Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Leveson-Gower, John (1740-1792)

LEVESON-GOWER, JOHN (1740–1792), rear-admiral, second son of John, first earl Gower, [see under Leveson-Gower, John, 1675-1709], by his third wife Mary, widow of Anthony Grey, earl Harold. He is said by Collins (Peerage, v. 248), in evident mistake, to have been born in 1743, the date of John's birth was 11 July 1740. In the early months of 1760 he was commander of the Kingfisher sloop, and on 30 June was promoted to be captain of the Flamborough frigate. From her he was quickly moved into the Quebec, which he commanded in the Mediterranean, till the peace. He Afterwards commanded the Africa on the coast of Guinea and the West Indies; Aeolus frigate in the Mediterranean, 1766-7; the Pearl on the home and the Newfoundland stations in 1769-72; and the Albion guardship in Plymouth in 1774. In 1777 he was appointed to the Valiant for service in the channel, and in the action off Ushant on 17 July 1778 was one of the Admiral's seconds, the other being Captain Jeryis in the Foudroyant. On the subsequent court martial Gower's evidence was strongly in Keppel's favour, and on Keppels striking his flag after his aquittal, also resigned his command, nor did he serve again until after the change of ministry in March 1782, when he was appointed first captain of the Victory with Lord Howe, and served in that capacity both in the Channel, and later on at the relief of Gibraltar and the skirmish off Cape Spartel. From January to April 1783 and again from December 1783 to July 1788 Gower was one of the junior lords of the admiralty with Lord Howe, continuing at the admiralty with the Earl of Chatham til January 1790. During this time he hoisted a broad pennant in the Hebe frigate in 1785, for a summer cruise around Great Britain with Prince William Henry; and in the Edgar in 1787, in command of the Channel squadron. On 24 Sept. 1787 he was advanced to be rear-admiral, and in the following summer hoisted his flag again in the Edgar in the Channel. During the Spanish armament in 1790 he was again first captain to Lord Howe. He died of an apoplectic fit on 15 Aug. 1792. He married in 1773 Frances, daughter of Admiral the Hon. Edward Boscawen, by whom he left a son.

[Charnock's Biog. Nav. vi. 394; Official Letters in the Public Record Office.]

J. K. L.