Papers and Correspondence of Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth
Part I: The French Revolutionary War, 1793 – 1802
Sir John Duckworth commanded ships and squadrons and fleets throughout the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. He was an assiduous correspondent, writing to Admirals St Vincent, Nelson, Collingwood, and numerous other naval officers. He kept every piece of paper he wrote on or received.
He was in the first expedition to the West Indies when he went on a mission to the United States to suppress a French privateer. He commanded a ship in First of June fight in 1794, and was peripherally involved in the great naval mutinies of 1797. He was picked out by Lord St Vincent to command the recovery of Minorca in 1798.
He returned to the West Indies in 1799 where he was commander-in-chief in the Leeward Islands, and then at Jamaica. There he was much involved in the Revolutionary war in Haiti, eventually receiving several thousands of French refugees and sending them on to France.
A spell with the Channel fleet was succeeded by time at the blockade of Gibraltar. Against orders, he chased a French squadron across the Atlantic and destroyed it (Battle of San Domingo 1796). One of his more curious adventures was a diplomatic mission to the Constantinople to browbeat the Ottoman Sultan into making peace with Russia in 1807. He failed, of course, and was criticised for not bombarding the city. He served out his time afloat with the Channel fleet, displaying his usual humanity. A three-year appointment as governor of Newfoundland completed his career.
Table of Contents
Part I: Spithead, Leeward Islands, Virginia, 1793
Part II: The English Channel, First of June Fight, 1793–1795
Part III: Jamaica, 1795–1797
Part IV: Mutiny, Blockade of Brest, Ireland, 1797–1798
Part V: Mediterranean, Minorca, Cadiz Blockade, 1798–1800
Part VI: Leeward Islands, 1800–1801
Part VII: Jamaica, 1801–1802
Appendix: Observations of Trade with St Domingue
Sources and Documents
John D. Grainger is an independent historian, having published about fifty or so books, many on ancient history, but including a quartet on the British Navy in the Baltic, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Eastern Waters, and a Dictionary of British Naval Battles. He has contributed two collections of documents to the Navy Records Society.