Edward Acton (Royal Navy officer)

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Edward Acton (died 1707) was a captain in the Royal Navy, distinguished for services in the reign of Queen Anne.


Acton was the son of Mary Acton,[1] and presumed to have been the grandson of Sir Edward Acton of Shropshire.[2] He engaged as a volunteer and rose to become a captain.

In 1703 Acton had Captain Richard Kirkby and Captain Cooper Wade as prisoners as he escorted them back to England to be executed. They had been found guilty of failing to support Vice-Admiral John Benbow.[1]

In Sir George Rooke's vigorous and intrepid attack of Gibraltar, he commanded the HMS Kingston, one of the battleships at the Capture of Gibraltar.[3]

Under the same chief, Acton took part in the Battle of Málaga (1704); but aspersions had been cast upon his bravery. Fortunately, however, for Acton, and others who underwent the same ordeal, a court martial silenced slander and exposed the fabrications. He was fully and honourably acquitted.[3]

In 1706 he took command of HMS Grafton which was refitted the following year. Whilst part of a larger battle and while escorting other ships his ship was engaged by two French ships under the command of Claude de Forbin off Dungeness. Acton was killed.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Le Fevre, Peter. "Acton, Edward". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/72.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  2. ^  Laughton, John Knox (1885). "Acton, Edward". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography. 1. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 66. 
  3. ^ a b Rose, Hugh James (1857). "Acton, Edward". A New General Biographical Dictionary. London: B. Fellowes et al.