Provenance: Spink, July 2005.
Henry Thomas Laye was born in Pickering, Yorkshire, on 31 May 1809, and entered the Royal Navy on 26 April 1823 as a 1st Class Volunteer on H.M.S. Trinculo. He was subsequently employed until 1829 as Midshipman aboard H.M. Ships Jasper and Jupiter. During the period 1829-36 he was employed as Mate in H.M. Ships Donegal and Jupiter. Promoted to Lieutenant in September 1836, he served in H.M.S. Endymion during the First Opium War, and whilst there he commanded a detached force that escaladed the walls of Chin-Kiang-Foo, and, owing to the illness of the commanding officer, brought H.M.S. Rattlesnake down the river.
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