Sir Rupert George
1749- 1823. He was born on 16 January 1749 at St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, the third son of Dennis George of Clopook, near Stradbally, County Laois, Ireland, and of his wife, Sarah Young.
George was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on 13 September 1770.
Commissioning the recently purchased merchantman Rambler 10 as a lieutenant in June 1778, he served initially in the Downs and was in company with the Quebec 32, Captain George Farmer, when she fell in with the French frigate Surveillante 32 and cutter Expédition 10 on 6 October 1779 off Ushant. For over three hours he fought the smaller French vessel, and he got the better of the engagement before his opponent fled to assist her compatriot. When the Quebec caught fire he moved in and picked up seventeen men despite the danger of the frigate’s exploding guns, although eventually Captain Farmer’s command blew up with great loss of life. In January 1780 he assisted the Griffin 10, Lieutenant John Inglis, in the capture of the privateer Général Villepatoux 12.
From May 1781 George was commanding the Vulture 14, still as a lieutenant, and on 21 July was in escort of a convoy with the Charleston 28, Captain Francis Henry Evans, another brig, and two armed vessels, when they fell in with the French frigates Astrée 32 and Hermione 32 off Cape Breton Island. A line was formed between the enemy and the convoy with the frigate at the centre, but the disparity in force caused one of the brigs to strike and the remaining British ships to flee. For her part, the Astrée was too damaged to take up any pursuit. During the action Captain Evans was one of seventeen Britons killed, the Vulture losing one man killed and two wounded.
Having succeeded Captain Evans in command of the Charleston, George was posted captain on 29 November 1781, taking the privateer Harlequin on 12 August in company with the Raleigh 32, Captain James Gambier, and the letters-of-marque Navarro and Philadelphia on 21 February 1782. The Charleston was paid off at Deptford in February 1783.
In January 1790 George recommissioned the Thisbe 28 when her captain, Henry Trollope, preferred not to go foreign, sailing out to Nova Scotia in March and paying her off in the following year. During February 1792 he recommissioned the Hussar 28, going out to Newfoundland in April, and he was still commanding the Hussar off North America at the start of the French Revolutionary War in 1793 prior to taking a convoy south to the West Indies. He left her in 1794.
George became a commissioner of transport in September 1795, and he was appointed the first chairman of the Commissioners for the Transport Service from the following year. He was knighted in 1804, became a baronet in the Irish peerage on 18 September 1809, and died at Willesden House, Middlesex, on 25 January 1823, being buried in St. Mary Churchyard, Battersea.
He married Margaret Cochran of Halifax, Nova Scotia, in that province on 30 June 1782 and had issue six daughters and two sons, the elder of whom predeceased him.