Berry, Sir John

, a naval commander, a native of evonshire, where he was born in 1635, became successful against the Buccaneers who infested the Atlantic ocean, and distinguished himself at the famous battle of Southwold-bay, for which he was knighted. In 1682, he commanded the Gloucester frigate, on board of which the duke of York embarked for Scotland; but by the carelessness of the pilot, the vessel was lost at the mouth of the Humber. In the midst of this confusion, sir John retained that presence of mind for which he was always remarkable, and by that means preserved the duke and as many of his retinue as the long-boat would carry. Soon after he was promoted to a flag, and commanded as vice-admiral under lord Dartmouth, at the demolition of Tangier, and on his return was made a commissioner of the navy; which post he enjoyed till his death. He was in great favour with king James II. who made choice of him to command under lord Dartmouth, when the prince of Orange landed in England; and when his lordship left the fleet, the whole command devolved on sir John Berry, who held it till the ships were laid up. After the revolution sir John continued in his posts, and was frequently consulted by king William, who entertained a high opinion of his abilities in military affairs; but he was poisoned in the beginning of February, 1691, on board one of his majesty’s ships at Portsmouth, where he was paying her off, in the 56th year of his age. The cause of this catastrophe was never discovered, and it was probably accidental. His body v/as brought to London and interred at Stepney, and a fine monument afterwards erected to his memory. 2


Prince’s Worthies of Devon.