Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cornwallis, The Hon. William, British admiral and naval tactician, was son of Charles, fifth Lord Cornwallis, and was born in 1744. He became a lieutenant in 1761, a commander in 1762, and a captain in 1765; but although he did good service in each of these ranks and, as captain, very greatly distinguished himself on numerous occasions, it was not until after he had in 1793 attained his flag that he won his great triumph. In 1795 he was cruising with five line-of-battle ships and two frigates when he fell in with a French force of thirteen line-of-battle ships, fourteen frigates, and other craft. The manner in which Cornwallis made a running fight from the superior force, and escaped, losing no ship and gaining undying honour for his courage and skill, has never been equalled in the history of sea tactics. In 1801 he commanded in the Channel, and again on the renewal of the war in 1803, and he held the position until 1806.. He had reached the rank of full admiral in 1799, and when he died in 1819 he was almost the senior officer of the navy.