John Marshall (British captain)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Captain John Marshall (Marshallese: Jo̧o̧n M̧ajeļ) (26 February 1748 NS (15 February 1747 OS) – 1819) was a British explorer of the Pacific.


Marshall was born in Ramsgate, Kent, England. He became an apprentice sailor at age ten, and spent his life at sea. In 1788 he captained the Scarborough, a ship of the First Fleet taking convicts from England to Botany Bay.[1] He then sailed from Australia to China, charting previously unknown islands (mainly some of Gilbert Islands and Marshall Islands), as well as a new trade route to Canton (now Guangzhou).[2] The islands which he had originally called "Lord Mulgrove's range" were later named[by whom?] the Marshall Islands.

John Marshall also captained the Scarborough on her second voyage transporting convicts to Australia in 1790, but the convicts coming aboard were in poor health and many did not survive the voyage; this, combined with an attempted seizure of the ship by the convicts, deterred him from any further voyages of transportation.

He saw action during the American War of Independence of 1778-1783, and also during the Napoleonic Wars of 1803-1815. As captain of the ship Diana he was severely wounded[when?] while repulsing an attack by a French privateer. He died in 1819 at the age of 71.


  • Extracts from John Marshall's diary (1900)