Robert Cronin/Roman Crown (1754-1841)

A naval officer of Irish extraction who entered Russian service in 1788 together with many other Irish, Scottish and English Royal Navy officers who were on half pay after the end of the War of the American Independence. In Russian service he was known as Roman Crown.

Crown proved early to be a capable and agressive officer during the Russian-Swedish wars at the end of the 18th century and reached the rank of Admiral.

In the winter of 1788-89 Crown and several other dis-satisfied English naval officers in the Russian service were approached by Swedish Government officials trying to get them to leave the Russian Navy for the Swedish. Crown was not satisfied with his Russian Navy rank, but before the negotiations were finished the Russian Naval vessels which had wintered in Denmark were ordered to sea again.

In 1791 Crown, together with many other naval officers of British origin, was transferred to the Black Sea in expectation of war with England.

His son became a Russian admiral in the 1870s.

In Russian sources he is sometimes referred to with the father's name (middle name) Vasiljevitj.

Born in Scotland.
Entered Russian service where was known as Roman Vasiljevitj Crown.
1788 July 17
Participated in The Battle at Hogland against the Swedish fleet.
Captain-Lieutenant of the 20 gun ex English cutter brig Merkurii.
1789 May 10
Captured the Swedish Navy cutter Snappopp off Carlskrona.
1789 May 31
Participated when a Russian squadron of two ships-of-the-line and two frigates captured the Swedish 40 gun frigate Venus in neutral Danish/Norwegian territorial waters in the Christiania [Oslo] Fjord.
Captain-Lieutenant of the 44 gun ex Swedish frigate Venus.
1790 May 13
In the first line of defence at the Reval Roads when the Swedish fleet attacked.
1790 June 19[?] - July 3
Stationed with the Venus and a small squadron of three frigates and two cutters at Petsöre [Petkäpaasi] during the blockade and subsequent gauntlet of the Swedish fleets at Viborg Bay. Forced many of the vessels of the Swedish Army's fleet to surrender, but these were able to get away when he was called back by his commanding officer Tjitjagov.
1790 July 4
Participated together with the 66 gun ship Izyaslav in the capture of the Swedish 60 gun ship Rättvisan.
Transferred to the Black Sea.
Transferred back to the Baltic.
Captain of the 74 gun ship Pobyedoslav.
Captain of the 100 gun ship Sv. Nikolai.
Captain of the 74 gun ship Pobyedoslav.
Captain of the 74 gun Mstislav in the North Sea fleet.
Appointed Rear-Admiral on the 66 gun Izyaslav serving in the Baltic.
Commanding the Reval squadron in the 100 gun Rostislav.
Ashore at Kronstadt.
Vice-Admiral, commanding the Baltic fleet in the 74 gun ship Yaroslav.
Retirement on account of the war with England.
Commanding the Archangel squadron which sailed to the Baltic and thence to England.
Blockading the Dutch coast together with an English squadron under command of Admiral [?] Young. Returned to the Baltic afterwards.
Occasional command of the Baltic fleet.
Command of the Baltic fleet in conjuction with a naval review.

Updated 1996-10-11 by Lars Bruzelius

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Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.