Graphical version

National Maritime Museum

Purvis, Admiral John Child (1746-1825)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 PRV

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Purvis, Admiral John Child (1746-1825)

Date(s): 1761-1817

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 6 1/2ft; 198cm

Name of creator(s): Purvis | John Child | 1746-1825 | Admiral


Administrative/Biographical history:

Purvis served as able seaman and midshipman in the ARROGANT on the coast of Spain from 1761 to 1763. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1778, serving in the INVINCIBLE on the North American Station. In 1779 he was appointed to the BRITANNIC in the Channel. From 1781 to 1783 he commanded the DUC DE CHANTRES on the North American Station and in 1782 captured the French ship L'AIGLE, for which he was promoted to captain. After being on half-pay during the years of peace, Purvis was given command in 1793 of the AMPHITRITE and then of the PRINCESS ROYAL in the Mediterranean, where he remained until 1796. From 1797 to 1801 he commanded the LONDON in the Channel, followed by the ROYAL GEORGE, 1801 to 1802, and the DREADNOUGHT, 1803 to 1804, on the same station. He was promoted to rear-admiral in 1804. In 1806 he was sent out to the blockade of CADIZ and remained in command there until 1810. He was promoted to vice-admiral in 1809 and admiral in 1819.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Adml John Child Purvis, 1761-1817, comprising logs and admiral's journals for the years 1761 to 1763, 1778 to 1783 and 1793 to 1810, letter and order books, 1781 to 1783 and 1793 to 1810, and correspondence and loose papers, including some letters with the Spanish authorities, mostly 1806 to 1810. There is also an autobiographical essay. There are also some papers relating to Purvis's son, Lieutenant Richard Fortescue Purvis, 1806 to 1817.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:

The letters to Purvis from Collingwood were extracted from the collection and sold separately in 1955 and were not purchased by the Museum.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were purchased in three parts, from Sotheby's in 1955, Weinreb in 1959 and Spink's in 1973.



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Sep 2011.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2011-05-12

Napoleonic Wars (1800-1815) | Wars (events)
Naval affairs | Military affairs | Military science | Social sciences
Ships logs | Primary documents | Documents | Information sources

Personal names
Purvis | John Child | 1746-1825 | Admiral

Corporate names
Royal Navy