William Hoste (1780-1828) entered the navy in April 1793, under the special care
of Nelson, who had a lively affection for him. His career thereafter resembles the
naval heroes of fiction such as Horatio Hornblower, Jack Aubrey or Nicholas Ramage.
He became lieutenant in 1798, and was appointed commander of the Mutine brig after
the battle of the Nile, at which he was present as lieutenant of the Theseus. In
1802 he was promoted post captain by Lord St Vincent. During all his active career,
he was employed in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic and made a fortune of at least
GBP6o,ooo by the capture of Italian and Dalmatian merchant ships. He also made many
successful attacks on the French military posts on shore and his most brilliant feat
was performed on the 13th of March 1811 when his outnumbered force defeated a French
squadron at the Battle of Lissa.