Master, Streynsham (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 37
Master, Streynsham

by John Knox Laughton
different from w:Streynsham Master of East India Company

MASTER, STREYNSHAM (1682–1724), captain in the navy, was the only son of James Master of East Langdon in Kent, by Joyce, only daughter of Sir Christopher Turner, baron of the exchequer. James Master's father, Sir Edward Master (d. 1648), married Audry, eldest daughter and coheiress of Robert Streynsham (Hasted, Hist. of Kent, ii. 803), by whom he had fifteen children, including, besides James, Sir Streynsham Master, governor of Madras [see Langhorne, Sir William]. The name Streynsham is still common in the family (Manchester School Register, Chetham Soc., ii. 33, 263). Master entered the navy under the care of Captain George Byng, afterwards Viscount Torrington [q. v.], who had married his sister, Margaret. He was serving with him as a midshipman of the Ranelagh in 1704, was promoted to be a lieutenant of the Ranelagh, and was severely wounded in the leg by the explosion at the capture of Gibraltar. On 5 July 1709 hie was promoted by Byng, then commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean, to command the Fame, and on 22 March 1709-10 he was posted by Sir John Norris to the Ludlow Castle. In 1712 he was captain of the Ormonde in the Mediterranean: in 1716 and 1717 of the Dragon in the Baltic with Norris and Byng. In March 1718 he was appointed to the Superbe, one of the fleet which went out to the Mediterranean with Byng. In the battle of Cape Passaro, 31 July 1718, Master's share was exceptionally brilliant. The Superbe and Kent together engaged the Real Felipe, the Spanish flagship, till, having beaten her to a standstill, she was boarded and taken by a party from the Superbe, led by Thomas Arnold (1679-1737) [q. v.], her flrst lieutenant. Master was probably the first 'private captain who ever had the honour of making a commander-in-chief of so high a rank his prisoner.' Captain John Macbride [q. v.] had a similar honour off Cape St. Vincent in 1780, as also had Captain Israel Pellew at Trafalgar. After his return to England Master had no further service, dying of a fever, 22 June 1724. He had married, only four months before, Elizabeth, only daughter and heiress of Richard, son of Sir Henry Oxenden, first baronet, but left no issue (Wotton, Baronetage, 1771, ii. 428). At the end of last century his portrait was in the possession of Edmund Turner, F.R.S., of Panton House, Lincolnshire.

[Charnock's Biog. Nav. iv. 24; Memoirs relating to the Lord Torrington (Camden Soc.); commission and warrant books in the Public Record Office.]

J. K. L.