Sir Richard Hussey Moubray (Hussey)

1776-1842. He was born on 16 March 1776 at Stoke Damarel, Plymouth, the second and youngest son of Robert Moubray of Cockairney, Kinrosshire, Scotland, and of his wife, Arabella Hussey. He was the first cousin of Admiral Sir Richard Hussey Bickerton, and the nephew of Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Bickerton.

After being placed on the books of the frigate Sibyl 38, commanded by his cousin, Captain Richard Bickerton, Moubray first went to sea as a midshipman aboard the Impregnable 98, the flagship of his uncle, Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Bickerton, which was attached to the Grand Fleet under Admiral Lord Howe during the Spanish Armament of 1790. In the following year he joined the Pegasus 28, Captain William Domett, serving on the Newfoundland station, and in 1792 he was with the Andromeda 28, Captain John Salisbury, employed in the Channel and in attendance on the King at Weymouth. In November he moved to the Europa 50, Captain George Gregory, taking the broad pennant of Commodore John Ford, the new commander-in-chief, out to Jamaica, and on arrival at that station he transferred to the sloop Serpent 16, being employed in the Bahamas.

Vice-Admiral Moubray was the cousin of Admiral sir Richard Bickerton, here portrayed.

Continuing on the Jamaican station, after the commencement of hostilities with France in 1793 he rejoined the Europa, Captain Gregory, and having been awarded a lieutenant’s commission on 29 December he served aboard the Magicienne 32, Captain George Martin, before returning to the Europa as her first lieutenant, in which capacity he was present at the capture of Port-au-Prince on 4 June 1794. During this period, he also spent a short time as the acting captain of the Iphigenia 32 following the death of Captain Patrick Sinclair on 5 May.

On 9 June 1794 Moubray was promoted commander of the sloop Fly 14 in succession to Commander Thomas Affleck, and he returned to England, giving passage to Captain Bartholomew Rowley of the Penelope 32 and Lieutenant-Colonel John Whitelock, who were carrying despatches concerning the capture of Port-au-Prince. Rowley arrived at the Admiralty on the evening of 15 July. After a refit, the Fly conveyed transports to Helvoetsluys, and she returned to Harwich when giving passage to the Duke of York. On the 19 January 1795 she assisted in the detention of a Dutch squadron of five men of war at Plymouth, together with a convoy which had been on its way out to the Cape. Shortly afterwards, the Fly drove onto the rocks of St. Nicholas Island, but she was warped off after firing signals of distress, being taken into the Hamoaze. She was afterwards employed in conveying the trade to Gibraltar from the Devonshire port under the orders of Captain William O’Brien Drury of the Trusty 50, and she returned to Portsmouth with a convoy from Cadiz in early May.

In July 1795 the Fly departed with a convoy for Jamaica, sailing thither via the coast of Africa and Barbados. Following a short spell as acting-captain of the Magicienne 32, in which he brought the Lisbon convoy home in March 1796, Moubray returned to the Fly, sailing from Portsmouth for the Downs with a convoy on 12 July, a task he repeated in August. On 22 August off Portland his command captured the tiny yet active French row-boat privateer Furet, which was sent into Portsmouth. The Fly was back at Portsmouth towards the end of October, and at the beginning of the following month she took another convoy around to the Downs

In early January 1797 the Fly arrived at Portsmouth from the eastward, and on 29 April Moubray was posted captain, having apparently resigned his command of the Fly after being rejected by the Spithead mutineers. Being unable to find a ship, he served as a volunteer to his cousin on board the Ramillies 74 and the Terrible 74 in the Channel Fleet until Captain Bickerton was promoted to flag rank on 14 February 1799.

In October 1801 he was appointed to the fir-built frigate Maidstone 32, in which he arrived at Portsmouth from Torbay on 19 November, having delivered seamen to the Channel Fleet. Although the Maidstone was initially designated to take out the West Indies convoy from Portsmouth, these orders appear to have been rescinded, and on 24 January 1802 she sailed with provisions for the island of Marcou off the French coast.

On 2 April 1802, having awaited final orders for two months, and during which time Moubray had been aboard the Grampus 50 when she was launched at Portsmouth in March, the Maidstone sped through the Needles carrying the official despatches announcing the Treaty of Amiens out to the Mediterranean. Here his cousin, Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Hussey Bickerton, had acceded to the command of the station. In June the Maidstone carried General Henry Edward Fox, the commander-in-chief of the British Army in the Mediterranean, from Valetta to Sicily, and she then undertook a successful trip through the Dardanelles. She arrived at Gibraltar from Malta in March 1803 after an eleven-day passage, and she was at Gibraltar at the same time as the Amphion 32, Captain Sam Sutton, arrived with Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson, who had assumed command of the Mediterranean fleet on the resumption of hostilities with France. For the next eighteen months the Maidstone was largely stationed off Toulon, during which period, on 14 June 1803, she took the French Arabe 8 which was bound from Athens to Lorient.

On 1 August 1803 Moubray transferred to the frigate Active 38 in place of Captain Charles Sydney Davers, who was terminally ill with yellow fever, and he saw further service in the Mediterranean. From November 1804 to January 1805 his command refitted at Malta, and after rejoining the fleet off Toulon she was chased by the French fleet on 17 January during Nelson’s absence from the port. When Vice-Admiral Pierre Villeneuve’s fleet did break out on 29 March and head for the West Indies at the start of the Trafalgar Campaign, Moubray had the misfortune to lose contact with it. After rejoining Nelson, he was ordered to report the French breakout to the Channel Fleet and to Cork, and he eventually arrived at Plymouth on 19 May.

The Active sailed for Leith in early July, and Moubray later commanded a squadron off Norway. In October his command joined Admiral Lord Gardner at Cork, where she assisted the Arethusa 38, Captain Charles Brisbane, in retrieving a West Indian-bound convoy, following an attack upon it by five French sail of the line and three frigates under the command of Vice-Admiral Corentin Urbain Leissègues. Moubray then shadowed the latter force for several days, but once again had the misfortune to lose contact. The Active entered Plymouth on 13 February 1806 from Ireland having lost her main topmast and sprung her mainmast, and on 27 April she captured the French schooner letter-of-marque Les Amis 4, bound for Cayenne from Bordeaux. On 14 May she entered Plymouth with fourteen detained Prussian and Danish vessels, and she also landed Commodore Sir Home Riggs Popham’s first lieutenant, Thomas Mansell, whom Moubray had taken out of a transport and was carrying dispatches announcing the capture of the Cape.

In June 1806 the Active went out to Gibraltar with a convoy from Cork, and she saw further employment at the blockade of Cadiz. During November she was despatched under the orders of Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Louis to the Dardanelles, prior to conveying the Russian ambassador from Constantinople to Malta in January 1807. She was back off Turkey when the Ajax 74 caught fire on 14 February, the Active being close enough to hear Captain Hon. Henry Blackwood’s calls for assistance before the blaze took hold. She proceeded with Vice-Admiral Sir John Duckworth’s squadron up the Dardanelles during February and was responsible for the ultimate destruction of a 56-gun Turkish frigate which had been driven ashore by the guns of the Pompée 74 and Thunderer 74. Moubray also assisted at the destruction of a large battery in the face of an assault from the Turkish Army. In the course of the precarious journey back down the Dardanelles, the Active was struck two feet above the waterline by an eight-hundred pound shot, which gaping wound was large enough to accommodate the entry of the formidable Russian ambassador when he visited Moubray at Malta on the frigate’s safe return. Casualties aboard the Active during the short expedition totalled eight men wounded, one of whom, the boatswain, was fatally injured. On 14 April she arrived at Naples in her damaged state with other men-of-war from Duckworth’s squadron, following which she rejoined Rear-Admiral Louis off Alexandria.

Whilst subsequently employed under the orders of Captain Thomas Harvey of the Standard 64 at the blockade of Corfu, the Active captured a vessel carrying the library belonging to the French General François Xavier Donzelot. Having chivalrously restored it, Moubray ensured that this particular enemy ever after dispensed kindness towards his English prisoners. His command remained off Corfu until August, during which time Vice-Admiral Honoré Ganteaume’s French fleet arrived in the hope of retaking the island, following its earlier breakout on 7 February 1808. In company with the sloop Porcupine 22, Captain Hon. Henry Duncan, Moubray kept the French under observation for eighteen days from 24 February. He subsequently assisted the Standard in the capture of the brig Friedland 18 off Cape Blanco on 26 May after a chase of several hours, on board of which vessel was the commander-in-chief of the Italian Marine, Commodore Amilcar Paolucci.

In August 1808 Moubray transferred to the Montagu 74, initially serving off Toulon, until he was sent up the Adriatic once again under the orders of Captain William Hargood of the Northumberland 74, sharing in the unfortunate campaign of May-September 1809 which achieved little whilst attempting to support the Austrians. In March 1810 Moubray assisted Lieutenant-General Sir John Stuart and Captain George Eyre of the Magnificent 74 in the capture of the island of Santa Maura in the Ionian Sea, and by October the Montagu was back with the blockading fleet off Toulon.

HMS Montagu, seen in action several years before Moubray became her commander

When the Montagu was ordered back to England in February 1811, Moubray exchanged with Captain John Halliday into the Repulse 74, in which vessel he remained with the Mediterranean fleet until January 1814, taking part in the skirmishes with the French fleet between July and November 1811, and often being engaged with the Inshore Squadron in expeditions on the coast, such as off Valencia in the autumn of 1811 and against the enemy installations at Morjean on 2 May 1813. The Repulse returned to England with a convoy in February 1814 and she was paid off at Plymouth in June, whereupon Captain Moubray retired, having never spent a day off duty in the preceding thirteen years.

He was nominated a C.B. in June 1815, attended the Prince Regent’s huge levee on 14 May 1816, and reached flag rank on 19 July 1821. He initially appears to have lived his retirement in Cockairney, becoming involved in local Scottish affairs including the design of ferries and piers whilst serving as a magistrate. He also undertook visits to London, such as when he attended another levee in April 1822. He inherited the Wood Walton estate in Huntingdonshire in 1832 from his cousin, Admiral Sir Richard Hussey Bickerton, receiving permission from the King on 24 April to be known as Richard Hussey Hussey. After being created a K.C.B. in 1833 he was invested by the King on 16 May, and concurrently he was appointed the deputy lord lieutenant of Huntingdonshire and also saw further service as a magistrate in that county. He was nominated a G.C.M.G. in 1837, became a vice-admiral on 10 January 1837, and was appointed the High Sheriff for Huntingdon and Cambridgeshire in February 1839. Meanwhile, he continued to engage in local social and charitable events, as well as attending the odd levee in London.

Moubray, by now universally known as Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Hussey Hussey, died at The Views, Huntingdon, on 6 November 1842, and he was interred in the family vault at Wood Walton.

He married 24-year-old Emma Hobson of Markfield, Middlesex, at Tottenham on 6 January 1815 and had issue at least two daughters and a son, Richard Hussey Hussey. His cousin, George Moubray, entered the service in 1789 and performed excellent service at the Battle of Trafalgar whilst the first lieutenant and acting-captain for the indisposed Robert Redmill of the Polyphemus 64, leading the securing of the Spanish prize Argonauta 80 and French prize Swiftsure 74.

Moubray was a favourite of Admiral Sir John Duckworth and was regarded as a ‘very good fellow’ who showed kindness to younger officers. Politically he was of a Conservative persuasion. In 1830’s was living at Orton Hall, Peterborough.