FALKINGHAM, EDWARD, officer in the Royal Navy, governor of Newfoundland; b. c. 1683 in England; d. 18 Sept. 1757.
Edward Falkingham was promoted lieutenant in 1703 and received his first commission as captain in 1713. He commanded several ships on operations in the Baltic and Mediterranean, and, in command of the Orford, distinguished himself at the battle of Cape Passero, Sicily, in 1718.
In April 1732, with the command of the Salisbury, Falkingham received a commission as governor and commander-in-chief in Newfoundland. Arriving at Placentia on 13 July, he inspected the garrison and noted, in a favourable report, that the soldiers did not meddle with the fishing industry. He found only one prison, at St John’s, so that in winter the conveyance of prisoners was difficult, and he ordered the construction of prisons at Ferryland, Bonavista, and Carbonear, with smaller “roundhouses” in other parts. Falkingham demanded the enforcement of the laws relating to throwing ballast overboard, as disregard of them was causing serious damage in the harbours of Bonavista, Trinity, and Carbonear. He remarked that the fishing admirals were more concerned with furthering their own interests than with carrying out their duties efficiently. Most districts seemed to be well regulated since the appointment a few years before of local magistrates [see William Keen].
On his return to England Falkingham commanded other ships but his career was uneventful. He left sea service in 1742 and was appointed resident commissioner of the navy at Port Mahón, Minorca. In 1745 he was moved to a similar post at Woolwich dockyard, London. His health began to fail in 1755 and he retired on a pension of £600 per annum; he died in 1757. His son Edward also became a captain in the navy.
PRO, Adm. 7/638, 107/2; CO 194/9, 0.136–47; 194/24, pp.63–74; 195/7, pp.266, 269–77; CSP, Col., 1716–17; 1732; 1733; JTP, 1728/29–1734. Charnock, Biographia navalis, IV. D. A. Baugh, British naval administration in the age of Walpole (Princeton, N.J., 1965), 133. Lounsbury, British fishery at Nfld.