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THE HON B . L .E
SIR CHARLES PAGET, G.C.H.
THE HON. SIR CHARLES PAGET, G.C.H.
VICE-ADMIRAL OF THE WHITE
(Brother of the " Waterloo " Marquess of Anglesey)
THE HON BLE
SIR CHARLES PAGET
WITH A SHORT HISTORY OF THE
BY THE VERY REV.
EDWARD CLARENCE PAGET, D.D.
DEAN OF CALGARY, CANADA
WITH 13 ILLUSTRATIONS
LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO.
39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON
NEW YORK, BOMBAY, AND CALCUTTA
All rights reserved
A SHORT time ago, in the year 1911, 1 prepared and had
privately printed a Memoir of my grandfather, Vice-
Admiral the Honourable Sir Charles Paget, G.C.H.
Since then a good deal of additional information has
come to hand, especially with regard to his famous
action in rescuing the French man-of-war. In August
1912, being in London, I spent some time in the
National Record Office going through the logs of most
of the ships commanded by Sir Charles Paget and
making extracts from them. Thanks to the interest
taken by Admiral Sir William Kennedy and others,
communications were opened with the Misses Schetky,
daughters of the famous Marine Painter who painted
the " Gallant Rescue," and with great thankfulness I
am now able to incorporate in the Memoir their most
valuable testimony as to the authenticity of the action.
In addition to this my cousin Claude Paget has, with
great kindness and labour, supplied me with helpful
suggestions and a good deal of material. I have also
to thank my friend Mrs. Grove, daughter of the late
Admiral Oliver, for lending to me and shipping out to
Calgary her complete set of the forty volumes of the
Naval Chronicle, from which several additional facts,
references, and letters have been gleaned. I desire also
to express my thanks to Mrs. Leopold Paget, of Park
Homer, for so kindly allowing me to have her picture
of the sixth Baron Paget, which dates from the
seventeenth century, copied and photographed for this
I have thought it well to preface the Memoir of my
grandfather with an outline of the history of the Paget
family, and for this I make no apology. The Pagets have
played their part, sometimes a not unimportant part,
in helping to mould the history and life of the nation
from the reign of the second Tudor sovereign to our
own day. It is true that excellent sketches of the careers
of some of the more distinguished members of the family
occur in the Dictionary of National Biography, but
this large and valuable work is not accessible to
every one, and, moreover, it partakes somewhat of the
impersonal and unemotional character of an encyclo-
pedia. We find that each writer has conscientiously
studied his particular subject and treated it with
painstaking skill, but the articles seem to lack the
flesh and blood touch which arouses our interest and
enthusiasm. In recent books, like the interesting Paget
Papers, The Life of Lord Clarence Paget, and the
Memoirs of Sir Edward Paget, no attempt is made to
trace the story of the Paget family. Records may exist
in MS. in the archives of Beaudesert or elsewhere, but
if so they are unknown and inaccessible, and therefore
the somewhat numerous members of our family may
perhaps be glad to possess such a brief historical sketch
as is here offered.
I was so fortunate as to secure the assistance ot Mr.
Gayford of Fettes College, Edinburgh, who searched
various sources of information such as the State Papers,
the Harleian MS. collections and letters in the British
Museum, and histories, which it was impossible for me at
this distance to inspect. Thus as to the origin of the
Pao-et family, Mr. Gayford has searched in the
Harleian MS. and elsewhere with the (to me) dis-
appointing result that there seems no trace of any
family tradition or genealogy beyond the William
Pacret, father of the first Lord Paget, But feel
justified in the absence of any contrary evidence in
crediting the statement of Collins' Peerage of 1735, which
gives Lewis Paget, of the reign of Henry VII, "a
gentleman of Staffordshire," as the most remote ancestor
to whom we can look back and whose name we know.
EDWARD C. PAGET.
February 3, 1913-
I. A SKETCH or THE HISTORY OF THE PAGET FAMILY
THE FIRST BARON PAGET i
IT. HISTORICAL SKETCH (continued) 12
III. THE SONS OF THE FIRST LORD PAGET . . 15
IV. THE PAGETS OF THE STUART PERIOD . . . 19
V. THE SIXTH LORD PAGET, 1639-1713 . . . .22
VI. THE PAGETS OF THE HANOVERIAN PERIOD . . -27
VII. PAGETS OF THE YOUNGER BRANCH .... 32
I. THE ' WOODEN WALLS " OF OLD ENGLAND . . 45
II. BOYHOOD AND EARLY COMMANDS .... 48
III. THE "ENDYMION," APRIL 5, 1803- APRIL 20, 1805 . 56
IV. MARRIAGE AND COMMAND OF THE "EGYPTIENNE" . 61
V. COMMAND OF THE "CAMBRIAN" ..... 65
VI. LATER COMMANDS : THE " REVENGE," AUGUST 6,
i8o8-OcroBER 18, 1810 73
VII. FAIR OAK 79
VII T. ATTENDANCE UPON THE KING BECOMES KEAR-
ADMIRAL COMMAND OF IRISH STATION ... 85
IX. COMMAND OF THE NORTH- AMERICAN STATION His
X. THE "GALLANT UKSCUE" 108
XI. DRAYTON }!ANOR 128
THE HON. SIR CHARLES PAGET, G.C.H., VICE-ADMIKAL
OF THE WHITE ....... Frontispiece
WILLIAM, FIRST BARON PAGET, K.G., SECRETARY OF
STATE AND PRIVY COUNCILLOR TO HENRY VIII,
EDWARD VI, AND QUEEN MARY .... To J "ace p. 3
WILLIAM, SIXTH BARON PAGET ,, 23
HENRY, FIRST MARQUESS OF ANGLESEY, ON HIS SHOOT-
ING PONY . . 34
AUTOGRAPH LETTER OF THE " WATERLOO " MARQUESS OF
ANGLESEY TO HIS NEPHEW, HENRY PAGET Between pp. 36 & 37
BEAUDESERT (STAFFORDSHIRE), THE ANCESTRAL HOME
OF THE PAGET FAMILY ..... To face p. 41
LADY PAGET, THE AUTHOR'S GRANDMOTHER . . 59
THE " EGYPTIENNE " FRIGATE IN PURSUIT OF SPANISH
SCHOONER (1806) 63
FAIR OAK, THE HOME OF SIR CHARLES PAGET . 79
THE "GALLANT RESCUE," BY SCHETKY . . ,, 108
THE "GALLANT RESCUE," BY POCOCK (1807) . . ,, ,, in
MONUMENT TO SIR CHARLES PAGET IN THE NAVAL
AND MILITARY CEMETERY, IRELAND ISLAND, BER-
THE GATEHOUSE OF DRAYTON MANOR . . . 129
A MEMOIR OF
SIR CHARLES PAGET, G.C.H.
A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY OF THE PAGET
FAMILY THE FIRST BARON PAGET
IT would seem from the most ancient authorities that
I have been able to consult, and from the tradition
flven in Collins' Peerage of 1735, that the family of
aget was anciently seated in Staffordshire and can
be traced back to one Lewis Paget, a gentleman of
the county, who in the eleventh year of Henry VII
signed a certificate relating to the office of Master of
the Game of Canker wood.
One of the family, possibly one of Lewis Paget's
brothers, William Paget, who was born near Wednesbury,
in Staffordshire, removed to London and there became
Serjeant at Mace to the city. Mr. Paget had four
children : William his eldest son, John, Robert, and a
daughter Anne who was married to a gentleman of
the prosaic name of Smith.
William Paget the eldest son was born in London
in the year 1506, three years before Henry VIII came
to the throne. He is described as "a person of great
and eminent abilities," and for once the exaggerated
laudation of the eighteenth century does not seem to
have overshot the mark.
Young William Paget was educated at St. Paul's
School, under the famous Lely, and then at Trinity
College, Cambridge, where his abilities and energy seem
to have been generally recognised. Having taKen his
degree, according to the custom of the day, he entered
2 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
the " Family " or Household of Gardiner the famous
Bishop of Winchester, with whom his future career was
for some time bound up. Upon hearing of this step,
Leland wrote to young Paget these lines :
" Tu Gardineri petiisti tecta disserti
Eloquii sedem, Pieriique chori,"
which may roughly be rendered : " Thou hast sought
the protecting home of the learned Gardiner, the abode
of eloquence and of the Muses." Gardiner, himself a
scholar and a man of parts and ambition, was quick to
discern the capacity of his protege, and it was probably
by his advice and with his assistance that Paget went
to Paris and studied in its famous University. Upon
his return from the Continent, as we should now say
a really learned and accomplished man, he resumed
for a time his place in the Bishop's household. From
there he was probably speedily introduced at Court, for
that masterful but able monarch, Henry VIII, himself
a no mean scholar and a friend to scholarship, seems
soon to have appreciated the young courtier's learning
and merits, and to have perceived his fitness for affairs
which demanded wisdom and prudence.
In the year 1530, when Paget was only twenty-four
years of age, he was sent by the King to France to
obtain the opinion of learned men upon the then all
important question of the Royal Divorce. In 1532 he
was made one of the Clerks of the Signet, accompanied
with the quaint but comforting perquisite of being
licensed to import 400 casks of Gascony wine. Five
years later, in 1537, Paget was employed on a mission
of great delicacy and difficulty ; this was to go privately
and in disguise to the Protestant Princes of Germany
and to endeavour to persuade them not to make terms
with the Emperor, Charles V, but to refer their differ-
ences to Henry and the King of France. On his way
the young envoy (for he was then only thirty-one) was
to pass through France in disguise and have interviews
with the English ambassador in Paris and with the
French King. This difficult negotiation was executed
so much to the Royal satisfaction that in 1540 Paget
was made Clerk of the Privy Council, and soon after
Photo: Emery, Walker, Ltd.
WILLIAM, FIRST BARON PAGET, K.G.
SECRETARY OF STATE AND PRIVY COUNCILLOR TO HENRY VIII,
EDWARD VI, AND QUEEN MARY
Of whom the Emperor Charles V is said to have remarked that " Lord
Paget was worthy himself to be a King."
(From the picture by HOLBEIN in National Portrait Gallery}
THE FIRST BARON PAGET 3
Clerk of the Privy Seal, and Clerk of Parliament
In 1544 Paget was made one of the two principal
Secretaries of State, and in the same year received the
honour of knighthood, and was granted by the King
a large estate in his native county of Staffordshire, com-
prising the lordships of Abbots Bromley and Hurst.
In 1545 Sir William Paget attended the King at
the siege of Boulogne, and later was commissioned with
the Earl of Hertford to negotiate a treaty of peace with
the French King.
The negotiations were broken off at the time, but in
the following year Sir William Paget was sent as
ambassador to France, and while there received from
Henry a letter remarkable for its length and for the
high degree of confidence it manifests in the conduct
and judgment of Paget. This letter is given in extenso
in Collins' Peerage, and is well worth reading ; it thus
" Given under our signet at our Honour of Hampton
Court, 26 Decembre, 37th year of our Reigne.
" To our trusty and well beloved counsellor, Sir
William Paget, Knt., one of our two Principal Secre-
On the 7th of the following June, Sir William
Paget, Lord Lisle, and the Dean of Canterbury (Dr.
Wotton) concluded peace with the French, and soon after
the King, on his deathbed, bequeathed Paget ^300 and
appointed him one of his Executors, and one of the
Council to the young Edward.
There is another instance, mentioned by Froude, of
the high esteem in which the old monarch held his
secretary. Not long before his death Henry had a con-
sultation with Sir William Paget as to persons who
were deserving of being raised to the peerage, and he
entrusted Paget with the task of preparing a list of
names, suggested honours, and the grants to accompany
the titles. Upon his reading this list over to the King,
Sir William Herbert remarked : " Mr. Secretary has re-
membered all men save one." " You mean himself," said
4 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
the King ; "I remember him well enough, and he shall
The last scene in the long and intimate relation of
some seventeen years between Henry and his faithful
secretary is told us by Froude ; it is one full of dignity
and pathos. The nation lay in suspense, knowing that
the old lion was on his deathbed. Statesmen and
courtiers w r ere living in anxiety and even fear, for the
King's conduct had become more suspicious and tyran-
nical as his strength failed, and no one knew where the
next blow might fall. But within the palace, in
the Royal bedchamber, a moving scene is in progress
during that last day of Henry's life, January 27, 1547.
The whole of that last day the King spent in con-
versation with Lord Hertford, (uncle to Edward VI)
and Sir William Paget, upon the state of the nation.
Henry continued his directions to them as long as he
was able to speak, and they were with him when he
breathed his last at 2 A.M., January 28.
Immediately after the King's death these two coun-
sellors held a consultation in the corridor outside the
Royal death chamber. What a picture this would
make : the two great statesmen worn and pale with the
strain of the long day's watching and conversation, and
of seeing the last moments of their master, loved and
dreaded as he must have been. Then it was that Lord
Hertford entreated Paget to assist him in carrying out
his design to be named Protector or Regent during his
nephew Edward's minority. Sir William Paget prob-
ably knew Hertford's weak points thoroughly, his some-
what haughty and hasty temper combined with weakness
in action and a desire for popular applause. Before
giving his assent to the proposal he therefore gave many
warnings and cautions, and insisted that Hertford should
be guided by his advice.
So the curtain falls upon the first act in the national
drama in which Sir William Paget had played a leading
part. It seems an extraordinary testimony to the real
worth, wisdom, and grave balance of his character and
judgment that, while self-seeking courtiers and states-
men rose and fell, Sir William Paget remained the
trusted adviser and friend of that able and suspicious
THE FIRST BARON PAGET 5
monarch for seventeen years, and maintained his intimate
position of trust and influence to the very end.
I have found in the two interesting volumes of Mr.
Tytler, published in 1839, entitled England under
Edward and Mary, illustrated by " a series of original
letters hitherto unpublished," abundant evidence of
the important part which was played by our ancestor
Sir William Paget or Baron Paget of Beaudesert, as he
was created on January 19, 1550, in both those reigns.
At a meeting of the Council held three days after
Henry's death (the general news of which had been kept
from the public), Paget proposed the Protectorate, which
proposal was strongly combated by Lord Chancellor
Wriothesley, but Paget 's influence was the stronger and
the proposal was agreed to.
On the same day, at the meeting of Parliament, it is
Sir William Paget who reads to the assembled lords and
commons the portions of the Royal will relating to the
succession. Collins' Peerage says characteristically :
" Being now of great authority and high repute for his
wisdom and learning, the Earl of Hertford, the Lord
Protector, became his close friend, whereby he had a
greater opportunity of exercising his extraordinary
abilities for the public advantage."
Two months later we find two ambitious and power-
ful men, Bishop Gardiner of Winchester, and the Earl of
Warwick, Hertford's great and eventually successful
rival, both recognising the position and influence of
Paget by seeking to enlist his assistance in their affairs.
On March 2, 1547, Sir W. Paget addresses a calm and
authoritative reply to some rather passionate complaint
of the Bishop. This letter contains an interesting refer-
ence to the high place of influence which he had occupied
in the late reign. " Nor that I would usurp a greater
power unto me than that I have (which is not great)
when that I could tempre [i.e. restrain] myself from
using all I might have used when time served me, with
the favour and consent of him from whom all our powers
were derived, provoked [i.e. urged] by him oftentimes to
use it ... and having his promise to be maintained
6 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
in the same. In his days that dead is (God have his
soul) I never did that I might have done. I never
loved extremes. . . . For private respects I will not do
anything wherein the public cause may be hindered.
And in public cause I will say and do, as I have always
done since I have been in place, according to my
On May 8, 1549, when the Lord Protector Somerset
was making himself more and more disliked by the
Council by his arbitrary and passionate actions, Sir
William Paget risked his friendship by addressing to
him a remarkable letter in which, with the frankness of
true friendship, he warns him of his growing unpopularity
and implores him to give up that violent and despotic
mode of conducting himself.
Towards the end of the letter he has this striking
sentence, which was truly prophetic of the Protector's
fast approaching ruin : "A king who shall give men
discouragement to say their opinions frankly receiveth
thereby great hurt and peril to his realm ; but a subject
in great authority, as your Grace is, using such fashion
is like to fall into great danger and peril of his own
person beside that of the Commonwealth, which for the
very love I bear your Grace I beseech you, and for God's
sake, consider and weigh it well." In the same year,
1549, Paget was sent with Hoby on an embassy to the
Emperor in regard to Boulogne, but Charles would not
entangle himself in this matter, and Sir William Paget
writes an account of their ill success to Petre the other
Principal Secretary. Of this embassy his companion,
Sir Philip Hoby, writes : " He (Paget) was so generally
commended and well reported of by all his gravity and
prudence used in setting forth and well handling his
charge towards the Emperor and his counsellors that he
had purchased himself love and credit with all men, and
not a little for the King's Majesty, honour, and estima-
tion in those parts."
It is interesting to note that while Sir William Paget
seems habitually to have leant towards moderate and
conciliatory counsels, yet he had the ruler's true instinct
for strong measures when necessary. Thus when the
rebellion broke out in favour of the Old Religion and
THE FIRST BARON PAGET 7
against the enclosures of common lands and other abuses,
Paget condemns the timid and hesitating policy of
Somerset. Tytler here calls him an " austere man," and
says he declared that " this policy of pardon and ex-
postulation would irritate rather than cure the dis-
temper," which proved to be entirely true.
In 1548 Paget had obtained a grant of Exeter House
and part of the Temple Gardens. He rebuilt the old
house of the Bishop of Exeter and called it Paget House.
In 1 549 he was summoned to the House of Peers by
writ and took his seat, December 3, as Baron Paget of
Beaudesert in the county of Stafford. On January 19,
1550, he was formally created to that honour, and soon
after appointed on the commission to treat with France
for peace. It may be said in passing, as this has an im-
portant bearing upon later descendants, that the Barony
of Paget was entailed to descend both through male and
In the growing rivalry between Somerset and the
Duke of Northumberland, formerly the Earl of Warwick,
Somerset's friends gradually fell away, but Lord Paget,
with Cranmer and Smith, held faithfully by their leader
and urged upon him conciliatory and moderate counsels
as long as was possible.
In the final conspiracy of Northumberland against
the unfortunate Somerset it was alleged (apparently en-
tirely without foundation) that Northumberland and his
friends were to have been invited by Lord Paget to a
banquet at his house, and on the way were to have been
attacked and slain by Somerset's men.
Somerset's trial and execution followed, and Lord
Paget, as one of his friends, was imprisoned in the Tower
by the adverse faction, deprived of the knighthood of
the Garter and of the Secretaryship of State, and com-
pelled, upon a probably trumped up charge of peculation,
to pay a fine of ^2000 before he was released.
Upon this treatment of Lord Paget by his political
foes Collins has this interesting comment : " On April
22, 1551, he was divested of the Garter on pretence of
defect of Blood and Arms for 3 descents," but the Liber
Ceruleus in the Registry of Knights at Windsor observes :
" It was not so much these causes as the ' practice ' of the
8 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
Duke of Northumberland, by which he had been unjustly
put out of the Order." The heavy fines imposed upon him,
June 1 6, 1551, "he bore," says Sir John Hayward, " with
a manly fortitude." The falsity of these charges seems
proved from the fact that with his political enemies still
in power he obtained a general pardon in the following
December, and in the following March, 1552, received a
grant from the King of the coat of arms of which he
had been deprived and which is now borne by his family.
The motto, " Per il suo contrario," must have then
seemed peculiarly appropriate.
On King Edward's death Lord Paget, with the Earl
of Arundel, rode post with thirty horse to Queen Mary,
and escorted her to London. He was sworn of her Privy
Council, and the Queen at once restored him to the
Order of the Garter by a decree in Chapter holden at
St. James on September 27, so that, as Ashmole remarks:
" The honour may be rather said to have been wrongfully
suspended than justly lost." Ashmole further remarks:
"The records of the Order brand his degradation with
injustice, and the Sovereign being present at that time
in Chapter, gave him this honourable commendation that
he had highly deserved of the nation by his prudence
On reviewing the public life of the first Baron Paget
there is, I think, no period which his descendants can
regard with greater and more legitimate pride than his
conduct during the reign of Queen Mary.
From the letters of Simon Renard, the Spanish
ambassador, it is very plain that at first Lord Paget
occupied a very high place in the Queen's confidence.
Renard repeatedly mentions him in his private reports
to the Emperor, as if he were the statesman with whom
he had chiefly to reckon. He complains bitterly of his
disappointment in Paget, who, " although a Catholic, was
no better than a heretic," and was the leader of the
heretics against Bishop Gardiner the chief of the perse-
The Council decided to urge Mary to exercise clemency,
and selected Lord Paget to carry the request to her.
Paget seems to have spoken with great plainness to the
Queen, telling her that the nobility were not anxious
THE FIRST BARON PAGET 9
to luive another Duke of Northumberland (meaning
Gardiner) over them again, and thereupon Mary par-
doned six gentlemen who were to have been executed.
Renard states in 1554 that the Queen holds Paget in
great suspicion for two reasons (both of which we shall
think most honourable to him), viz., that in Parliament
he spoke more violently than anyone, and used all his
influence against two Bills which the Court wished to
carry : ( i ) to make it high treason to take up arms against
Philip of Spain, the King-consort ; and (2) to punish
heretics with death. The House of Peers, doubtless
largely through Paget's influence, threw out both these
measures, and this naturally excited the Queen's dis-
pleasure. Had Lord Paget accomplished nothing else, we
should feel he had deserved well of his country. Tytler
gives at length a remarkable letter in which, putting his
pride in his pocket and thinking only of the good of his
country, Lord Paget implores the Spanish ambassador
to use all his influence with the Queen to restrain and
countervail the violent counsels and persecuting policy
of the Chancellor, Gardiner.
It appears from Renard's letters that Paget at first
and for some time opposed the Spanish match, but later
withdrew his opposition. It is again a great tribute to
the powers, the worth, and the magnetic influence of this
remarkable man that not only did the Emperor Charles V
form a very high estimate of him and treat him with
distinguished consideration, but that his son Philip, after
his marriage, seems also to have been greatly attracted
to Lord Paget and to have formed almost a friendship
with him. It seems to have been partly through Philip's
advice that Paget was restored entirely to Court favour,
in spite of his sturdy opposition to religious persecution,
and he, with Lord Hastings, was sent to the Court of
Charles V to escort Cardinal Pole to England. Tytler
gives the long and interesting letter in which Lord Paget
describes his interview with the Emperor and the carry-
ing out of the purpose of his embassy.
Towards the close of Mary's reign Philip sent the
Count de Feria on a special mission to England. He
arrived in London, November 9, 1 558, and at once visited
the dying Queen. He then tells us that he went thirteen
io MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
miles from London to visit the Princess Elizabeth, and,
as the result of a long and confidential conversation,
proceeds in his report to Philip to enumerate those coun-
cillors who, as far as he could gather from Elizabeth's
remarks, were most in her favour. First in the list
comes the name of Lord Paget. In his description of
Elizabeth as vain but acute he gives his impression that
she had " a great admiration for the King her father's
mode of carrying on matters." It may be the fact that
they remembered Paget as the long-trusted and faithful
adviser of their father contributed in no slight measure
to the confidence which both Queens seemed to have
been instinctively ready to repose in him.
On Elizabeth's accession, at his own request (so
Camden writes), Lord Paget left the public service and
retired to his own estates, " although in the Queen's
favour, she retaining an affection and value for him though
he was a strict zealot of the Romish Church." We are
inclined to ask why Lord Paget, who had served the
State so ably through the reigns of three Tudor sovereigns,
was thus unwilling to serve under the last of his old
master's descendants. He was only fifty-two years of age
at the accession of Elizabeth and might, one would think,
have been willing to work on for the new Sovereign for
at least a few years. It is of course possible to conjec-
ture that the very fact that he admired and served the
old King so well had made him regret all the more the
scandal of the divorce from Catherine and the marriage
with Anne Boleyn, and had left him indisposed to
serve under Anne Boleyn's daughter.
Tennyson's reading of Lord Paget's character in his
play of Queen Mary is interesting. He appears there
as a statesman far-sighted, sagacious, and inclined to
be cynical ; and to him is assigned the closing words of
the drama :
Bagenal cries : " God save the Crown ! the Papacy
is no more."
Paget (aside) : " Are we so sure of that ? "
Lord Paget's public career closed in 1558, and his
private life only lasted for five years more. He died
January 9, 1563, aged fifty-seven, and was buried at
THE FIRST BARON PAGET u
Dray ton. He had married Anne, sole daughter and heiress
of Henry Preston of Preston in Yorkshire, and by her had
two daughters and four sons, of whom Edward died
young. By his will he bequeathed to his eldest son,
Henry, his great standing cup with the double gilt lid,
weighing 100 ounces, to go from heir to heir as an
His widow, Lady Paget, and his second son, Thomas,
erected a very stately monument to his memory in Lich-
field Cathedral. This monument was destroyed during
the Great Rebellion, but a copy of the inscription was
preserved and is here subjoined, both as an excellent
specimen of contemporary epitaphs and as a brief de-
scription of his honours :
" Illustri heroi, pice memorise, domino Gulielmo
Paget, equiti maxime honorati ordinis Garterii ; Regulo,
seu Baroni de Beaudesert ; potentissimi Principis Henrici
Octavi, ad Carolum quint am Imperatorem, semper aug-
ustum, et Franciscum Gallorum Regem Christianissimum,
Legato Sapientissimo ; ejusdem Principis principi Secre-
tano, et consilliario fidelissimo ; inter alios hujus poteiitis-
simi regiii Administrator! in Testamento Regio Nominato.
Ducatus Lancastrise (regnante Edvardo) Cancellario dig-
riissimo : Hospitii Regii Censori prudentissimo : Privati
Sigilli serenissimse Reginse Mariae Custodi Sanctissimo :
Illustrissima3 Reginse Elisabethse seni charissimo, sena-
tori gravissimo ; et optime de patria sua et bonis
omnibus Merito. Necnon Dominse Anna3, fidilissimaB
conjugi suss, et Domino Henrico utriusque charissimo
filio, et KatharinaB Henrici Uxori dulcissimae ; preedicta
Anna charissima faemina et domina Katharina uxor
dicti Henrici suavissima ; et pnenobilis vir Domiuus
Thomas Paget in presentio Regulus de Beaudesert de
sententia et ultima voluntate dictorum Gulielmi et
Henrici amicis libentissimis et summo studio memores
posuere vixit anuis 57 de 9 Junii, 1563."
HISTORICAL SKETCH (continued)
IN endeavouring to form a just estimate of the states-
men of the sixteenth century it is absolutely necessary
to get rid of some of our modern prepossessions.
When reading for the History School in Oxford,
I remember feeling very indignant at a venomous little
footnote of Hallam, in which he speaks of " the Pagets
and Arundels the basest of mankind." I hold now more
firmly than then that such a judgment is shallow,
conventional, and based upon external evidence which
has not been fairly considered or even thoroughly
As regards the changes in religion and the attitude of
such men as Sir William Paget, student, philosopher, and
statesman, towards them, we have to remember (as was
well shown by the author of John Inglesant} that, except
in the case of extreme bigots on either side, there was
no such clear line of demarcation between the Church
of England and the Church of Rome as exists to-day.
During the long reign of Henry VIII there was little
change in Public Worship for the mass of the people, and
the king was buried with the full Pre-Reformation
services and ceremonial.
In Edward's reign it is not probable that a man in
the position of Sir William Paget would find it necessary
to make much change in his own attitude to the Church
and services. We remember that John Inglesant, who
seems a type of the learned and philosophically-minded
churchman of the day, found nothing inconsistent in
communicating at the altars of the Church of England
in England and those of the Church of Rome abroad.
Do we really understand the significance of the
action of the English Parliament, Lords and Commons,
during this period of transition ? Practically the same
HISTORICAL SKETCH 13
Parliament, certainly the same House of Peers, which
had a few years before endorsed the Reformed Prayer
Books of Edward and kindred measures, voted unani-
mously (with but two dissentients) for the restoration
of England to the Papal obedience, and enthusiastically
welcomed Cardinal Pole. Can we explain this action
of the Peers and Commons of England (the same Peers
and Commons who a quarter of a century later stood up
against and defeated the full majesty of Spain) by
sneering at "servile Tudor Parliaments and their chame-
leon statesmen " ?
Was it not rather that through all this period affairs
religious and secular were in a transition state, and men
as yet had no very settled convictions to guide them
save the one determination to maintain the State of
England as independent of her two great military rivals,
the Empire and France ? It was because Henry VIII
and his daughter Elizabeth personified and expressed
this determination that they were so popular with the
people at large, and it was largely because Mary's
alliance with Philip tended to entangle and humiliate
England that she had so little influence in her country,
and so little of its affection. I believe that this Spanish
marriage alienated the nation from her more than did
the religious persecution.
If there is truth in my contention then it is not at all
surprising that men like Lord Paget and Secretary
Cecil (afterwards the famous Lord Burleigh), who had
joined in the Reformed Worship in Edward's reign,
should have been perfectly willing to reconform to the
Old Religion under Mary. It would not have seemed
to them to involve a matter of principle or to constitute
any very grave change. So we read in Mary's reign
that Cecil, who had been Secretary to the strongly
Protestant Northumberland Government, of his own
desire accompanied Paget and Hastings to escort Cardinal
Pole to England, and also with his wife conformed to
the Roman Catholic Religion by confessing and com-
municating. 1 Lord Paget, however, did not, as did
Cecil, change again at the accession of Elizabeth, but
remained a Roman Catholic to the day of his death.
1 Vide Tytler's Letters, vol. ii. p. 443.
i 4 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
Moreover, we have seen that in matters about which he
held strong convictions Lord Paget was not afraid to
risk the Queen's displeasure, as when he opposed the
Spanish marriage, and when he led the opposition
against the persecuting policy of Gardiner. There does
not seem to be much of a timorous or time-serving spirit
here ! Again, the fact that Lord Paget's sons followed
their father's example and remained staunch Roman
Catholics all their lives, when every motive of self-interest
would have led them to join the Reformed Religion,
seems to show that our ancestors were animated by a fairly
strong spirit of independence. Two of them had to suffer
heavily for their faith and for their political views, as
we shall see later.
THE SONS OF THE FIRST LORD PAGET
HENRY, the eldest son, succeeded to the estates and title
as second Baron Paget in 1563. He was married, but
had only one daughter, who died young. The second
baron only survived his father by five years, dying in
Thomas, the second son of the first Lord Paget,
succeeded his brother in the estates and title as third
baron in 1568. His career was a somewhat romantic
and adventurous one.
He partly rebuilt Beaudesert, the family seat, which
had been one of the old houses of the Bishop of Lichfield,
and probably spent some time on his country estates.
He joined with his mother in erecting a magnificent
monument to his father in Lichfield Cathedral. He
was married and had one son, William. It may have
been Lady Paget, his wife, or his brother Henry's widow,
who is described in Kenilivorth as being the lady-in-
waiting to Elizabeth when they discovered Raleigh's
famous writing on the pane. Scott is usually faithful
to historical names and events.
Charles Paget, the third brother, of whom there is an
extended notice in the Dictionary of National Biography,
seems to have been an able and energetic man and to
have become more or less a supporter of the claims of
Queen Mary of Scotland to the English Crown. It is
probable that he gradually influenced Lord Paget to
become a sympathiser in this movement.
Hollinshead relates that in September 1583 Charles
Paget came from the Continent to the Earl of Northum-
berland at Petworth, where the Lord Paget met him.
Soon after this came the seizure of Throgmorton and
the exposure of his plot, in which it was claimed by
Walsingham and his friends, including the Earl of
16 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES FACET
Leicester, that the Pagets were involved. They fled to
France, but bewailed in letters to England that " the
Queen was without any fault of theirs alienated from
them by the subtle arts of Leicester and Walsingham."
But the Parliament of 29 Elizabeth attainted them both
and confiscated their possessions, whereupon the Earl of
Leicester obtained a grant of Paget House in London.
Whatever may have been Lord Paget's relations with
Queen Mary up to this time, these harsh measures prob-
ably had the effect of deciding him to cast in his lot with
the Marian party, of which his brother Charles was
evidently a leading member.
Sir Edward Stafford, the English ambassador at
Paris, writes home that Lord Paget and his brother
Charles have called on him and begged him to do his
best for them at home, but the storm of ill -favour against
them continued during 1584 unabated and those who
had had dealings with them were viewed with suspicion.
In August 1584 Lord Paget's goods and chattels
were put into the hands of the sheriff, but his estate was
never broken up, for it was restored to his son more or
less complete. In the following year, however, Queen
Mary, on her way to Fotheringay Castle, stayed at the
Manor House in the village of Tutbury for two weeks,
and by a curious irony of fate some of Lord Paget's
possessions were taken from Beaudesert to furnish the
apartments of the unfortunate Queen.
Of Lord Paget's relations with the Pope, in his visits
to Rome, there seem to be different reports.
Thomas Morgan, a leader of the Marian party, writes
to Queen Mary : " The Lord Paget is in considerable
favour with the Pope," whereas Charles Paget writes
that his brother had a somewhat cold reception. In
1585 Lord Paget left Rome and went to Madrid, which
was come to be the centre of the Marian party.
All this time the brothers were very hard up, so
much so that although they had been put on the pension
list of the King of Spain, we find the following amusing
postscript in a letter of Charles Paget to Queen Mary :
" If your Majesty have occasion to write to the King
of Spain, I pray you to write in favour of payment of my
Lord Paget's pension and mine, otherwise I fear they
will never be paid. Such is the dullness of princes'
liberality here ! "
In 1586 the brothers seem to have been in Paris, and,
Charles writes, were looked upon with disfavour and
" were very poor indeed." Nevertheless, alike in Spain
and in France, the Paget brothers were regarded as
very important factors in the intrigues of those years.
Thomas Morgan writes to Mary : " I account that the
more honour and credit the Lord Paget and his brother
hath abroad, so much the more your service shall be
advanced." In March 1588 we know from the State
Papers that Lord Paget was in Brussels, after which
nothing further is heard of him for a year, when in
March 1589 disappointment and hardship were evidently
undermining his health. " Lord Paget," writes one,
" is sickly and intends to go to the Baths ; he wears
Towards the end of the year Paget hopes for peace
and a certain toleration for the refugees. No doubt he
deeply regretted his folly in allowing himself to be per-
suaded by Charles Paget (who would seem to have
been a born intriguer) into joining in his schemes.
Doubtless he looked back to his old life at Beaudesert
and in London, where his father's name was one to conjure
by ; and to the fifteen years of his own useful and peace-
ful life as one of the Peers of England before he was
drawn into the whirlpool of party intrigues. But what-
ever may have been his longing to see his son again,
and the red walls of Beaudesert rising above the moors
of Cannock Chase, the wish was denied him, and he died
at Brussels or Lou vain at the close of 1589.
Although the first Lord Paget attended the Uni-
versity of Cambridge, he seems to have sent all his sons
to Christ Church, Oxford. Apparently the tradition of
learning which the first Baron inaugurated continued in
the family, for Camden observes that " the death of
Thomas, third Lord Paget, proves a sad and universal
loss in the commonwealth of learning."
Of this interesting and pathetic figure in our family
portrait gallery we have one very touching glimpse. It
1 8 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
is given from Paris, in the State Papers, by the ambas-
sador, Sir Edward Stafford, who writes : " Lord Paget
keeps to himself and is tongue-tied, cold, and patient."
So ended the sad and wasted life of this English
nobleman, who might have played, if not so considerable
a part as his father, yet at least some useful part in the
service of his country.
Of course those like Froude and Kingsley, who
regard any questioning of the rights of Elizabeth and
espousal of the claims of Queen Mary of Scotland as
treason to England, will brand Lord Paget and his
brother as traitors and say that they deserved to die in
exile. The best refutation of such a charge is that
James I, without any serious opposition, succeeded to
the throne on the death of Elizabeth, and that his right
was derived from his mother, the murdered Queen of
Scots. The right of Mary to the succession was thereby
acknowledged by Parliament, and her right as against
that of Elizabeth might have been maintained in perfect
good faith, though it might not have been prudent, in
view of the will of Henry VIII, and the fact that Eliza-
beth's claim had been generally admitted by the nation,
to bring it to an issue.
THE PAGETS OF THE STUART PERIOD
THE only son of the third baron, Sir William Paget,
was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, and was the
first of his family to embrace the Reformed Religion. He
is described as a " staunch Protestant." He had accom-
panied the Earl of Essex in his expedition against
Calais, and had been knighted. Soon after his father's
death Parliament reversed the attainder, and in the
first year of James I, 1603, Parliament restored him to
his rank and estates.
The fourth baron by his marriage had three sons, of
whom the two youngest died unmarried, and several
daughters. His death occurred August 29, i62g. 1 All
the early barons, with the exception of Thomas the Exile,
were buried in the family vault at West Drayton.
William, the eldest son, who succeeded his father at
the early age of nineteen, as fifth baron, entered almost
at once upon the troubled era of the Great Rebellion.
It seems as if he may have inherited from his great-
grandfather his strong instinct for moderate counsels,
and for placing the general welfare of the State before
individual or party advantages. In the years which
preceded the Civil War, which the foolish and head-
strong conduct of Charles was threatening to precipitate,
Lord Paget took the national side, and while still
young, in 1 640, was one of those who signed the Petition
to the King to summon Parliament " as the best way to
take away grievances, and that the contention may be
composed without blood."
1 The fourth Lord Pj-.get took an active part in political life. He
accompanied Sir Robert Cecil on his embassy to Paris, and seems to have
been a favourite of this statesman. Later, in 1628, in the debate on the
" Petition of Rights," Buckingham, by way of a concession, suggested
substituting the phrase " by Royal Prerogative." The House was perplexed ;
then Lord Paget rose and spoke at considerable length, advising that the
question should be referred to the Judges for their opinion.
20 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
Clarendon, who evidently is strongly prejudiced
against him, writes: "The Lord Paget who had contributed
all his faculties to their (i.e. the Parliament's) service,
had been one of the teizers to broach those bold high
overtures, chosen Lord Lieutenant of [Buckinghamshire]
with great solemnity and pomp executed their ordinance
in defying the King's proclamation and subscribed a
greater number of horses for their service than others of
the same quality, being convinced in his conscience fled
from them and besought the King's pardon." He after-
wards raised a regiment in the King's service which did
good service at Edgehill. It seems probable that Lord
Paget, like Lord Falkland, as he is described in Matthew
Arnold's fascinating essay, was neither a red-hot cavalier
nor an out and out parliamentarian. He saw evidently
the faults and weaknesses of both parties, "Scribes and
Pharisees 011 one side, publicans and sinners on the
other," and longed for the evils of the nation to be
" composed without blood." When this was found to be
impossible, he threw in his lot with his Royal master,
however much he may have deplored the lack of prud-
ence which had brought the nation to such a crisis.
To those who may be inclined to adopt Clarendon's
view and brand Lord Pa^et as a turncoat because he
went a certain distance with the parliamentarians and
then left them and joined the King's standard, I would
venture to recommend Matthew Arnold's essay on Falk-
land. This makes it clear that that eminent man, so
highly esteemed by the whole nation, acted precisely in
the same way. For some time he upheld Parliament
and acted with them and against the arbitrary action of
the King, but when he became convinced of the violent
purposes of the parliamentary leaders, he deliberately
left them and accepted a position in the King's Govern-
ment and fell fighting for Charles at Newbury.
Yet no one felt more keenly than Falkland that
both sides were wrong, and no one groaned over the
nation's suffering by the Civil War more than he.
On the final failure of the Royal cause Lord Paget
probably retired to his estates in Staffordshire and lived
quietly there till the Restoration. He is mentioned four
or five times in the " Calendar of the Committee for the
THE PAGETS OF THE STUAET PERIOD 21
Advance of Money." Each time he was called up (1645
and 1655) he was leniently dealt with, being on one
occasion assessed ^500. He was never actually cleared
of the suspicion of Cromwell's Government, but his
estate was compounded for at a small figure, or his case
was postponed. He was evidently allowed to feel that
he w r as tied to the new Government by the clemency
shown to him. Certainly, considering the wholesale
sequestrations that went on, it may be safely assumed
that Lord Paget maintained a more or less neutral
attitude to both parties and was what might be de-
scribed as a moderate Royalist who was ready to con-
form to the Cromwelliaii rule as the Government de
facto if not de jure.
This will account for his receiving no compensation
for his losses from Charles II, though we find from the
State Papers that he petitioned for it two or three
times. It will also account for the hostile way in which
Clarendon wrote of him.
There is no doubt, however, that Lord Paget, like
most of the other landowners of England, suffered heavily
by the Civil War. He must have spent large sums in
the cause of Charles I while fighting for him, and later
he had to meet the fines (even though they were moder-
ate) of the victorious Parliament. It is probable that
much of the family plate was sold at this time and
replaced, as seems sometimes to have been the case, by
pewter dishes and spoons. One of these pewter dishes
bearing the Paget crest was recently found and purchased
by my cousin, Mr. FitzClarence Paget, in a second-hand
shop in Cheltenham, and it is treasured by him as an
interesting link with our cavalier ancestor.
Lord Paget survived the troubles of the Great
Rebellion and lived well on into the Restoration period.
He died in 1678.
THE SIXTH LORD PAGET, 1639-1713'
IN the dining-room at Park Homer, near Wimborne, the
residence of Mrs. Leopold Paget, there hangs the portrait
of a handsome youth of eighteen with dark eyes and curl-
ing hair, and the rich dress of the Stuart period. He is
William, eldest son of the fifth Baron Paget, at the age
of eighteen. The picture was painted in 1665 and was
exhibited in the National Portrait Exhibition of 1 866. I
saw it for the first time last August, 1912, and by Mrs.
Paget's kind permission have had an excellent copy made,
which is now framed and hanging in my drawing-room
here in the far West !
The year after this portrait was painted young Paget
received permission to travel abroad, and it is probable
that the acquaintance which he then made with foreign
nations and their manners and customs may have been of
real value to him in his subsequent career as a Diplomatist.
He succeeded to the title and estates of his father as
sixth baron in 1678, and appears to have led an unevent-
ful life during the rest of Charles' reign.
With the reign of James II serious troubles again
began, and, influenced by the instinct of his family against
violent and tyrannical measures, Lord Paget became one
of the signers of the petition to James against his arbitrary
action in summoning Parliament to meet in Oxford. In
the celebrated trial of the Seven Bishops, which followed,
Lord Paget was one of those who appeared on their be-
half in Westminster Hall. Upon the landing of William
of Orange and the measures which followed Lord Paget
voted first for the vacancy of the throne and then for the
1 History records that the Sixth Lord Fagot was buried, not as almost
all his ancestors had been in the vault at Drayton, but in St. Qiles-in-the-
Jields. On visiting this ancient church recently, I was, through the
courtesy of the rector and curate, allowed to see the old parish register.
Among the list of burials is recorded that of " the Et. Honble. William
Lord Paget, March 20, 1713." There is no tablet or monument.
WILLIAM, SIXTH BARON PAGET
(From a picture in Possession of MRS, LEOPOLD PAGET. Painted in 1665)
THE SIXTH LORD PAGET 23
Act of Settlement of the Crown upon William and Mary.
In recognition of his services he was made Lord Lieutenant
of Staffordshire, and soon afterwards (1689) sent as
ambassador to the Emperor at Vienna. A whole MS.
volume of his despatches and letters is preserved in the
British Museum, most of which were written from Vienna
during his embassy there, 1689-91. He returned to
England then for a short while, and in August 1692
was appointed ambassador to the Porte with the express
purpose of mediating a peace in Europe. Lord Paget
went to Flanders to see the King on his way, and passed
through Vienna. He arrived at Belgrade about December,
and reached Constantinople, January 1693. " He arrived
too late to bring about a successful peace at once," says
Burnet, but it is hinted that had he been appointed sooner
peace might have been concluded earlier. In April 1 694
there are some minutes of the Admiralty, which had been
appealed to about a heavy levy which Lord Paget had
made upon the merchants of the Levantine Co. trading
in Turkey, at which evident displeasure was shown by the
authorities at home.
This complaint gave occasion to the ambassador to
write home a most vigorous defence of his action (in one
of the letters in the British Museum), of which I subjoin
some extracts :
"CONSTANTINOPLE, 27 Oct. 1694.
" I am wonderfully surprised to hear the com-
pany is so mightily alarmed at the proceedings here,
so severely it censures me, as to carry their com-
plaints to their Majesties upon false information,
before they know how things are. If ever it has
been in the power of an ambassador to do the
Honble. Levant Co. a service I must say and will
maintain that this of the Leviation was the most
considerable service could be done them ; they were
never before nor I hope will be again in the condi-
tion they were at my arrival here ; their ships had
been rotting almost 4 years, their warehouses were
empty, their Treasures without money, and I may
say without credit no orders were sent from
England how he should govern himself or be
24 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
supplied ; the debt of the company was very great
and there were no means of discharging it. ...
The records in the Chancery here show that [a
Leviation] has been made many times but never
upon so urgent an occasion. What is alleged
against me in their severe letter of May 24, except
that a Leviation of 4 % was raised, is false, and
even that was required without penalty or the
imposition of extraordinary rates."
So the letter runs on, and he declares that the com-
pany will prosper again. Probably things quieted down
at the improvement of trade next year ; at any rate
it seems that Lord Paget's measures proved salutary.
From the volume of MS. letters the following-
facts may be gathered : 1697, Lord Paget has left Con-
stantinople and gone to Adrianople, and is still there in
1698. In September 1698 he is at Belgrade, whence
apparently he went to Carlowitz to sign the Treaty of
Peace, January 1699.
It is stated in the State Papers in 1697 that he was
desirous of returning home, but the Sultan begged
William III to continue him at the Porte, and he in
fact remained on. There is an autograph letter to Lord
Paget from the King, dated ist March 1697-98, of which
this is a brief extract :
" You are to use your utmost endeavour that
a peace or at least a truce in the nature of a peace
be made, and for the better conserting matters in
order thereto, you are to advise with the ambassador
of the States General of the United Provinces resid-
ing at the Porte and therein to act in co-operation
The Peace of Carlowitz, which was eventually signed
between the Emperor, Venice, Poland, Russia, and the
Porte was practically brought about by Lord Paget's
patience, tact, and skilful diplomacy. It was his crown-
ing triumph. Some glimpse of the difficulties which he
had to encounter is given in this extract from a letter to
his son, dated January 10, 1699 :
" HARRY, After many disputes and differences
which the negotiations agitated have occasioned we
THE SIXTH LOED PAGET 25
have come to an agreement which I hope will prove
to the satisfaction of the parties concerned. . . . We
have the consent of his Imperial Majesty's plenipo-
tentiaries, the articles are settled with Poland ; the
Muscovite ambassador I have despatched to his
satisfaction, and we ought to have ended our con-
ferences a month ago, if the Venetian ambassa-
dor's stiffness had not detained us protracting the
The letter concludes :
" I doubt not before this reaches you, you will have
received the money due for the charges and expenses
of the voyage,"
and goes on to say how difficult it has been to get money
for his expenses, and anticipating still more if the con-
ference is likely to be delayed some time yet.
The following letter to his son is of a very different
kind, and there are several like it scattered up and down
the volume of his MS. letters. It is interesting as
showing how extremely exact was Lord Paget's recollec-
tion of matters on his home estate and giving directions
about them. This fact may perhaps give us an indica-
tion that his heart was very much in his home and that
he was, as the State Papers say, yearning to return as
soon as possible :
" HAKRY, In answer to yours of 3rd June I
am to tell you I did always design to take down
the old wall, the materials whereof might be used as
far as they will go towards laying a foundation
and raising the new wall, according to my direc-
tions in my last letter to you. That which I would
have pulled down is the south wall of which a part
is fallen ... all the materials may be useful and go
a great way towards rebuilding the new wall which
must take in all Foil's orchard and so be brought
up to my orchard and my kitchen garden. Signed
your most affectionate father and friend,
(The Pagets seem at this time to have signed their
name with two t's.)
26 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
This letter will serve to illustrate the careful and
painstaking personality of Lord Paget in his domestic
concerns. After the Peace of Carlowitz Lord Paget
remained on to see the work completed, till he received
definite leave to return and his successor was appointed
in 1701. He finally left Constantinople, laden with rich
gifts and some fine Turkish horses as evidence of the
Sultan's friendship for him, in the spring of 1702. He
spent some months in Vienna arranging fresh difficulties
between the Emperor and the Porte. He is then stated
to have visited Bavaria to offer the mediation of England
between Bavaria and the Emperor. This is one account.
Another states that he reached Holland in September
1702, but was sent back on a special embassy to Vienna
before he could cross to England. However it is agreed
that he finally arrived in England in 1703. In 1705 he
was again sent as ambassador to Vienna to compose
fresh troubles with Turkey, and after that seems to have
had a quiet life till his death, February 13, 1713. His
fine Turkish horses probably created a sensation, and
Queen Anne evidently took a fancy to them, for we read
" there is a rumour that these horses are to be presented
to the Queen." Probably Lord Paget thought it best
to satisfy the rumour, and did present them to her
One would like to know something of the private
character and tastes of this eminent man, and of how he
passed the declining years of his life. Born February i o,
1639, he was sixty-six years of age on his retirement
from the public service, but he lived to be seventy-four
before his death. As the author of the Peace of Carlo-
witz, by which a large part of Europe was pacified, and
by his skilful and successful efforts to preserve the treaty
after it was made, Lord Paget might well be called the
Peacemaker of Europe, and is truly an ancestor upon
whom his collateral descendants may kok back with a
THE FACETS OF THE HANOVERIAN PERIOD
HENRY PAGET, who succeeded his father as seventh
Baron Paget, February 1713, was himself somewhat of
a public man. He had been M.P. for Staffordshire from
1695 to 1711. In that year he was created Baron
Burton, and was made a Lord of the Treasury from 1711
to 1715, and became also a Privy Councillor 1711. He
was sent to the Court of Hanover as envoy extra-
ordinary in 1714, and in the same year was created Earl
of Uxbridge. He does not seem to have been very much
pleased with the Hanover embassy and addressed the
following letter to Lord Harley the Secretary of State
"May 24, 1714.
" MY LORD, Having told you that I will never
ask you more about my affairs because I have had
so many assurances (as yet) to no purpose, I must
now insist, since you have often told me to, that the
Queen should tell me what she hath determined in
the matter, else I shall think myself disengaged
from every promise I have made to you on this
errand. And I do further insist that Her Majesty
.shall in the most authentic manner give me leave
absolutely to return home without further delay in
Michaelmas next or sooner if I find myself not well
received there. For however unaccountably easy
I am in aught relating to myself I will not prejudice
my family or bring them into such difficulties that
they cannot get clear of. The positive answer to
these two points shall absolutely determine my
going abroad or staying at home."
Lord Paget was created Earl of Uxbridge in the
county of Middlesex in 1714; possibly as some ac-
28 MEMOIB OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
knowledgment to him for discharging the duties of this
embassy, which he seems to have anticipated with so
I subjoin one other letter of his addressed to the
Bishop of Gloucester a good deal later. This was the
only other letter which Mr. Gayford was able to
" Febt-uary n, 1740.
" MY LORD, I hope where your Lordship lodged
the people of the house did me the justice to
acquaint you that I was at the door intending
myself the honour of waiting upon you. I was
very sorry to be disappointed by your going abroad ;
I hope you will be so good before you leave the
town to direct Mr. Amos Collard to pay me so
much of the interest money that is due to me from
Earl Pomfret, as you think convenient, or else I
shall get none of it. I am your Lordship's most
Lord Uxbridge had married the daughter and co-
heiress of Thomas Catesby, Esq., of Whiston in Northants,
and had one son, Thomas Catesby (Lord Paget), who was
one of the gentlemen of the bedchamber to George II,
and had been M.P. for Staffordshire in two Parliaments
under George I. Lord Paget was a man of literary
tastes and wrote several things in prose and in verse in
the style of the eighteenth century, but I have not seen
any of his writings. He predeceased his father. Henry,
seventh baron and first Earl of Uxbridge, died in 1743.
Henry Paget, son of Thomas Catesby (Lord Paget) and
grandson of the first Lord Uxbridge, succeeded the latter
in the baronies and earldom in 1743. I have been
unable to discover any event of interest connected with
his life. The Dictionary of National Biography de-
scribes him as being of a parsimonious disposition. He
died without issue in 1/69.
By the death of the eighth Baron Paget and second
Earl of Uxbridge without children the line of descent
from the eldest son of William the fifth baron of the
PAGETS OF THE HANOVERIAN PERIOD 29
cavalier times became extinct. So also the barony of
Burton and the earldom of Uxbridge, being later
creations, became extinct. But the original barony of
Paget, which, as we have seen, was entailed both
through male and female offspring, devolved upon the
descendants of Henry the second son of the fifth Baron
Paget. It is therefore both important and interesting
for us to glance at the history of this branch of the
family, through which all of the subsequent Pagets are
William, the cavalier Lord Paget, died in 1678,
leaving two sons, William the sixth baron, whose
distinguished career as a Diplomatist of European reputa-
tion we have lately traced, and a second son, the Hon.
I never expected to be so fortunate as to get any
trace of this younger son, but Mr. Gay ford, in working
through the volumes of additional MSS. in the British
Museum, was so lucky as to come across the subjoined
Petition of Henry Paget to Queen Anne presented in
the year 1703.
It should be prefaced that the State Papers of 1693
and of 1695 mention a Captain Henry Paget, whom we
can hardly doubt from the Petition to be identical with
our present subject of inquiry. In 1693 there is a commis-
sion for Captain Henry Paget to be placed in Sir James
Leslie's llegiment of Foot, and in 1695 a certain John
is commissioned to be captain in Captain Henry
Paget 's late company in Colonel Scroop Hone's llegi-
ment. If the Hon. Henry Paget was born a few years
(say two) after his elder brother, he would have been
about fifty-three years old in 1694, and sixty-two in
1703. In the Petition he states that he had served
twenty-five years in the Royal Regiment of Guards in
Ireland, so that it is highly probable that Captain Henry
Paget fought under William IV at the Battle of the
Boyne and other engagements, as this would agree with
the political views and action of his elder brother, Lord
Paget, and also with what is said in the Petition as to
King William's bounty to him.
It is probable that he retired from the service about
1694 or 1695. Here then is the Petition which, so far
30 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
as I know, has never before been noticed or printed in
our family records :
Memorial of Henry Paget [second son the fifth
" That on the third of December he delivered a
Petition to the Queen setting forth his hardships in
being put out of his commission after having served
upwards of twenty-five years in the Royal Regiment
of Guards in Ireland, having lost substance by the war
in Ireland, and later being many years out of employ,
so that he is reduced to very great want having a wife
and children to maintain and nothing to support them.
In consideration of which His late Majesty King William
was pleased out of his bounty money to give your
Petitioner ^60 half yearly which was paid by your
Lords of the Treasury.
"We humbly pray assistance."
Now all this is further borne out by the old genea-
logical table of the Paget family, which states that this
Henry Paget married a daughter of Robert Sandford, Esq.,
of Sandford in county of Salop, and afterwards "settled
in Ireland," which might very well be a mistake for his
having served in the army in Ireland for twenty- five
years. He had two children, Thomas Paget, his only
son, who was groom of the bedchamber to George II,
and a daughter, Dorothy Paget, who married Sir Edward
Irby, Bart. This is all I have been able to gather
about the Hon. Captain Henry Paget.
About this son, Brigadier -General Thomas Paget, I
had not much hope of discovering anything the time
seemed too remote. But Mr. Gayford most persever-
ingly waded through some old histories of the Foot
Regiments and at length came upon Thomas Paget as
colonel in the 22nd, and found a brief history of his
military career. He was then originally an officer in
the 8th Horse (or 7th Dragoon Guards) and served under
Marlborough. He was promoted to be a Lieut. -Colonel
in the 8th Horse soon after joining this regiment. He
PAGETS OF THE HANOVERIAN PERIOD 31
then passed to a Lieut. -Colonelcy in the ist Troop of the
Horse Grenadier Guards, then in 1732 he was nominated
Colonel of the 3 2nd Regiment. He was in this position
for six years, and finally, on i3th Dec. 1738, he passed on
to a Colonelcy of the 22nd Foot.
He was made a Brigadier- General in 1739. Ap-
parently his regiment was then stationed in Minorca,
which was, in the first fifty years of the eighteenth
century, a fairly important island. As Brigadier-General
he probably held the military command of the island,
which would account for his being called the Governor
General Paget married Mary, daughter and one of
the co-heiresses of Peter Whitcombe, Esquire of Great
Braxtid, in Essex, by whom he had one daughter,
Caroline, upon whom, failing the elder line, the Barony
of Paget would devolve.
General Paget died, apparently, in the Island of
Minorca, in May 1741, and at his death, although
descendants of the elder branch of the family were still
living, and, in the person of Henry, second Earl of
Uxbridge, held the estates and titles until 1769, yet,
inasmuch as he was childless, Caroline Paget at once
became a person of consideration, as being after her
cousin the heir-general of William, the fifth Baron, and
entitled to succeed to the estates and the Barony of
Paget in her own right.
Caroline Paget married Sir Nicolas Bayly of Plasnyd-
didd, in the county of Anglesey, of which he had been
M.P. for several Parliaments, Custos Rotulorum, and
in the second year of George III was made Lord-
Sir Nicolas was the second Baronet of an influential
family, which traced back its origin to Lewis Bayly,
Bishop ofBangor, who is claimed to be of an old Scottish
family. He came into England with James I. Bishop
Bayly was noted for his piety and for his powers as
a preacher. His book on the Practice of Piety had
a wide popularity, and is said to have been the first cause
of the conversion of John Bunyan. A copy of this old
work is in the possession of my cousin Claude Paget, and
I have read parts of it with great interest.
PAGETS OF THE YOUNGER BRANCH
UPON the death of Henry, eighth Baron and second Earl
of Uxbridge in 1769, Henry the son of Caroline Paget and
Sir Nicolas Bayly, who was born in 1 744, succeeded to
the family estates and to the Barony of Paget as ninth
Baron in right of his mother. On 2gth January 1770, he
assumed the surname and arms of Paget. In 1773 the
degree of LL.D. was conferred upon him by the
University of Oxford in full convocation ; in 1 782 he was
appointed Lord- Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of the
County of Anglesey; and in 1784 was created Earl of
Lord Uxbridge married Jane, eldest daughter of the
Very Hev. Arthur Champagne, Dean of Clacmanoise, in
Ireland. This marriage brought another very interest-
ing strain into the Paget family.
My cousin Claude Paget has been able to copy from
a transcript of original letters (which were in the pos-
session of Sir Erasmus Barrowes, Bt. ) some details of the
history of the Champagne family, the members of which,
as Huguenots, were driven from France at the Revocation
of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and settled in Portar-
lington, in Ireland. This history he kindly lent to me,
and from it I subjoin a brief summary.
The family of De Champagne is an ancient and noble
family of France, and, Burke says, may be traced back
to the eleventh century. Some of its members embraced
the Reformed Religion, and, upon the Revocation of the
Edict of Nantes, lived in constant danger of persecution,
and finally escaped from France and settled at Portar-
lington, in Ireland, in 1690.
There is an interesting letter addressed by M. de
Champagne to his children July 15, 1685, in which he
explains to them his attitude in professing to conform
PAGETS OF THE YOUNGEE BRANCH 33
to the Roman Catholic religion. This M. Josias de
Robillard de Champagne^ married Maria de la Roche-
foucaud. Inscriptions on the back of miniatures in the
possession of Sir Erasmus Borrower give these details :
(1) Maria de la Rochefoucaud de Champagne, daughter
of Casimir, second son of Charles due de la Rochefoucaud ;
(2) Messire Josias de Robillard de Champagne, Seigneur
de Champagne, Bernere d'Agere, &c. Thus both hus-
band and wife were descendants of ancient and noble
families. Their son, Major Josias Champagne, fought
under William of Orange at the battle of the Boyne and
made his home at Portarlington. He married a daughter
of the Earl of Granard, and their eldest son, the Dean of
Clacmanoise, married the daughter of another French
refugee, and their eldest daughter became the Countess
Lord Uxbridge and his wife seem on the whole to
have led the quiet, useful, and uneventful lives of English
county magnates, spending a good portion of the year at
Beauclesert or Plas-Newydd. Some one said that the
chief thing Lord Uxbridge did was to bring up his six
sons very well, and certainly in this, as history tells, he
conferred no small service upon his country.
Both the Earl of Uxbridge and his Countess were
2)ersonce grate? at the court of George III, and their
letters, like some of those in the "Paget Papers," reveal
a considerable degree of intimacy. Thus in Lord Mahnes-
bury's diary of 1804 we read: "Lady Uxbridge very
anxious about the king said his family were very un-
happy." On May 30, 1805, Lady Uxbridge writes to her
son Sir Arthur Paget : " The king has just announced
his intention of going to Beaudesert as soon as possible
after his birthday. If that dear old place had had fair
play it would have been the joy of my life to receive
him there." On Nov. 21, 1805, Lord Uxbridge writes
to the same son : " Poor dear Edward is off. . . . The
dear king said to me one day : ' When is that old fellow
going to die?' ' Who, sir,' I said. 'Prescott, remember
when he does that I will give the 28th away myself:
I will not be asked for it no, no, Edward shall have
it.' " This, of course, refers to his fourth son, afterwards
the distinguished general Sir Edward Paget.
34 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
Lady Uxbridge's letters to her sons breathe that
spirit of deep and unaffected piety which was character-
istic of Huguenot families, and one is thankful to trace,
running right through their strenuous and adventurous
lives, the same strain of sincere and manly religion in
the conduct and correspondence of her sons. Lord and
Lady Uxbridge had a large family consisting of six sons
and four daughters. All of the six sons did good service
to their country during the great Napoleonic war, and
were exceptionally distinguished. I will add a brief
notice of each of my grandfather's five brothers before
entering upon his Memoir.
The eldest son, Lord Paget, afterwards the famous
Waterloo Marquess of Anglesey, was born in 1768; he
was educated at Winchester and Christ Church, Oxford,
and entered the army. He is considered to have been
the most brilliant British cavalry officer of his time.
The following incident, which is narrated in Wellington's
Lieutenants, speaks for his quickness and dashing
courage in an emergency. It was in Holland during
the war of 1799, and he was highly praised in the
despatches. Night w r as falling ; the fighting was over,
as all believed. The men were unsaddling on the
sands and were preparing to bivouac. Suddenly two
squadrons of chasseurs dashed down the sand upon the
Horse Artillery. Lord Paget was chatting with Sir R.
Wilson and other officers ; they instantly sprang to
horse, were joined by some non-com, officers, and together
plunged furiously into the thick of the chasseurs. This
gave their squadrons time to rally and remount, and the
chasseurs, almost to a man, were sabred or taken.
On another occasion, in one of the fights for the
possession of batteries, Paget with a single squadron
made a desperate charge 011 a strong body of the enemy,
and, riding right through them, not only recaptured
several British guns, but took five pieces from the enemy .
In the long and perilous retreat of Sir John Moore
to Corunna, Lord Paget was in command of the cavalry,
and covered himself and his troops with glory by the
masterly and courageous manner in which he covered
After serving in the unlucky Walcheren expedition,
PAGETS OF THE YOUNGER BRANCH 35
Lord Uxbridge, as he had become by the death of his
father in 1812, was given the command of the cavalry
in the Waterloo campaign, in which command, Professor
Oman writes, in the first volume of his history, " he
gloriously vindicated his reputation as the best living
British cavalry officer."
In the recently published British Battles, by Hilaire
Belloc, that brilliant writer draws attention (which he
declares has never been sufficiently directed to the
matter) to the masterly manner in which all through
the long Saturday afternoon (June 17), before the day
of Waterloo, Lord Uxbridge covered and protected
Wellington's retreat from Quatre Bras to Waterloo.
" The ability and energy displayed were equal."
As is well known, Lord Uxbridge lost a leg by the
last shot fired at Waterloo, and ever after, from time
to time, suffered the agonies oftic-douloureux, brought on
by the rough surgery of the battlefield. I may say that
I still have a quaint little model of that lost leg, which,
I suppose, was made later, as a sort of memento for
members of the family. Lord Uxbridge was created first
Marquess of Anglesey after Waterloo, in 1815. In the
November of the same year, Lord Anglesey had the honour
of entertaining at Beauclesert the two future kings of
England, the Prince Regent and the Duke of Clarence,
who were joined by the Archdukes John and Lewis of
Some years later Lord Anglesey was twice appointed
Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, was created a Field Marshal
and Knight of the Garter, and for several years held
the appointment of Master of the Ordnance.
He died April 29, 1854, and was buried at Lichfield
Cathedral, where a monument is erected to his honour.
The subjoined facsimile of a letter of Lord Anglesey
to his nephew Henry Paget deals with the offer of a
picture of his brother, Sir Charles Paget, and other family
matters. The original is in the possession of Howard
Paget, Esq., Elford Hall, Staffordshire.
The second son, the Hon. William Paget, Captain
R.N., born in 1769, died at the age of 26, and was
buried at Gibraltar. Although young he had seen some
excellent service, and his spirited single-handed combat,
36 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
when in command of the Romney in the Eastern
Mediterranean, which resulted in the capture of " one of
the finest French frigates that ever was built," the
Sybille, of 46 guns, is related by him in a most graphic
and most interesting letter to his father, Lord Uxbridge,
July i, 1794. This letter is given in extenso in the
" Paget Papers."
For the epitaph erected to his memory in King's
Chapel, Gibraltar, I am indebted to the kindness of Mr.
John Wall of Great Yarmouth, formerly of the gth
Foot, who copied it in 1864 and most kindly sent me a
copy in the autumn of 1 9 1 2 :
" Sacred to the memory of the Honourable William
Paget, second son of the Earl of Uxbridge. A Captain
in the Royal Navy, and a Representative in Parliament
for the County of Anglesea. Who having early devoted
himself to the perillous profession of a seaman, was pro-
moted to the rank of Post-Captain and appointed to the
command of the Romney of 50 guns in the sanguine
prospect of a glorious career. A wound received at a
more early age from the dagger of an assassin in a
foreign land brought him to a premature end. Yet short
as his life was, he lived long enough to be approved a
gallant and skilful seaman, and one of the most amiable
of men. The former stands recorded in the annals of
British valour by the Capture of La Sybille a French
man-of-war of 48 guns and 430 men, after a severe and
obstinate engagement in the Mediterranean Sea. To the
latter the heart of every individual that knew him will
bear testimony. Born 1769, died 1794."
" Far from thy kindred and thy friends,
Thy short but bright career of glory ends ;
But though thy ashes grace a foreign earth,
Britain exulting claims, brave youth, thy birth.
Long as her Trident awes the Boundless Deep,
Long as the subject seas her navies sweep,
So long thy virtue, blended with her Name
Shall gild thy deeds and consecrate thy Fame."
The third son, the Right Hon. Sir Arthur Paget,
G.C.B., was born 1771, and educated at Westminster and
AUTOGRAPH LETTER OF THE "WATERLOO" MARQUESS
(/// possession of HOWARD
OF ANGLESEY TO HIS NEPHEW, HENRY PAGET
PAGET, ESQ. of Elford Hall)
PAGETS OF THE YOUNGER BRANCH 37
Christ Church, Oxford. He entered the Diplomatic Ser-
vice in 1792. His distinguished career, during which he
was Envoy and Ambassador at several of the European
Courts, being Ambassador at Vienna during the campaign
of Austerlitz, is set forth at length in the " Paget Papers,"
edited by his distinguished son, Sir Augustus Paget, who
was also a diplomatist and Ambassador at Rome and
Vienna. It is interesting to note also that Sir Ralph
Paget, who at this critical time (November 1912) is
British Minister at the Servian Court, is a son of Sir
Augustus Paget. This past summer (1912)! visited King
Henry VII's Chapel in Westminster Abbey, in order to
see the stall into which Sir Arthur Paget, as a Knight of
the Bath, was solemnly inducted, on the same occasion as
Sir Arthur Wellesley, in 1812. His banner, bearing his
name, is in very good preservation, and hangs in front of
his stall, which is the second beyond the wooden steps on
the right-hand side. On the back of the stall immediately
below Sir Arthur's, are the three coats of arms, and the
names of his three younger brothers, Edward, Charles,
and Berkeley, who acted as his esquires at the In-
The fourth son of Lord and Lady Uxbridge,
General Sir Edward Paget, K.C.B., was a most dis-
tinguished soldier and man universally respected and be-
loved. In the campaign in Egypt, in covering the
retreat of Sir John Moore, as second in command to
Wellington in the Peninsular, his courage and great
abilities were recognised on all sides, and on his capture
through a misadventure by a French squadron, no con-
sideration would persuade the French to exchange him
for an officer of equal rank. Wellington himself wrote
to him and of him in terms of unusual warmth and aftec-
tion. In later life in 1822, he became Commander-in-
Chief in India, where he did good service, and finally died
at Cowes Castle in a good old age.
A private memoir of him has been edited by his
grandson, Eden W. Paget, which is full of interest.
The sixth and youngest son, the Hon. Berkeley Paget,
was born 1780. As Major of the 7th Hussars he served
through the Peninsular War, where he was constantly
in the fighting line. He was A.D.C. to the Duke of
38 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
York. Later in life he was M.P. for Anglesey, and for
many years Commissioner of Excise. He died in 1842.
Since the generation of the first Marquess of Anglesey
and his five brothers, the family of Paget has not lacked
men in every generation who have rendered good service
to their country.
Among these I would mention that distinguished
sailor, my godfather Lord Clarence Paget, who did good
service in the Crimean War and was Secretary to the
Admiralty in Lord Palmerston's Government. An excel-
lent life of him has been published. Lord George Paget
was a brave soldier, and was in the famous Balaclava
The name of the late Sir Augustus Paget is well
known as a distinguished diplomatist. He was a son of Sir
Arthur Paget of the "PagetPapers," and was Ambassador
in Rome for many years and then at Vienna. It seems
a striking instance of professional heredity to find his
son Sir Ralph Spencer Paget also taking a high place in
the diplomatic service, in which he is now Minister at
the Court of Servia, in these times which are so critical
for the Balkan kingdom (1913).
In the army at the present time, are worthy repre-
sentatives, notably Sir Arthur Paget, now commanding
the forces in Ireland, who has served with distinction
in several wars. In the navy Sir Alfred Paget, Rear-
Admiral, and others, show that there are Pagets still to
uphold the supremacy of Great Britain upon the Seven
Before bringing this sketch of our family to a close,
it seems only fitting to add a word about the ancestral
home of the Pagets upon Cannock Chase, in Staffordshire.
I have the kind permission of the writer and publishers
of that charming book Sketches in and around Lichjield
and Rugby, which was published by the Lichfield Mer-
cury in 1892, to quote from their work, a permission of
PAGETS OF THE YOUNGEE BEANCH 39
which I will gladly avail myself as I find it to be neces-
sary. I may say that although the name of Beaudesert
(or Beau Desert, as it is sometimes written) had been
more or less familiar from childhood, yet I had never
visited the neighbourhood of the Hall itself until the
summer of 1906. I was spending a Sunday and Monday
at the Palace at Lichfield, and Bishop Legge, with
his accustomed kindness, on hearing that I had never
visited Beaudesert, offered to send me over in his
dogcart. It was a glorious morning and the drive of
some six miles or more from Lichfield was most en-
joyable. Gradually the road mounts up out of the
valley and draws out upon the open moors, the air
becoming all the while purer and more exhilarating.
The principal lodge of entrance to the Park is of brick,
and consists of an arch, through which the road passes
into the Park and runs up some distance to the Hall
At the time of my visit the repairs were being
carried out by the present Marquess ; the family were, of
course, away, and it was therefore unfortunately impos-
sible to be shown over this building, which is not only
of considerable historical interest, but must always have
a specially personal and romantic charm for any member
of the family. However, I was able to walk up the
flight of steps into the great entrance hall and see the
fine staircase, and there got some little idea of the home
of the Waterloo Marquess where he stood in 1815 to
welcome his two future sovereigns, George IV and
There, too, within those ancestral walls, was some-
where hanging that portrait of my grandfather, " dear
old Charles " as the Marquess calls him in the autograph
letter which is here given, a portrait which he declares
to be an " excellent likeness."
After taking in this glimpse of the interior and
having also admired the fine old deep red brick fayade of
Beaudesert Hall, we drove on and up through the Park
to the famous " Castle Eing," where one obtains a most
glorious and extensive view, which is said to embrace nine
counties. Far down in a valley beneath is seen a large
coal-pit at work, where there is being brought to the
40 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
surface the source of the large revenues of the Beau-
Beaudesert (says the writer of the above-mentioned
"sketches") is said in 1292 to have been held by the
ancient family of Tromyn of Cannock, while later it was
one of the Episcopal residences of the Bishop of the
combined dioceses of Lichfield and Chester.
In 1546 the place came into the possession of the
Paget family, as we have seen, by the gift of these
Lordships to Sir William Paget by Henry VIII, and,
with the brief period of attainder during the later years
of Elizabeth, Beaudesert and the Cannock Chase estates
have been in the family ever since.
Evidently in the eighteenth century Lord Uxbridge
had expended more care and money upon his estates in
Anglesey and upon the house of Plas-Newydd than upon
Beaudesert, for Lady Uxbridge, when telling of the desire
of King George III in 1805 to visit Beaudesert, regrets
that "the dear old place had not had a fair chance,"
and goes on to say that all they could do would be
to give the King lunch, as it would be impossible for
him to sleep there. Lord Uxbridge after this must have
done a good deal in repairing and renewing the old
family home of the Pagets, for on the occasion of the
Royal visit in 1815 the two English princes and the two
Austrian archdukes with their retinues were entertained
there for two or three days. It may be not uninterest-
ing to insert here the account which the " Sketches "
give of this visit of the Prince Regent and his brother
the Duke of Clarence :
" The Prince Regent arrived at Lichfield on Novem-
ber 6, 1815, about 6 P.M., changed horses at the George
Inn, and proceeding rapidly through the city was met
at Longdon by a numerous body of gentlemen and the
Marquess's tenantry, headed by his keepers, a particular
ancient form which was probably indicative of his Lord-
ship's right of free warren over Cannock Chase. The
procession moved on to Beaudesert amid the acclamation
of assembled thousands." (It should be remembered
that this was Waterloo year, only six months after the
glorious victory, and that Lord Anglesey was second
only to the great Duke as a hero of that battle ; this
FACETS OF THE YOUNGER BRANCH 41
Royal visit therefore was regarded by the whole neigh-
bourhood as an honour done to their own hero, who was
also their own friend and neighbour.)
"After his arrival at the Hall, deputations from
Lichfiekl and Burton presented loyal addresses to the
Prince Regent, to which he returned most gracious
answers whilst standing in the spacious dining-room
surrounded by the Marquess's family and friends. The
following day their Royal Highnesses were joined by
the Austrian Archdukes John and Lewis. During their
stay the illustrious visitors joined in the sports of the
field and the joys of the banquet with all the amenity
of private life and expressed themselves delighted with
" Beaudesert is situated on the eastern verge of
Cannock Chase, two miles from Longdon Church and
three miles from Rugeley.
"It is one of those old landmarks which are the
pride and glory of the country ; it stands on the side
of a lofty sloping eminence, sheltered above by beautiful
rising grounds and surrounded by fine trees. The main
entrance is under a Gothic portico into a spacious and
handsome hall. There is a valuable library, in which is
said to be kept the Registry of Burton Abbey. Some
fine paintings are to be seen upon the walls, especially
one of the Battle of Waterloo."
Such then is Beaudesert, one of the ancient and
noble homes of England ; the most ancient portions
dating back, it is said, to 1292, when it was the home of
one of the families of the county. It was never, as I
had once imagined it to have been, a monastic estab-
lishment connected with the Abbey of Burton, but
was one of the country-houses of the Bishops of Lich-
field or Chester until 1542, when the bishopric was
settled at Chester. Apparently therefore, when granted
with the estates to Sir William Paget by the King in
1 546, it was not in use or occupation by the Church, so
that any members of the family who have felt sensitive
on the subject of "sacrilege" may, I think, take their
legitimate pride in Beaudesert Hall with a quiet con-
science ! The early barons seem to have lived there
a good deal, and Thomas, the third baron, repaired and
42 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
enlarged the Hall. From the letters of the sixth baron,
it is evident how closely his memory and affections clung
to Beaudesert, and the exact recollection which he re-
tained of where " the wall" was to be rebuilt for "the
orchards" and his " kitchen garden."
His son the first Earl of Uxbridge and seventh baron,
evidently also lived much there and had oversight of the
estate during his father's absence abroad.
No wonder Lady Uxbridge, in later years, writes so
affectionately of Beaudesert as "a dear old place" where
" it would have been the joy of her heart to receive the
King" had it been in better repair. There one can
picture Lord and Lady Uxbridge living amid their
friends and tenants, and surrounded by their fine family
of six sons and four daughters, whom they rejoiced to
see growing up strong and handsome in the fine free life
and splendid air at Cannock Chase. There in later
life they would have received news of the battles by sea
and land in which the sons took part, and there would
they have welcomed them home from time to time to
hear the details of their exploits.
The memory of Beaudesert must have gone forth
with the soldier and sailor sons into many a desperate
encounter and have inspired them to fight to the death
to preserve from foot of foreign invader their country
and their home.
N.J3. For further notes about the family, and
especially about the Drayton Estate, see the supple-
mentary chapter at the end of the volume.
A MEMOIR OF
VICE-ADMIRAL THE HON BLE
SIR CHARLES PAGET, G.C.H.
ADMIRAL OF THE WHITE AND
COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE NORTH-AMERICAN STATION
THE "WOODEN WALLS" OF OLD ENGLAND
" This hollow oak our palace is
And our heritage the Sea."
OLD SEA SOXG.
IN order at all adequately to realise the part which was
played by my grandfather, Sir Charles Paget, and hun-
dreds of gallant seamen like him in the history of our
country, it is necessary to recall the circumstances in
which the nineteenth century dawned and the tre-
mendous issues which England had to face during all the
twenty-two years of the Napoleonic struggle.
The French Revolution broke out and the French
throne fell. Like a sea of molten lava the long pent-up
fires of hatred and discontent, mingled with a fiery
enthusiasm for liberty and for glory, swept over France,
and overflowing national boundaries speedily subjugated
the adjoining smaller states. England under the con-
servative and statesmanlike control of George III made
no move, though convulsed with horror at the Parisian
Reign of Terror, until Holland was invaded and the
Royal victims Louis XVI and his Queen were guillo-
tined early in 1793. Then the French ambassador
was ordered to leave London and France declared war,
and the two countries entered upon that deadly struggle
which only ended with the Battle of Waterloo, 1815.
Great Britain at first was ill equipped for such an
encounter, for her army was small and by the disastrous
policy at the War Office was scattered over the world
in futile expeditions. The deadly climate of the West
Indies alone decimated regiment after regiment of our
best troops, which ought to have been concentrated upon
some one spot on the Continent, where Wellington's later
triumphs might have been by many years anticipated.
There were not unreasonable fears at that time that
46 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
the French might successfully invade Ireland. The
first thing which restored the national confidence were
two great naval victories, that of Lord Howe on June i ,
1 794, and the Battle of St. Vincent by Admiral Jervis
in 1797. Thanks to her "Wooden Walls" England
began to breathe freely again.
When Napoleon, that extraordinary genius, had
obtained absolute control of the resources of France, one
after another the great nations of the Continent went
down before him until England was practically left alone
to continue the life-and-death struggle. For a time the
French Emperor was the Dictator of Europe, and not
only threatened to invade England from his great camp
at Boulogne, and to close all the ports of Europe against
her commerce, but was also planning to turn all neutral
fleets like those of Denmark, Sweden, and Russia against
her. We have to remember this when we are inclined
perhaps to criticise the English Government for taking
such action as resulted in the destruction of the Danish
navy on one occasion and the bombardment of Copen-
hagen and the surrender of their fleet on another.
During the earlier years of the war and in fact until
the decisive victories of Wellington in Spain, the one
effective weapon which Great Britain was able success-
fully to oppose to the legions of the victorious Napoleon
was her invincible " wooden walls." Year by year her
navy was strengthened ; the skill and courage of her
seamen and their confidence of triumph grew with each
fresh capture until this arm reached its perfection, as
Captain Mahan says, in the year of Trafalgar.
The Naval Chronicles, vol. i. p. 292, give the
following comparative statement showing the increase of
the navy in six years :
June i, 1793 June i, 1799
Ships of line . 147 194
Fifties . .22 26
Frigates .136 234
Sloops . . 105 331
"WOODEN WALLS" OF OLD ENGLAND 47
It should be noted that many of these ships were
captured from France or Spain and joined to our navy.
With sleepless vigilance the vessels of the British
navy watched the great fleet of boats at Boulogne, so
that one had not even the ghost of a chance to slip
by ; while other squadrons patrolled the Channel, the
Bay of Biscay, the Mediterranean, and blockaded the
harbours of Brest, Eochelle, Cadiz, and Toulon, so that
the French and Spanish fleets were cooped up and ren-
dered to a great extent harmless. Finally Nelson once
for all crushed the combined fleets of France and Spain
at Trafalgar, and from that day the shores of England
were absolutely safe from any attack which Napoleon
It is no wonder then that in those years of strife, as
we see illustrated in the contemporary novels of Jane
Austen, the navy became the idol of England, the pro-
fession which many of her best blood burned to follow,
and that even young middies when on leave were
welcomed as their country's defenders.
Some afterglow of those glorious days of the " wooden
walls " of Old England I imagine that I must have felt
in the ring of enthusiasm with which my father used to
sing to us the grand old sea-songs of his boyhood, such
as the " Wet sheet and the flowing sea, and the breeze
that follows fast." Something of this spirit too is caught
by Sir Edwin Arnold in these verses of his fine poem,
" The Endymion," which is given in its entirety later :
" But ever 'mid red rage and glow
Of each tremendous ocean fight,
Safe, by the strength of those below,
The Flag of England floated bright.
" ' Ah dear brave souls,' she said, ' 'tis good
To be a British girl, and claim
Some drops, too, of such splendid blood,
Some distant share of deathless fame.' "
BOYHOOD AND EARLY COMMANDS
MY grandfather, the Hon. Charles Paget, was born
October 7, 1778, and was the fifth son of the Earl and
Countess of Uxbridge. Whether he was born in Ux-
bridge House in London, at Beaudesert, or at Plas-
Newydd, I am unable to say, but I should like to think
it was at Beaudesert. After presumably attending the
Naval Academy at Portsmouth he entered the Royal
Navy in 1790, at the age of twelve, as naval cadet,
which was then called " captain's servant." He served
on the Goliath and then on the Alcide guardships at
Portsmouth from February 27, 1790, to August 25,
On the 1 2th of April 1792 he cruised on the
Assistance under Admiral Sir Richard King for eight
months off Newfoundland, and then in the Syren under
Captain Manley, in the North Sea, from December 31,
1792, to April 17, 1793. He was promoted to be mid-
shipman March i, 1793, the year when the great war
began. He served as midshipman on board several vessels
(six in all) in the Channel and North Sea from March
1793 to December n, 1796.
At that date upon the Latona he was appointed
acting lieutenant for six months to May 1797. On
June 9 of the same year he became lieutenant of the
Centaur under Captain Markham for a month, and
upon the 2nd of July 1 797 received his first appointment
as captain to command the sloop Martin for the service
in the North Sea and Cattegat.
The log of the Martin, which I have recently read
through in the Public Records, seems from the hand-
writing to have been written by himself, and doubtless
the young captain was too jealous for the records of his
first command to entrust the entries to any other hand.
BOYHOOD AND EARLY COMMANDS 49
I may here perhaps fittingly say that in last
August (1912), being in England, I made a point of
searching through the logs of all my grandfather's ships,
so far as was possible in the time, and made short notes
There was to me something both romantic and fascina-
ting in thus having before me, to read and to handle,
these old worn volumes bound in calf-skin, the writing
brown and faded, and the covers in some cases torn or
loose from wear and tear in the old voyages. Some
stories of the events of those far-off times may have
come down to us, and we may have thought of them in
an unreal and dreamlike way, but here are the actual
records made on board these frigates and three-deckers
from day to day in the very handwriting of the captain
or master, who must have slipped down from his watch
on deck, perhaps in the midst of some exciting chase,
to make these brief and hasty entries.
When one thinks how often the hand of that young
captain, so proud of his first command, must have
opened and closed this volume while his pen jotted
down the essential details in the briefest possible space,
it seems almost like " the touch of that vanished hand,
and the sound of the voice that is still."
Here are some of the entries in the log of the
Sunday, July 2, 1797. H.M. sloop Martin was resigned in
due form to the Hon. Charles Paget.
July 17, 1797. Fired a gun to bring to a schooner; sent
boat on board. Signalled convoy, &c.
" The day of leaving Yarmouth hove to and boarded a ship
July 19, 1797. Fired a gun and boarded a ship, a sloop
from Amsterdam. Gave chace to N.E., brought to and boarded
a Danish brig from Norway ; took a man out of her having no
certificate of being a native of Danemark. Chaced a strange
sail on N.E., fired a shot and brought her to.
July 20, 1797. Fired 2 guns at chace and boarded her.
July 22, 1797. Moored ofFCronberg, Elsinore Roads.
July 24, 1797. Punished seaman for disobedience, and
2 doz. lashes to another for striking his superior officer.
Aug. 3, 1797. Fired 3 guns and brought to a Danish ship,
boarded her and took out a man.
Aug. 5, 1797. Off Flamborough Head and acting with
Aug. 1 6, 1797. Fired at brig which hauled to the east,
fired 1 8 shotted guns at her, weighed and gave chace ; made all
sail at 2 A.M. Sent both cutters manned and armed after ship ;
found her to be the Number of Harrich, revenue cutter.
We can understand the chagrin of the young captain
on this occasion, and the lecture which he read the
commander of the cutter.
Sept. 2, 1797. At 9 P.M., as Captain Paget was coming
off from Sheerness in the large cutter, they were run down by
a vessel going into harbour, which caused the loss of the cutter
and all materials. The captain and boatswain having only
time to save themselves by getting on board the craft, de-
manded a cutter and materials. Sailed, taking convoy in the
Nov. n, 1797. Moored Yarmouth Roads. Resigned com-
mand to John Cleland.
(Signed) CHABLES PAGET, Captain.
It will be seen from this log that in the four months
of his first command Captain Paget displayed those
qualities of alertness and energy which afterwards dis-
tinguished his career so notably. In his two cruises in
the North Sea, engaged in the responsible and trying
task of convoying merchant ships, not a strange sail
seems to have escaped him ; the moment she was espied
the Martin spread her wings in pursuit, guns were fired
and the ship boarded, and in some cases the right of
impressing into the King's service those foreign sailors
not protected by a certificate of nationality was exer-
cised. Thus were the shores of England guarded by
her " wooden walls " and the surrounding seas policed
by her cruising vessels. The story of my grandfather's
narrow escape from drowning at the threshold of his
career, in the accident off Sheerness, I read of for the
first time in the log of the Martin.
Oct. 1 8, 1798. Captain Paget was posted to the command
of the Penelope.
The log of this ship I did not search at the Record
BOYHOOD AND EAELY COMMANDS 51
Office, so that I cannot give any account of her perform-
ances during the period of his command. But from the
Naval Chronicles of 1799 I find one or two references:
Jan. 3, 1799. Sailed this day the outward bound West
India ships under convoy of the Hydra, Penelope (Captain
Paget), and Echo. Lord Hugh Seymour is going as a passenger
to Madeira in the Penelope.
Feb. 14, 1799. Arrived at Portsmouth H.M. ship Penelope
38 guns Captain Paget from Madeira, having on board Lord
Hugh Seymour, and brought in with her the Fly schooner from
Guernsey, laden with brandy, &c.
PORTSMOUTH REPORT, March 3-19, 1799
Ships at Spithead. Penelope, 38. Waiting to be docked
Captain Blackwood is appointed to the command of H.M.S.
Penelope of 38 guns and the Honble. Captain Paget succeeds
Captain Blackwood in the command of the Brilliant, 32.
The Brilliant must either have been docked for an
unusually long time or else there must be some dis-
crepancy in this entry, as the Brilliant's log gives March
1 800 as the date of her being commissioned by Captain
Paget, and the Naval Chronicles state that she sailed
from Portsmouth in March 1 800 for Costa.
I may here fittingly acknowledge my debt to Mrs.
Groves, daughter of the late Admiral Oliver, for the
loan of a complete list of the Naval Chronicles. This
work consists of forty volumes, covering the period from
1799 to 1818, and contains a mass of contemporary
Naval History, of Reports and Letters, together with
Naval Biographies, descriptions of Foreign Countries,
lists of the vessels in the Navy, of Prizes taken, and
much other matter. There are in the different volumes
many quaint engravings from paintings by Pocock and
other artists of foreign cities, and of naval engagements ;
but the somewhat chaotic order in which the contents
are thrown together, and the extremely small print of
52 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
portions of the work, which is also in places brown and
laded, make it a difficult and trying task to extract the
particular item for which one is searching.
From the Penelope frigate Captain Paget was
appointed to the command of the frigate Brilliant, of
32 guns, March i, 1799. The following extracts from
the Brilliant's log are here given :
Mar. i, 1799. Sailed with Convoy in company.
Mar. 9, 1799. Off Finisterre.
Mar. 21, 1799. Anchored in Plymouth Sound.
Mar. 29, 1799. Portsmouth, to May 10.
May u, 1799. The Needles.
May 13, 1799. Cove of Cork.
May 19, 1799. Made sail in chace of a ship.
May 20, 1799. Brought to a ship bound for Cork.
May 26, 1799. Boaraed a Prussian galliot.
May 31, 1799. Joined grand Fleet off Ushant; joined Sir
E. Pellew's Expedition.
June 2, 1799. Parted co. with squadron and remained
off L'Orient with Magicienne.
June 3, 1799. Again joined Sir E. Pellew.
June 7, 1 799. Off Quiberon Bay.
June 13, 1799. Near Croisie. The two cutters cut out
from under a point near Croisie a large ship which appeared
to have been cut down.
June 28, 1799. Fired two broadsides at Forts on Belle
Isle which had fired at us.
During July off Quiberon ; on July 29 boats of squadron cut
out of L'Orient gun-boat Cerbere.
Aug. 25, 1799. Off Ortegal.
Aug. 26, 1799. Battery began firing on us (Brilliant and
Cynthia). Returned fire and took possession of it.
Aug. 30, 1799. Boats of squadron cut a corvette out
from under a battery at Vigo.
Sept. i, 1799. Received 86 French prisoners.
Sept. 9- 1 6, 1799. Plymouth Sound.
Sept. 17, 1799. Boarded a ship.
Sept. 19, 1799. With Fleet.
Sept. 26, 1799. Off Ferrol.
" Brilliant " and " Hydra "
Oct. 12, 1799. Chaced and boarded Hamburg ship.
Oct. 19, 1799. Made all sail, cleared, and came up with
a captured Spanish privateer, St. Yago, of 14 guns.
Oct. 23, 1799. Made all sail for Lisbon; prize in co.
BOYPIOOD AND EARLY COMMANDS 53
Dec. i, 1799. Made sail standing off and on waiting for
Dec. 8, 1 799. Standing in for Bar of Lisbon | p. 7
came to anchor. Blowing fresh, cut our cable and made sail ;
9 A.M. heavy squal, let fly tacks and sheets, let go small Bower,
which parted immediately ; we then let go the sheet-anchor,
which brought us up.
Dec. 10, 1799. Received two anchors and cables from dock-
yard at Lisbon.
Dec. 21, 1799. While anchored in Tagus "received the
small Bower anchor, which was lost."
Jan. 27, 1 80 1. Reached Spithead.
Feb. 10, 1 80 1. Captain went on board, Admiral returned,
Feb. 17, 1801. Off Penmarck.
Mar. i, 2, 1801. Two chaces.
Mar. 9, 1801. Cleared for action, and in chace, which
showed French colours with an Admiral's flag, fired 2 guns;
cleared ship, all hands at guns all night.
Mar. 10, 1 80 1. 6.30 A.M. saw enemy which made signal
they were of the line. At 1 1 parted co. with Doris and sailed
for Quiberon Bay.
Mar. 1 8, 19, 1801. The Brilliant was sunk battered and
damaged by gales, ship labouring heavily.
Apr. 6, 1 80 1. Plymouth, Hon. Captain Wodehouse came
on board whose commission being read he superseded the Hon.
Captain Paget by taking command of H.M.S. Brilliant.
CHARLES PAGET, Captain.
In this log of the Brilliant we have a contemporary
story, jotted down in brief nautical sentences, of the
kind of patrol work that was carried on by the smaller
ships of the navy. The notices of being off L'Orient
and Quiberon imply days and nights of sleepless vigil-
ance while the vessel was buffeted oftentimes by Atlantic
gales. The exciting incident off the Bar of Lisbon, when
two anchors were lost and the sheet anchor alone, their
last hope, saved the Brilliant from destruction ; and the
entry in Quiberou Bay that the ship was " much damaged
by gales " and was " labouring heavily " gives us vivid
pictures of the constant perils to which these small
sailing vessels were exposed, and of the consummate skill
and daring of our seamen.
These old volumes seem almost redolent of the salt of
the ocean and to sway with the heaving of the frigate
54 MEMOIE OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
upon the great rollers of the Bay of Biscay as she lay
to off L'Orient watching the foe, or dashed off in pursuit
of a strange sail, or waited impatiently for the lagging
merchant ships of her convoy.
Apr. 6, 1 80 1. The Hon. Captain Paget took the command.
Apr. 6-1 5, 1 80 1. Moored off Sheerness and sailed for
June 4, 1 80 1. Chaced sail sent boats to cut her off.
Aug. n, 1801. Off Weymouth heard firing, supposed
them to be engaging made sail for them. Heard French
privateer had captured English brig stood off and on but saw
Sept. 2, 1 80 1. Off Lisbon, chaced some shins.
Sept. 2, 1 80 1. Off Cadiz, chacing almost daily.
Nov. 7, 1 80 1. Boarded two ships.
Nov. 24, 1 80 r. Off Gibraltar.
Nov. 26, 1 80 1. Ships arrived with troops from Egypt.
Dec. 15, 1 80 1. Sent condemned stores to dockyard and
brought new back.
Jan. 7, 1802. Up anchor and made for Malta, received
despatches for Malta.
Jan. 9, 1802. Passing Majorca.
Jan. 10, 1802. Sent boat and officer with despatches into
Port Mahon, and came into harbour and found 3 H.M. ships.
Jan. 13, 1802. Sailed from Port Mahon to Malta.
Jan. 1 8, 1 802. Anchored at Valetta and found Lord Keith's
squadron there. Lay here. Sent despatches on board Admiral.
Jan. 26, 1802. 3 warships sailed tor Naples, &c.
Jan. 29, 1802. Manned ship to receive Lord Keith: came
on board 1 2 and left 4 P.M. [Tins must have been a great event
for the young captain of 23 and his officers.]
Jan. 1 8 to Feb. 2, 1802. Anchored at Valetta.
Feb. 2, 1802. Lost 2 hawsers trying to warp out.
Feb. 1 1, 1802. Off island of Elba.
Feb. 1 3, 1 802. Stood out of Ferrara for Leghorn.
Feb. 15, 1802. Came to Leghorn Roads.
Feb. 20, 1802. Chased and captured a pirate boat full of
Feb. 22, 1802. Delivered same to plundered owners.
Mar. 10, 1802. Valetta Harbour.
Apr. 12, 1802. Sailed out and anchored.
Apr. 14-16, 1802. In Syracuse Bay.
May i, 1802. In Naples Bay.
May 10, 1802. Off Messina. Valetta again.
June i, 1802. Off Messina.
BOYHOOD AND EARLY COMMANDS 55
June 6, 1802. Divine service. Moored in Valetta again
several days in June.
June 26, 1802. Embarked Mr. Cameron, the Governor of
Malta, and his family.
Aug. 1802. Palermo and then Naples. Then cruising in
Mediterranean during latter part of August and September,
and then out to the Atlantic.
Sept. 22, 1802. Off Lisbon.
Oct. 4, 1 802. Anchored at Spithead.
November 10, 1802.
(Signed) C. PAGET, Captain.
These cruises of the Hydra, lasting for a year and a
half, illustrate an important branch of naval service
discharged by the smaller ships, viz. that of conveying
despatches from place to place and Admiral to Admiral.
The notice of the meeting with the well-known
Admiral Lord Keith at Valetta, and of his visit to the
Hydra is interesting, as Lord Keith was at that time
Nelson's chief, and the Hydra's frequent voyages from
Malta to Sicily and Naples were probably largely for the
purpose of carrying despatches of importance. This
was the time when Lord Nelson, enthralled by Lady
Hamilton, was living at the court of Naples in the
singular position of being partly protector and partly
adviser to their Sicilian Majesties. An excellent de-
scription of this anomalous state of things will be found
in the letters of Sir Arthur Paget, who succeeded Sir
William Hamilton as Envoy to Sicily.
April 5, 1803 to April 20, 1805
As it was while in command of the Endymion that my
grandfather performed the chivalrous action to the
disabled Frenchman depicted as the " Gallant Rescue "
in Schetky's fine painting in the United Service Club,
I felt that her log was one of special interest. I have
therefore read carefully not only through the Captain's
log, but also the Master's, and have made notes from
The Endymion was a fine vessel, a first-class frigate ;
and upon hearing of this appointment, his brother, Sir
Edward Paget, writes from Egypt : " I am happy
to hear Charles has got a large frigate. Of course
he will not come into the Mediterranean. I should
like to return with him as soon as the expedition
Captain Paget's First Lieutenant on the Endymion
was Charles John Austen, who had served on the same
vessel before. He was the younger of the two " sailor
brothers " of the well-known novelist, Jane Austen, and
a most gallant and able sailor. His great nephew, Mr.
J. H. Hubback, most kindly sent me a copy of his book,
Jane Austens Sailor Brothers, and in this interesting
volume, p. 122, there occurs this reference to the
Endymion : " Charles, when the war broke out, was
again appointed to the Endymion, and served on her with
some distinction until October 1804, when he was given
the command of the sloop Indian. Among other prizes
taken under Captain Paget, who finally recommended
Lieutenant Charles Austen for command, the Endy-
mion captured the French corvette Bacchante on the
return voyage from St. Domingo to Brest. This prize
THE ENDYMION 57
was a remarkably fine corvette, and was added to the
EXTRACTS FROM THE CAPTAIN'S AND MASTER'S LOGS
OF THE "ENDYMION"
Tues., April 5, 1803. Captain Paget came on board and
commissioned the ship at Portsmouth.
May 19, 1803. Lord Nelson hoisted flag on Victory.
Saluted with 1 7 guns, and we returned salute with 1 5 guns.
Sun., June 5, 1803. Saluted 21 guns for H.M. Birthday.
June 1 8, 1803. Saw strange sail and made sail. Chace,
at 6.30 we brought to and lost possession of La Bacchante,
French corvette of 14 guns, 75 men. Shipped prisoners on
board. Captain Charles Paget, in lat. 47 W. I (?) N. long.
20 W. fell in with, and after a chace of eight hours, captured
the Bacchante, French corvette 20 guns, 100 men. Through
July sighting and chacing ships.
July 19, 1803. Boarded a West Indiaman, impressed
8 men for service.
July 22, 1803. Captured a French brig.
During this period several notices of flogging for drunken-
Aug. 5, 1803. In Plymouth Sound. Then chacing ships
Aug. 14, 1803. Sunday, performed Divine Service.
Aug. 15, 1803. Captured French privateer of 18 guns, sent
prize to England.
Aug. 22, 1803. Captured ship, put on petty officer and
Sun., Aug. 28, 1803. Mustered ships lat. 11.
Sept. 12, 1803. Met American ship and heard that war is
declared with Spain.
Sept. 14, 1803. Captured 3 Spanish ships.
Sept. 20, 21, 1803. Plymouth Sound (also at Plymouth
from Nov. 15, 1803, to Jan. 5, 1804).
[In the entries through January and February, there are
accounts of frequent severe gales which the Endymion had to
face in pursuit of her duty.]
Jan. 7, 1804. At 2 main-topmast went over the side.
Seaman Moors killed, much rigging blown over board.
Jan. 14-15, 1804. Ship heavily treated by sea and gale.
Jan. 23, 1804. Violent gales.
Jan. 28-29, 1804. The same.
Feb. 11, 1 804. Strong gales.
Feb. 17, 1804. Strong gales off Finisterre; during this
time she is cruising off Finisterre.
58 MEMOIE OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
Sun. 19, 1804. Performed Divine Service.
Feb. 21, 1804. Boarded 2 Spanish schooners.
Feb. 29, 1804 Joined squadron off Ferrol; there till
Mar. 11, 1804. Sunday; performed Divine Service in
Mar. 23, 1804. Towing brig Venus, 2 hawsers broken, con-
. At March 31, 1804.
(Signed} CHARLES PAGET, Captain.
April 20 to May 14, Plymouth.
May 31, 1804. Bore up for Denmark harbour. ,
June 4, 1 804. Sent all boats to board several sail of enemy
in Denmark Harbour, fired 2 broadsides at same and signalled
recall, sailed out 3.30.
June 5, 1804. Fired at three ships; prepared for sea.
June 6, 1804. At 1.30 fired larboard broadside at 2 vessels
at 6.30 again. At 6.50 starboard.
June 10, 1804. Fired at them again.
June 23-24, 1804. Chaced and boarded Spanish ship.
July i, 1804. Slipped cable of best Bower anchor, as not
room to weigh. Spoke fleet off Ferrol.
Aug. I, 1804. Joined [squadron] under Cochrane.
Aug. 4, 1804. Parted with them.
Aug. 14, 1804. Boarded Spanish frigate and 2 others.
Sept. 24-25, 1804. Off Ortegal, &c. ; fresh gales.
Oct. 1-3, 1804. OffCorunna.
Oct. 2, 1804. Fresh gales; slipped best Bower with buoy;
Oct. 27-30, 1804. Fresh gales.
Notes from Log of " Ville de Paris," 1804
The Endymion was serving under Admiral the Hon.
W. Cornwallis during 1804-1805. In the log of the
Ville de Paris, Admiral Cornwallis's Flagship, there is
this entry :
July 15, 1804. I sent off the Endymion from Penmarck
to cruise off Cape Finisterre and Vigo for the purpose of inter-
cepting the enemy's cruisers frequenting that Port, and par-
ticularly to prevent any English vessel which had been captured
being taken into that Port.
LADY PAGET, THE AUTHOR'S GRANDMOTHER
(From a miniature in his possession]
THE ENDYMION 59
In the same log are these brief entries :
Sept. 3, 1804. The Endymion joined company.
Sept. 4, 1804. I ordered the Endymion, Captain Paget, to
go to Plymouth to replenish, and rejoin with all expedition.
Sept. 20, 1804. The Endymion joined from Plymouth.
Sept. 20, 1804. I detached Endymion to join Hear- Admiral
Cochrane off Ferrol.
Oct. 30, 1804. Strong gales split main-topsail. Strange
sail in sight.
Nov. 3, 1804. Lying to off Vigo.
Nov. 10, 1804. Fresh gales.
Nov. 30, 1 804. Fresh gales.
Dec. 3, 1804. Ran into Harbour.
Dec. 5, 1804. Strong gales.
Dec. 7, 1804. Strong gales off Finisterre.
Dec. 25-26, 1804. Gales off Finisterre.
Jan. 2, 1805. Rock of Lisbon in sight.
Jan. 9, 1805. Took Spanish ship from Oronoco.
Jan. 12, 1805. Captured Charlotte from Cadiz.
Jan. 13, 1805. Gales.
Jan. 21, 1805. Captured Spanish ship the Brilliante from
Vera Cruz, received on board prisoners and 88 boxes of money.
Jan. 27, 1804. Captured another and sailed with prizes
Feb. 4, 1 804. Took the third Spaniard from Lima for Cadiz,
received on board 240 boxes of dollars for better security.
Sun., Feb. 10, 1804. Captured another Spaniard, sailed for
Spithead, 1 2 prizes in co.
Feb. 24, 1804. Anchored at Spithead.
April 20, 1805. Captain King superseded Captain Paget.
(Signed) CHARLES PAGET, Captain.
This two years' command of the Endymion was one
of the most important and successful that Captain Paget
enjoyed. He was exceptionally fortunate throughout
in the capture of prizes, and at the close effected the
really splendid detention of four Spanish treasure ships.
One of these alone is stated in the Naval Chronicles
to have been worth a million and a half of dollars, and
the share of the Endymioris three lieutenants in the
prize money amounted to ,12,000. This is one of the
few incidents in my grandfather's life of which I can
recollect my father telling us. He used to give us an
60 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
amusing description of the somewhat grotesque terror
and distress of the Spanish commanders when the British
officers boarded their valuable ships. The subjoined
letter (which I have copied from the Paget Papers) was
written soon after this event to his brother Sir Arthur
"ENDYMION," OFF PORTLAND,
Friday night, Feb. 2 2nd, 1805.
MY DEAREST ARTHUR, I wrote to you about
six weeks ago before I had taken any Spaniards.
As a real and attached and affectionate brother you
will be glad to hear that I have captured seven
Spanish ships. Three of them I sent away for
England immediately after taking them the four
others I have now under my convoy. I am now
lying to with them off Portland lights meaning to
run for Spithead at daylight, the last I took was
one of the famous Lima liegistre ships which besides
merchandise had on board Specie, Plate, and Jewels
to the amount of about a million and a half of
dollars, all of which for safety I removed on board
the Endymion ; in short my dear fellow, my whack
of Prize Money at a moderate calculation will be
about fifty thousand pounds, which for a younger
brother is not a bad fortune to have made. You
may conclude (as I am irrevocably of the same
mind as well as herself) 1 am anxious to get to
London to see Elizabeth [his future wife] which
with or without leave I purpose doing eight hours
after the anchor has gone at Spithead. Before I
go to sea again you shall hear from me. . . . Your
most devoted and affectionate brother.
MARRIAGE AND COMMAND OF THE EGYPTIENNE
THE resolve which at the end of the last chapter Captain
Paget expressed in his letter to his brother, he carried
out with sailorlike promptitude. On February 24, 1805,
the Endymion, with her rich prizes in company, anchored
at Spithead, and upon the seventh day of March following,
1805, the year of Austerlitz and Trafalgar, Charles
Paget was married in the church of St. Mary-le-bone, to
Elizabeth Araminta Monck, daughter of Henry Monck
and Lady Elizabeth Monck. Miss Monck was not of
age, but her father was present, and his signature is
appended to the Register, a copy of which I possess.
It must have been, I imagine, soon after this, and
probably out of the proceeds of some prize money, that
my grandfather purchased the house and estate of Fair
Oak in the village of Rogate, not far from Petersfield.
There in the lovely country of the South Downs, in
" Sussex by the Sea," he and his bride made their home
and there their numerous family of ten were born and
reared. Captain Paget was elected M.P. for Milborne
Port from 1 804 to 1 806, and for the Borough of Car-
narvon from 1806 to 1826. Before leaving the subject
of my grandmother and her family it is interesting to
note this entry in the Diary of General William Dyott
of Freeford, which almost certainly refers to Lady
Paget 's mother. " In August, September, and October
1797 passed a good deal of time at Saltam a house full
of people. A very pleasant and the prettiest woman in
England there most of the summer, Lady Elizabeth
Monck." On December 27, 1805, my grandfather was
appointed to thecommand ofiheEgyptienne frigate for the
Channel service, and of this appointment Lady Uxbridge
thus writes to Sir Arthur Paget, January 4, 1806:
" Charles is just appointed to the Egyptienne, the finest
62 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
frigate in our service, and he is going to Plymouth to
take possession of her. She is to be attached to Admiral
Cornwallis's fleet. I could have wished that on account
of his health he had remained on shore till the bad
weather was over, and I think Mr. Pitt would wish it
for another reason, as I understand the opposition are
straining every nerve ... at such a time the loss of
three Members will be felt and I am afraid neither
yourself, Edward or Charles, will be in England." From
December 27, 1805, to March 21, 1807, my grandfather
was in command of the Egyptienne engaged in active
service in the Bay and along the Spanish coast.
It so happens that I possess two fine pictures of this
vessel, which came to my father at the break up of the
Fair Oak household at my grandmother's death in 1843.
The one depicts the Egyptienne under full sail pursuing
a Spanish schooner into Ferrol harbour, the other repre-
sents the frigate coming out again, having lost her fore-
top mast, and having had to abandon the chase. These
pictures having been familiar to me from childhood upon
the walls of our various homes, it was intensely interest-
ing to read the actual account of this incident in her log,
as I did last August.
I am also able to supplement the short extracts from
the log of the Egyptienne with a letter written by
Captain Paget, which is printed in the Naval Chronicles,
vol. xv. p. 254, in which he describes an important
capture made during this cruise.
Log of tlie Egyptienne
Feb. 10, 1806. Made sail from Plymouth.
Feb. 1 8, 1806. Off Finisterre.
Feb. 20, 1 806. Rescued English brig wh. had been captured
by Spaniards. Had constant gales. Often chasing ships.
Mar. i, 1806. Received fire of battery of Guara, one
struck ship. Returned fire Avith starboard guns.
Mar. 2, 1806. Off Bayonne Islands. Observed 2 Spanish
ships of line and i frigate and r French ship of line.
Mar. 9, 1806. Boats captured L'Alcide, a French privateer
of 30 guns, and sent her with a lieutenant and 19 men to
England. Concerning this exploit the subjoined letters appear
in Naval Chronicles, vol. xv. p. 254.
Copy of a letter of the Earl of St. Vincent, Admiral
COMMAND OF THE EGYPTIENNE 63
and Commander of the Fleet employed in Channel, to
the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, dated
March 22, 1806.
SIR, I have the honour to transmit for the
information of the Lords Commissioners of the
Admiralty the enclosed copy of a letter from
Captain Paget, and have great pleasure in expres-
sing my admiration of the gallant exploit therein
recorded. I am, &c.,
LETTER OF CAPTAIN PAGET
" EGYPTIENNE," OFF CAPE FINISTF.RRE,
gth March 1806
MY LORD, I have the honour to inform yr.
Lordship, that having received intelligence of a
large French privateer being in the harbour of
Muros, I decided on seizing the first opportunity
of gaining possession of her ; I accordingly anchored
H.M. ship under my command off that port last
night, and immediately sent the boats away to
endeavour to cut her out, in which, I am happy to
acquaint your Lordship, they succeeded, though
she was moored close to the beach, and under the
protection of two batteries, which kept up an in-
cessant fire till she was towed clear of their range.
This vessel, which appears to be perfectly adapted
to H.M. service, proved to be L'Alcide of Bordeaux,
a frigate built ship pierced for 34 guns, only two
years old, and had when last at sea a complement
of 240 men. This affair, so honourable to those
who achieved it, was conducted by Captain Han-
field, who was ably supported by Lieutenants
Alleyne and Garthwayte, of the marriners, the
petty officers and boats' crews.
To account for that zealous enterprising officer,
Captain Hanfield, being in the Egyptienne, I have
to inform your Lordship, that not having received
6 4 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
an official communication of his promotion previous
to our sailing, he volunteered remaining on the ship
as First Lieutenant during the cruise.
The EARL OF ST. VINCENT,
Admiral of the Red and
Commander-in-Chief, &c., &c., &c.
Mar. 21, 1806. Spoke Sir Richard Strachan's squadron.
Apr. 6, 1 806. Read prayers to ship's co.
May 26, 1806. Boarded 2 Portuguese ships.
June 5, 1806. Observed i ship in Corunna ; 2 in Ferrol, the
latter apparently i of line and i frigate ready for sea.
June 15, 1806. Boarded a neutral, told us of 5 frigates in
Ferrol ready for sea.
June 1 6, 1806. Saw schooner standing about entrance to
Ferrol. Made all sail in chace. When within 1 1 miles of chace
which hoisted Spanish colours the foretopsail, topsail yard, and
mn. tp. gallant mast went by the board. Wore ship, hove to,
lowered boat to pick up 2 men but saw nothing of them. Made
sail off land. [This incident is the subject of two excellent
pictures in my possession.]
June 1 8, 1806. Chased and boarded a Spanish ship.
Sunday, June 22, 1806. Mustered crew and read Articles
of War and held Divine Service.
June 23, 1806. Boarded 2 or 3 small ships, received fire
June 27, 1806. Boarded 2 ships.
July i, 1806. Observed enemies' ships in Ferrol.
July 19, 1806. Boarding ships.
Aug. 14, 1806. Worked into Finisterre Bay; observed
batteries there, &c.
Sept. i, 1806. Boarded 2 American ships.
Sept. 9 1806. Boats after some resistance captured a Spanish
schooner, middy wounded. She was laden with bark, coffee,
and cocoa. Offered to exchange prisoners at Vigo.
Oct. i, 1806. Barge captured five Spaniards off Ferrol.
From December to March 21, 1807, the Egyptienne
seems to have been in Hamoaze Roads.
Signed in much better ink than rest of log,
March 21, 1807,
CHARLES PAGET, Captain.
COMMAND OF THE CAMBRIAN
AFTER a very short period of shore leave my grand-
father received the appointment to command the fine
frigate Cambrian, which he commissioned May 12, 1807.
At this time, as a result of the Peace of Tilsit and the
alliance between Alexander and Napoleon, all the Con-
tinent was in effect subject to the French Emperor.
Countries like Denmark and Sweden might profess to be
neutral, but they and their active forces were really at the
mercy of Napoleon, who might commandeer them when-
ever he chose. Under those critical circumstances the
British Government resolved to take the bold and from the
ordinary international standpoint unjustifiable course of
demanding that the Danes should hand over their ships to
England for the time being to save them from the clutches
of France. This was the origin of the second Battle of
Copenhagen and that great expedition to the North Sea in
which the Cambrian took part, which, as we shall see, so
mystified her commander and also his brother Lord Paget.
This command of the Cambrian (May 12, 1807-
March 21, 1808) is remarkable as being the only
occasion in which the fortune of war carried my grand-
father into the thick of battle and in which his ship took
part in a great historical engagement. After the battle he
was honoured by being allowed to convey the duplicate
despatches to England. The following letters from Lord
Paget and from Captain Charles Paget himself should,
I think, be read before the entries in the log. I am kindly
permitted to reprint them from the " Paget Papers " :
Letter from LORD PAGET to Sir ARTHUR PAGET.
July 29, 1907.
I saw Charles off Yarmouth Road last Sunday.
He belongs to the expedition which is gone God
66 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
knows where. He is much pleased with his ship and a
most comfortable one she is. I slept one night on board
and sailed on shore with a fine breeze in the whale boat.
We longed for you and Berkeley. I cannot conjecture
the object of the armament. If it is to get possession
of Copenhagen and the Danish Fleet I fear they will
have a very tough job indeed. England is weak from
the very success of her arms, for our Army is dispersed
all over the face of the globe.
From Captain the Hon. CHARLES PAGET to
Sir A. PAGET.
" CAMBRIAN," OFF THE SCAW AT THE ENTRANCE
OF THE CATTEGAT, July ^ist, 1807.
MY DEAREST, DEAREST ARTHUR, I think it was just
three weeks ago that I last wrote to you, since which my
mind has been with one thing or other so perplexed and
bewildered that I have not been able in comfort to write
to you since. Your long & interesting letter or rather
Journal has at length reached me. I see by it, my best
of fellows, that to use your own expression you were
most infernally sick of the sea tho' not sea sick. I don't
at all wonder at it, for it is a severe trial to those whose
profession it is, at least so I find it, & heartily glad shall
I be when this cursed war is over, that we may all
meet in peace & quiet & spend some happy years to-
gether. . . .
My last letter will have told you that I ivas under
the orders of Lord Gardner, who had directed me to go
to Plymouth for further orders. I was in the act
almost of Executing these orders when a telegraph
message ordered the Cambrian to sail instantly for the
Downs with flat boats. This was pleasant, & for which
I of course in my heart thanked my Lord Mulgrave.
In the Downs I found Commodore Hood with eight sail
of the Line, & with him proceeded to Yarmouth Roads,
where with the force we added, were collected Two &
Twenty Sail of the Line, Eight frigates, & upwards of
forty sail of Gun Brigs and Sloops of War. This fleet
COMMAND OF THE CAMBRIAN 67
is entrusted to Admiral Gambier, who has for his first
Captain Sir Home Podham, to the particular mortifica-
tion & disgust of Hood, Keats, & Stopford, who altho'
Commodores & my senior officers, are degraded by this
man being put over their heads. They in consequence
made a very strong, firm, & spirited remonstrance which
they expected would have occasioned their removal, but
Lord Mulgrave, aware of the merit of these officers, &
being conscious of the importance it is to this Expedi-
tion having such in the fleet, seems rather to have
adopted temporising measures. However, their full
determination is to strike their broad Pendants the
moment the service is completed, & to publish to
the world their having before the Expedition sailed
entered their protest against so glaring an insult to
the Navy at large. In short my Lord Mulgrave is
not likely to deserve more honor & credit to himself
at the Head of Naval Department than he did at the
The day before we sailed from Yarmouth (four days
ago) I was dining with Stopford on board the Spencer,
& was most agreeably surprized by the arrival of Paget,
who had rode over with Baron Teuil from Ipswich.
This was one of his amiable acts. He slept on board
the Cambrian & stayed with me the next day till we
were actually getting under way. Nothing could be
more thoroughly kind than he was, & it was bestowed
on one who well knows how to appreciate such an
act. . . .
What the devil are we going to be at, my dearest
fellow, with this great fleet, & the reinforcements of
Ships & troops that are following ? The Danes have
done nothing hostile towards us, & surely we cannot be
so unprincipled as to attempt the island of Zealand
without some fair pretext. We have positive intelli-
gence that our fleets of transports with the Germans
have passed the Sound unmolested & are I believe
landed on the Island of Rugen, a pleasant spot. What
then are we going to be at ? Would it be justifiable
without any previous hostile act on their part, to take
their fleet from them, on the plea of preventing it being
a means ultimately of Buonaparte to execute his Plan
68 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
of Invasion. In short I am bewildered with different
conjectures. If we are going against Copenhagen many
of us will lose the number of our mess. If I should be
destined to be one of the Number, I shall die in the
consolation of knowing that the dear treasure I bequeath
will receive all the comfort & support that you, amongst
other dear relatives, can bestow. Take care of her, my
excellent dear Arthur, & cherish her as you would a
Legacy I left you. I have left everything I have in
the world to her & the boy & the one that is about to
be born. Thank God in pecuniary matters at least I
have been able to give them a comfortable independence,
& therefore all I have to ask is that you will all take
care of her. This is supposing I am minus a Head, but
in the supposition I am not minus in that necessary
article, why then, my old Boy, I trust we shall still
have some happy days together. . . .
August i st.
We are now, my good Arthur, running down the
Cattegat with a fair wind. But we have not yet been
joined by the Six Sail of the Line which we left behind
in Yarmouth Roads to bring a Battalion of the Guards
& three Regiments of infantry. Paget told me that
Finch was to command the Guards & Sir George Ludlow
I mean this letter should be ready to send by the
first opportunity that offers. With so large a flotilla,
we may hope for a constant communication with Eng-
land. Do, my good, dear Arthur, continue to write to
me. I long to hear what is likely to be the result of
your Mission. I confess I am unable to form an Idea
what is likely to happen now Russia & Prussia have
It is however very curious that the moment that in-
telligence was received we instantly dispatched a large
force to the Baltic.
As I am not much in a writing humour to-day I
shall finish this letter another day, probably after we
have passed the Sound.
COMMAND OF THE CAMBRIAN 69
"CAMBRIAN," ELSINORE ROADS, Aug. ^th, 1807.
We anchored here, my good Arthur, yesterday. So
far from anything as yet having appeared hostile, that
the Admiral saluted Cronenbury Castle in passing it,
which was immediately answered ; we are now all
moored & are receiving Water and fresh Beef, &c.,
from the shore. But you may rely that this is all
humbug, & that in a very few days a blow will be
struck that the Danes at this moment are certainly un-
prepared for. Lord Cathcart, with all the Germans
from Stralsund, are coming this way, & the force which
is hourly expected from England will make, with the
Seamen & Marines, I dare say, from 20 to 25 Thousand
men. The Danish Troops, except 5 Thousand men
which are distributed in the Island of Zealand, are all in
Sleswig, & Commodore Keats with a strong detachment
is now in the Belt (I have good reason to believe) for
the purpose of preventing the Danish troops being
The Danish fleet, I believe, are all in the arsenal at
Copenhagen, neither manned or otherwise ready for
sea. I suspect the possession of them is the object,
which accomplish'd, we shall all go back to England
with them & leave the Crown Prince to sulk in his
Island pleasant treatment, unless our Government is in
possession of facts to bear them out in so apparently
unjustifiable a measure.
What nonsense my writing you all this which
you will probably be in the secret of, & have more
correct information about. I am going on shore with
Stopford to-morrow, He to taste & buy Hock. I go
to visit again the Spot where our friend Hamlet says,
"Whither wilt thou lead me? Speak, I'll go no
further ! " Hey !
I shall write to you, my good fellow, soon again. I
close this now as I hear a vessel is going with despatches
God bless you, my dearest good Arthur. Ever your
most affect. Brother,
70 MEMOIE OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
From Capt. the Hon. C. PAGET to Sir A. PAGET.
"NIGHTINGALE," IN THE CATTEGAT,
Septr. nth, 1807.
You will be surprised, my dearest Arthur, to
receive a letter from me dated as above, but the
fact is I am going home with the dispatches of
the surrender of Copenhagen & the Danish fleet,
which took place on the yth, after a severe bom-
bardment which commenced on the second. . . .
Thus, my dearest fellow, have we struck a
deadly blow to poor Denmark & inflicted a
wound on Bonaparte that he will not speedily
I am only the bearer of the Duplicates, Captain
Collier, a particular friend of Admiral Gambier's,
having had more interest with him than I had in
being charged with the first dispatches. The
Duplicates however I thought better fun carrying
home than staying off Copenhagen for three weeks
to come doing nothing in the Cambrian. I there-
fore accepted Admiral Gambier's offer & here I am,
my dear Arthur, in an infernal Brig, spinning down
the Cattegat with a gale of wind at Southwest
we passed Elsinore at four o'clock this morning
& hope to be abreast of the Scaw by Sunset.
Then we have comparatively plain sailing. At
present, however, not so, for I don't think in the
Navigation of any sea there is one more precarious
than the Cattegat, or one I have so thorough a
dislike to particularly in a Brig.
In the Naval Chronicles (vol. 18, p. 155), we find
that while the Cambrian was at Sheerness Captain
Paget served on two Court Martials for the trial of
Captain O'Connor for the loss of the Leveret. In
both cases my grandfather's name stands second in
the list of Captains constituting the Court. The
date is Nov. 18, 1807.
COMMAND OF THE CAMBRIAN 71
The Log of tlie " Cambrian "
June 27, 1807. Took on pilot.
July 23, 1807. Admiral Gambler hoisted his flag (in the
Aug. 2, 1807. Anchored 9 miles from Elsinore Castle.
Aug. 9, 1807. Working to Copenhagen.
Aug. 10, 1807. Fleet anchored 10 miles from Copenhagen.
Danes very busy fitting out floating batteries.
Aug. 17, 1807. Several Danish gunboats came out and
fired at us. Cleared ship for action. Observed Danish gun-
boats board an English ship and set it on fire.
Aug. 1 8, 1807. The bombs and fly brigs cannonading
enemy's gunboats and Crown Battery.
Aug. 19, 1807. Troops engaged with Danes.
Aug. 20, 1807. Buoying middle ground. Observed troops
Aug. 21, 1807. Sailed in with squadron under Lord Hood
nearer Crown Battery.
Aug. 23, 1807. All the gunboats came out and engaged
us. After 5 hours' firing the Danes retreated.
Aug. 26, 1807. Heavy cannonade on both sides. Ob-
served i of Danish gunboats to blow up.
Aug. 31, 1807. Danish gunboats engaged in-shore. Squad-
ron's shell blew up a transport.
Sept. 2, 1 807. Mortar battery threw shells into Copenhagen.
Sept. 3, 1807. Continued bombardment of city.
Sept. 4, 1807. Observed Copenhagen in fire in several
places. Bombardment going on.
Sept. 5, 1807. Saw principal steeple on fire. Bombardment
Sept. 6, 1807. Fire raging. Enemy sent out flag of truce
to settle terms of capitulation.
Sept. 7, 1807. Observed our troops taking possession of
Citadel and Dockyard. Danes have capitulated with all
Sept. 8, 1807. Moved up near Crown Battery, sent master
and first lieutenant ashore to cut and fit out a Danish
Sept. n, 1807. Captain Paget left the ship with despatches
The Cambrian seems to have done little for the rest
of the year. We find only a few incidents mentioned in
Dec. 12, 1807. Boarded an American.
Dec. 13, 1807. Boarded a ship and brig.
72 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
Jan. 13,1 808. Chaced and captured a French ship. Cruis-
ing off Spain in gales.
Feb. 20, 1808. Saw strange sail beat to quarters. Cleared
(Signed) CHARLES PAGET, Captain.
March 21, 1808.
The "Revenge" August 6, 1808, to Oct. 18, 1810
I MAY own here to one of the disappointments in my
biographical researches. Being somewhat hurried in
the Record Office, I skimmed very hastily through the
log of the Revenge (a fine 74-gun ship of the line) to
the famous events of the Basque Roads attack upon the
French fleet, April 1809, in which the Revenge, with the
Valiant, took so conspicuous a part, and in which she
suffered heavy casualties. " Here," I said to myself, " is
a splendid exploit in my grandfather's life of which I
have never heard and to which I have seen no allusion."
Alas, when I came to study the Naval Chronicles of
1809, the acting command of the Revenge during the
Basque Road Battle was assigned to Captain A. R. Kerr.
Later I found embedded elsewhere in the volume a
letter from one of the officers of the Revenge describing
this celebrated engagement, the opening sentences of
which explained the mystery. The letter itself, as
giving a vivid picture of the action, written on the day
after it occurred, is, I think, well worth reprinting here.
Naval Chronicles, vol. 21, p. 399. Extracts from
a letter of an officer of H.M.S. Revenge, of 74 guns dated
off Rochefort, 1 3th April 1 809 :
" I informed you in my last that the Hon.
Captain Paget had obtained a temporary leave of
absence, and our ship was commanded by Captain
Alexander R. Kerr.
" I will now endeavour to send you a few
particulars of our attack on the enemy's fleet in
Aix Roads : for two hours and a half yesterday we
encountered a dreadful fire from the batteries and
some of the enemy's ships ; we were the first ship
of the line in, and thank God considering our
situation were very fortunate, only 3 killed and
1 5 wounded ; our men behaved nobly and knocked
an 84 gunship almost to atoms ; we understand she
had 60 killed and as she was lying aground she
was burnt : last night the sight was glorious, 4 line
of battle ships in flames, and their blowing up was
" We had just water enough for the Revenge to
get without the range of the shot where we lay at
anchor all night; and this morning ive were the
last ship that came out. We had a 4 2 -pound shot
in the bowsprit, which has cut it very much ; some
of our men were badly wounded ; one shot knocked
down nine men in the quarter ; one of our lieutenants
was wounded by the head of a man that was taken
clean off as if by a knife and struck him violently
on the breast.
" Lord Cochrane behaved most gallantly ; he
is now in a Bomb firing away at a three-decker
that is on shore which I hope he will be able to
destroy ; all this has been done in one of our enemy's
harbours that has hitherto been considered totally
impracticable for any of our ships to enter."
Thus my grandfather by being on leave at the time
missed the opportunity of taking one of the foremost
places in one of the celebrated engagements of the great
war in which his ship played her part so nobly.
On hearing of his brother's appointment to the
Revenge, General Edward Paget writes from Spain,
Oct. n, 1808, to their father the Earl of Uxbridge :
" I am glad you think well of the Revenge. I
had heard from several naval officers that she is a
magnificent ship. Charles, I hope, likes her. He
seems to have had as eligible a cruise as he could
have in these days of dearth upon the seas. If
there is a Frenchman upon the ocean he will be
quite sure to find him."
LATER COMMANDS 75
Again, June n, 1809, after the loss of his arm, he
" That best of fellows Charles tells me that he
insists upon accompanying me to town which you
will not be sorry to hear."
From the log of the Revenge I have the subjoined
The Revenge, Line of Battle 74
Captain C. PAGET, Aug. 6, 1808, to Oct. 18, 1810
Apr. 1809. Lying off Basque Roads watching French ship.
Apr. 11, 1809. Stood in snore anchored near enemy.
Apr. 1 2, 1 809. Observed explosions from five vessels, 8 line
ol battle ships and 14 frigates (of the enemy) aground.
Apr. 1 2, 1809. 2.30 weighed and stood m-snore and received
fire of the "batteries" on the isles d'Aix and d'Oleron. 3.20
commenced firing on several line of battle ships. 4.30 observed
3 sail of line had struck. Tacked and stood into deep water
receiving a very heavy fire from the isle D'Aix. Rigging and
sails much cut and damaged.
Apr. 13, 1809. Enemy's ships Warsaw and Aquilon on fire,
weighed and stood for fleet.
[July 29, 1 809. The Revenge, now again under my grand-
father's command, sailed with the Walcheren Expedition.
Remaining anchored off Flushing for some time. The Revenge
took part with the other ships in the attack which entailed the
passing the Flushing Forts and receiving their fire. There were
a few casualties.
Au,g. 29, 1809. The Revenge was moored at Spithead but
returned to (Sept. 10, 1809) Flushing again and was moored
there to Dec. 16, 1809. She then seems to have been at Spit-
head and the Downs from Dec. 16, 1809, to May 26, 1810.
After this she was cruising, so far as I can gather, with no
special incidents to Oct. 18, 1810, when Captain Paget resigned
(Signed) CHARLES PAGET, Captain.
Thursday, Oct. 10, 1810.
N.B. With regard to my grandfather's absence from
the Revenge, in the winter and spring of 1809, I have
since discovered that on December 29, 1808, he applied
to Admiral Gambier for leave of absence to attend to
his Parliamentary duties, which was granted him, and
76 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
he does not seem to have rejoined his ship till the
following June or probably July. It is not impossible
also that his health, which does not seem to have been
of the best during those years, was an additional reason
for his applying for leave.
Letter from the Hon. Captain PAGET, of H.M.S. Revenge,
addressed to Captain MALCOME of the Donegal
Naval Chronicles, vol. 24, p. 425.
"REVENGE, OFF G'HERBOURGE, Oct. 17, l8lO.
SIR, I have great satisfaction in acquainting
you that the luggar wh. crossed us to windward
before daylight this morning, and which we ran
alongside of after a chase of three hours, proves to
be Le Vengeur, of 16 guns and 78 men, from
Dieppe yesterday, and had not made any capture.
I have the honour to be, &c.,
From the Muster Book of the Revenge, which
is signed by Captain Paget from August to November
1808 and from June 7, 1809, to August 14, 1809, and
in the interval by Captains Bligh and Kerr, we learn
that the complement of the Revenge was 650 men, and
also the various stations where she cruised.
The subjoined letters, which are taken from Letters
to the Navy Board, deal with my grandfather's leave ot
absence in December 1808, which it will be satisfactory
From Lord GAMBIER, on board the Caledonia,
off USHANT, dated 29 December 1808.
To Hon. W. W. POLE, Admiralty.
I have the honour to transmit herewith a letter
I have received from Captain the Hon. Charles
Paget of H.M.S. Revenge, requesting leave of
absence to attend his duty in Parliament. I have
the honour to be, &c.
LATER COMMANDS 77
"REVENGE," AT SEA, 29 December 1808.
MY LORD, If it meets with your Lordship's
approbation I have to request you will be pleased
to apply to the Lords Commissioners of the Ad-
miralty for such leave of absence as their Lordships
may think fit in order to allow me to attend
Parliament. I have the honour to be, my Lord,
your Lordship's most obedient humble servant,
(Signed) CHARLES PA GET.
THE " SUPERB," 16 SEPTEMBER 1812 TO 8 AUGUST 1814.
On the declaration of war with the United States,
my grandfather was appointed to the command of a fine
line of battle ship of 80 guns the Superb, which he
commanded for nearly two years. Hitherto he had been
engaged in watching Continental ports or in fighting
French or Spanish ships ; now for the first time he en-
countered the vessels of America in warfare. The cruise
of the Superb was first to Teneriffe and as far south as
Pernambuco, and then north to America. He seems to
have been off New York on the watch for hostile vessels
for some months. There does not seem to have been any
engagement of a serious nature, but on February 9, 1813,
there is the capture of an American brig, the Star, con-
cerning which we find in the Naval Chronicles (vol. 29,
p. 27) the following note :
From the Hon. Captain PAGET ol H.M.S. Superb,
to Admiral Lord Keith.
OFF BELLE ISLE, g Feb. 1813.
I have great pleasure in acquainting you that
the Superb has just run alongside the fine American
brig Star, of 350 tons, 6 guns, and 35 men.
78 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
The following note of a later capture is also found
in Naval Chronicles (vol. 29, p. 434).
ADMIRALTY OFFICE, April 24, 1813.
Admiral Lord Keith has transmitted to J. W.
Croker a letter from the Hon. Captain Paget, of
H.M.S. Superb giving an account of the capture
on 1 5th inst. by the Superb and Pyramus of the
Viper, American letter of marque, 274 tons, 6 guns,
and 35 men, from Nantes to America.
Later in the Chronicles, in a long list of captures,
this entry occurs : "May 20, 1814. The Spanish sloop
Catalina by the Superb."
The entries in the log are of such slight interest
beyond the daily record of wind, weather, hoisting and
lowering of sails, and position that it seems hardly
worth while to write them here. But the following may
serve just to give the main contemporary records of the
Sept. 1 6, 1812. The Hon. Captain Paget joined.
Nov. 10, 1812. Chased.
Aug. 13, 1813. Off the Island of Branca.
Aug. 27, 1813. Off the Island of St. Paul.
July, 1 814. There are various entries of cruising off Montauk
and neighbouring points.
Aug. 6, 1814. -invalided.
Aug. 8, 1814. The Superb was at single anchor off the Gull
Light, near New York, where she had arrived on Aug. 5, and
Alexander Gordon, Esq., came on board and superseded the
Hon. Captain Paget, apparently on account of his ill-health.
With the command of the Superb my grandfather's
share in the great naval war came to a close, and we
will now turn to more peaceful scenes.
THE expiration of his command of the Superb, August 8,
1814, practically brought to a close my grandfather's
active participation in the great war. From his fifteenth
year (when war was first declared) until his thirty-sixth,
when the real combat had ended with Napoleon's first
abdication, he had certainly borne a manful and success-
ful part in the struggle, which for Great Britain was in
truth a struggle for existence. In less than a year after-
wards Waterloo had been fought and won, Napoleon was
on his way to St. Helena, and permanent peace had
settled down upon Europe.
In his letter to his brother Arthur in 1 807, just before
the battle of Copenhagen, Captain Paget wrote : " I see,
my best of fellows, you were most infernally sick of the
sea though not sea sick. I don't at all wonder at it, for
it is a severe trial to those whose profession it is, at least
so I find it, and heartily glad shall I be when this cursed
war is over, and we may all meet in peace and quiet and
spend some happy years together."
Like most gallant soldiers and sailors, my grandfather
was a man of peace, and we can picture how happy he
was to feel that duty no longer called him to scour the
ocean in search of his country's foes, but that he might
with a clear conscience settle down in the bosom of his
family and follow the pursuits of peace.
And truly a charming spot he had selected for a
sailor's home. Fair Oak, which had been purchased as I
imagine soon after his marriage in 1805, i g a small estate
in the parish of Rogate in Sussex, lying across the wide
valley from the South Downs, which are well in sight.
The village is approached from the south by a lane
running between high banks, and a stream flows beside
it and passes under a bridge just outside the lodge and
8o MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
entrance to Fair Oak. In the centre of Rogate and on
high ground stands the village church in which my father
served his first Curacy and in the chancel of which is a
fine memorial tablet to my grandfather and grandmother
and to some of their children. The family vault in which
Lady Paget was buried is in the east side of the church-
The house itself stands some distance back within the
park and is surrounded by fine trees : among these still
towers the splendid oak from which the estate takes its
name and also a fine tulip tree, which, I have been told,
was the pride of my grandmother's heart. To this charm-
ing country house my grandfather led his young bride,
Elizabeth Araminta Monck, the daughter of Henry and
Lady Elizabeth Monck.
There are in his letters touching references to his wife
and their eldest son before the battle of Copenhagen, and
the Naval Chronicles record the birth of their second son,
my father, in 1811, at Fair Oak, and of a daughter in
Not far away, upon a shoulder of the Downs, is Up
Park, at that time the residence of Sir Harry Fether-
stonehaugh, who was a great favourite of King George
IV, and with whom my grandfather and his sons were
on terms of close intimacy. There they must not in-
frequently have met the Prince Regent, who was not
seldom a guest at Up Park, and there they enjoyed the
fine shooting in Sir Harry's preserves. There comes to
my mind as I write the memory of my first journey over
the Portsmouth Direct Line to Waterloo, when thirteen
years of age. My father, as we passed Rowland's Castle,
became much excited at the sight of this old and well-
remembered countryside, and as we were passing a
corner of the Up Park estate eagerly pointed out to us
the very spot where he as a boy with the keeper had
" nabbed " a poacher !
Fair Oak was, as I have said, an ideal home for a
sailor who had just landed from a cruise of two or three
years, during which, amid the " Roaring Biscay Gales,"
he had been almost daily engaged in the chase of hostile
Buried in the depth of the lonely South Down scenery
FAIR OAK 8 1
and sheltered by the Downs from any rough breath of
the Channel storms, it nevertheless was only a pleasant
ride or drive from Portsmouth, which then, as now, was
the great centre of naval interests. It was an easy
matter at any time for Captain Paget or his sailor sons
to run down to the Dockyard, and on the other hand, for
any of their old messmates (like the late Admiral Blake),
on being discharged from their ship or while waiting its
repair in the docks, to run up to Fair Oak for a visit.
Thus, according to my recollection of what my father
and my aunt used to tell us, Fair Oak was frequently
full of sailor guests, and when Sir Charles was at home
from his voyages and the four boys enjoying their
holidays, the household must have been breezy, not to
say boisterous, at times.
Here, then, my grandfather lived when at home, and
here his numerous family of ten was born and grew up.
From 1806 to 1826 Captain Paget was M.P. for Car-
narvon, as he was again later from 1831 to 1836, and
I presume when on shore he spent part of the year in
London in discharge of his Parliamentary duties. The
election contests in those days were of a rough and
sometimes barbarous nature.
Sir Charles Paget (as he became later) and his
family were staunch Whigs, and at the time of the
agitation for Catholic Emancipation and the Reform
Bill, party spirit ran very high. I recollect my father
telling us of how his father used to land from his ship
every morning in order to canvass with a bodyguard of
blue-jackets, with whom he had literally to fight his
way through the centre of the opposition in order to
get into the town.
Of his professional employment after the expiration
of his command of the Superb, August 8, 1814, the first
notice I have found is in Naval Chronicles, vol. 38,
p. 175, where this is recorded, July 1817 : " Captain the
Hon. Charles Paget to act in the Royal George yacht
during the attendance of the yacht on H.R.H. the Prince
Regent off Brighton." My grandfather, like his brother,
seems to have been a persona grata at Court, and on
January 1 1, 1819, he received the appointment as captain
of the Royal yacht. During this time the King cruised
82 MEMOIE OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
from Portsmouth to Liverpool, Dublin, and back, and it
was almost certainly during this cruise round the Land's
End that the exciting incident occurred which is referred
to in the subjoined letter of George IV to his private
secretary, Sir William Knighton, a copy of which, made
by her from the original, was given to me by my aunt,
Mrs. Kennedy, not long before her death.
Letter from KING GEORGE IV to
Sir WILLIAM KNIGHTON.
(Undated, probably 1822.)
DEAREST FRIEND, There is no time for a florid
description. We sailed again yesterday morning
between four and five o'clock with a most promis-
ing breeze in our favour to make the Land's End.
About two or three in the afternoon the wind
shifted immediately in our teeth, a violent hurricane
and tempest suddenly arose, the most dreadful
possible of scenes ensued, the sea breaking every-
where over the ship. We lost the tiller and the
vessel was for some minutes down on her beam
ends ; and nothing, I believe, but the undaunted
presence of mind, perseverance, experience, and
courage of Paget [afterwards Sir Charles] preserved
us from a watery grave.
The oldest and most experienced of our sailors
were petrified and paralyzed ; you may judge some-
what then of what was the state of mind of the
passengers, every one of whom, almost, flew up in
their shirts on deck in terrors that are not to be
described. Most affectionately yours,
Among the few recollections which I have from my
father of those old days was his description of the kind-
ness of the King to him when he accompanied his father
on the yacht. He would then have been a little fellow
of ten or eleven, and the good-natured monarch used to
make him sit on his knee and would talk to him in the
FAIR OAK 83
kindest way. He remembered, also, the King's gift to
my grandfather of a handsome gold snuff box with an
inscription on it. This was long treasured as a family
heirloom, but perished or was stolen when our house at
Grafton, Ontario, was burnt down in 1863. My father
and brothers dug among the debris and hunted for this
prized relic for several days, but needless to say without
Autograph Letter from KING WILLIAM IV when
Duke of Clarence to Sir CHARLES PAGET.
(The original is in my possession.)
BUSHEY HOUSE, March 24^, 1818.
DEAR CHARLES, The bearer, John Ware, tells
me he is your servant, and intends to leave you, of
course without fault. I must increase my estab-
lishment of servants and my coachman wishes
to take this lad as the leading boy, to drive
the Duchess of Clarence. His character, therefore,
is necessary, and particularly as to sobriety, be-
cause I do not think a British Admiral ought to
endanger the life of any Lady, and particularly
that of a female foreigner who ought to look to him
for every protection.
Then as Admiral of the Fleet I must call your
attention to the yacht. I have been the other
day on board, and if the arrangements about stow-
ing the hammocks in the fore-peak are carried
out she will never sail again. The heat and the
smell of sixty hammocks in so small a space will
be intolerable, besides all which, hammocks ought,
according to the practice of the King's service,
to be stowed on deck. God bless you, and believe
me, dear Charles, yours sincerely,
I have recently seen another relic of the old Royal
yachting days in a fine telescope which is now in the
84 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
possession of my cousin, FitzClarence Paget of Instow,
Devon, which bears upon it an inscription to the effect
that it was a gift from the King to Sir Charles Paget.
I ran hastily through the log of the Royal George
yacht, but found little to note.
Aug. 12, 1819. Cowes Roads. The Hon. Charles Paget
had the honour of kissing H.R.H. hand on his appointment to
the Royal George this day.
Aug. 14, 1819. Cruising. H.R.H. went on shore at East
1820. March to August cruising.
Sept. 28, 1820. Encountered heavy gale off Dungeness.
Dec. 27, 1821. The Hon. Bladen Capel came on hoard and
superseded the Hon. Sir Charles Paget.
(Signed] CHARLES PAGET, Captain.
ATTENDANCE UPON THE KING BECOMES REAR-
ADMIRAI^-COMMAND OF IRISH STATION
THESE years from 1820 to 1835 must have been some of
the happiest and most peaceful of my grandfather's life.
With his charming wife and large family, Fair Oak must
have been a delightful centre to their large circle of
relatives and friends. His parliamentary duties, which
continued with hardly any intermission until 1836 and
all through the exciting times of the Reform, must have
given ample occupation during the sessions and have
kept him in living touch with the great stream of the
With the Sovereign, both in the persons of George IV
and of William IV, Sir Charles Paget was on terms of
personal intimacy, as we have seen (they addressed him
by his Christian name in correspondence), and as Groom
of the Bedchamber to George IV he was necessarily
brought into frequent and familiar intercourse with the
King, and yet, like his brother Sir Edward, he seems
always to have kept himself above the level of a good
deal of the Court society and to have been always
He was able also in his yacht Apollo, and later in the
Emerald, to indulge his love of the sea in many pleasant
expeditions : e.g. he is noted as captain of the Apollo,
his own yacht, at Portsmouth in December 1821. In
June 1822 we find him again acting as captain of the
King's yacht, Royal George, and on July 23, 1822, as
commodore to a squadron employed in attendance upon
In the year 1823 my grandfather received the Order
of the Grand Cross of Hanover, and also the appointment
of Groom of the Bedchamber.
This post in the Royal Household he at first held
86 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
as locum tenens for his brother Sir Edward during the
latter's absence from England as Commander-in- Chief
in India. Two years later, as will appear from the sub-
joined letter of the King's private secretary, Sir William
Knighton, and which also bears the Royal signature,
G. R., my grandfather's appointment, by His Majesty's
special wish, was made permanent.
Letter from Sir WILLIAM KNIGHTON to the
Honourable Sir CHARLES PAGET.
(In my possession.)
G. K. KOYAL LODGE,
October ijth, 1825.
DEAR SIR CHARLES, I am honoured with the
commands of the King to send you His Majesty's
very kind regards. His Majesty commands me to
acquaint you that no consideration would induce
His Majesty to permit you to resign your present
situation as Groom of the Bed Chamber, and I
am further commanded to say that it would give
His Majesty very sincere pleasure to have the
return of your brother, Sir Edward, for whom His
Majesty has a great personal regard, into his family.
But on the present occasion His Majesty's arrange-
ments will not admit of it, and how far it may be
expedient with the situation, which is proposed
to your brother on his return from India, must be
left as a question for future consideration. His
Majesty, however, commands me to add that you
are no longer to consider yourself as the locum
tenens of your brother, Sir Edward, in the situation
which it is His Majesty's pleasure you should hold
in his family. I have the honour to be, dear Sir
Charles, with great regard, your very sincere and
It is a never-failing source of regret to me that none
of the Fair Oak family kept any diary, or, apparently,
BECOMES REAR-ADMIRAL 87
cared to remember or preserve any memorial of the many
interesting incidents of my grandfather's active life
both on land and sea. So far from this I do not recollect
to have been told by my father or my aunts about any
of the Naval Actions or public events in which he took
part. In this absolute dearth of any family recollections
or traditions it is interesting to find from these few lines
in a letter of Sir Edward Paget that my grandfather
was not only beloved in his own home, but also the
favourite uncle with his brother's large family.
Sir Edward Paget writes from India to his wife,
February 18, 1823 : "I can't say what pleasure it gives
me to read your remarks upon my most particular
friend and ally, old Charles, and to hear that my dear
children are all so fond of him. He is an excellent,
staunch and honest fellow and much too good to hoist
his flag in these seas. So I hope you will keep him
at home in command of the Emerald."
Sir Charles Paget received his commission as Rear-
Admiral of the Blue on April 9, 1823, and I may here
say that I have in my possession five of these old com-
missions, all duly signed and dated, which I found in an
envelope in a quaint old letter-case of my father's.
With regard to my grandfather's promotion to be
Rear-Admiral, I had an interesting correspondence with
Mr. J. H. Hubback, author of Jane Austen's Sailor
Brothers. He states on p. 273 that, owing to the con-
gested state of the Flag List, there was no promotion
from the captain's list from 1819 to 1830. I wrote
and pointed out to him that Sir Charles Paget was pro-
moted in 1823. He replied that this was a case of
probably exceptional character, like that of Nelson's
Captain Hardy, who was promoted in 1825, but that
he knew of no other instances.
In the years 1828-31 Sir Charles Paget held the
position of Commander-in-Chief at Cork. It was pro-
bably at this time that he, with his eldest son, Captain
Charles Paget, took a cruise in his yacht the Emerald
along the south-west coast of Ireland and into Bantry
Bay, during which they seem to have greatly enjoyed
the sport of shooting various kinds of sea fowl and also
secured one large seal. A long letter from Sir Charles
88 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
to my father, who was then a student at Christ Church,
Oxford, gives a graphic account of this cruise. I found
it among some old letters, and my readers will thank me
for giving them this fresh salt breath from the sea.
Letter^/rom Sir CHARLES PAGET to My Father when
a Student at Oxford, probably about 1832.
" EMERALD," AT THE MOUTH OF THE SHANNON,
MY DEAREST NED, You will, I have no doubt,
like to have a letter to inform you how Charlie
and myself get on. I will, therefore, give you a
report of our proceedings.
We sailed from Cove last Tuesday night with
a fine breeze from the south-east ; when we got
outside the wind dropped, and we found a great
thundering swell from the southward. We there-
fore, in conformity with the principle we had laid
down, namely, never to be uncomfortable if we
could anyhow avoid it, determined to get into old
Kinsale, which we succeeded in, and the next
morning started again, and had a fine run down
to Long Island Sound, where we anchored about
2 P.M. We then took to the boat with our guns
and dogs, and Charlie blazed away right and left
at everything, and got a good many gulls and
cormorants. The following morning, after break-
fast, we weighed with a two-reefed mainsail and
southerly wind, and in three or four hours reached
Bear Haven, where after cruising about for two or
three hours, we anchored, and as usual, took to
the boat with our guns, and among other things
surprised three curlew by suddenly rounding a
point, and though we saw but two, when we each
fired, three were picked up. The next day, as the
weather was too bad to go seaward, I determined
to run up to the head of Bantry Bay, a distance
of ten or twelve miles. We accordingly got under
way, after breakfast, and having stood in to the
Harbour of Bantry, meaning to anchor, I unex-
BECOMES BEAK-ADMIRAL 89
pectedly discovered the mansion of Lord Bantry and
his Lordship and friends walking on the terrace. This
would not do for me, and I determined, therefore, to
bolt, and though it was blowing a gale, and we were
under the three-reefed mainsail, we worked her out till
we could fetch another beautiful little harbour called
Glengariff, a few miles to the north of Bantry. There
we found a romantically beautiful anchorage, where we
were quite land-locked, and the water as smooth as
glass, and the scenery altogether such as to have made
impression on Charlie and myself we shall not easily
forget. Moreover, Charlie very soon discovered that
seals were cruising about, as well as plenty of the usual
sea gulls. This pretty harbour abounds with small
rocky islands, and is admirably calculated for what we
were in pursuit of, and no doubt when the season is
more advanced it will abound with seals. The following
day was Sunday, so we could not properly set to, so in
the afternoon we took a row in the boat with our little
rifles, merely for practice. The next morning by six
we were in the boat, and in an hour afterwards we had
returned on board, towing a huge seal, which Charlie, in
the most dexterous way, shot right through the head, fifty
yards away. This was a grand prize, and it was agreed
after we had breakfasted that the whole process should
take place of cutting it up, and converting the blubber
into oil. Here Charlie was in his element, and I must
do him the justice to say that the most expert butcher
could not have beaten him in the skillful manipulation.
In short, the whole process was conducted by him, and
before twelve o'clock we had bottled off six gallons of
beautiful, clear oil, which burns in the lamps as well as
the best I could buy. That afternoon, Monday the 3rd,
the wind having come to the eastward, we thought it
best to push out and run back to Bear Haven, and
anchor for the night, and start the next morning for
Valentia. This we accordingly did, and reached that
fine harbour by 2 P.M., Tuesday the 4th. Here, as
usual, we took to the boat with our guns, and had more
shooting at the birds than at any other place. Among
other things we got four of those whistling Pies, which
are difficult to be got, and Charlie, with his usual good
90 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
luck, spied some rabbits on a neighbouring island,
and returned with three of them, which, with the
various other things we had, about half filled the
The next morning, yesterday, the 5th, we
weighed from Valentia, meaning to reach the
Shannon, but could not on account of a calm.
We landed with the aid of the boats, got an
anchorage in the Bay of Limerick, a wild and
desolate situation, resembling the population be-
longing to it.
To-day we hope to reach the Shannon, but we
are at the present moment becalmed. Thus, my
dear fellow, I have given you a sort of Journal of
our proceedings, in none of which we failed to
wish you with us. We must have a cruise
together in the summer.
I will give you another letter soon to report
We have the tradition through our aunt, the Hon.
Mrs. A. Capel, that my grandfather during this ap-
pointment in Ireland must have lived and entertained
in somewhat the same lavish style as his brother Sir
Arthur had done when ambassador at Vienna. Of him
it is told that his establishment was one of regal mag-
nificence, comprising no less than thirty carriages, and
that he used to be popularly styled ' ' the Emperor " by
the Viennese. My aunt relates that at Cork the Ad-
miral's daughters lived like princesses, the youngest,
Frederica, who was his special pet, having a little boat
and crew assigned for her own use, which was always
at her command.
On one occasion Sir Charles and some of his family
went for amusement to an auction sale. The Admiral
took a fancy to a tea-set and began to bid for it. An old
lady who was present also set her heart upon the same
set and continued to bid the price up against him. The
higher rose the price the more determined my grand-
father became ; at last he said, " I'm d d if she shall
BECOMES REAR- ADMIRAL 91
have it," and bid 2 1 , at which extraordinary figure it
was knocked down to him !
It was probably at an earlier date and when he was
a younger man, and in a less responsible position, that
the following anecdote is told of him as illustrating the
fact that he could sometimes when on shore play the
traditional sailor on leave. From one of his cruises
Captain Paget had brought home the complete dress of
a Chinese lady. Nothing would do but that my grand-
mother should don these Chinese robes, which were then
unknown in England, and walk with him down Ports-
mouth High Street ! Needless to say they were
mobbed by a rough and curious crowd and were soon
compelled to take refuge in a shop till a carriage was
Sir Charles Paget received the Freedom of the City
of Cork ; the Parchment Deed of which I have seen in
the possession of Mr. FitzClarence Paget.
Through the kindness of Commander Coode of the
Admiralty Office I have ascertained that my grand-
father resigned his position as Commander-in-Chief of
the Irish Station at Cork sometime in the spring of
1831. He did not subsequently command the Channel
Fleet, as is stated in the Life of Sir Leopold M'Clintock,
but five years later flew his flag in the Bellerophon for
particular service, his appointment to which is dated
June 28, 1 836. This service seems (from the biographical
sketch of the life of Captain W. Hillyer, his secretary)
to have consisted in observing and reporting upon the
sailing trials between H.M. ships, and in a series of
experimental cruises. This appointment seems to have
terminated with the end of 1836.
COMMAND OF THE NORTH- AMERICAN STATION
MY grandfather's commission as Vice- Admiral of the
White bears date loth of January 1837, and one month
later he - was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the
North- American Naval Station. This command em-
braced a most important sphere of action, extending from
Latitude 55 to the coast of Brazil and the whole West
Indian Islands, and from Longitude 36 to the coast of
America and up the St. Lawrence. Thus the Com-
mander-in-Chief would be responsible for the naval pro-
tection of Canada, Newfoundland, Bermuda, and the
It is not uninteresting to gather from the published
correspondence and papers of Sir Herbert Taylor, some-
time private secretary to King William IV, that during
my grandfather's absence on the North- American Station
Fair Oak was rented by the well-known historical nove-
list, G. P. R. James, who thus describes it :
G. P. R. JAMES to Sir HERBERT TAYLOR.
(In the Taylor Papers.)
HAMPTON COURT, July 15, 1837.
We are still here and shall remain about
another week ; after which we go to a very
pretty place we have taken near Petersfield, called
Fair Oak Lodge ; it belongs to Sir Charles Paget,
and I have hired it for the time of his absence,
hoping it may agree with Mrs. James. I shall
there have quiet, beautiful scenery, and good fishing
G. P. R. JAMES.
COMMANDS NORTH-AMERICAN STATION 93
The fact of Sir Charles Paget's receiving these three
important commands, of the Irish Station, the Bellerophon,
and the North-American Station, so closely upon one
another may be perhaps accounted for by the friend-
ship of William the Fourth, the " Sailor King." It will
be remembered how intimate he and his brother the
Prince Regent were in earlier days with Sir Charles
and his brothers, and how much he was with them in
attendance on the Royal yacht and on shore. However
this may have been, the appointment must have come
not long after his command of the JBellerophon had
It became necessary for him to take leave of Fair
Oak and Lady Paget for the first time for many years
for a long absence.
Two heavy sorrows had fallen upon the Fair Oak
household in more recent years and clouded the breezy
joyousness of its life. In 1828 their son, Horatio, a fine
middy of fifteen, and my father's favourite brother, was
wounded in the Battle of Navarino and died at sea, and
in 1835 mv Aunt Frederica, only thirteen years old and
her father's special pet, died at Fair Oak.
For probably thirty years Sir Charles and Lady
Paget had lived in their country home a happy and
united life : there their children had been born and
reared, and from its walls they had seen their boys go
forth to sea or to school, and some of their daughters to
homes of their own.
My grandfather in 1837 was not yet an old man,
being only fifty-nine years of age, and had he been
spared to return home would doubtless have lived to be
as well known as his more distinguished brother, Sir
Edward, and it is probable that he bade farewell to his
wife fully expecting to come back to Fair Oak well and
strong after a few years of active and responsible
My grandfather's Flag Ship was the Cornwallis,
Captain Sir Richard Grant, and my father, Rev. Edward
James Paget, was his chaplain. He had in the fleet his
nephew, Lord Clarence Paget, in command of the
From the log of the Cornwallis it seems as if the
94 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
Admiral had crossed direct from England to Halifax,
for we find these entries :
Oct. 4, 1837. Receiving Admiral's luggage off Halifax.
Oct. 9, 1837. Still bringing on board Admiral's luggage.
Oct. 12, 1837. At 4.30 Admiral Sir Charles Paget, G.C.H.,
Oct. 27, 1837. Off Admiralty House, Bermuda.
During Sir Charles Paget's command the disturb-
ance occurred in Canada which amounted almost to a
rebellion. It was surmised at the time that this
movement was fomented secretly by the United States
and that it was not improbable that the Republic
might intervene in aid of the rebels. This forms
the subject of two important letters from my grand-
father to Lord Minto, the First Lord of the Admiralty,
which I found among my father's letters and here
Undated Letter from Sir CHARLES PAGET to the
EARL OF MINTO, First Lord of Admiralty.
(Probably from BERMUDA, 1838.)
MY DEAR LORD, I was honoured by your
Lordship's letter of the 2oth of February on my
arrival here last evening, from Jamaica and
Havana, and I shall endeavour to the best of my
power to fulfil your lordship's wishes and the
I found the Minden just arrived from Gibraltar
with the Fourth Regiment on board, and the
Cormvallis is to convey it to Halifax, and return
to me here before the usual period of a ship of
her class being able to reach Quebec.
I regret, however, that the Minden was not
directed to proceed all the way with them, as
with the winds which have prevailed it would
have made a very little difference in the time
that the ship would reach England.
And here your Lordship will pardon me, I trust,
when with the utmost deference and respect I sug-
COMMANDS NORTH-AMERICAN STATION 95
gest that a Commander-in -Chief at least should possess
the privilege of being able to retain his flagship exclu-
sively for the duties of the command with which he is
entrusted, and not be made a troopship, unless under
the most urgent circumstances. In this instance the
urgency of the case, with all due submission to your
Lordship and the Board, does not appear to have
existed, and I might have been spared the incon-
venience by the Minden being ordered to convey the
Regiment at once to Halifax. The absolute necessity
which suddenly and unexpectedly arose last November,
when I did not hesitate to detail the Comwallis upon
my own responsibility to the West Indies, for troops for
Canada, fully proves my readiness to employ the flag-
ship on such duty when the good of her Majesty's
Service required it, and therefore your Lordship will, I
feel sure, fairly interpret my meaning and not be
offended by my thus conscientiously and honestly ex-
pressing myself on this point. I have the honour to be,
my dear Lord, your Lordship's most faithful servant,
P.S. I am in frequent communication with Sir
Colin Campbell, and his last, dated the second of this
month, gives the most satisfactory account of the
entire subjection and discomfiture of the insurgents
on the Canadian frontier.
Letter from Sir CHARLES PAGET to the EARL OF MINTO,
First Lord of the Admiralty.
BERMUDA, April 12, 1838.
EARL OF MINTO, G.C.B.,
MY DEAR LORD, Early in February I sent Lord
Clarence Paget in the Pearl to the Chesapeake with
a letter to Mr. Fox, and I hoped to receive his answer
before it became necessary for me to proceed on the
annual visit to the West Indies. However, Mr. Fox
96 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
detained Lord Clarence longer than I calculated, and
I therefore only received his reply on my arrival
here, and as it is a document of considerable import-
ance I feel it my duty to transmit it for your Lord-
ship's information and consideration. Presiding, as
your Lordship does, over the Naval Administration
of the country, it would be highly presumptuous
in me to offer my humble opinion. I, therefore,
leave it to your superior judgment to determine
whether, under the existing state of things as set
forth in the letter of Mr. Fox, it will still be
thought prudent for the Admiral upon this station
to be otherwise than in an efficient ship of the
line, with a full complement of men and guns, or
that the establishment of the station shall continue
upon its present reduced footing, pending a crisis,
the result of which, in the opinion of our Minister,
may be a sudden rupture with the United States.
Lord Clarence has moreover informed me, from
his own personal observation, that they have two
squadrons ready for sea, that one is nominally
destined to the Mediterranean, the other for the
Pacific, but that both are waiting the result of
the present state of affairs.
His Lordship further reports that he received
the most marked civilities and attention at Norfolk
from the Senior Naval Officer, Commodore War-
rington, whose broad pennant, as well as the
national flag, was saluted by the Pearl on her
arrival, and of course returned. I have the honour
to be, your Lordship's most faithful and obedient
(Sgd.) CHARLES PAGET.
Soon after this date, in the later spring, Sir Charles
Paget must have sailed for Halifax and Quebec with a
squadron to escort the new Governor-General, Lord
Durham, who had been sent out by the Government
with the especial purpose of pacifying the Canadian
provinces and of formulating a policy for their future
COMMANDS NORTH-AMERICAN STATION 97
Of the cruises in the Cornwallis, of which my father
was the chaplain, I have from him one little humorous
anecdote. The ship had been for some time becalmed
and the Admiral was impatient to get on to his destina-
tion. It was Sunday and they were holding Divine
Service, which the logs of several of his ships show that
my grandfather was most careful to hold. My father
was preaching, when suddenly the Admiral leaned over
and plucked him by the sleeve : " Cut it short, Ned,
here comes a breeze ! "
Log of the Cornwallis
May 29, 1838. Off Halifax. Fired Royal salute in honour
of Charles II Restoration.
June 8, 1838. Pearl i| miles off. Scjuadron in company.
June 10, 1838. Sunday. Performed Divine Service. Steamer
took us in tow ! [This entry is noticeable as being the first
occasion that we read of my grandfather, in the course of his
long naval career, coming into relations with the modern giant
June 12, 1838. Passed the Island of Bic.
June 13, 1838. Medea took Admiral on board and parted
June 15, 1838. Moored off Quebec. Manned the yards
at the Lord-Governor (sic) passing the ship.
June 26, 1838. H.E. Governor-General and suite visited
ship, 2 P.M. ; left 4. Saluted. He visited the other ships.
June 28, 1838. Fired Royal salute for Queen's Coronation.
Illuminated ship, &c.
A special Act of Parliament had been passed, i Vic-
toria, for the temporary government of Lower Canada,
and a Special Council was created for the purpose. My
grandfather was appointed one of these Special Council-
lors, and I have the " Letters Patent " of this appoint-
ment, which run as follows :
" Commission under the Great Seal appointing
the Honourable Sir Charles Paget a Special Coun-
cillor under the Imperial Act, i Victoria, Cap. 9.
Fiat recorded in the Records of Quebec the 28th
day of June, 1838, in the i5th Register of Letters
Patent and Commissions."
98 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
Opposite the Seal is the counter-signature of Lord
Durham himself. This is an interesting memento for Sir
Charles's descendants to possess, especially those of us who
have had so much to do with Canada, and who for many
years have made it our home. My grandfather served
his country in the Royal Navy throughout thirty years
of the reign of George III, all through the reigns of
George IV and William IV, with whom, as we have
seen, he was on terms of intimate and trusted friendship,
but it is delightful to think that during the last years
of his life he served the maiden Queen Victoria and
received the last and highest proof of Royal trust and
favour in her reign.
"We having taken into our Royal considera-
tion," so the Letters Patent run, " your loyalty,
integrity and ability, have assigned, constituted
and appointed you, the said Charles Paget, . . .
a Special Councillor for the purposes of the said
How far Sir Charles Paget was able to act upon
this appointment I cannot say, but his nephew, Lord
Clarence Paget, who served under him in the Pearl,
"During the following summer (1838) Lord
Durham was sent to Canada as Governor-General,
and the Squadron went up the St. Lawrence to
Quebec to attend him. This gave us the oppor-
tunity to make many interesting excursions to the
Lakes and to Niagara."
I have some recollection of my father, who was his
father's chaplain on the Cormvallis, alluding to this
excursion, and we possessed some fine large maps of
Canada of that date which I understood were given to
my grandfather in his official capacity.
At the time that I had written this last paragraph I
had not seen the log of the Corn/walks, nor the interest-
COMMANDS NORTH-AMERICAN STATION 99
ing letter which follows. Being anxious to ascertain
whether my grandfather had ever taken part in the
meetings of this Special Council, I wrote to the archivist
at Ottawa for information, and received from him a most
kind reply which is here subjoined :
In regard to my grandfather's relation to Canada I
have to thank the courtesy of Mr. D. A. McArthur, of
the Archive Office in Ottawa, for the information given
below, in a letter dated July 6, 1911:
" The minutes of Lord Durham's Special Council
do not show that Sir Charles Paget attended any
of the meetings of the Council. In fact, it may
be inferred that he did not, or it would be indi-
cated in the minutes. There is record, however,
of Sir Charles Paget having accompanied Lord
Durham on his journey through Upper Canada.
Mr. Charles Buller, secretary to Lord Durham, in
his sketch of Lord Durham's mission, written in
1840, states that 'Immediately after the publi-
cation of the Ordinances (June 28, 1838) Lord
Durham, accompanied by Sir Charles Paget, the
Admiral on the American Station, set out for
Montreal.' On July 10 they left Montreal and
proceeded to Upper Canada by way of the
St. Lawrence. They continued to Niagara, where
Lord Durham had ordered a brilliant military
demonstration. Buller speaks of it thus : ' At
this spot, the general rendezvous at this season
of large numbers of travellers of the wealthy class
of the United States, the reviews which took place
attracted a crowd of spectators from the opposite
side, and the presence of the Governor-General,
of the Authorities of Upper Canada, of the Admiral,
and of a numerous and most efficient military
force of every kind was calculated to impress
on our neighbours the value which the British
ioo MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
Government was disposed to attach to the main-
tenance of her Empire in Canada.' '
Sir Charles evidently returned to Quebec by the
end of July, for we find from the log of the Cornivallis
that he came on board.
July 30. On Aug. 6 we have the entry : " Admiral left and
embarked on Inconstant. Hauled down Admiral's flag ; Incon-
stant hoisted it."
At this time, 1838-39, the yellow fever was still the
dreaded scourge of the West Indies and of the Gulf of
Mexico. It would seem that my grandfather must have
been attacked by it soon after his return from Quebec
to the southern waters of his command. On his voyage
south in the Inconstant he contracted, so he says to
Lord Minto, rheumatic fever, which resulted in the
total loss of the use of his limbs and great debility and
emaciation after long confinement in bed. This may
have been a form of yellow fever, or the yellow fever
may have supervened upon the former illness, but the
total result proved fatal.
Towards the close of 1838 a strained situation had
arisen between France and the Mexican Republic,
possibly presaging the later interference under Louis
Napoleon. The French had sent a squadron into the
Gulf of Mexico, but apparently the proceedings were
rather half-hearted. It was the wish of the English
Government to intervene as a mediator and if possible
effect a reconciliation. It is no slight proof of the high
opinion which the authorities at home held of the tact,
discretion, and diplomatic skill of my grandfather that
they entrusted him with this delicate mission. The
state of his health, however, prevented his taking those
steps which he felt to be necessary, and the subjoined
letter to Lord Minto, the last official document he ever
wrote, reflects at once his pathetic helplessness and
bitter disappointment at being unable for the first time
in his life to discharge the duty entrusted to him.
COMMANDS NOETH- AMERICAN STATION 101
Last Letter from Sir CHARLES PAGET to the
EARL OF MINTO.
PORT ROYAL, JAMAICA,
December i6th, 1838.
Private and Confidential.
MY DEAR LORD, My last letter to your Lordship
from Bermuda, as well as previous ones, will have
apprised you of the helpless condition I was reduced to
by the long confinement to my bed, producing debility
and emaciation and the total loss of my limbs, conse-
quent in the first instance to the rheumatic fever I
caught on board the Inconstant.
Ill and wholly unequal as I felt myself to the under-
taking of even embarking at Bermuda, I determined to
be carried on board in order to be put in possession of
the instructions I had been given to understand I should
find there, and if any amendment took place in my
health to put them in execution, to the best of my
power. Finding, however, in the short passage to
Jamaica that I lost ground, and that in addition to my
bodily ailments my nervous system (I am not ashamed,
as I cannot help it, to own it) had received a shock
which I lament to fear will be of lasting duration, I had
the moral courage still left to feel conscious I was not
in a state to undertake the execution of any service
involving the safe character and honour of my country,
which I should have hazarded by becoming a principal
party in carrying on an intricate negotiation, which
required all the energies of mind I ever possessed, and
all the bodily vigour and activity I was ever blessed
with, instead of being a cripple in bed borne down by
suffering and latterly harassed from the effects of an
almost broken heart at being reduced to the state I am
in at a moment my active services are required.
Under these circumstances I have still had some
consolation afforded me, to which I am indebted to your
Lordship for, though I am not insensible of the im-
portance of the trust confided to me, or of the grati-
fication I confess it would be to me to be instrumental
102 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
in bringing about an amicable adjustment of the differ-
ences existing between the French Government and the
Mexican Republic. I, nevertheless, have had the satis-
faction of being impressed that in delegating the duty
to another I do not avoid a service, and I was instructed
that I was in no case to be drawn into a rupture with
either of the contending Powers, and your Lordship
has been pleased to close your last letter to me with the
gratifying assurance that you feel entire confidence in
my conciliatory tact and discretion as you would do in
my vigour, had the occasion been such as to call for it.
My public letter to the Board will inform your Lordship
of my having been compelled to transfer to Commodore
Douglas the charge of the squadron, and the carrying
into effect the pacific views of Her Majesty's Govern-
I detailed the Pique and Race Horse three days
previous to the sailing of Commodore Douglas with our
Minister, Mr. Packenham, to whom I gave a letter of
introduction to Admiral Baudin to prepare him for the
early arrival of the British Squadron on its friendly
mission, and recommending to Mr. Packenham, previous
to the approach of the British Squadron, to, if necessary,
disabuse the minds of the Mexican authorities, if they
fancied we were going to interfere in any other way
than that of attempting to reconcile the difference of
both parties. I hope and trust I am not too sanguine
in thinking that a favourable and speedy determination
will be the result, especially as I hear from the Havana
that the French ships are very sickly and very sick of
Your Lordship will better conceive that I can
describe the grievous vexation I am labouring under at
these unforeseen and unavoidable contingencies as re-
gards myself. All I can do is to bewail and deeply
express my regret that a dispensation of Providence
should have been inflicted upon me at such a moment,
and to entreat that your Lordship, in the event of my
continued inability for active service, will select a fit
Officer to relieve me in this important command, as I
am, I trust, the last person who would desire to hold
the honour and advantage of it beyond the period of its
COMMANDS NORTH-AMERICAN STATION 103
pleasing God to continue me in health, to enable
me to keep it with honour and credit to myself and
advantage to Her Majesty's Service. I have the
honour to be, my dear Lord, with the utmost
esteem, your most faithful servant,
THE EARL OF MINTO, G.C.B.
Letter from the EARL OF MINTO, First Lord of the
Admiralty, to SIR CHARLES PAGET.
ADMIRALTY, Felrwu-y jib, 1839.
MY DEAR SIR CHARLES, I have really but a
moment to acknowledge the receipt of your letters
from Jamaica, and to express my very great
concern that the state of your health should be
such as you describe. In the hope, however, of
your amendment, I shall not at present take any
step to relieve you in the Command, and should the
state of your health require you to relinquish your
Command, you are quite at liberty to come home
in the Cornwallis. All the measures you have taken
appear to me extremely judicious in the arrange-
ments for the execution of your late instruction.
Believe me, my dear Sir Charles, very truly yours,
VICE-ADMIRAL THE HON. SIR CHARLES PAGET.
I have heard from my father a few particulars about
the last weeks of Sir Charles. The weakness caused by
the fever increased, and my father nursed him in-
defatigably. As a last resource he was taken on board
ship, in hopes that the fresher air would revive him, but
he died at sea January 29, 1839, and was buried with
full honours in Bermuda. The printed account of the
obsequies is appended to this Memoir.
It is hard to realise what the death of such a husband
and father meant to Lady Paget and her children. His
io 4 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
widow, however, did not long survive him, dying at Fair
Oak in 1843.
Of recent years I have visited Rogate and Fair Oak
on several occasions. The house has been greatly enlarged
and modernised, but a good many of the old rooms still
remain as they were known to my uncles and aunts. A
delightful walk shaded with fine trees runs along by the
little stream where, as my father has told us, he and his
brothers used to bathe, and this walk forms a feature in
the reminiscences of those old days. Somewhere near in
the shrubbery was a sort of summer-house or out-of-doors
smoking-room which my grandfather enjoyed and which
it was the special privilege of my Aunt Georgie to keep
tidy and ready for his use. The old oak, from which the
house and modest estate takes its name, is still standing in
all its glory, and also a famous tulip tree which I believe was
a great object of pride to my grandmother, Lady Paget.
It is a matter for regret that this Life of a man who
certainly deserved well of his country and was beloved
and admired by his family and friends, should of neces-
sity be so fragmentary and unsatisfactory. It never
seemed to occur to my father to give us anything of
a consecutive or serious narrative of his father's life
and of the old days. We were too young to think
of asking for such information, so that almost all we
ever knew about our grandparents or the life at Fair
Oak came to us in the way of some casual allusion or
some humorous anecdote, and, as I have said, there were
no written records at all so far as I am able to learn.
The untimely death of my grandfather at the compara-
tively early age of sixty-one, cut short a career which
was just ripening to maturity, and which might probably
have secured for him, on his return from the West Indian
Command, a position as well recognised by the nation as
that of his older and more famous brothers.
I am able to present a view of Sir Charles Paget 's
grave in the Naval and Military Cemetery in Ireland
Island, Bermuda, as it appears at the present time,
through the kindness of Miss Talbot of Hamilton, Ber-
muda, who photographed it for me. It is well to append
here the inscription which is on a tablet in Rogate
Church and the printed accounts of the obsequies.
COMMANDS NORTH-AMERICAN STATION 105
Copy of Inscription upon the Tablet in Rogate Chivrch.
To the Memory of
Vice-Admiral the Hon b Sir Charles Paget,
who died of Yellow Fever on the 2Qth of Jan- v , 1 839
in the 6ist year of his age
whilst on his passage in H.M. Steamer Tartarus from
Port Royal to Bermuda.
In him his country lost one of her ablest servants
and his Family the kindest and most affectionate of
He died feeling at peace with his Maker and in charity
with all Men.
" Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord."
Also to the memory of Frederica Georgiana Augusta,
daughter of Vice- Admiral the Hon b Sir Charles and
Died at Fair Oak the i2th of September 1835, aged
Also to the memory of
Horatio Henry, son of the above,
who died at sea, Midshipman on board H.M.S. Talbot,
the 28th of Apm 1828, aged 15 years.
Also to the memory of Lieut. Brownlow Henry, R.N.,
son of the above,
who died on board H.M.S. Dublin, the 1 8th of Feb y ,
1843, aged 24 years.
Also to the memory of Elizabeth Araminta, widow of
Sir C. Paget, who died at Fair Oak Lodge,
Aug. 17, 1843, aged 56 years.
Report of my grandfathers obsequies in Bermuda,
found among old papers,
Arrival of the Remains
of the late Vice-Admiral
Sir Charles Paget, K.C.H. and G.C.H.,
Naval Commander-in-Chief on the North American
and West India Station.
His Funeral, etc.
Arrived on Thursday last, H.M. Steamer Flamer, Lieutenant
Potbury, in 5 days from St. Thomas, with the Remains of the
io6 MEMOIK OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
Honble. Sir Charles Paget on board. The Plainer received the
Body from the Tartarus, on board of which vessel he died, when
on his way from Jamaica to these Islands, on the 29th ultimo.
The Reverend E. Paget and Lieutenant Brownlow Paget, R.N.,
came as passengers in the Plainer.
Yesterday the Remains of Sir Charles were removed from the
Dock Yard, Ireland Island, and deposited with the customary
forms and honours in a vault in the Naval Burial Ground, beside
the one wherein are laid the remains of that gallant officer,
The whole was directed and arranged by Captain Busby, the
Senior Naval Officer of Her Majesty's ships and vessels of war
at this Port.
Guard of Honour.
Band of 3<Dth Regiment.
Officiating Clergyman, the Rev. J. K. Gouldney, Chap-
lain H.M. Naval Yard.
Borne on a Cushion by Lieut. Lawless, R.N.
Pall Bearers. Pall Bearers.
James C. Nimmo, Esq., R.N. Lieut. J. Potbury, R.N.
Captain Sir Willm. Burnaby, R.N. Capt. Thomas Busby, R.N.
Colonel Robinson, 3<Dth Regt. Colonel Bridge, R.A.
The Body was covered with the White Ensign, and
his distinguishing Flag,
St. George's Cross, unfurled, with Hat, Gloves, and
Sword on the Coffin.
His Sons :
The Rev. Edward Paget, Chaplain of Cornwallis.
Lieut. Brownlow Paget, R.N.
Hon. Robert Kennedy, Colonial Secretary.
Joseph Ballingall, Esq., Naval Storekeeper.
COMMANDS NORTH- AMERICAN STATION 107
Household and personal Surgeons
Officers of the Naval Yard.
Seamen of Plainer.
Marines of Wanderer.
Seamen of Wanderer.
His Excellency Major- General Sir Stephen R. Chap-
man, C.B. and K.C.H.
Minute guns commenced firing on the advance of the
Procession toward the Burial Ground, by H.M. Ship Wanderer,
and the Fort at Ireland Island.
Immediately after the Funeral Service at the grave ended,
a Salute of 1 5 guns by the Wanderer, and 1 5 guns by the Fort,
were fired, the Fort commencing when the Wanderer fired
the second gun.
This memoir may fitly close with this extract from
a letter written by Sir Sanford Whittingham, Com-
mander-in-Chief of the land forces in the West Indies,
to Sir Edward Paget :
" Ere you receive this letter, you will have
heard of the sad loss we have sustained in the
death of your excellent brother [Sir Charles Paget].
In a public as well as a private point of view
deeply and justly is the loss deplored ; for the
British Navy possessed not a brighter ornament,
nor could our country boast a more perfect model
of the real English gentleman."
NOTE. Sir Charles Paget's sword is in the possession of the
M'Clintock family. It was given to Sir Leopold M'Clintock (who
always wore it in full dress) by his brother-in-law, Captain Charles
THE GALLANT RESCUE
LET me endeavour to treat this remarkable incident
in my grandfather's life as simply and plainly as
In 1871 an oil painting bearing the above title
was exhibited in the Royal Academy, and from the
nature of the subject and the vigour of its treatment
attracted general attention. The Daily Telegraph, if
my memory serves me, made it the theme of a leading
The painting was by a renowned maritime artist,
John Christian Schetky, who was successively marine
painter to George IV, William IV, and Queen Victoria.
This picture was painted by him in 1866, but was not
exhibited until five years later, when it was speedily
purchased by Admiral Sir James Hope, who enclosed his
cheque for it in a very flattering letter and presented
the picture to the United Service Club, in the Hall of
which it now hangs.
From the letter of Admiral Hope, which is given
below, it seems that he shared with the artist in
composing the description of this Naval Action,
which is attached to the painting and which I here
" Captain (afterwards Sir Charles) Paget, while
cruising in the Endymion frigate on the coast of
Spain, discovered a French ship of the line in
imminent danger, embayed among rocks on a lee
shore ; bowsprit and foremast gone, and riding by
a stream cable, her only remaining one. Though
it was blowing a gale, Captain Paget bore down
to the assistance of his enemy, dropped his sheet
anchor on the Frenchman's bow, buoyed the cable,
THE GALLANT RESCUE 109
and veered it across his hawser ; this the disabled
ship succeeded in getting in, and thus seven
hundred lives were saved from destruction. After
performing this chivalrous action, the Endymion ,
being herself in great peril, hauled to the wind,
let go her bower-anchor, clubhauled, and stood
off shore, on the other tack."
Schetky's picture of this " Gallant Rescue " is in the
United Service Club, and a picture of it by Pocock
hangs in my own drawing-room. The picture, when
exhibited in the Naval Exhibition of 1891, inspired Sir
Edwin Arnold to write the spirited poem on the subject
about which I had the pleasure to speak with him in
Davenport, Iowa, December 11, 1891, and which he
recited the same evening at his public lecture. In his
own words, he considered it " one of the finest things
in the history of the British Navy."
From this description it will be seen that this action
took place while my grandfather was in command of
the Endymion frigate, i.e. between April 1803 and April
1805. There is one unfortunate sentence in it which
declares that the "Gallant Rescue" took place towards
the end of the war with France, whereas the war did not
come to a close till ten years later. But this is just such
an unimportant slip as men, and especially elderly men,
may easily make in writing a general description of an
event in the past. The authenticity of this action by
Sir Charles Paget does not seem to have been questioned
at the time the picture was painted and hung in the
United Service Club, but in more recent days the
learned and distinguished writer of the biography of Sir
Charles Paget in the Dictionary of National Biography
throws discredit upon the whole story, and gives the
following reasons for his incredulity.
1. The inherent improbability of the Captain of a
British frigate flying in the teeth of his instructions "to
burn, sink, or destroy the enemy's ships," by rescuing one
of them at the risk of losing his own.
2. That when Captain Paget was in command of the
Endymion it was not, as the description states "towards
the end of the war."
no MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
3. That he (the writer) had been unable to discover
any record of this action of the Endymion in the ship's
logs or in any other document.
I have ventured with all due deference to the
learned writer's high authority to suggest person-
ally in a letter to him certain grounds for con-
sidering these reasons to be insufficient to warrant
1 . In reply to the first, I believe from family tradition
that my grandfather (who at the time would have been
about twenty-six years old) fully shared in that daring
and almost boyish disregard of red tape and of danger
which was characteristic of Nelson and numbers of his
It was this temper which again and again carried
them to victory against fearful odds. There is a legend
in our family that my grandfather once volunteered for
a wager to sail his ship between the Needle Rocks !
Therefore I see nothing improbable, when his kind heart
and chivalrous nature were stirred to their depth by the
spectacle of this great warship with her crew of hundreds
of poor fellows lying helplessly in the gale and in deadly
peril of being dashed to pieces on the rocks, in his risking
his ship to perform the " Gallant Rescue," while, like
Nelson, he turned for the nonce a blind eye to the
2. To the second, I think it only needful to reply that
this is an unimportant and easily explicable slip made
by men writing long after the event.
3. As to the non-existence of any official record of
this action in the log or elsewhere, how could we
possibly expect to find one ? My grandfather, in per-
forming the " Gallant Rescue," plainly disobeyed his war
instructions and also risked his ship and men ; any
official record or report of this action must have led to
his being reprimanded and possibly cashiered, for the
members of the British Admiralty were Martinets
and would make no allowance for sentiment. . I my-
self have a dim recollection of hearing my father tell
us of how anxious Captain Paget had been to account
for the loss of his two anchors without telling the
story of the rescue, and the Misses Schetky remember
THE GALLANT RESCUE in
their father telling them the same thing, which he
had heard from the lips of Sir Charles Paget himself.
If these considerations be fairly weighed, I think it
will be seen that these reasons given for doubting the
authenticity of the "Gallant Rescue" are of little or
Let me now endeavour to present the positive case
for the actual occurrence of this heroic exploit.
i. The first and most important witness to be called
into court is the famous naval painter Nicolas Pocock,
who flourished till 1821 and whose battle scenes, pictures
of ships and of places, were renowned in England in the
early part of the nineteenth century, and many of them
are reproduced in the woodcuts of the Naval Chronicles.
Pocock had been a sailor before he became a painter, and
he stood very high in his profession as a marine artist.
Well in the year 1807, which was probably from two to
three years after the Gallant Rescue had taken place,
Pocock, evidently by the order of, and from the description
given him by, my grandfather, executed a fine painting
of this action. This picture hung on the walls of Fair
Oak till Lady Paget's death in 1843, when it passed to
my Aunt Mrs. Kennedy, in whose house in St. John's
Wood we used to see it, and at her death came by her
will to me, and is now hanging in my drawing-room.
The name of the artist and date, 1807, are on the
This almost contemporary picture of the " Gallant
Rescue " has come down in the family for over one
hundred years. It seems impossible to imagine such a
man as my grandfather, with the inbred sense of honour
of an English gentleman and an English sailor, ordering
and paying for such a picture of an incident in his own
career, describing the action to the artist, and then
allowing it to hang on the walls of his home (where it
would be constantly seen by his old shipmates), unless it
was absolutely true to fact.
I may add that the writer of the articles in the D.N.B.
admitted to me he had never heard of this Pocock
2. The second piece of positive evidence is to be
found in the testimony of the surviving daughters of Mr.
ii2 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
Schetky. These ladies, whom I visited a few months
ago in their Devonshire home, remember perfectly well
their father painting the "Gallant Rescue" in 1866:
they remembered frequently hearing from their father
(who had been intimately acquainted with Sir Charles
Paget in the days of the Regency) the story of the
" Gallant Rescue," which had more than once been told
him by my grandfather himself. They had, moreover,
visited my aunt in St. John's Wood in order to see
the Pocock picture, and had never heard any doubt
expressed as to the authenticity of the occurrence.
I will append their letters on the subject at the close
of this chapter.
3. Family tradition. Although it seems never to
have been the habit of the Fair Oak family to speak of
my grandfather's naval exploits and in fact I hardly ever
remember my father or my aunts alluding to them I
well recollect that when the exhibition of Schetky's
painting in 1871 brought the subject to our notice, and
we questioned my aunt Mrs. Kennedy about it, she
referred to it as to a simple matter of course, and
pointed us to the Pocock picture as illustrating what
4. In addition to these arguments I would urge
that it supplies a strong inference in favour of the
authenticity of the " Gallant Rescue," that an Admiral
of position like Sir James Hope should have purchased
this picture and presented it to a great club like the
United Service. He could not have done this had he
had any faintest suspicion that the subject was a
Such an inference is also strengthened by the standing
and character of the two great marine artists, Pocock
and Schetky, who, Avith an interval of over half a century,
devoted their talents to its portrayal. These were men
of standing, and with a character to uphold (Schetky
was Marine Painter to three Sovereigns of Great Britain).
Such men would have scorned to prostitute their art by
delineating as a real action what they suspected to have
never taken place.
5. Thus, after all, the train of evidence runs back
to and rests upon the truth and honour of my Grand-
THE GALLANT RESCUE 113
father, Sir Charles Paget, from whom both artists must
have heard the story, and from whom the tradition
must have come down through his sons and daughters
to the later generation.
The following letters are given here as bearing either
directly or indirectly upon the authenticity of the
" Gallant Rescue."
Letter from Miss SCHETKY.
A Daughter of the Painter of the " Gallant Rescue."
KlNGSKEKSWELL, SOUTH DEVON,
November 7, 1912.
DEAR DEAN PAGET, I am sorry that I have
not been able sooner to answer your letter of
September 17. I am afraid we have little or
nothing to add to what was contained in the
letter of my sister to the secretary of the United
Service Club. That letter was in answer to one
from the secretary requesting us to give him any
data in our power respecting the action of Sir
Charles Paget represented in the picture and it
was the first intimation we ever received as to
there being any serious doubt entertained of the
authenticity of the story. We heard afterwards
from our cousin, Commander Coode, R.N., that
he was dining at the United Service Club one
night just afterwards when Admiral Sir William
Kennedy read out my sister's letter to the
secretary, and it was unanimously agreed that
the letter placed the question beyond a doubt.
It is a fact that my father with the assist-
ance of his friend Captain (afterwards Admiral)
A. B. Becher, then Assistant Hydrographer to
the Admiralty, searched the log of the Endymion
during the year of her Commission under Sir
C. Paget without finding any entry regarding
such a " Gallant Rescue." But my father always
explained this by saying that as Sir C. Paget's
ii 4 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
Orders on Commission were to sink, burn, and destroy
any enemy's ship he encountered, he might have
been compromised had it been officially known that
he had on the contrary rescued a French ship from
My father, who as you know was Marine Painter in
Ordinary to George IV, William IV, and Queen Victoria,
was also Professor of Drawing at the Royal Naval
College at Portsmouth from 1812 to 1837, and knew
every officer of any standing in the Navy. He was
very intimate with Sir Charles Paget, and it was from
his own lips that he heard the story more than once.
Sir Charles mentioned as to how puzzled he was as to
how to account for the loss of the two anchors. A
small picture dated 1807 was painted for Sir Charles
from his own description by Pocock, and we saw it in
the house of Sir Charles's daughter, Mrs. Kennedy, in
Blenheim Road. I remember that when my father was
painting the "Gallant Rescue," which was about 1866
as well as I can remember, Captain Kennedy call'd more
than once to see it and talk over details. The subject
was one which fascinated my father, both on account of
its chivalry, and the wonderful feat of seamanship, so
that he executed several of his well-known pen and ink
pictures representing it, one of which was exhibited in
the R. A. at a different time under the title of a " Noble
Enemy." But the oil painting was not exhibited till
1871, when it was immediately purchased by his old pupil
and friend, Admiral Sir James Hope, and by him
presented to the United Service Club. Sir James was
anxious to know the exact date, and for this we applied
to Mrs. Kennedy, but as you know from her letter she
could only tell us the date of Pocock' s picture 1 807 but
of course the action must have occurred between 1803
My father was fastidiously scrupulous as to the
accuracy of every event which he depicted and I am
quite sure he had no more doubt as to the veracity of the
story than he had of his own existence. I am sorry
that I cannot give you any more exact information.
Very truly yours,
CHRISTIANA T. T. SCHETKY.
THE GALLANT RESCUE 115
The following extract from the letter of Miss S. F. L.
Schetky (sister of the above), to the secretary of the
United Service Club, January, 23, 1912, is given as
supplementing the contents of her sister's letter :
"... The facts as known to my sister and
myself are these : The Story of the Gallant
Rescue was told more than once in my father's
hearing by his old friend, Admiral Sir Charles
Paget, who possess'd a small picture painted
for him (from his description of the incident)
by Pocock. This picture my sister and I re-
member seeing in the house of Charles Paget's
daughter, Mrs. Kennedy, who lived in St. John's
Wood at the time we were living near the
Regent's Park more than thirty years ago. The
story as told by Sir Charles took hold of my
father's imagination, and he aspired to give it
more worthy representation than had been achieved
by Pocock, and painted the picture now in your
Club con amore. . . The picture was exhibited
in the R. A., and there seen and purchased by
Admiral Sir James Hope. ... It has been, as
you rightly say, considered one of my father's
''(Signed) S. F. L. SCHETKY.
" KlNGSKERSWELL, SOUTH DEVON,
"January 23, 1912."
The following was written by my aunt, Mrs. Kennedy,
a daughter of Sir Charles, to Miss Christiana Schetky,
who most kindly gave me a copy of it on the occasion
of my delightful visit to Vicarage Corners, in the August
of 1912 :
DEAR Miss SCHETKY, I have been so very
unwell since I had the pleasure of seeing your
Papa, or should have called.
I am exceedingly sorry I cannot give you any
further information relating to Pocock's picture.
The only person who may be able to do so is
n6 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
Admiral Blake, he was a great friend of my
father's, and was constantly at Fair Oak, and
knew the history of most of Pocock's paintings.
He might have been on the Endymion at the
time. ... I have the original picture done by
Pocock, 1807, which you can see at any time.
With my kindest regards to your Papa and Sister,
Believe me, yours sincerely,
9 BLENHEIM ROAD, ST JOHN'S WOOD,
Letter of Admiral Sir James Hope to J. C. Schetky,
Esq., on his purchase of the " Gallant Rescue," a copy of
which was most kindly given me by Miss Schetky on
the same occasion :
May 16, 1871.
MY DEAR MR. SCHETKY, I forward to you
a cheque for ^105, the price of your picture in
the Exhibition numbered "108" which I desire
to purchase for the purpose of presenting it to
the United Service Club. I feel satisfied that
you will not require an explanation of the feeling
that has led me to desire that it should find a
permanent resting place there, to which will be
added the gratification it will be both to myself
and my contemporaries in the Service that we
should possess a lasting recollection of one we
all so highly esteem. I will acquaint you as soon
as the picture has been formally accepted by the
Club, and will then place the secretary of the
Club in communication with you in order to its
removal there when the Exhibition closes.
It is difficult to abbreviate the description
attached to the photograph consistently with a
proper description of the events which the picture
depicts but as I am not entirely satisfied with
that which appears in the Academy Catalogue,
I daresay Miss Schetky will oblige me by for-
THE GALLANT RESCUE 117
warding to Portsmouth a copy of that which
is in the book, and I will try what I can do
myself in composing one from it for the purpose
of being attached to the picture. Yours very
In the very interesting Biography of John Christian
Schetky by his daughter, published in 1877, a copy of
which the authoress has most kindly presented to me,
there are one or two letters from my grandfather to Mr.
Schetky which illustrate the intimacy which subsisted
for many years between them, and therefore indirectly
confirm the fact given in the above letter, that Mr.
Schetky derived the information concerning the " Gallant
Rescue " from the hero of it himself.
In 1821, in his capacity as Marine Painter to
George IV, Mr. Schetky accompanied the king in his
yacht, the Royal George, of which my grandfather was
the Captain, on his cruise from Portsmouth to Dublin.
While there Mr. Schetky, to amuse the king on a long
wet day, got four of the crew who sang well together
to row with him in a boat under the windows of the
royal cabin as it grew dusk and to sing some fine old
English glees. This unexpected serenade was a great
success, and Captain Sir Charles Paget afterwards wrote
to Mr. Schetky : " Nothing could have been better
thought of than your serenade : the King was delighted."
Later on from Pavilion, Brighton, March 4, 1822, Sir
Charles Paget wrote to him :
MY DEAR SIR, I availed myself of the oppor-
tunity which offered yesterday to present your
drawings of the yacht to the King, and I am
commanded by his Majesty to express to you his
entire approbation of them. It will be an addi-
tional satisfaction to you to hear that the King
has desired me to leave them here. There were
present when I placed your drawings before his
Majesty, the Duke of Montrose, Lords Liverpool,
Bathurst, Melville, Conyngham, and Graham, cum
n8 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
multis aliis, and they all expressed approbation
of them. Yours, my dear sir, faithfully,
On the accession of William IV in 1830, Mr. Schetky
was anxious that his appointment to him as Marine
Painter should be continued. His friends, Lord Errol
and Sir Charles Paget, were ready to bring his request
under his Majesty's notice ; and the happy result was
promptly made known to him by the latter :
FAIR OAK LODGE, July 13, 1830.
MY DEAR SIR, On the other side is the
extract of a letter I have this day received from
Sir Benjamin Bloomfield. I am your very faithful
CAKLTON HOUSE, July 12, 1830.
MY DEAR PAGET, The King was most gracious.
Mr. Schetky is to be Marine Painter Extra-
ordinary to his Majesty. Ever yours sincerely,
Still later, when Mr. Schetky was successful in obtain-
ing the Professorship of Painting at the Military College
of Addiscombe, we find the following :
INDIA HOUSE, 30 November, 1836.
MY DEAR PAGET, Your friend Mr. Schetky's
merits have secured him the appointment at
Addiscombe. Yours very truly,
THE GALLANT RESCUE 119
FAIK OAK, December 2, 1836.
DEAR SCHETKY, I wish you joy. Yours
This hasty line of congratulation was written only
three months before my grandfather's last and fatal ap-
pointment to the West Indian and American station.
I will bring this series of letters to a close with a
recent one from my cousin, Rear- Admiral Sir Alfred
Paget, who has recently held the command of the Irish
VICE-REGAL LODGE, DUBLIN,
August 28, 1912.
DEAR EDWARD PAGET, . . . Of course I am
greatly interested in my great-uncle's career,
particularly as I commanded his Endymioris suc-
cessor in 1900-1901, and also succeeded him in
command of the Irish Station in 1908, i.e. exactly
80 years after his command in 1828. I read your
memoir (i.e. the private one printed in 1911) with
great interest, and knowing his character I feel
absolutely confident that if he allowed the French
Battleship incident to be painted in his lifetime
it was genuine. I interviewed the French Naval
Attache, who promised that it should be inquired
into, but I propose to prosecute inquiries in Paris
myself . . . but I rather doubt if we shall trace
the log of a vague French Battleship. The
picture portrays her as a 2 -decker : was there
authority for that ? I imagine a verbal one from
Sir Charles. . . . Yours very sincerely,
This letter seems to me to be valuable as giving the
point of view of a modern sailor of experience as to the
feasibility and probability of the "Gallant Rescue."
I have felt it a duty to endeavour to substantiate so
120 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
far as is possible at such a distance the actual fact and
the simple authenticity of the " Gallant Rescue."
It is due to my grandfather's name and honour to
do this, and I am deeply indebted to all those relations
and friends, and especially to Admiral Sir William
Kennedy, and to the Misses Schetky, who by the sug-
gestions they have made or the material they have
furnished have enabled me to compile in this chapter
what I hold to be a fairly convincing argument for the
absolute authenticity of the action called the " Gallant
In reading through and thinking over the description
appended to the picture of the "Gallant Rescue" in the
United Service Club there is much that is suggestive and
inspiring. Modified or partly rewritten as it may have
been by Sir James Hope, the original draft must have
been by the artist himself. It is now certain from the
testimony of his daughters that for all the facts embodied
in the description he was indebted to my grandfather
himself. It is impossible that the details of this delicate
and splendid feat of seamanship could have been given
save by one who had taken part in it. Mr. Schetky's
Biography makes it clear that the painter was himself
a thorough seaman in knowledge and sympathy, and
therefore perfectly qualified to understand and to re-
member the vivid narrations of the incident as related
to him by Sir Charles Paget.
On the walls of my rectory here in far western
Canada I have three pictures of the " Gallant Rescue,"
each depicting some different moment of the action.
The first is a charming picture in pencil and wash
by Mr. Schetky himself which he executed in 1866
and gave as a present to his married daughter, Mrs.
Oswald, and from her step-niece, to whom it had
descended, I was fortunate in securing it. It bears the
artist's signature and the date. This represents the
French two-decker lying almost broadside towards the
rocky coast, while at a little distance out the Endymion
is bearing down upon her.
The second is a lithograph of Schetky's large picture,
which represents the two vessels in close proximity just
THE GALLANT RESCUE 121
as the Endymion is driving across the Frenchman's bows
and letting go her cable for the French to haul in.
The third picture is Pocock's original painting of
the incident two years after its occurrence, in 1807. In
this picture the French ship appears to be somewhat
more dismantled than in the Schetky pictures, and the
Endymion is represented as just drawing away from
her and struggling out to sea.
I look at these glorious scenes and try to imagine my
grandfather, then a young man of twenty-six, yet already
with 14 years of naval experience, years in which to
imbibe the gallant and chivalrous traditions of British
seamen. Moreover, the solid and sober strain of his
English ancestry was qualified by a strong infusion of
Irish blood, with its humour and impulsive and reckless
daring, while his mother contributed those exquisite
qualities of honour, of chivalrous courtesy and humanity,
for which the old Huguenot families were famed. I try
to think of this young captain, standing on his quarter-
deck, his eye quick to detect any sail on the horizon, and,
as the logs of his ships testify, keen to start instantly
after the " chace." Following instructions, he is cruising
along the Finisterre coast on the watch for the enemy,
when his telescope shows him one of their large ships
of war embayed and in desperate plight. The signal
of distress is flying, and through that little storm-torn
rag the lives of many hundred poor fellows are crying
to their enemy for aid in their deadly peril.
There must have been a hasty consultation on deck
with the master, Donaldson, and the first lieutenant,
Charles J. Austen, himself one of England's bravest young
officers. We can imagine the rapid debate, the estimate
of the risk, the final resolve voiced by the Captain, " We
cannot let the poor fellows drown before our eyes."
In a moment the orders are given and the frigate is
racing in before the gale towards her helpless foe. The
Endymion is praised as a fine frigate, and it would have
been a beautiful spectacle to have looked down upon
this graceful vessel coming in before the storm at her
own dire peril to the rescue of the Frenchman. We can
feel the thrill of excitement in both the crews as they
breathlessly watch the hazardous venture. To sweep
122 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
round and across the bows of the two-decker sufficiently
near to be within reach, yet not too close for safety, to
check the frigate's way so that the anchor might be
buoyed and dropped and the cable with its buoy hurled
across the Frenchman's hawser for him to grapple and
haul in, must have been a manoeuvre of infinite nicety.
Then their mission of mercy accomplished, what a battle
for life was waged by that captain and his men against
rock and sea and gale.
Surely in the swiftness of resource, the cool courage,
the tenacity of effort which gradually snatched the
Endymion from her desperate strait back to the freedom
of the " Great Waters," we see a notable illustration of
that instinctive mastery of the ocean which seemed to
have been, in those days at least, the birthright of
As Captain Mahan shows us in his life of Nelson, the
sailors of Great Britain during the war were so con-
stantly at sea and buffeted by Atlantic gales that they
grew to be perfectly at home upon the great waters,
and had that love of their vessels which the old sea-song
" This hull of oak our palace is,
And our heritage the sea ! "
This chapter may be fittingly closed by the fine
poem of Sir Edwin Arnold, entitled
"THE ENDYMION FRIGATE"
Sir Edwin Arnold contributed the following spirited
poem to the Daily Telegraph during the Naval Exhi-
bition, May 1891. It was inspired by Schetky's picture
entitled "A Gallant Rescue" of a French line-of-battle
ship by Sir Charles Paget in the Endymion off the coast
of Spain, which hangs in the United Service Club.
The English roses on her face
Blossomed a brighter pink for pride,
As thro' the glories of the place,
Watchful, we wandered side by side.
THE GALLANT RESCUE 123
We saw our bygone Worthies stand,
Done to the life, in steel and gold ;
Howard and Drake, a stately band
Sir Walter, Anson, Hawkins bold ;
Past all the martial blazonry
Of Blake's great battles ; and the roar
Of Jervis, thundering through the sea ;
With Rodney, Hood, and fifty more ;
To him, the bravest, gentlest, best,
Duty's dear Hero, Britain's Star,
The Chieftain of the dauntless breast,
Nelson, our Thunderbolt of War !
We saw him gathering sword by sword
On conquered deck from Don and Dane ;
We saw him, Victory's laurelled Lord,
Rend the French battle-line in twain.
In countless grand sea-pieces there
The green seas foamed with gallant blood ;
The skies blazed high with flame and fear,
The tall masts toppled to the flood.
But ever 'mid red rage and glow
Of each tremendous Ocean fight,
Safe, by the strength of those below,
The flag of England floated bright.
" Ah, dear, brave souls ! " she cried ; " 'tis good
To be a British girl, and claim
Some drops, too, of such splendid blood,
Some distant share of deathless fame.
" Yet still I think of what tears rained
From tender French and Spanish eyes
For all those glorious days we gained.
Oh, the sad price of victories ! "
i2 4 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
" Come, then ! " I said, " witness one fight,
With triumph crowned, which cost no tear ;
Waged gallant 'gainst the tempest's might."
Thus turned we to a canvas near.
" Look ! the King's frigate ! and her foe !
The coast is Spain. Cruising to spy
An enemy, she finds him so.
Caught in a death-trap piteously.
" A great three-decker ! Close a-lee
Wild breakers on the black rocks foam
Will drown the ship's whole company
When that one anchor's fluke comes home.
" Her foremast gone, she cannot set
Head-sails to cast her off the land ;
These poor souls have to draw breath yet
As long as while a warp will stand.
" 'Tis war-time time of mutual hate
Only to keep off, therefore, tack
Mark from afar ' Jean Crapaud's ' fate,
And lightly to ' My Lords' take back
" Good news of the great liner, done
To splinters, and some thirty score
Of ' Mounseers ' perished ! Not a gun
To fire. Just stand by ! No more.
" Also the Captain who should go
Eyes open where this Gaul is driven,
Would steer straight into Hell's mid- woe
Out of the easy peace of Heaven.
" Well, let them strike and drown ! Not he !
Not lion-hearted Paget ! No !
The war's forgot ! He'll let us see
Seamanship at its topmost ! Blow,
THE GALLANT EESCUE 125
" Boatswain, your pipe ! Endymions, hear !
Forward and aft, all hands on deck !
Let my sails draw, range hawsers clear ;
Paget from fate his foe will pluck.
" So bears she down ; the fair white flag
Hoisted, full friendly, at the main ;
Her guns run in ; twice to a rag
The stormsails tore, but set again.
" And when she rounds to wind, they swarm
Into their rigging, and they dip
The tricolour, with hearts made warm
By hope and love Look there ! his ship
" Inshore the doomed one ! and you note
How, between life and death, he keeps
His frigate, like a pleasure boat,
Clean full and by ; and while he sweeps
" Athwart the Frenchman's hawse, lets go
His big sheet-anchor, buoys it cast
Clear o'er the rail. They know, they know ;
Here's help ! here's hope ! here's chance at last !
" For, hauling (you shall understand)
The English hawser o'er her sides,
All fear has fled of that black strand ;
Safely the huge three-decker rides.
" Safe will she come to Brest again,
With Jean and Jacques, and Paul and Pierre,
And float, to fight King George's men,
Thanks to that goodly British gear !
* " But woe to bold Endymion !
Never was darker plight for craft ;
Laid-to all but one anchor gone !
And those hard, fateful rocks abaft !
i26 MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
" Fresh saved from death, the Frenchmen watched
A sailor's highest lesson shown ;
They view by skill that frigate snatched
From peril direr than their own.
" To beat to windward, she must fly
Round on the starboard tack ; but drives
Full on the rocks, in staying : Try
To wear her, the same death arrives.
" One desperate shift remains ! She brings
Her cable to the bitts ; makes fast ;
Drops anchor ; by the starboard swings,
And, when a-lee her stern is cast,
" Hauls on the bight and cuts adrift,
Sheets home her foresail, fills and swerves
A ship's length forth. Subtle and swift
Her aim the tempest's anger serves.
" In view of those safe-rescued men,
Foot by foot steals she room to live ;
Self-stripped of hope except she win
The offing ; none may succour give.
" A ship's length more, one ship's length more !
And then helm down ! then something free
Comes the fierce blast. That leeward shore
Slides slow astern, that raging -sea
" Widens. If once yon whitened reef
She weathers, 'tis a saviour saved !
Seamanship conquers. Past belief
She rounds. The peril hath been braved !
" Then louder than the storm- wind's yell
Rings in her wake the Frenchmen's cheer,
Bidding the good ship glad farewell
While the staunch frigate draws out clear.
MONUMENT TO SIR CHARLES PAGET
Al>ove his grave in the Naval and Military Cemetery,
Ireland Island, Bermuda
THE GALLANT RESCUE 127
" Never was nobler salvage made,
Never a smarter sea-deed done."
" Best of all fights, I love," she said,
" This fight of the Endymion"
The verses following the asterisk were omitted in
the general version as being too technical. Sir Edwin
Arnold most kindly sent me from Chicago his own copy
with the complete poem for me to copy and return to
him. E. C. P.
NOTE. In corroboration of what is said above as to the
character of Pocock for scrupulous integrity, it may be well
to add that on June 17, 1913, I visited the salerooms of
Messrs. Hodgson in Chancery Lane, where a sale of Pocock's
pictures was advertised, and Mr. Hodgson assured me most
emphatically, from the many notes which he had seen made
by the great marine-painter on his sketches and pictures, that
I might rest perfectly sure that Pocock would never have
painted such a picture as " The Gallant Rescue " without having
assured himself absolutely of its authenticity in every detail.
SINCE sending my sketch of the family history to the
publishers from Canada I have again crossed the
Atlantic, and a few days ago, on June 16, 1913, 1 visited
West Drayton and Hillingdon. Not till then did I
realise the important place that Drayton Manor held
in the estimation of the early Pagets, and how im-
perfect a sketch would be without some reference to
As to the history, I can hardly do better than quote
a few extracts from the History of West Drayton,
written by the present vicar, the Rev. A. Row, a copy
of which he kindly gave me.
" The weather-beaten, ivy-mantled tower and the
massive gateway, which remains as a relic of the great
mansion of the Pagets, as well as the fine avenue of
trees stretching away towards Harmondsworth from
the entrance to the church and the manor-hall, give
dignity to the place."
The original tower of the church dates from King
John's reign. A silver-gilt chalice and paten dating
from 1507 are its most treasured possessions. [From
these generations of Pagets must have communicated.]
The registers date back to 1568, and include the burials
of " The Ladie Ann Paget, wife of the first Baron, 1 586 ;
of William the fourth Baron in 1628 ; and many others
of the family in baptism, marriage, and burials."
The Manor of Drayton, which had been held by the
Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's since the reign of Athel-
stane 989, was in 1547 given by Henry VIII, to whom
it fell by exchange for the parish of Charing in Kent,
to Sir William Paget. It descended through the family
(being restored after the attainder to William, fourth
Baron) till 1786, when the estate was sold to Fyshe de
THE GATEHOUSE OF DRAYTON MANOR
(Built by the first Lord Paget, fire. 1547)
DEAYTON MANOR 129
Burgh. The ancient manor-house had been pulled
down in 1750.
Sir William Paget, afterwards the first Baron, in
1550 procured a special Act of Parliament, permitting
him to expropriate a large part of the churchyard in
exchange for other lands, and having removed the
remains, built the manor-house directly in front of the
west tower of the church. The foundation of the high
wall which separated the house from the church is still
visible. The house is said to have been a very fine
one, and faced south-west. Lord Paget presumably
planted the fine avenue which leads directly up to the
entrance gate, now bricked up, but the pillars of which
still stand. I have to thank not only Mr. and Mrs.
Row for their kind information and hospitality, but
also the courteous and intelligent parish clerk, Mr.
Hillyer, who showed me round the ancient estates, the
fine Tudor brick walls which still remain, and the
remains of the retainer's quarters, of which a high wall,
partly covered with lath and plaster, and a considerable
building at the south side, still exist. Mr. Hillyer re-
members the complete range of these buildings, which
were only burnt down nineteen years ago. The Paget
vault is directly under the chancel, and was made by
the first Lord Paget. Here he himself was buried, his
wife, and many of his descendants. No monuments or
brasses are to be found, but I was informed by those
who had been in the vault that fine inscriptions are
to be seen on the coffins. The coffin of the first baron
is very handsome, covered with red cloth, and in good
preservation ; that of his wife is near. The others are
placed upright, and partly bricked in. Mr. Hillyer
thought there were about twenty Pagets buried there,
and told me that one of these had been beheaded, and
the inscription on his coffin gave the reason for this ;
his impression was that the name was Charles Paget,
and if so, it can hardly be other than the celebrated
intriguer of Queen Elizabeth's reign. I have often
wondered what his subsequent history had been ; and
it is not improbable that after his brother's death he
may have ventured over to England, and there have
been arrested and beheaded.
1 3 o MEMOIR OF SIR CHARLES PAGET
Later in the day I visited Hillingdon Church, in the
chancel of which is a fine monument erected to Henry,
the first Earl of Uxbridge, who died at Dray ton,
Aug. 30, 1743, but was buried in a vault at Hillingdon.
His second wife Elizabeth, " daughter of Sir Walter
Bagott of Blithfield," erected the monument. It is
pleasant to know that this Lady Uxbridge left a fund
for the Poor of Dray ton, which is known as ''The
Countess of Uxbridge's Fund."
The inscription is long and laudatory, but recounts
the various public offices held by Lord Uxbridge in
Queen Anne's reign in the commission of the Admiralty,
as Lord-Lieutenant of Staffordshire, and Privy Coun-
cillor. It also mentions his aptness and fondness for
public business, his careful observance of religious duties,
and his unblemished integrity. His grandson, the last of
the elder branch of the family, was buried at Drayton.
It is curious to notice that while in the sixteenth
and early half of the seventeenth centuries the name is
spelled Paget with one " t," as at present, in the last
half of the seventeenth and first half of the eighteenth
centuries it became the fashion to spell the name
Pagett with two "t"s, and this is also the case with
Bagot, which is spelled on the Hillingdon monument
POCOCK'S PICTURE OF THE "GALLANT
This letter was received too late to be incorporated
in the chapter on the " Gallant Rescue," but is added
here as a valuable testimony to the authenticity of
115 CHANCERY LANE,
July 8, 1913.
THE VERY REV. DEAN PAGET
DEAR SIR, We herewith enclose a copy of the
catalogue of the collection of Drawings by Nicholas
Pocock which we sold on April 2nd. As you will
observe on reading carefully through the catalogue,
Pocock was evidently in the habit of obtaining, if
possible, first-hand information with regard to any
actions or battles of which he painted pictures, and
not infrequently he used to obtain rough sketches
either of the coast-line, or of the ships, or of their
relative positions in the action, from those who
were present. These points are brought out, for
instance, in Lots 25, 33, 39, 43, 45, 46, 49, and 52.
Certainly from what we learned in cataloguing the
collection in question we should be surprised to
learn that Pocock at any time painted a picture of
an action which did not take place, or respect-
ing which he was palpably misinformed. Yours
HODGSON & Co.
Printed by BALLANTYNE, HANSON 6 s Co.
at PaxiVs Work, Edinburgh
A 000 085 448 9