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Royal Naval Biography/Wyborn, John


Entered the navy in 1793, as midshipman on board the Savage sloop, on the Downs station; but left that vessel, and joined the Ramillies 74, Captain (afterwards Sir Henry) Harvey, early in 1794: he was consequently present at the defeat of the French republican fleet, by Earl Howe, on the glorious 1st of June; and he appears to have continued in the same ship, under Captains Sir Richard Bickerton and Bartholomew S. Rowley, on the Channel, West India, Newfoundland, and North Sea stations, until after the mutiny at the Nore, in 1797. He subsequently proceeded to the Cape of Good Hope, in the Lancaster 64, bearing the flag of Sir Roger Curtis. In 1800, he suffered very great privations, and narrowly escaped being devoured by the Caffres, on the east coast of Africa, whilst employed in conducting a prize from Mauritius to the Cape. On the 17th Jan. 1801, he was promoted by Sir Roger, into the Diomede 50, Captain the Hon. Charles Elphinstone (now Fleeming); and his appointment as lieutenant appears to have been confirmed by the Admiralty, on the 19th Nov. following. He shortly afterwards went to the East Indies, first of the Rattlesnake sloop, and remained there, in that vessel, and as senior lieutenant of the Sceptre 74, Captain (afterwards Rear-Admiral) Joseph Bingham, until 1808. Towards the end of that year, he was appointed to the Sirius frigate, Captain Samuel Pym; but on the Sceptre being re-commissioned by Captain Bingham, in Mar. 1809, he rejoined that ship, and, as we have already shown, highly distinguished himself at the attack upon Flushing, in the months of July and August following[1].

After the reduction of Walcheren, the Sceptre, then commanded by the late Vice-Admiral Ballard, was ordered to the West Indies; and on the 18th Dec. 1809, Mr. Wyborn was again officially commended, for the prompt measures he adopted in destroying the batteries of Ance la Barque, in the island of Guadaloupe, after having assisted at the destruction of two heavy French frigates lying under their protection. For his conduct on this occasion, he was promoted to the rank of commander, by commission dated back to the day of the action. After the conquest of Guadaloupe, he returned home passenger on board the Cormorant store-ship, and was not able to obtain any further employment until 1819, when we find him appointed to assist in superintending the Ordinary at Sheerness.