William Le Mesurier

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William Le Mesurier (1767 – 1833) was a Guernsey-born Naval Officer and explorer.




William Le Mesurier was born in Guernsey and baptised on the 27 Nov 1767, he was the third son of William Le Mesurier by his second wife, Marguerite Naftel.


Le Mesurier married Priscilla, daughter of Francis Seaman of Yarmouth on 7 November 1802. They either had no children, or none were surviving at his death as none are mentioned in his will.


It is believed that William Le Mesurier Snr. captained vessels trading with North America, and his son may have first gone to sea with him. That may explain why he joined the Royal Navy relatively late. Le Mesurier first served on the Elephant in July 1790 as an Able Seamen, before being promoted to Midshipman just over two weeks later. In December of that year he joined Victory also as a Midshipman, but after three months (March 1791) transferred to Chatham.

He spent nearly five years on Chatham as part of George Vancouver's expedition to the Pacific. The outward voyage took Le Mesurier around the Cape of Good Hope, via Australia, to Hawaii and by April of 1792 they had arrived on the Pacific coast of North America. They proceeded to survey and chart northwards. Most of these surveys were carried out in the ships boats - the bays and inlets being too shallow or dangerous for the Chatham and the other vessel in the expedition, Discovery. Le Mesurier took an active part in these surveys, and is mentioned in Vancouver's journal several times. Lemesurier Point in Clarence Strait and the one on Kayak Island were named after him as (at a later date) was Lemesurier Island. They spent three years surveying during the summers, and wintering in Hawai before returning home in 1795. Rounding the Horn they arrived at St Helena to discover that war had broken out with France.

After reaching home Le Mesurier transferred to Namur, again as a Midshipman, and was promoted Lieutenant in November 1796. After service on Princess Royal he joined the Veteran and was present at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, although Veteran was part of the reserve and did not see action. From July 1803 to July 1804 Le Mesurier was on the Conquest gunboat at Jersey. He then saw service on Triumph in 1810 under Captain Samuel Hood Linzee, and on the Princess, which was acting as a guardship at Liverpool in 1814. He became a retired Commander in 1830.


Le Mesurier died in Guernsey on the 29 January 1833. He had written his will whilst still a Lieutenant in 1812. He left everything to his wife for her lifetime (save for an allowance to his Mother of £7 a year). The will was proved in London on the 27th June 1833.


  • The Ipswich Journal; 20 November 1802
  • Vancouver, George; 'A Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific Ocean', London. 1798.
  • Will of William Le Mesurier, National Archives, (PROB 11/1817)
  • Le Mesurier-Foster, Ray, Rough Index of the Le Mesurier Family, 4th edition (2010)

External links

The Men who Sailed with George Vancouver

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