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Sir Basil Keith

RolesNaval Sailor 
Date of Birthc.1734ADM 107/4
First Known Service5.10.1747CSORN
FatherRobert Keith (d. 1774)ref:1059
MotherMargaret Cunninghamref:1059
BrotherLt. Gen. Sir Robert Murray (1730-1795)ref:1059
Last Known Service15.6.1777CSORN
Date of Death15.6.1777 - Jamaica ref:1713

Event History

Date fromDate toEventSource
16.1.1754 Passed the Lieutenant's Examination ADM 107/4/267RNLPC
13.11.1756 LieutenantCSORN
18.10.1758 CommanderCSORN
Medway (6) 1756-1764
British 6 Gun
Unrated Storeship
, Commander and Commanding Officer ADM 6/18/549
ADM 6/18
Badger (10) 1745-1762
British 10 Gun
Unrated Sloop
, Commander and Commanding Officer ADM 6/19/58
11.4.1760 CaptainCSORN
Dover (44) 1740-1763
British 44 Gun
5th Rate Ship
, Captain and Commanding Officer ADM 6/19/157
Amazon (22) 1745-1763
British 22 Gun
6th Rate Frigate
, Captain and Commanding Officer ADM 6/19/182
Levant (28) 1758-1780
British 28 Gun
6th Rate Frigate
, Captain and Commanding Officer ADM 6/20/134
Preston (50) 1757-1815
British 50 Gun
4th Rate Ship of the Line
, Captain and Commanding Officer ADM 6/20/259
Issued by
William ParryBritish
Naval Sailor
Service 1728-1778

Confirmed 18.10.1769
Pearl (32) 1762-1832
British 32 Gun
5th Rate Frigate
1825 Renamed "Prothee"
, Captain and Commanding Officer ADM 6/20/323
ADM 6/20
10.6.1772 Appointed Knight BachelorTKE2
1.177415.6.1777Appointed Governor of JamaicaNMM

Previous comments on this page

Posted by Cy on Sunday 17th of October 2021 08:41

As you can see from the date of birth source reference, it is taken from his lieutenant's passing certificate, which states he "appears to be more than 20 years of age" in 1754. His first service was indeed as captain's servant on the Defiance. See the book "Royal Navy Officers of the Seven Years War" for the full details of his known sevice. The date of death appears to be more problematical, sources differ between June, August and November

Posted by Pieter van der Merwe on Saturday 16th of October 2021 17:38

Keith died in Jamaica on 15 June 1777 (not 15 November), as stated on his monument there. This does not, however, give his age so where does his suggested birth date of c.1734 come from?

It is a reasonable inference from his recorded first mention in service of 1747, presumably as a 'captain's servant' of about 13, but is his age at any point otherwise recorded?

Posted by Sonia Bennett Murray on Saturday 11th of June 2016 14:13

When did Sir Basil take regulations to the Mosquito Shore? (see CO/1323/6 p. 126.) In 1765 Admiral Burnaby delivered what became known as Burnaby's Code, but in 1773 the Code was described as Governor Dalling's Regulations. This is confusing!

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