Sunday, October 16, 2005

English Captain: Thomas Hamilton

Thomas Hamilton served in the Restoration navy. In 1666, he was appointed as lieutenant of the Rupert. In 1667, he was lieutenant of the Mary. In 1668, he was captain of the Deptford ketch. In October 1668, Sir Thomas Allin had him take command of the Nightingale. When Nicholas Parker, captain of the Tiger died, Sir Thomas Allin needed to switch captains to fill the various commands. In December 1668, he sat on a courtmartial board for Captain Scott, Sir Thomas Allin's master, who was dismissed from the service for drunkeness on duty. In early 1672, Thomas Hamilton was appointed captain of the Mermaid. Later in 1672, he was appointed as captain of the Constant Warwick. In 1672 and 1673, he was captain of the Mary Rose (48 guns). In August 1672, he was assigned to Sir Edward Spragge's division in the Blue Squadron. the Mary Rose was at the Schooneveld Battles and the Battle of the Texel, although I cannot say for sure that he was still in command. The dates seemed to be jumbled, as Clowes writes that in early February (perhaps an old style date that we would call 1674), he commanded the Constant Warwick (36 guns) in a fight with a Dutch privateer. The Constant Warwick was reduced to near-sinking condition, but the Dutch privateer was driven off from the convoy. On June 18, 1675, the King appointed him as captain of the Margaret galley. On January 11, 1676, the King appointed him to command the Charles Galley. On October 28, 1677, he fought an action, along with the James Galley, against an Algerian pirate commanded by a renegade German. Most of the pirate crew were killed, at the cost of 20 or 30 English casualties. The Commissioners appointed him as captain of the 4th Rate Dragon on March 4, 1682 (they called it 1681, in the old style). Finally, on March 23, 1685 (they called it 1684), the King appointed him to command the Kingfisher. In June, he fought an action against the Earl of Argyle, during the Monmouth and Argyle rebellions after King Charles II died. He took the castle and three small ships, along with a great amount of arms and supplies. He died on May 9, 1687. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, Journals and Narratives of the Third Dutch War, 1946.
  2. R. C. Anderson, The Journals of Sir Thomas Allin, Vol.II 1667-1678, 1940.
  3. William Laird Clowes, The Royal Navy: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Vol.II, 1898.
  4. David Syrett, R. L. DiNardo, The Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy 1660-1815, 1994.
  5. 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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