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J. K. Laughton

revised by H. V. Bowen

Meares, John (1756?–1809), naval officer and entrepreneur, is of unknown origins. Nothing is known of his early years until he entered the navy in 1771 on board the Cruiser, in the rating of ‘captain's servant’. After serving for nearly seven years, mostly in small ships, he passed his examination on 17 September 1778, when he was said to be more than twenty-two (passing certificate); the next day he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. After the peace of 1783 he entered the merchant service and obtained command of a ship for a voyage to ...