Sir George Collier, 1st Baronet - Family and Early Life

Family and Early Life

Collier was born in London in 1774, the second son of the chief clerk of the Victualling Board Ralph Collier, and his wife Henrietta Maria. He began his education at the Chelsea Maritime Academy, but by January 1784 his name appeared in the books of the 74-gun third rate HMS Triumph as a captain's servant to the Triumph's commander, Captain Robert Faulknor. This was likely to have been only a nominal entry to gain seniority, and Collier's naval service probably actually began three years later in January 1787, when he joined the 28-gun frigate HMS Carysfort at the rank of midshipman. He moved in June 1790 to take up a position aboard Captain Edward Pellew's 50-gun HMS Salisbury and spent the rest of that year serving on the Newfoundland station. Collier transferred again in December 1790, joining the 100-gun first rate HMS Victory, then under Captain John Knight in the English Channel.

Collier's next ship was Captain Samuel Hood's 32-gun HMS Juno, which he joined in March 1791. He remained with the Juno until she was paid off. On being discharged he took passage aboard the East Indiaman Winchelsea, bound for the East India station. The Winchelsea ran onto a reef in the Mozambique Channel on 3 September 1792 and was wrecked. Collier and the other survivors were able to reach Madagascar, where they remained until being picked up a Portuguese brig in May the following year. Before they could reach friendly soil the Portuguese ship was captured by a French privateer and Collier and his fellow survivors were sent to Île de France as prisoners. He remained in captivity there until being released in late 1794, whereupon he sailed to the British-held port of Madras.

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Famous quotes containing the words life, family and/or early:

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