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Caldwell, Sir Benjamin (1737-1830)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0064 CAL/101-130
Held at: National Maritime Museum
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Full title: Caldwell, Sir Benjamin (1737-1830)
Date(s): 1768-1795
Level of description: Subfonds
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Extent: 2ft; 61cm
Name of creator(s): Caldwell | Sir | Benjamin | 1737-1830 | Knight | Admiral


Administrative/Biographical history:

Caldwell entered the Navy in 1754 and was made a lieutenant in 1760. After service in the Channel during the Seven Years War, he became a commander in 1762 and a post captain in 1765. He then commanded the Rose in North America, 1768 to 1771, and the Emerald, 1775 to 1779, on that station and on convoy duties. He was appointed in 1780 to the Hannibal and convoyed the East India Company ships home. In April 1781 he was transferred to the Agamemnon in the Channel; she then sailed with Admiral Rodney (1719-1792) to the West Indies and was present at the battle of the Saints, 1782. The Agamemnon remained on the West Indies and North American Stations until 1783. Caldwell commanded the Alcide in 1787 and the Berwick during the mobilization of 1790. In 1793 he was promoted to rear-admiral and served in the Cumberland under Admiral Howe (q.v.). He transferred his flag in 1794 to the Impregnable and took part in the battle of First of June. In July of the same year he became a vice-admiral and was sent to the Leeward Islands in the Majestic under Admiral Jervis (q.v.); shortly after this Jervis returned home and Caldwell acted as Commander-in-Chief. His active career ended in 1795 and he was promoted to admiral in 1799.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir Benjamin Caldwell comprising two collections. In the first collection consist of logs, 1768 to 1771, 1775 to 1777, 1780 to 1782, 1794 to 1795; letterbooks, 1776 to 1782, 1788, 1793 to 1795, and order books 1775 to 1783, 1788, 1794 to 1795. There is an account of the battle of the Saints. The second collection includes in-letters, 1775 to 1779, 1794 to 1795; a prize hook, 1777 to 1795; documents relating to the Agamemnon; Lord Howe? 5 signals, 1790; letters relating to the disagreements after the battle of First of June, and a personal signed copy of Rodney's defence of his conduct at St. Eustatius, 1781.

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 were presented in two sections. The first, by Mrs Osborn (q.v.). A further collection was presented by Mrs Joan Cooper in the papers of Captain Henry Caldwell (q.v.). Mrs Cooper's husband, Captain Derek Cooper, was a great-great-grandson of Admiral Caldwell.

Allied Materials

Related material:

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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