HADDOCK, Nicholas (1686-1746), of Wrotham Place, Kent.
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Family and Education
b. 1686, 3rd s. of Adm. Sir Richard Haddock, M.P., of Leigh, Essex by his 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of Nicholas Hurleston of Rotherhithe, Surr., mariner. m. bef. 1717, Frances, 3s. 1da.
Volunteer, R.N. 1699, midshipman 1702, lt. 1705, capt. 1707, r.-adm. 1734, c.-in-c. Mediterranean 1738-42, v.-adm. 1743, adm. 1744.
Of a well-known naval family, Haddock was brought in by the Administration for Rochester on becoming rear-admiral in 1734. At sea for much of his parliamentary life, he is not recorded as voting. Appointed commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean on the deterioration of relations with Spain in 1738, he blockaded a Spanish squadron in Cadiz, which escaped in October 1740, causing an outcry in England, where the Opposition moved unsuccessfully that his instructions be laid before the House. His failure in the winter of 1741 to prevent a junction of the Spanish and French fleets to escort a Spanish expedition to Italy gave rise to a fresh outburst of indignation at home, in face of which Newcastle, speaking in the Lords, threw the whole blame upon him. Haddock, who had complained bitterly of conflicting instructions and lack of reinforcements, then suffered a complete breakdown, for which his doctor prescribed ‘a total recess from business of all kinds’.1 Returning to England ‘melancholy distracted’,2 he did not go to sea again.
Haddock died 26 Sept. 1746, aged 60, leaving Wrotham Place, which he had purchased in 1723, as well as a large fortune from prize money in South Sea and East India stock, to his eldest surviving son Nicholas.3