O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'
O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'


The Royal NavyO'Byrne

The following is the entry for James Hunt in William O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'.

HUNT. (Lieut., 1841. f-p., 13; h-p., 1.)

James Hunt was born 27 Oct. 1817, at Oxford.
This officer entered the Navy, 23 July, 1833, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Wasp 18, Capts. Jas. Burney and John Sam. Foreman, stationed in the West Indies, whence, in April, 1836, he returned home as Midshipman of the President 52, flag-ship of Sir Geo. Cockburn. In the following Sept. he joined the Hercules 74, Capts. Maurice Fred. Fitzhardinge Berkeley and John Toup Nicolas, with whom he cruized experimentally, and served on the coasts of Spain and Portugal until transferred, in April, 1838, to the Nautilus 10, Lieut.-Commander Geo. Beaufoy, on the African station. Joining, in Aug. 1840, after an interval of four months, the Stromboli steamer, Capt. Woodford John Williams, Mr. Hunt shared in that vessel in the whole of the ensuing operations on the coast of Syria, including the storming of Sidon and the bombardment of St. Jean d’Acre. On the former occasion he evinced a degree of zeal, activity, cool determination, and courage, most animating to the men, and not to be surpassed. He was intrusted with the colours, and ran a complete race with an Austrian officer as to who should be the first to display his national flag on the walls of the Castle – an honourable rivalry in which he had the good fortune to come off successful. From April to June, 1841, Mr. Hunt served in the Mediterranean on board the Bellerophon 80, Capt. Chas. John Austen; and on 12 of the following Aug., immediately after he had passed his examination, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. His next appointment being, 2 Sept. 1841, to the Dido 18, Capt. Hon. Henry Keppel, he sailed in that sloop for China, where he beheld the capture of Woosung and Shanghae, and the other operations on the Yang-tse-Kiang. On 21 May, 1843, when off Point Datou, on the coast of Borneo, in command of a native-built boat armed with a brass 6-pounder and 2 swivels, and manned with 18 officers, seamen, and marines, he simultaneously effected the destruction of one, and the utter defeat of another, of two piratical proas, each carrying about 2 guns and 50 men, by whom he had been attacked. His spirited and zealous exertions in this affair drew forth letters of approbation both from the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Wm. Parker, and from the Board of Admiralty. He continued on the books of the Dido until he invalided in Feb. 1845; but appears, previously to that date, to have been allowed, from 1 Aug. to 1 Oct. 1843, to command the Starling surveying-vessel, and to have been lent, from 6 June, 1844, to 15 Oct. 1844, to the Driver steamer, Capt. Courtenay Osborn Hayes. He has been employed, since 12 Nov. 1845, on the south-east coast of America, as First of the Alecto steam-sloop, Capts. Fras. Wm. Austen and Vincent Amcotts Massingberd.


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