John Hunter (Royal Navy officer) : biography

29 August 1737 - 13 March 1821

The French Revolutionary Wars having broken out during Hunter's time in England, he went to see again as a volunteer aboard the 100-gun , the flagship of his old patron Lord Howe. Hunter was present at the Glorious First of June on 1 June 1794, and remained in the ship until 1795. With Arthur Phillip's resignation from the governorship of New South Wales in July 1793, Hunter had applied for the position in October and was appointed governor in January 1794. Various delays occurred, and it was not until February 1795 that he was able to sail. Hunter arrived at Sydney on 7 September 1795 on HMS Reliance and took up the office of governor on 11 September 1795.

American War of Independence

The American War of Independence having broken out, Hunter served under Howe for the duration of his time in command, acting virtually as master of the fleet. He was active in the Chesapeake raid and the expeditions on the Delaware, as well as the defence of Sandy Hook. On Howe's recall, by now out of favour with the Sandwich administration, Hunter was not able to have his request to be made lieutenant honoured. Instead he joined the 74-gun as a volunteer in 1779, under her captain, Keith Stewart. He was appointed lieutenant of HMS Union by Sir Charles Hardy, but the Admiralty refused to confirm the appointment and Hunter returned to the Berwick as a volunteer in 1780, and went out the West Indies. There he received a commission from the commander in chief, Sir George Rodney. Hunter returned to England aboard the Berwick in 1781, and was present at the Battle of Dogger Bank on 5 August that year. Howe appointed him third lieutenant of his flagship in 1782, and was advanced to first lieutenant by the time she took part in the relief of Gibraltar and the Battle of Cape Spartel. Following these engagements Hunter was appointed to his first command, that of the 14-gun sloop , on 12 November 1782.

When the preparation of the First Fleet was in progress, Lord Howe, by then first lord of the admiralty, arranged for Hunter to be promoted to post captain on 15 December 1786, and appointed to command . The fleet was under the overall command of Commodore Arthur Phillip, was going out to take up his post as governor of the new colony of New South Wales. Hunter carried a dormant commission as successor to Phillip if he should have died or was absent.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine