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Ball, Andrew (DNB00)

BALL, ANDREW (d. 1653), captain in the navy, is believed to have been a native of Bristol; but of his family and early life there is no certain account. The first official mention of his name is as captain of the Adventure in 1648, when Vice-admiral Batten carried part of the fleet over to Holland to join the Prince of Wales. Ball was one of those who stayed with Sir George Ayscue, and who afterwards, 25 Sept. 1648, signed the manly refusal to desert what they considered the cause of the nation (Life of Penn, i. 265). During 1649 he was employed in the Channel, cruising off the Lizard or Land's End for the safeguard of merchant ships against pirates and sea-rovers, and on 21 December was ordered specially 'to attend Rupert's motions.' In November 1650, still in the Adventure, he was selected to accompany Captain Penn to the Mediterranean [see Penn, Sir William], and continued absent on that voyage for nearly sixteen months, arriving in the Downs on 1 April 1652. During the following summer he was engaged in fitting out the Antelope, a new ship only just launched, and in September was sent to Copenhagen in command of a squadron of eighteen ships. The King of Denmark, on some misunderstanding about the Sound dues, had laid an embargo on about twenty English merchant ships that were in Danish harbours, and it was hoped that the appearance of a respectable force would at once remove the difficulty. They sailed from Yarmouth on 9 Sept., and on the 20th anchored a few miles below Elsinore; there they remained, treating with the King of Denmark, but forbidden to use force (Instructions to Captain Ball, 30 Aug.), as the King of Denmark was probably aware. They were still hoping that the ships might be released, when, on 30 Sept., they were caught in the open roadstead in a violent storm; the cables parted, the Antelope was hurled on shore, the other ships, more or less damaged, were swept out to sea. It was not till 2 Oct. that they could get back and take up the survivors from the wreck; after which, having had enough of Denmark, they did not tarry for further negotiations, but set sail for England, and arrived in Bridlington Bay on the 14th, whence they went to Harwich and the Thames, to refit (John Barker to the Navy Commissioners, 15 Oct. 1652; the Rolls' Calendar, by misprint, reads Bonker for Barker). After the severe check which Blake received off Dungeness, on 30 Nov., Ball was appointed to the Lion, of fifty guns, in the room of Captain Saltonstall, whose conduct in the battle had been called in question. He accordingly was occupied during the next two months in refitting the Lion, and joined the fleet off Queenborough in the beginning of February, when Blake promoted him to the command of his own ship, the Triumph, a position somewhat analogous to that now known as captain of the fleet, which confers the temporary rank of rear-admiral. The fleet, having sailed to the westward, encountered the Dutch off Portland on 18 Feb. 1652-3. The fight lasted with great fury throughout the day, and during the whole time the enemy's chief efforts were directed against the Triumph, which suffered heavily in hull, in rigging, and in men; her captain, Andrew Ball, being one of the killed. In acknowledgment of his services, the state assigned a gratuity of 1,000l. to his widow; no mention is made of any children, but it is perhaps allowable to conjecture that the Andrew Ball who commanded the Orange Tree in the Mediterranean, under Sir Thomas Allin, in 1668, and was then accidentally drowned, may have been a son.

[Calendars of State Papers, Domestic, 1649-1653; Granville Penn's Memorials of Sir William Penn, vol. i.; Charnock's Biog. Nav. i. 214.]

J. K. L.