Royal Naval Biography/Alcock, Richard


Son of the late Robert Alcock, of Desmana, co. Waterford, Ireland, Esq., and grandson of John Alcock, Dean of Lismore, in the same county. His uncle, Alexander Alcock, was Dean of Kilmackdoagh, co. Galway; and his father’s youngest brother, John Trevor Alcock, died Lieutenant-Colonel of the 47th regiment, in the West Indies, anno 1796. The Alcock family is one of the oldest in county Waterford, and long held the representation of it and Wexford. They trace their descent in a direct line from John Alcock, Dean of Westminster, afterwards Bishop of Winchester, and subsequently of Ely; founder of Jesus College, Cambridge, and of a free school at Kingston-upon-Hull; a man high in the esteem of King Henry VII., by whom he was successively appointed Lord President of Wales, and Lord High Chancellor ef England.

Mr. Richard Alcock was born at Desmana, Nov. 17th, 1781; and appears to have entered the royal navy under the auspices of the late Admiral Sir John Colpoys, by whom he was placed in the Pompée 80, Captain (afterwards Admiral) James Vashon, in the summer of 1795. After serving five years with that officer, he joined the America 64, bearing the flag of his friend Vice-Admiral Sir William Parker, from whom he received an order to act as lieutenant of the Lily sloop, on the Halifax station, in 1802. His appointment, however, was not confirmed until Dec. 7th, 1804; after which he served under Captain Clotworthy Upton, in the Lapwing and Sybille frigates, for a period of five years: the latter ship was present at the bombardment of Copenhagen, and consequent surrender of the Danish navy, in 1807.

In Dec. 1809, Mr. Alcock became first lieutenant of the Theseus 74, Captain (now Sir John P.) Beresford, with whom he continued, in that ship and the Poictiers of similar force, until sent to the Mediterranean, on the Admiralty list for promotion, in July, 1811. The Theseus was attached to the Walcheren expedition; and the Poictiers employed in the river Tagus, and blockade of Rochefort and Brest.

This officer obtained the rank of commander, Mar. 21st, 1812; and married, July 15th, 1813, Frances Maria, daughter and co-heiress of William Philips, of Court Henry, in Carmarthenshire, Esq. his Majesty’s Attorney-General for South Wales (and niece to Admiral Sir Thomas Foley); by whom he left three sons and one daughter to deplore his death, which took place some time in the year 1827. His only brother was then Major of the Waterford militia; one of his first cousins, Major-General Sir John Keane, K.C.B., Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica; and another, Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Keane, commanding officer of the 6th (or Enniskilling) regiment of dragoons. In 1805, when the late Viscount Melville was impeached “for high crimes and misdemeanors,” the subject of this sketch had five near relations in parliament, who all voted in his lordship’s favor. Mrs. Alcock’s mother married (secondly) Henry second Earl Bathurst, by whom, however, she had no issue.