Manuscripts and Special Collections

Biography of William Bentinck (1764-1813; Vice-Admiral)

Bentinck was the eldest son of Captain John Albert Bentinck, of Terrington St Clement, Norfolk, and his wife Renira van Tuyll van Serooskerken.

He followed his father into the British Royal Navy. He served at the latter end of the American War of Independence, commanding the 'Assistance' in 1783, at the age of 19. His logbook records subsequent journeys in North America in 1784.

Bentinck commanded the 'Adamant' in 1793-1794 during the War of the First Coalition, and the 'Phaeton' during the Battle of the Glorious First of June in 1794. From July 1794 to March 1795 he commanded the 'Tremendous'.

Between 1798 and 1802 Bentinck served as Governor of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

In 1800, his grandmother Charlotte Sophie, Countess Bentinck, died, and bequeathed him an estate at Doorwerth in The Netherlands.

By 1805 Bentinck was living on his estate in Norfolk, and commanding the Sea Fencibles, a coastal defence force against the French. He was promoted to Rear-Admiral of the Blue in 1805, Rear-Admiral of the White in 1808, and Vice-Admiral of the Blue in 1810. He died of typhus in St Petersburg on 21 February 1813.


Portrait of Captain William Bentinck by George Romney, 1787-1788. (c) National Maritime Museum. Source:

Portrait of Captain William Bentinck by George Romney, 1787-1788. (c) National Maritime Museum. Source:


In 1802 William married Lady Frances Augusta Pierrepont (1802-1847), daughter of the 1st Earl Manvers, and had:

  • George W.P. Bentinck (1803-1886), of Terrington St Clement, Norfolk
  • Henry P.A. Bentinck (1805-1840)
  • Charles Aldenburg Bentinck (1810-1891)
  • Renira Bentinck (d 1868), m George Martin

Lady Frances m 2ndly in 1821 Henry William Stephens. 

Archive Collections


Published Sources

  • There do not appear to be any published sources relating specifically to Vice-Admiral William Bentinck, although he is mentioned within Charlotte Sophie, Countess Bentinck : her life and times 1715-1800, by her descendant Mrs Aubrey Le Blond (2 vols, London: Hutchinson, 1912)


Manuscripts and Special Collections

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