Jonathon Faulknor (1)

Died 1795. He was one of ten sons of Captain Samuel Faulknor who was in command of the Victory 100, flagship of Admiral Sir John Balchen, at the time she was lost near Alderney on 5 October 1744 with the loss of over a thousand lives. He was the brother of Captain Robert Faulknor, who whilst commanding the Bellona 74 in August 1761 captured the French Courageux 74 after a spirited action, and who died in France in 1769, and of Captain Samuel Faulknor who commanded the Windsor 60 in the Seven Year’s War and died in 1759. He was also the uncle of Captain Robert Faulknor.

On 24 August 1753 Faulknor was commissioned lieutenant, and on 28 September 1758 promoted commander of the bomb Furnace 8, joining Commodore George Augustus Keppel’s expedition against Goree and serving at the bombardment of Le Havre on 3 July 1759. He was posted captain on 9 July 1759, joining the Mercury 20 and taking her out to the West Indies in June 1761 and retaining her until the following winter.

640px-Combat_d'Ouessant_juillet_1778_par_Theodore_Gudin

The Battle of Ushant 1778.

From January 1767 until the spring of 1770 Faulknor commanded the Superb 74, occasionally serving as the flagship of Rear-Admiral Sir John Moore at Portsmouth. In 1768 pilot error ran her aground on a rock whilst entering Cork harbour in southern Ireland, but Faulknor ensured she was brought off safely.

From October 1776 he commanded the Royal Oak 74, returning to Portsmouth on Boxing Day 1777 after a cruise between Ushant and Cape Finisterre. He raised the flag of Admiral Hon. Augustus Keppel on board the Prince George 90 in February 1778 exchanging with Captain John Lindsay on 14 May into the Victory 100 which became Keppel’s flagship in the Channel. Thus he was flag captain to Keppel at the controversial Battle of Ushant on 27 July 1778. To him went the honour of returning to London with the despatches relating to the battle, but he left the Victory on 27 March 1779 once Keppel had been ordered to strike his flag.

Captain Faulknor returned to duty on the change of government in 1782, commissioning the Princess Royal 98 in May and joining the Channel fleet. He served on the court-martial into the loss of the Royal George 100 on 29 August 1782, and was present with the fleet at the relief of Gibraltar on 18 October and the action off Cape Spartel where his ship suffered one fatality.

He continued to command the Princess Royal as a Portsmouth guardship after the war until she was paid off in September 1784, and he then commanded the Triumph 74 in the same role from 1785 until she was paid off in April 1786.

Raised to flag rank on 24 September 1787, Faulknor flew his flag aboard the Barfleur 98, Captain John Bourmaster, from the end of the Nookta Sound dispute in 1790, being based at Spithead. During 1791 he was one of the admirals placed in command of a squadron led by Vice-Admiral Lord Hood during the Russian rearmament, but with as amicable end to the dispute the Barfleur was paid off in September.

He retired to his estate at Havant Park, Hampshire, and in due course became a vice-admiral on 1 February 1793, and an admiral on 1 June 1795. Sadly, upon learning of the latter promotion he set off for London to be presented at Court but was struck down suddenly with apoplexy and died in the city on 24 June 1795.

His son Jonathon Faulknor also rose to flag rank.

Faulknor was described as an able officer who had a thorough knowledge of his trade.