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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69

Our First Governor: the Late Captain Hobson, R.N

Our First Governor: the Late Captain Hobson, R.N.

Captain Hobson, our first Governor, was a man whose record in the navy and in the service of his country was a bright one. He entered the navy in 1811, and became lieutenant in 1813. He was serving as a lieutenant at Jamaica in 1822, when it was found necessary by Sir Charles Rowley, the Commander-in-Chief of that station, from the swarms of pirates annoying our trade in those seas, especially near the island of Cuba, to fit out two schooners to go in search of them, Lieu-tenant Hobson volunteered, and was put a command of the Lion, on which serviced distinguished himself by taking several piratical vessels with their crews and most notorious chiefs, whom he brought to punishment. Subsequently he himself fell into the hands of these dangerous gentry, but the reputation of Lieutenant Hobson in respect of the generosity and courage, which forms so remarkable a feature in the character of a British seaman, saved himself and page 29 his comrade from a violent death at the very moment it appeared inevitable, and he was permitted to return to the service in which he was so useful. Some of the incidents in that episode furnished some of the most popular passages in the well-known novel "Tom Cringle's Log." A short time after, for remarkable bravery, he was made a commander, and re-appointed to H.M.s. Ferret, sent on the same service, when he was again very actively employed. In paying off H.M.s. Scylla, to which vessel he was removed, he was promoted to post-captain. He then commanded H.M.s. Rattlesnake, detached from the East India station to New Zealand, and it was greatly owing to the intelligence and enthusiasm of Captain Hobson, when in the Rattlesnake, that the British Government adopted the scheme of New Zealand colonisation in which we are all engaged.