George Talbot

Died 1782.Died 1782. He came from a long-established Irish family, and was the youngest of five sons..

He was commissioned lieutenant on 19 February 1756 and promoted commander on 19 May 1761, joining the fireship Proserpine 8 and serving in home waters up to the peace of February 1763. He had the aged Wasp 8 from 1764-7 cruising in the Irish Sea, and in January 1768 recommissioned another venerable sloop, the Jamaica 10, going out to Jamaica and being wrecked on Colorades reef, Cuba on 27 January 1770. In the meantime he had been posted captain on 26 May 1768.

During the early part of 1771 he commanded the Lively 20 as flagship of Rear-Admiral Richard Spry at Plymouth before sailing for North America in June 1771. In 1773 the sickly Captain William Peere Williams of the Active 28 exchanged into the Lively which returned home at the end of the year, the Active following shortly afterwards

He recommissioned the Niger 32 in the summer of 1775, sailing for North America in September, and two days after the relief of Quebec on 6 May he arrived in escort of the 47th Regiment. In June 1777 he was commanding the Niger 32 at New York, returning to Portsmouth with the Hessian General Baron Von Heister and despatches in the middle of August whereupon he left the vessel.

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The Wreck of the East Indiaman Grosvenor

He joined the Worcester 64 at the beginning of 1779, going out to India from St. Helen’s in March under the orders of Rear-Admiral Sir Edward Hughes, and he saw action with pirates in the Indian Ocean. He commanded the Worcester at the Battle of Sadras on 17 February 1782 where due to the method of the French attack his ship was little engaged and suffered no casualties, and at that of Providien on 12 April 1782 where he lost eight men killed and twenty-six wounded, but following the latter battle he was relieved of his command by Hughes who clearly thought him not up to the mark.

On 4 August 1782 he survived the wrecking of the East Indiaman Grosvenor which having sailed from Ceylon for England went ashore on the coast of Caffraria, the modern day Eastern Cape of South Africa. Sadly however he and a faithful boy-servant who remained by his side lost their lives on the journey over hostile land to Cape Town when Captain Talbot was unable to keep up with the rest of the party. Of the one hundred and twenty-three survivors of the wreck only eighteen eventually reached civilisation.

He left two sons and a daughter. His younger son, Montague, was intended for the bar but instead carved out a career as an actor and theatre manager in Belfast, Derry and Newry.