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J. M. Rigg

revised by Philip Carter

Elsdale, Robinson (bap. 1744, d. 1783), author and privateer, the son of Samuel and Mary Elsdale, was baptized on 25 December 1744 at Surfleet, Lincolnshire, where his family had long maintained an estate. He entered the navy as a midshipman, but left soon afterwards on account of the slowness of promotion. From 1762 he served in various privateers cruising against the French, chiefly off the coast of ...


Nagle, Jacob (1761–1841), sailor and diarist, was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, on 15 September 1761, the son of George Nagel (1735–1789), a German immigrant, and Rebecca Rogers (d. 1793). On the outbreak of the American War of Independence George Nagel assumed command of a series of ...


Spavens, William (1735/6–1799), seaman and autobiographer, was born in Stewton, near Louth, Lincolnshire. In May 1754, at the age of eighteen, his curiosity about distant lands prompted him to apprentice himself to the master of the snow Elizabeth and Mary, trading between Hull...