The Burton Family

Louisa (Burton) Gascoigne

Embroidery sampler by Louisa Burton
This embroidery sampler was created by Louisa Burton in March 1825, aged 14
(click to enlarge)
photo by Chris Gosnell
Birth: 28 December 1810, in Brompton, Kent, England

Baptism: 27 January 1811, in Gillingham, Kent, England

Father: William Moulden Burton

Mother: Sarah (Pollard, King) Burton

Married: John Hawkins Gascoigne on 27 June 1843, in Charlton, Kent, England
Observer 3 July 1843 p4
27th [ult.], at Charlton Church, by the Rev. T. J. Burton, J. H. Gascoigne, Esq., Royal Marines, to Louisa, only daughter of Lieut-Colonel Burton, of the Royal Marines

Death: 1874, in Plympton St Mary district, Devon, England, aged 63

1861: Royal Marines Barracks, Chatham, Kent


William Moulden Burton

Birth: 1783/4

Baptism: 9 June 1784, in St Nicholas, Rochester, Kent, England

Father: John Burton

Mother: Sarah (Moulden) Burton

Married (1st): Sarah (Pollard) King on 24 May 1809, in St Mary, Chatham, Kent, England. William is listed as single and Sarah is listed as widowed.
The Monthly magazine 1 July 189 p630
Married.]...At Chatham, Lieut. Burton, of the Royal Marines, to Mrs. King, of Brompton, widow of Captain K. of the artillery, and daughter of the late Thomas Pollard, esq. master shipwright, of Deptford Dock-yard.


Married (2nd): Charlotte Ann Shepherd in 1841, in Faversham district, Kent, England


Occupation: Officer in the Royal Marines, reaching the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
William entered the marines as a second lieutenant on 4 August 1800 (A list of the officers of His Majesty's Royal Marine forces 1803 p40). He was promoted to first lieutenant on 21 December 1804. William served in the Baltic, on the coast of Spain, and in the West Indies, in 1801 and 1802; in the North Seas and West Indies, in 1803, 1804, and 1805.  On 23 May 1808 William was aboard the H.M.S. Astrea when she was wrecked off the island of Anagada in the Virgin Islands.
The Naval Chronicle vol 20 July-December 1808 pp44-5 (ed. James Stanier Clarke, John McArthur)
The following particulars, copied from a recent Barbadoes newspaper, are all which have yet reached us, respecting the loss of the above ship:—
  “The Astrea had sailed from Jamaica, about the beginning of May, with the Prince Edward packet, which she convoyed to a certain latitude, and was proceeding to the Mona Passage, where she was to have cruised; but experiencing very hazy weather for several days, they had not been able to take an observation, when, on the 23d, the made land, and taking it for Porto Rico, stood on until eight o'clock that night; when, it becoming squally, she was about to tack, but at that instant took the ground, and in less than half an hour after her keel broke, and water rushed in so precipitately, that in a few hours she was filled to the orlop deck. Captain Haywood, the very moment his vessel grounded, employed every means, by lightening her and cutting her masts away, to get her off, but without effect; and notwithstanding his exertions were promptly seconded by his officers and crew, the vessel thumped so hard, that it soon became evident how unavailing all their efforts would be; it was therefore the next object to preserve the people, in which they were more fortunate, only four men of the whole being lost—two of these by the unlucky bursting of a gun fired as a signal of distress, and the other two in endeavouring to reach the shore on a raft, from which they were washed by the surf. It was not until day-light that the whole of the people quitted the wreck, nor until after sun-rise that Captain Haywood or her officers left her; and it was only then that, for the first time, they ascertained their situation—when the land which they had mistaken for Porto Rico proved to be the island of Anagada, on the reef of which the Astrea had struck. The boats being fortunately saved, by means of them, and some rafts constructed from parts of the wreck, the lives of so many valuablemen have been preserved. the St Kitt's sloop of war having hove in sight on the following day, they were afforded every assistance and relief, and taken off the island. The St. Kitt's soon fell in with the Jason, Galatea, and Fawn, on board of which the officers and crew of the Astrea were distributed; the two latter remaining off Anagada, where they were employed in saving the stores, and whatever else may be possible, from the wreck.”

A further account of the wreck, which has now been discovered and dived on, is found on the the Blytmann family website:
The Blytmann Family (Tage W. Blytmann, 2000)
Monday May 23rd was a beautiful clear day with the trade wind blowing a fresh breeze from the northeast. At noon the position was ascertained by the the officers (10) to be 19º 00' north and 65° 50' west, a distance of about 30 miles north of the eastern extremity of Puerto Rico. When Captain Heywood came on deck at two o'clock in the afternoon land was distinctly seen between WSW and SW by S although the sky had become somewhat cloudy toward that corner. After a short consultation with McLean, the Master, it was agreed that the land observed was Puerto Rico, since "it could be no other land". ASTREA was now on a southwesterly course, it being the intention of the captain to continue until approximately fifteen miles off the coast, at which time this distance was to be maintained until daybreak when the vessel could bear up for Mona Passage in safety.
 At half past seven in the evening, Captain Heywood, Mr. McLean, and Mr. Maxwell, the third mate, were all standing on the quarter deck when orders were given to heave-to on the starboard tack. The wind, which had shown signs of freshening further, was still from the northeast. ASTREA's course was altered first to west, then to northwest while the sailors were busying themselves shortening sails. A few minutes before eight o'clock, George Lovet, the gunner, came on deck to stand his watch on the forecastle. Leaning over the port rail, his eyes slowly getting accustomed to the dark evening, he suddenly saw a solid line of white breakers appearing dead ahead. His reaction was instantaneous and only seconds later the captains' command "helm hard a port" came loud and clear. Having fresh way on, the frigate started to respond to the wheel - but it was too late!
 ASTREA struck the reef hard and immediately began to take in water. The pumps were manned and with great difficulty a kedge was laid out in the event that a favorable change of weather would permit a try at refloating her. The wind, however, was still freshening and being on a lee shore each swell forced the vessel against the reef with a sickening crash. When after a short while the frigate showed signs of capsizing, orders were given to cut away both the main and the mizzen masts. Following this desperate action many of the cannons were thrown overboard in a last attempt to lighten the ship. This only made things worse and the frigate was now forced further into the frothing reef. The men at the pumps were fighting a loosing battle which was only given up when the carpenter reported the keel had broken in two. Having no hope of saving the ship, the object of attention now focused on saving the crew. Shortly after ASTREA had struck the reef several small boats had been sighted on the lee side of the reef but the heavy swell and surf prevented any of the boats from approaching or even coming close. Land was apparently nearby - but where?
ASTREA was now hard on the reef and although water constantly washed over her main deck, the danger of her capsizing or sinking had subsided somewhat. To abandon ship and face the breaking surf on an unknown reef was an extremely hazardous undertaking which could be considered only as a last resort. The captain decided to stay on the frigate until the next morning. Early dawn revealed the long low shoreline of Anegada Island less than a mile away to the west-northwest. No time was lost in launching several large rafts that had been laboriously constructed during the night from pieces of wood hastily broken off the wreck. With great difficulty men and officers defied the breaking surf and inhospitable reef by slowly bringing the greater part of the crew to safety on Anegada. By the time they reached shore, four seamen had lost their lives and everyone was in a state of complete exhaustion. One boat containing an officer and about seventy men made it safely to the nearby island of Virgin Gorda. Mr. McLean and a small number of men remained on the wreck attempting to save some of the stores and gear.
 On Wednesday the 25th, two days after the wreck, the HMS ST. CHRISTOPHER anchored in the lee of Anegada to take the shipwrecked sailors and officers onboard. Having anchored off Virgin Gorda the night before they lost no time in coming to the assistance of the ASTREA after having learned of the wreck. All of the men were soon transferred to the ST CHRISTOPHER, but when the turn came for a George Wright to leave, he positively refused to go on board the ST. CHRISTOPHER. He had been among the first to abandon ship and in the confusion managed to steal the captain's coat which he subsequently had sold to a native Anegadian for two guineas. George Wright now proceeded to call the captain a "damned rascal", accusing him and the other officers of having run the ship ashore through neglect, and finally boasting that had it not been for the presence of the other members of the crew, "he would have took his sord from the captain and give him the contens of it". He was finally apprehended by the sergeant of the marines and the purser's steward and dragged through the water into the waiting boat.
 On Friday the 27th the ST. CHRISTOPHER was joined by His Majesty's ships JASON and GALATEA. The JASON subsequently took most of the shipwrecked men on board and proceeded to Barbados where the inquiry and court martial proceedings were to be held. The GALATEA stayed with the wreck until the 2nd of June attempting to save various sundry articles from the nearly submerged wreck. Early on that date she left for Puerto Rico, leaving a crew of 12 men behind, only to return again on the 12th to resume the salvage operations. Only a few articles, however, had been salvaged when the wreck was abandoned two weeks later, on June 24, 1808.

William was adjutant of the 2nd Battalion on the coast of Spain in 1812 and 1813, and during the whole of the campaigns in America, 1813 and 1814, besides being frequently engaged with the enemy in gun-boat affairs. William is named in two actions in 1813, destroying a gun battery near Morgion, on the French coast between Marseilles and Toulon.
Historical Record of the Royal Marine vol 2 pp206-7 (T. and W. Boone, 1845)
   On the 30th of March the Undaunted, in company with the 38-gun frigate Volontaire, captain the honourable G. G. Waldegrave, and 18-gun brig Redwing, despatched their boats, under the orders of lieutenant Isaac Shaw, assisted by lieutenants of marines William Burton and Harry Hunt, to attempt the capture of a convoy in the harbour of Morgion, situated between Marseilles and Toulon. On the 31st, in the morning, the party landed at Soarion, and marching over the hills at daylight, attacked two batteries in the rear, which were both carried after a slight resistance. Five thirty-six pounders in one, and 2 twenty-four pounders in the other battery, were then thrown into the sea, a mortar spiked, and all their ammunition destroyed. The boats in the mean time captured eleven vessels, and the whole service was accomplished with no greater loss than 1 marine killed, 2 marines and 2 seamen wounded.
  On the 2nd of May the boats of the 74-gun ship Repulse, Volontaire and Undaunted frigates, were detached, conveying the marines under the command of captain Edward Michael Ennis, with lieutenants William Burton, Harry Hunt, and some other officers, to destroy the newly-erected works in the vicinity of Morgion. The marines landed and drove a detachment of french troops to the heights in the rear of the harbour, where they were kept in check until the boats under lieutenant J. Shaw, covered by the launches with their carronades, and by the Redwing sloop, brought out some vessels that were in the harbour; and then the batteries, on which were found nine gun-carriages and a mortar, were destroyed. On this occasion lieutenant Shaw was wounded; and in the boats, 2 men were killed and 3 wounded. 
William was promoted to captain on 8 April 1824 (Army list 1827), to brevet-major on 28 June 1838 (United Service Magazine December 1847 p639) and lieutenant-colonel on 20 August 1839 (Army list 1847) Later he commanded a battalion of Royal Marines in Ireland (A naval biographical dictionary p152).

Death: 26 October 1847, in Wood Street, Woolwich, Kent, England
United Service Magazine December 1847 p639
Oct. 26th, in Wood Street, Woolwich, Lieut-Col. William Moulden Burton of the Royal Marines. The deceased entered the corps as Second Lieut. Aug. 1800, and his subsequent promotions are dated as follows:- First Lieut., 21st Dec. 1804; Capt., 8th April, 1824; Brev.-Maj., 28th June, 1838; Lieut.-Col., 20th Aug. 1839. He served in the Baltic, on the coast of Spain, and in the West Indies, in 1801 and 1802; in the North Seas and West Indies, in 1803, 1804, and 1805, and was wrecked off the West Indies in His Majesty's ship Astrea in 1808; was Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion on the coast of Spain in 1812 and 1813, and during the whole of the campaigns in America, 1813 and 1814, besides being frequently engaged with the enemy in gun-boat affairs.

The Gentleman's Magazine December 1847 p667
KENT.- Oct. 26. At Woolwich, aged 63, Lieut.-Col William Moulden Burton, of the Royal Marines, in which he attained that rank in 1839.

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