Royal Naval Biography/Head, Michael

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MICHAEL HEAD, Esq.
[Post-Captain of 1814.]

This officer is a son of Head, M.D. of Halifax, Nova Scotia. His first commission bears date Dec. 10, 1804.

We have stated at p. 422 of Vol. II. Part I. that Lieutenant Head commanded the boats of the Euryalis frigate at the capture and destruction of a Danish gun-boat and two transports, June 11, 1805; – the following is a copy of his captain’s official letter on that occasion:–

H.M.S. Euryalus, in the Great Belt, June 12, 1808.

“Sir,– After having seen the convoy clear, I proceeded in company with H.M. sloop Cruiser, and late yesterday evening discovered several vessels at anchor near the entrance of the Naskon, very close to the shore. We anchored at dark, and I sent Lieutenant Head, with the boats of this ship and the Cruiser, four in number, to destroy them. It is with great pleasure I have to inform you, he executed this service with his usual bravery and judgment, by burning two large vessels fitted for the reception of troops, and capturing a gun-vessel of the largest dimensions, mounting two 18-pounders, and having 64 men on board, moored within half pistol-shot of a battery of three 18-pounders, and the shore lined with troops. Although the enemy defended themselves well, we had but one man slightly wounded; their loss was great, 7 killed and 12 wounded, with many drowned; and they must have suffered on shore from the fire of our boats.

“I beg leave to mention the midshipmen employed, – Messrs. Wemyss, Ricketts, Yeoman, Richard, and Gaymore, of this ship, and Moffatt and Loveday of the Cruiser, for their good conduct on this occasion, and who are, together with the boats’ crews, particularly mentioned by Lieutenant Head. I have the honor to be, &c.

(Signed)G. H. L. Dundas.”

Thomas Graves, Esq. Captain H.M.S. Brunswick.

The subject of this sketch was made commander Dec. 6, 1809; and appointed to the Curlew brig, June 27, 1812. On the 26th Mar. 1813, he captured the American ship letter of marque Volante, pierced for 22 guns, mounting ten 24-pounder carronades and four long nines, with a complement of 85 men. His promotion to post rank took place June 7, 1814.

Captain Head has a brother in the army. One of his sisters married Vice-Admiral Locke; another was the wife of Major James Paterson St. Clair, R.A.

Agent.– I. Clementson, Esq.