Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Killigrew, Henry (d.1712)

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1444236Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 31 — Killigrew, Henry (d.1712)1892John Knox Laughton

KILLIGREW, HENRY (d. 1712), admiral, son of Henry Killigrew, D.D. [q. v.], and brother of James Killigrew [q. v.], was made, after some service as a volunteer, lieutenant of the Cambridge in 1666; from her he was moved to the Sapphire, and in 1668 to the Constant Warwick. In January 1672–1673 he was made captain of the Forester, from which he was moved to the Bonadventure, and afterwards to the Monck, one of the ships with Prince Rupert through the summer of 1673. After the peace he was continuously employed in the Mediterranean, on the African coast, where he successively commanded the Swan prize in 1674, the Harwich and the Henrietta in 1675, the Bristol and the Royal Oak in 1676, and the Mary in 1678–9, returning to England in her in June 1679. In 1680 he commanded the Leopard and the Foresight; in 1683–4 he was captain of the Montagu in the expedition to Tangier under Lord Dartmouth, and of the Mordaunt in 1684–5 for a voyage to the Gambia. In 1686 he went out to the Mediterranean in the Dragon as commodore of a small squadron for the suppression of piracy. A detailed account of this voyage, with a description of the several places visited, was written by G. Wood, Killigrew's clerk in the Dragon, and formerly in the Royal Oak and Mary (Addit. MS. 19306). However interesting, the commission was uneventful, with the exception of a running fight on 8 Dec. 1687 with a Sallee cruiser, which shot away the Dragon's fore and main topmasts, and thus escaped. In the course of the action Killigrew was severely wounded by the bursting of a gun. He returned to England in May 1689, was promoted to be vice-admiral of the blue, and during the summer had his flag in the Kent in the Channel. In December he was appointed commander-in-chief of a powerful squadron, which in the following March sailed for the Mediterranean to oppose the passage of the Toulon fleet to Brest. On 9 May 1690 he was refitting at Cadiz after a stormy passage, when he learned that Château-Renault was at sea, with ten ships of the line. On the 10th Killigrew, having been joined by some of his ships from Gibraltar, was able to pursue with fifteen; but they were foul, and sailed badly, and Château-Renault, having waited to ascertain their force, easily sailed away from them [cf. Herbert, Arthur, Earl of Torrington]. By the next morning the French squadron was hull down from the English van, which itself was hull down from the rear; and Killigrew, judging further pursuit useless, returned to Cadiz, whence, after arranging for the several services in the Mediterranean, he sailed home. Bad weather still opposed him. He was thirty-five days on the passage to Plymouth, and when he arrived the battle of Beachy Head had been fought, and the French for the time were masters of the Channel. On the supersession of the Earl of Torrington, Killigrew, Sir Richard Haddock [q. v.], and Sir John Ashby [q. v.] were appointed joint commanders-in-chief till December, when they were superseded by Admiral Edward Russell (afterwards Earl of Orford) [q. v.], Killigrew remaining with him as admiral of the blue squadron. In 1692 he had no command, but in 1693 was again one of the joint admirals, with Sir Clowdisley Shovell [q. v.] and Sir Ralph Delavall [q. v.] On 15 April 1693 he was appointed also a lord commissioner of the admiralty. After the disaster which befell the Smyrna fleet in June 1693 [see Rooke, Sir George], Killigrew, together with Delavall, was dismissed from the command. It was said, and by many believed, that they were both in the interest of King James, and that the loss was due to treachery on their part (Burnet, Hist. of my own Time, Oxford ed., iv. 180). It is possible that Killigrew's sympathies were, theoretically, with the banished king; but there was no reason to suspect him of giving them a practical form, and though deprived of his command, he remained at the admiralty till May 1694. In 1702 he pointed out, in a memorial to the crown, that, although discharged from the command of the fleet on 6 Nov. 1693, he had not received any pay or allowance till 1699, when he had been granted half-pay as admiral of the blue from 1 Oct. 1697. His prayer that he might be allowed full pay from 1693 to 1697, and that his present allowance might be increased to full pay as admiral of the blue, was refused, the report on the petition further stating that, as war had been again declared, he could not receive half-pay or any other allowance except by special grant from her majesty. He was accordingly given a pension of 700l. a year (Home Office Records, Admiralty, vol. xi.), rather more than half-pay. He died at his seat near St. Albans on 9 Nov. 1712.

[Charnock's Biog. Nav. i. 338; commission lists and other documents in Public Record Office; Burchett's Transactions at Sea; Lediard's Naval History; Boase and Courtney's Bibl. Cornub. i. 291, iii. 1256.]

J. K. L.