Friday, November 26, 2004

English Captain and Admiral: Samuel Howett

Samuel Howett served on the Parliamentarian side in the Civil War and in Cromwell's navy during the Interregnum. In 1645, he commanded the Duncannon in the Irish Squadron. The Duncannon had been a Royalist vessel that must have been captured by 1645. There is a confusing note in The Navy in the Civil War about the Duncannon being handed over by Lord Esmond in 1646. That seems to contradict the list of Parliamentarian ships from 1645. In 1649, he commanded the St. Cleer (persumably the St. Claire). She seems to have been a galliot. They council had thought that she was capable of carrying 16 guns, but they were informed that Samuel Howett had found that was not possible. He was appointed by the Council of State on 6 April 1649 (Old Style). In 1649 and 1650, he commanded the Concord, a Dutch prize. For a period in 1650, Captain Howett commanded the hired merchantman Falcon. In 1651 and 1652, he commanded the 4th Rate Foresight. After that, he commanded the Laurel and by early 1653, was Rear-Admiral of the Red. The new squadron system was only in place by the Battle of Portland. Later in 1653 and into 1654, Samuel Howett commanded the 3rd Rate Speaker and was also Rear-Admiral of the Red. At the Battle of the Gabbard, the Speaker carried 56 guns and had a crew of 300 men. He was George Monck's and Richard Deane's Rear-Admiral. References:
  1. R.C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. C.T. Atkinson, The First Dutch War, Vol.V, 1907.
  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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