COX, Captain Sir John. 19085



Original Warrant Signed, to the Clerk of the Cheque of His Majesty’s Yard at Chatham, recommending John Wood to be entered as Boatswain’s Servant on board His Majesty’s Ship the old James. 6 x 7 inches, docketed as being “from the Pepys MSS find 1889”. 29 December 1669. Sir John Cox (d. 1672), naval officer and administrator. Sir John Cox commanded the Mary in 1665. In 1666, he commanded the Sovereign. At the time of the Four Days Battle, the Sovereign was laid up, needing more men for the crew. He fought in the St. James’s Day Battle in the Sovereign (102 guns), where he was assigned to the Generals’ division. In 1668, he commanded the Charles (96 guns). In 1669 he returned to Chatham as resident commissioner, replacing the discredited Peter Pett. Cox had already been at odds with this influential family, the Petts having a quasi-monopoly of dockyard offices at Deptford and Chatham. Due to the influence of the Petts, his efforts to end corruption at Chatham were a failure. Indeed Pepys had expressed concern at Cox’s return to Chatham, suggesting that it would be better to appoint John Tippetts to Chatham and Cox to Portsmouth, allowing both the advantage of working where they had not once been equals. As commissioner Cox was successful in clearing the Medway of ships wrecked during the Dutch raid in 1667, a task previously hindered by the attitude of his predecessors. He was again on board the Prince in 1672 and was knighted on 27 April while she was anchored at the Great Nore. Only five weeks later he was ‘slain with a great shot being close by the Duke on the poop’ of the Prince at the battle of Solebay on 28 May 1672. [DNB]