Henry D'Esterre Darby

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Sir Henry d'Esterre Darby, by Sir William Beechey, 1801

Admiral Sir Henry D'Esterre Darby, KCB, (1750 – 1823) was an officer in the Royal Navy. He was the second son of Jonathan Darby IV Esq., of Leap Castle, in King's County, Ireland. He was the nephew of Vice Admiral George Darby. He was promoted to Captain in 1783 and had command of HMS Bellerophon at the Battle of the Nile in 1798.

An interesting letter to Darby from Admiral Nelson, commander of the fleet at the battle, survives:

"My Dear Darby,
I grieve for your heavy loss of Brave fellows, but look at our glorious Victory.
We will give you every assistance as soon as you join us, till then God Bless You.
Ever yours faithfully,
Horatio Nelson
3 Aug 1798
We shall both I trust soon get well."

Darby was promoted to Rear Admiral of the Blue in 1804; Rear Admiral of the White in 1805; Rear Admiral of the Red in 1808; Vice Admiral of the Blue in 1810; Vice Admiral of the White in 1811; Vice Admiral of the Red in 1814; Admiral of the Blue in 1819. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1820.

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