Manley Dixon of the British Royal Navy


According to various sources, Manley Dixon was born in either 1757 or 1760 into a military family: his brother George W. Dixon became a British Army Major-General serving with the Royal Artillery. Joining the Navy at a young age, Dixon served throughout the American Revolutionary War and by 1782 was a commander with the sloop {HMS|Jamaica|1779|6} in the Caribbean and the following year took over {HMS|Tobago|1777|6}. He saw little service during the peace of 1783–1793, although in 1790 he was promoted to post captain. In 1793 Dixon took command of the sixth rate {HMS|Porcupine|1777|6} off Ireland and later moved to the frigate HMS Espion in the Channel Fleet. In 1798, Dixon sailed in the 64-gun ship of the line {HMS|Lion|1777|6} for the Mediterranean Fleet under Vice-Admiral Earl St Vincent based in the Tagus. There he was assigned to the blockade of Cartagena and on 15 July 1798 fought an action against four Spanish frigates, successfully dividing the squadron and capturing the Santa Dorothea.

Later in the year, Lion was attached to the squadron blockading Valletta during the Siege of Malta, remaining on the station for two years. In March 1800, the French ship of the line Guillaume Tell attempted to break out of Valletta and was intercepted by a British squadron including Lion. During the ensuing battle Dixon was heavily engaged and inflicted severe damage on his French opponent, which was eventually forced to surrender. In August 1802 during the Peace of Amiens, Lion returned to Portsmouth and Dixon was briefly placed in reserve.

When the Napoleonic Wars broke out in 1803, Dixon returned to service as captain of the 74-gun {HMS|Sceptre|1802|6} and in 1804 transferred to {HMS|Queen|1769|6} in the Channel Fleet. in 1808 he was promoted to rear-admiral and raised his flag in {HMS|Temeraire|1798|6} in the Baltic Sea. In 1810 his first wife died suddenly while at dinner with friends in Deal. In 1812 he was transferred to the Brazilian station in {HMS|Montagu|1779|6} and remained there until the end of the war, receiving a promotion to vice-admiral in 1813 and returning to Britain in 1815 on board {HMS|Valiant|1807|6}. Entering semi-retirement, Dixon did not return to the Navy and although he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in August 1819 and was promoted to full admiral in 1825, he never again commanded at sea. He was Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth from 1830 to 1833. Admiral Dixon died in February 1837 of influenza at his home in Exmouth, Devon.