The British and Spanish fleet sighted one another at dawn on February 14, 1797. The British fleet had fifteen line-of-battle ships against twenty-four Spanish ships.
On the quarter-deck of HMS Victory, Admiral John Jervis and his flag captain, Robert Calder counted the ships. It was at this point Jervis discovered that he was outnumbered nearly two-to-one.
“A victory to England is very essential at this moment.” Jervis gave orders for the fleet to prepare for the coming action.Wikipedia
Jervis directed his ships to sail between the two lines of Spanish ships. He could fire from both sides, and the Spanish had to use caution not to fire across the British into their own ships.
The Battle of Cape Saint Vincent was celebrated as an outstanding victory and earned Jervis the title Earl of St. Vincent.
Admiral John Jervis, Earl of St. Vincent
John Jervis was born in Meaford, Staffordshire, the second son of Swynfen and Elizabeth Jervis.
At age 13, John ran away and joined the British Navy. Later, he re-joined in a more traditional way, and spent his career and life in the navy.
He rose through the ranks, and various commands, to eventually become Lord of the Admiralty.
Is Louise related to Admiral John?
I recalled what Louise had written when we first met:
The family seems to have been seated in that part of Staffordshire, certainly in the late 1700’s – as was the family of the famous Jervis; Sir John Jervis, later Earl St. Vincent – sometime Lord of the Admiralty, and Nelson’s commanding officer (later Admiral Lord Nelson) – he whose instructions Nelson famously defied – to win the battle which brought him recognition and fame. According to family lore, there is a distant genealogical connection, which is likely, the area involved being so small.Louise Longworth
While Celia continued to push Louise’s brick wall, I decided to look at the family tree of Admiral John Jervis (1735-1823).
I figured his tree would be well documented, and with research and luck we might be able to link his tree with Louise’s.
I would find Admiral John Jervis’ oldest ancestor in Staffordshire, and try to work forward in years, while Celia was working backward in years with Louise’s tree. Like tunneling through the mountain from each side. Would we connect?
Admiral John’s Ancestors
John Jervis was born January 9, 1735 at Meaford Hall, Staffordshire.
His family was gentry, and Meaford Hall was the seat of the family since being acquired by his grandfather’s uncle William Jervis around 1650.
William Jervis of Meaford
William Jervis was a prominent member of the early Jervis families in Staffordshire and Shropshire during the 1600s.
He was heir and head of the families for around fifty years.
Where’s Meaford? Surprise, surprise, it’s right where we found Louise’s people.
1624 – William Jervis is born
William was born about 1624 at Chatcull. He was baptized at Standon on October 24, 1624.
1650s – William Jervis becomes heir and head of the Jervis family
William inherited the estate of the main branch of the Jervis family through his mother. She was Elizabeth Jervis, granddaughter of John Jervis of Chatcull. William’s father was John Jervis the grandson of William, the brother of John Jervis of Chatcull.
1660 – Meaford Hall
The estate was founded in the 8th century and acquired by William Jervis of Chatcull in the late 17th century and remained the seat of the Jervis family for almost 250 years.
It was the birthplace of Admiral John Jervis, later 1st Earl St Vincent, hero of the defeat of the Spanish at the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1797.Wikipedia
1664 – Heraldic visitation of gentry
By the fifteenth century, the use and abuse of coats of arms was becoming widespread.
Heraldic visitations were tours of inspection by Kings of Arms (or Heralds).
The visiting herald would summon the gentry and nobility to attend a central “place of sitting” – usually an inn – at a particular time. They were to bring their coat of arms, and proof of their right to use them, most often by way of detailing their ancestral right to them, which would also be recorded.Wikipedia
As head of the Jervis family, William was summoned to an interview by Herald William Dugdale on April 27, 1664, where William submitted the family coat of arms and lineage.
Here’s the lineage recorded by Dugdale:
It’s from this information that we see the lineage of William’s mother to her grandfather John Jervis of Chatcull. That’s how William was entitled to become heir and head of the Jarvis families.
And here’s Dugdale’s sketch of the Jervis coat of arms – a chevron ermine between three martlets.
1686 – William Jervis acquires Darlaston Hall
Around 1686, William acquired Darlaston Hall from James Collier. Darlaston was across the Trent River on the west side, about a mile SW of Meaford Hall on the east side. Darlaston became the main home for this branch of the Jervis family.
Sampson Erdeswick visited Staffordshire and published A Survey of Staffordshire in 1722. He provides a comprehensive look at the people and places of Staffordshire in early 1700s.
There is a reference to Darlaston Manor, which includes a good amount of genealogy of the Jervis families
Dorlestone Hall was a manor house at Darlaston, a locality also known as Dorlestone, near Stone, Staffordshire, England, on the Trent.
The Hall was built prior to the Reformation. Prior to 1503, the Hall was leased by Jacobus Colyar. In 1503, the Hall was leased by his son, Robert Colyar. He became a wool trader and married Agnes Venables de Kinderton. In 1685, a descendant, James Collier, sold the Hall to William Jervis.
In 1880 the estate was acquired by the Meakin family from the Jervis family. The house was demolished after the Second World War.Wikipedia – Dorlestone Hall
This 1879 map shows Darlaston, across the river from Meaford Hall on Jervis Lane.
Mid-1600’s – William marries Jane Browne
William married Jane Browne, daughter of Robert Browne of Meaford.
William and Jane didn’t have any children. We assume that Jane died before 1698.
1698 – William marries Sarah Moreton
William married Mrs. Sarah Moreton in 1698. They married in Mucklestone, which was some distance from where their homes were listed; he in Darlaston, she in Hulme Walfield in Asbury Cheshire.
It must have been a marriage of convenience. William was age 73 in 1698. He died in 1709, eleven years later.
I haven’t found a record for Sarah Moreton, but it’s likely her surname from her previous marriage. She’s listed as Mrs. Sarah Moreton.
William and Sarah didn’t have any children.
William writes in his will:
I give to my dear wife Sarah two silver Salvars which I bought since I married she being sufficiently provided for by our marriage settlement and agreement.
1709 – William records his will
On 23 March 1705/6, William recorded his will. Later, on 14 Jan 1708/9 he recorded a codicil.
We have already seen that he bequeaths to his wife Sarah two silver salvers. Here are some other interesting excerpts:
Item I give to my nephew John Jervis of Darlaston Gent and to my dearest niece Mary his wife fifty pounds apiece…
Item I give to my niece Elizabeth Booth a guinnea and to my niece Ann Astley twenty pounds and to my niece Mary Settle and to my nephews William Baddiley and Samuel Baddiley ten pounds apiece and to my nephews William Jervis son of my late dear brother John Jervis ten pounds having upon his marriage settled arondiment?? Estate on him.
Item I give to Doctor? Long and to Sir W? Peplow Minister of Stone twenty shillings apiece and … to my late servant Robert Parker twenty shillings and to such servant man as shall live with me at my demise all my wearing apparrell except my Camlett Cloak
Item I give to such servant maids as shall live with me at my demise twenty shillings apiece
I give to the poor of Stone Parish ten pounds and to the poor of Eccleshall Parish ten pounds and to the poor of Newcastle aforesaid five pounds.
1709 – Jervis estate passes from William to nephew John Jervis
William had no children. His will bequeaths the family estate to his nephew John Jervis, eldest son of William’s next-eldest brother John.
And I make him the said John Jervis of Darlaston aforesaid sole Executor of this my last will and testament provided allways my said nephew William Jervis steward of Pyrehill Hundred Court shall give my said Executor a bond of forty pounds with Condition for keeping all the said Court Leets and Courts Barons for the said hundred and from time to time during his natural life
And I do hereby farther give devise and bequeath all my real estate lands tenements and hereditaments which I am intitled to in my own name or in the names of any other in Trust for me to my nephew John Jervis of Darlaston his heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns forever.
Thereafter, John Jervis is referred to as John Jervis, Esq. He’s the grandfather of Admiral John Jervis.
- Portrait – John Jervis, Earl of St. Vincent – Lemuel Francis Abbott – ca 1795 – National Portrait Gallery – https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw05573/John-Jervis-Earl-of-St-Vincent
- Quote – The Battle of Cape St. Vincent – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Jervis,_1st_Earl_of_St_Vincent
- Image – The Battle of Cape St. Vincent – William Anderson – Art UK – Government Art Collection – https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/the-battle-of-cape-st-vincent-14-february-1797-27598#
- Image – The Battle of Cape St. Vincent – February 14, 1797 – Robert Cleveley – http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/11978
- Early Life of John Jervis – The life of John Jervis Admiral Lord St. Vincent, by Captain W.V. Anson, Walter Vernon, 1913
- Meaford Hall – Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meaford_Hall,_Staffordshire
- Lineage of William Jervis – A Survey of Staffordshire: … By Sampson Erdeswick, Esq. 1679, Collated With Manuscript Copies and with Additions and Corrections … by the Reverend Thomas Harwood, B.D. F.S.A. 1820
- Heraldic Visitations – Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heraldic_visitation
- The Heraldic Visitations of Staffordshire Made By Sir Richard St. George, Norroy, in 1614, and by Sir William Dugdale, Norroy, in the Years 1663 and 1664. Edited and Annotated by E. Sydney Grazebrook, Esq. London: Mitchell and Hughes, 140 Wardour Street, W. 1885
- Darlaston Hall – Wikipedia – Dorlestone Hall – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorlestone_Hall
- A Survey of Staffordshire; Containing the Antiquities of that County, by Sampson Erdeswick, Esq. Collated With Manuscript Copies and with Additions and Corrections, By Wyrley, Chetwynd, Degge, Smyth, Lyttelton, Buckeridge, and Others; Illustrative of The History and Antiquities of that County by the Rev. Thomas Harwood, D.D.F.S.A. A New Edition; Considerably Improved. London; J.B Nichols and Son, 25, Parliament Street. 1844
- History , Gazetteer, and Directory of Staffordshire and the County of the City of Lichfield, etc., by William White, 1834.
- Meaford Hall, engraved by T. Radclyffe after a picture by F. Calbert, published by W. Emans in Picturesque Views… In Staffordshire & Shropshire, 1830.
- Will of William Jervis – 1709