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January 2014 added a new "Yorkshire " section with Calder Valley trees

Please follow these links for other Speke families with links to India

Capt. Samuel Speak Bombay Marines

Other India Speaks unplaced


The origins of Henry Speke are not yet known. One possibility is that he was the son of William/Ann Speake baptised at Stapleton Shropshire in 1718.

On January 10 th 1738/9 he married Elizabeth MEADE at St. Benet Paul's Warf church in London . He is described as of Portsmouth, Hampshire and she of St. Andrew, Holborn, London . She was baptised in the same church on 20th October 1722 the daughter of Thomas MEADS Esq. and his wife Ann, of Red Lyon Street .

Captain Henry Speke and his son Peter Speke :

Henry Speke's naval career as related by "Biographia Navalis" by John Charrnock 1794; the Gentleman's Magazine and other sources.

The Battle of Quiberon Bay: the Day After (Richard Wright, 1760) Resolution is on her starboard side in the foreground

1745 he was appointed lieutenant in the navy.1755 he was appointed captain of the Kent , where he made his name in the following action.

Chandannagar , formerly known as Chandernagore or Chandernagar is a small city and former French colony located 30 kilometres (19 mi) north of Kolkata, in West Bengal, India. Located on the Hooghly River , the city has been able to maintain a separate identity different from all other cities and abide by her own characteristics. The total area is a meagre 19 square kilometres (7.3 sq mi) having a population of over 150,000. It was guarded by the Fort d'Orleans.

In 1756 war broke out between France and Great Britain , and Colonel Robert Clive of the British East India Company and Admiral Charles Watson of the British Navy bombarded and captured Chandannagar on 23 March 1757. The town's fortifications and many houses were demolished.

Henry Speke was captain of Watson's flagship Kent , a warship of 70 guns. In order to take the Fort d'Orleans guarding the town, the Kent and the Tiger managed to edge up the Hooghly river, although the French had tried to block it with sunken ships, booms and chains. When they were close to the Fort, they opened fire with all guns, but took a great punishment from the French in the process. On board with Captain Speke was his midshipman son Billy. They were both injured, Captain Speke less seriously, but Billy lost a leg due to his thigh being shattered by a cannon shot and died later, the result of blood poisoning after the necessary amputation. William was 18 years old and was buried at St. John's Church, Calcutta. (M.I)

On his return from India , he was appointed captain of the Sandwich from 1758 until after June 1759 when he made his PPC Will. He was then given command of the Resolution , a warship of 74 guns under Admiral Hawke.

The naval Battle of Quiberon Bay took place on 20 November 1759 during the Seven Years' War in Quiberon Bay , off the coast of France near St. Nazaire. The British Admiral Sir Edward Hawke with 23 ships of the line caught up with a French fleet with 21 ships of the line under Marshal de Conflans and, after hard fighting, sank, captured, or forced aground most of them, giving the Royal Navy and Captain Speke one of their greatest victories.

Resolution engaged the French warship Formidable, the flagship of rear-admiral du Verger, which surrendered to Speke after a vigorous attack. During the night a great storm blew up and Resolution was driven onto a sand bar called the Four, and was lost. Speke and all his crew were saved.

After returning to England he was given temporary command of the Bellona of 74 guns in March 1760, and of the Modeste of 64 guns in May 1760 in which he was ordered to Lisbon . It was there on the 17 th November 1760 that Captain Henry Speke died of natural causes. His Will was proved in London in April 1761 by Charles Brown one of the executors. The other executor was Robert MARKETT his brother in law. His estate was worth more than £12,000. His mother was alive at this time. He also mentions his spinster daughter Elizabeth and "all my other children" although they are not named. One of these other children was a son Edward who was killed in April 1788 by a fall down the stairs at "Mrs. Speke's" house in Dover St. London. According to the notice in the Times, he had served as a Captain in the Royal Navy at the time of the War of Independance with America.

It would appear that after his death the navy named a ship Speke after Captain Henry Speke who distinguished himself in the service of his country.

London Chronicle May 1765: "The Royal George man of war Speke , with the East India, West India and Virginia fleets, outward bound" In a voyage lasting from 1765 - 7 the Speke is shown as having a 3rd officer Peter Speke, who was the son of Captain Henry Speke. Further sailings are shown up to 1821. See the link below to a page about Peter Speke..


Mr. Peter Speke Family tree for Henry Speke & Peter Speke Other India Speaks unplaced


This Speake Family History website focusses on the British Isles and emigrants from there

These emigrants found their way all over the world, and there are pages on this site giving more information to these main areas. (more)

All people with Shropshire origins have been allocated unique codes to identify them and also allow links in my Relational Database. (more)


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