Sunday, January 02, 2005

English Captain: John Jeffreys (or Jeffries)

John Jeffreys (Jeffries) served both the Commonwealth and Restoration navies. From 1652 to 1653, he commanded the Dutch prize Falmouth (26 guns). He very likely fought in the Battle of the Kentish Knock. Again, he may have fought in the Battle of Portland, still in the Falmouth. R. C. Anderson believed that John Jeffreys fought in the Battle of Scheveningen, while still in command of the Falmouth (by then, 28 guns). By December 1653, he commanded the Little Charity (38 guns), lying at Chatham. From 1654 to 1655, he commanded the 5th Rate Nightingale. From 1655 to 1656, he commanded the 4th Rate Nantwich (48 guns). At the Battle of Lowestoft, he commanded the 4th Rate Assurance (32 guns) in Prince Rupert's division. In June 1666, he was designated as captain of the new 3rd Rate Cambridge (64 guns), which was under construction. At the St. James's Day Battle, his new ship was completed, and was assigned to Robert Holmes' division. His name was spelled many different ways, which was not unusual for the time. The most creative spelling was "Gifferyes", when he was in command of the Little Charity in the Winter Guard for 1653. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, "English Fleet-Lists in the First Dutch War," The Mariner's Mirror, Vol.XXIV No.4, October 1938.
  2. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  3. R. C. Anderson, Lists of Men-of-War 1650-1700: Part I English Ships 1649-1702, 1966.
  4. C. T. Atkinson, Ed., The First Dutch War, Vol. VI, 1930.
  5. Frank Fox, A Distant Storm: the Four Days' Battle of 1666, 1996.

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