Thursday, March 27

Captain James Wood

Capt. of Acasta, April 1802 - February 1805
WOOD, James Athol (1756-1829), of Albany, Piccadilly, Mdx.

Constituency GATTON, Dates 1806 - 1807

Offices Held
Able seaman RN 1774, master’s mate 1776, acting lt. 1778, lt. 1778, cdr. 1795, capt. 1797, r.-dm. 1821.

Vendue master, CuraƧao 1812-15.

Biography

Wood’s elder brothers Mark and George having entered the East India Company’s service, he began his career at sea in the East India merchant service (1772), but subsequently entered the navy and saw action in the American war, in which he was severely wounded. After the peace he was two years in France; then in the merchant navy, in the East Indian (1788-9) and West Indian spheres. He was at Barbados in 1794 when Adm. Jervis appointed him to the Boyne, to convey French prisoners from Martinique. On putting in at St. Malo he was arrested and imprisoned in Paris by order of the committee of public safety, 1 June 1794, remaining there until April 1795, when he was released and exerted himself on behalf of other English prisoners.

J. T. Duckworth
He next saw active service in the West Indies and after his part in the capture of Trinidad was posted captain (1797). He survived shipwreck off Madagascar (1798) and after returning to England was appointed to escort a convoy to the West Indies in the Acasta, November 1804. On arrival at Port Royal, February 1805, Sir John Thomas Duckworth*, the recalled commander-in-chief of the Jamaica station, commandeered his vessel, appointing his own captain, and, according to Wood, who was obliged to return as a passenger, loaded a cargo of merchandise, contrary to the 18th article of war, 22 Geo. II c. 33. Wood applied for a court martial against Duckworth, but it decided in the latter’s favour and his brother Mark’s attempt to have the minutes of the court martial laid before Parliament was ‘loudly negatived’, 7 June 1805. Wood’s memorial to the Admiralty board at least inspired a regulation aimed to prevent any repetition of Duckworth’s behaviour and he was found another ship.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
From the History of Parliament website: http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org

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