ELLIOT, JOHN. (1732–1808). British naval officer. Son of the Lord Chief Justice of Scotland, John Eliot was born in April 1732. Eliot entered the British navy in 1740. In April 1777, Commodore Elliot was given command of the Trident (sixty-four guns) with orders to carry the Peace Commission of Carlisle to New York. Arriving early in June, he served during the next two months as second-in-command to Admiral (Lord) William Howe, and he was one of the naval officers later named by General Henry Clinton as an acceptable successor to Howe. Returning to England and given command of the Edgar (seventy-four guns), he sailed with Admiral George Rodney on 29 December 1779 for the relief of Gibraltar and played a distinguished part in the action off Cape Vincent (on the Saint Lawrence River) on 16 January 1780. During the next two years, he commanded the Edgar in the Channel Fleet. During the period from 1786 to 1789 he was governor of Newfoundland. On 16 April 1795 he was promoted to admiral, but because of ill health had no further naval service. He died in Roxburghshire, England, on 20 September 1808.
SEE ALSO Peace Commission of Carlisle.
revised by Michael Bellesiles