Edward Herbert

c1758-1820. He was the natural child of John Nott of Braydon and Beata Price or Harbert, and the half brother of Captain John Neale Pleydell Nott who was fatally wounded whilst commanding the Centaur 74 at the Battle of Fort Royal on 29 April 1781.

Herbert joined the Navy in February 1769, sailing for Jamaica in June as a captain’s servant aboard the Dunkirk 60, Captains Walter Stirling and Stair Douglas, which ship flew the broad pennant of Commodore Arthur Forrest before that officer died in May 1770. He was briefly aboard the Lowestoft 32, Captain Robert Carkett, during August – September before returning to the Dunkirk. In September 1771 he removed to the Achilles 60, Captain Richard Collins, which had arrived on the Jamaican station that summer, and he then spent eight months from January 1773 aboard the Diana 32, Captain Henry Davis. Remaining at Jamaica after the Diana had returned home, he saw further service from September aboard the Seaford 20, Captain Richard Collins, on which vessel he was rated a midshipman before she was paid off after returning to Portsmouth in June 1775.

Shortly after in June 1775 he joined the Centurion 50, Captain Richard Braithwaite, which went out to North America and was present on 8 December 1776 at the occupation of Rhode Island. After participating in the manoeuvres with the French fleet off Rhode Island in August 1778 she sailed that autumn with Commodore William Hotham’s squadron to reinforce the Leeward Islands, seeing action at the Battle of St. Lucia on 15 December.

Herbert saw action at the Battle of St. Lucia in 1778 aboard the Centurion.

Having returned home, Herbert was commissioned lieutenant on 22 September 1779 and joined his half-brother, Captain John Nott, aboard the Centaur 74, in which he was a witness to the detention of a Dutch convoy on 31 December by a squadron commanded by Commodore Charles Fielding. In July 1780 the Centaur joined Admiral Sir George Rodney’s Leeward Islands fleet, and Herbert fought at the Battle of Fort Royal on 29 April 1781 when Captain Nott was fatally wounded.

He was promoted commander on 14 May 1781, and presumably for purposes of rank only had the bomb Carcass from 12 June to 29 July before joining the ex-merchant brig Experiment 14, which had been taken at the capture of St. Eustatius. He continued to serve in the Leeward Islands, losing one man killed and fifteen wounded in an engagement with two superior American privateers off Tortola on March 1782.

Herbert was posted captain on 5 January 1783 and joined the forty year-old Yarmouth 64, which he brought back o England to be paid off in June. Without the influence of Captain Nott he was unable to obtain any further service despite a wish for employment.

He became a superannuated captain on 23 April 1804 and died on 14 May 1820. He was buried in Miserden, Gloucestershire.

Herbert married Mary Vines of Prestbury, Gloucestershire on 23 December 1790 and had issue thirteen children, three of whom were born to the couple before their marriage. The address in his will was given as Frampton Mancel in the Parish of Sapperton & County of Gloucester, although his residence at the time of his death was at Wisanger, Miserden, in Gloucestershire.

Thank you to S.G Cornford for providing a wealth of material on Captain Herbert