David Graves

1746- 1822. He was one of three illegitimate children of Rear-Admiral Thomas Graves, who by the age of 58 had been twice widowed, and a Jane Hervey, who was possibly a member of staff at his seat, Thanckes. He was the half-brother of Admiral Lord Graves, and his own cousins included Admiral Sir Thomas Graves and that officer’s three brothers, Samuel, John, and Richard, all of whom became superannuated rear-admirals.


Captain Graves commanded his kinsman’s flagship, the London, at the Battle of the Chesapeake in 1781

Graves was commissioned lieutenant on 21 September 1770, seeing service in the Mediterranean during the following two years aboard the Winchelsea 32, Captains Samuel Goodall and Thomas Wilkinson.

Having been promoted commander on 25 January 1778 he was posted captain on 9 September 1779, and commanded the London 98 as flag-captain to his half-brother, Rear-Admiral Thomas Graves, in the Channel fleet retreat of August. In the winter his vessel was coppered at Portsmouth, and after sailing for North America in May 1780 the London fought at the Battle of Cape Henry on 16 March 1781, and at the Battle of Chesapeake Bay on 5 September where she suffered casualties of four men killed and eighteen wounded. Graves was succeeded in the same month by Captain James Kempthorne and joined the Adamant

During 1782 he commanded the Adamant 50, returning to England with a convoy in December, and thereafter he was not re-employed.

Graves became a superannuated rear-admiral on 21 February 1799 and died in 1822. His address at the time of his death was given as High Holborn, London. He appears to have had three daughters with a woman by the name of Franklin.

My thanks to Peter Clarke and Gerard Molyneux for providing additional details on the Graves family.