Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Tozer, Aaron

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TOZER, AARON (1788–1854), captain in the navy, born in 1788, entered the navy in June 1801 on board the Phœbe, with Captain Thomas Baker, on the Irish station. He afterwards served in the East Indies and on the home station, and, again with Baker, in the Phœnix, in which on 10 Aug. 1805 he was present at the capture of the French frigate Didon (James, Naval History, iv. 66–74; Troude, Batailles Navales, iii. 425–6; Chevalier, Hist. de la Marine Française, iii. 179), then carrying important despatches from Villeneuve at Ferrol to Rochefort. Tozer was dangerously wounded in the shoulder, and, after passing his examination, was specially promoted to be lieutenant on 11 Aug. 1807. After serving in the York of 74 guns at the reduction of Madeira and in the West Indies, he was appointed, in December 1808, to the Victorious, in which he took part in the Walcheren expedition in July and August 1809; and afterwards in the Mediterranean, in the defence of Sicily, June to September 1810, during which time he was repeatedly engaged in actions between the boats and the vessels of Murat's flotilla; and on 22 Feb. 1812 at the capture of the Rivoli [see Talbot, Sir John]. In February 1813 he was appointed to the Undaunted [see Ussher, Sir Thomas], and during the following months repeatedly commanded her boats in storming the enemy's batteries or cutting out trading and armed vessels from under their protection. On 18 Aug. 1813 in an attack, in force, on the batteries of Cassis, when the citadel battery was carried by escalade and three gunboats and twenty-four merchant vessels were brought out, Tozer was severely wounded by a canister shot in the groin and by a musket shot in the left hand. In consequence of these wounds he was invalided; on 15 July 1814 was promoted to be commander, and in December 1815 awarded a pension of 150l. a year. From 1818 to 1822 he commanded the Cyrene in the West Indies; in 1829 the William and Mary yacht. On 14 Jan. 1830 he was promoted to post rank, but had no further employment, and died at Plymouth on 21 Feb. 1854. He married, in June 1827, Mary, eldest daughter of Henry Hutton of Lincoln, and left issue one son, the Rev. Henry Fanshawe Tozer, fellow of Exeter College, Oxford.

[O'Byrne's Nav. Biogr. Dict.; Marshall's Roy. Nav. Biogr. x. (vol. iii. pt. ii.) 110; Gent. Mag. 1854, ii. 77; James's Naval History; Navy Lists.]

J. K. L.