Friday, January 09, 2004
Henry Appleton Henry Appleton commanded one of two small divisions of ships that had been dispatched to the Mediterranean by the English. The other division was commanded by Richard Badiley. They were both designated as Commodores. Appleton had experience at sea in merchant vessels. He was from Hull, and had been a Warden of Trinity House. The Parliamentarian naval administration had wanted to give him command of a warship. In 1651, was given command of the Leopard. On his arrival in the Mediterranean, Appleton's division consisted of his flagship, the Leopard, 48 guns; the Bonaventure, 44 guns; and the Constant Warwick, 32 guns. At the outbreak of the First Anglo-Dutch war, the original Dutch Mediterranean commander, Joris van Cats, trapped Appleton in the Livorno harbor. He was not to emerge until 14 March 1653, when his division was defeated, the Leopard captured, and Appleton was made prisoner by the Dutch. During the 9 months they were there, the Grand Duke of Tuscany was in negotiations with the Dutch and English, trying to get Appleton's squadron to leave Livorno. By March 1653, Appleton's division had grown to include 4 merchant ships, as well as his two warships. I would call it a squadron. He had orders to leave port and join with Badiley's squadron. Instead, he was engaged by the Dutch squadron and defeated, before Richard Badiley could close. Badiley later charged that Appleton had not fought very hard, before he surrendered. The captured English captains were exchanged in May 1653. Appleton returned to Trinity house, and never served again in the Navy, for the rest of his life. He died in 1657. This account relies upon R.C. Anderson's article in the Mariner's Mirror, "The First Dutch War in the Mediterranean", from the November 1963 issue.