No. I.


The naval service of England has sustained a great loss m the death of this distinguished officer; and although this loss might have been more felt a few years ago than it is now, when the country is enjoying a state of profound peace, yet our gratitude for past services, and our admiration of high talents, unwearied zeal, and heroical bravery, should make us equally anxious to pay every tribute of respect to the memory of him who has served his country so well, as though he had been snatched from us, like Nelson, in the very act of achieving great and memorable deeds.

The family of Hoste was originally of Bruges, in Flanders, where the name occurs in the list of the city magistrates as


early as 1359. James Hoste, son of Jaques, who had been governor of Bruges, was one of the Protestants driven from the Low Countries by the persecutions of the Duke of Alva, and settled in England in 1569. From him the officer now deceased was sixth in descent; being the>second but eldest surviving son of the Rev. Dixon Hoste, of Godwick in Norfolk, by Margaret, daughter of Henry Stanforth, Esq. of Salthouse in the same county.

The career of Sir William Hoste in the navy was commenced as midshipman under the protection of the immortal Nelson, on the breaking out of the French revolutionary war; and he served with that great commander in the Agamemnon and other ships, till after the expedition against Teneriffe; when his patron transferred him to the care of Capt. Ralph W. Miller, commanding the Theseus of seventy-four guns. The following are extracts from Nelson's correspondence relative to his protege, previous to the latter attaining his sixteenth year:

To the Rev. Dixon Hoste, Godwick, Norfolk, February 14. 1794: — " You cannot, my dear Sir, receive more pleasure in reading this letter than I have in writing it, to say that your son is every thing which his dearest friend can wish him to be; and is a strong proof that the greatest gallantry may lie under the most gentle behaviour. Two days ago, it was necessary to take a small vessel from a number of people who had got on shore to prevent us; she was carried in a high style, and your good son was by my side."

To the same, May 3d.—" The little brushes we have lately had with the enemy only serve to convince me of the truth I have already said of him; and in his navigation you will find him equally forward. He highly deserves every 'thing I can do to make him happy."

To Mrs. Nelson.— " Hoste is indeed a most exceeding good boy, and will shine in our service."

In August, 1798, Mr. Hoste succeeded the Hon. T. B. Capel in the command of la Mutine, the only small vessel attached to Nelson's squadron in the battle of the Nile. This appointment being confirmed by the Admiralty in December following, he continued to serve in her till the close of the war. His post commission bore date January 7. 1802. He subsequently commanded the Eurydice of twenty-four guns, and Amphion frigate.

At the commencement of 1809, Captain Hoste appears as senior officer in the Adriatic, where he cruized with unremitting vigilance against the enemy's vessels, and was employed in carrying supplies and reinforcements to the gar risons of Ancona, Corfu, and the Ionian islands. On the 8th of February, the Amphion, in company with the Redwing sloop of war, captured a French brig, mounting six twelvepounders, and destroyed two store-houses of wine and oil collected at Melida, an island near the coast of Dalmatia. She subsequently assisted at the capture of thirteen deeplyladen merchantmen in the mole of Pesaro, and had the command of the very gallant, well-conducted, and successful attack made on the enemy's fort and vessels at Cortelazzo, between Venice and Trieste. The following -is an extract from Lord Collingwood's official letter on the occasion: —

"I have on many occasions had to represent the zeal, the bravery, and the nice concert of measures that are necessary to success, which have distinguished the services of Captain Hoste; and this late attack of the enemy is not inferior to those many instances which have before obtained for him praise and admiration. The manner in which he speaks of Lieutenant Phillot, who commanded the party, and of the other officers and men, is highly honourable to them; but the Amphion's officers and men, following the example of their Captain, could not well be otherwise than they are. * * * Within a month two divisions of the enemy's gun-boats have been taken, consisting of six each."

There are not many officers in the service under whose directions more boat-actions have been carried into effect than under those of Captain Hoste. He was the sworn foe to inactivity ; and when he could effect nothing with his ships, he was constantly contriving expeditions with boats, not only to

« ElőzőTovább »