JERVIS, John, earl of St Vincent (1735–1823), naval officer. Naval despatch signed St Vincent to Commodore Duckworth, 2d November 1798, Le Souverain, Gibraltar, folio bifolium, “I will desire you will order Captain Fitzgerald to return with the Bomb Vessel under his Command, to Gibraltar, the moment he shall have disembarked the detachment of Artillery &c from on board her, he being promoted, and another Captain waiting to take Command of that Vessel”. Docketed on the reverse “Earl St Vincents Letter respecting the Vesuvius Bomb – received the 8th Novr at ½ past 9 am. Enter’d in Letter Book page /6/”.
In 1797 Jervis had defeated the Spanish fleet at the battle of Cape St Vincent and for this and earlier naval service he was created Baron Jervis of Meaford and earl of St Vincent. In 1798 St Vincent drew up plans to capture Minorca as a vital base for the protection and safety of the fleet. He arrived at Gibraltar in October, and put Commodore John Thomas Duckworth (1748-1817) in command of the naval forces of the expedition which finally took Minorca on 15 November 1798. HMS Vesuvius was a bomb vessel under the command in 1798 of Robert Lewis Fitzgerald (c1776-1844), and had earlier that year been part of the squadron in the engagement in the Action of 30 May 1798.