James Mugford


James Mugford

James Mugford (19 May 1749 - 19 May 1776) was a captain in the Continental Navy.

Captain Mugford commanded schooner "Franklin" in the Continental Navy, serving through 1775 in John Manley’s squadron off Boston. He captured British ship "Hope" with a large cargo of military stores and powder, and took his prize into Boston, running under the noses of the British fleet lying in the outer harbor.

"Franklin" was attacked during the night of May 19, 1776 in the company of "Lady Washington" by British boarders claiming to be friends from Boston; Captain Mugford was killed in the action.

The report of General Ward, the overall American commander in Boston, stated:

"Captain Mugford was very fiercely attacked by twelve or thirteen boats full of men, but he and his men exerted themselves with remarkable bravery, beat off the enemy, sunk several of their boats, and killed a number of their men; it is supposed they lost sixty or seventy. The intrepid Captain Mugford fell a little before the enemy left his schooner; he was ran through with a lance while he was cutting off the hands of the pirates as they attempted to board him, and it was said that with his own hands he cut off five pairs of theirs.... The Lady Washington....was attacked by five boats, which were supposed to contain near or quite a hundred men; but after repeated efforts to board her they were beaten off by the intrepidity and exertions of the little company, who gloriously defended the Lady against the brutal ravishers of liberty."

Two United States Navy ships, USS "Mugford", have been named for him.


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