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Royal Naval Biography/Aylmer, John

JOHN AYLMER, Esq
Senior Admiral of the Blue.


This officer obtained the rank of Post-Captain, June 28, 1782. In the month of August following, he commanded the Jason, of 64 guns, one of the prizes taken by a detachment sent by Sir George B. Rodney to intercept the remains of the French fleet, after the battle of the glorious 12th April[1].

The Jason formed part of the ill-fated squadron that sailed from Jamaica to escort the homeward bound trade, under the orders of Rear-Admiral Graves. In the dreadful hurricane by which they were overtaken[2], she not only suffered less damage than any other of the King’s ships, but reached England in perfect safety.

We next find our officer cruizing on the Milford station, in the Hyaena, a small frigate, during the years 1788 and 1789. At the Spanish armament, in 1790, he commanded the Glory, of 98 guns; and when hostilities commenced against the French Republic, he was appointed to the Argonaut, a 64; in which ship he accompanied Rear-Admiral Murray’s squadron to North America, where he continued until the spring of 1795, at which period he was compelled through illness to return to England.

Captain Aylmer having recovered from his indisposition, accompanied Rear-Admiral Pringle, in the Tremendous, 74, to the Cape of Good Hope, where that officer arrived in time to assist at the capture of the Dutch Fleet in Saldanha Bay, Aug. 18, 1796[3]; and Captain Aylmer was selected to carry home the Commander-in-Chief’s despatches relative to that event.

Our officer’s next appointment appears to have been to the Theseus, of 74 guns, on the Mediterranean station. From that ship he removed into the Captain, of the same force, and returned to England. In 1798, we find him serving with the Channel Fleet. He was subsequently nominated to the superintendance of a district of Sea-Fencibles; and, previous to the treaty of Amiens, commanded the Dragon, a 74-gun ship, in the Mediterranean, where he was employed in a variety of services, under the immediate orders of Sir John B. Warren; and soon after the renewal of the war, captured la Colombe, French corvette, of 16 guns.

His promotions as a Flag-officer, bear date as follow; Rear-Admiral, April 23, 1804; Vice-Admiral, April 28, 1808; and Admiral, June 4, 1814. He married, in Nov. 1809, Frances, youngest daughter of the Rev. T. H. Pearson, of Queen’s Camel, Somersetshire.