John Schank

Admiral John Schank, (c. 1740 – 6 February 1823), was a member of the British Royal Navy until his death. He was the son of Alexander Schank of Castlerigg, Fife, Scotland.

He was known for his remarkable skills at mechanical design, earning the nickname "Old Purchase" following his design and construction of a cot fitted with pulleys that allowed it to be adjusted by the person lying in it. As a lieutenant in 1776, he was placed in charge of assembling ships to battle the American Revolutionaries on the Great Lakes. After being made a captain in 1783, he brought before the Admiralty his design for ships with a sliding keel. His design was tested successfully and incorporated by the Admiralty into several larger vessels, most notably the "Lady Nelson", which explored parts of Australia.

Mount Schank and Cape Schanck, Australia were named for the Admiral in December 1800 by Lieutenant (later Captain) James Grant during his exploratory mission of the region while commanding the "Lady Nelson".

Schank also appears in Patrick O'Brian's book "The Letter of Marque".

External links

* [ Biography at "the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online"]


* Patrick O'Brian, "The Letter of Marque", W.W. Norton & Co. 1988.

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