Lowcay Family History

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Capt. Henry Lowcay

Captain Henry Lowcay (RN) was born in 1774, and died in 1859 at Portsmouth, England. He married Mary Ann Douglas on 30th June 1803 in Saint Marys, Portsea, Hampshire, England, and later married E.B. Steere on 3rd May 1836.

He was the son of Mr Henry Lowcay, a veteran warrant officer who was Master's Mate of the Swallow sloop of war in a voyage of discovery to the South Seas in 1766-69, and was part of a family of Naval Officers.

He entered the Navy in 1791 as Midshipman, and had an active early career culminating in Nelson’s attack upon Santa Crux, Tenerife in 1797. At the commencement of the operations he took voluntary command of a boat, but had not long been in her before she was sunk, and had one of her men killed, by the enemy's shot. In consequence of this disaster he was obliged to swim on shore under tremendous fire of round, grape and musketry and through very high surf. On landing he joined Capt Hood, and continued as Aide-de-Camp during the remainder of the proceedings.

After this, he was nominated Acting Lieutenant, and confirmed a Lieutenant of the “Culloden” by Commission, dated 7th January 1799, and gained great praise for his meritorious conduct, at the sieges of St Elmo and Capua, and in the various operations which terminate with the expulsion of the French from the Roman territory. He was then sent from Naples to Palermo with dispatches for Lord Nelson, and was in charge of all the colours that had been taken from the enemy.

Later, Lord Nelson deputed him to the Sicilian King, who in return gave him a diamond ring. After passing a fortnight as a guest at Lord Nelson's house, Lieutenant Lowcay went back to the Culloden prior to the return of which ship to England in the summer of 1800 he came into further boat-contact with the enemy in the vicinity of Cadiz, and saw good service along Egyptian and Italian shores.

In the summer of 1808, he obtained an appointment to the Sea Fencibles in the river Medway, where he remained until ordered in June 1809, to join a force employed in the ensuing expedition to the Scheldt. He was confirmed in his rank of Commander on the occasion of Sir Robert Calder hauling down his flag on 29th Oct 1813.

During his career afloat Commander Lowcay was at times employed at the blockade of Brest, Rochefort, Ferrol, Corruna, Cadiz, Minorca, Ganoa, Toulon, Alexandria, and Smyrna. He was for 11 months off Rochefort, without once returning to port.