Capt. John Foxton
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Wilhelmina Fox (wife) John Greenlaw Foxton (son) b.1811

Ann Foxton (daughter) 



           George Foxton (son)  


William Hinde Foxton (son) b.1816

   Rev. William Hopkins Fox

John Hopkins Fox

Dr. William Hinde Fox (father-in-law)


Captain John Foxton R.N.Captain John Foxton R.N. was born about 1777, the son of Dr. John Foxton and Mary Palmer of Newport, Shropshire, England.  He  entered the Navy at an early age,  at about 12 years old.  

At the time of the Battle of the Nile in 1798, he was a Lieutenant serving on HMS "Minotaur", and was severely wounded in the battle. The "Minotaur" engaged the French ships from which Nelsonís flagship "Vanguard" was receiving severe damage. Nelson was wounded in the head at this stage of the battle, and thought he was dying. Foxton was awarded a gratuity of 50 pounds from a fund for the Nile wounded, and  received four engravings of the battle and decanters. (The engravings are still in possession by the Foxton family.)

John Foxton was a Captain of the Royal Navy by time he was 25. He was made a Master on 9 June 1800. 

He served on several vessels, including

  • Cameleon - June 1800 - December 1804 - harbour service
  • Triumph - October 1803 - December 1804 -  a 74 gun ship
  • London - October 1805 - December 1805 - a 90 gun ship
  • Indefatigable - a 64 gun ship
  • William - September 1807 - ? - a storeship, ran aground in strong gales in November 1807 in the Gut of Canso.
  • Hyaena - September 1810 -  30-gun frigate   
  • Hyaena - September 1815 - 38-gun troopship - ran aground at the Cape of Good Hope in July 1816 - Foxton officially censored for ship being under-manned.

He saw service in numerous other actions, notably Cadiz and Calvi, and was wounded again on several occasions.  He was not present at the Battle of Trafalgar as the ship he then commanded,  theWilhemina Foxton frigate "Hyaena", had taken a French ship prize just before the battle, and was escorting this and other prizes to England.  In the letter mentioning the award of gratuity, we know that he was a Captain of the Royal Navy by the time he was 25.  

In 1810, following the capture of the West Indies from the French, the "Hyaena" embarked a portion of the Staff of the Commander in Chief of North America (Sir  George Provost) for transport to Canada. Among those on this passage was Surgeon-General Fox, the Senior medical officer of North America and this family. 

His daughter Wilhelmina Fox (above right) and Captain Foxton were married in Halifax Nova Scotia in 1810. Their son John Greenlaw Foxton was born at sea in 1811, christened at Port Royal and his birth registered at Dentford, the royal dockyard in the Parish of Stepney. His sister Anne (right) was born in 1812.  Ann Foxton

In 1816, he was Master of the Hyaena, a troopship at the time.

Following the surrender of Napoleon to Captain Maitland on HMS "Bellerephon", peace came to Europe. Napoleon was taken to St. Helena aboard Sir George Cockburn's ship, the HMS "Northumberland",  and the "Hyaena" under Captain Foxton,  formed  the escort. This was to have been his last voyage before becoming a Superintendent of the Naval Docks, a position which carried a large salary; but he was accidentally killed at St. Helena when a spar carried away. He was buried on the island of St. Helena. 

According to an extract of a letter written by his son, John Greenlaw Foxton, possibly to his daughter, Edith Marley in Stanthorpe, Queensland, Captain Foxton...........

was captain of the "Hyaena" in 1809, with the Fox family on board, sailing to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Surgeon-Major Fox was to take up an appointment with Sir George Provost, Commander-in-Chief of forces of North America. John Foxton and Wilhelmina Fox (daughter of Surgeon-Major Fox) were married at Halifax in 1810. He was badly wounded at the Battle of the Nile, and missed Trafalgar being sent to Gibraltar with a prize taken shortly before the French Fleet hove in sight. He was at Cadiz and Calvi with Admiral Nelson and was slightly wounded. The "Hyaena" accompanied Sir George Cockburn's ship the "Northumberland"  and Napoleon to St. Helena Island. He was killed at St. Helena on board the "Hyaena" when a spar gave way. He is buried on St. Helena Island.

The Hyaena - 60 years later

Interestingly, the "Hyaena" was the frigate that escorted the "First Fleet" of ships and convicts out of the English Channel en route to Australia in 1877.