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Forbes, Admiral John

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0096 MS 497
Held at: Senate House Library, University of London
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Full title: Forbes, Admiral John
Date(s): 1757
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 2 leaves
Name of creator(s): Forbes | John | 1714-1796 | Admiral of the Fleet
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Admiral John Forbes (1714-1796) was the second son of George Forbes, 3rd Earl of Granard. He entered the Royal Navy at a young age, and had risen to the rank of Rear Admiral by 1747. in 1749 he was created Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean. As a Lord of the Admiralty, Forbes refused to sign the death warrant of Admiral John Byng in protest at the harshness of the sentence, and as a consequence of this disagreement with his colleagues retired from the Board of Admiralty on 6 April. He was reappointed on 29 June 1757. Created a Vice Admiral in 1755, Forbes became an Admiral of the Blue, 1758, General of Marines, 1763, Admiral of the White, 1770, and Admiral of the Fleet, 1781. He also published a Memoir of the Earls of Granard (1868). He died in 1796. Admiral John Byng (1704-1757) was court-martialed, convicted and sentenced to death in 1757, following an abortive attempt in 1756 to to relieve the British garrison in Port Mahon, Menorca, from French forces. He was executed by firing squad on the deck of HMS Monarch on 14 March 1757.


Scope and content/abstract:

Manuscript justification written by Admiral John Forbes of his attitude in refusing to sign the warrant for the execution of Admiral Byng on a charge of neglect of duty in the face of the French fleet off Minorca in 1756. Signed 'J.F.' 16 February 1757.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Single item.

Conditions governing access:

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Finding aids:

Collection level description.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Given by Mrs F. Higham in 1959.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Further material relating to Admiral John Forbes may be found at the Centre for Kentish Studies, the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

Publication note:

Forbes's 'Justification' was printed as a broadsheet in 1757.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

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:
Aug 2001

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