Memorial: M5872

Wall tablet dedicated to Captain Jacob Elton d. 1745, in Bristol Cathedral.


Cathedral, Bristol, England


'JACOB ELTON / Filius natu secundus Abraham Elton Bart / Rebus nauticus / A tenera aetate assuetus / Et in classe Britannica / etiamnum Adolescens / NAVARCHA / Anno tricessimo secundo nondum peracto / Dum contra Gallos / Praelio navasi dimicassat / Properata quidem / Sed pulcherima Morte / OCCUBUIT / Die Martii 29 AD 1745 / Qualis erat morum suavitas Amici / Quae Humanitas et Benevolentia Nacite / Quam intrepide et fortiter Se gessit / ILLE DIES / Satis superque testatur / Leve hoc amoris sui et Desiderii Monumentum / Vidua maesussima / CAROLINA filia et cohaeres CAROLI YATE / DE COULTHORPE in agro GLOUCESTRIAE / Poni curavit'
[Jacob Elton second son of Abraham Elton, familiar with nautical matters from a tender age, who served in the British fleet from his youth. Before the end of his thirty-second year, during a naval action against the French, he fell on 29 March, 1745, a sudden but most fitting death. The pleasance his manners, the humanity and benevolence he displayed to his friends, the bravery and the fortitude he bore on that day, is more than sufficiently testified. His bereft widow Caroline, daughter and coheir of Charles Yate of Coulthorpe in the county of Gloucester erected this memorial of her love and loss]


Description: Sea shells carved below inscription.

Type: Wall tablet
Position: North Transept
Materials: Stone
Vessel: HMS Anglesey


Elton, Jacob
Age: 32
Date of Death: 29/3/1745
Cause of Death: War casualty
Rank / Occupation: Captain RN
Organisation: Royal Navy


Notes: Elton was Commander of the 'Anglesey' 44. She encountered the 'Apollon' 50, belonging to the French Navy but then acting as a privateer. Elton initially mistook her for a British ship and realising his mistake too late, was engaged to leeward, and did not have time to clear his decks or prepare for action. Elton and the master fell immediately the French ship opened fire. The Second Lieutenant Baker Phillips, had no alternative but to surrender his vessel. The subsequent court-martial sentenced him to death with a recommendation for mercy. The sentence was carried out, allegedly because Philips was suspected of jacobite sympathies.

Bibliography: William Laird Clowes 'The Royal Navy, a history...' (1898) pp. 278-279.
Photographer: B. Tomlinson