Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Badiley, Richard

BADILEY, RICHARD (fl. 1649–1656), admiral, was apparently a merchant, ship-owner, and ship-captain, whom the course of the civil war called to a more stirring life. Of his early service under the parliament, and whether on shore or afloat, nothing is known. His name does not appear in any published list of the parliamentary fleet down to May 1648 (Penn's Life of Penn, i. 255), but we find him in .April 1649 captain of the Happy Entrance and commander-in-chief of the fleet in the Downs, specially charged with appointing and regulating the convoys of merchant ships and proposing measures to the council of state for capturing or destroying the Antelope, one of the ships which had gone over to the Prince of Wales [see Batten, Sir William], and was lying at Helvoetsluys. The attempt was made with perfect success, and the Antelope destroyed by a party of seamen from the Happy Entrance, commanded by her lieutenant, Stephen Rose, to whom a gold medal and a gratuity of 48l. was awarded as encouragement. Through the years 1650 and 1651 Badiley seems to have continued in the Downs and the North Sea, and in December 1651 sailed in the Paragon, a ship of the second rate, together with a small squadron, in convoy of the Levant trade. On 14 Feb. 1651-2 he over-hauled an Algerine corsair, and having the greater force took out of her all the English captives. He then passed on to Zante, to Smyrna, and so back towards Leghorn, where, having had news of the war with Holland, he hoped to effect a junction with Commodore Appleton [see Appleton, Henry]. Unfortunately Appleton could not or would not stir to meet him, and the Dutch, leaving two ships, which proved sufficient to hold Appleton in check, turned to attack Badiley, who had only four ships with which to oppose the ten or eleven now brought against him. Off the island of Elba the fight began about four o'clock in the afternoon of 27 Aug. 1652, and continued till nightfall. The English ships, and the Paragon more especially, were singly superior to any of the Dutch who swarmed round them and endeavoured to carry them by force of numbers. The fighting was mostly hand to hand or at very short range. 'We discharged,' wrote Badiley, 'that day from this ship (the Paragon) 800 pieces of great ordnance, which must have done no small execution, having sometimes two of the enemy's best men-of-war aboard,, and all the rest within pistol and musket shot of us' (31 Aug.) The Paragon had 26 killed and 57 wounded, out of a complement of 250; had fifty shot in the hull, many of them between wind and water, and her masts and rigging cut to pieces. Badiley thought and said that the other ships might and should have taken some of the pressure off the Paragon; but in fact they were severally as hard pressed as the Paragon, and had not her size and strength. They fired away almost all their ammunition, and towards evening the Dutch succeeded in making themselves masters of the Phoenix. And so the fight ended; the English going the next day into Porto Longone in Elba. The Dutch contemplated attacking them there, and offered the governor a large sum of money to permit them. He, however, refused it, and allowed Badiley to strengthen his position by throwing up some batteries and landing some of his ship's guns. Towards the end of October Badiley received orders from home to take command of the squadron at Leghorn, and, crossing over, he concerted measures with Appleton for the recapture of the Phoenix, the success of which led to the Grand Duke's ordering the English to quit the port. This they did, and were, with one exception, all captured by the Dutch, before Badiley, who was in the offing, but to leeward, could offer any assistance. After this there was nothing further to be done but to provide for the safety of the remaining ships, and Badiley accordingly went down the Mediterranean, and so home, arriving in the Downs in the early days of May 1653. His men, he wrote, were very turbulent and mutinous, refused all compromise, and were determined to go into the river to be paid off. They obtained their demands. 'We are paying off the Straits fleet,' wrote Commissioner Pett from Chatham on 1 June; 'they are the rudest people I ever saw. I hope the ring-leaders will be called to account.' About 120 of them were, however, immediately shipped off to join the main fleet with Blake. 'I have had no small trouble to quiet them,' wrote Major Bourne on 4 June; 'they are so enraged that they are sent away. I have promised them that as soon as the exigency of affairs permits they shall enjoy the liberty granted them.' The campaign in the Mediterranean had ended so disastrously, and Appleton was so vehement in his accusations, that Badiley's conduct was formally inquired into. The charges recoiled on Appleton, and Badiley was not only cleared of all blame but was (7 Dec.) promoted to be rear-admiral of the fleet, a rank equivalent then to what was afterwards known as admiral of the blue squadron. He served for a few mouths in the Vanguard, and was then transferred to the Andrew, in which, as second to Blake, he went to the Mediterranean, and was engaged in the reduction of Tunis and the liberation of English captives along the northern coast of Africa [see Blake, Robert]. The Andrew came home and was paid off in the autumn of 1655. In the summer of 1656 Badiley superseded Lawson as vice-admiral in the command of the fleet in the Downs. This ended his service. In April 1657 he was living at Wapping, in feeble health; he probably died within the next two or three years, for there is no trace of him after the Restoration, whilst William Badiley, presumably his brother, was for many years master attendant at Woolwich.

[Calendars of State Papers, Domestic, 1649-57; Captain Badiley's Reply to Captain Appleton's Remonstrance, 1653.]

J. K. L.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.12
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
388 i 8 Badiley, Richard: for (fl. 1649-1656) read (d. 1657)
389 i 12·13 for In the summer of 1656 read On 14 Feb. 1655-6
15 after the Downs insert (Public Intelligencer, 11-18 Feb. 1655-6)
17·19 for he probably died .... whilst read he died in August 1657, according to the announcement in ‘Mercurius Politicus,’ 11 Aug. 1657