Aleksey Greig

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Aleksey Samuilovich Greig.

Aleksey Samuilovich Greig (Russian: Алексей Самуилович Грейг) (6 September 1775 – 18 January 1845) was an admiral of the Imperial Russian Navy. He was the son of Admiral Samuel Greig, brother-in-law of Mary Somerville, and father of Samuil Greig, Russian Minister of Finance.

He studied at the Royal High School, Edinburgh under the Rector Alexander Adam from 1783 to 1785, and then served as a volunteer on board HMS Culloden, under Captain Thomas Troubridge.

Greig started his career in the British Royal Navy, serving in East India and Europe from 1785 to 1796. He returned to Russia to take part in the Mediterranean expeditions against France in 1798-1800. Under command of Dmitry Senyavin, he distinguished himself in 1807 in the Battle of Athos and Battle of the Dardanelles, which resulted in the Russian occupation of Lemnos and Tenedos. At the close of the Napoleonic Wars, he was placed in command of the sea blockade of Danzig, during the siege of Danzig. When he was a Captain, he and another Scotsman Captain Brown, were involved in some trouble by the wreck of the Imperial frigate Archangel in 1797. In the following year, in the squadron off the Texel, he commanded the 64-gun Retvizan; and Captain Robert Crown, said to be a Scot, had the 74-gun Utislaw. (Edinburgh Herald)

In 1801 he was banished to Siberia for a time, in consequence of boldly remonstrating with the Emperor Paul for his severity to some British naval prisoners.

In 1816, Greig was appointed Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, a post which he kept for 17 years. At the same time, he served as Military Governor of Sevastopol and Nikolayev, introducing so many reforms and improvements that the grateful citizens of Nikolayev erected a statue to his memory in 1873. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1828/29 his bold leadership made itself felt at Varna and Anapa.

In 1828 he was in full command of the Russian fleet at the sieges of Varna and Anapa, whither he had sailed from Sebastopol with forty vessels eight being of the line acting in conjunction with the troops under Prince Menshikov for three months by sea and land. During these operations the Emperor was his guest on board the Parizh, which had the Diplomatic Chancery and 1,300 persons under her flag (Slade's Travels).

In 1833 he was recalled to Saint Petersburg, where the Tsar appointed him a member of the State Council of Imperial Russia and asked him to superintend the construction of the Pulkovo Observatory.