Royal Naval Biography/Vashon, James

Admiral of the White, and a Vice-President of the Naval Charitable Society.

This officer obtained Post rank April 12th, 1782, and in the following year commanded the Sybil, of 28 guns, at Jamaica. He was subsequently appointed to the Europa 50, on the same station, in which latter ship the gallant Captain Duff, who fell at Trafalgar, was his first Lieutenant.

During the Spanish and Russian armaments, Captain Vashon commanded the Ardent, 64; and at the commencement of the war with the French republic, the St. Albans, of the same force. In that vessel he proceeded to Gibraltar with the fleet under Lord Hood, and returned from thence with a convoy; after which he escorted the trade to the West Indies. In the summer of 1795, our officer removed into the Pompée of 80 guns, stationed in the Channel. On the 15th June, 1797, he returned to Spithead, in consequence of a most dangerous conspiracy among his crew, which was happily discovered before ready for execution. A court-martial was immediately assembled to try six of the principal mutineers; when the charges having been proved in the clearest manner against four of them, they were sentenced to suffer death, one to be imprisoned twelve months, and the other acquitted. On the 28th two of these unhappy men were executed on board the Pompée, and the other two received the royal pardon.

In the spring of 1799, Captain Vashon removed into the Neptune, of 98 guns, and was sent to reinforce the fleet in the Mediterranean, under Earl St. Vincent; on which station, however, he remained but a few months. Early in 1801, he took the command of the Dreadnought, a new 98-gun ship; and after cruising for some time in the Channel, proceeded off Cadiz and to Minorca, where he continued until the summer of 1802.

Towards the latter end of the following year, we find Captain Vashon in the Princess Royal, 98, stationed at the mouth of Southampton River, to guard tliat place, and the west end of the Isle of Wight, in case of an invasion. On the 23rd April, 1804, he was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral; and about the same time appointed to the command of the naval force on the coast of Scotland, under the general orders of Lord Keith. He accordingly proceeded to Leith, where his flag was hoisted, and remained till the latter end of 1808, when he was relieved by Sir Edmund Nagle.

Previous to his relinquishment of the above command, the only one, we believe, enjoyed by him as a Flag-Officer, the Master and Brethren of the Trinity-House, Leith, presented him with the freedom of their Corporation, and an elegant silver snuff-box.

He was made Vice-Admiral, April 28, 1808; and Admiral, June 4, 1814. His only son is in holy orders.