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Duckworth, Admiral Sir John Thomas (1748-1817)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0064 DUC
Held at: National Maritime Museum
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Full title: Duckworth, Admiral Sir John Thomas (1748-1817)
Date(s): [1779-1813]
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 3 1/2ft; 110cm
Name of creator(s): Duckworth | Sir | John Thomas | 1748-1817 | Knight | Admiral


Administrative/Biographical history:

Duckworth went to sea in 1759 and became a lieutenant in 1771. He saw service in North America during the War of American Independence. He was made Commander of the ROVER in 1779 and a captain in 1780, serving in the West Indies until 1781. He commanded the BOMBAY CASTLE during the mobilization of 1790. In 1793 be was appointed to the ORION, under Lord Howe (q.v.) in the Channel fleet, and fought at the battle of the First of June 1794. In 1795 he returned to the West Indies as Captain of the LEVIATHAN and commanded the fleet for a time in 1796. After a short period in home waters, he joined Earl St. Vincent (q.v.) in the Mediterranean and was in command of the naval forces at the capture of Minorca, 1798. He was promoted to rear-admiral in 1799 and continued to serve in the Mediterranean until 1800. He then took command of the blockading squadron off Cadiz, captured a Spanish convoy, and in the same year was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Leeward Islands Station. He received a knighthood for his services against the colonies of the Northern Confederation in 1801. In 1803 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Jamaica, and brought about the surrender of the French army in San Domingo. He was promoted to vice-admiral in 1804. After Trafalgar, he was ordered to join Collingwood (q. V.) in the blockade of Cadiz and when there, heard that a French squadron had escaped; he defeated it at San Domingo on 6 February 1806. Afterwards he returned to Cadiz and the Mediterranean. In February and March 1807 he commanded the squadron which forced the passage of the Dardanelles. The ineffectual outcome of this mission caused Duckworth to be severely criticized. He was ordered to join the Channel fleet. Subsequently he remained in home waters until 1810 when he was promoted to admiral and appointed Commander-in-Chief and Governor of Newfoundland, returning home in 1813. He was elected Member of Parliament for New Romney in 1812. Shortly before his death he was appointed Commander-in-Chief at Plymouth.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir John Thomas Duckworth, consisting of a log, 1779 to 1780; letterbooks, 1800 to 1807 and 1812; order books, 1800 to 1806; an admiral's journal, 1807 to 1808; two rough journals, 1805 and 1810 to 1812, and correspondence. The loose papers cover the years 1790 to 1813. They consist of official and some private correspondence; reports and orders, including series from Lords Howe (q.v.), 1790, and Collingwood (q.v.), 1805 to 1806; an account of the battle of the First of June 1794; correspondence relating to Duckworth's Mediterranean command, 1799 to 1800, in particular to naval hospitals; correspondence with Sir Robert Calder (1745-1818), 1800 to 1805, mostly on their dispute over prize money, and other papers relating to the West Indies; congratulatory addresses on San Domingo; correspondence relating to the Dardanelles affair and letters and papers received as Governor of Newfoundland.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

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 .

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers probably originate from the 1937 sale of Duckworth's papers, but were acquired in five separate parts. Four of these were purchased from Sotheby's between 1937 and 1939 and in 1966. The fifth is of unknown provenance since 1937.

Allied Materials

Related material:

In addition the Museum holds copies of some of Duckworth's papers held at Yale University. There are letterbooks, 1793 to 1798 and 1804 to 1813, order books, 1793 to 1798, 1807 to 1811, and miscellaneous papers. There is also a copy of Duckworth's journal, 1809 to 1811, which belongs to the Newfoundland Archives.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Edited by Sarah Drewery, Jun 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:

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