Peter Dillon

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Dillon, Peter, an Irishman, born about 1785. He entered the navy, served as Second-Lieutenant of H.M.S. Hunter, and gained a considerable knowledge of the South Sea Islands. He revisited them in 1826 as captain of a merchantman. On a voyage from Valparaiso to New Zealand, he touched at Tikopia, one of the Queen Charlotte group, where he was led to suspect, from information received, that La Perouse, whose fate was at that time unknown, had been wrecked on a neighbouring island. Prosecuting his inquiries in the following year, under the auspices of the East Indian Government, which placed a vessel at his disposal for the purpose, he succeeded in obtaining from the natives not only indubitable evidence of the wreck of two French vessels many years before at Vanikoro, but also a number of articles belonging to them. He reached Paris in 1828, and the articles were recognized as having belonged to La Perouse's ill-fated expedition. Charles X. conferred upon Captain Dillon the star of the Legion of Honour, and an annual pension of 4,000f. He published in 1829 a diffuse account of his travels, in 2 vols., which was translated into French. Captain Dillon died 9th February 1847.

Sources

34. Biographie Générale. 46 vols. Paris, 1855-'66. An interleaved copy, copiously noted by the late Dr. Thomas Fisher, Assistant Librarian of Trinity College, Dublin.

39. Biographical Dictionary, Imperial: Edited by John F. Waller. 3 vols. London, N.D.

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