Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
from L&M CompanionCox, Capt. Sir John. 'An understanding stout seaman', according to Coventry. Originally commissioned in the Commonwealth navy, he was appointed Master-Attendant to Chatham in 1660 and at Deptford in 1666. He served as master of the Duke of York's flagship the "Royal Charles" in the Battle of Lowestoft--hence his evidence (viii.489-90)about the ship's failure to pursue the enemy. He succeeded Pett as Commissioner at Chatham in 1669, and fell in action in the "Prince" at the Battle of Sole Bay in May 1672, having been knighted shortly before.
COX, Sir John,—was appointed commander of the Mary, of fifty-eight guns, in 1665, after having served with very distinguished reputation as master of the Royal Charles, in the action between the duke of York and Opdam. In the following year he was made captain of the Sovereign, a first rate of one hundred guns. His Conduct having highly contributed to the victory obtained over the Dutch, by prince Rupert and the duke of Albemarle, he received the honour of knighthood. In 1668, on the prospect of a rupture with France, he was made Commander of the Charles; and, at the commencement of the second Dutch war, was chosen, by the duke of York, to command the Prince, as his first captain; he himself having hoisted the standard on board this ship; an high compliment to sir John's gallantry, and, as will appear by the sequel, most worthily paid. At the battle of Solebay the main body of the fleet, where the duke of York commanded, was opposed to De Ruyter, who attacked the prince, not singly and ship to ship, but supported by Van Este, another admiral, whose name is not known, and all their seconds; an odds, not only formidable but irresistible. This ship was most gallantly defended for three hours, by the joint efforts of himself and captain Gurner; at the end of that time she was totally disabled from rendering any further service, as well by the damage she received in the fight, as by the death of her brave commander, which certainly was the heavier misfortune of the two.---Biographia navalis. J. Charnock, 1793.
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