Josceline Percy (Royal Navy officer)

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Josceline Percy
Born 29 January 1784
Died 19 October 1856 (1856-10-20) (aged 72)
Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Naval ensign of the United Kingdom.svg Royal Navy
Rank Vice-Admiral
Commands held HMS Espoir
HMS Comus
HMS Nymphe
HMS Hotspur
Cape of Good Hope Station
Nore Command

Vice Admiral The Hon. Josceline Percy CB (29 January 1784 – 19 October 1856) was a Royal Navy officer and politician who went on to be Commander-in-Chief, The Nore.


Josceline was the fourth son of Algernon Percy, second Baron Lovaine of Alnwick (1750–1830) and his wife Isabella Susannah Burrell.[1]

Through his father he was the grandson of Hugh Percy, first duke of Northumberland,[1] and through his mother the grandson of Peter Burrell of Beckenham, Kent. His maternal uncle was Peter, first Baron Gwydyr, and Henry Percy (1785–1825) and William Henry Percy (1788–1855, another naval officer) were his younger brothers.[1]


Born with a twin brother (Hugh, 1784–1856), Percy's first naval service began in February 1797, on Lord Hugh Seymour's flagship HMS Sans Pareil.[1] Next he served on HMS Amphion from 1801 to 1803 in the Mediterranean and - whilst in that theatre of war - transferred (with Nelson and Hardy) into HMS Victory.[1] From there he was made HMS Medusa's acting lieutenant (under Captain John Gore, who was later knighted) in August 1803, and his assistance in her capture of Spanish treasure ships on 5 October 1804 led to that commission being confirmed the following 30 April.[1]

He moved to HMS Diadem sometime before 1806, for he was in that ship that year with Sir Home Riggs Popham during Cape Town's capture and was promoted from it to his first independent command came on 13 January 1806, over the brig HMS Espoir.[1] To reach that ship he was posted to the Dutch ship Bato, then thought to be in Simon's Bay, but - finding the Bato destroyed and that the Espoir had already sailed back to England - he had no choice but to return to the Diadem.[1] The French 46-gun frigate Volontaire arrived in Table Bay on 4 March (not knowing the British had captured the Cape), and was seized, commissioned into the Royal Navy, and put under Percy's command, with orders to reach St Helena and head a convoy then returning to England.[1] He also received confirmation of his two promotions of 1806, which were given the dates of 22 January and 25 September 1806 respectively.[1] On arrival in England, he became the Tory Member of Parliament for Beer Alston, Devon (a 'pocket borough' of his father's), a role he held until 1820.[1]

He assisted at the occupation of Madeira by Sir Samuel Hood in 1807 (commanding the 22 gun HMS Comus).[1] To meet the terms of the convention of Cintra, requiring all defeated French forces to be returned to France, he transported the French general Junot from Portugal to La Rochelle in 1808, during his captaincy of the 36 gun HMS Nymphe.[1] He commanded the frigate HMS Hotspur along the coast of France (and later at Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires) from November 1810 to the end of 1815, when he sailed back to England.[1]

He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath on 26 September 1831, on the occasion of King William IV's Coronation Honours.[2] On 23 November 1841, he was promoted to rear-admiral, acting as the Commander-in-Chief, Cape of Good Hope Station (November 1841-spring 1846)[3] and Commander-in-Chief, Sheerness (June 1851-June 1854), having been promoted to vice admiral on 29 April 1851.[1] He was appointed Commander-in-Chief, The Nore in 1851.[4]

Marriage and issue[edit]

On 9 December 1820, he married Sophia Elizabeth Walhouse (died 13 December 1875), daughter of Moreton Walhouse of Hatherton, Staffordshire, and sister of Lord Hatherton. One son and three daughters were born of the marriage. The only son Alan (1825–1845) died young; of the daughters[5]

  • Sophia Louisa Percy (24 December 1821 Hatherton - 7 November 1908), author of Links with the Past (1901) (text) married 7 July 1846 Col. Charles Bagot (20 May 1806 - 25 February 1881), of a prominent aristocratic family, and had issue, three sons, including Richard Bagot (1860–1921), their fourth and last child,[6] and an only daughter and eldest child Alice Mary Bagot (died 1922). The present Bagots of Levens Hall, Westmorland are descended (through an heiress) from Josceline, the eldest son of Charles and Sophia Bagot.
  • Emily Percy (12 September 1826 – 17 December 1919) married 17 July 1852, Gen. Sir Charles Lawrence d’Aguilar, G.C.B. (died 2 November 1912), and had issue, 1 daughter.[7]
  • Charlotte Alice Percy (17 July 1831 – 26 May 1916) who in 1858 married her first cousin Edward Percy Thompson (1837 – October 1879), himself son of Ellen Percy, herself fourth youngest daughter of Hugh Percy, Bishop of Carlisle (twin brother of the subject of this entry), and had issue, two sons and three daughters.[8] The eldest daughter Grace Anne Thompson (died 1960) married 1892 her (double) second cousin Capt. Josceline Hugh Percy (1856–1910), 7th and youngest son of Rev. Henry Percy, himself the second son of Bishop Hugh, and had issue two sons and two daughters.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Josceline Percy at Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  2. ^ "No. 18854". The London Gazette. 27 September 1831. p. 1969. 
  3. ^ Hiscocks, Richard. "Cape Commander-in-Chief 1795-1852". Retrieved 19 November 2016. 
  4. ^ William Loney RN
  5. ^ Miroslav Marek. Marek, Miroslav. "Percy". Genealogy.EU. Retrieved 5 December 2008. [self-published source].[better source needed] Dates obtained from this source.
  6. ^ (Unnamed) Archived 9 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 5 December 2008. Her brother Richard Bagot (died 1921) was the last male-line Bagot of Levens Hall. This source states Richard Bagot's ancestry; however, his Wellesley ancestry is mixed up. His maternal grandmother Sophia Elizabeth Walhouse was not a daughter of Richard Wellesley, although his great-uncle Lord Hatherton married Wellesley's eldest daughter!. His paternal grandmother was Lady Mary Charlotte Anne Wellesley, eldest daughter of William Wellesley-Pole, 3rd Earl of Mornington (second brother of the Duke of Wellington). Richard Bagot became a Roman Catholic in 1881.
  7. ^ Marquis de Ruvigny. Plantagenet Roll: Mortimer-Percy volume Retrieved 5 December 2008
  8. ^ Ibid.
  9. ^ Ibid.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Mitford
Lord Lovaine
Member of Parliament for Bere Alston
With: Lord Lovaine
Succeeded by
Lord Lovaine
Henry Percy
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Edward Durnford King
Commander-in-Chief, Cape of Good Hope Station
Succeeded by
James Dacres
Preceded by
Sir George Elliot
Commander-in-Chief, The Nore
Succeeded by
William Gordon