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Parker, Sir Hyde

Parker, Sir Hyde

PARKER, SIR HYDE. (1714–1782/3). British admiral. Hyde Parker served in merchant ships before entering the navy at the advanced age of twenty-four. A post-captain from 1748, he was in the East Indies from 1760 to 1764, and was next employed in the Channel in 1776–1777. On 26 January 1778 he was promoted rear admiral and appointed John Byron's second in command of the squadron that chased d'Estaing to North America and the West Indies. From August 1779 Parker was in temporary command in the Leeward Islands, and in March 1780 he prevented an attack on St. Lucia by Comte de Guichen's numerically superior fleet. When George Rodney arrived, Parker stayed on as his second in command and led the van in the indecisive action off Martinique on 17 April. Because Rodney had not properly explained his intentions, Parker had not engaged as he wanted; although not blamed directly, Parker was sent home with the trade convoy in July. On 26 September 1780 he was promoted vice admiral, and on 5 August 1781 he failed to destroy a Dutch force of similar size in an action off the Dogger Bank. Blaming the Admiralty, Parker resigned, telling the king that he should employ younger commanders and better ships. In 1782 the Rockingham ministry appointed him commander in chief in the East Indies, and on 10 July he succeeded to his brother's baronetcy. He sailed in October, but sometime after leaving Rio on 12 December his ship was lost at sea. Its fate has never been established.

SEE ALSO Byron, John; Dutch Participation in the American Revolution; Estaing, Charles Hector Théodat, Comte d'; Guichen, Luc Urbain de Bouexic, Comte de;Rodney, George Bridges.

                           revised by John Oliphant

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