Michael John Everitt

Died 1779. He was the son of Captain Michael Everitt 1716-76 of Fareham, Hampshire, and of his wife, Elizabeth Gayton. His younger brother was Admiral Charles Holmes Everitt Calmady, and he was the nephew of Admiral Clark Gayton and of Vice-Admiral George Gayton.

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Captain Everitt’s successor on HMS Badger was a young Captain Horatio Nelson.

Everitt was commissioned lieutenant on 5 September 1772 and in this capacity served as a lieutenant of the brig Badger 12 to his younger brother, Commander Charles Holmes Everitt, from the end of 1776.

On 6 September 1777 he succeeded his younger brother as the captain of the Badger in Port Royal, Jamaica. In November this vessel was condemned, but Everitt and his crew were turned over by his uncle, the commander-in-chief Vice-Admiral Clark Gayton, to a newly purchased vessel, confusingly renamed Badger, and carrying sixteen guns. On 28 December this vessel, having sailed north, captured the Bostonian brig Elizabeth off Long Island. His immediate successor when he left the Badger at the end of 1778 was Horatio Nelson.

In January 1779 Everitt commissioned the captured French privateer Comte de Maurepas as the Port Royal 18 at Jamaica, but later in the spring he was appointed to the Ruby 64 in succession to the terminally ill Captain Joseph Deane, being posted captain by the new commander-in-chief, Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Parker, on 18 May.

On 2 June the Ruby, being in company with the Aeolus 32, Captain Christopher Atkins, fell in with the French frigate Prudente 36 in the Bay of Gonave off Haiti, and set off in pursuit. During a chase over several hours Everitt and one of his men were cut down by the enemy’s stern-chasers, although having got within close range the Ruby eventually compelled the Prudente to strike.

A monument to Everitt’s memory was erected in the Church of St. Peter and St, Paul, Fareham.

His wife, Mary, received a pension of £100 following his untimely death. His name was often spelt as Everett, as it was on his memorial.