William Peere Williams-Freeman

Born William Peere Williams on January 6, 1742 at the Episcopal palace at Peterborough, England to Frederick Williams, DD (died 1746) and Mary Williams (nee Clavering). He first attended school at Stamford and then Eton until the age of 15 when he entered the navy.

1757

June:
He had his first service in royal navy as a midshipman on the first-rate Royal Sovereign of 100 guns, guardship at Spithead.

1759

August:
He was a midshipman on the ship-of-the-line Magnanime of 74 guns with Lord Howe.

November 20:
He was present at the Battle of Quiberon Bay.

1762

September:
He was a midshipman on the third-rate Princess Amelia of 80 guns.

1763

August:
He was a midshipman on the Romney of 50 guns with Lord Colville on the Halifax station.

1764

September 18:
He was promoted to lieutenant on the fifth-rate frigate Rainbow of 44 guns on the Virgina station.

1766

October:
He was paid off.

1768

May 26:
He was promoted to commanding officer of the bomb vessel Thunder of 8 guns.

1769

Williams-Freeman was paid off.

1771

January 10:
He was promoted to post-captain of the fifth-rate frigate Renown of 30 guns. It is unlikely he took command onboard the ship which was decommissioned in April and broken up in May at Woolwich.

March 21:
He was appointed to the sixth-rate Active of 28 guns.

June 20:
He married Henrietta Wilts.

December:
He commanded the frigate Active and sailed to the West Indies with his wife.

1773

July:
After an outbreak of yellow fever, he had the Active reassigned to Newfoundland.

October 11:
He was on the post-ship Lively of 20 guns.

1774

February:
He returned to England on the Lively and was paid off.

1777

March:
He was commissioned onto the fifth-rate frigate Venus of 36 guns on the American station with Lord Howe.

1778

August 10-11:
He continued to command the Venus off Rhode Island with Lord Howe’s fleet and engaged and helped repulse Comte D’Estaing’s French fleet during the Battle of Rhode Island.

September 8:
He took command of the frigate Brune of 32 guns.

1779

He returned on the Brune to England to be paid off.

July 1:
Williams-Freeman was idled on half-pay.

1780

April:
He commanded the new fifth-rate frigate Flora of 36 guns, the first ship armed with experimental carronades in the Channel fleet.

August 10:
He captured la Nymphe, a 42-gun French frigate, off Ushant. This was the first use of carronades in action.

His son Frederick-Peere was born.

1781

March:
He was on the Flora under Vice-Admiral Darby at the second relief of Gibraltar. Then convoyed victuallers to Port Mahon in Minorca.

May 30:
He captured the Castor of 36 guns, a Dutch frigate, and rescued the captured Crescent, a 28-gun British frigate, off the Barbary Coast returning from Minorca.

June 19:
He encountered la Friponne of 32 guns and la Gloire of 32 guns, French frigates, off Cape Finisterre and abandoned the Castor and Crescent to be captured by the French.

1782

March:
In command of the Prince George of 98 guns, he serving on the Leeward Island station. He participated in Sir Rodney’s siege and capture of St. Christopher’s.

April 1-7:
He was with the fleet at St. Lucia, Martinique, and Santo Domingo.

April 9:
The Prince George was in the rear guard of Vice Admiral Hood’s fleet at the Battle of the Saintes against the French fleet of Admiral de Grasse.

April 12:
He participated in the victory over the French fleet which was the first incidence of the battle tactic to “break the line.”

April:
Williams-Freeman returned to England and went on half-pay.

1794

April 12:
He was promoted to Rear-Admiral of the White.

July 4:
He was promoted to Rear-Admiral of the Red.

1795

January 11:
He was promoted to Vice-Admiral of the White.

June 1:
He was promoted to Vice-Admiral of the White.

1798

His son Frederick-Peere died.

1801

January 1:
He was promoted to admiral.

1805

November 9:
He was promoted to Admiral of the White

1809

October 25:
He was promoted to Admiral of the Red.

1819

September 3:
His wife died, aged 73 years, at Hoddesdon.

1821

November:
He inherited the Fawley Court estate and took on the name Freeman.

1830

June 28:

He was promoted to Admiral of the Fleet. King William IV presented him with King George IV’s baton as an honor.

July 18:
His son Williams Peere died.

1832

February 11:
Williams-Freeman, aged 90 years, died at home in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, England and was buried at Broxbourne.

Notes

William Peere Williams-Freeman and his wife had two sons who both predeceased him. Frederick-Peere Williams died at the University of Glasgow in 1798 at the age of 18. William Peere Williams-Freeman, Esq. of Fawley Court, became a magistrate and then high sheriff in 1825. He died July 18, 1830, leaving a wife, a daughter, and two sons.