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Monday, October 17, 2005

English Captain: Henry Priestman

This is based, on large part, on a communication from Andrew. Henry Priestman served in the Restoration navy and into William and Mary's navy. Henry (or Harry) Priestman lived from 1647 to 1712. He served in the navy from 1672 to 1699. Henry Priestman was Second Lieutenant of the Plymouth in 1672. On 23 August 1673, the King appointed him to command the Richmond. Andrew writes that his first command was the Antelope in 1672, and in the following year he was promoted to the command of the Richmond. He was sent in 1675 to the Mediterranean in command of the Lark. He was appointed to the Lark on 11 June 1675. On 7 January 1678 (they called it 1677, in the old style) he was appointed to the Swan, and, in the same year, to his first ship, the Antelope (on 12 April 1678), with instructions to guard the fishing at Yarmouth. On 9 July 1681, he was appointed to commanded the Reserve. In 1683 (appointed on 22 May), he commanded the Bonaventure in the Mediterranean and he was appointed Commodore in the Straits. He was sent in 1684 to Tetuan to treat with the Emperor of Morocco. During 1685, he was sick ashore, so his Lieutenant, Stafford Fairborne, commanded the Bonaventure (48 guns) in operations against the pirates. In 1688 (appointed on 8 November), he was placed in command of the Hampton Court and succeeded Sir William Booth. In March 1689, he was appointed as Comptroller of the Storekeeper's accounts, quitting that office on being nominated as a Commissioner for executing the office of Lord High Admiral. Luttrell mentions a report of his appointment as Governor of Greenwich Hospital in 1710, in place of Sir William Gifford. He died on August 20th, 1712, aged 65, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Sources:
  1. Personal communication from Andrew
  2. William Laird Clowes, The Royal Navy: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Vol.II, 1898.
  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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