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Admiral Mackay’s Correspondence Box, 1840
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Admiral Mackay’s Correspondence Box, 1840

Measurements: Overall: 30cm (12in) x 24cm (9.5in) x 14cm (5.5in)

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Ex: Naval History Room at Plymouth Library

leather over wood faux book desk top document box in the form of two volumes. Impressed Rear Admiral Mackay  

Vice Admiral the Honourable Donald Hugh Mackay (1780-1850) was born of fighting ancient Highland fighting stock and was a younger brother of the 7th and 8th Lords Reay, the hereditary Clan Chieftans of Clan Mackay. He entered the Royal Naval Academy in January 1792. As a midshipman he assisted in the capture of the Dutch brig of War Comet, 18-guns, and in the bloody action with French frigate La Tribune in which fifteen of the enemy were killed. Having passed his examination for Lieutenant, he took part in the expedition to Ostend under Rear Admiral Sir Home Popham to destroy the sluice gates of the Bruges canal in May 1798. He participated in the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland in Autumn 1799, and witnessed the fall of the Helder fortress and the surrender of the Texel squadron, and commanded a tender at the capture of four Dutch gun-vessels forming part of the flotilla collected for the protection of Amsterdam. Mackay was promoted  Commander in 1802, and, in 1804, was appointed successively to the command of the Prince William escort of North Sea convoy and to the Scout sloop on the Mediterranean station. He attained post rank in 1806 and afterwards commanded the frigate Druid on the coast of Ireland, Inflexible 64, fitting for Halifax, and the Volage 26, Malacca 42, and Minden 74, all on the East India station, whence he returned until 1816. During his command of the Volage, Mackay conveyed Sir Evan Nepean, Bart., to his government post at Bombay, and was actively employed, under the orders of Sir Samuel Hood, in the Eastern Archipelago and China Seas. In the Malacca he cooperated with a squadron under Captain George Sayer in a serious attack made in June 1813 on the Sambas pirate settlement, Borneo. Mackay became Rear Admiral on 28 June 1838, and during the 1840s maintained a lengthy correspondence with the lAdmiral Sir Charles Napier. The correspondence is held by the British Library. Mackay’s final appointment in the rank of Vice-Admiral was Commander-in-Chief, Queenstown in 1848.

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