George Vandeput

Died 1800. He was the illegitimate son of Sir George Vandeput, 2nd Baronet, who lost a great deal of his wealth fighting an election for the standout borough of Westminster.

On 24 September 1759 Vandeput was commissioned lieutenant of the Shrewsbury 74, Captain Hugh Palliser, having previously been a midshipman aboard the Neptune 90, flagship of Vice-Admiral Charles Saunders, in the St. Lawrence and at the siege of Quebec. He remained on the Shrewsbury until the peace of 1763.

He was promoted to the command of the sloop Goree on 17 April 1764, going out to serve off Senegal, and was posted to the Surprize 20 on 20 June 1765. In August of the following year he moved to the Boreas 28, and in June 1767 joined the newly commissioned Carysfort 28, serving for the next three years in the Mediterranean after sailing there in September. A further three years from 1770 were spent in the Solebay 28 in home waters, and during the early part of 1773 he held the temporary command of the Southampton 32 prior to paying her off in June.

HMS_Asia_in_Halifax_Harbour,_1797

HMS Asia

In December 1773 he was appointed to the Asia 64 which later went out to North America and arrived at New York in May 1775, later serving off Boston where his boats supported the army at the Battle of Bunker Hill a month later. Whilst off New York on 24 August he fired a broadside at a mob which was in the process of removing the cannon from the battery, and Vancouver commanded a division of boats in the landings on Long Island during the New York campaign of July – October 1776. Whilst on the North American station his ship had a fortunate escape one evening in 1776 when a prize laden with gunpowder was ordered to anchor some distance away before her cargo could be brought aboard the Asia. It later transpired that one of the rebel crew had laid a charge in the expectation that the powder barrels would be immediately taken aboard the Asia, and being aware that he and his fellow prisoners were about to be blown to Kingdom Come he quickly confessed.

After returning to England at the beginning of 1777 the Asia was refitted and sent out with a convoy to the East Indies in April 1778 to join Commodore Sir Edward Vernon’s squadron, arriving off Pondicherry in August. After coming home with a convoy in the early part of 1781 Vandeput remained unemployed for a short time before being appointed to the newly-commissioned Atlas 98 in the early part of 1782, serving in the Channel fleet. He took part in Admiral Lord Howe’s relief of Gibraltar on 18 October 1782 and at the subsequent engagement off Cape Spartel, losing two men killed and three wounded and leaving her shortly before the end of the year when the fleet returned to port.

After the peace of 1783 he briefly commanded the royal yacht William and Mary, and then for ten years the Princess Augusta until 1 February 1793 when he was promoted rear-admiral. He raised his flag aboard the Saturn 74, Captain William Lechmere, in the Downs in 1794, and was raised to the rank of vice-admiral on 4 July 1794. From May 1795 he commanded a small squadron in the North Sea with his flag in the Jupiter 50, Captain Lechmere, and later in the year the Leopard 50 Captain William Swaffield. On 16 February 1796 he raised his flag aboard the St. Albans 64, Captain Lechmere, and he commanded the conveyance of the trade out to Lisbon and the Mediterranean

In 1797, after raising his flag on 25 May aboard the Resolution 74, Captain Lechmere, he became the commander-in-chief in North America, wintering ashore in the Chesapeake when the port of Halifax became iced up. Here he enjoyed himself in country pursuits and the charming acquaintance of two local sisters, the Misses Tabbs, who were renowned for both being over six feet in height. On 7 August 1798 he shifted his flag into the Asia, 64, Captain Robert Murray, he was promoted admiral on 14 February 1799, but died suddenly at sea on 14 March 1800. The Cleopatra 32, Captain Israel Pellew, conveyed his body to Providence, Rhode Island, where he was buried.

He left a wife by the name of Emily by whom he had no issue, but he had an illegitimate son, George. A kindly unassuming gentleman, who ran a happy ship, Vandeput could nevertheless be intimidating on first acquaintance. Subsequent to his father’s death he considered himself to have inherited the family baronetcy, as did his own son on Vandeput’s death, although with both men being illegitimate their inheritance was not officially recognised. He was a lover of the arts, particularly maritime painting.