Captain Henry Cosby

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Captain Henry Cosby

Birthdate: (34)
Birthplace: Westminster, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Death: October 16, 1753 (34)
New York, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Col. Sir William Cosby, Governor of New York and Lady Grace Montagu
Father of Nancy Ann (Cosby) Boothe
Brother of Captain Alexander Cosby and Elizabeth Fitzroy-Jeffreys

Occupation: Captain, Royal Navy (Britain)
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Captain Henry Cosby

"New York was not normally an important naval base with usually only one frigate appointed to the station. However, between 1756 and 1760, when it became the chief port for the supply of the British army in America, and again between 1776 and 1783, when the British made it their principle armed camp in the war with the Americans, it acquired vital though temporary strategic importance. In 1751 when Captain Henry Cosby, commander of the Centaur, was appointed to the New York station, Warren* (see note below) made an agreement with him whereby he let Turtle Bay facilities for £60 a year as long as Cosby remained on the station. (86) The idea was that Cosby in turn would ask compensation for his expenses from the Navy Board. Cosby died in October 1753, and the settlement of his affairs dragged on for many years; it is not known when the Warren heirs were credited with the £120 owing them from Cosby." (Gwyn, p.47)

"The reluctance of the executors of Captain Henry Cosby to claim from the Navy Board the rental income due to the Warren estate for the facilities at Turtle Bay affords a similar example. However, the usual difficulty was the poverty of the tenant." (Gwyn, p.57)

Excerpts from: Gwyn, J. The Enterprising Admiral, McGill-Queen's Press, 1974

  • "The financial impact of war in the eighteenth century upon the corps of naval officers has not been systematically studied. Nor have the opportunities of a naval career to exploit such sidelines as trade, money-lending, and land purchases in the colonies, where officers spent much of their time, been looked at carefully. The present study analyses in detail the fortune of a single naval officer, Admiral Sir Peter Warren, whose principal wealth came from prize money: the capture of enemy vessels in wartime. He emerges as a new type of entrepreneur, with his feet well planted on both sides of the Atlantic, equally at home in the financial circles of New York, Boston, Charleston, Dublin, and London. Owing to the mobility of his naval career he became familiar with the economic prospects in these scattered places, while he possessed the necessary imagination to take advantage of their commercial opportunities. Mobility also enabled him to select personally the agents who served his varied interests. Neither his widow nor his heirs had the same advantages, nor did they possess the same degree of business sense, with the result that his fortune, invested internationally, was eventually repatriated to England."

Found on: []

"Henry Cosby, died captain of the Centaur, at New York, 16th October, 1753." p.327, Naval chronology: or An historical summary of naval and maritime events ... By Isaac Schomberg, Esq. Captain of the Royal Navy Found on:

Henry Cosby Nationality: British Roles: Sailor

                  Date from___Date to________________Event____________________________Source

Lieutenant, 1740/03/22 W032___1744/081744/09/28 Shoreham As Commanding Officer BWAS-1714

                  1744/12___________1745/08                            Mortar As Commanding Officer         BWAS-1714

Commander, 1744/12/29 W032 Captain, 1745/08/26 W032

                   17471748/02                                                      Shoreham As Commanding Officer    BWAS-1714
                    1751/041753                                                     Centaur As Commanding Officer        BWAS-1714

Sources ID Description Author Type W032 Commissioned Sea Officers of the Royal Navy David Bonner SmithWeb Site BWAS-1714British Warships in the Age of Sail 1714 - 1792Rif WinfieldBook Found on:

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Captain Henry Cosby's Timeline

Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Age 32
New York, NY, USA
October 16, 1753
Age 34
New York, New York, United States