OTWAY, Sir Robert Waller 1st Baronet

Male 1770 - 1846  (76 years)

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  • Name OTWAY, Robert Waller 
    Prefix Sir 
    Suffix 1st Baronet 
    Born 26 Apr 1770  Westwood, near Southampton Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 12 May 1846 
    Person ID I1892  My Genealogy
    Last Modified 20 Oct 2002 

    Father OTWAY, Cooke,   b. 1741, Castle Otway,Co. Tipperary Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Dec 1800  (Age 59 years) 
    Mother WALLER, Elizabeth,   b. 1747, Prior Park, Nenagh,Tipperary, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Aug 1807, Templederry Church Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 60 years) 
    Married 9 Aug 1766  St Johns Limerick Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1264  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family HOLLOWAY, Clementina 
    Married 15 Aug 1801  St Mary's Portsea, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. OTWAY, Adelaide Louisa,   d. 5 Jun 1873
     2. OTWAY, Caroline Letitia
     3. OTWAY, Charles Cook
     4. OTWAY, Clementina Matilda
     5. OTWAY, Edward John
     6. OTWAY, Elizabeth
     7. OTWAY, Emily
     8. OTWAY, Frances Augusta
     9. OTWAY, George Graham
     10. OTWAY, Nartha
     11. OTWAY, Robert Waller
     12. OTWAY, Arthur John,   b. 1822
    Last Modified 17 Oct 2017 
    Family ID F1252  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • [Hill.FBC 5.FBK.FTW]

      He was created Baronet by King William IV on 15th Sept 1831, being one of his Equerries and a personal friend.

      OTWAY, SIR ROBERT WALLER, (1770-1846), admiral, second son of Cooke Otway of Castle Otway, Co. Tipperary, by Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel Waller of Lisbrian, Tipperary, was born on 26th April 1770 (FOSTER). He entered the navy in April 1784 on board the Elizabeth, guardship at Portsmouth, with Captain Robert Kingsmill. In September, 1785, he joined the Phaeton in the Mediterranean. The Phaeton was paid off in August, 1786, and in November Otway joined the Trusty, going to the Mediterranean with the broad pennant of Commodore Cosby. On the return of the Trusty in February 1789 he was entered on board the Blonde, going to the West Indies, where, and on the coast of Africa, in different ships, he remained till promoted to the rank of lieutenant on 8th Aug. 1793. In December he was appointed to the Impregnable of 98 guns, bearing the flag of Rear-Admiral Benjamin Caldwell (q.v.), and in her was present in the battle of 1st June, 1794. On this occasion the Impregnable's fore-topsail-yard was badly injured, and Otway, accompanied by a midshipmen, going aloft, succeeded in securing it so that the ship remained under control - a timely service, for which Caldwell publicly thanked him on the quarter-deck. Shortly afterwards, when, on his appointment as commander-in-chief in the West Indies, he shifted his flag to the Majestic, he took Otway with him as first lieutenant, and in the following January promoted him to the command of the Thorn's sloop.
      In her, in April, Otway captured La Belle Creole, a large schooner fitted out from Guadeloupe by Victor Hugues, in order to co-operate with the disaffected inhabitants of Saint-Pierre, Martinique, in burning the town and massacring the royalists, who, in acknowledgement of the service thus unwittingly rendered them, presented Otway with a sword valued at two hundred guineas. In May he captured the Courrier National, a sloop of greatly superior force (cf. JAMES, i. 321). He afterwards rendered important assistance against the insurgents in St. Vincent and Grenada, and on 30th Oct. 1795, was posted by Sir John Laforey (q.v.), the new commander-in-chief, to the 32-gun frigate Mermaid (see RALFE, iv. 5 n). In her, and afterwards in the Ceres of 32 guns and the Trent of 36, Otway, continuing in the West Indies for the next five years, had a singularly adventurous and successful career. He had an important share in the capture of Grenada in 1796; he cut out or destroyed several large privateers; and in July, 1799, having information that the frigate Hermione (see PIGOT, HUGH, d. 1797; HAMILTON, SIR EDWARD) was in La Guayra, he went thither, and on the night of the 7th pulled in with two of his boars. The Hermione, however, was not there; but, finding a corvette which had lately arrived from Spain, he boarded and carried her, and by break of day had towed her out of range of the barreries. But it was a dead calm; a flotilla of gun boards was seen coming out in pursuit; and defence or escape seemed equally impossible. Otway ordered two guns, loaded to the muzzle, to be got ready, and when the gun boards were on the point of boarding, fired them through the corvette's bottom. The gunboats had as much as they could do to save their countrymen from drowning, and in the confusion Otway drew off his men in his own boars. In his six years in the West Indies he was said to have captured or destroyed two hundred of the enemy's privateers or merchant men. The Trent, in 1799 and 1800, 'is supposed to have made as many captures as ever fell to the lot of one vessel in the same space of time' (BRENTON, Naval History, ii, 448).
      In November 1800 the Trent returned to England with the flag of Sir Hyde Parker (1739-1807) (q.v.), with whom Otway went to the Royal George, and thence, in February 1801, to the London, when Parker took command of the fleet for the Baltic. It is said, apparently on Otway's authority (RALFE; O'BYRNE), that it was at his suggestion that the fleet advanced against Copenhagen through the Sound instead of by the Great Belt. During the battle which followed, when the commander-in-chief determined to hoist the celebrated signal to 'discontinue the action,' Otway was sent to the Elephant with a verbal message to Nelson to disregard it if he saw any probability of success (see NELSON, HORATIO, VISCOUNT). He was sent home with despatches, and, on rejoining the flag in August, was appointed to the Edgar, in which he went out to the West Indies, and returned in July, 1802. During 1804-5 he commanded the Montagu off Brest under Cornwallis; in the spring of 1806 he was detached, under the command of Sir Richard John Strachan (q.v.), in pursuit of the French squadron under Willaumez, and in 1807 was sent to the Mediterranean, where he was employed on the coast of Calabria, and afterwards, in 1808, on the coast of Catalonia in co-operation with the Spanish patriots. In August, 1808 he was moved to the Malta for a passage to England; but in the following May he again went out to the Mediterranean in command of the Ajax, in which, and afterwards in the Cumberland, he was employed in the continuous blockade of Toulon and the French coast. In December 1811 his health gave way and he was compelled to invalid. In May, 1813 he was again appointed to the Ajax, for service in the Channel and Bay of Biscay. In the autumn he co-operated with the army in the siege of San Sebastian, and early in 1814 convoyed a fleet of transports., with some five thousand troops on board, from Bordeaux to Quebec. He afterwards assisted in equipping the flotilla on Lake Champlain.
      On 4th June 1814 Otway was promoted to the rank of rear-admiral, and from 1818 to 1821 was commander-in-chief at Leith. On 8th June 1826 he was nominated a KCB, and at the same time was appointed commander-in-chief on the South American station, then - in the turmoil of insurrection, revolution and civil war - a post calling for constant watchfulness and tact. He returned to England in 1829. On 22nd July 1830 he was promoted to be vice-admiral, and on 15th Sept. 1831 was created a baronet. He was promoted to be admiral on 23rd Nov. 1841, and was nominated a GCB on 8th May, 1845. He died suddenly on 12th May 1846. He had married, in 1801, Clementina, eldest daughter of Admiral John Holloway, and by her had a large family. His two eldest sons, both commanders in the navy, predeceased him; the third, George Graham Otway, succeeded to the baronetcy. A portrait, lent by Sir Arthur John Otway, the fourth son and third baronet, was in the Naval Exhibition of 1891.

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