Captain John Scaife, RN. d.1773.

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Captain John Scaife, RN. d.1773.

Captain John Scaife, RN. 1702? – 1773.

Commissioned Lieutenant 19 December, 1747.

Commander of Sloop, HMS “Vulture”, appointed 1757.
As Commander of HMS Vulture testified in the Admiralty Court of Halifax, Nova Scotia, 29 March, 1758, in the case of the condemnation of the schooner, “Love”.
(Acts of Privy Council, Colonial Series, 1690-1811).

Captain of HMS “Chesterfeld”, a 5th Rate of 44 guns, appointed 22 February, 1759.
HMS Chesterfield lost along with 4 other vessels in convoy, without loss of life, on Cayo Comfits, Bahama Straits, 24 July, 1762.
Following the Admiralty Board of Enquiry Scaife was found derelict in his duty and received no further commission.


Is this John Scaife born 1702, Linz Green, Co. Durham, the son of Richard Scaife of Winton, who married Jane Rawe, and died Clerkenwell, 1773 ??

HMS Vulture – Hind Class – two masted sloop, of 266 tons. (1743 – 1760).
Built, in 1743, at Limehouse by the shipwright John Greaves.
Ordered 6-8-1743; Keel laid down 16-9-1743; Named 18-4-1744; Launched 4-5-1744; Commissioned 24-4-1744 at Deptford dockyard.
Length 91 ft 4ins., at a cost of £1,996 12s. ; fittings £1,864 10s 9d.
Crew of 125; Carried 14 x 6 pdr cannon and 14 x ½ pdr swivel guns.

Commissioned in April 1744 under Cmdr John Hardy; off Dunkirk in June 1744; -
with Byng’s Squadron 1745-1746 in Home Waters – 1748 transferred to the West Indies, based Jamaica under Cmdr James Butler 1749-1751. Undergoing small repairs at Woolwich and refitted there 3-4-1751.
Recommissioned January 1751/52 under Cmdr Francis Wyatt in Home Waters for fishery protection; sailed for Nova Scotia 1753 with Keppel’s Squadron; remained in North America 1753-1755 under Cmdr William Kinsey, who died 30 May 1755. On 31 May 1755 under Cmdr John Scaife at Halifax, Nova Scotia, until the vessel was paid off in February 1758. HMS Vulture and Cmdr Scaife served as part of Commodore Charles Holmes’ fleet on the North America Station from 1756-1758. Following the removal of her fittings HMS Vulture was sold to the breakers at Portsmouth on 30 January 1761 for £ 250.

HMS Vulture was one of 2 two masted sloops ordered by the Admiralty on 6 August 1743. Initially the Admiralty ordered only ‘Hind’ and ‘Vulture’, which were built to the design of Joseph Allin. HMS Vulture was built at Limehouse and the Hind at Blackwall by Philemon Perry. Eventually two more ‘Hind’ Class sloops were laid down at Deptford, built by Allin himself, HMS Jamaica and HMS Trial.

HMS Chesterfield - 5th Rate of 44 guns. (1744 – 1761)
One of the Establishment Group. The first 4 ships of this group were ordered by the Admiralty in 1741 as 40 gun ships, intended as replacements for older vessels, but from 1743 nine others were completed as 44 guns.
HMS Chesterfield was built at Rotherhithe by John Quallett. She was 127 ft in length, and weighed 719 tons.
Ordered 23-5-1744; Keel laid 2-6-1744; Named 25-10-1745. Launched 31-10-1745. Commissioned at Deptford Dockyard on 25-1-1746.Cost of £7,931 plus a fitting out cost of £5, 097 7s 4d.
Comissioned under Captain William Gordon, joined the Western Squadron 1746-1747; then off West Africa under Captain O’Brien Dudley – mutiny 10 October 1748. Paid off at Portsmouth July 1749 and small repairs.
Recommissioned in July 1755 under Captain Wiliam Lloyd, sailed to the Mediterranean and took part in Battle of Minorca 20 May, 1756; remained in the Mediterranean until 1758. Sailed for Virginia under Captain Julian Legge on 1 April, 1758. Legge was replaced by Captain John Scaife in 1759, with orders to join Rodney’s Squadron in the Leeward Isles 5 August 1759. Sailed as protection for the mast ships 19 May,1761; sailed with the Virginia convoy 4 December, 1761; wrecked in the Old Bahama Channel off Cuba 24 July, 1762 leading a convoy of 4 other vessels, all vessels lost but no loss of life.

Dr. John Scaife

I was very impressed with the

I was very impressed with the research on John Scaife, Captain in the Royal Navy of Newcastle on Tyne, and the accompanying detail of the ships involved. However looking at John Scaife's will, he appears tp make provision for his wife ELIZABETH and son EDWARD, which seems to be at odds to the John Scaifes mentioned under QUERY. Could there be yet another John Scaife to assume the role of Captain RN, and fit the available dates? I would be interested in any comments.
Geoff Scaife

bers's picture
Commander John Scaife

I too think the Clerkenwell John burial is someone else - the son of William Scaife and Mary Reay of Walton Rigg near Brampton in Cumberland. He married Jane Graham and was related (and apprenticed) to Arthur Scaife the armourer and brazier (ancestor of Muriel Scaife).

With Geoff's new information from John's will, I think we can place John from the registers of St Andrew Non Conformist, Newcastle:

Edward s John Scaife 28 Sep 1752
Ann d John Scaife 18 Sep 1751

John (the Commander) could therefore be the son of Edward Scaife and Jane Stoker, baptised 25 Mar 1728 St Andrew, Newcastle. His parents were married there 26 Dec 1724. If we now know that John's wife was Elizabeth, their marriage should be evident but I could not find it. There is a large family on Newcastle back to the early 1600s and I've never been too sure where they were from. Cumbria seems like a reasonable guess though, or maybe the earlier Scaifes around Winton or Asby as the name Richard seems to feature.

Issue of Edward Scafe and Jane Stoker

This is an interesting development. Geoff's information from the Will of John Scafe is a crucial indicator. There is a clear naming pattern in the Scafe family hailing from Pilgrim Street, St. Andrew's Parish, Newcastle.
George 'Skaf' and Anne Milborne m.20 November 1666, produced 11 children between 1667-1682. Of these the first 4 - George Scafe bpt. St. Andrew's 21 July 1667,was buried shortly afterwards. A second son named John Skafe was bpt. 23 November 1668, and was buried in April 1717, having fathered 2 sons George in 1693 and John in 1695. This John Scafe married Elizabeth Brunton on 5 August 1721, and died resident in Pilgrim Street, in 1763. A third son named George Skaf was bpt. 24 Jul 1670 and buried 4 months later. A fourth son named Edward Scafe was bpt. 27 November 1671. He married Agnes Charlton on 20 May 1699 at St. Andrew's, Pilgrim Street. Edward and Agnes produced 8 children. Of whom Mathais born in 1700, Edward in 1701, John in 1702 who later succumbed to a fever and died in 1705. Edward later fathered another son, who was named John in April 1716. As Bernard points out Edward Scafe, 1701-1738, married Jane Stoker at St. Andrew's on 26 December 1724. Their only son was named John and baptised at St. Andrew's on 25 March 1728. However, a John Scafe was buried at St. Andrew's on 12 June 1738, shortly before the death of Edward.
Was this John the son of Edward Scafe and Jane Stoker or John Scafe son of Edward Scafe and Agnes Charlton who was baptised at St. Andrew's on 30 April, 1716 ? The parish burial register unfortunately provides no further clues. Does the Will give any clue as to John's age or place of origin?

bers's picture
Capt John's Will

Hi John,

In case ot helps, Capt John's will contains the following:

Will proved 17th April 1773 by George Stephenson and Richard Burdus. Will of John Scaife of Newcastle upon Tyne esquire, Captain in the Royal Navy of Great Britain. Mentions wife Elizabeth and son Edward. Mentions friends George Stephenson of Newcastle, master and mariner and Richard Burdus? of Newcastle, gentleman who are his "friends" and trustees and executors. A messuage within Pilgrim St. Edward is under 21 and provision made for his education and maintenance. Elizabeth is appointed his guardian. Does this indicate she is Edward's stepmother? He makes provision for any child or children he may have by his wife Mary and if not, that portion goes to his son Edward, which further suggests a first marriage. Will is dated 12 June 1765. Witnesses: Ruth Liddeles, Richard Shaw, Jno Richardson.

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