Vice Admiral Badcock RN - An RN veteran of Trafalgar and the siege of Badajoz.

I was out strolling the London LOOP the other day (part of a footpath that links around outer London, marking the delineation between civilisation and barbarity).

In the small village of Bexley I came across a churchyard with several interesting Commonwealth War Graves, and also a very overgrown tomb. Closer examination revealed it to be the grave of Vice Admiral William Stanhope Lovell (formerly Badcock) who served in the RN from 1799-1815. His full bio is below, but it includes service at Trafalgar, capturing French ships in the med, and by accident ending up ashore in the Peninsular campaign in the siege of Badajoz. His final wartime act was to help participate in the siege of Washington DC.

A genuinely fascinating character, and utterly forgotten these days. But, he deserves being remembered if only for the fact that until he changed his name, he was Captain Badcock! Bio below...

A Naval Biographical Dictionary/Lovell, William Stanhope - Wikisource, the free online library
William Stanhope Lovell, born about 1788, is second son of the late Thos. Stanhope Badcock, Esq., of Little Missenden and Maplethorpe Halls, a Magistrate and Deputy-Lieutenant, and formerly High Sheriff, for co. Buckingham, by Anne, daughter of Wm. Buckle, Esq., of the Mythe House, Tewkesbury, co. Gloucester; and brother of Lieut.-Colonel Benj. Lovell, commanding the 15th Hussars, an officer who served with distinction in the 14th Dragoons in France, Spain, and Portugal, and was wounded at the battle of Fuentes d’Onor. His father was a Lieutenant in the 6th Regt. of Foot during the war between Great Britain and her colonies, and served as such in America and the West Indies; he afterwards held a commission in the Royal Bucks Militia, and was with that corps in Ireland during the rebellion of 1798. Capt. Lovell, who is brother-in-law of Major-General Sir Jasper Nicolls, K.C.B., assumed his present surname, in lieu of his patronymic, in 1840. He is a descendant of Sir Salathiel Lovell, one of the Barons of the Exchequer.

This officer entered the Navy in May, 1799, on board the Royal William, Capt. Fras. Pickmore, lying at Spithead; and in the following Oct. joined the Renown 74, bearing the flag of Sir John Borlase Warren. Continuing in that ship until 1804, he saw much active service on the Home and Mediterranean stations, particularly in 1800; in June and July of which year he assisted in the boats of a squadron at the capture and destruction of La Thérèse national ship of 20 giins, seven other armed vessels, nine sail of merchantmen laden with government supplies, three land-batteries, and the same number of magazines. On the night of 29 Aug. following he further (after having attended the expedition to Ferrol) contributed in the boats, 20 in number, commanded by Lieut. Henry Burke, to the cutting-out, close to the batteries in Vigo Bay, of La Guêpe privateer, of 18 guns and 161 men, which vessel, 25 of whose people were killed and 40 wounded, was in 15 minutes boarded and carried, with a loss to the British of 3 seamen and 1 marine killed, 3 Lieutenants, 12 seamen, and 5 marines wounded, and 1 seaman missing. On leaving the Renown, Mr. Lovell (as we shall for convenience name him) successively joined the Kent 74, Capt. John Chambers White, and Barfleur and Neptune 98’s, Capts. Geo. Martin and Thos. Fras. Fremantle. On 2 Nov. 1805, 12 days after the battle of Trafalgar, in which he had had the fortune to be present, he was nominated Acting-Lieutenant of the Melpomène 38, Capt. Peter Parker. While in that frigate, to which the Admiralty confirmed him 29 Jan. 1806, he was struck by lightning in a tempest almost fatal to the ship; co-operated in the defence of Gaeta, when besieged by 30,000 troops under Marshal Massena; made prize, in a six-oared cutter (although with only four cutlasses and two pistols among the nine persons under his orders) of a French row-boat, whose crew, 16 in number, and well-armed, rose and re-took their vessel;[1] participated in various particular services; commanded the Melpomène’s boats on numerous successful occasions; and assisted at Malta in re-capturing Fort Ricozali, when in possession of Fubourg’s mutinous regiment. In 1807 Mr. Lovell rejoined Sir John Borlase Warren in the Swiftsure 74, on the Halifax station, where he continued until Feb. 1811; encountering during that period, 4 May, 1810, a very severe accident, which deprived him, while doing duty as First-Lieutenant, of five teeth, and caused him a fracture of the jaw. In the course of 1811, having been sent to Lisbon on promotion, he was there placed by Admiral Berkeley in command of the Topaze hospital-ship. He chanced, shortly afterwards, to be present on shore at the siege of Badajos. On 11 June, 1812, he received an order to act as Commander of the Brune 38, armée en flûte; and, on 13 of the ensuing Aug., he had the satisfaction of finding the appointment confirmed. While employed, at first, in the Mediterranean, Capt. Lovell prevented a French foraging party, 300 strong, from levying contributions on the inhabitants bf Altea; drove a small privateer on shore near the town of Denia; was mentioned for the assistance he afforded while attached to the army at the siege of the Col de Balaguer; and conveyed Sir John Murray to Palermo after his retreat from before Tarragona. The meritorious nature of his conduct, indeed, throughout the whole of the operations on the coast of Catalonia had the effect of procuring him the public thanks of Sir Edward Pellew, Rear-Admiral Benj. Hallowell, and the present Sir Chas. Adam. On his return with Lord Mahon to England, Capt. Lovell was ordered with a large body of troops to Holland, and then sent to North America; where, among different services incidental to a troop-ship, we find him blockading Commodore Barney’s flotilla up the Patuxent – commanding a subdivision of boats in the expedition to Washington, which occasioned his being 18 days and nights absent from his ship – serving also on shore in the attack upon Baltimore, on the failure whereof, and the death of General Ross, he conveyed in his own boat the body of that distinguished officer on board the Tonnant – accompanying Capts. Robt. Barrie and C. B. H. Ross, subsequently, in expeditions up the Rapahannock and St. Mary’s rivers – and contributing to the destruction of the enemy’s works on the coast of Georgia. The activity, gallantry, and ability .manifested on every occasion by Capt. Lovell procured him the warm acknowledgments of Rear-Admiral Cockburn. He was promoted to Post-rank, on paying off the Brune, 21 Aug. 1815; was nominated a K.H. 25 Jan. 1836; and accepted the Retirement 1 Oct. 1846.

Capt. Lovell married, 2 Jan. 1822, Selina, youngest daughter of the late Sir Henry Harpur Crewe, Bart., of Calke Abbey, by whom, who died 30 March, 1838, he has issue a son, a Lieutenant in the 16th Regt., and three daughters. Agents – Burnett and Holmes.


Book Reviewer
Check this one out: Sir Nesbit Josiah Willoughby (1777–1849)

He was eventually retired for the good of his health. He was was feared as much by his men as he was by the enemy.

The Annual Register of his death noted: "He was eleven times wounded with balls, three times with splinters, and cut in every part of his body with sabres and tomahawks: his face was disfigured by explosions of gunpowder, and he lost an eye and had part of his neck and jaw shot away... and at Leipzig had his right arm shattered by cannon shot."


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Which church is that Jim? That is one of the last few legs of the LOOP I have to do
Check this one out: Sir Nesbit Josiah Willoughby (1777–1849)

He was eventually retired for the good of his health. He was was feared as much by his men as he was by the enemy.

The Annual Register of his death noted: "He was eleven times wounded with balls, three times with splinters, and cut in every part of his body with sabres and tomahawks: his face was disfigured by explosions of gunpowder, and he lost an eye and had part of his neck and jaw shot away... and at Leipzig had his right arm shattered by cannon shot."

You mean " Lucky" Willoughby ?
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A nice little pastime, spotting Nelsonic/Napoleonic era graves, also HEIC veterans' graves, and tracing lives and service. They're usually well documented and if we could only live half the lives some of them had. Badcock's family owned Little Missenden Abbey - Bucks - "2 ½ miles NW of Amersham, and 5 ¼ ENE of Wycombe station". W.S. Badcock/Lovell entered the RN in 1799 age "barely 10", first on the Montague (74) with his baggage, and then posted to HMS Renown (new, 74 guns) at Torbay (the channel fleet, 36 sail of the Line).

He was promoted Post Captain on August 21, 1815. Records prove he was aboard the Neptune at Trafalgar ( 3 decker, 98 guns, 10 killed, 34 wounded). His father and uncle were High Sheriffs of Buckinghamshire; his brother Maj Lovell Badcock served in all of Wellington's campaigns.

Rear Adm Lovell RN KH (Knight), is the author of Personal narrative of events, from 1799 to 1815, with anecdotes, published in 1879 and printed at 13 Waterloo Place London SW. This gives a cracking account of RN life for boys and battles with the French, at the time. Also From Trafalgar to the Chesapeake: Adventures of an Officer in Nelson's Navy, and he's included in the Royal Naval Biography, 1830. The man had quite a life.

Royal Naval Biography; Or, Memoirs of the Services of All the Flag-officers, Superannuated Rear-admirals, Retired-captains, Post-captains, and Commanders, Whose Names Appeared on the Admiralty List of Sea Officers at the Commencement of the Present Year, Or who Have Since Been Promoted; Illustrated by a Series of Historical and Explanatory Notes ... With Copious Addenda

Summer 1807: The British attack the USS Chesapeake and remove American sailors
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