Alexander Scott

@1739- 1811. He was apparently born in Leith near Edinburgh, the son of a merchant captain who was summarily executed for his part in the 1745 rebellion, the family eventually settling in Rotherhithe London. His brother Robert, who also entered the Navy and reached the rank of lieutenant before dying of a tropical disease in Dominca in 1770, was the father of Alexander John Scott, Lord Nelson’s secretary and chaplain who tended the admiral on his death-bed at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

Alexander Scott entered the Navy at a young age and after service as a midshipman was appointed master of the sloop Merlin 18, Captain Francis O’Hara, which went out to the African coast in March 1769. Three months later on 14 June O’Hara was murdered along with two midshipmen on the island of Arguin and in the ensuing re-organisation of the officers Scott was promoted lieutenant. In early August O’Hara’s replacement as captain, Thomas Male, also died and Scott was placed in command of the Merlin, a rank that was confirmed by the Admiralty on 15 March 1770. After returning to England he paid her off later in the year.


Scott’s nephew, also named Alexander, famously became Lord Nelson’s secretary and was with him on his deathbed.

He recommissioned the sloop Lynx 10 in January 1771, going out to the Leeward Islands at the end of 1772 and paying her off four years later. His orphaned four year-old nephew Alexander joined him on the voyage and lived ashore in the governor’s house until the Lynx returned to England.

He was posted captain on 25 April 1776, and going out to North America had the Experiment 50 at the unsuccessful attack on Charleston on 28 June 1776 where he lost an arm and saw his ship suffer casualties of twenty-three men killed and fifty-six wounded. He was awarded a pension of 200 guineas in respect of his wound and whilst he convalesced the Experiment was commanded by Captain William Williams of the Active 28. In the autumn he was exchanged with Captain James Wallace into the Rose 20 in order to return to England.

He did not see any further active service but later became captain of the Impressment Service at Poole, and became a superannuated admiral on 9 July 1794. After retiring to Southampton he served as the town’s mayor in 1796 and 1802, and he died on 23 April 1811.

Scott left a widow by the name of Kezia.

He gave evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee looking into the abolition of slavery in 1791. Scott did much to alleviate the situation of his brother’s orphaned family in their younger years and his influence helped his nephew become a naval chaplain.