Acasta Lieutenant under Capt. Lane/Fellowes.
John Thompson is brother of the present Retired Commander Chas. Thompson, R.N. ; of Mr. Wm. Thompson, Purser R.N., who died in the West Indies in 1802 ; and of Major Jas. Thompson, R.M., who died in 1839.
This officer entered the Navy, in Dec. 1787, as Captain's Servant, on board the Scout sloop, Capt. Chas. Cobb, employed on the Home station ; where he became Midshipman, in the early part of 1791, of the Woolwich 44, Capt. Nowell, and Brunswick 74, Capt. Sir Roger Curtis. In June, 1792, he joined the Lion 64, Capt. Sir Erasmus Gower, fitting for the conveyance of Lord Macartney as Ambassador to China. During the passage and when yet in the Channel a small tender of 80 tons, on board of which he had been placed, parted company with the Lion in a gale ; nor did she again join the latter until they had both reached the Straits of Sunda. For the good conduct he had displayed in the navigation of this tender, Mr. Thompson was recommended by Sir E. Gower for promotion. On his return to England he was received, in Oct. 1794, on board the Royal George 100, Capt. Jas. Gambler; and on 18 Dec. following he was made Lieutenant into the Bombay Castle 74, Capts. Chas. Chamberlayne, Jas. Maonamara, Wm. Shield, and Thos. Sotheby. In that ship he served at the blockade of Toulon, took part in Hotham's action, 13 July, 1795, and was eventually, in Dec. 1796, wrecked in the river Tagus. His exertions on that occasion (he was performing the duties at the time of First-Lieutenant) in saving the crew, and the able manner in which he afterwards detailed the particulars connected with the catastrophe to the court-martial, procured him the thanks of the President, Sir Chas. Thompson.
During the after part of the war he served in the North Sea and West Indies in the Acasta 40, Capts. Rich. Lane and Edw. Fellowes, and Sans Pareil 80, flag-ship of Admirals Lord Hugh Seymour and Robt. Montagu. Under Capt. Fellowes he assisted at the capture of a large number of the enemy's vessels. In command of the boats of the Acasta, aided by those of the Ceres, he cut out on one occasion a privateer. La Mutine, of 16 guns and 90 men ; and on another he succeeded in a small prize with 15 men, in taking, in the Bay of Venezuela, a guarda costa brig of 10 guns and 70 men, which had the day before beaten off the boats of the Magicienne frigate. In an attempt made by him in a six-oared gig to capture 30 or 40 of the mutineer-crew of H.M. late ship Hermione, who were on their passage in an American bottom from Puerto Cabello to Laguira, he had 5 men wounded, 1 of them mortally. He was also, in a small schooner with only 15 men, present, near Laguira, in an affair with 19 gun-boats, in which the Governor's son, while attempting to board him, was shot dead. On his joining the Sans Pareil, the ship above named, Mr. Thompson had the gratification of being informed by Lord Hugh Seymour, publicly on the quarter-deck, that he had been removed to her as a reward for his good conduct.
...While attached to the Acasta... Thompson was often thanked for his services by Sir Hyde Parker, who was part of the time Commander-in-Chief. He married, in 1805, a sister of Dr. Pickering, of the Military College at Sandhurst, and has a large family. One of his sons, Thos. Pickering, is a Captain R.N.
Source: A NAVAL BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY: COMPRISING THE LIFE AND SERVICES OF EVERY LIVING OFFICER IN HER MAJESTY'S NAVY, FROM THE RANK OF ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET TO THAT OF LIEUTENANT, INCLUSIVE. Compiled from Authentic and Family Documents. BY WILLIAM E. O'BYRNE, ESQ.
LONDON: JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, PUBLISHER TO THE ADMIRALTY. 1849.