John Plummer Ardesoif

Died 1790. He was brought up in Ireland, the youngest son of Abraham Ardesoif, and of his wife, Diana Plummer.

Ardesoif was commissioned lieutenant on 10 October 1759, whereupon he joined the newly-launched Valiant 74, Captain William Brett, for service with the grand fleet. In January 1760 he removed with Captain Brett to the Torbay 74 at Plymouth, which ship served with the Channel fleet until paid off in early 1763.

In September 1765 he joined the Boreas 28, Captains Richard Hughes and George Vandeput, serving in home waters, and from 1767-9 was aboard the Carysfort 28, Captain Vandeput in the Mediterranean. From 1770-3 he was the senior lieutenant of the guardship Terrible 74, Captain Marriot Arbuthnot, at Plymouth.

The Battle of Chesapeake Bay

In 1775 Ardesoif became the first lieutenant of the Argo 28, Captain Francis Grant Gordon, going out to the Leeward Islands in the spring. In November he brought about the court martial of his captain for embezzling stores and for cruel and oppressive behaviour, resulting in that officer’s dismissal and the appointment of Captain William Garnier. In the following year Ardesoif removed as first lieutenant to the Hind 24, Captain Henry Bryne.

During 1776-78 commanded the brig Pelican 2 on the Leeward Islands station, holding the rank of lieutenant and setting out in July 1777 for a cruise. Towards the end of the year he operated with some success off Dominica.

On 16 November 1779 Ardesoif was promoted commander and appointed to the sloop Loyalist 14, a recently purchased ex-privateer with which he served in North American waters until May 1781.

He was posted captain on 5 May 1781 and joined the Royal Oak 74, in which he took the rebel privateer Aurora on 18 July and fought at the Battle of Chesapeake Bay on 5 September 1781. He left this vessel shortly afterwards and was not thereafter employed.

Ardesoif died on 29 May 1790.

He appears to have been married at least four times, initially to a French woman by the name of Marianne Dufour by whom he had a son and daughter. On 17 November 1778 he married Lucinda Mence, but had no issue, and in the latter part of the following decade he married Elizabeth Gunning by whom he had a daughter. A further wife was Jane Windover, whom he married in London on 7 February 1790. His son, Lieutenant William Stratford Ardesoif, died at San Domingo in 1796.

In 1772 Ardesoif’s work ‘An introduction to marine fortifications and gunnery’ was published. He was a great friend of Captain Thomas Macnamara Russell.