Royal Naval Biography/Hall, Robert

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[Post-Captain of 1799.]

This officer served the greater part of his time as a Midshipman under the late Admiral George Murray (brother of John, third Duke of Atholl) in the Levant and Cleopatra frigates, and was promoted from the latter to the rank of Lieutenant, Feb. 23, 1782.

From this period, Mr. Hall was almost constantly employed in different ships and under various commanders, among whom were Commodore Sir John Lindsay, and Captains Bourmaster and Hartwell, till Feb. 1793, when he joined his early friend, Commodore Murray, in the Duke, a second rate; which ship was paid off on her return from the West Indies, at the latter end of the same year.

In April 1794, after fitting out the Glory of 98 guns, he removed into the Resolution 74, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Murray, who had recently been promoted, and nominated commander-in-chief on the North American station. On the 3d July, 1795, Lieutenant Hall was appointed by his patron to command the Lynx sloop of war, but his commission does not appear to have been confirmed by the Admiralty till Jan. 1796; previous to which, he had been superseded by another officer, on whose demise, in October following, he was re-appointed to that vessel.

Among the captures made by Captain Hall whilst in the Lynx, we find la Solide, l’lsabelle, and le Mentor, French privateers, the latter carrying 14 guns and 79 men. 3340; The capture of la Solide was considered by the merchants and inhabitants of St. John’s Newfoundland, a service of great importance to their interests, she having hoisted the bloody flag, and threatened to plunder and lay waste the neighbouring defenceless coast. They accordingly sent Captain Hall a letter of thanks, for the protection he had thus afforded to the colony[1].

We next find Captain Hall commanding the Assistance of 50 guns; in which ship he conveyed H.R.H. the late Duke of Kent, from Halifax to England, aod arrived at Plymouth Aug. 31, 1800. During the remainder of the war, he commanded the Waakzaamheid, a small frigate, on the North Sea station. His post commission bears date Nov. 18, 1/99. In Aug. 1803, our officer was appointed pro tempare, to the Revolutionnaire frigate, and ordered to take the 25th regiment to Cork. He subsequently commanded the Malabar of 54 guns; and after cruising for some time in the North Sea, convoyed a fleet of merchantmen to the West Indies.

On the 2d Jan. 1806, Captain Hall being off Cuba, in company with the Wolfe sloop of war, sent the boats of his ship to assist that vessel in bringing out from Port Azarades, two large French privateers, which service was performed with the loss of 7 men killed, drowned, and wounded[2].

Captain Hall was soon after obliged to invalid at Jamaica, through ill-health. His next appointment was in Nov. 1808> to the Ruby 64; from which ship he was superseded in the Baltic, about July following. During the preceding three months, he was employed protecting different convoys through the difficult passage of the Belt.

On his return to England, Captain Hall assumed the command of the Puissant at Spithead. From her he removed in April 1810, to the Royal William flag-ship, where he continued until the expiration of Sir Roger Curtis’s command, in the spring of 1812. At the close of the same year, he was appointed to superintend all the supplies required by the Russian fleet in the river Medway; this duty he performed for the space of ten months: after which he became Flag-Captain to Vice-Admiral Domett, commander-in-chief at Plymouth, on whose retirement, in July 1815, he was superseded from the Impregnable, and placed on half-pay[3]. He has since commanded the ships in ordinary at Portsmouth, during the customary period of three years.

Agent.– Sir F. M. Ommanney, M.P.

  1. La Solide was taken in the bay of Fundy, where she had been harboured by the Americans.
  2. See Captain George Charles Mackenzie.
  3. Vice-Admiral Domett had his flag in the Salvador del Mundo, previous to its being hoisted on board the Impregnable.