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Ashby, Sir John (d. 1693).

English admiral. Principal war: War of the League of Augsburg (1689-1697). Principal battles: Bantry Bay (1689); Beachy Head (1690); Barfleur (1692).

Born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, probably about 1640; lieutenant on H.M.S. Adventure (1665); captain of H.M.S. Deptford (1668) and of H.M.S. Defiance (1688); led the vanguard of Admiral Herbert's English fleet with distinction at Bantry Bay (May 10, 1689); knighted and made rear admiral of the blue later that year; vice admiral of the red in H.M.S. Sandwich under Lord Torrington at Beachy Head (June 10, 1690); joint admiral with Richard Craddock and Henry Killigrew after Torrington's imprisonment in the Tower (June 1690); as admiral of the blue (1692) he led the rear of the English fleet in H.M.S. Royal William at the battle of Barfleur (May 29, 1692), and pursued some of the French ships after the battle with great vigor (May 30-31), although his leadership at the battle had not been exemplary; also served as comptroller of the storekeeper's accounts (1690-1693); died in 1693.

A capable but not particularly gifted naval commander; resolute and brave, but not enterprising. <BL>

Sources:
Ehrman, John, The Navy in the War of William III. London, 1953.
Mordal, Jacques, Twenty-five Centuries of Sea Warfare. Translated by
     Len Ortzen. 1959. Reprint. London, 1970.
Powley, Edward B., The Navy and the Revolution of 1688. Cambridge,
     1928.

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Author:Louisa, Angelo; Bongard, David L.
Publication:The Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1992
Words:232
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