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Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

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Royal Navy career of Augustus Montgomery

Royal Navy career of Augustus Montgomery (formerly Reebkomp) 1773 to 1797.

  

The Sandwich (foreground) at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent in 1780.
Picture of 1780. See full size. From here.
Augustus Montgomery was Lieutenant on the Sandwich in 1781-82.



Joins Navy, 1773

Augustus Reebkomp (later Montgomery) was born 23rd Nov 1762.
He was named "Augustus Reebkomp" at birth.
He entered Royal Navy as child.
First record is June 1773, age 10, where he is Captain's Servant on the Orpheus.
He entered the Royal Naval Academy in Portsmouth on 3rd November 1774.
There was a riot by pupils (rebelling against the harsh punishments and conditions) at the Royal Naval Academy late in 1776. Reebkomp was disciplined for participating in the riot [Thomas, 2008].
He was discharged from the Academy on 27th February 1778.
On 1 Apr 1778 (age 15) he became a Midshipman on the Bienfaisant.

  

American Revolutionary War, 1779 to 1783

On 14 Mar 1779, he became a Midshipman on the Europe, the flagship of Admiral Arbuthnot.
Sailed to North America in May 1779. (This was during the American Revolutionary War 1775 to 1783).
He became a Midshipman on the Victor on 21 Sept 1779 [PRO search]. Though the following letter says 22 Sept. NOT November.
He wrote to his father from the Victor at Port Royal, Jamaica, on 21 Nov 1779. See [Pembroke Papers, vol.I, p.323].

Becomes Lieutenant, 1780:
On 8 Mar 1780 (age 17), he was appointed Lieutenant on the Hope.
See a later letter from Vice Admiral of the White, Mariot Arbuthnot, 26 Mar 1782, about his appointment as a Lieutenant. Calls him "Augustus R. Reebkomp".
En route from Charlestown, South Carolina, to New York to join the Hope, Reebkomp was captured 24 Mar 1780 off Sandy Hook, New Jersey, by an American privateer. He was carried into Rhode Island as a prisoner. Eventually freed in an exchange.
He mentions what happened in a later letter of 27 Mar 1782. See also [Pembroke Papers, vol.I, p.491].
He finally joined the Hope on 1 June 1780.
Lieutenant on the Intrepid, appointed 3 Nov 1780.
Appointed 9 May 1781 as Lieutenant on the Sandwich (flagship of Admiral Rodney).

Becomes Commander, 1781:
In 1781 he was appointed Commander of the Ranger (purchased in 1779, renamed the Pigmy in 1781).
He took the name "Augustus Montgomery" on becoming Commander in 1781.
Letter of 27 Mar 1782 says he was appointed "Master and Commander" of the Ranger on 27 July 1781 (age 18) under the name Augustus Montgomery.
[PRO search] says he was appointed on 28 July 1781.

Becomes Captain, 1782:
He was appointed Captain of the Ranger (the Pigmy) in 1782.
[Pembroke Papers] says he was appointed Captain on 9 Apr 1782 (age 19).
See letter from Augustus on 9 Apr 1782 asking for his name to be changed in Navy records from Reebkomp to Montgomery.
[Eton College register, 1753-1790] and [Dublin Almanack] say he was appointed Captain on 24 May 1782. [Steel's List] says 1782.

Captain of the Buffalo 6 May 1782 [PRO search].
Captain of the Boreas 17 Sept 1782 [PRO search] or 30 Apr 1782 [Pembroke Papers].
On 7 May 1783 (or maybe 6 May) he became Captain of the Concorde.
American Revolutionary War ended Sept 1783.
He went on leave in Sept 1783 on half-pay for nearly 5 years.

  

Re-joins active service, 1788

He re-joined active service in the Navy in 1788.
On 23 May 1788 he was appointed Captain of the Mercury.
Sailed to the Mediterranean. Presumably to the Eastern Mediterranean, and that is how he met his wife.
See Beechey portrait painted 1789.
[Steel's List] shows him as Captain of the Mercury, in the Mediterranean, in at least Jan 1790 to Jan 1791.
On 5 May 1791, he went on leave.
In June 1791, [Steel's List] shows the Mercury at Portsmouth. No Captain listed.
He got married in Oct 1791.

On 8 Jan 1793, he was appointed Captain of the Inconstant.
In Feb and Mar 1793, [Steel's List] shows him as Captain of the Inconstant, then in the English Channel.
In Apr to June 1793, [Steel's List] shows him as Captain of the Inconstant, location listed as "To the West Indies".
He and his ship the Inconstant captured the French ship the Curieux in the West Indies on 3rd June 1793. See p.552 of The Royal Navy: A History, by William Laird Clowes, vol.4 (1899).
In July 1793, [Steel's List] shows them back in the English Channel.
In Aug 1793, [Steel's List] shows them "With Earl Howe". (This was the commander of the Channel Fleet, Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe.)
In Sept to Nov 1793, [Steel's List] shows him as Captain of the Inconstant, location listed as "Cruising".
In Dec 1793, [Steel's List] shows them in "Convoy to Mediterranean".
In Jan 1794 to Apr 1795, [Steel's List] shows him as Captain of the Inconstant, in Mediterranean.

He was made Captain of the Courageux on 26 Jan 1795 [PRO search] or Mar 1795 [Pembroke Papers].
Fought in Battle of Genoa off Italy, 13–14 March 1795.
He and his ship the Courageux were involved in the action in this battle where the Ca Ira and Censeur were captured.
In May to July 1795, [Steel's List] shows him as Captain of the Courageux, in Mediterranean.

He was made Captain of the Audacious on 19 June 1795 [PRO search].
In Aug to Oct 1795, [Steel's List] shows him as Captain of the Audacious, in Mediterranean.
He was made Captain of the Bedford on 27 July 1795 [PRO search] or Sept 1795 [Pembroke Papers].
In Nov 1795, [Steel's List] shows him as Captain of the Bedford, location listed as "Portsmouth, refitting".
On 16 Nov 1795, he went on leave.
In Dec 1795, [Steel's List] shows the Bedford with no Captain, location listed as "Portsmouth, to repair".

  

Death, 1797

He was made Captain of the Theseus (pronounced "Thee-seus") on 30 Apr 1796 [PRO search] or 5 May 1796 [Pembroke Papers].
However, in Feb 1796, [Steel's List] already shows him as Captain of the Theseus, location listed as "Coast of France".
In Mar 1796, [Steel's List] shows him as Captain, and the ship "On a secret Expedition".
In Apr to Sept 1796, [Steel's List] shows them at Spithead.
In Dec 1796, [Steel's List] shows him as Captain of the Theseus, location listed as "Cruising".
In Jan 1797, [Steel's List] shows them as "Cruising with Admiral Colpoys". (This is Admiral John Colpoys.)
In Feb 1797, [Steel's List] shows them at Plymouth.
Augustus died on board his ship the Theseus at Cawsand Bay, Plymouth, 6 Feb 1797. [PRO search] says "D.D. at Plymouth", which would be dry dock.
In Mar 1797, [Steel's List] shows the Theseus at Spithead with a new Captain.






Capt. Augustus Montgomery listed among the Royal Navy Captains in [Dublin Almanack, 1783].
See full size.



Capt. Augustus Montgomery listed among the Royal Navy Captains in [Dublin Almanack, 1787].
See full size.



[Steel's List, Jan 1790] shows Augustus Montgomery as Captain of the Mercury, then in the Mediterranean.
Columns show number of guns and date ship built. See full size.



[Steel's List, Feb 1793] shows Augustus Montgomery as Captain of the Inconstant, then in the English Channel.
Column shows number of guns. See full size.



[Steel's List, Mar 1796] shows Augustus Montgomery as Captain of the Theseus, location listed as: "On a secret Expedition".
See full size and other shot. Columns shows number of guns and date ship built.



The last entry for Augustus Montgomery in [Steel's List].
The list for Feb 1797 shows him as Captain of the Theseus at Plymouth.
See full size.


  

Ships

  

The Concorde in the Action of 23 April 1794.
Picture of 1795. From here.
Augustus Montgomery was Captain of the Concorde in 1783.



The Theseus caught in the Sept 1804 hurricane in the West Indies.
Picture of 1809. See notes.
See full size. From here. See other copy.
Augustus Montgomery was Captain of the Theseus in 1796-97.



The movie Master and Commander (2003) shows a fictional naval battle in 1805.


  

References

  


Sources yet to be consulted

  




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