Correspondence

Was John Weatherhead R.N. an Old Lennensian ?       from Darren Stobbs
I am researching the Weatherhead family who are distant ancestors. Thomas Weatherhead Jnr was born in in Pontefract, Yorkshire in 1744 and came to Norfolk with his father who was a clergyman. His father, Thomas Weatherhead Snr (b. 1712) was the Vicar of Heacham and Rector of Ingoldisthorpe. Naturally Thomas Weatherhead Jnr (b. 1744) followed in his father's footsteps and also became a churchman. I know that Thomas Jnr and his brother William (b. 1745)  both studied at Cambridge University and on their University alumni records it states that they were educated at Kings Lynn. There is also some anecdotal evidence that Eugene Aram (who was the infamous usher at Kings Lynn school) met with Thomas Weatherhead Snr. 
Thomas Weatherhead Jnr later became the Vicar of Sedgeford and he married a woman called Grace Makemeid in 1766 in Ingoldisthorpe. They had a number of children. One of their sons, John Weatherhead (b. 1775) was amongst a group of boys including William Hoste and William Bolton who were also sons of local clergymen and who joined the Royal Navy. I don't know for sure that John Weatherhead was also educated at Kings Lynn but it makes sense that he was, since his father and uncle were.
John Weatherhead's first appointment was as a midshipman on the HMS Agamemnon. A midshipman is the lowest rank of an officer cadet. Horatio Nelson was the Captain of the Agamemnon. It is said that Nelson took the boys under his wing and treated them like sons. John Weatherhead was with Nelson at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent and transferred to the HMS Theseus along with William Hoste when Nelson became it's Captain. 
Sadly, John Weatherhead was mortally wounded at Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1797, shot in the stomach by a ragged ball from a musket. He lived for 4 days after being shot but died on 29th July 1797 and was buried at sea. At the same battle, Nelson was shot in the arm just above the elbow, which lead to him needing to have the arm amputated by the ships surgeon. Nelson later wrote a letter to John's father Thomas to express his sympathy.
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Editorial Note :       We advised Darren to contact the School  -  he tells us that the School archives confirm the award of Exhibitions to Thomas Jnr & William Weatherhead, but sadly there is not a complete list of all pupils.  So John Weatherhead's presence at the School cannot be confirmed - or denied.