Isaac Townsend

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Isaac Townsend
Born c. 1685
Died 21 November 1765
Allegiance  Kingdom of Great Britain
Service/branch  Royal Navy
Rank Admiral
Commands held Greenwich Hospital
Battles/wars War of Jenkins' Ear

Isaac Townsend (c. 1685 – 21 November 1765) was an admiral in the British Royal Navy and a Member of Parliament.

A post-Captain from 1720, Townsend commanded various ships. As captain of HMS Shrewsbury he took part in the expedition against Cartagena in 1741. He was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1744, Vice Admiral in 1746 and Admiral in 1747. He was also an Elder Brother of Trinity House.

He entered Parliament in 1744 as member for the naval port of Portsmouth, and represented that town until 1754. He did not stand for re-election in 1754, when the Admiralty supported two other Admirals as its candidates. He became governor of Greenwich Hospital in 1754, and in this capacity in 1757 he had custody of Admiral Byng, who was under arrest there before his court-martial. After Byng's execution, Townsend was chosen to take his place as MP for Rochester, another borough in the Admiralty's gift, and was MP for that city for the rest of his life. He was regarded as a reliable voter for the government, but seems never to have spoken in the House.

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in February 1750.[1]

Townsend married Elizabeth Larcum, daughter of William Larcum, a surgeon, and they had one son and one daughter. He died in 1765.


  1. ^ "Lists of Royal Society Fellows 1660-2007". London: The Royal Society. Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 18 July 2010. 

External links[edit]

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Martin Bladen
Captain Sir Charles Hardy
Member of Parliament for Portsmouth
With: Martin Bladen 1744–1746
Thomas Gore 1746–1747
Captain Edward Legge 1747
Rear Admiral Sir Edward Hawke 1747–1754
Succeeded by
Rear Admiral Sir Edward Hawke
Admiral Sir William Rowley
Preceded by
Admiral Nicholas Haddock
Admiral the Hon. John Byng
Member of Parliament for Rochester
With: Admiral Nicholas Haddock 1757–1761
Viscount Parker 1761–1764
Admiral Sir Charles Hardy 1764–1765
Succeeded by
Admiral Sir Charles Hardy
Grey Cooper
Military offices
Preceded by
Lord Archibald Hamilton
Governor, Greenwich Hospital
Succeeded by
Sir George Rodney