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Monday, October 03, 2005

English Captain: Henry Williams

Henry Williams served in the Restoration navy. In 1667, he commanded the John, a fire hoy (or galliot). The John was sold in 1667. In 1672, the Duke of York appointed him to command the Supply fireship. In 1673, Prince Rupert appointed him to command the Assurance (42 guns). He likely fought in the Schooneveld battles and the Battle of the Texel. The King appointed him to command the fireship Wivenhoe on 25 May 1675 and then switched the appointment to the Holmes. The King appointed him to command the Dutch prize Stavoren (48 guns) on 7 January 1678 (they called it 1677 in the old style calendar). On 12 April 1678, he was appointed to command the Lion (60 guns). The commissioners appointed him to command the Pearl (28 guns) on 3 April 1680. In 1681, in the Pearl, he took a French armed ship that did not pay proper respects to the English flag. On 8 May 1682, the commissioners appointed him to command the Constant Warwick (42 guns). The King appointed him to command the Cleveland yacht (8 guns) on 22 January 1685 (they called the year 1684). He was reappointed on 2 April 1685. The King (now James II) appointed him to command the Advice on 5 September 1688. By the way, Syrett and DiNardo suggest that there were two Henry Williams, and that the first died in 1667. The trouble with that is that a Henry Williams commanded ships from 1672, not from 1677. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, Lists of Men-of-War 1650-1700: Part I English Ships 1649-1702, 1966.
  2. William Laird Clowes, The Royal Navy: A History from the Earliest Times to the Present, Vol.II, 1898.
  3. Frank Fox, Great Ships: The Battlefleet of King Charles II, 1980.
  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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