William Fooks

1738-98. He was the third son of John Fooks of Marston Magna.

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Captain de la Touche presented Captain Fooks with a ceremonial sword after striking his colours to him in 1782.

Fooks was commissioned lieutenant on 20 June 1765, but whilst he was temporarily commanding the brig Hunter 10 for Commander Thomas Mackenzie the vessel was captured by two American privateers off Boston on 23 November 1775. The Hunter was retaken a day later by the Greyhound 28, Captain Archibald Dickson.

He was promoted commander on 17 July 1776 and recommissioned the Favorite 16, going out to the Leeward Islands in November. During the autumn of 1777 he was sent on a mission to Trinidadia to request that the Spanish hand over a Corsican pirate who had fled there having stolen a number of slaves from Tobago. Later in the year he was serving at Antigua, and he remained on that station through 1778.

Fooks was posted captain of the Deal Castle 24 on 14 May 1779 and commanded her at the Battle of Martinique on 17 April 1780. . Following Admiral Sir George Rodney’s reorganisation of his captains three days later he joined the Greyhound 28 and commanded her in the subsequent Leeward Islands campaign from May-July. He retained the Greyhound on that station until the following February when he returned to England with the newly promoted Rear-Admiral Sir Chaloner Ogle. On 9 June 1781 the Greyhound was wrecked on the South Sand off Deal, but with little damage to Fooks’ career..

He commanded the Lion 64 in succession to Captain Hon. William Cornwallis from July 1781, going out to North America with Rear-Admiral Hon. Robert Digby’s squadron in July and flying that officer’s flag in 1782. Whilst on this station he participated in the capture of the Sophie 22 on 12 September and the Aigle 40 in the Delaware two days later, receiving a ceremonial sword from her captain, the future commander-in-chief of the Toulon fleet, Louis-René Madelaine Le Vassor, Comte de La Touche-Tréville. He left the Lion shortly afterwards and remained unemployed through the years of peace.

In the summer of 1794 Fooks joined the Montagu 74 in place of the late Captain James Montagu, going out to the Leeward Islands in the autumn and assisting the Ganges 74, Captain William Truscott, in the capture of the Jacobin 24 on 30 October. His command was paid off in November 1795.

Fooks was advanced to the rank of rear-admiral on 20 February 1797 and died at Holbrook House, on 2 October 1798, being buried at Marston Magna.

He married Frances Legas at Wadhurst in 1783 but had no issue.

Fooks’ name was often recorded as ’Fox’. His address at the time of his death was given as Holbrook House, Charlton Musgrove, Somerset.