Captain Thomas Mowbray's background and information
- 1 Portrait
- 2 Character Information
- 3 Captain Thomas Mowbray's background and information
- 4 History of Flag Positions held in the St George Squadron of the White
- 5 Current and Past Deployments
Childhood and Early Life
Thomas Mowbray was born in Bristol, England on the 14th January 1703. His father, Edward Mowbray was an officer in the Bristol Garrison while his mother, Elizabeth Mowbray took care of the Mowbray Manor. As a child Thomas enjoyed most of his time on Bristol Harbour and at the Mowbray Manor. From four years of age Thomas was mentored and educated by his mother Elizabeth and his uncle, Charles Mowbray. Because his uncle Charles had studied at the University of Oxford, Thomas was offered the chance of an education. He enjoyed most of his life in relative comfort at the Mowbray Manor, and had a passion for the sea. Hence, one of Thomas's favourite hobbies was sailing in his father's fishing raft, enjoying the smell of the sea and being taken away with the wind. Thomas therefore grew up with the sea and on the sea, and was always fond of the sea as a young boy.
When Thomas turned the age of eighteen, he was sent to study law with the lecturer and family-friend, Frederick Oswald, at the University of Oxford. Thomas studied hard but he missed the sea and sailing in Bristol Harbour. He earned to go back to sea, using his regimental skills that he learnt at university. Thomas henceforth graduated on the 10th February 1722 with distinction.
After graduating Thomas gave up a possible wealthy legal career, and immediately enlisted in His Majesty's Royal Navy. On the 1st October 1722, Thomas finished his required education at the Royal Naval College. In December 1722 Thomas was posted onboard the HMS Albert, a sloop that patrolled the western coast of England where he was given the rank of Midshipman due to his father's connections with the admiralty. The admiralty, according to Edward Mowbray were impressed with the sailing and leadership qualities that Thomas showed at sea under the watchful eye of Captain Sir Edward Atherton. According to transcripts, Thomas caught the attention of the Edward when, as a Midshipman showed how well Thomas dealt with the sailors, and how efficient he was at his tasks of making sure the crow's nest was always attended. Even though Thomas was a bit unsure about himself, and showed some hesitancy, he continued sailing with commendation.
At 11:20pm on the 21st February 1723, Midshipman Mowbray was on deck when a sailor on the Crow's nest spotted unknown sails in the west. The ship was 1000 yards west of Cornwall, when Thomas heard a bell ring that notified him and the crew of an unknown Brigantine. Coming to action, Thomas ran towards the rear of the ship and shouted to the sailors to come to station. The captain, David Hill walked out of his quarters and wanted to know what was going on. It was from that point that the HMS Albert prepared for battle as it tacked and sailed to the unknown vessel.
At 6:30am on the 22nd February, finally the unknown ship was identified. The Brigatine flew the colours of the Kingdom of France and started firing at the HMS Albert. During the six hour cannonfire and manoeuvring that followed, Thomas was assisting the Captain with his orders and ensuring the sailors were in order. At 12pm, the main mast cracked and fell into the sea. In order to prevent the Sloop from sinking at the weight of the mast, Thomas ran with a boarding axe and with other sailors chopped the mast free. While this was happening, however, the Captain and his lieutenant were inspecting the cannons when some langrage pierced the head and chest of both Captain and lieutenant with forks, knives, musket shot and sharp metal pieces. Running to his aid leaving the sailors to chop the rest of the sail-ropes, Thomas discovered that the captain was dead in a gruesome state, and his lieutenant was bleeding out as his neck was deeply lacerated.
Thomas therefore found himself against a French 6-gun Brigantine without sail or superior officers.Thomas was in command, and the twenty sailors aboard were awaiting orders. Thomas quickly ordered the crew to close distance with the Brigantine and prepare for boarding, while loading the cannons with langrage. As the HMS Albert was less than fifty yards away from the French Brigantine, Thomas and his crew of brave British sailors boarded the French brigantine. It turned out that only ten sailors and their captain were aboard, the rest of the crew having been killed or maimed in the battle. Upon boarding and a short confrontation with the French sailors, Thomas captured the ship as a prize and ordered the crew to tie up the prisoners and put them in the hold.
Promotion and Deployment to the West Indies
When Thomas Mowbray arrived back in Bristol harbour, he was showered with praise and celebration. The French were taken to the Bristol prison while Thomas was received by the admiralty and congratulated on his bravery and honour in the face of adversity. After taking port Thomas was promoted to Captain and ordered to the West Indies to take command of the HMS Glorious, a 22-gun Snow. Thomas left onboard a liner to the America's in September 1723, and arrived in the West Indies on the 16th January 1724.
Deployment in the St George Squadron
On the 30th March 1725, Captain Thomas Mowbray was deployed to the St George Squadron of the White. During his deployment in the squadron, Captain Thomas Mowbray had fought countless pirates, French and Spanish commanders whose ships were well handled and operational against his ships. It was with much valour and courage, dedication for duty that Captain Mowbray time and time again fought with distinction where the British nation required him to go. During April 1725 Captain Mowbray was awarded the St George Citation for Conspicuous Bravery for his service for the St George Squadron on the field of battle, but most importantly off the field in port helping other captains with training, pressing raw recruits into service, and other actions for the improvement of the squadron. It was at this time Captain Mowbray held his first command as a flag officer, undertaking service of the squadron in the Department of Recruitment.
During the 58th campaign of the Caribbean, Captain Thomas Mowbray was instrumental in promoting the squadron through his clerical officer duties, but also fighting admirably on the high seas. Some of the combat operations occurred on the 28th May 1725, Captain Thomas Mowbray fought in the line of battle at the Port Battle of Nassau, with distinction aboard his ship the HMS Tremendous. One of the largest battles of the 58th campaign that Captain Mowbray served at was the battle of the 30th May 1725, he had also fought bravely, outnumbered and outgunned by the French, while keeping his ship intact and supporting his allies. Through the battles which occurred during the 58th British campaign in the Caribbean.
History of Flag Positions held in the St George Squadron of the White
Map 58 - Secretary of Recruitment Map 59 - Secretary of Recruitment Map 60 - Secretary of Recruitment
Current and Past Deployments
"HMS Justice" - 64 gun Third Rate Ship of the Line
Ships in Port
===Ships in Drydock===- HMHS Bumblebee - 12 gun 'Renard' Chasse-Maree HMS Glorious - 22 gun 'van Hoorn' Snow.
HMS Beard - 14 gun 'Dolphyn' Ketch
Ships Sunk in Combat
"HMS Honourable" - Gallant Naval Frigate (Battle against Pirate forces near Matthew Town, 29th May 1725)
""HMS Liberty" - Falcon Naval Frigate (Battle against Spanish forces near Belize, 28th April 1725)
"HMS Tremendous" - San Fernando Fourth Rate Naval Frigate (Battle against French forces near Belle Isle, 15th June 1725)
"HMS Zeus" - Hercules Mastercraft Frigate (Battle against Pirate forces near the Cuban mainland, 16th June 1725)