Roddam Home

Died 1801. He was the son of Rev William Home of Fogo in Berwickshire, and of his wife, Mary Roddam.

Home was commissioned lieutenant on 21 November 1772.

During the summer of 1777 he commanded the schooner Egmont off the Newfoundland Banks, and after being promoted commander on 19 April 1779 he joined the Cormorant 14, which was sent back to Plymouth with news of the French presence at sea prior to the Channel Fleet retreat in August. He was posted captain of the Romney 50 on 6 November, flying the broad pennant of Commodore George Johnstone who made the appointment as his squadron was about to sail for Lisbon.

On 1 May 1780, off Cape St. Vincent, Home was involved in an unfortunate incident when the Romney fired upon the cartel Sardine whilst she was on the last leg of a ten-month voyage returning French troops and officers who had surrendered at Pondicherry. Even though the Sardine lowered her French flag and kept a cartel flag flying, Home fired upon her again, inflicting three deaths. At a subsequent court of inquiry he was acquitted of any misdemeanour on the basis that the Sardine had also been flying a broad pennant.

Good fortune followed this unfortunate event, for on 1 July the Romney captured the brand new French frigate Artois 38 in a 45-minute action off Cape Finisterre, inflicting casualties of twenty men killed and forty wounded in return for two men killed and two wounded. She followed this success up four days later when she took the Perle 18.

192px-hms_caesar_1793_engaging_mont_blanc

Home’s last command was the Caesar, depicted here in a later action.

Home remained in command of Johnstone’s flagship Romney 50 when she departed for the East Indies with the commodore’s squadron in March 1781, and he fought at the Battle of Porto Praya on 16 April. After proceeding to the Cape and attacking the Dutch in Saldanha Bay on 21 July the Romney returned home in November.

Having remained unemployed throughout the peace, Home was appointed to recommission the Africa 64 on 9 November 1793, going out to Jamaica in the following February and taking part in the unsuccessful attack on Léogane on 21 March 1796. Whilst at Port Royal on 29 April an explosion below decks in the vicinity of the newly-stocked magazine blew out part of her lower gun decks. Sensing impending doom, over three hundred men leapt into the sea whilst Home and some officers, together with a few men, rushed below and successfully put out the fire. The Africa was paid off on 11 October 1796 at Chatham, having latterly served off North America.

During 1797 Home had the Caesar 80 in the North Sea, and in the following year was employed with this vessel in the Channel.

He was promoted rear-admiral on 14 February 1799, and he died on 13 February 1801 at Inveresk in East Lothian. His address was given as Longformacus, Berwickshire.

Home married Catherine Ramsey and they had issue, including at least one son.