Alexander Ball

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Alexander Ball_table_infobox_0

Sir Alexander John Ball, BtAlexander Ball_header_cell_0_0_0
BornAlexander Ball_header_cell_0_1_0 1757

Sheepscombe, GloucestershireAlexander Ball_cell_0_1_1

DiedAlexander Ball_header_cell_0_2_0 October 25, 1809(1809-10-25) (aged 51–52)

San Anton Palace, MaltaAlexander Ball_cell_0_2_1

AllegianceAlexander Ball_header_cell_0_3_0 Kingdom of Great Britain

 United KingdomAlexander Ball_cell_0_3_1

Service/branchAlexander Ball_header_cell_0_4_0 Royal NavyAlexander Ball_cell_0_4_1
Years of serviceAlexander Ball_header_cell_0_5_0 1778–1809Alexander Ball_cell_0_5_1
RankAlexander Ball_header_cell_0_6_0 Rear-Admiral of the RedAlexander Ball_cell_0_6_1
Battles/warsAlexander Ball_header_cell_0_7_0 American Revolutionary War

French Revolutionary WarsAlexander Ball_cell_0_7_1

Other workAlexander Ball_header_cell_0_8_0 Civil Commissioner of MaltaAlexander Ball_cell_0_8_1

Sir Alexander John Ball, 1st Baronet (Italian: Alessandro Giovanni Ball, 1757 – 25 October 1809) was a Rear-Admiral and Civil Commissioner of Malta. Alexander Ball_sentence_0

He was born in Ebworth Park, Sheepscombe, Gloucestershire. Alexander Ball_sentence_1

He was the fourth son of Robert and Mary (Dickinson) Ball and the younger brother of Ingram Ball. Alexander Ball_sentence_2

Early naval experience Alexander Ball_section_0

Ball entered the Royal Navy, and on 7 August 1778, was promoted lieutenant. Alexander Ball_sentence_3

Three years later he began a close association with Sir George Rodney. Alexander Ball_sentence_4

Ball was promoted commander on 14 April 1782, two days after his chief's crowning victory, and took command of Germaine. Alexander Ball_sentence_5

On 20 March 1783 he became captain. Alexander Ball_sentence_6

With peace restored, Ball was furloughed on half-pay. Alexander Ball_sentence_7

He then spent a year in France, hoping to learn the language and live economically. Alexander Ball_sentence_8

Captain Horatio Nelson was at this time by no means favourably impressed by his future friend and comrade, and described Ball as a "great coxcomb". Alexander Ball_sentence_9

In 1790, Ball received a command and from then on he was continuously employed. Alexander Ball_sentence_10

In May 1798, Ball commanded HMS Alexander in the Mediterranean. Alexander Ball_sentence_11

Once when Nelson's HMS Vanguard had lost her fore- and topmasts, Ball towed Vanguard to Sardinia. Alexander Ball_sentence_12

Under Nelson's command, Ball took part in the Battle of the Nile, and his ship, the Alexander, was the second British ship to fire on the French Admiral's flagship, L’Orient, which later blew up during the battle. Alexander Ball_sentence_13

Alexander Ball and Malta Alexander Ball_section_1

Alexander Ball was an important figure in the diplomatic and military events that brought Malta under British rule. Alexander Ball_sentence_14

Universally loved by the Maltese, Ball visited the islands for the first time on 12 October 1798. Alexander Ball_sentence_15

Whenever Ball appeared in public, the passers-by in the streets stood uncovered until he had passed; the clamours of the market-place were hushed at his entrance and then exchanged for shouts of joy and welcome. Alexander Ball_sentence_16

His mission was to sustain and continue the siege and blockade of the French forces in Malta, aided by certain Portuguese naval forces. Alexander Ball_sentence_17

The Maltese leaders of the blockade were immediately attracted by Ball's charisma and sympathy. Alexander Ball_sentence_18

Moreover, they might have realised that after the eventual French surrender, their island would have to find another ruler, since no Maltese in the nineteenth-century considered independence. Alexander Ball_sentence_19

The fear of the return of the increasingly oppressive Order of St. John may have pushed Malta indirectly toward becoming a British protectorate. Alexander Ball_sentence_20

In a letter sent by one of the Maltese leaders to Ball, written by Vincenzo Borg, the Maltese expressed the wish to Ball that the vast majority of us wish to see the islands fall under English jurisdiction. Alexander Ball_sentence_21

The destiny of Malta was to be decided by the events occurring in Europe during this period. Alexander Ball_sentence_22

Napoleon's troops succeeded in entering Naples itself, forcing King Ferdinand IV to flee the city with his family. Alexander Ball_sentence_23

For the Maltese this meant that only Britain could guarantee Malta's safety. Alexander Ball_sentence_24

It was at this stage that problems emerged between the supporters of the Neapolitans and those preferring the Royal Navy. Alexander Ball_sentence_25

Captain Alexander Ball succeeded in calming the situation, and this led to his eventual election as the President of the National Assembly that took place on 9 February 1799. Alexander Ball_sentence_26

According to Ball's wishes, the Assembly changed its name to National Congress in order to emphasise the need for a compromise. Alexander Ball_sentence_27

However, the increasingly precarious situation faced by King Ferdinand IV made Ball pass more powers to the British forces stationed in and around Malta. Alexander Ball_sentence_28

In fact, it was at this time that the Union Flag was flown for the first time alongside the Neapolitan flag. Alexander Ball_sentence_29

Nelson wrote to Ball in January 1799: Alexander Ball_sentence_30

The French forces besieged in Valletta faced starvation as the British navy intercepted a French relief force off Lampedusa Island. Alexander Ball_sentence_31

Eventually, General Vaubois, the commander of the French forces, surrendered to the British forces, represented by Captain George Martin and Major General Henry Pigot. Alexander Ball_sentence_32

As a representative of the Maltese people, Ball was not allowed to take part in the negotiations, while the Neapolitans were excluded for diplomatic reasons. Alexander Ball_sentence_33

The French were allowed to leave with full military honours, and after a few days Ball and the Maltese could enter the liberated capital. Alexander Ball_sentence_34

In February 1801 Ball was appointed commissioner of the navy at Gibraltar and had to leave Malta. Alexander Ball_sentence_35

Control passed to Major General Henry Pigot, whose tyrannical administration angered the Maltese, a fact noted in a letter Ball wrote to Nelson in June of the same year. Alexander Ball_sentence_36

Ball reported that the Maltese would have rebelled against Pigot had Ball not promised them that he would convey their grievances to the authorities. Alexander Ball_sentence_37

Nelson himself wrote back to Ball from the Baltic on 4 June 1801: Alexander Ball_sentence_38

The British were uncertain of their policy towards Malta, as with Napoleon on the rise they could not afford problems with their allies. Alexander Ball_sentence_39

The choice of Charles Cameron as Civil Commissioner in May 1801 did not remove these uncertainties, even though his presence assured the Maltese of the protection of the Empire. Alexander Ball_sentence_40

When the Treaty of Amiens placed Malta again under the rule of the Knights of St. John, this assurance was dashed. Alexander Ball_sentence_41

Ball was made a baronet on 24 June 1801. Alexander Ball_sentence_42

The British government then sent him back to Malta as the Plenipotentiary Minister of His British Majesty for the Order of Saint John to coordinate the departure of the British in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty of Amiens. Alexander Ball_sentence_43

The situation, however, changed quickly as the likelihood of war between Napoleonic France and the United Kingdom increased. Alexander Ball_sentence_44

Ball now received instructions to delay the evacuation of British troops from the island. Alexander Ball_sentence_45

Napoleon was anxious for the moment to see the British out of the Grand Harbour, stating that he would prefer to see the British in possession of a Parisian suburb than of Malta. Alexander Ball_sentence_46

In May 1803 war was rejoined because of the British refusal to evacuate the islands. Alexander Ball_sentence_47

After the Napoleonic Wars, through the Treaty of Paris of 1814, as ratified by the Congress of Vienna, Malta and all its dependencies passed under the jurisdiction of the British. Alexander Ball_sentence_48

Sir Alexander Ball was possibly the British leader most loved by the Maltese population. Alexander Ball_sentence_49

Samuel Taylor Coleridge became an assistant to Ball in 1804 and later described his administration in The Friend, going as far as describing Ball as "a truly great man". Alexander Ball_sentence_50

Ball died in the San Anton Palace on 25 October 1809 and was buried in Fort Saint Elmo in Valletta. Alexander Ball_sentence_51

In 1810, the Maltese built a monument in the Lower Barrakka Gardens dedicated to Ball's memory. Alexander Ball_sentence_52

Restored in 1884, this neoclassical monument remains a testament to the Maltese peoples' love and respect. Alexander Ball_sentence_53

Flag rank appointments Alexander Ball_section_2

Included: Alexander Ball_sentence_54

Alexander Ball_unordered_list_0

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Ball.