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Royal Naval Biography/Wells, William


WILLIAM WELLS, Esq.
[Post-Captain of 1809.]

Son of the late Vice-Admiral Thomas Wells[1], by Miss Freemantle, sister to the late Sir Thomas Francis Freemantle, Bart., G.C.B.[2]

This officer was born at Holme, Mar. 15, 1788; and he first embarked, in April 1800, as a midshipman on board the Glory 98, commanded by his father, and employed on Channel service. We afterwards find him serving under Sir Richard Bickerton and Captain (now Vice-Admiral) Donnelly, in the Swiftsure 74, Kent 80, Madras 54, and Narcissus 32, on the Mediterranean station. His promotion to the rank of Lieutenant took place July 17) 1805; and his appointments as such were to the Juno 32, Neptune 98, and la Modeste 30, from which latter ship he was appointed to act as Captain of the Terpsichore 32, in the East Indies, about June 1807. His commission as a Commander bears date Dec. 28, I8O7.

Captain Wells subsequently commanded the Duncan 38, Blanche 28, and Barracouta of 18 guns; the latter vessel principally employed in the China Seas and Eastern Archipelago. He returned to England in the Fox frigate, bringing home specie to the amount of half a million sterling, at the close of 1811. Post commission dated April 28, 1809.

Captain Wells married, Feb. 2, 1816, Lady Elizabeth Proby, youngest daughter of the Earl of Carysfort. He died at Holme Wood, Aug. 3, 1826.



  1. See note ‡ at p. 654 of Vol. II. Part II.
  2. The grandfather of Captain Wells was a Director of the Royal Hospital at Greenwich, upwards of thirty years. The family have been settled at Holme, in Huntingdonshire, from the earliest records of that parish.