Memorial: M2574

Wall tablet  in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, commemorating Captain John Willes RN, d. 1804


St Ethedreda's Church, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England


'Sacred to the memory of / CAPTAIN JOHN WILLES RN / Who died unmarried at Burgreen in this parish / And was interred near the font of this church. / He had served his country in different parts of the world / And seen much service in the early part of his life. / Having been on board the Namur in the famous victory / Obtained by the Admirals Anson and Warren / In the year 1747 over the French fleet, when / That ship, leading the English fleet engaged singly / Five ships of war of the enemy for a considerable time / And added greatly to the success of the day, / He served afterwards in the same ship under Admiral Boscawen / In the East Indies and for his active and gallant services / At the siege of Pondicherry, received promotion / But sailing to different parts of India, / After that siege was raised, / And the climate not agreeing with him, / He was siezed with a violent and malignant distemper / Which impaired his health and faculties to that degree / That he was obliged to retire from the King's service / With the rank of Master and Commander / to the great regret of his family and friends. / He was the third son of Dr Edward Willes Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells / And nephew of the Honourable John Willes of the Common Pleas.', 'He died X111 December MDCCCIV / In the LXXIV year of his age.'


Description: Carved with an anchor, flag, cannon, shot, trident, coil of rope and wreaths.
Type: Wall tablet
Position: South side of nave
Materials: White marble.
Vessel: HMS Namur


Battle of Cape Finisterre

Event Date


Event Category

1739-1748 War of the Austrian Succession


Willes, John
Age: 73
Date of Death: 13/12/1804
Cause of Death: Unknown/None
Rank / Occupation: Captain RN
Organisation: Royal Navy


Recorder: Sighted Geoffrey Turner 2013