Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Taylor, Policarpus

Polycarpus Taylor in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

TAYLOR, POLICARPUS (d. 1780), rear-admiral, was on 21 June 1739 promoted to be second lieutenant of the Augusta with Sir Chaloner Ogle [q. v.] He seems to have gone out with Ogle to the West Indies, and in June 1741 was moved by Vernon to the Boyne, his own flagship. On 2 May 1743 he was promoted to be captain of the Fowey frigate on the Jamaica station, and continued in her till 1747, when he was moved by Rear-admiral (afterwards Sir Charles) Knowles [q. v.] to the Elizabeth of 64 guns, and, after the abortive attempt on St. Iago de Cuba, to the Cornwall, Knowles's own flagship. As flag-captain, Taylor took part in the engagement off Havana on 1 Oct. 1748. When Knowles returned to England he put Taylor in command of the Ripon, and left him as senior officer on the station. In the following autumn he was recalled, and arrived at Spithead early in January 1749–50. In the spring of 1756 he was appointed to the Marlborough, but on 7 June to the Culloden, with orders to go out with Sir Edward (afterwards Lord) Hawke [q. v.] and join her at Gibraltar. He seems to have brought her to England in the course of 1757 and to have had no more service, though by a confusion with Wittewronge Taylor [q. v.] —aggravated by his connection with Knowles, the Cornwall, and Hawke—he is said to have commanded the Ramillies in 1758. In 1762 he was superannuated with the rank of rear-admiral ‘in the fleet,’ or, as it was then called, ‘yellowed,’ and passed the rest of his life in retirement in Durham, where he died in 1780.

[Charnock's Biogr. Nav. v. 261; official letters, &c., in the Public Record Office.]

J. K. L.