|Rear-Admiral Robert Simpson|
|Birth Date:||December 14, 1799|
|Death Place:||Valparaíso, Chile|
He was born in England, probably in 1799, and arrived to Chile with the train of then-Lord Cochrane, as a midshipman on the sloop Rose. By 1821 he already was a second lieutenant on the Chilean navy. In the same year, during the independence war of Peru, he participated of the capture in Callao of the Spanish ships Resolución, San Fernando and Milagro, being promoted as a reward to Captain on October 7, 1821.
Admiral Cochrane gave him the command of the Araucano and ordered him to Acapulco, to harass Spanish shipping. From there, he moved onto California to purchase supplies. While on port, the British under-officer convinced the foreign crew to take over the ship and leave for Australia, leaving him behind. Back in Chile, in 1824 was given the command of the Voltaire, and together with the Galvarino under the command of captain Cobbet maintained the blockade of the Chiloé islands during 4 months. In 1825, participated in the blockade of Callao, under Admiral Manuel Blanco Encalada.
He participated actively on all the naval encounters of the war of independence in Chile and Peru between 1825 and 1826. When the Chilean fleet was dispersed in that year (1826), Simpson went into the reserve and took command of the Peruvian ship Congreso. In 1827 took command of a Mexican ship also named Congreso. He finally returned to Chile in 1829, when named Naval Governor of Coquimbo. From 1830 to 1836 commanded the Aquiles and in December 1834 became the first Chilean hidrographer. On 1836 he was in command of the Valparaíso, flagship of Admiral Blanco Encalada when war was declared.
On January 26, 1837, during the War of the Confederation, he was named commander of the Aquiles, and his first mission was to notify the Confederal government of the Chilean government's repudiation of the Treaty of Paucarpata. Later he cruised the Peruvian coast and was in charge of disturbing their commerce. He captured the Confederación, taking its command.
On January 12, 1839 while the Chilean squadron under his command was at Casma taking provisions, it was attacked by the Confederate fleet under the command of the French sailor Juan Blanchet. At the Naval Battle of Casma the Chileans had a resounding victory. During the battle Blanchet was killed and the Confederate ship Arequipeño was sunk, but not before the Chilean fleet had been badly battered. Nonetheless, the defeat of the Confederate fleet at Casma by the smaller Chilean squadron left Chile in absolute control of the southeastern Pacific. As a reward, Simpson was promoted to Commodore on May 8, 1839.
After the dissolution of the Confederation at the Battle of Yungay, he returned to Chile along with the fleet. Between 1840 and 1852 he had a long and varied career in the Chilean navy, rising as high as becoming General Commander of the Navy twice. On January 15, 1852 he adopted the Chilean nationality, and was elected Senator. That year he travelled to Europe to supervise the construction of the Esmeralda, the fabled Chilean ship, becoming its first commander. In 1853 he became a Rear-Admiral. He continued his naval career until 1871, when he retired after 53 years in the navy.
He married twice. First to Mercedes Baeza, a Chilean lady with whom had 3 sons. After becoming a widower, he remarried in 1843 to Catalina Searle, widow of fellow officer James L. Swett, with whom had another 4 children. He died in Valparaíso on December 23, 1877.