Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Collier, Francis Augustus

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COLLIER, Sir FRANCIS AUGUSTUS (1783?–1849), rear-admiral, second son of Vice-admiral Sir George Collier [q. v.], entered the navy in 1794, and after a few years' service in the Channel was, early in 1798, at the desire of Sir Horatio Nelson, appointed to the Vanguard, the ship which bore Sir Horatio's flag in the Mediterranean and at the battle of the Nile. He was afterwards moved into the Foudroyant, with Nelson and Sir Edward Berry [q. v.], and continued serving in the Mediterranean till the peace. He was promoted to be lieutenant on 11 April 1803; commander, 25 Jan. 1805; and captain, 13 Dec. 1808; during which years he was actively employed in the West Indies, though without any opportunity of special distinction. On 8 Dec. 1815 he was made a C.B., and in February 1818 was appointed to the Liverpool of 50 guns, going out to the East Indies. In December 1819 he was sent to the Gulf of Persia, in naval command of a joint expedition against the Joasmi pirates. Their chief fortress, Ras-el-Khyma, was captured, the fortifications all round the coast were blown up, their shipping was destroyed, and on 8 Jan. 1820 a formal treaty of peace was signed, and piracy, on the part of the Arabs, declared to be at an end for ever. Not the least remarkable part of the business is that the treaty was fairly well kept. It did really put an end to the national and patriotic piracy which had been the scourge of Eastern seas; although, of course, piracy in its more vulgar form continued, and, in fact, still continues. Collier returned to England in October 1822. From 1826 to 1830 he was commodore on the west coast of Africa, from 1841 to 1846 was superintendent of Woolwich Dockyard, and in 1846 commanded a squadron in the Channel. On 9 Nov. 1846 he became a rear-admiral, and in April 1848 was appointed to the command of the China station, where he died suddenly of apoplexy on 28 Oct. 1849.

His services in the Persian Gulf had been rewarded by the order of the Lion and Sun; he was knighted 28 July 1830, and made K.C.H. 1 Jan. 1833. He was twice married and left issue.

[O'Byrne's Nav. Biog. Dict.; Low's Hist, of the Indian Navy, i. 351; Annual Register (1849), xci. 279.]

J. K. L.