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Captain Hugh Cook

1769-1834

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Born to Margaret Shorting & Lawrence Cook in Tenby, Wales.
Siblings: Hammond, Martha, Susan, Sarah, & Thomas


Hugh's Mother Margaret, was well connected to Lanstephen Palace, and therefore well-to-do. 

Lawrence, Hugh's Father was Mayor of Tenby in 1782, and 1790. Together with his wife they would forever alter Tenby by building it into a substantial town.


Hugh entered the navy at the age of 15, under the patronage of Sir Richard Rodney Bligh.
He made Lieutenant at the age of 22, and Captain in 1806 at the age of 37.
Last known address was Northumberland Court, Trafalgar Square
Intered in a crypt at St. Martins in the Fields in 1834, his body was removed in either 1859 or in 1936, to what we believe was a mass unmarked grave in Brookwood Cemetry.


Service record:


1784 - Pegasus (28) under Captain Sir Samual Marshall as Midshipman


1795 - Prince (98) Served under Captain Collingwood as Lieutenant, witnessed the action off I'Orient . 

 

1797 - Brunswick (74) Served under Captain William Rutherford, First Lieutenant Cook bearing the flag of his First and principal naval patron Sir Richard Bligh lead a detachment to defend the Fort of Irois, in Carcasse Bay, San Domingo against numerous besiegers in 1797


1798 -  Lark (16) West Indies Sloop ofWar Lieutenant Cook Commanded


1798 - Drake 14 Sloop of War Lieutenant Cook Commanded


1798 - Brunswick


1799 - Regulas Frigate


1803 - Liberty Brig Hugh was appointed Vice Admiral Blighs Flag Lieutenant at Leith, And command of the Liberty Brig on the Jersey Station


1804 -1806 - Agamemnon. First Lieutenant. Bore a part in Sir Calders Action July 221805, was engaged off Trafalgar, and at St. Domingo, October 21 -February 6 1806.
A letter of accommodation was written by Captain Berry days before the battle of Trafalgar, in which he mention's Hugh's saving the Agamemnon from certain disaster .


1809 - Diomede 50, Hugh was selected by Rear Admiral d' Auvergne (Prince of Bouillon) to be his flag Captain on the Jersey Station. There is reason to believe that his Gallant Conduct in several Skirmishes, when commanding the Liberty, under that officers orders was the sole cause of his receiving this appointment.


1811 - Diomede 50 Captain, East Indies. Captain Cook conveying Vice Admiral W. O Brien to the West Indies and escorting seven of the Hon. Companies Ships from Madras to St. Helena where he received a very handsome letter from their commanders thanking him for the skillful manner in which he conducted the convoy during an unusually tempestuous voyage.


Medals:


Matthew Boulton's Trafalgar Medal

 

Further information:


We believe Hugh may have had a illegitimate son by the name of Charles Wells Cook who was the largest beneficiary of Hugh's will. He is named as nephew, but this is unlikely.
Charles Wells Cook was born to Sophia Wells with no husband named on the birth certificate.
Due to Hugh's movements and leaves in Portsmouth from Feb 7 to March 1801 and a further week
in April indicates that he was Charles' father.
Charles was a Major in the militia and a Captain in the East India Company Service 26th Regiment Native Infantry in Bombay. Llike Hugh he started young and retired a Commander in 1838. He was also Deputy Judge in the Advoc: Generals Dept. He became a member of Tenby Town Council in 1839, and was the Mayor 5 times, in 1841, 42, 43, 61, and 1873.
His life was not without a bit of controversy. Charles fought a dual in 1842 with another high ranking official named Captain Freeling, over Charles' wife Sophia who was many years younger than Charles. Two shots were fired and no one was injured. It is noted that his wife Sophia and a child named Hugh did not inherit after Charles died.
When Hugh died his land, properties and bonds valued 9000.00 pounds and he held another 2000 pounds in mortgages. This did not include bequests made to his brother Thomas, or his sister Martha, or to the granddaughters of an Uncle. Hugh made several other bequests including the Pensioned Sailors of Tenby. The properties and land all went to Charles who influenced Penally & Tenby's growth with his connections to the East India Company & the Royal navy. He attracted much of the gentry to Tenby.
Tenby has two streets named after Captain Hugh Cook. Through research in the town council we find that St. Domingo Road and Trafalgar Road were named after the battles Hugh fought in, Tenby being anxious to show their appreciation after his bequest to the Pensioned sailors of the town.


Books written where Hugh is mentioned:


"A Murder of Crows" by Margaret Davis.
There are 17 pages dedicated to their illustrious hero Hugh Cook and his family.


"Nelson's Favorite, HMS Agamemnon at War" by Anthony Deane. 20151005041357 A 20090224213052. "20071005041357