Brett, John

, a naval officer, of whose family we have no account, was, soon after the rupture had taken place | with Spain, appointed commander of the Grampus sloop of war. From this vessel he was, March 25, 1741, promoted to be captain of the Roebuck, a fifth rate of 40 guns, and immediately afterwards ordered to the Mediterranean from which he returned in May 1742, and in. November following was removed into the Anglesea, of the same rate as the former. In April 1744 he received the command of the Sunderland of 60 guns, and next year was on a cruise off the French coast, and in February captured a small French frigate richly laden, and with 24,000 pieces of eight in specie. Soon after his return into port he was ordered ta Louisburgh, with some other ships of war, for the purpose of reinforcing commodore Warren, who was then engaged in the attack of that important place. Capt. Brett arrived early enough before it surrendered to distinguish himself by his spirit and activity in the service. He afterwards commanded the St. George of 90 guns for a short time, but having been unwarrantably omitted in the promotion of flag-officers, which took place in 1756, he very spiritedly resolved to quit the service for ever, though on his remonstrance, previous to his actual declaration of this resolution, the admiralty-board, ashamed of having, even for a moment, set aside a brave and deserving man, offered him the rank of rear-admiral of the white, the same which he would have been entitled to in the ordinary course of service, if the partiality in favour of others had not been exerted. His answer to this palliating proposal was, “No rank or station can be, with honour, received by a person who has been once thought undeserving or unentitled to it.” From this time he retired into private life, and survived two long wars, in neither of which he waa engaged. He died in London in 1785. He translated two volumes of father Feyjoo’s Discourses, the one published in 1777, and the other in 1779; and in 1730, “Essays, or Discourses, selected from the works of Feyjoo.” The late Charles Brett, esq. one of the lords of the admiralty, who died in 1799, and Timothy Brett, clerk of the cheque at Portsmouth, who died in 1790, were brothers of capt. Brett. 1


Charnock’s Biographia Navalis.—Nichols’s Bowyer.—What is said in the latter of his sailing with lord Auson, belongs to sir Piercy Brett, the subject of the next article.