William Innes Pocock was the second son of Nicholas Pocock, the marine painter, and younger brother of Isaac Pocock, the artist and dramatist. He was born in Bristol in June 1783. He entered the Navy in 1795, served especially in the East and West Indies and, from 1807 to 1810, in the St. Albans, made there several voyages to the Cape of Good Hope, St. Helena and China. In the last of these, the convoy was much shattered in a storm off the Cape of Good Hope and was detained at St. Helena to refit. During this time, Pocock made several sketches of the island which, with some account of its history, he published as 'Five Views of the Island of St. Helena' in 1815, when public interest was excited in the island as the residence allotted to Bonaparte. On 1st August 1811, Pocock was promoted to be lieutenant of the Eagle, with Captain (afterwards Sir Charles) Rowley, and in her saw much active service in the Adriatic. She was paid off in 1814 and Pocock had no further employment afloat. He appears to have amused himself in his leisure time with reading, writing and painting. He is described as a good linguist and is said to have published, in 1815, 'Naval Records … a Series of Engravings … illustrative of the Principal Engagements at Sea since the Commencement of the War … with an Account of Each Action'. He is also said to have written some pamphlets on naval subjects. He was twice married and left issue upon his death, in Reading, on 13th March 1836. He should not be confused with William Fuller Pocock, the architect and artist.
Edited from Sidney Lee's 'Dictionary of National Biography' (1896).
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