Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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BOURNE, Nehemiah, British admiral, born in London about 1611: died there in 1691. He was a son of Robert Bourne, a Wrapping shipwright. Nehemiah came to New England in 1638, and settled as a ship-builder first in Charlestown and afterward in Dorchester, Massachusetts. He became a freeman of Boston, 2 June 1641, and in the same year finished the "Trial," the first vessel built there. In 1644-'5 he was a major in the parliamentary army, but returned to this country in June 1645, and on 12 August was appointed sergeant-major of the Suffolk regiment, He returned to England in December 1646, and commanded the "Speaker," a ship of the second rate. In September 1651, he carried to London the Scottish records and regalia taken in Stirling castle, and for his services was given a gold medal valued at £60. In May 1652, he was captain of the "Andrew" and senior officer of the Downs, and commanded the division in the fleet that had so important a share in the battle of 19 May 1652, with the Dutch. Without knowledge of the battle the council had already made Bourne a rear admiral, and he commanded in the third post in the battle of 28 September when his ship was "very much maimed." He was appointed, in the latter part of 1652, to superintend the equipment and manning of fleets, and continued in this office until the end of the protectorate. After the restoration he received a pass permitting him "to transport himself and family into any of the plantations," and passed several years in exile.
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