William Backhouse Monypenny, born 13 Dec. 1808, is fourth son of the late Thos. Monypenny, Esq., by Catherine, daughter of Isaac Button, Esq., of Ospringe and Whitehills, co. Kent; and brother of the present Thos. Gybbon Monypenny, Esq., of Hole House, Rolvenden, a Magistrate and Deputy-Lieutenant for cos. Kent and Sussex, and late M.P. for Rye. His youngest brother, Robert Honywood, died a Captain in the 4th Infantry 8 March, 1839.
This officer entered the Navy, 29 April, 1823, as Fst.-cl. Vol., on board the Ramillies 74, Capt. Edw. Brace, with whom, until Nov. 1824, he served on the Home and West India stations, part of the time as Midshipman of the Ganges 84. He was then for three years and a half employed in the Gannet 18, Capt. Fras. Brace, on the coast of Ireland, and also in the Mediterranean; where he further, from 1828 until 1830, served on board the Gloucester 74, Capt. Houston Stewart, and Pelican 18, Capt. Fras. Deane Hutcheson. Joining next, 9 Nov. 1831, in the capacity of Mate (he had passed his examination 4 July, 1829), the Aetna surveying-vessel, Capt. Edw. Belcher, he proceeded to the coast of Africa, and was afterwards, previously to his return to the Mediterranean, employed on the river Douro for the protection of British property during the hostilities between Pedro and Miguel. While in charge, in 1833, of one of the Aetna's decked boats, manned with but 4 hands, he accidentally lost sight of the ship off the Straits of Gibraltar, but providentially succeeded in reaching Portsmouth in his flimsy tenement after a passage of 19 days, arriving there on 18 Sept. Towards the close of the same year he again sailed for the African coast in the Aetna, with Capt. Wm. Geo. Skyring. He continued in that vessel under the command of Lieut. Wm. Arlett and Capt. Alex. Thos. Emeric Vidal (10 months of the time as Acting-Lieutenant) until Oct. 1835; and on 30 Sept. 1837 (having further served as Mate, in the Channel, off Lisbon, in the Mediterranean, and at Plymouth, in the Pembroke 74, Capts. Sir Thos. Fellowes and Fairfax Moresby, and Donegal 78, Capts. Fras. Brace and John Drake) he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. His succeeding appointments were - 3 Nov. 1837, as Additional, to the President 52, flag-ship of Rear-Admiral Chas. Bayne Hodgson Ross in South America – and 16 June, 1838, as Senior, to the Sulphur surveying-vessel, commanded by his old Captain, Belcher. On his subsequent arrival in China from the Pacific, we find him assisting, in the early part of 1841, at the capture of Chuenpee, Tycocktow, and the Bogue; uniting, also, in an attack made by a squadron under Capt. Herbert on the enemy’s camp, fort, and ship Cambridge bearing the Chinese Admiral’s flag, at their position below Whampoa Reach, where 98 guns were in the whole destroyed; and participating in the operations against Canton. As a reward for his exertions he was promoted to the rank of Commander by commission dated 8 June, 1841. He left the Sulphur in the following Nov., and has since been on half-pay.