Theophilus Jones

1760-1835. He was born in Ireland during September 1760, the second son of the Rt. Hon. Theophilus Jones M.P. who supported the Union, and of his mother, Hon. Catherine Beresford, the daughter of the Earl of Tyrone. His elder brother, Walter Jones, sat in both the Irish and British parliaments, and a younger brother, James Jones, served as the rector of Urney in the diocese of Londonderry and became the brother-in-law of Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Blackwood.

Of his early career little is known, but Jones was commissioned lieutenant on 18 September 1778.

He was posted captain on 4 September 1782, and was the flag-captain to Commodore Richard King aboard the Hero 74 at the Battle of Cuddalore on 20 June 1783 where the ship lost five men killed and twenty-one wounded. This vessel was paid off in June 1784 after returning to England.

HMS Glory was one of several ships commanded by Captain Jones in the Channel during the French Revolutionary War.

Jones remained unemployed throughout the peace, but following the opening of hostilities with France in 1793 he recommissioned the Andromache 38, going out to North America and serving at Newfoundland during 1794. Further employment followed with the veteran Trident 64 in 1795, which he recommissioned in April after she had been laid up for twelve years, and he served briefly as the flag-captain to Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Pole in the Channel before leaving the Trident later in the year. Continuing with the Channel fleet, he held the command of the Glory 98 during the latter part of 1795, removing briefly in December to the Prince George 98.

In March 1796 Jones was appointed to the Defiance 74, which vessel was present at the Spithead Mutiny from 16 April 1797 and served her entire commission in the Channel. During 1798 a plot was uncovered that would have seen her Irish crew members murder all their officers bar their Irish captain, Jones, and carry the ship to Brest. The court martial into the affair took place aboard the Gladiator in Portsmouth Harbour from 8-14 September under the presidency of Captain John Holloway, and eleven men were subsequently found guilty of mutiny and hung whilst others received punishments of transportation and multiple flogging.

Jones afterwards commanded the Atlas 98 in the Channel fleet from February 1799 until the peace of April 1802. On 7 January 1800 this ship drove aground in Plymouth Sound and was obliged to cut her masts away before being hauled off with the tide by the frigate Loire 48, Captain James Newman Newman, which frigate was providentially entering port at that time. The Atlas’ hull was so badly damaged in this incident that she had to be retained in Plymouth for repairs. During 1800 the Atlas briefly served as the flagship of Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Harvey with Captain Richard Brown as his flag-captain in place of Jones.

On the resumption of hostilities Jones was not immediately re-employed, and although he was commanding the Queen 98 in the Channel during March 1804 he left her upon being promoted rear-admiral on 23 April. He saw no further service but was promoted vice-admiral on 25 October 1809 and admiral on 12 August 1819.

Jones died, unmarried, at Maidstone in November 1835.

The address in his will was given as Curzon Street, Middlesex, but he had been living at Hayle Cottage, Loose, Kent, where a memorial to him was erected in All Saints’ Church. His nephew, Theobald Jones, entered the service in 1803, was promoted captain in 1828, and was elected M.P. for Londonderry in 1830.