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Sir Edward Pellew

British Admiral,
Viscount Exmouth,
1757-1833

Admiral Sir Edward PellewMade famous to modern maritime fans by his appearing in the Hornblower novels and TV series, Sir Edward Pellew was a real-life naval hero who was one of the great British commanders of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Eras.

Pellew joined the Royal Navy at 13 and quickly showed promise during the American War of Independence, earning promotions through his bravery and leadership.

In 1793, he was captain of the Nymphe and during the early stages of the Revolutionary Wars seized the first French frigate of the struggle. He was knighted after his capture of the Cleopatre.

One of his most courageous exploit came in 1796 and was not a naval action, but a rescue mission. It came near Plymouth when Pellew and his men bravely risked themselves to save the crew and passengers of the Dutton, a transport that had run aground in a fierce storm. In recognition for his herosim he was rewarded with a baronetcy.

Pellew's next command was the frigate Indefatigeable and against the French ship of the line Droits de l'Homme he showed his skills as a fighting captain. in 1797 Pellew's 44-gunner took on the much larger 74-gun warship and destroyed it.

His success and personal style made him a popular commander and in 1802 he became an MP.

Two years later he was made a rear-admiral and while naval chief in the East Indies he destroyed Dutch naval power in the area.

From 1808 he was closer to home and in charge of first the North Sea, then Mediterranean fleets and was promoted to admiral in 1814.

His final campaign included the famous attack on Algiers after its ruler refused to free Christians held as slaves in his lands.

 
 
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