Categories: HMS Prince (1788) | HMS Resolution (1771) | HMS Barfleur (1768) | HMS Irresistible (1782) | HMS Carnatic (1783) | HMS Colossus (1787) | HMS Russell (1764) | HMS Ramillies (1785) | HMS Formidable (1777) | HMS Tartar (1756) | HMS Egmont (1768) | HMS Princess Royal (1773) | Wickham, Hampshire | Melcombe Regis, Dorset | St Nicholas, Wickham | Battle of Trafalgar | British Admirals | Knights Commander of the Order of the Bath.
Richard Grindall was baptised in the Parish of St Sepulchre, London on 28 April 1751 son of brewer, Rivers Grindall and his wife, Martha. In 1763 he joined the Royal Navy as Captain's servant to Henry St John on HMS Tartar. He followed St John to HMS Garland stationed at Halifax, Nova Scotia. After five years on Garland he served aboard the yacht, Royal Charlotte and then on HMS Pearl.
He joined James Cook's Resolution as an Able Seaman on 7 January 1772 and then married Latitia London at Old Church, St Pancras on 27 March 1772. It is said that Resolution sailed that very day and was away until 1775. John Elliott described him as a steady, clever young man and says that Richard accompanied the Captain to London on their return to England revealing that he had married before they sailed.
He was promoted lieutenant on 29 November 1776 and posted to HMS Egmont in 1777 under John Elphinston. In 1778 he joined the Princess Royal under William Blair, sailed to the West Indies and took part in the Battle of Grenada.
Latitia died in her twenties but the date is not known. On 25 May 1779 at Melcombe Regis in Dorset he married Katherine Green Marianne Nathaniel Festing the daughter of the Reverend Michael Festing, Rector of Wyke Regis.
He served with Samuel Hood aboard HMS Barfleur in the West Indies in 1781.
Richard became captain of the Thalia in 1793 and then the Irresistible in 1795. Aboard Irresistible he was wounded in the action at Ile de Groix. 1796 saw him take command of Carnatic, Colossus 1796, Russell 1797 and Ramillies 1799.
It was while he was captain of Ramillies that he was joined aboard by his nephew, Robert Festing, son of his brother-in-law, Henry Festing. Robert went with him when he transferred to Formidable in January 1801.
It was on 13 April 1803 that he became Captain of HMS Prince, a lumbering 96 gun very slow sailer then employed in blockade duties off Brest and Cadiz. It was tedious work. His nephew, Thomas Festing, brother of Robert, came aboard in 1804 and on 3 May 1805 another brother, Bartholemew, joined his uncle though it was only Bartholemew who was aboard for the Battle of Trafalgar. Richard's own son, Festing Horatio, was aboard the Victory.
Prince was so slow that she was the last ship to become engaged, trading shots with the Principe de Asturias and the Achille which blew up. After the battle Prince's men took the enormous Santissima Trinidad as a prize but had to abandon her in the great storm that followed the battle.
As with the other captains Richard was made Admiral after the battle.
Richard retired to Wickham in Hampshire a couple of miles north of Fareham and only a brisk walk up on to Portsdown Hill where he could have looked down on the fleet, laid up in Portsmouth harbour, redundant like himself.
|Prison Hulks in Portsmouth Harbour|
His son Edmund died in 1811 and Festing in 1812. Both were laid to rest at St Nicholas, Wickham.
Created Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 2 January 1815, Richard died on 23 May 1820 and was laid to rest beside his sons. The grave was tidied up for the Trafalgar Celebrations in 2005.
"Here lies deposited the remains of Mr Edmund Grindall, midshipman RN youngest son of Vice Admiral Grindall and Katherine his wife who departed this life 21 September 1811 age 20. Here lies the body of Lt. Festing Horatio Grindall RN 3rd son of Vice Admiral Grindall and Katherine his wife who departed this life 23 May 1812 age 25. Also the remains of Sir Richard Grindall Admiral RN who died 23rd May 1820 age 69. Also Katherine his wife who died 6 February 1831 age 72" 
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