David Price (British captain)
Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral (Royal Navy)
Rear Admiral is a flag officer rank of the British Royal Navy. It is immediately superior to Commodore and is subordinate to Vice Admiral. It is a two-star rank and has a NATO ranking code of OF-7....

 David Powell Price (1790–1854) was a Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 officer who went on to be Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Station
Pacific Station
The Pacific Station, often referred to as the Pacific Squadron, was one of the geographical divisions into which the Royal Navy divided its worldwide responsibilities...


Naval career

Joining the navy on in 1801, he fought at Copenhagen
Battle of Copenhagen (1801)
The Battle of Copenhagen was an engagement which saw a British fleet under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker fight and strategically defeat a Danish-Norwegian fleet anchored just off Copenhagen on 2 April 1801. Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson led the main attack. He famously disobeyed Parker's...

 that year and then in the West Indies on when the Peace of Amiens broke down in 1803. He then served in the in 1805 and 1806 under its captain Sir Samuel Hood, fighting in the battle off Rochefort
Rochefort, Charente-Maritime
Rochefort is a commune in southwestern France, a port on the Charente estuary. It is a sub-prefecture of the Charente-Maritime department.-History:...

 on 25 September 1806 and in its capture of the 50-gun Russian battleship Sevolod on 26 August 1808. He was then appointed acting lieutenant on the Ardent in April 1809 and during summer 1809 was captured and released by the Danes twice during the Gunboat War
Gunboat War
The Gunboat War was the naval conflict between Denmark–Norway and the British Navy during the Napoleonic Wars. The war's name is derived from the Danish tactic of employing small gunboats against the conventional Royal Navy...

. He was confirmed as lieutenant in September 1809, continuing in the Ardent right up to February 1811. He was then transferred to the brig
A brig is a sailing vessel with two square-rigged masts. During the Age of Sail, brigs were seen as fast and manoeuvrable and were used as both naval warships and merchant vessels. They were especially popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries...

  off France's northern coast, managing to bring out an armed brig and three store ships on August 19, 1811 when Hawk drove a convoy and its escort on shore near Barfleur
Barfleur is a commune in the Manche department in the Basse-Normandie region in north-western France.-Middle Ages:In the Middle Ages Barfleur was one of the chief ports of embarkation for England....

, though in a later attempt to cut two more brigs out of Barfleur harbour he was severely wounded and unable to serve again for almost a year.

His next appointment was to the 74-gun off Cherbourg, then from September 1812 on off Toulon
Toulon is a town in southern France and a large military harbor on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department in the former province of Provence....

 (under Henry Bourchier, who had been his captain on the Hawk). In December 1812 he gained his first command, the bomb vessel
Bomb vessel
A bomb vessel, bomb ship, bomb ketch, or simply bomb was a type of wooden sailing naval ship. Its primary armament was not cannon —although bomb vessels carried a few cannon for self-defence—but rather mortars mounted forward near the bow and elevated to a high angle, and projecting their fire in a...

 , with which he sailed for North America in summer 1814 and fought during the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

 on the Potomac
-Places in the United States:Washington, D.C. area:*The Potomac River, which flows through West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC**The Potomac Highlands of West Virginia, a region of the Potomac River's watershed in West Virginia...

, at Baltimore
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States and the largest city and cultural center of the US state of Maryland. The city is located in central Maryland along the tidal portion of the Patapsco River, an arm of the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore is sometimes referred to as Baltimore...

 and at New Orleans. He was severely wounded again on 24 December 1814 at New Orleans and returned to England, where he was promoted to post rank on 13 June the following year. His next command was (1834–38) in the Mediterranean (receiving the Order of the Redeemer
Order of the Redeemer
The Order of the Redeemer , also known as the Order of the Savior, is an order of Greece. The Order of the Redeemer is the oldest and highest decoration awarded by the modern Greek state.- History :...

 for his services to the Greek government). From 1838 to 1844 he retired to Brecknockshire
Brecknockshire , also known as the County of Brecknock, Breconshire, or the County of Brecon is one of thirteen historic counties of Wales, and a former administrative county.-Geography:...

, serving as a Justice of the Peace
Justice of the Peace
A justice of the peace is a puisne judicial officer elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions...


In 1846 he not only married Elizabeth Taylor, daughter of John Taylor and niece of Admiral William Taylor
William Taylor
William Taylor was a British scholar, polyglot, and translator of German romantic literature.-Early life:He was born in Norwich, East Anglia, England on 7 November 1765, the only child of William Taylor , a wealthy Norwich merchant with European trade connections, by his wife Sarah , second...

 but was also promoted to superintendent of Sheerness Dockyard
Sheerness is a town located beside the mouth of the River Medway on the northwest corner of the Isle of Sheppey in north Kent, England. With a population of 12,000 it is the largest town on the island....

, remaining there until promotion to rear admiral
Rear Admiral
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the "admiral" ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as "flag officers" or "flag ranks"...

 on 6 November 1850 and then to commander-in-chief of British naval forces in the Pacific Station
Pacific Station
The Pacific Station, often referred to as the Pacific Squadron, was one of the geographical divisions into which the Royal Navy divided its worldwide responsibilities...

 in August 1853. Arriving there just before the declaration of the Crimean War, he proved tactful, courteous but indecisive and difficult in his dealings with working with his French colleague Auguste Febvrier Despointes
Auguste Febvrier Despointes
Auguste Febvrier-Despointes was a French contre-amiral. He served as the first commandant of New Caledonia from 24 September 1853 - 1 January 1854.-Life:...

. The French and British fleets slowly advanced across the Pacific, spending a long time at the Marquesas Islands
Marquesas Islands
The Marquesas Islands enana and Te Fenua `Enata , both meaning "The Land of Men") are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the southern Pacific Ocean. The Marquesas are located at 9° 00S, 139° 30W...

 and Honolulu (where the English and French squadrons met in July 1854 and worked to reduce American influence). On 25 July 1854 the combined force sailed to meet two Russian frigates reported to be in the area, finding them dismantled at Petropavlovsk
Siege of Petropavlovsk
The Siege of Petropavlovsk was the main operation on the Pacific Theatre of the Crimean War. The Russian casualties are estimated at 100 soldiers; the Allies lost five times as many....

. An attack on them was planned for 31 August 1854 but on that morning admiral Price was killed by a discharge of his own pistol, either by accident or in a suicide attempt, dying some hours later. The command was transferred to Sir Frederick Nicolson and the attack postponed until 4 September, on which day it was decisively beaten back.
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