Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Allin; his career to 1660
Allin (1612-1685) turned 48 years old in 1660. He was a consistant royalist and had quite a successful naval career.
In the 1640s, he was a merchant-shipowner in Lowestoft. In 1644 (the year he turned 32) he became a privateer for the King, serving under Rupert as a captain of a frigate.
Pepys says at one point in the diary that Allin loves money, and he died with quite a lot of it. His journals have been published.
-- L&M Companion volume
He was also in some of the battles at the time.
Allin's portrait by Lelyhttp://www.nmm.ac.uk/mag/pages/mnuExplore/Paint...
Allin and The Nonsuch
It is clear that at this time there are two ships, the Nonsutch warship and the Nonsuch Ketch, and that one of them ran aground in Gibraltar Bay when in a fleet commanded by Allin.
Allin received his commission for the Plymouth in June of 1664, and presumably he is starting on his mission to conclude a peace treaty in Algiers. He sailed from the Thames in the company of the London, which was the flag ship of Sandwich, and mentions that he sailed with 11 men-of-war and a smack. A note is added to this saying the Nonsuch Ketch with Captain Country to follow us and a smack to sound before us. The 11 ships became part of Sandwich’s squadron, and Sandwich in his journal says on the 3rd of August says that Country’s ketch sailed for Holland with his letters. Also on the 13th September he records in his company the Nonsuch Ketch.
Allin made his way to meet Lawson in the Straights. He was at Plymouth on the night of the 22nd of August and I believe that he was accompanied by a number of merchantmen, among them the London Merchant and the Naples Merchant, and no warships are named on the journey.
On the 18th September he dined with Lawson, and on the 24th there is the first mention of the Nonsuch being under the command of Captain Parker. The Phoenix is mentioned on the 8th October under Chichley. These ships appear to have already been in the Straights under Lawson, who will now make his way back to England leaving the command to Allin.
After concluding the peace he patrolled the Straights, and on the 2nd of December gives a detailed description of events after a continual rainy night that he ever saw in his life. In the morning within musket shot were four of the fleet ashore. Allin managed to get off and also the Portsmouth, but the Nonsuch sunk and all masts by the board and the Phoenix by her sunk. All help was sent to preserve the Bonaventure.
They regrouped at Malaga on the 8th went back to Gibraltar by the 11th to speak with the men left aboard the Nonsuch and the Phoenix but the Governor would not let them cross the neck of land and had to go by sea to provide the seamen with enough money to last a month.
As there was another warship called the Nonsuch built in 1668, and from the information above, I believe that it was the warship that was sunk and not the Ketch.
(Information gained from the Allin and Sandwich Journals both edited by RC Anderson)
Per L&M Companion:
1st. Bt. (1612 - 85). One of the most active and successful naval commanders of the Second Dutch War. A merchant-shipowner of Lowestoft, he turned to privateering on the King's side in 1644 and served as captain of a frigate under Rupert. It was his unprovoked attack on the Dutch Smyrna fleet of Cadiz in December 1664 which sparked of the war, during which he served with distinction as a flag-officer. His service afloat ended with two expeditions to the Mediterranean, 1668-9, in which he imposed terms upon the Barbary states. He had been at sea almost continuously for ten years, and had held eleven commissions as a captain since 1660.
On Mennes's death he was made Comptroller of the Navy (1671-80). In that capacity he came in for some criticism from Pepys for 'very unsteady measures' in paying for wages. But he was an experienced colleague and took part in the special conference which lead in 1677 to one of Pepys's most important reforms -- the establishment of examinations for lieutenants. He was Master of Trinity House, 1671-2, and was briefly Commander-in-Chief in the Channel in 1678. In 1680 he retired to his native Suffolk. The love of money, which Pepys remarks on, is witnessed by his will which shows him possessed of considerable landed wealth. The baronetcy died out with his son in 1696. His journals have been published.
From C.S. Knighton, Pepys and the Navy, Sutton, 2003:
Allin had a distinguished career afloat, beginning as a royalist privateer captain operating out of his native Lowestoft at the start of the Civil War. After 1648 he had served in the official royalist fleet until he was sunk by Blake off Cartagena in 1650. He was court-martialled by his own side for cowardice, but escaped before sentence was passed. His loyalty was unshaken, and he was regarded as one of the most reliable officers by Charles II, from whom he received a succession of commands after the Restoration. He had enthusiastically carried out the secret orders to attack the Dutch Smyrna fleet in 1664, and had a fine record in the war which this action successfully provoked. Pepys ... encountered him in November 1665 and found him "very friendly ... a good man I think but one that professes he loves to get and to save." Interestingly, Allin records the same meeting in his official journal, but more prosaically ("dined with Squire Pepys and did some business with him").
Sir Thomas Allin, 1st Baronet (1612–1685) was an officer of the Royal Navy who saw service in the English Civil War, and the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch Wars. A Royalist during the Civil War, he returned to service after the Restoration and eventually rose to the rank of Admiral after serving under some of the most distinguished military figures of the era, including Prince Rupert of the Rhine.
ALLEN, Sir Thomas,—of Lowestoffe, in the county of Suffolk, having been always warmly attached to the cause of royalty, and served as commander of a ship in the part of the fleet which revolted to the prince of Wales, was appointed to command the Dover on the 24th of June, 1660, this being among the first ships commissioned by the duke of York. In 1661 he commanded, first, the Plymouth, and, secondly, the Foresight; the Lyon, in 1662, and the Rainbow in 1663. In the same year he was appointed commander in chief (as commodore only) of the ships and vessels in the Downs, and had, on this occasion, the singular privilege allowed him of wearing the union flag at his main top. He hoisted it on board the St. Andrew. In the following year (1664) he had the same command, with the same privilege attached to it, renewed. On the 11th of Aug. 1664, he was appointed commander in chief in the Mediterranean, to succeed sir John Lawson, who was ordered to return home. He sailed on this service in the Plymouth, in company with the Crown, which was put under his orders. Having arrived at Tangier, and communicated his instructions to sir John, he entered upon his command, hoisting his flag at the main-top-masthead, as his commission specially authorised him to do on the departure of his predecessor. Early in the ensuing spring, being then on a cruise with his squadron, consisting of eight or nine ships, off the Streights mouth, he had the good fortune to fall in with the Dutch Smyrna fleet, consisting of forty sail, under convoy of four men of war. Having just before received intelligence that war was declared, by England, against the States General, he hesitated not a moment to attack them. The Dutch having, according to their usual custom, drawn the stoutest of their merchant ships into the line to support, and assist their men of war, the contest was obstinate. But in the end Brackel, the Dutch commodore, being killed, their line broken, and several of their ships sunk, four of the richest were captured; one of which had received so much damage in the action, that she unfortunately foundered on her passage to England: the rest of the fleet took refuge in Cadiz, where they remained blocked up for a time, till the return of the admiral to England liberated them from their confinement. In the beginning of this year he had shifted his flag from the Plymouth to the Old James: and on his return to England, in the month of June following, just after the engagement with the Dutch, was promoted to the rank of admiral of the blue. He commanded that squadron during the remainder of the year, having his flag on board the (afterwards unfortunate) Royal James; but no farther general action took place.---Biographia Navalis. J. Charnock, 1794.
In 1666 he was appointed admiral of the white, and still continuing on board the Royal James, was detached, (in consequence of express orders from the king, to prince Rupert, who was himself on board the Royal James with sir Thomas,) with his squadron, to oppose the French, against whom war had just been declared, and whose fleet was reported to be then coming up the channel for the purpose of joining the Dutch. This intelligence proving false, prince Rupert, and sir Thomas Allen's division, returned just in time to turn the scale in favour of the English, and rescue the duke of Albemarle, who had been hard pressed by the superior numbers of the Dutch, during a fight of three days continuance. The English were not long ere they had complete satisfaction for this temporary apparent advantage. On the 25th of July the two fleets met a second time, and an action commenced about noon the same day, sir Thomas Allen who continued to command the van, or white squadron, making a most furious attack on the Dutch admiral, Evertzen. The Friezland and Zealand squadrons, which he had the chief command of, were totally defeated; he himself, together with his vice and rear admiral, killed; and the Tolen, commanded by Bankart, vice-admiral of Zealand, taken, and soon afterwards burnt, together with another large man of war. In fine, as no man was ever more deserving of success, so did no one ever obtain it more completely. Fortune still continuing to favour gallantry, sir Thomas captured, on the 18th of September, the Ruby, a French a French man of war mounting 54 brass guns, commanded by monsieur De la Roche. This ship, which was quite new, was esteemed one of the finest in the French navy. She had mistaken sir Thomas's squadron, which then lay off Dungeness, for her own, and, consequently, surrendered almost without resistance. In the year 1667, owing to the penury of Charles the second, and the duplicity of the Dutch, who had the art to deceive the British court into a belief that peace should take place early in the spring, we had no grand fleet at sea; but sir Thomas, who shifted his flag, on this occasion, into the Monmouth, had the command in chief of a small squadron sent to cruise to the westward; and of a second, in the same year, destined for a foreign expedition, but which, it is believed, never went to sea. Be that as it may, nothing worth recording took place in either service.---Biographia Navalis. J. Charnock, 1794.
In 1668, on information being received that the French fleet, under the duke of Beaufort, was at sea, sir Thomas was sent, with a discretionary power, to observe their motions; but nothing material took place during a long cruise at the entrance of the Channel. In the middle of August he sailed for the Streights; and having arrived off Algiers on the 8th of October, by his peremptory behaviour he quickly disposed the government to propose equitable terms of accommodation, which were immediately drawn up, and executed. Sir Thomas sailed from thence for Naples, where such honours were shewn him as proved so highly disagreeable to a Dutch squadron then lying there, that they left the place in the greatest disgust. The same respect was also shewn him at Leghorn. From thence he returned to Algiers, where, having received every assurance that the treaty of peace he had lately concluded with them would be faithfully observed, he returned to England in the month of April. No sooner, however, was he clear of the Streights, than the Algerines, highly elated at his absence, and conceiving it would be at least a day somewhat distant, ere vengeance could be taken of their perfidy, began to renew their depredations; so that having hoisted his flag on board the Resolution, he was a second time dispatched to Algiers to compel an observance of that peace we had vainly flattered ourselves with the hopes of enjoying from their justice. He sailed from Plymouth on the 22d of July, having under his command eighteen men of war, besides fireships and other vessels, making in all twenty-nine sail, and arrived on the 30th of the same month at Cadiz. On the 6th of August he appeared off Algiers, and a negotiation not taking place, he immediately prepared to inflict a proper chastisement, which he did by taking, or destroying a considerable number of their corsairs. This petty and inconsiderable warfare was continued for some time: and in the following year he was, at his own earnest request, recalled. He was succeeded in his command by sir Edward Spragge. Having arrived at St. Helen's on the 3d of November, 1670, he retired from command for some time; and was, on his arrival in England, probably as a reward for his former services, appointed comptroller of the navy. However, in March 1678, he was again appointed commander in chief of his majesty's fleet in the narrow seas, having hoisted his flag for that purpose on board the Royal James. This was occasioned by the probability of war with France; but that soon passing away, sir Thomas again returned to his former peaceable, and honourable retirement, a retirement highly necessary to the latter days of an officer who had served so honestly, and behaved so gallantly. The time and place of his death is not positively known.---Biographia Navalis. J. Charnock, 1794.
This brave and expert officer was the first that entered upon hostilities against the Dutch, in 1665, by attacking their Smyrna fleet. The squadron that he commanded consisted but of eight ships; but what he wanted in force, he supplied by courage and conduct. He killed their commodore Brackel, took four merchantmen richly laden, and drove the rest into the bay of Cadiz. On the 25th of July, 1666, he, at the head of the white squadron, fell upon the Dutch van, entirely defeated it, and killed the three admirals who commanded that division. The victory of this day, in which he had a principal hand, was indisputably on the side of the English. Then it was that De Ruyter exclaimed, "My God, what a wretch am I! among so many thousand bullets, is there not one to put me out of my pain?"---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1779.
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