Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Tate, George (1745-1821)

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TATE, GEORGE (1745–1821), admiral in the Russian navy, born in London on 19 June 1745, belonged to a Northamptonshire family, three members of which had been lord mayors of London—in 1473, 1488, 1496 and 1513. His father, George Tate, who served for some time in the Russian navy, and was afterwards settled in London as an agent for the Russian admiralty, emigrated to North America about 1754, and settled at Falmouth in Maine, where he kept up a trade connection with Russia, and where he died at the age of ninety-four in 1794. His sons seem to have been all brought up to the sea.

George, the third son, entered the Russian navy, and in 1770 was made a lieutenant, probably in the fleet under John Elphinston [q. v.] He is said to have distinguished himself in several engagements against the Turks and the Swedes. At the capture of Ismail in December 1790 he was wounded. He was promoted to be rear-admiral and presented with a miniature of the empress Catharine II, set in diamonds. In 1795 he had a command in the squadron of twelve ships of the line sent, under Vice-admiral Hanikoff, to co-operate with the English; though they are said to have been in such a bad state that we ‘derived no other advantage from them than the honour of repairing them and supplying their wants’ (Brenton, Naval History, ii. 98). After a short experience of them, they were sent home as worse than useless. In 1796 and again in 1799 as vice-admiral, Tate commanded a squadron in the North Sea. He was made admiral and senator by Alexander I, and received the orders of St. Waldemar, Alexander Newsky, and St. John. He died suddenly, unmarried at St. Petersburg on 17 Feb. 1821. To the last he kept up a correspondence with his family in the States, and occasionally visited them. He is described as of middle height, stout build, dark complexion. His portrait and letters, with others of his papers, are in the possession of his grand-niece, Eliza Ingraham, and her family of Portland, Maine.

[Information from the family; Willis's Hist. of Portland, Maine (2nd edit. 1865), p. 840; Lord Camperdown's Admiral Duncan; Gent. Mag. 1821, i. 378.]

J. K. L.