Admiral Sir Erasmus Gower (1742-1814)

Associated People O - P

Listed alphabetically by Surname

Ommanney, Sir Francis Molyneux, Knight MP (1774-1840).

Navy Agent of 21-22 Norfolk Street, Strand. Son of Rear-admiral Cornthwaite Ommanney who died on 26th March 1801. Brother of John Ackworth Ommanney (qv - DNB). Gower’s friend, navy agent and executor of his will. Managed the trusts set up by Gower, including that set up for Henry George Charles Clarke (qv - Chapter Associated People). He was also navy agent for Cuthbert Collingwood (qv). Sir Francis married Georgianna Frances Hawkes (?Hawker) in October 1801.

His eldest son, Frederick Woods Ommanney died in 1834, aged 30, after a lingering illness. Another son was Manaton Collingwood Ommanney, Bengal and West Indies civil servant. His seventh son was Admiral Sir Erasmus Ommanney, [qv] and his eighth son was George Druce Wynne Ommanney, born April 12th 1819.

He was regularly noted in lists of the “names of the proprietors of East India stock who appear, by the books of the East-India Company, qualified to vote at the general election”. He was also an Officer of the Poor Law Union for Middlesex.

In 1811, when Erasmus Gower made his will, Sir Francis Ommaney was in a partnership with John Druce (qv) as navy agents. This partnership had dissolved before June 1814 when Gower died. In 1825 the Navy Agent business of Sir Francis Ommanney, of 22 Norfolk St Strand, London was still listed under his own name. Soon afterwards, the business became known as Ommanney & Son, of the same address, then, in 1851, it shows as Ommanney, Son & Company of Charing-cross. Francis Molyneux Ommanney is shown in Mortlake (Surry) Parish Records as treasurer of the Parish Stock (Charity) from 1816 to his death in 1840. He also served as church warden for the Mortlake parish church. Ommanney’s name occurs several times as executor of naval officer’s wills besides that of Sir Erasmus Gower, including those of Admiral Sir John Orde and Captain Thomas Parr. Sir Francis was member of Parliament for Barnstaple, Devon, from 1818 to 1826. He was knighted at St James’ Palace on 17th May 1820. He is noted as often speaking in a low tone or being inaudible to the gallery. In 1832, when war with the Dutch seemed inevitable, Sir Frances spoke out strongly at a public meeting against such a war, although it was noted that he, as a navy agent, stood to benefit financially from such hostilities. 1 The Morning Chronicle, Wednesday, November 14, 1832. In May 1833 the brothers, Sir Francis and Sir John Ommanney, both attended an annual meeting of the 'friends and supporters' of the Royal Naval School where it was adopted that the Madras method of teaching be employed at the school. 2 Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle, Monday, May 27. Sir Francis died on 7th November 1840 and his widow, Georgianna Frances Ommanney, of East Sheen, Surrey, died on 19th September 1854 at Bath.

Parish, Captain Henry Williams RRA (1765-1800).

Eldest son of Reverend Henry Parish who died in 1771. Lord Townshend 3 George Townshend, 4th Viscount and 1st Marquis (1724-1807) had been Lord Lieutenant in Ireland where Reverend Parish was his personal clerk and chaplain. then took responsibility for the boy’s career, sending him to Woolwich and securing him a commission in the Royal Regiment of Artillery. He served for seven years at Gibraltar and Nova Scotia before being appointed First Lieutenant of Artillery with Macartney (qv) in China. A talented artist and draftsman, many of his drawings were used by William Alexander (qv) to complete the paintings and sketches for the official narrative of the embassy. Completed a detailed survey of part of the great wall of China which was the first authentic account of the structure able to be studied by Europeans. His role was one of topographer and intelligence gathering, especially military intelligence, and he proved to be an astute observer. Soon after his return from China, on 29th October 1794, he married Maria Catharine Drummond, daughter of his commanding officer, General Duncan Drummond. He was stationed at Woolwich (where he served briefly - with Brigadier-general Lloyd - and with Gower as an adviser in the Thames in 1797 during the Nore mutiny). In 1798 he was chosen as ADC to accompany Lord Cornwallis who was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and Commander-in-chief. On returning to England in 1800 Captain Parish was swept overboard and drowned, aged 35. Said to have been an accomplished musician and actor and to have had a very active and inquisitive mind. A good biography is in Shuttleworth, A Life of Sir Woodbine Parish... 24-52. Portrait Captain Henry Willams ParishCaptain Henry Willams Parish

Pierson, Rear-admiral Sir William Henry (1782-1858).

Believed to be the same 'William Pierson' taken in by Gower in HMS Lion as a Captain's Servant in July 1792. However, O'Byrne states that William Henry Pierson began service in 1796 in HMS Asia,(64), flag ship of Admiral Vandeput. Master’s mate on HMS Belleisle at Trafalgar, aged 24, and was wounded. Made lieutenant December 1805. Knighted in 1835 and post captain 1838.

Pitcairn, Midshipman Robert RN (1752-1770).

Son of Major John Pitcairn who was in charge of the leading group of British soldiers at Lexington when the first shots of the American Revolutionary war were fired. Whether he gave the order to fire or not is still being debated. He was shot dead at the battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775. One of his sons was with him when he died. Another son, Midshipman Robert Pitcairn, joined HMS Swallow on 18 July 1766, from HMS Emerald. He was No. 47 in the Swallow muster-book. Pitcairn’s fame is explained in Carteret’s journal of his voyage in 1766-1769. After many weeks at sea without sighting land Carteret wrote '...I promised the[m] a reward of a bottle of Brandy, for whoever should first discover land...' This honour fell on 15 year old midshipman Robert Pitcairn, who was the first to sight the island that now bears his family name. After being paid off from the Swallow his next ship was HMS Aurora, (32 ). Commanded by Captain Thomas Lee, the Aurora sailed from the Cape of Good Hope on 29th December,1769, carrying three supervisors for the East India Company, Henry Vansittart, Luke Scrafton and John Ford, to India where they were due to ‘make enquiries into abuses’. No positive news of either the ship or the crew were ever received again; it was presumed that the ship was overwhelmed in the Indian Ocean by either storm or fire. Midshipman Robert Pitcairn was just 17 years old. Also lost with this ship was the purser, Lieutenant William Falconer, celebrated author of A New and Universal Dictionary of the Marine and many poems, including The Shipwreck.

Price, Reverend Walter (?-1816).

was appointed chaplain of HMS Salisbury in 1786 by Governor Elliot (qv) and remained in St John’s on 'six month’s leave of absence' while Governor Elliot returned to England for the Winter. The controversy which resulted is discussed in chapter Flag Captain in Newfoundland. The Reverend Walter Price, from Dartmouth, had been ordained by the Bishop of Exeter and his licence had been granted by the Lord Bishop of London. Soon after his arrival in St John’s in 1784 he clashed verbally and in writing with the Dissenting Church Minister, John Jones (qv). Gower knew him well, at least during the Government of John Elliot when he was flag captain of HMS Salisbury.