Ambrose, John (DNB00)


AMBROSE, JOHN (d. 1771), captain in the navy, was promoted to that rank in March 1734, and appointed to the Greyhound, in which ship he was employed in the Channel and Mediterranean till September 1740, when he was transferred to the Rupert of 60 guns. In this ship he continued for the next eighteen months, cruising with good success against the enemy's privateers on the north coast of Spain, and on the coast of Portugal. He was then sent out to join the Mediterranean fleet, and was present in the action off Toulon on 11 Feb. 1744. Captain Ambrose was afterwards charged before a court-martial with having neglected his duty on that occasion; with firing and continuing to fire on the enemy whilst altogether out of range, with not having assisted the Marlborough when in extreme danger, with not having covered and protected the fire-ship when he might and should have done so, and flnally with ‘disobedience to his majesty's instructions and the signals and commands of the admiral, neglect of naval discipline, and being one of the principal causes of the miscarriage of his majesty's fleet.’ The court held these charges to be proved in the principal part; but considering that he had always borne the character of a vigilant and diligent officer, and that his failure in the action was apparently due to a mistake in judgment, his judges sentenced him to be only cashiered during his majesty's pleasure and to be fined one year's pay, to be given to the chest at Chatham. In 1748 he was restored to his rank and half-pay, and in April 1750 was advanced to be a rear-admiral on the retired list. He died 26 March 1771.

[Official Letters, &c., in the Public Record Office; Minutes of the Court martial, published in folio, 1746.]

J. K. L.