Royal Naval Biography/Scott, George

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A Companion of the most Honorable Military Order of the Bath; and a Colonel of Royal Marines.
[Post-Captain of 1798.]

This officer is the second son of John Scott, of Gala, in Selkirkshire, Esq., and descended from the ancient and most noble family of Buccleuch. He was born in 1770; first went to sea in 1782; and served as Midshipman and Master’s-Mate, in the Edgar, Vengeance, Romney, Blenheim, Diadem, Latona, Goliah, and Adamant, employed on various stations, until Feb. 19, 1791, when he was appointed a Lieutenant of the Thisbe frigate. We next find him holding the same rank in the Vengeance 74, which ship formed part of the squadron under Rear-Admiral Gardner, when that officer made an unsuccessful attempt to obtain possession of Martinique, in 1793[1].

On his return to England, Lieutenant Scott removed into the Bellerophon 74, bearing the broad pendant, and afterwards the flag, of the late Sir Thomas Pasley, Bart. He consequently bore a part in Earl Howe’s actions of May 28 and 29, and June 1, 1794; for a general outline of which, we must refer the reader to our first volume, p. 75, et seq. An account of the Bellerophon’s conspicuous behaviour on those memorable days will be found at pp. 509 and 510 of the same.

Lieutenant Scott’s next appointment was, Aug. 1, 1794, to the Niger of 32 guns; in which frigate he assisted at the capture of a French convoy, May 9, 1795[2]. At the commencement of the ensuing year he was promoted to the rank of Commander, in the Albatross sloop of war. Captain Scott’s good qualities as an officer are thus alluded to in the records of the Committee of Merchants, appointed for the purpose of counteracting the mutiny at the Nore:

Marine Society’s Office, London, July 31, 1797.

“At a meeting of the Committee of Merchants, &c. &c., held here this day–

Resolved, That the thanks of this Committee be transmitted to Captain Scott, and the officers of H.M.S. Albatross, for their spirited conduct in suppressing a mutiny on board the said ship, and detaching her from the ships in a mutinous state, in order to prevent the contagion becoming more general on board the Albatross.

(Signed)Hugh Inglis, Chairman.”

This testimony of the approbation of so respectable and patriotic a body as the merchants of London, was no doubt highly gratifying to Captain Scott, whom we shortly after find cruising in the North Sea, where he captured two of the enemy’s privateers; de Braave of 12 guns, and l’Emouchet of 8 guns and 55 men. His post commission bears date June 15, 1798.

From this period, Captain Scott remained on half-pay till July 10, 1799, when he obtained the command of the Stately, a 64 gun ship, armed en flute. In April 1800, he sailed with troops for the Mediterranean; and after his arrival on that station, was employed in the respective blockades of Genoa and Malta[3]. Early in the following year, he accompanied Lord Keith to Aboukir Bay, where he commanded the left wing of the boats employed to land the army under Sir Ralph Abercromby[4]. For his conduct on this occasion, and during the subsequent operations in that quarter, the gold medal of the Turkish Order of the Crescent was presented to him by order of the Grand Seignior[5].

Captain Scott continued in the Mediterranean during the suspension of hostilities, occasioned by the treaty of Amiens; and retained the command of the Stately till Aug. 1804, when he joined the Success of 32 guns. From the latter he removed March 13, 1806, into the Malabar 54; which ship he left on the 31st July following.

His next appointment was, June 11, 1807, to the Horatio, a 38-gun frigate, built of fir. On the 10th Feb. 1809, being in the neighbourhood of the Virgin Islands, he fell in with, and at three-quarters of an hour past noon brought la Junon, a French frigate of the largest class, to close action, which was maintained with the greatest skill and bravery on both sides till 3h 25' P.M. when the Latona frigate, which had previously chased the enemy, arrived within pistol-shot; and in a few minutes afterwards la Junon, having lost her fore and mizen-masts, was compelled to surrender.

In this gallant action the Horatio had 7 men killed and 26 wounded 5 among the latter was Captain Scott, who, after being deprived of the services of his first Lieutenant, received a very severe wound in the shoulder by a grape-shot, and was thereby obliged to leave the ship in charge of the Hon. George Douglas, by whom his place was most nobly supplied, She was also much cut up in her masts and rigging, the enemy in the early part of the conflict having used every effort in his power to disable her. The Latona had 6 men slightly wounded, and lost her fore-mast two minutes after the firing had ceased, The Driver, a ship-sloop, closed towards the termination of the affair, but does not appear to have been of any assistance in subduing the enemy. She however had 1 man wounded.

La Junon, from the number of shot-holes low down in her hull, was in a very leaky state, and had no less than 130 killed and wounded, including among the latter her brave commander, Captain Roussea, mortally. When intercepted, she was proceeding from the Saintes to Europe[6].

For his excellent conduct and severe sufferings on this occasion, Captain Scott received the marked encomiums of his superiors, and a pension of 250l. per annum, which has since been increased to 300l. On the 21st Feb. in the following year, being in lat. 33° 10' N. and long. 29° 30' W. he captured, after along chase, and running action of one hour, la Necessite, pierced for 40 guns, mounting 28, with a complement of 186 men, and laden with naval stores and provisions from Brest, bound to the Isle of France. No casualties appear to have occurred on either side.

During the two last years of the war, Captain Scott commanded the Gibraltar 80, and Asia of 74 guns. In the former he remained but a few weeks; the latter he was obliged to resign on account of the wound he had received five years before, and which during that long period, had caused him incessant pain. He was appointed to a royal yacht June, 16, 1814; and nominated a C.B. June 4, 1815. He obtained a Colonelcy of Royal Marines, July 19, 1821.

Our officer married, Oct. 27, 1810, the Hon. Caroline Lucy, daughter of Lord Douglas, and niece of the Duke of Buccleuch.

Agents.– Messrs. Atkins and Son.

  1. See Vol. I. p. 40*.
  2. See Vol. I. p. 559.
  3. See Vol. I. pp. 53 and 281.
  4. See Vol. I., note †, at p. 259; and note *, at p. 313.
  5. See Vol. I. note at p. 129.
  6. La Junon was first discovered and chased by the Asp of 16 guns, and Supérieure, pierced for 14, but with only 4 on board. The former sloop was soon lost sight of by her consort, who not only gallantly pursued the French frigate into the hands of Captain Scott, but during the action rendered every assistance which could be effected by the greatest skill and courage. La Junon was retaken in the course of the same year, after a most desperate resistance, by a squadron of French frigates bound! to Guadaloupe.