William Mowett

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William Mowett was one of those Royal Navy officers who could be considered as followers of Jack Aubrey, who first met Mowett as a master's mate aboard Aubrey’s first command, the brig HMS Sophie. Although perhaps not as close to him as Thomas Pullings or William Babbington, Aubrey hoped to bring Mowett, by then (1812) promoted to lieutenant, on to the quarterdeck of HMS Leopard, but his plan to pick up Mowett at the Cape of Good Hope was thwarted when he was forced to bypass the southern coast of Africa. Mowett was next heard of as being wounded in the action in the action between HMS Peacock and USS Hornet during the War of 1812, and carried as a prisoner-of-war to New York.

Following his repatriation to England, Mowett was appointed as second lieutenant in Jack Aubrey's HMS Worcester and subsequently transferred in that capacity with Aubrey to HMS Surprise. Following Thomas Pullings’s promotion to commander after the Surprise’s battle with the Turkish Torgud and Kitabi, Mowett succeeded Pullings as first lieutenant of the Surprise, serving as such until the return of that ship to England after her cruise into the Pacific in pursuit of the American frigate Norfolk.

Before joining Sophie, Mowett served in HMS Namur,[1] in which Aubrey had also served at an earlier date. Details of Mowett's later naval career are unknown; he was last encountered as a passenger aboard William Babbington’s sloop Tartarus during the Long Year of 1813.

William Mowett (occasionally known as "James Mowett") was an enthusiastic poet and he evidently published, about 1813, a volume of original poetry on nautical themes. By all accounts, Mowett was a cheerful, well-liked officer, although he did find his publisher to sorely try his patience.


  1. O'Brian, Patrick. Master and Commander. (c) 1969 by Patrick O'Brian. J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia and New York, First Edition: p. 99
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