Henry D'Esterre Darby

Sir Henry d'Esterre Darby, by Sir William Beechey, 1801

Admiral Sir Henry D'Esterre Darby, KCB (9 April 1749 – 30 March 1823) was an officer in the Royal Navy. He was the third son of Jonathan and Susannah Darby of Leap Castle, in King's County, Ireland. He was the nephew of Vice Admiral George Darby.[1][2] Darby first went to sea when he was thirteen but it was another fourteen years before he made Lietenant, aboard his uncle's ship HMS Britannia. In 1781, he was given command of the 8-gun Infernal but was captured after an inconclusive action at the Battle of Porto Praya.[3]

He was promoted to Captain in 1783 and had command of HMS Bellerophon at the Battle of the Nile in 1798.

An interesting letter to Darby from Admiral Nelson, commander of the fleet at the battle, survives:

Darby was promoted to Rear Admiral of the Blue in 1804; Rear Admiral of the White in 1805; Rear Admiral of the Red in 1808; Vice Admiral of the Blue in 1810; Vice Admiral of the White in 1811; Vice Admiral of the Red in 1814; Admiral of the Blue in 1819. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1820.


  1. ^ "Admiral Sir Henry D'Esterre Darby of Leap Castle, County Offaly: the naval adventures of an Offaly man and hero at the Battle of the Nile, by Noel Guerin". Offaly History. 24 February 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  2. ^ Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry of Ireland. Burke's Peerage, Limited. 1904. p. 132. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  3. ^ Hore p. 9