Duckworth, John Thomas, Sir

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Duckworth entered the navy in 1759 at age 11. He became lieutenant in 1771 and was first lieutenant in 1776 on the Diamond, which was sent to Rhode Island. In 1777, when a shot on board the Diamond killed five men during a salute, Duckworth and the other crew members were court-martialed. They were later acquitted. Duckworth was promoted to commander in 1780, rear admiral in 1799, vice admiral in 1804, and admiral in 1810. Another court-martial was brought against him in 1805 that charged him with trying to turn the Acasta into a merchant ship. He was later acquitted. From 1810 to 1813, he was governor and commander-in-chief of Newfoundland. He was created baronet in 1813.

From the description of Duckworth papers, 1785-1908. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702147329

Sir John Thomas Duckworth (1748-1817) was a British naval officer.

From the description of Sir John Thomas Duckworth papers, 1805-1811. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 612808827

From the guide to the Sir John Thomas Duckworth papers, 1805-1811 and undated., (Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University)

John Thomas Duckworth, a minister's son, was born in Surrey, England on February 28, 1748. He attended Eton at an early age, but left to enter the British Navy when he was eleven. At the outbreak of the American Revolution he was commissioned a first lieutenant, and served in American waters for nearly the duration of the war - achieving his first command in that period. In 1799 Duckworth was promoted to Rear Admiral rank, and in 1810 became a full Admiral. From 1810 to 1813 he served as Governor and Commander-in-Chief in Newfoundland where, according to the Dictionary of National Biography, "he is said to have earned the good opinion of the inhabitants both in his naval and his civil capacity." In 1812 he was elected MP for Romsey, a position he held until his death in 1817. Duckworth was created a Baronet in 1813, and in January of 1817, just shortly before he died, was named Commander-in-Chief at Plymouth.

From the guide to the Duckworth, Sir John Thomas. Papers, 1808-1812, (Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)


Rear-Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth arrived in the Caribbean in June 1800 as Commander-in-Chief of the British naval forces there. In 1801 he defeated Swedish and Danish forces, and was knighted for this. He later defeated a French naval squadron near Santo Domingo, and was promoted to Vice-Admiral. In 1806, he defeated the French Admiral Leissegues, ending the French plans to occupy the region. In 1810, he was promoted to full Admiral, and sent to command British naval forces in Newfoundland.

From the description of Papers, 1801-1807. (University of Florida). WorldCat record id: 48665343

Epithet: Vice-Admiral

Title: 1st Baronet 1813

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000684.0x00013b

Rear-Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth, K.B. (1748-1817) first arrived in the Leeward Islands region of the Caribbean in June of 1800, serving as Commander-in-Chief of the British naval forces deployed there. During March and April of 1801 he orchestrated the defeat of the Swedish and Danish forces stationed on St. Thomas and St. Bartholomew Islands. As reward for this he was knighted into the Order of the Bath on June 6, 1801, after which he returned to England.

With the renewal of conflict with France, Duckworth returned to the Caribbean as Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in Jamaica and the Bahamas. Shortly after his arrival he defeated the French naval squadron under Admiral Rocheambeau off the coast of Santo Domingo. A promotion to Vice-Admiral in April of 1804 followed, after which he returned again to England to face courts-martial charges that where later dropped.

1806 found Duckworth once again back in the Caribbean and facing his old adversary the French. The highlight of his career was his defeat of the French Admiral Leissegues, which dealt a terrible blow to French aspirations in the region and played a major part in their eventual withdrawal from the Caribbean. On his return to England he was granted a pension and his naval feats acknowledged with a wealth of honors, including the Sword of Honor of the City of London.

In 1810 Duckworth was promoted to full Admiral and sent to Canada as Commander-in-Chief of the British naval forces in the Newfoundland and adjacent regions.

From the guide to the John Thomas Duckworth Papers, 1801-1807, (Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Great Britain. Royal Navy. [Order book], 1795-1797. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Duckworth, John Thomas, Sir. Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth correspondence with Vice-Admiral Charles Stirling, 1803-1810. Rice University, Fondren Library
referencedIn Orde, John, Sir, 1751-1824. Sir John Orde papers, 1789-1878 (bulk 1798-1805). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Vol. CXXXIV (ff. i + 180). 4 Nov. 1809-21 Dec. 1811.includes:f. 1 Elizabeth Hervey, widow of John Augustus, Lord Hervey: Letter to, from the 2nd Earl of Liverpool: 1809. f. 1, 16 b Archibald Colquhoun, Lord Advocate: Correspondence with the 2nd Earl... British Library
referencedIn Vol. XII. (XI. ff. 427). 1 Aug.-20 Sept. 1799.includes:f. 1 Captain Thomas Bertie: Letters to Lord Nelson: 1799, 1800. ff. 3-9, 37, 106, 235 Captain Edward James Foote, RN: Letters to Lord Nelson: 1799-1800. ff. 7, 150, 152, 219, 221, 280, 282, 380... British Library
creatorOf Halkett, John, 1768-1852. Ten holograph letters and two enclosures from John Halkett, governor of the Bahamas, to Admiral, Sir J.T. Duckworth, commander-in-chief at Jamaica : New Providence : mss., 1802 Dec. 2-1804 May 21. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Duckworth, John Thomas, Sir. Papers, 1808-1812 (inclusive). University of Chicago Library
referencedIn Vol. XVI. (XV. ff. 392). 21 Mar.-31 Dec. 1800.includes:ff. 1, 3, 40, 42, 59, 69, 77, 81, 83, 110, 112, 116, 128, 131, 139, 149-153, 214, 328-332, 340, 343, 359, 368, 383-388 Admiral Sir Thomas Troubridge: Correspondence with Lord Nelson: 1797 -1800.... British Library
creatorOf Sir John Thomas Duckworth papers, 1805-1811 and undated. Houghton Library
creatorOf John Thomas Duckworth Papers, 1801-1807 Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
referencedIn Vol. XXXI. (XXX. ff. 273). Undated and miscellaneous.In the last volume are included:-1. Line of battle of the combined English and Dutch fleet under Vice-Adm. Sir George Rooke in 1692. f. 77. 2. List of the Russian squadron at Constantinople under ..., 18th century-19th century British Library
creatorOf Duckworth, John Thomas, Sir. [Logbook of the HMS Leviathan], 1799-1800. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Sir John Thomas Duckworth papers, 1805-1811 and undated. Houghton Library
referencedIn Vol. VIII. (VI. ff. 226). July-Dec. 1797.includes:ff. 3, 50, 57, 59, 69, 76, 100 Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth: Naval intelligence: 1796. f. 5 Captain Alexander Hood, RN: Letters to Lord Bridport: 1772-1797. ff. 7, 9, 32, 34, 38, 56, 67, 71-7... British Library
creatorOf Duckworth, John Thomas, Sir. Duckworth papers, 1785-1908. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Duckworth, John Thomas, Sir. Papers, 1801-1807. University of Florida
referencedIn "THE original Despatches communicating the principal victories obtained by the British Navy over the fleets of France and her allies in the course of the Revolutionary wars, 1794-1806. Collected by command of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty,..., 1794-1806 British Library
referencedIn Vol. XXV. (XXIV. ff. 337). 1 Oct.-16 Nov. 1804.includes:ff. 1, 6, 22, 33, 96, 104, 107 Captain John Gore, RN: Letters to Lord Nelson: 1803-1805. ff. 3, 12-19 Captain Robert Barlow, afterwards Admiral Sir Robert: Letters to Lord Nelson: 1803-1805. f... British Library
referencedIn Vol. XXIX. (XXVIII. ff. 337). 17 June-31 Aug. 1805.includes:f. 1 Samuel Gambier: Letters, as Navy Commissioner, to Lord Nelson: 1803-1805. f. 1 Henry Duncan: Letters, as Navy Commissioner, etc., to Lord Nelson: 1803-1805. f. 1 Sir Francis John Hart... British Library
referencedIn Vol. IV. (II. ff. 345). 1784-June, 1794.Admiral Alexander Hood, Viscount Bridport: Correspondence with Lord Howe: 1775-1783.Richard Howe, Viscount and 1st Earl Howe: Correspondence with, and instructions to, Lord Bridport: 1775-1797.includes:f. 3 Th..., 1784-1794 British Library
referencedIn Vol. XXX. (XXIX. ff. 349). 1 Sept.-2 Nov. 1805.includes:f. 1 John James Hamilton, 1st Marquess of Abercorn: Letter to Lord Nelson: 1805. f.3 Alexander Hamilton, Marquess of Douglas; 10th Duke of Hamilton: Letter to Lord Nelson: 1805. f. 5 George Gr... British Library
referencedIn Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth Correspondence with Vice-Admiral Charles Stirling MS 305., 1803-1810 Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University
referencedIn Sir John Orde papers, 1789-1878, 1798-1805 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn MACKENZIE PAPERS. Vol. XIV (ff. 149). Letters and papers of extra large size from (a) the above general correspondence (ff. 1-106), 1669-1868 ; (b) the papers of Maj.-Gen. J. R. Mackenzie (ff. 107-149), 1794-1809. Among the more important are: 1. Ex..., 1669-1868 British Library
referencedIn Vol. III (ff. 154). Letters and reports from Adm. Sir John Thomas Duckworth in the W. Indies to the Secretary of the Admiralty and Adm. Collingwood, Nov. 1805-Apr. 1806, ff. 1-55, followed by correspondence from Duckworth and others relating to actio..., 1805-1809 British Library
referencedIn Vol.. VII (ff. 272). 20 Jan. 1807-23 Dec. 1809.includes:ff. 1-268 passim Charles Grey, Viscount Howick; 2nd Earl Grey, Prime Minister: Letters to T. Grenville: 1806-1820. f. 4 William Marsden, Secretary of the Admiralty 1804-1807; orientalist: Letter... British Library
referencedIn Vol. XIII. (XII. ff. 394). 21 Sept.-15 Nov. 1799.includes:f. 1 Philip Lamb, Agent for Transports at Malta: Letters to Lord Nelson: 1798, 1805. f. 3 William Frederick Wyndham, diplomatist: Letters to Lord Nelson: 1796-1798. f. 7 Lieutenant William D... British Library
creatorOf Duckworth, Sir John Thomas. Papers, 1808-1812 Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library,
referencedIn Vol. LV (ff. 304). 20 Nov. 1809-Apr. 1810.Joseph Bonaparte of Spain: Correspondence and papers of the 2nd Earl of Liverpool rel. to the Peninsular War: 1808-1812.Hon Spencer Perceval, Prime Minister: Correspondence: circ. 1808-1812.Robert Banks Jenk... British Library
referencedIn Vol. XIV. (XIII. ff. 346). 16 Nov.-31 Dec. 1799.includes:ff. 1-7, 21, 23, 34, 68, 90, 112, 124, 135, 140, 171 General Sir John Francis Edward Acton, 6th Baronet Neapolitan Prime Minister: Letters to Lord Nelson: 1793-1805. ff. 9, 262, 264, 306 Hon H... British Library
creatorOf Duckworth, John Thomas, Sir. Sir John Thomas Duckworth papers, 1805-1811. Houghton Library
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Place Name Admin Code Country
Genoa, Italy
Majorca, Spain
Malta, Europe
Cadiz, Spain
Sardinia, Italy
Mulroy, Lochaber
Dardanelles, Turkey
Great Britain
Tripoli, Lybia
Naples, Bay of, Italy
Ajaccio, Corsica
Aboukir, Egypt
Cadiz, Spain
Antigua, the Carribean
Cartagena, S. America
Azores, North Atlantic Ocean
Turkey, Asia Minor
Novi, Sardinia
Egypt, Africa
Tripoli, Lybia
Mediterranean Sea
Minorca, Spain
West Indies, America
Caribbean Area
Port Mahon, Minorca
Vesuvius, Italy
Italy, Europe
Lagos, Portugal
Algiers, Africa
Great Britain
Gibraltar, Spain
Cadiz, Spain
Ayr, Ayrshire
Jamaica, Central America
Bocas Islands, Trinidad
El-Arish, Egypt
Egypt, Africa
Alexandria, Egypt
Zafarin Islands, Morocco
Port Civitavecchia, Italy
Egypt, Africa
Caribbean area
Naples and Sicily, Kingdom of, Italy
Portsmouth, Hampshire
Leeward Islands, the Carribean
Mediterranean Sea, Europe
Santa Cruz, Teneriffe
Zante, the Ionian Islands
Greece, Europe
Gibraltar, Spain
Alfaques, Spain
Malta, Europe
Morea, Greece
St. Domingo, West Indies
Sicily, Italy
Seafaring life
Sea control
Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815
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