no image

Richard Anderson (bef. 1774 - 1835)

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Richard Anderson
Born before in Kilham, Yorkshire, Englandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married (to ) in Kilham, Yorkshire, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Kilham, Yorkshire, Englandmap
Profile last modified | Created 7 Jun 2015
This page has been accessed 1,007 times.

Categories: HMS Prince (1788) | HMS Nymphe (1780) | HMS Oiseau (1793) | Battle of Trafalgar | Kilham, Yorkshire | All Saints, Kilham | All Saints Churchyard, Kilham, East Riding of Yorkshire, Yorkshire | Portsmouth, Hampshire | Broachdale, Kilham.


Richard was born in 1774 on a farm near Kilham on the Yorkshire Wolds, the sixth son and seventh child of Robert Anderson and his wife, Elizabeth Robson. He was baptised at Kilham All Saints on 13 March 1774. [1] Richard and the two brothers who followed him, Christopher and Robert, wanted to go to sea. With an uncle, Edward Anderson, and his eldest brother, Thomas, both being ship owners in Hull it wasn't such a strange ambition for a farmer's son. He duly went to sea and was coerced into the Royal Navy.

Richard was impressed in 1793 aged 19 and taken to serve aboard "La Nymphe" captained by Edward Pellew. The ship had been woefully understrength and Richard was one of the few seamen taken. Perhaps that was why he could write "so don't fret for me for I am well-used aboard the "La Nymphe" and I shall have liberty to go on shore whenever I ask the officers for I have got in with them." [2]

On 19th June 1793 "La Nymphe" fell in with the French frigate, "Cleopatre" and a fierce battle ensued at very close quarters. Eventually Captain Pellew ordered his crew to board "Cleopatre" and, Captain Millon having been killed, the French surrendered. The two ships were tangled together and Captain Pellew offered ten guineas to the man who would go up the mast and cut the ship free. Richard and a mess mate succeeded in the task and were each paid 5 guineas. Cleopatra was taken to Portsmouth and it was from there that Richard wrote home on 24th June to his "Honourable Parents" to tell them all about his adventure.[3][4] "Cleopatre" was taken into the Royal Navy and commissioned as HMS Oiseau. [5]

Richard has become a family hero and it is difficult to sort out the myths from the facts. What is certain is that on 8 May 1785, aged 21, he was made a Ship's Master only two years after he was impressed.

Richard's father, Robert, died in 1796 [6] but brother John was happy to remain with their mother and run the farm.

During the years that followed he made time to visit Kilham for in 1800 at All Saints he married Mary, [7] daughter of William Eggleston of Kilham. "My little Mary" he called her and she proved a good Naval wife, writing regularly and doing his laundry. [8]

HMS Prince.

On 13 February 1805 he was posted to HMS Prince, [9] captained by Richard Grindall. Prince was a heavy lumbering ship which was described by some wit as "sailing like a hay stack". Prince was sent to join the blockade of the Franco-Spanish Navy in the summer of 1805. Richard's diary is full of little bits of interesting information but gives a feeling of boredom rather than anticipation.

When matters came to a head Prince and another couple of ships were ordered to follow the fleet as best they could. Desperately slow, Prince was the last British ship to engage the enemy and was thus lucky enough to have no one killed at the Battle of Trafalgar on 14 October 1805. She took the greatest prize, the Santissima Trinidad, but a great storm blew up and all the prizes were lost on the way to Gibraltar. [10] "We all cry for him" wrote Richard when he recorded the death of Lord Nelson. [11]

In 1806 his youngest brother, Robert, was forced to leave his ship and return home as he was dying of consumption. Elizabeth Anderson followed him to the grave in a matter of months [12]much mourned by her family. [13]

Eventually Richard left the navy and settled back in Kilham to raise a family. His first child, Richard Eggleston Anderson, was born in 1816, followed quickly by Edward, William and Mary.

Richard's "little Mary" died on Christmas Eve 1833. His life was drawing to its end and on the 2nd January 1834 he wrote his will, being at pains to ensure a future for his daughter, Mary, then aged 13. He died on 5 December 1835 aged 61 and was buried at All Saints on 7th. [14]

Richard's grave.

"In memory of Richard Anderson late master in the Royal Navy who died on the 5th day of December 1835 aged 61 years, and Mary his wife who died on the 24th day of December 1833 aged 55 years. Also Mary their daughter who died on the 28th day of March 1838 aged 18 years"[15]

His affairs were attended to by his brother, David. His goods and chattels were valued at £283 but there was also his house in Kilham and the house in Hull which had been left to him by uncle Edward in 1806.


  1. Baptismal records, Kilham All Saints, Yorkshire, England (13 March 1774 Richard son of Robert Anderson)
  2. "England Expects", biography of Richard Anderson. Val Tonks
  3. Letter of Richard Anderson dated Portsmouth June 24th 1793 describing the taking of "Cleopatra". Now kept in Australia.
  4. "England Expects", biography of Richard Anderson. Val Tonks
  5. Wikipedia: French frigate Cléopâtre (1781)
  6. Monumental Inscriptions, Kilham: Robert Anderson
  7. Marriage records, Kilham All Saints, Yorkshire, England (24 October 1800 Richard Anderson married Mary Eggleston)
  8. The Diary of Richard Anderson 1805, Greenwich Museum (The diary is kept at Greenwich Museum and may be viewed there. It has also been photographed and a DVD is available by post)
  9. Trafalgar Ancestors:[1].
  10. HMS Prince and Trafalgar " The Trafalgar Companion " Mark Adkin, Aurum Press 2005 ISBN 1 84513 0189
  11. The Diary of Richard Anderson 1805, Greenwich Museum (The diary is kept at Greenwich Museum and may be viewed there. It has also been photographed and a DVD is available by post)
  12. Monumental Inscriptions, Kilham: Robert Anderson
  13. "The Sailor" Edward Anderson 1828
  14. Burial records, Kilham All Saints (7 December 1835 Richard Anderson, Kilham, 61)
  15. Monumental Inscription, Kilham All Saints: Richard Anderson.
  • The Andersons: The History of a Kilham Family (1772-1880). Valerie Tonks 1985


31 October, 1825, letter to Sir Henry Wright-Wilson from Robert Anderson, Master R.N. informing of death of Mr. Hopper, trustees in his will together with Mrs. Hopper and her two daughters may continue at the farm...reports, details and suggested arrangements. (Could this Richard? No Robert Anderson Master RN)

More Genealogy Tools

Sponsored Search

Searching for someone else?
First: Last:

No known carriers of Richard's Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

Have you taken a DNA test for genealogy? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Images: 1
Grave of Richard and Mary Anderson
Grave of Richard and Mary Anderson


On 23 Apr 2016 at 01:10 GMT Jaynie (Flippen) Anderson wrote:

What an interesting story!

Richard is 38 degrees from Jelena Eckstädt, 20 degrees from Theodore Roosevelt and 17 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

A  >  Anderson  >  Richard Anderson