(1719?-1760), Captain in the Navy,
born about 1719, entered the Navy as a volunteer
per order or king's letter-boy, on board the Kingston,
about 1727, but the fact that he belonged in the
next seventeen months to no fewer than seven
ships seems to show that he was borne for time
only without bodily presence.
In 1734 he was borne on the
books of the Blenheim,
a Harbour-ship, and his first sea-going
experience would seem to have been in 1736 on
board the Windsor. In
her and afterwards in the Ipswich and
Anglesea-in which last
he was present at the abortive attack on
Cartagena in April 1741-he served for about five
He passed his examination on 3
September 1741, being then, according to his
certificate, more than twenty-two, and having
been more than ten years at sea. Four days
afterwards he was promoted to be lieutenant of
the Duke on the home
In 1743-44 he was a lieutenant
of the St. George, from which he was taken by
Vice-admiral Davers in October 1744 to go with
him to the West Indies in the Cornwall,
in the rating of midshipman extra.
In August 1745 Davers gave him
a commission as 5th lieutenant of the Cornwall
(though the ship was only allowed four), and in
November appointed him to command the Vainqueur
Eighteen months afterwards he
was recalled to the Cornwall,
in which he was present in the action off Havana
on 1 October 1748 and was afterwards promoted by
Knowles to command the Weasel
sloop and sent home. He paid her off in May 1749.
In March 1755 he commanded the Seaford,
and afterwards the Raven in the
Channel, and with the western squadron till
posted, on 2 December, to the Monarch.
During the next two years
Taylor held several temporary commands-the Magnanime,
Neptune, Magnanime again, Royal William-and
early in 1758 was appointed to the Ramillies,
the flagship fo Sir Edward Hawke, with whom he
continued through 1758 and the blockade of Brest
in 1759, while Hawke was teaching the navy what
the blockade of Brest meant.
After the many months at sea
the Ramillies was in
need of refitting, and when preparing to leave
Torbay on 14 November Hawke struck his flag in
the Ramillies and went
on board the Royal George.
Taylor remained in the Ramillies,
and took her round to Plymouth to be repaired. In
the following February (1760) she sailed, one of
a squadron of three-deckers under the command of
Admiral Boscawen. A violent westerly gale drove
them back; the ships were separated; the weather
was thick and hazy, and the Ramillies
was suddenly found in dangerous proximity to the
Bolt Head. She let go her anchors, which brought
her up for the moment; but the storm was at its
height, the cables parted, and the ship was
hurled on the rocks.
Out of the crew of 734,
twenty-five only and one midshipman, improbably
said to have been William Falconer (1732-1769),
author of "The Shipwreck'-whose name does
not appear in the ship's paybook-were saved.
Wittewronge Taylor, was the son of Reverend
Thomas Taylor and Mary Wittewronge, born sometime between
1713-1719. Mary was the daughter of James Wittewronge of
Rothamstead and Susanna Pedley. Wittewronge married
Catherine Vincent September 28, 1756 in Stoke Damerel, Devon, England.
At the time of his marriage Wittewronge was Captain of the
Wittewronge Taylor, wrote a
will September 19, 1757. He states that he is
commander of the HMS Royal
William. His wife,
Catherine, resides in Plymouth, in the county of
Devon. Wittewronge appointed Catherine as
his administratix, and devised and bequeathed
"all such wages Sum and Sums of Money, said
Goods, Chattels and Estate." No children are
mentioned in the will.
Widow Catherine Taylor secondly married
Port Admiral of Pylmouth, Philip Durell in 1761. Philip
Durell was born in 1707, at St. Helier, Jersey,
Channel Islands, the son of John Durell and
Elizabeth Corbet. This was the third marriage for
Admiral Durell. His previous wives being Madeline
Saumarez and secondly Miss Skey of Bristol.
Vice Admiral of the Blue, Philip Durell died 26 August 1766, at the North
American Station, and was buried at St. Paul's,
Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Catherine Taylor, thirdly married Sir
Frederick Rogers, 4th Bt, a Captain in the Royal Navy and
later Commissioner of the Plymouth Dockyard, on May 17, 1769 in
Stoke Damerel, Devon County, England. Catherine wrote a
will on February 22, 1803, which was was probated July 7, 1803.
Biography Source: [The memoir
in Charnock's Biog. Navalis, Volume 6, page 151,
is very meagre; further details are to be looked
for in the logs, pay-books, and captain's letters
in the Public Record Office.] J.K.L. The
Dictionary of National Biography,
Volume 19, Founded in 1882 by George Smith,
Edited by Sir Leslie Stephen and Sir Sidney Lee.
From the Earliest Times to 1900. Originally
Published 1898-9. Reprinted at the University
Press, Oxford 1931-1932. Great Britain. Pages
Lineage Source: "Pedigree of Wittewronge of Ghent in
Flanders, Stanton Barry (Bucks) & Rothamstead House (Herts)"
by Gery Milner Gibson Cullum F. S. A., 1905, Mitchell Hughest
Clarke of London. Page 12.
Biography Source: Vice Admiral of the Blue- Philip Durell.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
OF NAVAL CAREERS