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Sunday, March 05, 2006

English Captain: John Aylett

John Aylett served in both the Commonwealth and Restoration navy. An Aylett family website has information about him. He lived from 1628 to 1669, according to the website. He lived in Boston, Masschusetts "in the early 1650s". In 1655 or 56, he was captured by the Spanish. He was eventually freed and returned to England. He joined the navy and was given command of the 5th Rate Conventry from 1658 to 1660 up to the Restoration when he was dismissed. He returned to the navy in 1664, when the Duke of York appointed him to command the hired ship John and Katherine. He commanded her from 9 September 1664 until 20 January 1665. After that, he commanded the Portland. He fought in the Battle Lowestoft, in June 1665, where he was assigned to Prince Rupert's division in the White Squadron. He fought in the Four Days' Battle, where he was assigned to Sir George Ayscue's division in the White Squadron. Frank Fox says that John Aylett was one of six captains dismissed after the battle. The Portland was damaged in a collision, and he put into Harwich on Saturday, 3 June, during the battle. In 1668, he was appointed to command the Forester. The family website says that he was killed when the old 5th Rate Oxford had been given to the Governor of Jamaica in 1668. In 1669, she exploded killing those who attended a Council of War, including John Aylett. Sources:
  1. R. C. Anderson, List of English Naval Captains 1642-1660, 1964.
  2. R. C. Anderson, Lists of Men-of-War 1650-1700: Part I English Ships 1649-1702, 1966.
  3. Frank Fox, "Hired Men-of-War, 1664-7", Part II, The Mariner's Mirror Vol.84 No.2 (May 1998).

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