Samuel Uvedale

1729-1808. He was born on 7 June 1729, the son of the Reverend Samuel Uvedale, the rector of Barking in Suffolk, and of his wife Sophia Spragge.

Having entered the Navy at the age of twelve under the patronage of a local nobleman, the Earl of Ashburnham, Uvedale was commissioned lieutenant on 5 May 1747 and promoted commander on 16 January 1758, being appointed to the Grenado 8, which he commanded in operations against St. Malo, Cherbourg and St. Cas in 1758 before going out to the Leeward Islands in November. Here he was present at the unsuccessful assault on Martinique on 19 January 1759 and the subsequent campaign against Guadeloupe in May.

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Uvedale was in the thick of the action at the Moonlight Battle in 1780

He was posted captain of the Boreas 28 on 18 February 1760, sailing for Jamaica in the spring of 1760. He destroyed the privateer St. Michel after driving her aground near Cap St. Nicholas Mole on 30 August and was detached by Rear-Admiral Charles Holmes in a squadron to attack a French convoy leaving Cap François in October. Sighting the convoy on the morning of 17 October, the Boreas managed to bring the French frigate Sirène 32 to action that midnight, but was damaged aloft in this early exchange and was unable to resume the action for a further fourteen hours. A three hour engagement then ensued off Cuba with the Frenchman striking with eighty casualties in return for one man killed and one wounded aboard the Boreas. Uvedale’s boats later assisted those of the Trent 28 Captain John Lindsay, in the cutting out of the privateer Vainqueur from Cumberland Harbour, and he also captured the privateer Belle-Madeleine on 18 December. He served at the reduction of Havana aboard the Boreas in 1762 before she returned to England in the autumn.

In August 1779, after a long period of unemployment, he recommissioned the Ajax 74 and fought her in the Moonlight Battle of 16 January 1780, being in the thick of the action for the casualty figure of only six men wounded including himself. Proceeding to the West Indies with Admiral Sir George Rodney, the Ajax fought at the Battle of Martinique on 17 April 1780 where she suffered four men killed and thirteen wounded. Being in very poor health Uvedale was sent home aboard the Pegasus 28, Captain John Bazely, with Rodney’s despatches, and he arrived at the Admiralty on 24 May. Apparently his wish had been to remain in the Leeward Islands until the French threat was extinguished, but he had been prevailed upon to go home by Rodney in order to save his life.

Uvedale commanded the Dublin 74 in the Channel Fleet from the autumn of 1780 into the early part of the new year but was again obliged to resign through his poor health. He was unable to secure any further employment and retired to his residence of Bosmere House, Creeting All Saints, Suffolk which he had been able to purchase through a great amount of prize money made during the Seven Years War.

He became a superannuated admiral in 1788 during the dispute over the pensioning off senior captains that resulted in Lord Howe’s resignation as first lord of the Admiralty on 16 July. During the parliament debate his case was introduced by John Pollexfen Bastard, the M.P for Devonshire, who mentioned that Uvedale had been superseded on medical advice from one command after being struck on the head by a falling yard.

He died on 10 December 1808 in Ipswich, having sold Bosmere House on account of his poor health and he was buried at Creeting All Saints, Suffolk.

Uverdale married Margaret Cooke of Edmonton, the daughter of a clergyman, on 18 January 1763.