Wednesday, August 18, 2004

English captains: Andrew Ball

1648 Commanded the Adventure (34 guns)
1649-1652 Commanded the Adventure (36 guns) as part of William Penn's squadron in the Mediterranean Sea
1652 Commanded the Antelope (56 guns) on a voyage to the Sound. On the return voyage, the Antelope was wrecked on the Jylland coast in a storm.
1652 Commanded the Lion (44 guns)
1653 Was flag captain of the Triumph (62 guns), Blake's flagship. He was killed in this battle.
In August to September 1652, Captain Ball was having difficulties in manning his ships. The Antelope was partly manned by paying off the Adventure and transferring her crew to the Antelope. Before leaving, he was asked to fall down to where the Sovereign (90 guns) was fitting out and help protect her against attack.
In early September, Captain Ball was asked to convoy some merchant ships to the Firth of Forth, on his way to the Sound.
In the afternoon of 30 September (Old Style), about 4pm, the Antelope was driven ashore in a storm on the Jylland coast. It was not until 2 October that the seas were calm enough for the surviving ships to return and take off most of the crew. They set sail for England and arrived on 14 October. They brought in 13 or 14 prizes from their voyage.
R.C. Anderson says that there 18 ships in Captain Ball's squadron (in the book Naval Wars in the Baltic) The squadron was sent to Copenhagen to convoy home 18 merchant ships that had gathered there during the war. They had previously been at Helsingør as part of a group of 22 merchant vessels. The king of Denmark had invited them to Copenhagen, and 18 made the voyage. Ships and Captains known to be on the voyage to the Sound:
Antelope (56 guns) Andrew Ball
Star (22 guns) Peter Mootham Tiger (36 guns) James Peacock Convert (20 guns) Stephen Rose Prosperous (42 guns) John Barker Recovery (26 guns) Francis Allen Greyhound (20 guns) Henry Southwood Elizabeth (a hired merchantman)
In the Battle of Portland, the Triumph was hotly engaged. Robert Blake was wounded, Andrew Ball, the Flag Captain, was killed, along with Blake's secretary, Mr. Sparrow, the ship's master, Mr. Broadridge, and his mate. Richard Deane was almost hit, as well, as the bar shot that hit Blake's leg tore Richard Deane's clothes. The Triumph lost between 80 and 100 killed and wounded out of a crew of about 350. This all happened on the first day, before John Lawson and his squadron were able to come up to support Blake. Lawson recaptured all the English ships that were taken by the Dutch. The Sampson (26 guns) had already sunk. Lawson's ships restored the English position, after the Dutch had put great pressure on Blake and the leading English ships at the beginning of the battle.

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