I posted recently about Cayleys left out of Burke’s Peerage and Debrett. There is at least one other 18th-century member of the family who should surely have been included in them. This is Captain Tyrwhitt Cayley. He was a son of Cornelius Cayley (one of the first baronet’s children) and Ann Tyrwhitt, from whom he took his first name. As with other prominent 18th-century Cayleys left out of the Peerages, it took me some years to prove how he fitted into the family of the Cayley baronets.
He was born in Brompton-by-Sawdon on 20 October 1683, and baptised there the next day. He entered the Royal Navy, his first recorded command, in 1711, being of the small 14-gunner the Hazard. The next year he was given command of the Rose (24 guns). In 1723 he became captain of the Dover (40 guns); in 1735 of the Lenox (70 guns); and finally in 1738 of the Lancaster (80 guns). Much of his time on active service was spent patrolling the British fishery off Newfoundland and Nova Scotia and protecting it against the French. For a period he was Commodore of the naval convoy which escorted the British fishing fleet. Papers of the Commissioners for Trade and Plantation include reports by him, and evidence he gave in oral hearings on the North American fishery. In 1740 he took part in the War of Jenkin’s Ear against the Spanish, which evolved into the War of Austrian Succession. A 1740 letter to Admiral Haddock, written from Minorca, refers to his having had eyesight problems from which he was recovering. His final post, to which he was appointed in December 1747, was as a Commissioner for Victualling of the Royal Navy. His Will and probate record show him as living in Ryde on the Isle of Wight in his final years – his work as a Commissioner probably was largely in Portsmouth, just across the Solent.