The following is the entry for John Adams in William O'Byrnes 1849 'Naval Biographical Dictionary'.
ADAMS. (Captain, 1843. f-p., 32; h-p., 9.)John Adams is cousin of Lieut. Chas. Jas. Adams, R.N.
This officer entered the Navy, 8 June, 1806, as a Volunteer, on board the Scout 18, Capt. Wm. Raitt, under whom, during a period of three years and a half, he saw much active service, bore a part in many gun-boat actions, and, among other vessels, assisted in destroying, After a sharp engagement, a notorious privateer, the Fort of Gibraltar. He was also present, as Midshipman, in a very gallant encounter off Genoa between the boats of the Scout and a French squadron, consisting of a brig of 20 guns, one of 18, and seven gun-boats, protected by a heavy fire from several batteries on shore, in face of which the largest of the enemy’s vessels was sunk, and the remainder beaten off, with a loss, however, to the British of the Master and 11 men killed, and upwards of 30 wounded. On the night of 31 Oct. 1809, Mr. Adams further served in the boats of the Scout, and of a squadron under Lieut. John Tailour, at the capture and destruction, after a fearful struggle and a loss to the Assailants of 15 men killed and 55 wounded, of the Armed store-ship Lamproie, of 16 guns and 116 men, bombards Victoire and Grimdeur, and armed xebec Normande, with a convoy of seven merchantmen, defended by numerous strong batteries, in the Bay of Rosas. Removing next in succession to the Volontaire and Cambrian frigates, both commanded by Capt. Chas. Bullen, he joined in various other cutting-out affairs; witnessed the reduction of the island of Pomegue, near Marseilles; and co-operated in the defence of Tarragona in May and June, 1811. Until the receipt of his first commission, dated 16 Feb. 1815, Mr. Adams afterwards served in the Channel and Mediterranean, on board the Bulwark 74, Capts. Sir Rich. King and Thos. Browne, Christian VII. 80, Capt. Henry Lidgbird Ball, and Grasshopper, 18, Capts. Henry Robt. Battersby and Sir Chas. Burrard. His subsequent appointments were – 31 May, 1815, to the Ajax 74, Capt. Geo. Mundy – 17 April, 1819, to the Hind 20, Capt. Sir Chas. Burrard – 24 Sept. 1822, to the Windsor Castle 74, Capt. Chas. Dashwood, of the tender belonging to which ship he was for some time intrusted with the command – 12 Jan. 1824, as First Lieutenant, to the Grasshopper 18, Capt. John Geo. Aplin – 3 Nov. 1824, to the command, on the Newfoundland station, of the Pelter gun-brig – 1 March, 1826, to the Ramillies 74, Capt. Hugh Pigot, by whom he was also invested with the charge of a tender – 20 Oct. 1826, and 17 Sept. 1828, as Senior, to the Harrier and Childers sloops, both commanded by Capt. Wm. Morier, for his exertions in saving the latter of which, when nearly wrecked in a violent gale off Yarmouth, he received the approbation of the Admiralty – 4 May, 1829, in a similar capacity, to the Atholl 28, Capt. Alex. Gordon, on the coast of Africa – 6 Jan. 1830, to the command of the Plumper 12, on the same station, where, in a small gig with only five men, he gallantly effected the capture, 7 Nov. following, of the Maria, of 6 guns and 44 men, having on board 512 slaves, and was otherwise very successful – 23 July, 1831, as First, to the Alfred 50, Capt. Robt. Maunsell, in the Mediterranean – and, 17 Nov. 1834, to the command of the Waterwitch 10, in which vessel he served under the orders of Lord John Hay on the north coast of Spain, and was again successful in his anti-slavery exertions on the African station. Attaining the rank of Commander, 10 Jan. 1837, Capt. Adams was next, on 19 Jan. 1839, appointed to the Acorn 16, destined for the same service as was latterly the Waterwitch. Returning, therefore, to the coast of Africa, he renewed his operations against the negro traffic, and during a prolonged servitude of four years and eight months, during part of which period he had charge of the station and squadron at Mozambique, cruized with wonderful activity and good fortune. Among the prodigious number of prizes made by the Acorn we may instance the capture, 6 July, 1841, after a running fight, of the Gabriel, a piratical slave brig, notorious for its injury to commerce and the frequency of its insults to the British flag. Capt. Adams' long, arduous, and highly useful services were at length rewarded, on his return to England, with a Post-commission, dated 18 Dec. 1843. He has since been on half-pay.
Capt. Adams at present holds the civil appointment of Slave Commissioner at Loango. Having lost his first wife in Sept. 1843, he married, secondly, in 1846, Elizabeth Hurst, daughter of Henry Ellis, Esq., of the city of Dublin. Agent – Joseph Woodhead.