Adam Littlejohn

Died 1795.

Littlejohn was commissioned lieutenant on 31 March 1780. A protégé of Vice-Admiral William Hotham, he served with that officer aboard the Princess Royal 98, Captain John Holloway, from 29 December 1790 until 9 September 1791, at which time the vessel was decommissioned following the end of the Russian Armament.

A shot from the French frigate Alceste (similar to the frigate pictured) killed Captain Littlejohn.

Upon the commencement of the French Revolutionary War, he rejoined Hotham on 8 January 1793 as a lieutenant aboard the Britannia 100, Captain Holloway, going out to the Mediterranean in May and participating at the occupation of Toulon from August-December. He continued with the Britannia in the Mediterranean through the Corsican Campaign in 1794.

On 29 January 1795 Littlejohn assumed command of the Berwick 74 after her captain, William Smith, had been dismissed for allowing her masts to roll overboard in San Fiorenzo Bay. When the Mediterranean Fleet under Hotham sailed for Leghorn a month later, the inadequate Berwick lagged behind, and on 7 March she was assailed by Rear-Admiral Martin’s Toulon Fleet whilst departing San Fiorenzo. Littlejohn was decapitated by a bar shot from the French frigate Alceste 36 early in the exchange, being replaced by Lieutenant Nesbit Palmer who surrendered the ship, with the newly appointed captain being the only casualty.

Although Littlejohn officially held the rank of lieutenant at the time of his death, he was named ‘Captain’ by Admiral William Hotham in his dispatch dated 16 March 1795 following the Battle of Genoa, and it is most likely that this rank would have been confirmed by the Admiralty should Littlejohn have survived.

He left a widow, Barbara, and two sons and a daughter who were granted a pension. His son, Lieutenant William Hotham Littlejohn, fought aboard the frigate Shannon in her duel with the U.S.S Chesapeake in 1813.

Littlejohn was described by Admiral Hotham as a valued and experienced officer.