Moutray, John

Born circa 1722, in 1758 he was promoted to the rank of Captain. In July 1780, he was in command of a convoy of sixty-three ships bound for the East Indies and West Indies in a vessel of 74 guns and accompanied by two frigates, each of 36 guns. In early August unusual sails were spotted and John Moutray signalled his ships to alter course and follow him – they paid no attention to his orders and by the following morning a combined Franco-Spanish fleet had captured the bulk of the convoy, comprising fifty-five merchantmen together with 2,800 prisoners and a cargo worth £1,500.00. The merchants at home were so enraged that John Moutray was made a scapegoat; he was tried by court-martial which dismissed him from his ship. However, he was employed again very soon. He was made Commissioner of the Naval Dockyard in the Antigua from April 1784 to 1785 where he became friends with Admirals Collingwood and Nelson. On 2nd September 1771, he married Mary Preble. In his will he left his estate to his wife and children, a son and a daughter; but the will also refers to two other children he had by a woman named Elspeth London.

Memorials on which this person appears

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