A Blupete Biography Page

Philip Durell

Born on Jersey, Philip Durell was to join the royal navy in 1721. He made lieutenant in 1731 and captain in 1742. During the 1745 Siege of Louisbourg, Durell served under Warren as the captain of the 44 gun Eltham. Durell, it should be noted, as the captain of the 64 gun Trident was with Admiral Byng on their way to Minorca (1756). During the 1758 Siege of Louisbourg, Durell served under Boscawen, with the rank of a commodore, as third in command. (It was, incidentally, during this time, in 1758, that Durell set up the Halifax Naval Dockyards.) In 1759, Durell accompanied Admiral Saunders to Quebec.

In 1758, July 8th, Durell was made a Rear-Admiral of the Blue; in 1759, just before he went off to Quebec, Rear-Admiral of the Red. With the war drawing to a close, Durell was made Vice-Admiral of the Blue in 1762. In 1766, while commanding on the North American Station, he died, and was buried in St. Paul's, Halifax.1


[1] References: Navy Records Society vols. 118 & 132; and see Commander Little's Despatches of Rear-Admiral Philip Durell (Halifax: Occasional paper #4 of the Maritime Museum of Canada, 1958); and see The Journal Of Lord Jeffery Amherst (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1931), fn at p. 48. I should mention an article written by C. Bruce Fergusson contained in the The Dalhousie Review (Vol. 35, 1955, pp. 16-30), "Durells in 18th Century Canadian History". The article does not add much to the life and career of Philip Durell as outlined above. In it, Fergusson does touch upon the career of another Durell, Captain Thomas Durell of the Royal Navy, who, I am advised by one of my readers, were related to one another, viz. Thomas Durell was Philip Durell's uncle. Thomas Durell carried out some early surveys of the Nova Scotia coast and was responsible for the very first authoritative chart of Halifax Harbour in 1732 (then called Torrington Harbour.)


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Peter Landry
2012 (2020)