George Tripp

1752-1830. He was the third son of John Tripp, a barrister and deputy-recorder of Taunton, Somerset and of his wife, Anne Upton.

Tripp was commissioned lieutenant on 6 December 1776 and promoted commander on 11 October 1782, in which capacity he held the acting command of the Dolphin 44 until paying her off in January 1784.

In November 1784 he commissioned the new Nautilus 16, sailing in September 1785 with private orders for the coast of Africa. On the death of his superior, Commodore Edward Thompson of the Grampus 50, Tripp posted himself captain of that vessel on 27 March 1786 in accordance with the custom on the West African station. As such he was, with Prince William and John Hunter, the only officer to achieve promotion to post captain during the year. In April the Grampus sailed for Chatham to be paid off.

During the Spanish Armament of 1790 he recommissioned the Sphinx 20 in July, and at the end of October he sailed from Plymouth for the Cape to bring Captain Edward Riou and other survivors of the Guardian home following that vessel’s collision with an iceberg on 24 December 1789. Upon arriving back at Portsmouth in May 1791 the Sphinx was ordered out to Halifax, and Tripp remained on the North American station until the spring of 1792 when he brought the Penelope 32 home in company with a small force under the command of Vice-Admiral Sir Richard Hughes, prior to paying her off at Portsmouth.

A silhouette of HMS Nassau, By P.R. Dobson (en:User:Martocticvs) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3287230

From July 1794 he commanded the Severn 44, being present in Admiral Sir John Jervis’ squadron at Martinique in October, and retaining her in the Leeward Islands before seeing service on the Jamaican station in early 1796, during which period he was stationed off St. Nicholas Mole in company with the Intrepid 64, Captain Hon. Charles Carpenter. Shortly afterwards he removed to the Sampson 64, and in November he left Jamaica with a convoy of fourteen merchantmen from which he parted in a gale before arriving safely at Plymouth at the end of the year.

In February 1798 Tripp succeeded Captain William Hargood aboard the Nore guardship Nassau 64, and following the capture of the Leander 50 by the Généreux 74 on 18 August he presided over the court-martial into the conduct of Captain Thomas Boulden Thompson aboard the America 64 at Sheerness on 17 December, being effusive in his praise of Thompson once the court had cleared him of any culpability for his ship’s defeat.

In June 1799 the Nassau sailed for Chatham to be converted into a troop ship for her participation in the expedition to the Netherlands, but she was wrecked after going aground at about midnight on the North Haak sandbank near the Texel on 25 October 1799 with the loss of forty-two men over the next couple of days. Tripp’s court-martial was held aboard the Pallas 38 from 6 to 11 December at Sheerness, and amongst accusations of drunkenness the verdict could hardly have been more damning, for he was found guilty of ‘gross ignorance and inattention’, and ‘of not setting a good example to those under his command’. He was dismissed from the service, being deemed unworthy and unfit, and ‘incapable of holding a commission in ‘His Majesty’s Navy’.

He later earned a living as a farmer at Staveley near Knaresborough in Yorkshire where an elder brother was the local rector, and as ‘George Tripp Esq’ he died on 20 June 1830.

He married Elizabeth Deacon, with whom he had a daughter who married her cousin, a clergyman.