Thursday, February 24, 2005

English Captain: Sir William Reeves

Sir William Reeves served in the Restoration navy. In 1664, he was lieutenant of the Henrietta. Later in 1664, he was appointed captain of the Mary Rose (48 guns) and fought at the Battle of Lowestoft in Prince Rupert's division. In 1665, he commanded the Essex (56 guns). At the Four Days Battle, his ship had become tangled with the Black Bull, and they both were taken by Hendrick Bruynsvelt in the Prins Hendrick Casimir (72 guns). Apparently, in the battle, Captain Reeves had been shot in the head, while his ship had been severely damaged. He could not speak, and the Essex fouled the Black Bull, which was also all but disabled. In 1668, he commanded the Monck. In 1673, he first commanded the Edgar and then the Sovereign. He was appointed Prince Rupert's flag captain on 1 July 1673. He died of wounds from the Battle of the Texel on 11 August 1673. He had been a Royal favorite, and was extremely well regarded. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, Journals and Narratives of the Third Dutch War, 1946.
  2. Frank Fox, A Distant Storm: the Four Days' Battle of 1666, 1996.
  3. J.R. Tanner, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Naval Manuscripts in the Pepysian Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge, Vol.I, 1903.

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