Monday, November 29, 2004

English Captain: Abraham Wheeler

Abraham Wheeler commanded the 6th Rate Greyhound from 1642 to 1644. In the summer of 1642, he was in the Summer Guard and then the Winter Guard. When he was in the Summer Guard for 1643, the Greyhound carried 18 guns and had a crew of 50 men. The Greyhound was not in the Winter Guard for 1643, but was again in service in the Summer Guard for 1644. At that time, the Greyhound was listed as being 120 tons, carrying 12 guns, and having a crew of 58 men. He was dismissed from that command. By the summer of 1645, John Coppin commanded the Greyhound. Abraham Wheeler reappeared in command of the 5th Rate Cygnet from 1646 to 1648. He commanded the Cygnet in the Winter Guard in 1646. In the summer of 1647, Captain Wheeler commanded the Cygnet in the North Sea Fishing Guard. The Cygnet was inactive during the winter, but in the summer of 1648, the Cygnet was assigned to "Guard Milford and to ply about Land's End". Sir George Ayscue was apparently the commander in charge of the four ships in the guard. In 1650, he commanded the 4th Rate Expedition (30 guns). He was with Blake's squadron, in March 1650, off of Portugal, blockading the Royalist squadron. Two letters list Abraham Wheeler as commanding the Expedition, not the Providence (they were sisterships). R.C. Anderson lists Captain Wheeler as commanding the Providence. In 1651, he commanded the 4th Rate Convertine. From 1651 until 1652, when he died, Abraham Wheeler had been captain of the 2nd Rate Triumph. He only appears in The First Dutch War in a list from early 1652. Before the Civil War, he had commanded the Greyhound from 1638 until 1641. Sources:
  1. R.C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. Dr. S.R. Gardiner, The First Dutch War, Vol.I, 1898.
  3. J.R. Powell, Ed., The Letters of Robert Blake, 1937.
  4. J.R. Powell, The Navy in the English Civil War, 1962.

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