William Edge

1750-1842. He was the son of Philip Edge and of his wife, Anne Truelove.

Edge was commissioned lieutenant on 26 May 1776.

He was present at the Occupation of Toulon from August 1793 aboard Vice-Admiral Lord Hood’s flagship Victory 100, Captain John Knight, and was promoted commander on 17 September with his appointment to the captured French vessel Alerte 14. During the evacuation of the port in December he was one of the two most senior officers who assisted Captain Sir William Sidney Smith in the attempted destruction of the French fleet, and he was also charged successfully with ‘closing the retreat’ and evacuating the last men from the shore. His partially burned command was left behind on the evacuation and the French were able to salvage and recommission her.

Edge was a long-term captain of Greenwich Hospital

When Captain Sir John Orde was promoted rear-admiral on 1 June 1795 Edge temporarily replaced him in command of the Prince George 98, in which he fought at the Battle of Groix on 23 June. In the course of the engagement he was badly wounded in the shoulder and arm by the wind of a cannon-ball that whistled past him, but he was somewhat sated by being posted captain with seniority from 29 June. The Prince George entered Plymouth from Quiberon Bay on 31 August after sustaining damage when running afoul of another vessel, and she brought in with her an American ship that had been attempting to deliver provisions to France. She was then ordered to fit out for Rear-Admiral Hugh Christian’s flag for the Leeward Islands, whereupon Edge was superseded by Captain James Bowen.

He subsequently commanded the Harwich and Yarmouth Sea Fencibles from the spring of 1798, being based at Southwold, and continuing in the role of captain of the Suffolk Fencibles after the renewal of war in 1803.

Edge became a captain of Greenwich Hospital in early 1809 under the patronage of Admiral Viscount Hood, and he died at the hospital whilst still holding this position on 21 July 1842.

He married Lydia Grown and had several children.

Edge appears to have been highly regarded, both as a newly-posted captain, when he was described as most humane and gallant, and throughout his long tenure at Greenwich.