Philip Patton

RolesNaval Sailor 
Date of Birth27.10.1739 - Anstruther, Fife ODNB
First Known Service1753ODNB
FatherPhilip Patton (d. 1792?)ODNB
MotherAgnes LochODNB
WifeUnknown - Married 1783ref:1059
Son-in-LawSir John Wentworth Loring (1775-1852)ref:736
Brother Charles Patton (1741-1837)ODNB
BrotherRobert (1742–1812)ref:1059
Last Known Service4.6.1814ODNB
Date of Death31.12.1815 - Fareham, Hampshire TRN3

Event History

Date fromDate toEventSource
17531755Service as a merchant seamanADM 107/5
6.2.17583.7.1763Namur (90), Midshipman ADM 107/5/288ODNB
6.6.175827.7.1758The Siege of Louisbourg 
18.8.175919.8.1759Battle of Lagos Bay 
20.11.1759 Battle of Quiberon Bay 
10.9.1760 Passed the Lieutenant's Examination ADM 107/5/288RNLPC
29.3.176111.6.1761Expedition against Belle-Isle 
6.6.176213.8.1762Operations against Havana 
3.7.1762 Lieutenant ADM 6/19/514CSORN
20.6.176529.6.1768Emerald (32), Second Lieutenant ADM 6/20/80ODNB
6.6.177027.6.1771Emerald (32), Second Lieutenant ADM 6/20/280ODNB
27.6.17715.5.1772Emerald (32), First Lieutenant ADM 6/20/387ODNB
9.5.1778 Commander ADM 6/21/403CSORN
9.5.17781.2.1779Aetna (8), Commander and Commanding Officer ADM 6/21/403BWAS-1714
1.2.177922.3.1779Thorn (16), Commander and Commanding Officer ADM 6/21/505ADM 6/21
22.3.1779 Captain ADM 6/21/528CSORN
22.3.177914.4.1779Namur (90), Captain and Commanding Officer ADM 6/21/528ADM 6/21
14.4.177923.5.1780Prince George (98), Captain and Commanding Officer ADM 6/21/540BWAS-1714
8.1.1780 Attack on the Caracas Convoy 
16.1.1780 Battle of Cape St. Vincent 
12.7.178028.11.1780Milford (28), Captain and Commanding Officer ADM 6/22/150ADM 6/22
6.2.178128.11.1782Belle Poule (36), Captain and Commanding Officer: On board from 14.2.1781 ADM 6/22/246BWAS-1714
5.8.1781 Battle of Dogger Bank 
1.6.1795 Rear-Admiral of the Blue ADM 6/25/180CSORN
14.2.1799 Rear-Admiral of the RedCSORN
1.1.1801 Vice-Admiral of the BlueCSORN
23.4.1804 Vice-Admiral of the RedCSORN
9.11.1805 Admiral of the BlueCSORN
31.7.1810 Admiral of the WhiteCSORN
4.6.1814 Admiral of the RedCSORN

Notes on Officer


PATTON, PHILIP (1739–1815), admiral, eldest son of Philip Patton, collector of the customs at Kirkcaldy in Fife, by Agnes Loch, his wife, was born at Anstruther on 27 Oct. 1739 (parish register of Kirkcaldy). After a couple of years in merchant ships, during which he made a voyage to the Mediterranean and another to the Baltic, he was entered early in 1755 on board the Torbay, under the immediate patronage of vice-admiral Edward Boscawen [q. v.] He followed Boscawen to the Invincible, Royal George, and Namur; he was present at the reduction of Louisbourg in 1758 and the defeat of De la Clue in 1759. Continuing in the Namur with Captain Matthew Buckle [q. v.], he was also present in the battle of Quiberon Bay. He passed his examination on 10 Sept. 1760, and, still in the Namur carrying the flag of Sir George Pocock [q. v.], went out to the West Indies in 1762; he took part in the reduction of Havana and was promoted to be lieutenant of the Grenada bomb, in which he returned to England in the summer of 1763. From 1764 to 1767 he was in the Emerald frigate in the North Sea, and again from 1769 to 1772, during which time he is said, in a voyage to the Mediterranean, by his prompt decision on a dark stormy night, to have saved the ship from charging the rock of Gibraltar. In 1776 he was appointed to the Prince George with Captain Charles Middleton, afterwards Lord Barham [q. v.], whom he followed to the Royal Oak, on board which Rear-admiral Hyde Parker (1714–1782) [q. v.] hoisted his flag. Patton, who was first lieutenant, was to be superseded by a follower of Parker; but the king happening to come to Portsmouth, and to review the fleet before the change was made, Patton was promoted to the command of the Ætna bomb. In her he was ordered to the coast of Guinea, but, being detained at Spithead, was appointed acting-captain of the Prince George, whose captain, Sir John Lindsay [q. v.], was required on shore as a witness on the Keppel court-martial. The Prince George was then sent to sea in a squadron under the command of Lord Shuldham, much to the discontent of the ship's company, which broke out into open mutiny on 19 Jan. 1779, in consequence of the hammocks being ordered up from the middle and lower decks for the sake of ventilation. The difficulty was overcome by Patton's firmness, and, after one of the ringleaders had been severely punished, the men returned to their duty and obedience.

Two months later, when the Prince George was back at Spithead, Patton was posted (22 March 1779) to the Namur, the flagship of Rear-admiral Robert Digby, with whom he moved into the Prince George, and had an important share in the defeat of Langara on 16 Jan. 1780. On their return to England Patton was appointed to the Milford frigate, and afterwards to the Belle Poule, which, on her way to Leith in company with the Berwick, captured a very troublesome privateer, the Calonne, commanded by the notorious Luke Ryan. Patton then joined the squadron under Parker, and was with it in the action on the Doggerbank on 5 Aug. 1781. He was employed after this in convoy duty till the peace, when the Belle Poule was paid off.

In May 1794 he was appointed one of the commissioners of the transport board, where, it is said, he was found so useful that the Earl of Chatham, then first lord of the admiralty, endeavoured to persuade him to continue in the office instead of taking his flag, and threatened that if he insisted on having his flag he should not be employed. Patton, however, did insist, and was included in the promotion of 1 June 1795. During the enforced retirement which followed he took up his residence at Fareham, and shortly afterwards sent to the admiralty a paper on the grievances of seamen, on the necessary reforms, and on the great danger of delay. On 1 Jan. 1801 he was made a vice-admiral, and in 1803 was appointed second in command in the Downs under Lord Keith. At this time he made the acquaintance of Mr. Pitt, then residing at Walmer, which possibly led, on Pitt's return to office, to his appointment as one of the lords of the admiralty, which he continued to hold under his old captain, Charles Middleton (now Lord Barham). On the change of ministry in 1806, Patton—who had been promoted to the rank of admiral on 9 Nov. 1805—retired to his house at Fareham, where he principally resided during the remainder of his life. He employed himself in reading and writing, though he published nothing except ‘The Natural Defence of an Insular Empire’ (1810, 4to). This essay was severely and unjustly scourged, presumably by Sir John Barrow, in the ‘Quarterly Review’ (November 1810), principally because it had protested against the government of the navy by civilian first lords, a point warmly defended by Barrow in his ‘Life of Lord Howe’ in almost the words of the ‘Quarterly Review.’ Patton died at Fareham, Hampshire, on 31 Dec. 1815. He had married in 1783, and left a large family, mostly daughters. His portrait, in the possession of the family, was lent to the Naval exhibition of 1891.

Patton's younger brother, Charles Patton (1741–1837), after service in merchant ships, entered the navy as midshipman on board the Ripon in May 1758. He was present at the capture of Guadeloupe in 1759 and the blockade of Brest in 1761, subsequently commanded the Rattlesnake, was advanced to post rank on 30 May 1795, and served as agent for transports at Portsmouth for many years. He died at Fareham on 16 Jan. 1837, aged 96. He wrote ‘An Attempt to establish the Basis of Freedom on simple and unerring Principles in a series of Letters’ (Edinburgh, 1793, 8vo), a series of deductions from a brief historical inquiry suggested by Burke's famous essay; and, secondly, ‘The Effects of Property upon Society and Government Investigated’ (1797, 8vo), a plea for the basis of representation upon property. This was prefixed to an elaborate work by another brother,

Robert Patton (1742–1812), who entered the army of the East India Company, became governor of St. Helena, and died at Wallington, Hampshire, in 1812. His daughter married Sir Henry Torrens. He published ‘An Historical Review of the Monarchy and Republic of Rome upon the Principles derived from the Effects of Property and Government’ (with Charles Patton's preface), and ‘Principles of Asiatic Monarchies politically and historically investigated,’ 1803 (Monthly Rev. 1803, p. 285; Gent. Mag. 1837, i. 321; Brit. Mus. Cat.)

Previous comments on this pageno comments to display
Make a comment about this page

Recent comments to other pages

Date postedByPage
Thursday 21st of January 2021 00:26CyBritish Fifth Rate frigate 'Hebe' (1782) (38)
Wednesday 20th of January 2021 20:29ELAINE HENDSTOCKBritish Fifth Rate frigate 'Hebe' (1782) (38)
Sunday 17th of January 2021 23:27Margaret Picard George Sidney Smith (1793-1732)
Sunday 17th of January 2021 22:57Margaret PicardSir William Sidney Smith (1764-1840)
Sunday 17th of January 2021 22:26Margaret Picard Charles Thurlow Smith (1790-1827)