Monday, February 20, 2006

English Captain: Francis Sanders

Francis Sanders served in the Restoration navy. On 13 February 1665, he was appointed captain of the hired ship Constant Katherine (40 guns). He commanded her until 12 December 1665, and fought in the Battle of Lowestoft. At Lowestoft, he was assigned to Robert Sansum's division in the White Squadron. The Constant Katherine was intended to be part of the attack on Bergen, but was not able to reach the harbour due to the weather. Francis Sanders and the Constant Katherine did take part in the actions on 3 September and 9 September 1665. The Duke of Albemarle appointed him to command the Sweepstakes (36 guns) in late 1665. At the Four Days' Battle, Francis Sanders distinguished himself on the fourth day, when he joined Sir Robert Holmes, and others, who helped defend the Duke of Albemarle and the Royal Charles against attack by Michiel De Ruyter, Adriaan Bankert, and many others. He was assigned to the Duke of Albemarle's division in the Red Squadron. He also fought in the St. James's Day Battle, where he was assigned to the General's division in the Red Squadron. On 9 and 10 August, he took part in the attack on the Vlie, under the command of Sir Robert Holmes. Sources:
  1. Frank Fox, A Distant Storm: the Four Days' Battle of 1666, 1996.
  2. Frank Fox, "Hired Men-of-War, 1664-7", Part II, The Mariner's Mirror Vol.84 No.2 (May 1998).
  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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