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Monday, February 27, 2006

English Naval Officer: Robert Wilkinson

Robert Wilkinson served in the Restoration navy. In 1665, the Duke of York had appointed him as captain of the Dutch prize Charity (46 guns) (the former Amsterdam Directors' ship Groote Liefde). He fought in the Battle of Lowestoft in June 1665. He was assigned to the Duke of York's division in the Red Squadron. In the initial passes in the battle, the Charity and John & Abigail got caught on the far side of the Dutch fleet, opposite from the English side, and was taken. Several ships had gotten too far to leeward. Frank Fox writes that Robert Wilkinson "foolishly tacked and threw his ship squarely in the path of the enemy". Frank also writes that Robert Wilkinson had fought hard in defence of his ship, but the Charity was boarded and taken. He was finally appointed as Lieutenant of the Dragon by Prince Rupert in 1672. Later in 1672, he was appointed as First Lieutenant of the Newcastle. Finally, on 30 June 1678, the King appointed him as First Lieutenant of the 2nd Rate Royal Katherine. Sources:
  1. Frank Fox, A Distant Storm: the Four Days' Battle of 1666, 1996.
  2. 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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