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THE

ANNUAL

BIOGRAPHY AND OBITUARY,

OF

1828.

PART I.

MEMOIRS OF CELEBRATED PERSONS, WHO HAVE

DIED WITHIN THE YEARS 1827-1828.

No. I.

SIR RICHARD JOHN STRACHAN,

SIXTH BARONET OF THORNTON, CO. KINCARDINE; ADMIRAL OF

THE BLUE, AND KNIGHT GRAND CROSS OF THE MOST HON.

MILITARY ORDER OF THE BATH.

The surname of Strachan, which in the successive changes of orthography appears Strathechyn, Strathaquin, Straquhen, and otherwise, is local, there being a parish so called in the north of Scotland. Nisbet affirms, that the district was anciently erected into a county palatine, as he finds a Walterus, Comes Palatinus de Strachan, and considers it the only instance known in the kingdom. The family is traced by authentic documents from a period of high antiquity.

The subject of this memoir was the eldest son of Lieutenant Patrick Strachan, R. N., by the daughter of Captain Pitman

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of the same service, and nephew of Captain Sir John Strachan, the fifth Baronet of that name, to whose title he succeeded Dec. 28. 1777. Sir Richard was born in Devonshire, Oct. 27. 1760; and, like his father and uncle, entered early into the naval service. His first promotion was into the Actæon, one of the old 44s upon two decks; he then became third lieutenant of the Hero, 74, one of Commodore Johnstone's squadron in the affair at Porto Praya; and afterwards first of the Magnanime of 64 guns, from which ship he was removed into the Superb, 74, bearing the flag of Sir Edward Hughes, by whom he was made a Commander in the Lizard Cutter, at Bombay, in 1782; and further promoted to the Naiade frigate, captured from the French by the Sceptre. His post commission bore date April 26. 1783.

After the termination of the American war, our officer obtained the command of the Vestal, of 28 guns, and was ordered to convey the brother of the present Lord Cathcart on an embassy to the Emperor of China. The Ambassador was in a bad state of health when he embarked at Portsmouth, and continued to grow worse daily until the ship's arrival in the Straits of Banca, when he died. Sir Richard afterwards carried General Meadows to his government at Bombay; and during his continuance in the East Indies, distinguished himself on several occasions in supporting the British commercial rights, which would otherwise have been injured by interlopers under neutral colours, countenanced by some French frigates, as well as by the Governors of the garrisons belonging to that nation.

In the month of Nov. 1791, whilst cruizing off the Malabar coast, in the Phænix frigate, he fell in with la Résolu, of 46 guns, convoying two country coasting vessels to Mangalore (the principal sea-port of Tippoo Saib), supposed to be laden with stores and provisions for that chieftain, with whom we were then at war. Finding that Sir Richard Strachan was determined to examine these vessels, the French Captain thought proper to object; and an action commenced, which was maintained with great obstinacy on both sides, until the

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