Royal Naval Biography/Peachey, Henry John

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RIGHT HON. HENRY JOHN, LORD SELSEY,
Fellow of the Royal Society.
[Post-Captain of 1812.]

This officer is the second son of the late Lord Selsey, by Hester Elizabeth, daughter of George Jennings, of Newsells Park, co. Herts, Esq. and cousin to the late Marquis of Clanricarde.

He obtained the rank of Lieutenant, Jan. 5, 1807; and served as first of the Cornwallis frigate. Captain W. A. Montagu, at the capture of Amboyna, in Feb. 1810[1]: his conduct on that occasion was highly spoken of in the public despatches. A very gallant exploit subsequently performed by three boats, under his direction, is thus officially described:–

H.M.S. Cornwallis, at Sea, Mar. 3, 1810.

“Sir,– Having chased a Dutch man-of-war brig, during the whole of the first day of March, we observed her take refuge in a small bay on the north side of the island of Amblaw; and as the wind was light and variable, and night approaching, I sent the yawl, cutter, and jolly-boat, under the command of the Hon. Lieutenant Peachey, assisted by Mr. Garland, master, and Mr. Sanderson, master’s-mate, to bring her off. After a fatiguing pull the whole night, they found themselves at day-light close to her, when she was boarded in a most gallant manner, in the face of a heavy fire of grape and musketry, and defended bravely by pikes and swords; in a few moments she was carried, and proved to be the Dutch national vessel Margaretta, mounting 8 guns, but pierced for 14, and having on board 40 men. She had left Souroubaya nine days, having between twenty and thirty thousand dollars on board, for Amboyna, and supplies of all kinds for Temate.

“Lieutenant Peachey speaks highly of the able support he received from the officers and men under his orders. I am sorry to say, that we had one man dangerously wounded, and four slightly; the enemy, one officer killed and twenty seamen wounded. I have the honor to be, &c.

(Signed)W. A. Montagu.”

To Captain Edward Tucker, H.M.S. Dover, senior officer.

The subject of this sketch commanded the Hecate sloop at the reduction of Java, in 1811; obtained post rank, Aug. 7, 1812 (on which occasion he was appointed to the Malacca frigate, at Madras); and returned to England, from Bengal, in the Sir Francis Drake 38, with a fleet worth, at least, three millions sterling under his protection, in May, 1813.

Lord Selsey succeeded to the title on the demise of his father, June 27, 1816; and married Oct. 21, 1817, the Hon. Anna Maria Louisa Irby, youngest daughter of Frederick, Lord Boston. Agent.– J. Copland, Esq.