A Naval Biographical Dictionary/Streatfeild, Robert

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STREATFEILD. (Commander, 1815. f-p., 14; h-p., 34.)

Robert Streatfeild is fourth son of the late Sandeforth Streatfeild, Esq., of Long Ditton, co. Surrey, by Frances, daughter of Thos. Hussey, Esq., of Ashford, co. Kent; and cousin of Commander Rich. Streatfeild, R.N. One of his brothers, Henry Caldwall, is a Lieut.-Colonel in the Army.

This officer entered the Navy, 21 July, 1799, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Arethusa 38, Capt. Thos. Wolley; under whom he escorted the Duke of Kent to Halifax, and, besides cruizing with great activity and Success, accompanied an East India fleet from St. Helena to England, and brought home from Madeira Brigadier-General Clinton and suite. Becoming, in May, 1802, Midshipman (a rating he had attained in the Arethusa) of the Amphion 32, Capts. Alex. Fraser, Thos. Masterman Hardy, and Sam. Sutton, he went with the Duke of Sussex shortly afterwards to Cuxhaven; and, at the commencement of the war, sailed with the flag of Lord Nelson for the Mediterranean; whence, in Dec. 1803, he returned to England in the Prevoyante store-ship, Master-Commander Wm. Browne. He then joined the Rattler sloop, Capt. Fras. Mason; in which vessel he was for about a year and nine months stationed in the North Sea and came into repeated collision with the enemy. On one occasion in particular, 16 May, 1804, he united (the Cruizer 18 in company) in a gallant attack upon a flotilla of praams, schooners, &c., in all 59 sail, passing alongshore from the above place to Ostend. On that occasion the Rattler sustained a loss of 2 men killed and 10 wounded, and had her lower masts disabled by shot, and her yards, sails, and rigging much injured. On 23 of the ensuing June she received further damage while engaged with her consorts, the Galgo and Inspector, in close conflict with 27 schuyts, whose fire was strengthened by that of several land-batteries and a body of artillery. Mr. Streatfeild was created, 3 Oct. 1805, Sub-Lieutenant of the Pylades sloop, Capts. Brian Hodgson and Geo. Miller Bligh, again in the Mediterranean; he was promoted to the rank of full Lieutenant 6 Nov. 1806; and he was subsequently appointed – 7 Feb. 1807, to the Sappho of 18 guns and 120 men, Capts. Geo. Langford and Charlton – 27 April, 1809, to the Fylla 20, Capt. Hon. Edw. Rodney, on the Home station – 26 Jan. 1810, after four months of half-pay, to the Rose sloop, Capt. Thos. Mansell – 7 April, 1810, to the Ruby 64 and Vigo 74, flag-ships of Rear-Admiral Manley Hall Dixon in the Baltic – and 30 Jan. 1812, to the Montagu 74, hearing the flag of the same officer in South America, whence he invalided in May, 1813. While serving in the Sappho, in which vessel he ultimately proceeded to the West Indies, he escorted the Hon. Mr. Pierrepont as Ambassador to the King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus, then besieged by the French army in Stralsund; accompanied the expedition to Copenhagen; and assisted, 2 March, 1808, at the capture, off Flamborough Head, after a close action of an hour, of the Admiral Yawl Danish brig of 28 guns and 83 men – a service for which Capt. Langford was advanced to Post-rank. During his stay in the Ruby he contrived, with two row-boat luggers under his orders, to destroy two Danish armed vessels off Lassoe in 1810.[1] He also, in command of three lugger gun-boats, attacked, in that neighbourhood, several of the enemy’s privateers; one of which was captured, besides two of them being destroyed and the remainder forced to take shelter in Jutland.[2] “On the night of the 31st ult. and the 1st inst.,” writes Rear-Admiral Dixon in a letter dated 1 June, 1811, addressed to the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Jas. Saumarez, “two privateers armed with swivels and small arms, and with 12 men in each boat, were captured by the guard-boats of the Vigo; the first was boarded singly by Lieut. Streatfeild in the pinnace, and maizes the seventh privateer this brave and active officer has taken and destroyed; the other was eurprised under the shore of Romsoe, and taken by Mr. Hodges, Midshipman; 5 of the crew escaped in the woods.”[3] Lieut. Streatfeild attained his present rank 13 June, 1815, and has not been since afloat.

The Commander married, in 1820, Miss Dorothy Walters Cooper, and has issue. Agents – Messrs. Ommanney.

  1. Vide Gaz. 1810, p. 1446.
  2. Vide Gaz. 1810, p. 1730.
  3. Vide Gaz. 1811, p. 1228.