George Anson Baron Anson

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Anson, George, 1st Baron Anson (1697–1762). A circumnavigator of the world, Anson shared some attributes with plundering Elizabethan ‘sea-dogs’ but his work also pointed Britain towards a modern commercial imperialism in the Pacific region. Entering the navy in 1712, Anson rose to command a Pacific expedition in 1739. He captured a Spanish treasure ship and sailed on westwards to reach home in 1744 a rich man. Further active service and politics qualified him for a peerage and spells as 1st lord of the Admiralty from 1751 to 1762. His careful reforms helped to ensure the naval triumphs of the Seven Years War.

Roy C. Bridges

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George Anson Anson, Baron, 1697–1762, British admiral. In his famous voyage (1740–44) around the world, Anson, in spite of shipwrecks and scurvy, inflicted great damage on Spanish shipping and returned to England with a rich prize. He was raised to the peerage after his popular naval victory (1747) off Cape Finisterre. Appointed then as first lord of the admiralty, he assisted William Pitt, Lord Chatham, in reorganizing naval administration.

See A Voyage round the World (comp. by R. Walter, rev. ed. 1911); biographies by M. V. Anson (1912) and S. W. C. Pack (1960); L. A. Wilcox, Anson's Voyage (1970).