Henry Bellew

Died 1791. He was the second son of Henry Bellew of Stockleigh Court, Stockleigh English, Devon, and of his wife, Frances Barbor of Lary and Raleigh, Devon.


HMS Liverpool sketch Riley, Jeremiah – Naval Documents of The American Revolution, American Theatre, Vol 3, p. 1339.

Bellew was commissioned lieutenant on 23 June 1756, had the Dispatch 14 from November 1762 until March 1763, was promoted commander on 1 November 1764, and recommissioned the sloop Beaver in June 1767, going out to North America that autumn and serving at Halifax during 1768-70. In October 70 he briefly had the Romney 50 at Spithead, moving to the Hussar 28 shortly afterwards at Gravesend, of which vessel he was posted captain on 10 January 1771 before leaving her two months later when she was paid off on the resolution of the Falkland Islands dispute.

He recommissioned the Solebay 28 in June 1775, leaving her shortly afterwards, and once the Liverpool 28 was commissioned at Chatham in July he took her out to North America in the early autumn. In January 1776 he torched the town of Norfolk, Virginia following an initial polite and courteous discourse with the rebel Americans holding the town after they had refused fresh provisions to the Navy and fired upon their boats. The rebels also set fire to part of the town that had purposefully been left unmolested by the British, apparently to raise local ire against the oppressors . During May 1776 the Liverpool was stationed in the Delaware with the Roebuck 44, Captain Andrew Snape Hamond, where on the afternoon of the 9th they were attacked by a host of small rebel craft coming down from Mud Island. The Roebuck grounded during this action, was re-floated during the night, but the next day both vessels were obliged to retire downriver when the attack resumed.

The Liverpool captured the rebel privateer Warren 8 on 26 August 1776, was in the Hudson s River with Vice-Admiral Viscount Howe s fleet in early 1777, and took part in the Philadelphia campaign of August-November 1777. She was wrecked in Jamaica Bay, Long Island on 11 February 1778, although her crew were saved.

During the latter part of 1778 Bellew took the recently captured Licorne 36 out to Newfoundland, returning that autumn to Plymouth whereupon his ship underwent a refit at Portsmouth over the winter. She cruised briefly in the Channel before he left her in March 1779.

In 1789 Bellew inherited the estate of Stockleigh from his late nephew, but he died two years later on 18 April 1791.

He married Anne, widow of Thomas Wentworth, but had no issue, although she had children from her previous marriage.