William Affleck (1)

Died 1791. He was born sometime after 1740, the youngest son of John Affleck and his wife Sarah Metcalfe, and the nephew of Rear-Admiral Sir Edmund Affleck and Admiral Philip Affleck.

Commissioned lieutenant on 27 October 1761, although Affleck enjoyed the patronage of the Duke of Grafton he had to wait eleven years for promotion to the rank of commander, the date of this elevation being 7 April 1772. In the meantime he had commissioned the new Raven 14 in August 1771, going out to the Mediterranean in the following January and retaining her until 1774.

He was posted captain on 4 June 1774, having been charged with recommissioning the Medway 60, and after going out to the Mediterranean in July he served as flag-captain to Vice-Admiral Robert Man on that station.


Captain Affleck was present at the Battle of Grenada in 1779

In December 1777 the Medway 60 went out with reinforcements to the Leeward Islands and Affleck commanded her at the Battle of Grenada on 6 July 1779, incurring the low casualties of just four men wounded. He fought under the orders of Admiral Sir George Rodney at the Battle of Martinique on 17 April 1780, losing two men killed and three wounded, and thereafter in the Leeward Islands campaign of May-July, including the fleet skirmishes in the former month when she lost three men killed and twenty-one wounded. By July he was in command of the Grafton 74, having removed from the Medway in June as she had been deemed unfit for service and been ordered home for a refit, and in July he sailed for Jamaica with Rear-Admiral Joshua Rowley s reinforcements. During the Great Hurricanes of October the Grafton, carrying eleven feet of water in her well, only survived when twenty-five volunteers bravely cut away the wreckage of her main and mizzenmasts from alongside.

On 27 July 1781, having exchanged with Captain William Garnier into the Southampton 32 at Jamaica, Affleck fell in with the French frigate F e 32 which had lost her topmasts in a previous engagement. He caught up with his enemy at midnight but was forced to break off the action ninety minutes later after losing a great deal of rigging, and with casualties of four men killed and twenty-three wounded. The Southampton was paid off in November 1782.

Affleck brought the Duc de Chartres 18 back from North America in early 1784 and later commanded the Triumph 74 as a guardship at Portsmouth on a temporary basis, succeeding his uncle, Captain Philip Affleck, in July 1784 and retaining her though to the next year. During the Dutch Armament in 1787 he commissioned the Alfred 74 at Chatham, although the fleet did not put to sea before the crises passed.

In January 1789 Affleck commissioned the new Blonde 32, sailing for Jamaica in May, but he died on 24 December 1791 whilst still commanding her in the West Indies.

He married Harriet Anne Crawley but did not have any children.