Dr Peter Le Fevre is a naval historian, specialising in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He is the official historian for the Warship Anne, one of Charles II’s Thirty New Ships, the wreck of which lies off the beach at Rye. Peter is co-editor of Precursors of Nelson: British Admirals of the Eighteenth Century (2000) and Contemporaries of Nelson: British Admirals of the Napoleonic Wars(2005). He has contributed to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Maritime History. He has written on Admiral Sir Hyde Parker (1735-1808) and Sir John Borlase Warren (1753-1822), and is widely respected amongst naval historians. Peter’s research interests are very broad and he is equally at home with social and political themes, having worked extensively on aspects of parliamentary and local history. He has just completed Let the Guns Thunder!, a study of five of the Rowley admirals (1643-1845), which will be published shortly. Peter’s lifelong study is the life of Arthur Herbert Earl of Torrington (1648-1715), Commander-in-Chief of William III’s fleet in 1688, on whom he is an expert.
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Dear Dr Le Fevre
I am currently undertaking a research project into a branch of the Fraser family of North East Scotland. There is one member of that family about whom I have been trying to find out more. His name was THOMAS FRASER and he was appointed Chaplain and Judge Advocate for the Fleet commanded by Sir Francis Wheeler which was wrecked in a storm in the Mediterranean in 1694. This was the Fleet conveying bullion to the Duke of Savoy.
There is a very limited amount I have learned about Thomas Fraser despite a diligent search. I do know that he was related to Sir Alexander Fraser who was personal physician to both Charles I and Charles II. And I do know that Sir Alexander was on nodding acquaintance with Samuel Pepys. I suppose it is possible that his position as Judge Advocate could have resulted from an intervention by Sir Alexander. But that is wild speculation!
What I would be interested in learning is how someone would come to be appointed Chaplain and Judge Advocate to a Fleet.
In the Will of Thomas Fraser he made a bequest to Rear Admiral Hopson who was captain of the St Michael when Fraser was attached to that ship and before his transfer to the ill-fated Sussex.
If you could be some pointers in my search, I would be greatly indebted to you.
Where can I purchase a copy of the book about the Rowley Admirals please. We believe we may be descendants.