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|Date from||Date to||Event||Source|
|12.8.1787||Entered the Navy||NBD1849|
|12.8.1787||Goliath (74), Captain's Servant||NBD1849|
|6.11.1793||29.1.1795||Monarch (74), Lieutenant: On board from 9.11.1793 ADM 196/3/4||NBD1849|
|30.1.1795||17.4.1797||Romney (50), First Lieutenant ADM 196/3/4||NBD1849|
|18.4.1797||15.7.1797||Queen Charlotte (100), Lieutenant ADM 196/3/4||NBD1849|
|6.7.1799||1.11.1799||Blanche (32), Commander and Commanding Officer ADM 196/3/4||NBD1849|
|1.11.1799||Cout martialed for the loss of the Blanch he was fully exonerated||NBD1849|
|18.12.1799||20.4.1802||Inconstant (20), Commander and Commanding Officer ADM 196/3/4||BWAS-1714|
|1.6.1800||6.6.1800||Operation in Quiberon Bay|
|2.6.1803||Given command of the Camel storeship||NBD1849|
|2.6.1803||31.1.1804||Camel (24), Commander and Commanding Officer ADM 196/3/4||BWAS-1714|
|1.2.1804||6.5.1804||Shark (16), Commander and Commanding Officer ADM 196/3/4||ADM 196|
|7.5.1804||26.11.1804||Renard (18), Commander and Commanding Officer ADM 196/3/4||ADM 196|
|27.11.1804||28.2.1805||Shark (16), Commander and Commanding Officer ADM 196/3/4||ADM 196|
|1.3.1805||8.2.1806||Goelan (16), Commander and Commanding Officer ADM 196/3/4||BWAS-1817|
|9.2.1806||12.3.1806||Malabar (56), Acting Captain and Commanding Officer ADM 196/3/4||ADM 196|
|13.3.1806||17.4.1806||Success (32), Acting Captain and Commanding Officer ADM 196/3/4||ADM 196|
|18.4.1806||12.8.1811||Success (32), Captain and Commanding Officer||BWAS-1714|
|24.12.1807||26.12.1807||Occupation of Madeira|
|25.4.1810||Action at the castle of Terracina|
|4.1822||Appointed superintendant of the ordinary at Plymouth||NBD1849|
|23.11.1841||Rear-Admiral of the White||NBD1849|
|24.12.1849||Vice-Admiral ADM 196/3/4||ADM 196|
John Ayscough, born on board H.M.S. Swan, during a desperate action fought by that vessel while on her passage home from North America, is son of the late Capt. John Ayscough, R.N., who was in command of the Swan on the occasion, and lost the use of a leg; brother of Commander Jas. Ayscough, R.N., an officer who distinguished himself as Lieutenant of the Monarch 74, at Copenhagen, in 1801, was afterwards presented by the Patriotic Society with a sword worth 50l., for his gallantry in storming a battery of six 24-pounders, on the island of Martinique, and ultimately fell a victim to the climate of the West Indies, while commanding the Hawke sloop, 8 April, 1808; grand-nephew of the Rev. Fras. Ayscough, D.D., Dean of Bristol, and Preceptor to King George III.; and cousin of Admiral Sir Geo. Cockburn, G.C.B.
This officer entered the Navy (under the auspices of the late Admiral Sir Jas. Wallace), 12 Aug. 1787, as Captain’s Servant, on board the Goliath 74, Capts. Archibald Dickson and Sir Andrew Snape Douglas. We afterwards find him serving, as Midshipman and Master’s Mate, on board the Juno and Hebe frigates, and Hector, Alcide, and Monarch 74’s, and employed in the first of those vessels, under Capt. Sam. Hood, in attendance on the King off Weymouth. On 6 Nov. 1793, he obtained a Lieutenancy in the Monarch, flag-ship, on the Newfoundland station, of his patron. Sir Jas. Wallace, with whom he continued to serve, the last two years as First of the Romney 50, until April, 1797. He then joined the Queen Charlotte 100, bearing the flag in the Channel of Lord Howe; and, on 12 of the following May, was promoted to the rank of Commander. Being appointed, 6 July, 1799, to the Blanche troop-ship, Capt. Ayscough attended the ensuing expedition to Holland, where he served as a Volunteer at the time of the debarkation near the Helder, and was in one of the first boats that effected a landing. On 28 Sept., however, in the same year, the Blanche, owing to the mismanagement of her pilot, was wrecked in the Texel; but so fully acquitted was Capt. Ayscough of all share in the disaster, by a court-martial held at Sheerness on 1 Nov., and so highly was he complimented for his great exertions in afterwards saving the crew, that, on 18 of the next month, he was appointed to the Inconstant, another armée de flûte in which, besides attending the expeditions to Quiberon and Cadiz, on each of which occasions he volunteered his services on shore, and was selected to command a party of seamen, he similarly joined in the Egyptian campaign of 1801, and for his exertions, which were conspicuously important, was presented with the Turkish gold medal. The Inconstant, after a performance of various other services, including an assistance at the occupation of the island of Madeira, being paid off in May, 1802, Capt. Ayscough, who had been violently attacked by the plague in Egypt, was next invested with the command, 2 June, 1803, of the Camel store-ship; and, on then proceeding to the West Indies, continued, despite a nearly fatal fit of the yellow fever, to serve on that station, until officially posted into the Success, of 32 guns, 18 April, 1806; previously to which event he appears to have acted as Flag-Captain to Vice-Admirals Sir John Thos. Duckworth and Jas. Rich. Dacres, to have also commanded the Reynard and Goelan sloops, and to have officiated as Acting-Captain of the Malabar 50. Towards the close of 1806, Capt. Ayscough returned with convoy to England, and was for several months employed at the blockade of Havre de Grace. After forming part, at the request of Sir Sam. Hood, of that officer's squadron in the expedition against Madeira, in Dec. 1807, the Success, on her return home with the Rear- Admiral's despatches, was sent to a high northern latitude for the protection of the Greenland fishery; subsequently to which, she embarked the Turkish Ambassador and his suite, together with the present Earl of Roden, and proceeded to the Mediterranean in charge of a fleet of merchantmen, by the Masters of whom her captain was forwarded a letter of thanks for his great and unremitted attention. During the operations of June, 1809, against Ischia and Procida, Capt. Ayscough landed with the troops, was subsequently engaged with the enemy's sea batteries, and succeeded in destroying many of their gunboats. In the following Nov. he conveyed the Turkish Ambassador and suite from Smyrna to Malta; and, on 3 May, 1810, although excluded, in consequence of the becalmed state of his ship, from affording any assistance, was an eye-witness of the brilliant victory gained by the late Sir Jahleel Brenton, in the Spartan 38, over the Franco-Neapolitan squadron in the Bay of Naples. Capt. Ayscough appears, however, about that period, to have attracted the notice of Rear-Admiral Geo. Martin by his handsome support of the Spartan and Espoir in an attack on the batteries at Terracina, from which port four deeply laden vessels were at the same time brought out. Shortly after the latter event we find Capt. Ayscough, with two frigates and several sloops under his orders, assigned the deeply responsible duty of protecting Sicily against the threatened invasion of Joachim Murat, whose every attempt, although in command of 40,000 troops and of about 200 gun-boats, to gain a footing on the island, he happily succeeded, by the most indomitable exertions, in frustrating. He was next employed, with seven men-of-war at his disposal, in reconnoitering the line of coast between Naples and Civita Vecchia; but in the summer of 1811, owing to the serious damage experienced by the Success during a severe gale off the island of Candia, was obliged to return prematurely to England, and in consequence lost an appointment to a large frigate which had been promised to him by the First Lord of the Admiralty as a reward for his zeal and activity. He afterwards, from April, 1822, until the spring of 1825, superintended the Ordinary at Plymouth; and for his subsequent able management, as Commissioner of Jamaica and Bermuda Dockyards, was honoured with the thanks of the Board of Admiralty. He attained Flag-rank, 23 Nov. 1841, and is at present unemployed.
When the practice of awarding good-service pensions was instituted, Rear-Admiral Ayscough was one of the first Captains to whom the boon was extended. He married Anna Maria, eldest daughter of the late Commodore Thos. Parr, R.N., of Langdown House, co. Hants, a descendant of the celebrated Earl Godolphin, and has issue a son and two daughters. The son, Hawkins Godolphin, is a Lieutenant, R.N.