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Royal Naval Biography/Edwards, Sampson


SAMPSON EDWARDS, Esq
Admiral of the White.


This officer, when a Lieutenant, commanded the Canada schooner, on the Newfoundland station, where she was wrecked in a tremendous gale of wind. The next mention we find of him is May 28, 1781; on which day, being on a cruize on the Banks of Newfoundland, in the Atalante sloop, of 14 guns and 125 men, in company with the Trepassey, of 14 guns and 80 men, he fell in with, and was attacked by the Alliance, American frigate, of 40 guns and 250 men. An hour after the commencement of the action, Captain Smith, of the Trepassey, was killed; but Lieutenant King, on whom the command devolved, continued to defend that vessel until she was a complete wreck; he was then obliged to strike. Captain Edwards, in the Atalante, still maintained the fight with uncommon bravery; but his antagonist having no longer any other to contend with, compelled him also to surrender, after a battle of more than three hours, in which many of his men were killed, and the ship dreadfully cut up.

Our officer was promoted to the rank of Post-Captain, Oct. 16, 1781, and at the conclusion of the war with the colonies, commanded the Diana frigate. At the commencement of hostilities against France, in 1793, he was appointed to the Terpsichore, of 32 guns, and in that vessel assisted at the reduction of the French West India Islands[1]. He subsequently commanded the Veteran, 64, Impetueux, 78, and St. George, of 98 guns; and in the latter ship terminated his services as a Captain. He was advanced to the rank of Rear-Admiral, Jan. 1, 1801; Vice-Admiral, Dec. 13, 1806; and Admiral, June 4, 1814.