Royal Naval Biography/Hole, Lewis

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[Post-Captain of 1813.]

A son of the Rev. W. Hole, Surrogate of Barnstaple, co. Devon, by a lady descended from Sir John Berry, Knt. who was a Captain R.N. in 1665.

This officer was born at Stoodeley, in Devonshire, Jan. 16, 1779. He first went to sea in the Severn 44, Captain Paul Minchin, with whom he sailed for Quebec, in 1793. On his return from thence he joined the Belliqueux 64, Captain James Brine, under which officer he served as midshipman at the capture of Port-au-Prince, June 4, 1794[1]. We subsequently find him in the Camilla 20, Astraea frigate, and Kent 74; the latter ship commanded by Captain (now Sir William Johnstone) Hope, on the North Sea station. His promotion to the rank of lieutenant took place in July, 1798.

After serving about two years in the Explosion bomb, on the Channel station, Lieutenant Hole was removed to the Ramillies 74, which ship formed part of the fleet sent to the Baltic, under Sir Hyde Parker, in Mar. 1801. Previous to the attack made upon the Danish line of defence before Copenhagen, he had the honor of being placed in the command of a division of boats, attached to Nelson’s squadron; and during that sanguinary combat he served as volunteer on board the Polyphemus 64[2].

Lieutenant Hole’s subsequent appointments were, in 1804, to the Trusty 50, Captain George Argles, stationed off Boulogne; and, in 1805, to the Revenge 74, Captain Robert Moorsom, of which ship he was first lieutenant at the battle of Trafalgar.

“While the Revenge was attempting to pass through the enemies’ line, and just as she had put her helm a-port, to place herself athwart hawse of l’Aigle 74, her mizen-top-sail was caught by the latter’s jib-boom. Before the two ships got clear. Captain Moorsom was enabled to pour into his opponent two deliberate broadsides. the Revenge then stood on, and while hauling up on the larboard tack, received a tremendous fire from the Principe d’Asturias, Spanish first-rate, which ship, in conjunction with three two-deckers, continued cannonading her, until engaged by the Dreadnought and Thunderer.

The exposed situation of the Revenge occasioned her damages and loss of men to be very severe. Her bowsprit, three lower-masts, maintop-mast, and gaff, were badly wounded; she received nine shot between wind and water; her stern, transoms, and timbers, also several beams, knees, and riders, were much injured; several chain-plates shot away; some of the lower-deck ports destroyed; three guns dismounted; 2 petty-officers and 26 men killed; and her captain, 1 lieutenant, 2 other officers, and 47 men wounded. Her first lieutenant was made commander Dec. 24, 1805.

Captain Hole’s subsequent appointments were, in Dec. 1807, to the Hindostan 50; May 1808, to the Egeria 18; and, April 1813, to the Bacchus 16. In the first named sloop he captured the following Danish armed vessels.

Naesois privateer, of 10 guns and 26 men, off the Scaw, Dec. 21, 1808; Aalborg cutter, of 6 guns and 25 men, bound to Norway, with army clothing. Mar. 2, 1809; and Alvor privateer, of 14 guns and 38 men, in theNorlhSea, Dec. 31, 1811.

Captain Hole obtained post rank Dec. 4, 1813; but continued to command the Bacchus, on the Irish station, until Feb. 1814. He married the daughter of the late William Finch, Esq. barrister-at-law, and master of the Grocer’s Company, by whom he has several children. One of his brothers is a commander in the navy, another a captain of royal marines.