- his life and naval career -


1756 March 4th Born at Redgrave; eldest son of Thomas Wilson (1725-1808).
  March 5th Baptised privately at Redgrave.
  May Baptised publicly at Redgrave.
1769   First went to sea in the Royal Navy, aged 13, in the Frigate Alarm, commanded by Captain Jervis, succeeded by Captain Scott. This was the flagship of Sir Peter Parker at Portsmouth.
1775   Proceeded to the American station, under Commodore Shuldham.
1776 Jan 28th Promoted to rank of Lieutenant in the Brig Gaspee.
    Returned to England; joined the Lord Howe under Captain Pringle.
1777   Served as Fourth Lieutenant on the Foudroyant under Captain Jervis, in Admiral Keppel's engagement off Ushant.
    Served on the Sandwich, the flagship of Admiral Sir George Rodney, at Gibraltar. Present at the capture of the Caracas fleet and the defeat of Langara.
1780 Feb 1st Promoted to rank of Post Captain by Admiral Rodney, and placed in charge of the prize vessel Guipuscoa, later renamed Prince William. Returned to England.
1782 Jan Commanded the 28-gun ship Eurydice in the West Indies, serving as the repeating frigate (relaying the admiral's instructions) for Admiral Sir Samuel Hood in action against the French fleet under Count de Grasse (St Christopher's Island).
  April 9-12 Served under Admiral Rodney in the Battle of St Lucia in which Count de Grasse was defeated and captured. Advanced by Admiral Rodney to command the 74-gun ship Fame.
Served off San Domingo with Admiral Hood. Continued on the Leeward Island station until after the end of the American War.
1790   Trouble with Spain and Russia: appointed to the 36-gun frigate Inconstant.
1791   His frigate put out of commission on settlement of the disputes with the courts of St Petersburg and Madrid. [Newspaper account]
1793   War with France. Commanded the 74-gun ship Bellona in the Channel Fleet under Admiral Howe. Served in the East and West Convoys under Admiral Montagu.
1794 Oct 13th Sailed from Plymouth to the West Indies in company with Vice Admiral Caldwell.
  Nov 14th Arrived in Martinique.
1795 Jan 5th In action against the French. Captured the 44-gun frigate Duquesne, and several enemy privateers. Took part in the capture of Trinidad under Rear Admiral Harvey and Lieut General Sir Ralph Abercrombie. Was present at the unsuccessful attack on Puerto Rico by the same commanders.
  1797 Returned to England, attached to the Channel Fleet. Bellona was paid off, and retired as a Captain from active service.
1799 Feb 14th Promoted to Rear Admiral of the White Squadron.
  Aug Inherited the Redgrave Estate from Thomas Holt.
1801 Jan 1st Rear Admiral of the Red Squadron.
  Aug 22nd Married Catherine Pollard, daughter of John Pollard of Ewell Grove, Surrey.

'The Line of Defence before Copenhagen'
(from an engraving of Admiral Nelson's blockade, 1801)

1804 Jan 16 Birth of his eldest daughter Mary Lucinda (but she died in March).
  April 23rd Vice Admiral of the Blue.
1805 Nov 9th Vice Admiral of the Red.
1806 Oct 26th Birth of his eldest son George St. Vincent (named after the Battle of Cape St Vincent).
1807 Dec 3rd Birth of his second son Thomas Daniel.
1809 May 22nd Birth of second daughter Susan Mary.
  Oct 25th Admiral of the Blue.

1810 Jun 20th Birth of third son Charles John.
  Jul 31st Admiral of the White.
1812 Apr 10th Birth of 4th son John Wood (named after Sir George Adam Wood, commander of the Royal Artillery at Waterloo)
1816 Apr 1st Birth of third daughter Catherine Sarah.
1821 Jul 19th Admiral of the Red.
1826 Mar 6th Died at Redgrave Hall, aged 70.
Mar 15th Buried in Redgrave Church, his funeral attended by 2,000 mourners.

Compiled from information collected by Daniel Shaw Holt-Wilson, c.1965


The Admiral's court dress, c.1820

The coat - dark maroon coloured cloth

The waistcoat - embroidered silk

The cocked hat

The smallsword - cut steel decoration


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Before 1542

1542 - 1702

1702 - 1799

1799 - 1971