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Map illustrating a battle between the Tuscan Navy and the Barbary pirates.

The Tuscans, aboard the S.A.R. Austria, were led by Captain Giovanni (John) Acton.

The key at the right provides details of the battle.

Sir John Francis Edward Acton VI, Baronet, also known by the Italianized name of Giovanni Acton (1736 - 1811), was a British politician, commander of the naval fleet of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, minister of the Navy (1779-1789) and Secretary of State of Naples during the reign of Ferdinand IV, from 1789 to 1804. He was Baronet of Aldenham and duke of Modica.

From 1750 to 1756, Acton served in the English navy, after a short time he moved to that of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and, in 1767 he was promoted to captain of vessel. In 1775, he commanded a frigate in the joint Spanish and Tuscan expedition against Algiers, distinguishing himself for courage and resources. In 1776 he was promoted to major general and placed in command of the Navy of the Grand Duchy.

In 1778, Queen Maria Carolina of Naples asked her brother, the Grand Duke of Tuscany Pietro Leopoldo, to allow Acton to travel to Naples to reorganize the Navy of the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, and in 1779 he was promoted to lieutenant general and appointed minister of the Navy. The following year he was also minister of war and in 1782 of commerce. In 1783 he founded the shipyard of Castellammare di Stabia.


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