A Naval Biographical Dictionary/Welch, Robert

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WELCH. (Retired Commander, 1836. f-p. 18; h-p., 35.)

Robert Welch entered the Navy, 7 June, 1794, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Galatea 36, Capts. Rich. Goodwin Keats and Hon. Geo. Byng; in which frigate, part of the force attached to the expedition to Quiberon in 1795, he continued employed on the French and Irish coasts until transferred, in June, 1798, to the Foudroyant 80, Capts. Sir Thos. Byard, John Elphinstone, Jas. Rich. Dacres, Wm. Brown, Thos. Masterman Hardy, Sir Edw. Berry, Stephenson, and Philip Beaver, flag-ship for some time of Lords Keith and Nelson. Under Sir T. Byard he witnessed the surrender, in Oct. 1798, of Le Hoche 74 and other ships destined for the invasion of Ireland; and under Sir Edw. Berry he assisted, during the blockade of Malta, at the capture, 18 Feb. 1800, of Le Généreux 74 and Ville de Marseilles armed store-ship; and, on 31 March in the same year, after a desperate conflict, in which the Foudroyant (in company at the time with the Lion 64 and Penelope 36) sustained a loss of 8 men killed and 64 wounded, of Le Guillaume Tell of 84 guns and 1000 men, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Decrès. Being nominated, 17 Dec. 1800, Acting-Lieutenant of the Experiment 44, Capts. John Griffin Saville and Geo. Chas. Mackenzie, he commanded the boats of that ship at the landing of the troops in Egypt, 8 March, 1801. The services he then rendered, as well as during the remainder of the campaign, procured him a gold medal from the Turkish Government. On leaving the Experiment (he had been confirmed to her 17 Nov. 1803) he joined, in Feb. 1805, the Saracen 18, Capts. Jas. Prevost and Buckland Stirling Bluett. In that vessel he was five years and five months employed, the last four years as Senior Lieutenant, in the Channel and West Indies, at the Cape of Good Hope, in South America (whence he returned with the naval and military despatches announcing the disastrous result of the attack upon Buenos Ayres in July, 1807), in the Mediterranean, and again in the West Indies; where he was next, in July, 1810, and April, 1811, appointed First of the Garland, Capts. Wm. Charlton and Thos. Graves, and Hebe, Capt. John Fyffe. He came home and was paid off in Aug. 1811; and was lastly, from Dec. 1812 until June, 1814, employed, again as First-Lieutenant, in the Ceres 32, flag-ship of Rear-Admiral Thos. Surridge at Chatham.

During his career afloat he acted a part in a variety of boat affairs. He accepted his present rank 18 July, 1836; and was admitted to the out-pension of Greenwich Hospital 9 March, 1849. Agents – Messrs. Stilwell.