George Wilkinson

Died 1782. He came from a Cumbrian family.

Wilkinson was commissioned lieutenant on 9 January 1760, and he was to remain in this rank for a long twenty years.

The Battle of the Saintes 1782

He was promoted commander with effect from 27 May 1780, and he commanded the Spanish prize San Vincente 14 which had been captured by Admiral Sir George Rodney’s fleet from Commodore Don Juan de Yardi’s convoy off Cape Finisterre on 8 January. Having gone out to the Leeward Islands with Rodney, his command drove ashore on 10 October when the Great Hurricanes hit St. Lucia, but she was successfully refloated.

Wilkinson was posted captain on 14 May 1781, and he joined another ex-Spanish vessel, the Prince William 64, which fought at the Battles of St. Kitts on 25 January 1782 and the Saintes on 12 April. He briefly commanded the Prothee 64 following the latter battle, but having removed to the captured French flagship Ville de Paris 110, he lost his life on 16 September with eight hundred other men when she disappeared without trace in a hurricane whilst returning to Europe with Rear-Admiral Thomas Graves’s convoy.

In 1767 he married Rebecca Lucock of Cockermouth and the couple had four children. His wife, who was awarded a pension of £100 and half-pay following his death, died in 1801.

Wilkinson was described as an experienced seaman who had made two dozen voyages to and from the West Indies, and was thus well-suited to sail the Ville de Paris to England.