John Sheffield (1647-1721)

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TonyWilloughby
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John Sheffield (1647-1721)

Post by TonyWilloughby » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:05 am

You have John Sheffield as Commanding Officer of the Royal Katherine from June to July 1672. He is buried in Westminster Abbey and the Abbey website has him down as a volunteer at Solebay and subsequently “commander of the Captain”. I queried that entry with the Abbey (quoting your entry) and they told me that their information was obtained from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004. Incidentally, Queen Anne made him Duke of Buckingham and Normanby and his London residence, Buckingham House, is now the site of Buckingham Palace.

Can you resolve the debate over his naval career?

Kind regards

Tony Willoughby

Cy
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Re: John Sheffield (1647-1721)

Post by Cy » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:05 pm

John Sheffield (Earl of Mulgrave), was certainly Captain of the Royal Katherine briefly in 1672 and was also a volunteer during the Dutch wars, including Solebay, but we currently have no record of which ships he served on so there is no entry against him for those years.

We have no record of him commanding either of the two Captains extant during his lifetime, although there is a gap in the first record during which it's possible he commanded.

During 1680 he was part of an expedition to relieve Tangier, it's possible he was officer on the Captain at that time, although he also command a troop of horse and a regiment of foot, so may have traveled in that capacity instead.
OK, it was me, probably!

Cy
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Re: John Sheffield (1647-1721)

Post by Cy » Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:32 pm

After a bit of reading, he can not have commanded the Captain in 1680, he commanded the troops sent to Tangier and was not a naval officer in the expedition.
OK, it was me, probably!

TonyWilloughby
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Re: John Sheffield (1647-1721)

Post by TonyWilloughby » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:36 am

Many thanks.

Navclio
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Re: John Sheffield (1647-1721)

Post by Navclio » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:15 am

John Charnock, Biographia Navalis; or, Impartial Memoirs of the Lives and Characters of Officers of the Navy of Great Britain, from the Year 1660 to the Present Time (6 vols.; London: R. Faulder, 1794–98), with which Cy is undoubtedly familiar, has no index entry for a John Sheffield or a "Buckingham" in either vol. I, covering captains appointed between 1660 and 1673, or vol. II (1674–1692). That doesn't mean that he could not have commanded a ship for a couple of months in 1672—Charnock made mistakes—but suggests that he did not get onto the official list of captains. There's also no entry for "Sheffield" or "Buckingham" in John Hardy, Chronological List of the Captains of His Majesty's Royal Navy . . . Commencing the 1st June, 1673 . . . (London: T. Cadell, 1784).

Cy
Admiral of the Fleet
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Re: John Sheffield (1647-1721)

Post by Cy » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:59 am

Actually John Sheffield is in Charnock, under his title at the time of the Earl of Mulgrave, Biographia navalis, Vol 1 p 345. Mulgrave, John Sheffield, Earl of. The complexity of the British aristocracy :). Until Tony made his query I hadn't made the connection either.

He didn't become Duke of Buckingham until 1703. See https://threedecks.org/index.php?displa ... n&id=10871

Charnock confirms the appointment to the Royal Katherine and also states that it was his only appointment, which supports the complete lack of evidence for the an appointment to the Captain.

I also can not find him in Hardy, though he is in Syrett & DiNardo "The Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy 1660-1815".
OK, it was me, probably!

Navclio
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Re: John Sheffield (1647-1721)

Post by Navclio » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:19 pm

OK. It seems likely that he would have been referred to as "Lord Mulgrave" or "Earl of Mulgrave," not as "John Sheffield," between 1658, when he succeeded to the title and 1694, when he as promoted to Marquis of Normanby. Presumably, that's why Charnock did not think to cross-reference his name separately in his index—no one would find references to "Captain John Sheffield" as commander ofRoyal Katherine in a 1673 fleet list or to "John Sheffield" in accounts of the 1672 Battle of Solebay, where Charnock says he distinguished himself (without saying how) in a subordinate role.

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