Sir John Hamilton
1726- 1784. Of Scottish descent, he was the son of John Hamilton and his wife, Mary Wright, and was the father of Admirals Sir Charles and Sir Edward Hamilton. He was commissioned lieutenant on 11 January 1747, promoted commander on 7 April 1762, and was appointed to the brig Zephyr 10 in March 1764, taking her out to Newfoundland in May. During 1766 he joined the Merlin 10, also going out each year to Newfoundland and retaining her for the next three years. He was posted captain on 26 May 1768 and left the Merlin in 1769 .
In June 1775 Hamilton recommissioned the Lizard 28 and went out to the St. Lawrence in August with supplies for the army. Here he formed a battalion of seaman ashore to assist in the defence of Quebec, and after returning to England in the following spring he was created a baronet for this service on 6 July 1776. In November 1776 he commissioned the new Hector 74, serving as a Portsmouth guardship and subsequently in the Channel. He fought at the Battle of Ushant on 27 July 1778, and bar a short period when Captain Anthony Hunt deputised for him he continued with her during the Channel fleet retreat of August 1779.
At the end of December he sailed from Spithead with Admiral Sir George Rodney’s Gibraltar-bound fleet but was detached with the West Indies trade before the Moonlight Battle, and thereafter went out to Jamaica, being present at Captain Hon William Cornwallis’ retreat from Commodore de Ternay’s larger squadron on 20 June 1780. The Hector survived the Great Hurricanes of October 1780 and returned home with a convoy in 1781 to be paid off in September 1782.
Hamilton then recommissioned the Grafton 74 in place of the sickly Captain Stair Douglas who had resigned the command, and he set sail from England in January 1783 under in a small squadron under the orders of Captain Robert Brice Kingsmill, which it was intended would attack Spanish possessions in South America before sailing around Cape Horn to the East Indies. Unfortunately being dismasted in the Bay of Biscay and forced home, he was obliged to pay the Grafton off in April, whereupon he immediately recommissioned the Hector 74 as a guardship at Portsmouth.
He died on 24 January 1784 as a result of yellow fever sustained in the West Indies.
Hamilton married Cassandra Agnes Chamberlayne of Maugersbury, Gloucestershire, sister to Admiral Charles Chamberlayne and had issue the two children mentioned above.