five following years, chiefly on the Home station, in the Triton 32, Capt. John Gore, Majestic 74, Capt. Davidge Gould, Port Mahon 18, Capts. Walter Grosett and Ralph Neville, and Impétueux 74, Capts. Thos. Byam Martin and John Erskine Douglas. He was then, in Jan. and Sept. 1805, and July, 1806, successively nominated Sub-Lieutenant of the Borer gun-brig, Lieut.-Commander Rich. Wilbraham, Pegasus, Capt. John Pengelly, and Tickler gun-brig, Lieut.-Commander Skinner; on leaving the latter of which vessels he was constituted, 6 Sept. 1806 (although the date of his commission was subsequently altered to 20 Jan. 1809), full Lieutenant of the Surinam 18, Capt. John Lake. Becoming attached next, 6 Feb. 1807, to the Tartarus 20, Capts. Thos. Fras. Chas. Mainwaring and John Pasco, Mr. Paterson accompanied in that vessel the expedition sent in the course of the same year against Copenhagen; and on 25 April, 1808, he assisted in her boats, with those of the Daphne 20, commanded by Lieut. Wm. Elliott, at the cutting-out, with a loss to the British of only 5 persons wounded, of a convoy of 10 deeply-laden vessels, moored close under the foot of a castle mounting 10 guns, in the harbour of Fladstrand, near the Skawe, defended also by a heavy fire from another battery, as well as from the crews of the vessels assembled on the beach, and made fast to the shore by hawsers.[1] With the exception of a short command, held between June and Nov. 1811, of the Cuttle schooner, at Halifax, he continued employed in the Tartarus, on the American, West India, and Cork stations, until May, 1815. Not having been since afloat, he accepted his present rank 3 Feb. 1847.

Commander Paterson married, 9 April, 1811, Miss Priscilla Blight, of Plymouth.

  1. Vide Gaz. 1808, p. 697.