Saturday, November 19, 2005

English Naval Officer: Sir Joseph Jordan (UPDATED)

Sir Joseph Jordan served in the Parliamentarian, Commonwealth, and Restoration navies. As early as 1642, he commanded the hired ship Caesar. From 1643 until 1646, he commanded the 4th Rate Expedition. From 1647 until 1648, he was back in the Expedition. From 1650 until 1652, he commanded the 4th Rate Pelican (42 guns). He fought in the Battle of Plymouth on 16 August 1652, under Sir George Ayscue's command. He also fought in the Battle of the Kentish Knock, the first action between the main fleets. In 1653, he was in the Vanguard and then the Triumph. He fought in the Battle of the Gabbard in June 1653, where he was Vice-Admiral of the Blue Squadron and flew his flag on the Vanguard (56 guns). He also very likely fought at the Battle of Scheveningen in that same command. In 1654, he commanded the 2nd Rate George. He was Rear-Admiral in Blake's fleet that was sent to the Mediterranean Sea in 1654. Jordan returned home on the Hampshire on 1 September 1654 to take care of personal business. From 1654 until 1655, he commanded the 2nd Rate Unicorn. In 1664, he was back in command of the St. George (called George during the Commonwealth). He fought in the Battle of Lowestoft in 1665 in the St. George. When Sir John Lawson was wounded in the battle. At William Penn's suggestion, the Duke of York ordered Joseph Jordan to take command of the Royal Oak and lead the division, which he did quite well for the remainder of the battle. He fought in the Four Days' Battle as Vice-Admiral of the Red Squadron with his flag on the Royal Oak. He also fought in the St. James's Day Battle in that same position. In 1668, he flew his flag from the 2nd Rate Victory. Later in 1668, he was in the 2nd Rate Henry. Finally, in 1672, he flew his flag on the Sovereign. He fought in the Battle of Solebay, where he was Vice-Admiral of the Blue Squadron. After the battle, he was moved to the Red Squadron. He was not employed again at sea, after September, as there was controversy over his support, or lack of support, to the Earl of Sandwich at Solebay. 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, Journals and Narratives of the Third Dutch War, 1946.
  3. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  4. Michael Baumber, General-at-Sea, 1989.
  5. William Laird Clowes, The Royal Navy: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Vol.II, 1898.
  6. Frank Fox, A Distant Storm: the Four Days' Battle of 1666, 1996.
  7. 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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