Thomas Affleck

1762-1805. He was born on 21 August 1762, the second of four sons of the Reverend James Affleck, and of his wife Mary Proctor. His elder brother was Lieutenant-General Sir James Affleck, and he was the nephew of Rear-Admiral Sir Edmund Affleck and Admiral Philip Affleck.

Affleck was commissioned lieutenant on 18 June 1781 and following the end of the American Revolutionary War he saw some service aboard the Daphne 28, Captain Brabazon Christian, in home waters.

He was promoted commander on 30 October 1793 and joined the sloop Fly 14, going out to Jamaica in the following March. On 4 June 1794 he directed the troop landings in the Bay of Port au Prince on Saint-Domingue under the orders of Commodore John Ford, and as a reward for his efforts he was posted captain on 9 June to the nine-pounder frigate Alligator 28 in place of his late cousin, Captain William Affleck. In July the Alligator went around to Montego Bay from Port Royal to undertake convoy duty, and she left for home on the 25th of that month with a merchant fleet of some one hundred vessels and the Irresistible 74, Captain John Henry, with plans to stop at Havana to collect a number of Spanish ships. She eventually arrived at Liverpool on 12 October with the vessels for that port.

In December 1794 it was reported that the Alligator had lost her bowsprit in a gale and had driven aground on Bootle Beach near Liverpool, and at the beginning of February 1795 she entered Portsmouth for a refit. Here Affleck transferred to the frigate Perle 38, which had been sequestered by the Mediterranean fleet during the Occupation of Toulon in 1793, and which was undergoing a thorough repair. In September she was re-christened as the Amethyst at Portsmouth with Affleck retaining the command, and he spent some time cruising off the French coast before returning to Portsmouth in December.

The Amethyst was wrecked without loss of life when she struck rocks off Guernsey and was beached on Alderney on 29 December 1795, a disaster which Affleck reported directly to the Admiralty in London on 1 January 1796. At the subsequent court martial aboard the Orion 74 at Portsmouth on 8 March he was found guilty of misconduct whilst all his officers were acquitted. The sentence was one of great ignominy, for he was placed at the bottom of the captain’s list with seniority from 8 March, dismissed the navy, and rendered incapable of ever returning to serve His Majesty.

Captain Affleck died, unmarried in 1805.