George Ourry

1732-1800. He was a native of the Channel Islands, the youngest of four sons of Lewis Ourry who himself was the son of a Huguenot refugee. George was the younger brother of Captain Paul Henry Ourry, the resident commissioner at Plymouth from 1775 until his death in February 1783, of Captain Isaac Ourry, and of Captain Lewis Ourry who served in the American Regiment of Foot during the Seven Years War.

He was commissioned lieutenant on 9 July 1755 and served in the East Indies aboard the Lenox 74, Captain Robert Jocelyn. With the rank of commander he had the storeship Southsea Castle in the East Indies during 1762 whilst his elder brother Isaac commanded the Elizabeth 64 on the same station. During the expedition to Manila under Rear-Admiral Samuel Cornish in the second half of that year he commanded the Panther 60 in an acting capacity for Captain William Newsom, and he then led a battalion of seamen ashore. Ourry was rewarded by being posted captain of the Norfolk 74 on 10 November 1762.

During the Falkland Islands dispute of 1770 he briefly held the command of the Belleisle 64.

In 1776 Captain Ourry commissioned the Somerset 64 as a guardship at Plymouth before going out to North America where he spent some time in blockade of Boston. In June 1777 the Somerset and Mercury 20, Captain James Montagu, arrived at New York with a number of transports, having successfully protected them from an attack by the rebel frigates Hancock 34 and Boston 24, a week before these ships captured the Fox 28, Captain Patrick Fotheringham, on 7 June .

The Somerset served in the Philadelphia campaign from August – November 1777 where, having been ordered to lead the advanced ships, Captain Ourry received a great deal of criticism from Captain Sir Andrew Snape Hamond for failing to reconnoitre a satisfactory position from which to fire upon the enemy forts in the Delaware, and then for refusing to move into the attack without a pilot. His cause was little helped by the fact that he had been allowed two weeks to plan the attack, and unsurprisingly the commander-in-chief, Vice-Admiral Lord Howe, also censured him for his conduct. During the campaign Captain Ourry presided over the court-martial into the loss of the Augusta 64, Captain Francis Reynolds, in the Delaware on 23 October.

In July 1778 he commanded the Somerset in the defence of New York and in August 1778 he had her in the Rhode Island manoeuvres against the French fleet. Unfortunately his command was wrecked in a ferocious gale on the Peaked Hill Bar on the northern tip of Cape Cod on 2 November 1778, all the crew bar twenty-three who drowned being made prisoner by the Americans. Whilst his officers and crew were removed to Boston, Captain Ourry and a lieutenant were marched under guard some one hundred odd miles to Providence, Rhode Island where he was exchanged with two American officers.

Upon returning to England Ourry had the Ocean 90 from early 1780, serving in the Channel Fleet campaign from June-December, at the relief of Gibraltar on 12 April 1781, in the June-November Channel fleet campaign, and in Rear-Admiral Richard Kempenfelt’s brilliant assault on a French convoy on 12 December 1781. He left the Ocean in the following spring.

He was never re-employed, and in 1793 became a superannuated rear-admiral. Ourry died at Bath on 3 February 1800.

He married Hon. Amelia Newton and they died without issue in the same year.