p. 11




Status: Complete

A Forgotten Hero.

[[Lieut. C. R. Low]] writes from [[Chelsea]] to the Times
as follows:-
"I trust that, even amid the pressure of important
Parliamentary Debates and the crash of an Empire,
you will find space to insert these few lines to the
memory of a hero in the true sense of the term. On
the 7th of January there passed away in his 91st year
[[Captain Charles Boyce]], of the Indian Navy, who so
long ago as the year 1815 performed a deed of unsur-
passed valour in upholding the honour of his country's
flag. On the 30th of June in that year [[Lieutenant
Boyce]], then in command of the Hon. Company's brig
[[Nautilus]], of 14 guns, was cruising in the [[Straits of
Sunda]], when the [[United States]] corvette, [[Peacock]],
22 guns, [[Captain Warrington]], hove in sight. As
[[Lieutenant Boyce]] had received notice of [[Mr.
Madison]]'s proclamation of peace with [[England]], he
made no attempt to shun his adversary, but sent a
boat to inform [[Captain Warrington]] of the con-
clusion of peace. That officer, however, replied by
hailing [[Lieutenant Boyce]] to haul his flag down as a
token of submission, or stand the alternative of being
sunk. But the gallant [[Boyce]] held the honour of his
country superior to any other consideration, and
although he knew that certain destruction awaited
him in a conflict with an enemy of such over-
whelming force, he deliberately preferred defeat to dis-
honour, and the reply that came over the water was a
peremptory refusal. An action ensued and soon the
gallant young Captain of the [[Nautilous]] lay proselate
on the deck with a grape shot measuring 2 1/2in. in his
hip, and his right knee and thigh bone shattered by a
32-pounder shot, while his first lieutenant, [[Mr.
Mayston]], lay by his side mortally wounded. Feeling
that his country's honour- dearer to him than limbs
or life- was satisfied, and in order to save the useless
slaughter of his brave seamen, he gave the order to the
boatswain, the officer now in charge, to strike the flag.
It should be borne in mind that when [[Lieutenan
Boyce]] answered the insolent demand of the [[United
States]] commander by an equally haughty refusal,
his crew, owing to loss on active service, had been
reduced to 40 officers and men, and of these two
officers and a boat's crew had been detained by [[Cap-
tain Warrington]], so that he was pitting his handful
of men against a crew of 220 seamen flushed with
their recent victory over Her Majesty's ship [[Epervier]],
of 18 guns. The [[United States]] Government recog-
nized the illegality of the act of the commander of the
[[Peacock]] by conferring a pension on [[Lieutenant
Boyce]], and it was only a few days ago that the
shattered frame of this brave seaman was car-
ried to its last resting place at [[St. Calais, Sarthe]], in


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