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He was born in Glasgow, the son of Dr. John Moore and his wife Jean Simson. He was younger brother of the lieutenant-general, also named sir, John Moore. He sat in the British Navy in 1777, aged 13, and was promoted to lieutenant in 1782.
He was appointed commander of the frigate HMS Melampus in 1800 and in 1803 he commanded the frigate HMS Indefatigable, with 44 cannons. On October 5, 1804, he was in command of the squadron of four ships that arrested and captured in time of peace the Spanish flotilla commanded by Brigadier Bustamante, who returned to the peninsula from Lima and Buenos Aires.
The confrontation known as the battle of Cabo de Santa María ended with the blowing up of the Mercedes frigate, 269 dead Spaniards and two Englishmen, the sinking of an abundant treasure and the seizure of a booty valued between 3 and 4 million pounds of the time. The three surviving Spanish frigates with their crews were taken to the naval base of Gosport (Portsmouth), in the south of England. The booty was declared as “Admiralty rights”, because there was no declaration of war with Spain, which deprived Moore of making a fortune for this capture.
Moore then commanded the 74-gun HMS Marlborough in Brazil and the North Sea. He served in the Admiralty between 1816 and 1820. He was later assigned to the Mediterranean. Finally captained the HMS Impregnable of 98 guns in 1839. He died with 79 years in 1843.
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