Royal Navy obituary in the Times newspaper
Royal Navy obituary in the Times newspaper

Royal NavyObituaries

The following obituary for Henry John Leeke appeared in the Times newspaper.

Obituary in the Times newspaper
28 February 1870Admiral Sir Henry John Leeke, K.C.B., K.H., died at his residence, Uplands, Fareham, Hants, on Saturday afternoon. He entered the navy in September, 1803, as a first-class volunteer, on board the Royal William, then lying at Spithead, and bearing the flag of Admiral Montagu. Between the period of his advancement to the rank of lieutenant, the 24th of November, 1810, and the receipt of his second commission, bearing date the 15th of June, 1814, he was again employed in the Mediterranean and also at the Cape of Good Hope. On one occasion, while the Persian, with a host of French prisoners on board, was off Cape Trafalgar, on her passage home, the prisoners, availing themselves of the absence of the crew (who, worn-out by fatigue, had all, with the exception of Mr. Leeke, the quartermaster, and two men, gone below), assembled on the deck, and were in the act of making a rush aft, when Mr. Leeke seized a cutlass, threw another to the quartermaster, and, with much gallantry, succeeded in keeping them off until the alarm had brought the ship’s company to his assistance. On the 26th of March, 1819, Capt. Leeke was appointed to the Myrmidon, 20, on the western coast of Africa, where he cruised with great activity against the slave trade, and either liberated or contributed to the release of upwards of 3,000 blacks. In May, 1820, having the command at the time of Her Majesty’s ships Myrmidon, Morgiana, Thistle and Snapper, he landed at the Pongas, in the neighbourhood of Sierra Leone, and, at the head of only 170 seamen and marines, added to 180 black soldiers of the 2d West India Regiment, contrived to burn eight towns, to demolish a battery, and to effect the utter defeat of a barbarian force of 5,000 men, commanded by King Munga-Brama, a ruffian who had murdered an officer and several men belonging to the Thistle, and had retained three others as prisoners. During the three years that he remained on the African station Capt. Leeke surveyed the coast to the extent of 600 miles. Sir Henry, as a flag officer, afterwards commanded in chief the Indian Navy. See O’Byrne’s Naval Biography, latest edition. His respective commissions bore date — as capt., May 27, 1826; rear-admiral, April 15, 1854; vice-admiral, May 2, 1860; admiral, Jan. 11, 1864.

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