John Holmes (Royal Navy officer)

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For other people with the same name, see John Holmes.

Admiral Sir John Holmes (1640? – 28 May 1683) was an English naval leader, younger brother of the more famous Admiral Robert Holmes.

Holmes served in his brother's expedition to West Africa in 1663-1664. At the Battle of Lowestoft in 1665, and until June the following year, he commanded the Paul. He also fought in the St James's Day Battle, as captain of the 48-gun Bristol. He was then promoted to command of a second-rate, HMS Triumph, of 64 guns. In 1670-1 he was in Vice Admiral Sir Edward Spragge's expedition against the corsairs of Algiers. He commanded the Gloucester (62 guns) in the attack on the Dutch Smyrna fleet in 1672, which opened the Third Anglo-Dutch War, capturing one of the Dutch ships though it sank almost immediately because of damage inflicted in the fight. He was wounded, and following this action, knighted, and appointed to command the 66-gun HMS Rupert, in which he fought at the Battle of Solebay in 1672, and a number of the battles of the following year. At the First Battle of Schooneveld he was mentioned in dispatches. In 1673 he was promoted to flag rank, and in 1677-1679 was Commander-in-Chief of the fleet in the English Channel.

Sir Robert Holmes had been appointed Governor of the Isle of Wight, and was willing to use the influence this gave him on his brother's behalf. In 1675, Sir John was appointed Governor of Hurst Castle, and from 1677 to 1685 was Member of Parliament for Newtown, Isle of Wight.


Parliament of England
Preceded by
Sir John Barrington
Sir Robert Worsley
Member of Parliament for Newtown (Isle of Wight)
With: Sir John Barrington 1677–1679
John Churchill 1679
Lemuel Kingdon 1679–1681
Daniel Finch 1681–1685
Succeeded by
Thomas Done
William Blathwayt