Stainer, Richard

, a brave naval officer in the seventeenth century, was commander of a ship of war during the protectorate of Cromwell, and distinguished himself by some actions of singular gallantry. In 1G56, having three frigates under his command, he fell in with the Spanish flota, consisting of eight sail; notwithstanding the disproportion of numbers, he attacked them, and with such success, that in the space of a few hours he burnt one, sunk a second, captured two, and drove two others on shore. The treasure on board of his prizes amounted to 600,000l. sterling. The next year, in company with admiral Blake, who had the chief command, he attacked and destroyed the Spanish flota in the bay of Santa Cruz; “an act so miraculous,” says Clarendon, “that all who knew the place wondered how any men, with what courage soever endued, could have undertaken it; indeed, they could hardly persuade themselves to believe what they had done; whilst the Spaniards comforted themselves with the belief that they were devils, and not men, who had destroyed their ships.” For his share in this gallant exploit, captain Stainer was knighted by Cromwell at Whitehall, June 11, 1657; and soon afterwards made a vice-admiral. Sir | Richard Stainer was one of the commanders who went with admiral Montague to bring over Charles II. He was knighted by the king, and made rear-admiral of the fleet, but did not long enjoy his honours, as his death took place in Nov. 1662. He was buried at Greenwich, where his lady died the preceding year. Leaving no issue, he bequeathed his large property to his brother, who, by involving himself in a law suit with the salt-company at Droitwich, lost the greater part of his fortune, and grew distressed. His son, the nephew and representative of the gallant sir Richard Stainer, was a few years ago in a workhouse at Birmingham. 1


Lysons’s Environs, from Charnock’s Biog; Navalis, &c.