Suckling, Maurice (DNB00)

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SUCKLING, MAURICE (1725–1778), comptroller of the navy, second son of Maurice Suckling, prebendary of Westminster and rector of Barsham in Suffolk, whose wife Anne, daughter of Sir Charles Turner, was a niece of Robert Walpole, first earl of Orford [q. v.], was born at Barsham on 14 May and baptised on 27 May 1725. His sister Catherine married the Rev. Edmund Nelson, and was the mother of Horatio (afterwards Lord) Nelson [q. v.] Suckling was promoted to be a lieutenant in the navy on 8 March 1744–5, and in May 1747 was appointed by Byng to the Boyne, then in the Mediterranean. In November 1748 he was appointed to the Gloucester; in 1753 he was in the Somerset. On 2 Dec. 1755 he was promoted to the rank of captain and appointed to the Dreadnought, of 60 guns, in which he went out to the West Indies. The Dreadnought was one of the three 60-gun ships detached in October 1757, under Captain Arthur Forrest [q. v.] of the Augusta, and on the 21st fought a spirited action with a vastly superior French squadron. In 1761 Suckling returned to England, when the Dreadnought was paid off and Suckling was appointed to the Lancaster, which was employed in the Channel under Lord Hawke. After the peace he was for some years on half-pay, but on the imminence of war with Spain consequent on the dispute about the Falkland Islands [see Farmer, George], he was appointed in November 1770 to the Raisonnable, and from her was moved in April 1771 to the Triumph, guardship in the Medway. In April 1775 he was appointed comptroller of the navy, a post which he held till his death on 14 July 1778. He was buried in the chancel of Barsham church.

Suckling married, on 20 June 1764, his cousin Mary, daughter of Horatio, lord Walpole of Wolterton. She died in 1766 without issue.

[Information from the family; Charnock's Biogr. Nav. vi. 149; Nav. Chron. (with portrait), xiv. 265; Burke's Peerage, s. n. ‘Orford;’ official documents in the Public Record Office.]

J. K. L.