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The Naval History of Great Britain, from the Union 
of the two Kingdoms, to the End of the Reign of 
her Majesty Queen Anne .... 

Memoirs of Sir Ralph Delaval, Knight . . I 

Sir Cloudesley Shovel, Knight . . 8 

Sir George Rooke, Knight . . 32 

George Churchill, Esquire . . 66 

< Sir David Mitchell, Knight . . 70 

- Sir Andrew Leake . . .73 
The Hon. Philip Stanhope . . 76 

Sir Thomas Di/kes . .77 

Sir Stafford Fairborne . . .81 

Sir John Leake . . . .87 

Captain William Dampier . . P4 


Containing the Xai'al History of Great Britain, front 
the Accession of King George /. to the time of his 
Demise . ,124 


Memoirs of George Bt/ng, Lord Torrington . .213 

Sir John Jennings 227 

Sir James Wishart 239 

Vice-admiral Baker . . . 242 

Peregrine (Jsborne, Duke of Leeds . 247 

. Sir JVilliam Jumper . . . 250 


The Natal History of Great Britain, from the Ac- 
cession to the Death of King George II. . . 25G 
Memoirs of Sir Francis Hosier . . . 452 

Captain Cornwall 454 

Sir Charles Wager . . : 457 

. Lord Aubrey Beauderk, . . 464 

. Sir John Ba/chen. . . ; 465 

. Sir John Norris .... 469 

Edward Vcrnon, Esquiro . . . 480 

Admiral Charles JVatson . . .501 

Temple West, Estjiiire . . .512 

Sir Peter 11 arren . .516 


No. I. Admiral Bi/ng's Instructions from the Lords 

of the Admiralty - - 525 
II. Secret Instructions to Sir John Mor daunt - 527 






The Naval History of Great Britain, from the Union of the two 
Kingdoms to the End of the Reign of her Majesty Queen Anne, 



IT is a misfortune, which we must be content to 
deplore without hopes of redress, since it is a mis- 
fortune flowing from liberty, that in all free countries 
the greatest men are liable to be sacrificed to clamour ; 
and innocence is not always a security against the 
shafts of envy. This was the case of the gentleman 
of whom we are now to speak, and who, in the short 
space of one single summer, was in the highest credit, 
lost it, and was actually laid aside : so fluctuating a 
thing is human happiness; so fickle a possession is 
popularity, and so little to be depended on a prince's 
favour : These are the reflections that will naturally 
arise on the reading the memoirs of our admiral ; and 
they are premised only to shew, that I think as the 
reader does, and do not believe myself obliged to fol- 
low the humours of those, who have treated his me- 
mory with the same prejudice with which they pur- 
sued him living. 



Sir Ralph Delaval was the son of a worthy gentle* 
man in the north of England, of the same name, dis- 
tinguished for his loyalty to King Charles I. and 
King Charles II. and to whose house General Lesley 
had leave given him by Cromwell 10 retire, after the 
fatal battle of Worcester. Mr. Ralph Delaval came 
very early into the navy, under the protection of the 
duke of York, who treated him with great kindness, 
and took care he should not lose his turn in prefer- 
ment. By this means it was, that he came to be cap- 
tain of the York, a third rate man of war, in which 
station the Revolution found him. 

He concurred heartily in that great change, though 
he had no hand in making it ; and, therefore, King 
William, who was a prince of great penetration, sooa 
promoted him to the rank of rear-admiral of the blue ; 
and at the same time conferred upon him the honoup 
of knighthood ; in this station he served under the 
earl of Torrington, in the famous battle oif Beachy- 
Head, in which the English and Dutch ileets were 
beat by the French on the 30th of June, H&O ; but 
"without any impeachment of his own character, 
either in point of courage or conduct, as appears 
plainly by his being appointed president of the court- 
martial which tried the earl, and which sat on board 
the Kent, on the 10th of December in the same year, 
and in which he was unanimously acquitted ; and, if 
I mistake not, the share he had in that affair sub- 
jected him to the hatred of a certain set of men ever 
after; but that lie was in reality no way to blame, 
will appear by his being immediately after declared 
vice-admiral of the blue by King William, in which 
station he served, the next year, under Admiral llus- 
sel ; and, in the winter of the same year, was ap- 
pointed to command a squadron in the Soundings; 
where, if he did little, it was owing to the bad sea- 
son of the year, and contrary winds, by which he was 
four times beat back into Torbay ; however, he punc- 
tually executed his orders, and thereby hindered the 


French from relieving Limerick, which much faci- 
litated the reduction of the kingdom of Ireland. 

In 1^92, when it was known the French were fit-- 
ting out hy far the greatest fleet they ever had at 
sea, he was appointed to serve under Admiral Ilussel, 
was also declared vice-admiral of the red, and in- 
trusted with a large squadron of English and Dutch 
ships, with orders to cruise for our homeward-bound 
fleet from the Mediterranean, and then join the main 
fleet; which he performed with great conduct and 
success ; and having first seen seventy of our mer- 
chantmen safe into port, lie next, according to his 
instructions, joined Admiral Russel on the 13th of 
May, at St. Helen's; which was then justly consi-* 
dered as a very signal service, for, if he had been 
twenty-four hours later, it might have been of the 
greatest prejudice to the service. 

On the 15th of the same month., a council of war 
was called of all the flag-officers on board the fleet, 
wherein it was resolved, in obedience to the positive 
commands of Queen Mary who was then regent, to 
sail the first fair weather for the coast of France. In 
this council of war the admiral took notice of an inti- 
mation which had been given him by the Secretary of 
State, that reports were spread, as if several captains 
of the fleet had given secret assurances to King 
James's friends on shore, of their readiness to join 
them, and of their confidence that they should be 
able to carry over a great part of the fleet. As no- 
boclv knew against whom this information was partir 

d ^_j 

eularly pointed, it was thought necessary, that the 
queen might be thoroughly satisfied of their loyalty 
ami integrity, to draw up the following paper, which 
was done upon the spot. 

" We, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal sub* 
jects and servants, flag-officers and captains in your 
Majesty's fleet, out of a deep and grateful sense of 
your Majesty's good and just opinion of our loyalty 
.and fklelitv, imparted to us by the riofnt honourable 

V t^ 


Admiral Russel, in a letter to him from the earl of 
Nottingham, principal Secretary of State, do, in he- 
half of ourselves, and all the other officers and seamen, 
humbly presume to address ourselves to your Majesty 
at this juncture, to undeceive the world, as to those 
false and malicious reports which have been lately 
spread in prejudice of your Majesty's service, by peo- 
ple disaffected to the government, and who have an 
aversion to the quiet and good of their country ; that 
there arc some among us who are not truly zealous 
for, and entirely devoted to, the present happy esta- 
blishment. We do, therefore, most humbly beg 
leave to add to our repeated oaths, this assurance of 
our fidelity: That we will, with all imaginable ala- 
crity and resolution, venture ourselves in the defence 
of the government, and of the religion and liberty of 
our country, against all Popish invaders whatsoever. 
And, that God Almighty may preserve your Ma- 
jesty's most sacred person, direct your councils, and 
proper your arms by sea and land against your ene- 
mies, may ail people say Amen, with your Majesty's 
most dutiful and loyal subjects. Dated on board the 
Britannia, at St. Helen's, 'the loth of May, 16*92." 
Thisaddress was signed by Sir John Ashby, admiral of 
the b'ue ; Sir Ralph Delaval, vice-admiral of the 
red; George Itooke, Esq. vice-admiral of the blue; 
Sir Cloudcsley Shovel, rear-admiral of the red; Rich- 
.:rd Carter. Esq. rear-admiral of the blue ; and all the 
captains of the fleet. 

On the 18th of May, Admiral Russel stood over to 
the lYench const, and, on the l<)tb, engaged the 
en, my in the glorious battle of La Hogue ; in which 
S:r Ralph Delaval, as vice-admiral of the red, did his 
duty with great reputation, and, pursuant to the ad- 
miral's order, formed the rear of the fleet in such a 
manner, that thorn;;) i several of the French ships that 
had suffered least, hovered round, and attempted to 
do mischief, they were obliged, at length, to seek. 
iheir biifety, as the icil of the fleet had done before, 


by a plain flight; and be afterwards did remarkable 
service in destroying some of the enemy's largest 

It was natural to expect, after so gallant an action 
as this, that every officer who bad a signal concern 
therein, should be encouraged and promoted ; but it 
fell out, in some measure, otherwise, from that cause 
which is generally fatal to the merits of English orli- 
cers, the power of party-interest. A spirit had been 
raised against Admiral liussel. who commanded in 


chief; and King William, for certain reasons, found 
himself under a necessity of laying that great man 

/ */ o o 

aside, which also obliged him to put the command of 
the fleet into commission. 

Accordingly, Henry Killegrew, Esq. Sir Ralph 
Delaval, and Sir Cloudesley Shovel, Knts. were ap- 
pointed joint-admirals of the fleet, which was reputed 
one of the greatest the maritime powers had ever sent 
to sea. In the month of May, the admirals formed 
their line of battle at St. Helen's, which consisted of 
seventy ships of the line, thirteen frigates, nineteen 
fire-ships, besides brigantines, bomb- vessels, and hos- 
pital-ships. Bishop Burnet, and some other writers, 
would have us believe, that the inactivity of this 
mighty naval armament was owing to the secret in- 
clination that two of the admirals, Killegrew and 
Delaval, had for the service of King James ; but the 

7 O 7 

real truth of the matter was, that the fleet was not 
either victualled or manned; the men being put to 
short allowance at their first going to sea, and five 
regiments of foot ordered on board from Portsmouth, 
purely to make up an appearance of manning. 

Besides all this, the ministry were absolutely de- 
ceived in their intelligence ; in consequence of which 
they sent impracticable, inconsistent, and, at last, 
contrary orders. For, first, the admirals were en- 
joined to attack the French fleet at Brest, to which 
port it was believed the Toulon squadron M'as already 
come, and dispositions were accordingly made for 


that service; but, upon sending the Warspignt ttt 
look into Brest, it was found there was not so much 
as a ship there. Before the return of this frigate, the 
grand fleet had convoyed Sir George Rooke, with the 
great Turkey fleet under his care, twenty leagues 
farther than it was first intended ; and yet they had 
scarcely parted with them, before they had an account, 
that the Toulon squadron was actually in the Medi- 
terranean. It was then proposed, in a council of 
war, to follow Sir George to Lisbon ; but this de- 
sign was laid aside for two reasons ; first, because 
the court bavin Q; already sent orders to Sif George to 

O / O 

return, it was very uncertain, whether they should 
be able to meet him; and, secondly, because upon 
a review of their provisions, and after an equal repar- 
tition of tli em it was found, they had not sufficient 
for such an expedition, even at short allowance.* 

The admirals having communicated all this to the 
court, orders were sent them, on the 25th of August, 
to return to St. Helen's, which they did ; and having 
landed the regiments they had on board, the fleet 
separated, part of the great ships were laid up, and 
the remainder were appointed for a winter guard ; 
and thus, if they can be so called, the operations of 
the campaign ended. The misfortune that befel Sir 
George llooke, and the Turkey fleet under his con- 
voy, naturally occasioned a great clamour; and 

* This is among the number of those transactions, which never 
arc <o be r.nderstood froin general histories, and which are with 
very great difiicnlh unnivelicd in a iiouse of Commons. He who 
jb.'\3 orders does his duty certainly, though he should do his coun- 
try injury by his obedience, because a general example of disobe- 
dience is of much worse consequence than any particular wrong 
step with regard to the conduct of an expedition; and besides, if 
joutake av.ay this genera! rule of obedience, it is impossible for 
men to kuou ho to conduct themselves from the highest to the 
Joucst bfaiion : add to all \\ hie!), that \\hrrr men receive doubtful, 
perplexed, and confused orders, they ought, in regard to their 
o\vn safely, to adhere chicly to the ielter, mid leave such as drevy 
the orders to aasvi cr for ti'uu. 


upon this, a very strict inquiry was made into the 
affair, first by the privy-council, and then by parlia- 
ment, where, on the 17th of November, the House 
of Commons came to a resolution, " That, in the 
affair of convoying- Sir George llooke to sea, there 
had been a notorious and treacherous mismanage- 
ment ;" and yet, when the question was put for cen- 
suring the admirals who commanded in chief, it met 
with a negative. 

We must therefore, in order to reconcile these two 
votes, suppose the opinion of the House of Commons 
to have been, that this notorious and treacherous 
mismanagement was not in them. And indeed Bishop 
Burner, though he condemns the admirals, has left 
us such an account of their justification, as seems to 
confirm this supposition ; for he says, that the orders 
sent them from the cabinet council were ill given, 
and worse executed. Now, it may be questioned, 
how bad orders can be well executed ? But the Bishop 
goes farther ; he tells us, that these orders were 
weakly drawn, ambiguous and defective ; to which 
he adds, that the admirals shewed no other sign of 
zeal, than in strictly obeying these orders. I should 
be glad to know, what other zeal they could shew, 
when under such instructions, and with a fleet in 
such a condition. 

The business, however, ended in laying Mr. Kille- 
grew and Sir Ralph Delaval aside; and, to speak my 
sentiments freely, I believe this to be as much the 
effect of party-spirit, as the laying aside Admiral 
Russel was the year before. As for Sir Cloudesley 
Shovel, -he happened to be in favour with the party 
that disliked the other two admirals, and so he 
escaped, though he had concurred with them in every 
thing. I do not say this, with the smallest design of 
reflecting on the memory of that brave man, who, I 
am entirely persuaded, was not at all culpable; but 
only to shew the pernicious effects of party intrigues, 
by which ail things were then governed: jl 


I could say, that nothing like it has ever happened 

Sir Ralph Delaval lived thenceforward privately, 
as a country gentleman, upon his own estate, which 
was very considerable, and troubled not himself with 
public affairs. He died in the beginning of the 
month of January, 1707, and on the 23d of the same 
month was buried with great solemnity in West- 
minster-Abbey. The violence of party-prejudice be- 
ing then abated, he went to the grave with the repu- 
tation of a great and gallant officer, and of a generous 
hospitable man; which, according to the best accounts 
I have been able to procure, he certainly deserved ; 
though he was so unfortunate as to pass nine years of 
his life in an obscure retirement, and that too, in a 
season when his service might have been most useful 
to his country. 



IT is certainly a just observation, that virtue alone 
creates nobility. He who enjoys a title by birth, de- 
rives it from the virtue of his ancestors ; and he who 
raises himself into high rank, which is a sort of self- 
creation, supplies the want of ancestors by personal 
merit. Under all free governments, the latter ought 
to be encouraged, as well as the former respected ; 
for, as every such government must flourish or de- 
cline, according to that portion of public spirit which 
is found among its subjects; so the only means by 
which this spirit can be either excited or maintained, 
is the proper distribution of rewards, and the strict 
punishment of criminals. Where virtue is neglected, 
and vice unpunished, corruption is at the height, and 
the dissolution of that state near at hand. 

We were not in any such situation at the time 
this brave man was born, which was about the year 


1650. His parents were but in middling circumstan- 
ces ; and as they had some expectations from a rela- 
tion, whose name was Cloudesley, they thought fit to 
bestow that name upon their son, as a probable means 
of recommending him to this relation's notice. But, 
whether they were disappointed in their views, or 
from what other accident it arose, I arn not able to 
say ; but so it was, that young Cloudesley Shovel was 
put out apprentice to a mean trade, I think to that of 
a shoe-maker, to which he applied himself for some 
years ; but being of an aspiring disposition, and find- 
ing no appearance of raising his fortune in that way, 
he betook himself to the sea, under the protection of 
Sir John Narborough, with whom, I speak it to his 
honour, he went as a cabin boy : but applying him- 
self very assiduously to navigation, and having natu- 
rally a genius for that art, he soon became an able sea- 
man; and as those were stirring times, in which merit 
always thrives, he quickly arrived at preferment. 
This he, in a great measure, owed to the favour of 
that famous person, who, having been cabin-boy to 
Sir Christopher Myngs, was a man who raised himself 
to the highest honours of his profession, by mere dint 
of capacity, and, therefore, proved a generous patron 
of all who discovered any extraordinary degree of 
worth, and this was what recommended Mr. Shovel 
to his notice. 

After the close of the second Dutch war, our mer- 
chants, in the Mediterranean, found themselves very 
much distressed by the piratical state of Tripoli ; 
which, notwithstanding several treaties of peace that 
had been concluded with them, began to commit 
fresh depredations, almost as early as the Dutch war 
broke out. As soon, therefore, as the king found 
himself at leisure, he ordered a strong squadron hito 
those parts, to repress the insolence of these corsairs, 
under the command of Sir John Narborough, who 
arrived before Tripoli in the spring of the year 1674, 
where he found all things in very good order for his 


reception. The appearance of the enemy's strength, 
joined to the nature of his instructions, which direct- 
ed him to try negotiation rather than lorce, determin- 
ed him to send a person in whom he could confide, 
to the Dey of Tripoli, to propose terms of accommoda- 
tion, and those too very moderate in their nature; 
for he desired only satisfaction for what was past, and 
security for the time to come. The admiral entrusted 
Mr. Shovel with this message, who accordingly went 
on shore, and delivered it with great spirit. But the 
Dey, despising his youth, treated him with much dis- 
respect, and sent him back with an indefinite answer. 

Mr. Shovel, on his return to the admiral, acquaint- 
ed him with some remarks he had made on shore: Sir 
John sent him hack again with another message, and 
well furnished with proper rules for conducting his in- 
quiries and observations. The Dey's behaviour was 
worse the second time : but Mr. Shovel, though na- 
turally warm, bore it with wonderful patience, and 
made use of it as an excuse for staying some time 
longer on shore. When he returned, he assured the 
admiral, that it was very practicable to burn the ships 
in the harbour, notwithstanding their lines and forts: 
accordingly, in the ni-.>;ht of the fourth of March, 
Lieutenant Shovel, with all the boats in the fleet fil- 
led with combustible natter, went boldly into the 
harbour, and, as I have already related in another 
place, destroyed the enemy's ships, with, a degree of 
success scarcely to be eo:>:c'ived; of which Sir John 
Narborougb r>;ave so honourable an account in all his 
letters, that the next. \ ear Mr.' Shovel had the com- 
mand given him of l;:e Sapphire, a fifth rate, from 
whence he was. not Jong after, removed into the James 
galley, a fourth rate, in which 're continued to the 
death of King Charles I!, who first raised, and had 
always a great kindlier (;/r, him. 

There \vcrc lea-ons which engaged King James to 
employ Captain Shovel, though he was a man far 
enough from bciuu 1 iu his favour; accordingly he wa 

k-? I .- *_> \S 


preferred to the command of the Dover, a fourth rate, 
in which situation he was, when the revolution took 
place. This was very fortunate for Captain Shovel, 
as well as very agreeable to his way of thinking ; 
which, together with his activity in the service, for 
he was in every engagement almost that happened 
during that reign, made him very conspicuous, and 
made his rise in the navy as quick as he could wish. 
He was in the first battle, I mean that of Bantry-bay, 
in the Edgar, a third rate, and c;ave such signal 

o * <j ~ 

marks of his courage and conduct, that when King 
William came down to Portsmouth, he was pleased, 
on the recommendation of Admiral Herbert, who, 
for that action, was raised to the dignity of earl of 
Torrington, to confer upon him and Captain Ashby, 
of the Defiance, the honour of knighthood. 

This was soon followed by further services, as they 
were by additional rewards : for Sir Cloudesley, after 
cruising in the Soundings, and on the coast of Ire- 
land, during the winter of the year 16'90, and the 
ensuing spring, was, in the month of June, employed 
in convoying King William and his army into Ire- 
land ; who was so highly satisfied with his diligence 
and dexterity, for, without question, in matters of 
this nature, he was one of the ablest commanders ever 
put to sea, that he was graciously pleased, not only to 
appoint him rear-admiral of the blue, but did him 
also the honour, with his own hands, to deliver him 
his commission. 

After performing this service, it was intended he 
should have joined the grand fleet; but, on the 10th 
of July, King William receiving information, that the 
enemy intended to send upwards of twenty small fri- 
gates, the biggest not above thirty-six guns, into St. 
George's channel, to burn the transport-ships, he was 
ordered to cruise off Scilly, or in such a station as he 
should judge most proper for preventing that design ; 
and to send frigates to ply eastward and westward, 
to gain intelligence of the body of the French fleet 


so that he might he the better able to provide for his 
o\vn safety. And they, upon meeting with Vice-ad- 
miral Killegrew, in his return from the Straits, were 
to o-ive him notice of all circumstances, that so he 


might likewise take care not to be intercepted. 

He cruised up and down in the aforesaid station, till 
the 21st of July, without meeting with any thing re- 
markable ; and then the Dover and Experiment join- 
ed him from the coast of Ireland, with a ketch that 
came out of Kingsale, on board of which was Colo- 
nel Placket, Captain John Hamilton, Archibald Cock- 
burn, Esq. Anthony Thompson, Esq. Captain Tho- 
mas Power, Mr. William Sutton, and six servants, 
who were following King James to France, in order 
to their accompanying him in his intended expedition 
to England. They gave Sir Cloudesley an account, 
that King James took shipping at Duncannon, and 
sailed to Kingsale; but after staying there a little 
above two hours, he proceeded to France, with two 
Spanish frigates, that had lain there for that purpose a 
considerable time ; and that he carried with him the 
Lord Powis, Sir Roger Strickland, and Captain Rich- 
ard Trevanion. 

Sir Cloudesley Shovel sailed afterwards to Kingsale, 
and, as I have before shewn, did all that could rea- 
sonably be expected from him, in regard to what was 
prescribed by his orders, and yet without much suc- 
cess. But an opportunity quickly offered of demon- 
strating his zeal and affection for the service. General 
Kirke, with a handful of troops, was before the strong 
town of Waterford, which he could not take, on ac- 
count of the numerous garrison in Duncannon castle, 
commanded by General Bourk, who professed his re- 
solution to defend both town and fort, as lon^ as one 


stone remained upon another ; Sir Cloudesley rightly 
guessed, that a good part of this bravery proceeded 
from certain intelligence, that Mr. Kirke had not a 
single piece of cannon; upon which he sent him word, 
that he was ready to assist him from his squadron, not 


only with guns, but with boats and men ; which, on 
the general's accepting this proposition, he accord- 
ingly did ; and then General Bourk was so prudent 
as to surrender the place, before there was so much 
as one stone heat from another. 

The remainder of the year 1690 was spent by Sir 
Cloudesley, for the most part in cruising, till he was 
ordered to make part of Sir George llooke's squadron, 
which escorted the king to Holland, in the month of 
January following. On the 13th of April, his Ma- 
jesty landed in England, when, having given direc- 
tions for hastening out the fleet, and dispatched other 
affairs of great importance, that prince embarked 
again for Holland, on the 1st of May, and, on the 
18th of October following returned to England, in, 
the Mary yacht, being then also attended by a squad- 
ron of men of war, under the command of Sir Cloudes- 
ley Shovel. 

It was his felicity, that, as his services w r ere well 
intended, so, generally speaking, they were well re- 
ceived ; and if Sir Cloudesley Shovel, at any time, 
missed of success, nobody ever pretended to fix impu- 
tations upon his conduct. His courage, and his sin- 
cerity were alike unquestionable ; and though this 
was not the most credulous age, yet there never was 
heard of such an infidel, as one who did not believe 
Shovel had both. 

On this account, most people were very well satis- 
fied, when the king, in the spring of the year 16.92, and 
just before he set out for Holland, declared him rear- 
ndmiral of the red; and, at the same time, comman- 
der of the squadron that was to convoy him thither. 
On his return from thence, he joined Admiral Rus- 
sel with the grand fleet, and had a great share in the 
danger, and as great a share in the glory of the fam- 
ous victory at La Hogue. For the French, after an 
engagement for some hours, breaking their line, and 
Tourville being discovered to tow away northward, 
when the weather cleared up, the English admiral 


gave the signal for chacing, and sent notice to all the- 
ships, that the enemy was retiring. At the same 
time, several broadsicfes were heard to the \vest\vard, 
and, though the ships that fired could not be seen, it 
was concluded they were the blue squadron, that by a 
shift of wind had weathered the French ; it proved, 
however, to be the brave Sir Cloudesley Shovel, rear- 
admiral of the red, who had, with wonderful pains 
and diligence, weathered their admiral's own squad- 
ron, and got between them and their admiral of the 
blue ; but, after he had fired upon the French for 
some time, Tourvilie, as well as the admiral of that 
squadron, came to an anchor with some of the ships 
of their division, but could not discover one another 
by reason of the thickness of the weather.* 

When it was thought requisite, as we have had oc- 
casion more than once to observe, that the fleet should 
be put under the joint admirals in the succeeding year, 
he was one; and, perhaps, if there had been nothing 
more than this joint commission, we might well 
enough account from thence for the misfortune that 
happened in our affairs at sea, during the year 1(S<)3. 
This the intelligent reader will the more easily credit, 
when he is put in mind, that these joint admirals were 
of different parties ; that is to say? Killegrew and l)e- 
laval were declared Tories, and Shovel a determined 
Whig. Yet, as they were all good seamen, and very 
probably all meant their country well, though they 
did not agree in the manner of serving it, it is most 
likely, that, upon mature consideration of the posture 
things were then in, the orders they had received from 

* It rr.ay not be amiss to mention here the care taken by Qucea 
Mary to encourage those who had behaved so Avell in this engage* 

nient ; for she was no sooner informed of the victory, than she 
immediately sent down 30,00'J/. to be distributed among the sol- 
diers and seamen, and gold medals for all the officers. Colonel 
Hastings, who was killed in the fight, was buried on the 7th of 
Juno, in great state, tlio queen sending her coaches, and the nobility 
and g'.-iitry two hundred more ; the whole being escorted by eight 
of uards. 


court, and the condition of the fleet, which was not 
either half-manned or half- victualled, the admirals 
might a^ree, that a cautious execution of the instruo 

^^ /" 

tions they had received was a method as safe for the na- 
tion, and more so for themselves, than any other they 
could take. There was, therefore, no great reason for that 
piece of Dutch wit played off upon this occasion in a 
picture, wherein the taking of the Smyrna fleet was 
represented at a distance, and Sir Cloudesley Shovel 
on hoard his own ship with his hands tied behind 
him, one end of the cord being held by each of his 
colleagues ; to insinuate., that he would have prevent- 
ed this misfortune, if the Admirals Killegrew and De- 
laval had not hindered him. 

But, when the affair came to be very strictly en- 
quired into in parliament, Sir Cloudesley Shovel, at 
the bar of t the house, defended his colleagues as well 
as himself, and gave so clear and plain an account 
of the matter, that it satisfied ail people, who were 
capable of being satisfied, of the innocence of the 
commanders, I mean in point of treachery, which 
bad been asserted by a vote of the House of Com- 
mons; for which, if there was any foundation, it 
must have lain either among the inferior people at the 
Admiralty, or those in the Secretary of State's office, 
who were bribed to give intelligence to the French. 
But possibly even this was but suspicion. 

The character of Sir Cloudesley Shovel remaining 
absolutely unim peached, we find him again at sea, in 
the year 1694, in the Channel, and on the French 
coast, where he had the honour to command, as 
vice-admiral of the red, under Lord Berkley, admiral 
of the blue, in the famous expedition to Camaret-bay ; 
of which I have already given so large an account, 
that 1 think it altogether needless to repeat it here, 
and, therefore, shall only say, that Sir Cloudesley 
distinguished himself by his speedy and dextrous em- 
barkation of the land forces, when they sailed upon 
that unfortunate expedition, as also when, on their 


return to England, it was thought necessary to send 
the fleet again upon the coast of France, to bombard 
Dieppe and other places. 

Towards the end of the season, the command de- 
volved upon Sir Cloudesley Shovel, by Lord Berkley's 
coming to London; and then he received his Ma- 
jesty's express commands to undertake the bombard- 
ment of Dunkirk, which he attempted, as I have 
shewn in the naval history of that year, to no purpose, 
through the fault of the engineer, who had promised 
more than either he, or, as was then believed, any 
other man, could perform. Sir Cloudesley Shovel, 
however, took care to demonstrate from his conduct, 
that there was no fault lay in him ; for he went with 
a boat within the enemy's works, and so became an 
eye-witness of the impossibility of doing what his or- 
ders directed to be done; and, therefore, on his coming 
home, he was perfectly well received, and continued 
to be employed as a man who would command suc- 
cess where it was possible, and omit nothing in his 
power where it was not. lie had his share in the re- 
maining part of the war, and, after the peace of llys- 
vvick, was always consulted by 1m Majesty, whenever 
maritime aifairs were under consideration. 

In the beginning of the reign of Queen Anne, he 
was not much in favour, and, rherefore, I do not find. 
him employed, though he was then admiral of the 
white, in any affair of importance, till he was sent 
to Vigo, after the taking that place by Sir George 
Kooke, to bring home the spoils of the Spanish and 
French fleet. This was in the latter end of the year 
1?OQ, and lie performed all vhat was expected from 
him, with that zeal and expedition which he had for- 
merly shewed upon every occasion : for, arriving at 
Vigo on the 16'th of October, he got things into such 
forwardness, that he carried off whatever could possi- 
bly be brought home, burnt the rest, and, notwith- 
standing the stormy season of the year, the foulness 
fji ins ships, and his being embarrassed with prizes. 


arrived safely in the Downs on the 7th of November; 
which was considered as so remarkable a service hy 
the court, that it was immediately resolved to employ 
him in affairs of the greatest consequence for the fu- 

Accordingly he commanded the grand fleet up the 
Straits in the year 1703, where he did every thing 
it was possible for an admiral to do, whose instruc- 
tions were very extensive, and who yet wanted an 
adequate force to accomplish a great part of those 
instructions. It is in such conjunctures as these that 
the skill and capacity of an admiral chiefly appear; 
and in this expedition Sir Cloudesley gave as con- 
vincing proofs of his courage and conduct as any 
admiral could do ; for he protected our trade from 
all attempts of the French ; he did what was to be 
done for the relief of the Protestants then in arms in 
the Cevennes ; lie countenanced such of the Italian 
powers as were inclined to favour the cause of the 
allies, and he struck such a terror into the friends of 
the French, that they durst not perform what they 
3iad promised to undertake for that court. 

All this he did with a fleet very indifferently 
manned, and still worse victualled; so that, not- 
withstanding the management of our affairs at sea 
M r as severely censured that year in the House of 
Commons, yet all parties agreed that Sir Cloudesley 
Shovel had done his duty in every respect, and very 
well deserved the high trust and confidence that had 
been reposed in him.* 

* Bishop Burnet gives us but a melancholy account of this ex- 
pedition, aud yet he very honestly justifies the admiral's conduct. 
This prelate's account of the matter is very curious, and very well 
worth the reader's notice. I have not touched on it before, and 
therefore I think it will not be amiss to insert it here, as a proof 
that 1 do not over-rate the merit of the great men whose actions I 
record : "It was resolved to send a strong tleet into the Mediter- 
ranean : it was neur the end of June before they were ready to 
sail : and they had orders to come out of the Straits by the end of 
September. Every thing was so ill laid in this expedition, as if it 
VOJ.. IV. C 


In the year 1704, Sir George Rooke commanded 
the grand fleet in the Mediterranean, to reinforce 
which, Sir Cloudeslcy Shovel was sent with a power- 
ful squadron; and he took such care not only to 
execute his orders, but to distinguish in what man- 
ner they ought to be executed, that, by joining the 
fleet in the midst of the month of June, he was very 
instrumental in the singular success that followed, as 
by that very action he effectually disappointed all the 
French schemes, though that court had boasted, they 
should be able to restore their maritime power, and 
give law to the confederates at sea that summer. 

He took his part in the glorious action off Malaga, 
in which he behaved with the utmost bravery, as 
Bishop Burnet very justly observes ; and yet he had 
the good luck to escape extremely well in that action, 
though as he said himself in his letter, he never took 
more pains to be well beat in his life ; but he was very 
far from taking to himself, what some have since en- 
deavoured to confer upon him, the glory of beating 
the French fleet, while Sir George llooke only looked 
on, or fought at a distance. This was not at all in 
Sir Cloudesley's nature; he would no more be guilty 
of an act of injustice of this sort, than he would have 
been patient in bearing it. He knew very well his own 

Tiad been intended, tliat nothing should be done by it, besides the 
convoying our merchant ships, which did not require the fourth 
part of such a force. Shovel \vas sent to command ; when he saw 
Jiis instructions, he represented to the ministry, that nothing could 
.be expected from this voyage: he was ordered to so, and he obeyed 
his orders. He got to Leghorn by the beginning of September, 
ilis arrival seemed to be of great consequence, and the allies began 
to take courage from it; but they were soon disappointed of their 
hopes, when they understood that, by his orders, he could only 
stay a few days there. Nor was it easy to imagine v, hat. the de- 
sign of so great an expedition could be, or why so much money 
was thrown away on such a project, which made us despised by 
our enemies, while it provoked our friends, who might justly think 
they could not depend upon such an ally, who managed so great a 
force with so poor a conduct, as neither to hurt their enemies, nor 
pryti-ct their friends by it." 


merit and his admiral's, and lie did justice to both in 
the letter he wrote on that occasion, and of which 
the reader may find an extract in the preceding vo^- 

This battle was fought on the 13th of August, 

cr> cj 

1704;* Sir Cloudesley Shovel and Sir John Leake led 
the van ; Sir Cloudesley 's division consisted of nine 
ships, the Barfleur, Eagle, Orford, Assurance, War- 
spite, Swiftsure, Nottingham, Tilbury, and the 
Lenox, in which they had only one officer killed ; 
viz. the first lieutenant of the Lenox, and seven 
wounded, one hundred and five private men killed, 
and three hundred and three \vounded. After this 
victory the French never durst think of fighting our 
fleets; and, upon Sir Cloudesley Shovel's return, lie 
was presented to the queen by Prince George, as lord 
high-admiral of England, met with a very gracious 
reception, and was the next year employed as *com- 
mander-m-cliief, being appointed rear-admiral of the 
fleet of England on the 6th of January following. 

Sir Cloudesley had no concern in the arts made use 
.of to lessen the reputation of Sir George Rooke, in 
order to pave the way for laying him aside ; but after 
this was done, and it became necessary to send both 

* I shall be obliged to touch upon some particulars in this engage, 
meat, when I come to the Memoirs of Sir George llooke ; but it 
may not be amiss to observe here incidentally, that, at the begin- 
ning of the battle, Sir Cloudesley Shovel, v.'ith the van of the 
English fleet, narrowly missed being surrounded by the French 7 
but that Sir George llooke perceiving their design, bore down im- 
mediately to his assistance; which seasonable succour Sir Cloudes- 
Jey Shovel returned in the latter part of the engagement, when, 
some ships of the admiral's division being forced out of the line 
for want of ammunition, Sir Cloudesley very gallantly came in to 
his aid, and dreAV several of the enemy's ships from onr centre, 
which, after they luil felt the force of some of Sir Cloudesley Sho- 
Tei's division, did not think it safe to advance along. side his : but, 
being clean and ii-'tter s;;i'crs, they set their sprit-sails, and with 
their boats a-hi'/.d. towed from him, viifhout giving him the oppo.;> 
i'.iuiitv.' of exchanging wjih them so much as a single hrcads.i'Je. 

o o 



a fleet and army to Spain, Sir Cloudesley thought it 
reasonahle to accept the command of the fleet, jointly 
with the earls of Peterborough and Monmouth, and 
accordingly arrived at Lisbon with the fleet, which 
consisted of twenty-nine line-of-battle ships, in the 
month of June, 1705, and, towards the latter end of 
the same month, sailed from thence to Catalonia, ar- 
riving before the city of Barcelona on the 12th of 
August, when the siege of the place was undertaken, 
though the English army was very little, if at all, 
superior to the garrison within the town. 

There certainly never was an admiral in a more 
untoward situation than that in which Sir Cloudesley 


Shovel found himself here. The scheme itself ap- 
peared very impracticable ; the land-officers divided 
in their opinions ; the prince of Hesse D'Armstadt, 
upon whom King Charles principally depended, was 
not on speaking terms with the earl of Peterborough; 
all things necessary for the siege were in a manner, 
wanting, and all hopes of supply depended on Admi- 
ral Shovel, who on this occasion gave the most sig- 
nal proofs, not only of his vigilance, dexterity, and 
courage, but of his constancy, patience, and zeal for 
the public service. 

He furnished guns for the batteries, and men to 
serve them ; he landed, for the use of the army, al- 
most all the military stores of the fleet; he not only 
gave prudent advice himself in all councils of war, 
but he moderated the heats and resentments of others, 
and, in short, was so useful, so ready, and so deter- 
mined in the service, and took such care that every 
thing he promised should be fully and punctually 
performed, that his presence and councils in a man- 
ner forced the land officers to continue the siege, till 
tiie place was taken, to the surprise of all the world, 
and, perhaps, most of all to the surprise of those by 
whom it was taken ; for, if we may guess at their 
sentiments by what they declared under their hands 


in several councils of war, they scarcely believed it 
practicable to reduce so strong a place with so small 
a force, and that so ill provided. 

I low great a sense the queen had of this important 
service, and how much she was persuaded it would 
contribute to the advantage of the common cause, 
the reputation of her arms abroad, and the satisfac- 
tion of her subjects at home, may appear from her 
going expressly to parliament, upon this occasion, 
upon the 27th of November, 1705, where, being 
seated on the throne, she sent for the House of Com- 
mons on purpose to communicate to them the news 
of this important success, which she did in the fol- 
lowing speech, that deserves, for its singularity, as 
well as for its relation to the subject in hand, a place 
in this history : 


" Having newly received letters from the king of 
Spain and the earl of Peterborough, which contain a 
very particular account of our great and happy suc- 
cesses in Catalonia, and shewing at the same time 
the reasonableness of their being immediately sup- 
ported, I look upon this to be a matter of such con- 
sequence in itself, and so agreeable to you, that I 
have ordered a copy of the king of Spain's letter to 
myself, and a letter from the junto of the military 
army of Catalonia and another letter from the city of 
Vich, as also an extract of the earl of Peterborough's 
letter to me, to be communicated to both houses of 

" I recommend the consideration of them to you, 
gentleman of the House of Commons, very particu- 
larly, as the speediest way to restore the monarchy 
of Spain to the house of Austria; and therefore I 
assure myself, you will enable me to prosecute the 
advantages we have gained, in the most effectual 
manner, and to improve the opportunity, which God 
Almighty is pleased to afford us, of putting a pros- 
perous end to the present war. 



" I must not lose this occasion of desiring you to 
give as much dispatch to the matters before you as 
the nature of them allows, that so, in our preparations 
for next year, you may he early, which cannot fail 
of being a great advantage to us." 

The next year Sir Cloudesley again commanded 
the fleet ; but it sailed very late, so as not to reach 
the river of Lisbon till the month of November; and, 
even when it arrived there, the disputes which arose 
amoni>' the lords of Kins; Charles's council and his 

o o 

generals, with the delays of the Portuguese, who 
were far from being hearty in his cause, disappointed 
all the great designs of the maritime powers, and the 
effects that might have been reasonably expected 
from the powerful reinforcement of troops which 
were embarked on board the grand fleet In this 
uneasy situation Sir Cloudesley Shovel did all that 
could be expected from a wise and vigilant com> 
mander ; for he not only closely attended to the pro- 
per duties of his own charge, but left no method 
untried to prevail upon the generals and favourites of 
King Charles to come to such an agreement, as 
might secure the advantages already obtained, and 
effectually lix their master, who was then at Madrid, 
upon the throne of Spain, 

I kit, though the care and concern of the admiral 
had very little the effect on tlv side, yet his repre- 
sentations in Portugal met whh greater regard. It 
seems that one of the young princes of the roval fa- 
mily, who was of a very wild temper, had committed 
some odd insults on the seamen as they came a-shore 
from the fleet ; and the forts, at the entrance of the 
river, had fired upon some of our men of war ; upon 
which Sir Cloudesley made his representations to the 
ministry ; and, having received a very dissatisfactory 
answer, he immediately demanded a conference with 
a pcraon of great distinction, who was then at the 


head of their councils, and told him plainly, that the 
seamen, so long as he hore the English flag, should 
maintain the strictest discipline while in the harbour 
of Portugal, and therefore he expected it should re- 
ceive those marks of friendship and respect, which 
were due to so great a princess as the queen his sove- 
reign ; or, in case of any failure, he should think 
himself obliged to do his seamen, and the honour of 

o ' 

his country, right, and not suffer the English flag to 
be insulted, while he had the honour to wear it. This 
Sir Cloudesley expressed in such a manner, and se- 
conded his words with so brisk a resentment, when 
the first-mentioned affront was next repeated, that 
the crown of Portugal thought fit to issue out such 
orders as he desired, and things wore another face 
in that part of the world ever afterwards ; which was 
entirely owing to the courage and conduct of Sir 
Cloudesley, who knew very well how to distinguish 
between the complaisance due to an ally, and that 
complying forbearance which is unworthy of an Eng- 
lish admiral. 

The beginning of the year 1707 wore but an in- 
different aspect for Sir Cloudesley. He had disposed 
all things in such a manner, as that he might be able 
to succour Alicant ; and very probably had succeeded 
therein, if not prevented, when the troops were on 
the point of embarking, by an order from England. 
This order was obtained by the pressing instances of 
the court of Portugal, which represented here, that 
the forces might be more effectually employed in, 
conjunction with their army. Orders were sent to 
this purpose, and a memorial was drawn up, con- 
taining the terms upon which her Britannic Majesty 
would consent to the propositions made by the Por- 
tuguese minister, in the name, and on the behalf of 


his master. But, notwithstanding this application, 
the Portuguese, being either unwilling or unable to 
comply with those demands, it was resolved in a 
council of war to resume the former project, and to 


land them at Alicant; for which orders soon after 
arrived from England. 

According to this resolution, the confederate fleet 
sailed on the 7th of January, with the land-forces 
from Lishon to Alicant, where they arrived on the 
28th of the same month, and were actually landed. 
But, through the delays the expedition met with, the 
troops, which at their sailing from England, were 
little, if any thing, short of ten thousand men, were 
now found to he scarcely seven thousand ; and Sir 
Cloudesley finding that his presence would he of little 
use there, and that the fleet stood in need of repairs, 
left Alicant on the 17th of February, and returned to 
Lishon, where he arrived the llth of March follow- 
ing. There he received orders to prepare for the ex- 
pedition against Toulon ; of which we have already 
vsaid much, and, therefore, shall be the more concise 
in what we are obliged to add further upon that sub- 
ject here. 

The instructions which Sir Cloudesley Shovel re- 
ceived, in relation to this important affair, which, if 
it had succeeded, must have put an end to the war, 
by obliging the French king to abandon the support 
of his grandson in Spain, were sent him to Lisbon ; 
and, in obedience to them, the admiral made such 
dispatch, that on the 10th of May he sailed for Ali- 
cant; where, having joined Sir George Byng, he pro- 
ceeded to the coast of Italy, and in the latter end of 
the month of June, came to an anchor between Nice 
and Antibes; where lie waitetl the arrival of the duke 
of Savoy and Prince Eugene, who actually came on 
board the 2f)th of that month, and were entertained 
by Sir Cloudesley with the utmost magnificence. 

The enemy were at that time strongly entrenched 
on the river \ r ar, and had extended their works above 
four miles into the country. Those entrenchments 
were defended by eight hundred horse, and six bat- 
talions of loot, and a reinforcement was daily ex- 
pected, of three battalions more, under the command 


of Lieutenant-general Dillon, an old Irish officer, from 
whose courage and conduct the French had reason to 
expect as much as from any man in their service ; 
and, indeed, if he had arrived in those lines, it is very 
doubtful whether the confederates could have forced 
them. But Sir Cloudeslev having observed to the 

*" O 

duke, that part of the French lines were so near the 
sea, that it was in his power to cannonade them; 
and that he would land a body of seamen, who should 
attack the highest and strongest of their entrench- 
ments; his royal highness consented that they should 
be attacked immediately. 

Accordingly, on the 1st of July, Sir Cloudesley 
ordered four English, and one Dutch man of war, to 
enter the mouth of the river Var, where they began 
to cannonade the French lines; soon after which, six 
hundred English seamen landed in open boats, under 
the command of Sir John Norris, who was quickly 
followed by the admiral ; and having begun the at- 
tack, the enemy were so terrified with such an unex- 
pected salutation, that they threw down their arms, 
after a short dispute, and abandoned their works. 

This great effort made by the English, not only 
procured an easy passage, where the greatest resist- 
ance was expected, but totally disconcerted the French 
schemes, since the troops had scarcely quitted these 
entrenchments before they met, in their march, Lieu- 
tenant-general Dillon, at the head of his twelve batta- 
lions, who was so astonished, that he suffered himself 
to be persuaded to abandon the town of St. Paul, 
and to continue this retreat. On the 14th, a coun- 
cil of war was held on board the admiral, in which 
it was resolved to prosecute the march to Toulon, 
which the duke of Savoy promised to reach in six 
days. It appears from this account, that whatever 
there was of zeal and spirit in the conduct of this af- 
fair, proceeded from the diligence and activity of Sir 
Cloudesley. He proposed forcing the passage of the 
Var, and executed it; he induced his royal highness 


of Savoy to pursue bis march immediately ; and, a's 
soon as that resolution was taken, the admiral sailed 
with his fleet for the islands of Hieres, leaving ten or 
twelve frigates to interrupt the enemies correspond- 
ence with Italy. 

The story; therefore, that, is told of Sir Cloucles- 
ley's detaining a sum of money, must be without 
foundation; ior, before the attack, his royal highness 
must have been perfectly satisfied, otherwise he would 
not have undertaken it ; and he marched as soon as 
Prince Eugene joined him, with the remainder of the 
forces, Sir Cloudesley Shovel seeing no more of him 
till he reached Toulon.* But, instead of six, his 
royal highness made it full twelve days before he 

*/ O ' 

attacked, in any manner, the place; and then never 

* I have already given some account of the real and pretended 
reasons for the miscarriage of this expedition ; and I there lay the 
g real os t weight on the body of forces sent by the Emperor Joseph, 
to conquer the kingdom of Naples; which expedition, first de- 
layed, and then weakened, the attempt upon Toulon ; but I had 
not at that time seen a valuable letter of her Majesty Queen Anne 
1o the emperor, upon this subject ; which, as it was never pub- 
lished, as it was written with her own hand, find contains matter of 
an extraordinary nature, 1 thought it might not be amiss to insert 
it her. 1 , rather than conceal it from the reader. This letter was to 
congratulate the emperor on (he success of his arms in Naples. 

" Sill, ir.y Brother, 

' I rejoice with all iny heart, with your Imperial Majesty, oil 
the reduction of the kingdom of Naples to the obedience of the 
Catholic, king, (if which he has given me an account by his letter 
of the. 30th of August last; and I hope that by a joint pursuit, 
for the time to come, of whatever shall be advantageous to the 
common cause, this success will be followed by another, equally 
glorious ami important to the house of Austria, in putting my 
brother, the Catholic king, in possession of the Spanish monarchy, 
by the powerful succours that your Imperial Majesty will, after 
this happy event, be able to furnish him ; to whom I wish all kind 
of prosperity, and to your Imperial Majesty a continual series of 
good fortune. This will give me extreme pleasure, as being 
u Your Imperial Majesty's 

*' Most affectionate Sister, 
" Kensington, Sept, 29, 1707. ki ANNE R." 


pretended to lay any blame upon Sir Cloudesley, but 
threw it on Prince Eugene, vviio commanded the em- 
peror's forces, and who had orders not to expose 
them. It is true, that when Sir Cloudesley went 
first to compliment the duke upon his safe arrival, 
and to receive his commands about landing artillery 
and ammunition, his royal highness told him, he was 
glad to see him at last, for the maritime powers had 
made him wait a long while ; to which, when Sir 
Cloudesley answered, that he had not waited a mo- 
ment since it was in his power to wait upon his royal 
highness he replied, smiling, " I did not say yon, 
but the maritime powers had made me wait ; for this 
expedition I concerted so long ago as 16*93; and 
fourteen years is a long time to wait, Sir Cloudesley." 

The admiral ordered immediately one hundred 
pieces of cannon to be landed from the fleet, for the 
service of the batteries, with two hundred rounds of 
powder and shot, and a considerable number of sea- 
men to serve as gunners ; neither was he wanting in 
any thing that was desired from him, during the 
whole affair, but rather exceeded what the duke and 
Prince Eugene could reasonably expect, as well with 
regard to his personal attendance as to the service of 
the fleet. Besides, there was not any misfortune on 
his side, but it fell out altogether amongst the land- 
troops, who were beat from their posts with very 
great loss on the 15th of August, N. S. On the l(7th, 
the fleet began to cannonade the town, and throw 
bombs in the night, which was continued till such 
time as the siege was raised, and which obliged the 
French to sink all their capital ships, a clistiess that 
more than countervailed the whole expence of this 
service, great as it was. 

As the duke of Savoy never would have undertaken 
this affair without the assistance of the fleet, com- 
manded by Sir Cloudesley ; as he did nothing, when 
before Toulon, but by the assistance of the fleet, from 
"whence he had all his military stores; so he could 


not possibly have made a safe retreat, if it had not 
been covered by the confederate fleet, which attended 
him again to the time of his repassing the Van There 
some new disputes happened, in which Sir Cloudes- 
ley had littie or no concern. Her Britannic Ma- 
jesty's minister laboured to persuade Prince Eugene 
to take upon him the command of all the forces in 
Spain, in which the duke of Savoy likewise concur- 
red; and Sir Cloudesley offered to transport his royal 
highness with a body of troops under his command; 
but this proposition being rejected, his excellency 
bore away for the Straits ; and soon after, resolved to 
return home, which was the last act of his life. 

He left Sir Thomas Dilkes at Gibraltar, with nine 
ships ol the line ; three fifth-rates, and one of the 
sixth, for the security of the coasts of Italy, and then 
proceeded with the remainder of the fleet, consisting 
of ten ships of the line, five frigates, four fire-ships, 
a sloop, and a yacht, for England. On the 22d of 
October, he came into the Soundings, and in the 
morning had ninety fathom water. About noon he 
lay by ; but, at six in the evening, he made sail 
again, and stood away under his courses, believing, 
as it is presumed, that he saw the light on St. Agnes, 
one of the islands of Scilly. Soon alter which, seve- 
ral ships of his fleet, made the signal of distress, as he 
himself did ; and it was with much difficulty that 
Sir George Byng, in the Royal Anne, saved himself, 
having one of the rocks under her main chains. Sir 
John Norris and Lord Dursley also ran very great 
ri.^ks; and, as we have shewn elsewhere, several ships 
besides the admiral's perished. There were with him, 
on board the Association, his sons-in-law, Sir John 
Narborough, and James his brother, Mr. Trelawny, 
rldest son to the bishop of Winchester, and several 
other young gentlemen of quality. There is no say- 
ing how this unhappy accident fell out, or to whose 
fault it was owing, though a report prevailed imme- 
diately after it happened, that a great part of the 


crew had got drunk for joy that they were within 
sight of land. 

Sir Cloudesley's body was thrown a-shore the next 
day upon the island of Scilly, where some fishermen 
took him up, and, having stolen a valuable emerald 
ring from his finger, stripped and buried him. This 
ring, being shewn about, made a great noise all over 
the island, and coming to the ears of Mr. Paxton, 
who was purser of the Arundel, he found out the 
fellows, declared the ring to be Sir Cloudesley Sho- 
vel's, and obliged them to discover where they had 
buried the body ; which he took up, and carried on 
board his own ship, in which it was transported to 
Plymouth, conveyed from thence by land to London, 
and buried, from his house in Soho Square, in West- 
minster Abbey, with great solemnity, where, if not 
an elegant, an expensive monument of white marble 
was afterwards erected, by the queen's direction, in 
order to do honour to the memory of so great a man, 
and so worthy and useful a subject. 

Since the first edition of this work, a very inge- 
nious aiic* inquisitive writer,* who had himself paid 
a visit to these islands, has given us a farther account 
of this matter, which the reader will be pleased to see 
in his own words. " Before I come to describe the 
ancient sepulchres of these islands," says this reverend 
author, " give me leave to make a small excursion 
from the Druid pale, and, now I am so near the spot, 
to carry you down to the grave of Sir Cloudesley 
Shovel. In a cave called Porthelic, between the 
Tolmens, which 1 have been describing to you, the 
body of this great sea-captain, after his shipwreck in 
the year 1 707, was found naked, and not to be dis- 
tinguished from the most ordinary sailor under his 

* Observations on the- Ancient and Present State of the Islands 
of Scilly, and their importance to the Trade of Great Britain, in a 
Letter to the Reverend Charles Lyttleton, LL.D. Dean of Exeter, 
and F. II, S. Bv William Bprlase, AJ, A. F. H, S. Oxford, 


command ; and here he was buried, a bank of sand 
offering itself very opportunely for that purpose. The 
nature of the place, it must he allosved, would make 
it doubly inhuman not to have buried him, whoever 
he was, and is, therefore, the first argument Archytas 
makes use of to bespeak the same friendly office after 
a like misfortune : 

At tu, nautu, vagce ne parce malignus arence 

Os sib us, ct cap it i inhumuto 
Particulam dare. 

HOR. Ode xxviii. lib. i 

Stay, traveller, and let thy gcn'rous breast, 
Guess the sad tale, and bear my bones to rest. 
See where, at hand, these sports of wind and wave, 
May find the wish'd-for, tho' a sandy grave. 

"His body was afterwards taken up, and con- 
veyed to Westminster-abbey, and a little pit on this 
sandy green still shews, 

i " puheris cxigui parva muncra." 

Sir Cioudesley Shovel, at the time of his death, 
was rear-admiral of England, admiral of the white, 
and commander in chief of her Majesty's fleet, one 
of the council to Prince George of Denmark, as lord 
high-admiral of England, elder brother of Trinity 
House, and one of the governors of Greenwich Hos- 
pital; in all which stations he discharged his trust 
with the greatest honour and integrity ; and as, in 
his public character, he was an accomplished sea- 
officer, or; e who had always the glory of his queen, 
and the good of his country at heart; so in all cir- 
cumstances of private life, as an husband, parent, or 
master of his family, he conducted himself with such 
prudence, wisdom, and tenderness, that few men 
lived more beloved, or died more lamented. Her 
Majesty expressed a very particular concern for his 
Joss, and was pleased to tcil Sir John Leakc, when 
hhc ma-:!c him rear-admiral of England, that she knevy 


no man so fit to repair the loss of the ablest seaman 
in her service. 

Sir Cloudesley Shovel married the widow of his 
friend and patron, Sir John Narborough, who was 
the daughter of Captain Hill, by whom he left two 
daughters, co-heiresses; Elizabeth, the eldest, espoused 
to Robert Lord Romney, and afterwards to John 
Lord Carmichael, earl of Hyndford, and who died at 
the Hague in 1750; Anne, who became the wife of 
the Honourable Robert Mansel, and, upon his de- 
mise, married Robert Blackvvood, Esq. of London, 
merchant. Lady Shovel had also three children by her 
first husband : John, who, while a child, was created 
a baronet, and James Narborough, Esq. who, as we 
have already mentioned, were lost in the Association 
with their father-in-law; likewise a daughter, Eliza- 
beth, married to Sir Thomas D'aeth, of Knowlton, in 
the county of Kent, baronet, and who departed this 
life in 1721. After surviving the unfortunate Sir 
Cloudesley twenty-five years, her ladyship died March 
the 15th, 1732, at her house in Frith-street, near 
Soho-square, having lived to a great age. It may not 
be improper to add to these memoirs, his monumen- 
tal inscription in Westminster-abbey ; since it is the 
only one of its kind, and stands there as a perpetual 
memorial of the services which he rendered his coun- 
try, and of the grateful sense retained by the great and 
glorious princess who employed him, and under whose 
auspicious conduct the arms of Great Britain, by sea 
and land, were ever victorious. Thus that inscrip- 
tion rims : 

" Sir Cloudesley Shovel, Knt. rear-admiral of Great 
Britain ; admiral and commander in chief of the fleet; 
the just rewards of long and faithful services : he was 
deservedly beloved of his country, and esteemed, 
though dreaded, i the enemy: who had often ex- 
perienced his conduct and courage. Being ship- 
wrecked on the rocks of Scillv, in his vova^e from 

i' ' d Cs. 


Toulon, the 22d of October, 1707, at night, in the 
fifty-seventh year of his age. 

u His fate was lamented by all ; but especially the 
sea-faring part of the nation, to whom he was a wor- 
thy example. His body was flung on the shore, and 
buried with others in the sands ; but being soon after 
taken up, was placed under this monument, which 
his royal mistress has caused to be erected, to com- 
memorate his steady loyalty, and extraordinary vir- 



IT is a thing we may reasonably expect, and it is 
commonly found true, from experience, that such 
persons as rise into high and honourable employ- 
ments, by dint of merit, and are withal of a respecta- 
ble descent, as they enjoy their fortunes with less 
envy, so they are, generally speaking, more attached 
to the government and constitution of their country, 
than those, who, by a hastv rise from a low beginning-. 

' , *j o o * 

have small concern for those establishments from 
which they derive no honour ; and are therefore 
more prone to changes and revolutions, in which men 
of active parts must he always considerable. This 
truth was never more manifest, than in the conduct 
of the illustrious person of whom we are now to 
speak. A man, who. to hereditary honours, added 
reputation founded on personal merit, and who re- 
paid the credit derived to him from his ancestors, by 
the glory reflected from his own actions. Vet he was 
.so modest that he coveted titles as little as wealth; 
and after a life spent in noble achievements, went tw 


his grave with a moderate fortune, though he had 
long enjoyed such employments as enahled others to 
raise princely estates. 

He was the son of Sir William Rooke, Knt. of an 
ancient and honourable family in the county of Kent, 
where he was born, in the year 1650; his father gave 
him the education becoming a gentleman, in which, 
by the quickness of his parts, and the solidity of his 
judgment, he made an extraordinary progress, inso- 
much that Sir William Rooke had great hopes, that 
he would have distinguished himself in an honourable 
profession, for which he was intended. But as it fre- 
quently happens, that genius gives a bias too strong 
for the views even of a parent to subdue, so Sir Wil- 
liam, after a fruitless struggle with his son George's 
bent to naval employment, at last gave way to his 
inclinations, and suffered him to make a campaign at 

His first station in the navy was that of volunteer, 
in which he distinguished himself, by his undaunted 
courage and indefatigable application. This quickly 
obtained for him the post of a lieutenant, from 
whence he rose to that of a captain before he was 
thirty ; a thing, in those days, thought very extraor- 
dinary, when no man, let his quality be what it 
would, was advanced to that station, before he had 
given ample, as well as incontestable testimonies, of 
his beino- able to fill it with honour. These prefer- 

o i 

ments he enjoyed under the reign of Charles II. and 
under that of his successor, King James, he was ap- 
pointed to the command of the Deptford, a fourth 
rate man of war, in which post the Revolution found 

Admiral Herbert distinguished him early, by send- 
ing him, in the year I68y, as commodore, with a 
squadron on the coast of Ireland. In this station, he 
heartily concurred with Major-general Kirke, in the 
famous relief of Londonderry, assisting in person in 
taking the island in the Lake, \vhich opened a passage 

VOL. iv. D 


for the relief of the town. Soon after, he \vas em- 
ployed in escorting the Duke of Schoinberg's army, 
and, landing them safe near Carrickfergus, facilitated 
the siege of that place, and, after it was taken, sailed 
with his squadron along the coast ; where he first 
looked into the harbour of Dublin, manned all his 
boats, and insulted the place where King James was 
in person; and, in the night of the 18th of Septem- 
ber, he formed a design of burning all the vessels in 
the harbour ; which he would have certainly execu- 
cuted, if the wind had not shifted, so as to drive him 
out to sea. 

From thence he sailed to Cork, into which haven 
lie likewise looked, though, in the apprehension of 
the people of Ireland, it was the best fortified port in 
the island ; but Sir George soon convinced them of 
the contrary ; for, notwithstanding all the fire from 
their batteries, he entered and took possession of the 
great island ; and might have done more, but that 
his ships were so foul, that they could scarcely swim ; 
and his provisions grown so short, that he was obliged 
to repair to the Downs, where he arrived in the mid- 
dle of October, having acquired great reputation by 
his activity and good service. In the beginning of 
the year 1090, he was, upon the recommendation of 
the earl of Torrington, appointed rear-admiral of the 
red, and, in that station, served in the fight off 
Beachy-head, which happened on the 30th of June 
the same year; and, notwithstanding the misfortune 
of our arms, which was indisputably the greatest we 
ever met with at sea, Admiral Rooke was allowed to 
have done his duty with much resolution ; and there- 
fore the lords and others, appointed to inquire into 
the conduct of that affair, IKK! orders to examine him 
and Sir John Ashby, who, in their accounts, justified 
their admiral, and shewed, that the misfortune hap- 
pened bv their bcinjr obliged to iiy-ht under vast dis- 

' rr o o 


It was believed by many, that this would have 


been a bar to his preferment ; but it proved other- 
wise, and he was immediately appointed to command 
the squadron that convoyed the king to Holland ; 
and afterwards joined the grand fleet, under the com- 
mand of Mr. Russel, who was then admiral of the 
red squadron, and commander in chief; but that year 
being spent without action, the French declining it, 
and the admiral being too wise a man to risk the fate 
of his predecessor, by any rash attempt, Rear-admiral 
Rooke had no opportunity of distinguishing himself 
further, than by exactly obeying orders, and protect- 
ing our ; which he did very effectually. 

In the spring of the succeeding year, he again con- 
voyed King William to Holland, and was then, or 
very soon after, promoted to the rank of vice-admi- 
ral of the blue, in which station he served in the fa- 
mous battle of La Hogue, on the 22d of May, 169 2, 
and he behaved with distinguished courage and 
conduct, as the relation published by Admiral Russel 
fully shews ; and it was owing to his vigorous be- 
haviour, that the last stroke was given on that im- 
portant day, which threw the French entirely into 
confusion, and forced them to run such hazards, in 
order to shelter themselves from their victorious ene- 

But the next day, which was Monday the 23d of 
May, was for him still much more glorious ; for Y r ice- 
adrniral Rooke had orders to go into La Hogue and 
burn the enemy's ships as they lay. There were thir- 
teen large men of war, which had crowded as fir up 
as possible, and the transports, tenders, and ships 
with ammunition, were disposed in such a manner, 
that it was thought impossible to burn them. Besides 
all this, the French camp was in sight, with all the 
French and Irish troops that were to have been em- 
ployed in the invasion, and seveial batteries upon the 
coast, well supplied with heavy artillery. The vice- 
admiral, however, made the necessary preparations 
for obeying his orders, notwithstanding he saw the 


dispositions made on shore for his reception ; but, 
when he came to make the attempt, he found it im- 
possible to carry in the ships of his squadron ; yet 
even this did not discourage him. Me ordered his 
light frigates to ply in close to the shore, and, having 
manned out all his boats, went himself to give direc- 
tions for the attack, burned that very night six three- 
deck ships, and the next day, being the 24th, he 
burnt six more from seventy-six to sixty guns, and 
destroyed the thirteenth, which was a ship of fifty-six 
guns, together with most of the transports and am- 
munition-vessels, and this under the fire of all those 
batteries I have before mentioned, in sight of the 
French and Irish troops ; and yet, through the wise 
conduct of their commander, this bold enterprise cost 
the lives of no more than ten men. In order to have 
a distinct conception of the merit of this most glo- 
rious action, we need only cast our eyes on the letter 
written to their High Mightinesses the States-general 
by their Admiral Allemonde, who was present, and 
who penned this letter on the 24th, before Vice ad- 
miral Rooke went the very last time into La Hogue 
to burn the remaining ships and transports. It is 
but natural to believe the admiral gave the best ac- 
count in his power to his masters ; and \ve cannot be- 
lieve he meant to flatter the English officer, since it 
does not appear from his letter, that he so much as 
knew who he was ; these circumstances, therefore, 
considered, his epistle may be justly looked upon as 
the most authentic tcstimonv that can be offered on 


this subject.* 

* This letter of Admiral Allcmonde, was dated from on board 

June 3, 
the Prince, near Cape Barfkur. - - 1G92, in uhich letter he says: 

May 24, 

' 1 came to an anchor under this cape where I have been since 
yesterday in the afternoon with your High Mightinesses' squadron, 
and tlnt'of Sir John Aslihy, admiral of the English blue squadron, 
aud *ouitt other ships of their liritauuic Majesties. At wliich time 


It was extremely happy for Mr. Rooke, that he 
served a brave prince, who would not take his infor- 
mations upon trust, but enquired particularly into 
every man's conduct before he punished or rewarded. 
The behaviour of the vice-admiral at La Hogue ap- 
peared to him so great, and so worthy of public no- 
tice, that, having no opportunity at that time of pro- 
viding for him, he settled a pension of a thousand 
pounds per annum on him for life. In the spring of 
the year his Majesty thought fit to go to Portsmouth, 
as King Charles II. had sometimes done, to view the 
fleet, and, going on board Mr. Rooke's ship then in 
the harbour, dined with him, and conferred on him 
the honour of knighthood, having a little before made 
a grand naval promotion, in which he was declared 
vice-admiral of the red ; and, the direction of the 
fleet being now put in commission, Sir George Rooke 

being informed by the captain of a French fire-ship, who was taken 
prisoner, that about twelve of the ships that had fought against your 
High Mightinesses' squadron, and to \\hich we had given chace, were 
got in among the rpcks, 1 prepared to go and destroy them. But, 
as 1 was ready to put my design in execution, I found that Ad- 
miral Russel had given orders to the same purpose. Presently I 
offered him your High Mightinesses' light frigates and fire-ships to 
assist his ships, and immediately gave all necessary orders, in case 
he should make use of them; but, as yet, I know not whether 
those frigates or fire-ships were employed or no. All that 1 can. 
assure your High Mightinesses is, that, the same day they took a 
resolution to destroy those twelve ships, they burnt six of the big. 
gest, being ships of three decks ; and this day the rest that remained, 
(he least of which carried sixty pieces of cannon, ran the same 
fate, being burnt with all their ammunition, and provision, together 
with the six other smaller vessels, which they had lightened of their 
guns, to try whether it were possible to save them by towing tlu-in 
any higher; so that this expedition has completed the irreparable 
ruin of the enemy's fleet. 1 understand this day, from aboard Ad- 
iniral LlusscI, that orders are given out to burn the transport-ves- 
sels that are in the Bay of La Hogue, to the number of about 6'Jl), 
if it may be done uilh safety ; bat I fear the execution of the en- 
terprise will be very difficult by reason of the sh:illo\vn< v ss of (ho 
water where these vessels ly, and the resistance which may be madij 
from the. land j and therefore leave the success of the design to Pro- 


was intrusted with the command of the squadron that 
was to escort the Smyrna fleet, and the joint admirals 
received orders to accompany him as far to sea as 
they should think proper ; after which his instruc- 
tions were, to take the best care of the fleet he could, 
and, in case of any misfortune, to retire into some of 
the Spanish ports, and put himself under the pro- 
tection of their cannon. 

It cannot be supposed, that Sir George Rooke had 
any better intelligence than the admirals, or the secre- 
taries of State, and therefore we ought to ascribe ihe 
great unwillingness he shewed to part with the grand 
fleet so soon, to his superior skill in naval affairs, from 
whence he judged, that, since the French squadron 
was not at Prest, it must be gone to Toulon, for 
whichhe thoushtthere could scarcely be abetterreason 

O u 

assigned than their hopes of intercepting the Smyrna 
fleet under his convoy. However, he sailed, as his 
orders and duty required ; and. on the 15th of June, 
being about sixty leagues short of Cape St. Vincent, 
he ordered the Lark to stretch a-head of his scouts 
into Lagos-bay; but, next day having confirmed ac- 
counts of the danger they were in, he proposed in a 
council of war to keep the wind, or lie by all that 
night, that so a discovery of the enemy's strength 
might be made next morning. But in this he was 
over-ruled, and it was urged that the wind benur fresh 
northerly, it gave the fleet a fair opportunity of push- 
ing for Cadiz ; pursuant to this resolution, the admi- 
ral ran along the shore all night with a prestsail, and 
forced several of the enemy's ships to cut from their 
anchors in Lagos -bay. 

The next day, when he was with his fleet off 
Villa Nova, it fell calm, and, a little after day-break, 
ten sail of the enemy's men of war, and several small 
ships, were seen in the oiling. The Trench no sooner 
discovered Sir George Rooke, than they stood away 
with their boats a-head, setting lire to some, and sink- 
ing others of their small craft, which vet did noV 


hinder several of them from falling into our hands, as 
a fire-ship likewise did, by dropping into the fleet in 
the night. The crew of this ship, being carried on 
board the flag-ship, and examined by the admiral, 
told him a very plausible tale, viz. That the French 
squadron consisted but of fifteen ships of the line, 
notwithstanding there were three flags, and had with 
them forty -six merchant-men and store-ships, that 
were bound either to Toulon, or to join M. D'Estrees. 
They said also, that the squadron had been becalmed 
off the cape, and that, having watered in the bay, 
they were bound directly into the Straits, without any 
intention of seeing our fleet. 

This at first, with the hasty retreat of their men of 
war in the morning*, and their deserting and burning 

. . ^ 

their small vessels, gained a perfect belief with the 
admiral and the rest of the officers ; but afterwards it 
was judged (and with reason too), that this precipi- 
tate retreat was purposely to amuse us, and thereby 
draw the whole squadron insensibly in to the enemy. 
About noon the sea breeze sprung up to W. N. W. and 
N. W. and then the admiral bore away along shore 
upon the enemy, discovering their strength the more 
the nearer he came to them, and at last counted 
about eighty sail ; but the number with which they 
plyed np to him was not above sixteen, with three 
flags, the admiral, vice-admiral of the blue, and rear- 
admiral of the white. The vice-admiral of the blue 
stood off to sea, iu order to weather our squadron, 
and fall in with the merchant-ships, whilst the body 
of their fleet lay promiscuously to leeward one of 
another as far as they could be seen, especially their 
biggest ships. 

About three in the afternoon the Dutch vice-admi- 
ral sent Sir George llooke advice, thai he was now 
perfectly sensible of the fraud, as discovering plainly 
the enemy's \\holefleet; but that, in his judgment, 
the that could he taken was, by all means 
to avoid lighting. Sir George differed with him in 

o o o 


thit point, and had actually disposed all things for 
engaging- the enemy ; but reflecting that he should 
take upon himself the whole blame of this affair, it' he 
fought contrary to the Dutch admiral's sentiments, 
he brought to, and then stood off with an easy sail, 
and at the same time dispatched the Sheerness, with 
orders to the small ships, that, were on the coast, to 
endeavour to get along shore in the night, and save 
themselves in the Spanish ports; which advice, as it 
was seasonably suggested, so it was happily pursued, 
no less than fifty getting into the port of Cadiz 

I have already given so large an account of this 
affair, as well from foreign writers as our own, that 
I think it needless to say more here, except as to the 
personal conduct of the vice-admiral. His whole 
squadron consisted of no more than twenty-three 
ships of war ; of these thirteen only were English, 
eight Dutch, and two Hamburghers. The fleet of 
merchantmen under his convoy was composed of four 
hundred sail of all nations, though the greater part 
of them were English ships. The fleet under M- 
Tourville consisted of one hundred and twenty sail, 
of which sixty-four were of the line, and eighteen 
three-deck ships; yet Sir George Rooke saved all 
the men of war ; for he brought twelve of them to. 
Kingsale, and the other got into Cadiz; and lie like- 
wise brought back with him sixty merchantmen, and. 
having sent the Lark with advice of his misfortune, 
lie afterwards proceeded from King-sale, with the 
largest ships, to join the grand fleet. 

* Tin; first account \ve h.ul of this unlucky business \vas by a 
Totter from Captain Littleton, commander of the Factor of Smyrna, 
which, I take it. was an hired man of war, that is, a merchantman 
turned into a man of war (o strengthen (hi; convoy. His letter 
ave the merchants some consolation, because he not only assured 
them, tli.if his own, and between forty and fifty more ships, were 
safe at Cadiz, but that the admiral was escaped, and had carried off 
a i^n-at part of the fleet with him, notwithstanding (ho vast supe- 
riority of the enemy. 


One thing, indeed, is very remarkable with re- 
spect to this singular transaction ; viz. That, while 
in France the people in general charged their admi- 
rals with not making the most of their advantage, and 
the admirals themselves charged each other with want 
of conduct, and neglect of duty, there was not so 
much as a single reflection made upon Sir George 
llooke's behaviour ; but, on the contrary, he was 
said in the Dutch gazettes to have gained more re- 
putation by his escape, than accrued to the French 
by their conquest. On his return home, the mer- 
chants gave him their thanks; the king promoted 
him from being vice-admiral of the blue to the rank 
of vice-admiral of the red, and soon after, as a far- 
ther mark of his favour and confidence, made him 
one of the lords-commissioners of the Admiralty ; 
and, before the close of the year K>94, promoted 
him ao-ain from vice-admiral of the red to admiral of 


the blue.* 

In the month of May, 16*95, Admiral Rooke com- 
manded the squadron which convoyed the king to 
Holland ; and in the autumn of the same year, 
being then admiral of the white, he was also ap- 
pointed admiral and commander-in-chief in the Me- 
diterranean, having a fleet of seventy men of war and 

* We must not imagine, however, that Sir George escaped all 
trouble in this affair; on the contrary, he was examined at the 
bar of the House of Commons, and that very strictly, though he 
was so very ill that he could scarcely stand upon his feet; and, 
therefore, was at last allowed a chair. lit: said, that when he 
parted from the grand fleet, he had a very brisk gale of wind, 
which drove him directly upon the enemy, and retarded (he advice- 
boats that were sent after him, with intelligence and orders to re- 
turn. He said further, that if his opinion had not been over- 
ruled, he might very probably have passed the enemy in the night, 
and then a few only of the heaviest sailers could have fallen into 
their hands. Yet, he added, that he did not suspect he was over- 
ruled by the majority of votes in the council of war, from any 
bad design, or want of zeal in the commanders ; but from their not 
giving credit to his suspicion, that it was the whole French ileet in 
Lagos Bay ; and for any squadron they were not afraid of them. 


merchant ships under his care ; and, having very 
successfully executed this commission, he remained 
several months in the Mediterranean with a very 
small force, where, nevertheless, he made a shift to 
preserve our trade from the insults of the enemy ; 
and, at length, receiving orders to return, lie exe- 
cuted them witli so much prudence, that he arrived 
safely on the English coast on the C 2 ( 2d of April, 16'9(>, 
to the great joy and satisfaction of the nation in ge- 
neral, which was much alarmed, from an apprehen- 
sion, that the French fleet at Toulon woukl come up 
with him, to which lie was much inferior in strength. 

Soon after his arrival, he took upon him the com- 
mand of the fleet, had orders to proceed to the Sound- 
ings, and to lie in such a station, as he should judge 
most proper for preventing the French fleet from 
getting into any port of France; hut receiving intel- 
ligence, that the Toulon squadron was got safe into 
Brest, and the largest ships in the fleet being very 
foul, he thought fit to return, agreeably to his in- 
structions, and put into Torhay. 

There the fleet being reinforced to eighty-five sail 
of the line, Sir George Ilooke formed the glorious 
project of burning the whole French fleet, or forcing 
them to take shelter in the harbour of Brest, while 
we bombarded all the adjacent coasts ; but while 
he was meditating this great design, he unexpectedly 
received orders to return to London, and attend his 
duty at the board ; yet, so desirous he was of being 
in action, and so thoroughly persuaded of the possibi- 
lity of the thing, that, upon his coming to town, he 
proposed the matter to the duke of Shrewsbury, who 
approved it, but found it requisite to lay his project 
before the privy council, where it was considered, till 
the season for putting it in execution was entirely 
over, and then declared a very prudent, well-con- 
certed measure, and another admiral blamed for not 
doing what he would willingly have done; but that 
the captains of the ilcct were unanimously of opinion, 


that it was too late in the year to think of attempt- 
ing an expedition of such importance. 

Admiral Rnssel, in the spring of the year 1697 
being declared earl of Orford, and placed at the head 
of the Admiralty, with a ki4id of absolute command, 
his presence \\'as thought so necessary there, that Sir 
George Rooke was appointed admiral and comman- 
der-in-chief of the fleet, which put to sea in a very 
indifferent condition, being but half manned, and 
scarcely half victualled, towards the latter end of 
June ; as the French avoided lighting, Sir George 
found it impossible to do any thing very considerable; 
and yet the summer's expedition gained him no small 
reputation, and that from an action bold in itself, 
through strictly just, and very beneficial to the na- 
tion. For as he was cruizing off the French coast, 
he met with a large fleet of Swedish merchantmen, 
and having obliged them to bring to, and submit to 
be searched, he found just grounds to believe, that 
their cargoes belonged most of them to French mer- 
chants ; upon which he sent them, under the convoy 
of some frigates, into Plymouth. This made a great 
noise, the Swedish minister interposed, and some of 
our statesmen were inclined to disapprove Sir George's 
conduct. * 

* We have the whole of this matter set in a clear light, in a 
small quarto pamphlet of two sheets, intitled, " A Short Account 
of the true State of the Case of the Swedish Merchant Fleet, lately 
brought up on their Voyage from France, by Admiral liooke, 
and sent into Plymouth." 

The account given in this pamphlet, of the fraud, runs thus : 
" The Swede did build a ship, of more or less tons, on his own 
account; whereupon he could safely make oath before the magi- 
strate, that the same ship was his own, and did really belong to 
him, and was built at his proper costs and charges; and thereupon 
he obtained a pass for the said ship, as being a Swedish ship, built 
in Swedeland, and belonging to one of that king's subjects. This 
being done, the Swede sold and transported the \ery same ship to 
a Dutch, Lubeck, or Hamburgh merchant; who, in co'iside.ratian 
of the other service, did give him one quarter, or eighth part (as 
they could best agree upon), in the said ship, on condition that the 


But as he was a man not apt to take rash steps, 
and consequently seldom in the wrong-, he was not 
of a temper to be frightened from his duty, or to he 
brought to desist from any thing he took to be right. 
Sir George therefore insisted, that the matter should 
be brought to a fair trial, before the court of admi- 
ralty : where, upon the clearest evidence, it plainly 
appeared, that these Swedish ships were freighted by 
French merchants, partly with French goods, but 
chiefly with Indian merchandise, which had been 
taken out of English and Dutch ships ; and that 
the Swedes had no further concern therein, than as 
they received 2 per cent, by way of gratification for 
lending their names, procuring passes, and taking 
other necessary precautions for screening the French 
merchants' effects ; so that the whole of this rich 
fleet was adjudged to be good prize : and the clamour 

Swede should always provide new passes as often as there should 
be occasion for them ; and that the said ship should always go 
under the Swede's name, and by that means traffic unmolested to, 
and with France; which practice the Swede flattered himself that 
he might securely enough continue, without acting thereby against 
liis conscience, or committing the least perjury by so doing; there 
being no occasion, according to the custom and laws of that coun- 
try, to make oath a,fresh, for every other voyage, for getting of 
new passes, because the first oath suffices for good and all. So 
that, by this mental reservation, the Swede could obtain as many 
passes as he pleased, and for all that, his conscience not concerned 
iu the least thereby. -Nay, by the proofs made against the said 
Swedish fleet, taken from their own hand-writings, books, and let- 
ters, now under examination in the court of admiralty, it docs 
manifestly appear, that, to take oiF all suspicion, and to obviate 
ail objections and dangers that might befal such a ship, the foreign 
merchant ordered the Swede to make a bill of sale of the ship, in 
the Swede's own name, though he had not the least right to the 
5aid ship, nor did any part tiu'rein belong to him. Another arti- 
fice has also been used, the more easily to obtain the passes in 
Stockholm ; r/:. Some of those foreign merchants sent their ser- 
vants thither to be made burghers, pro forum; and by this means 
they procured the passes, although such servant had neither estate 
nor money for himself, but was supplied by his master, who lived 
either in Holland, at Lubeck, or at Hamburgh, or elsewhere, upon 
\*4ios account this glorious trade was carried on." 


that bad been raised against Sir George Rooke, was 
converted into general applause.* 

He was again ordered to sea, tbough it was very 
late in the year, and continued on the French coasts 
till towards the month of October, making such de- 
tachments as were necessary for securing our own 
homeward-bound trade, and that of the Dutch; 
which he performed very successfully, as the gazettes of 
that nation gratefully acknowledge; and the campaign 
and the war ending together, lie gave the necessary 
orders for laying up the great ships, and then return- 
ed to town, where he was received with equal satis- 
faction by all parties, having as yet done little to 
disoblige those who afterwards persecuted him with 
the utmost rancour. 

This violent resentment was chiefly owing to his 
conduct in parliament ; for being next year elected 

* We may easily guess at the evidence upon which these shipi 
were declared lawful prize, from the following letter of instruc- 
tion, written by a French merchant, to John Conrad Doberik, 
dated July 26, 169G. 

" 1 thank you, that you will help Martin Francen. I have 
bought a fly-boat here, of 250 tons for a good friend, and would 
gladly let her sail under your name, on condition that you should 
have a certain profit for it; and assuring myself, that you will not 
refuse me, seeing it can be done without prejudice to you. I have 
caused the bill of sale to be made in your name ; viz. That I hava 
bought the said ship for your account and adventure. Now I 
would fain have a skipper come from Stockholm, who is a burgher 
there, and I judge it to be necessary, 1st, That a notary's bill of 
sale be sent over. 2dly, That a declaration be made before a no- 
tary, and witnesses, that the said ship doth belong to you. 3dly, 
That you write a letter to the magistrate of Stockholm, to grant 
you to pass; and 4thly, To write a letter to Mr. Conrad, to send 
such a master with a pass, with order to follow my direction 
whilst you are in Spain. When you come hither, we shall agrea 
what you shall have for each pass that you shall send for here. 
The declaration before a notary I shall send you to sign, and tha 
witnesses who subscribe shall be Luke Williamson, Marcus Bcg- 
nian, and the broker; they not knowing otherwise, but that I 
bought the ship for your account; in this manner, no pass can bg 
denied, and when once a pass is taken out, one may ahvays bq 
iad, &tf." 


member for Portsmouth, and voting mostly with 
those that were called Tories, great pains were taken 
to ruin him in the king's opinion; but, to the im- 
mortal honour of King William, when pressed to re- 
move Sir George Rooke from his seat at the Admi- 
ralty-board, he answered plainly, I WILL NOT. "Sir 
George Rooke," continued his Majesty, " served me 
faithfully at sea, and I will never displace him, for 
acting as he thinks most for the service of his coun- 
try in the House of Commons." An answer truly 
worthy of a British prince, as it tends to preserve 
the freedom of our constitution, and what is essential 
thereto, the liberty of parliament. The whole year 
1699 was spent in peace, so that Sir George Rooke 
had leisure to attend his duty in the house ; which 
he did with very great constancy, and behaved there 
as he thought became him ; but was very rarely a 
speaker, though not at all deficient in that particu- 
lar, as appeared, when he was heard at the bar, on 
the business of the Smyrna fleet in 1693. But in the 
spring of the year 1700, a war broke out in the 
north, which had almost totally overturned the ba- 
lance of power in that part of Europe, through a 
shameful confederacy formed against Charles XIL 
of Sweden, then in a manner a child, which moved 
Kino; William to send a fleet thither to his assistance: 

O ' 

which was undoubtedly the wisest foreign measure 
in that whole reign ; and, as it was well concerted, 
so it was very prudently and happily executed ; for 
Sir George Rooke, who was entrusted with the com- 
mand of the combined fleet of the maritime powers, 
did their business effectually, by succouring the 
Swedes, without oppressing the Danes; as I have 
shewn in its proper place, and have remarked, that 
the king of Sweden, upon this occasion, gave a 
noble instance, of his early genius, by penetrating Sir 
George Rooke's orders, from the consideration of his 

Sir George Rooke was elected in the new purlia- 


merit of 1701, for die town of Portsmouth ; which 
was not then considered in that light in which navy 
boroughs have since stood ; if it had, they would 
have obliged the court in their members. Bishop 
Burnet tells us, that though the ministry had a clear 
majority, in whatever related to the king's business, 
yet the activity of the angry side was such, that 
they had a majority in chusing the Speaker, and in 
determining controverted elections. The truth of 
the matter was, the ministry persuaded the king to 
abet the interest of Sir Thomas Littleton, against 
Robert Harley, Esq. afterwards the famous earl of 
Oxford ; and with this view his Majesty spoke to Sir 
George Rooke, Sir Charles Hedges, and several other 
persons of distinction, in favour of Sir Thomas ; 
which, however, had not the desired effect, since 
they voted for Mr. Harley, who was accordingly 
placed in the chair. I mention this, to shew the 
steadiness of Sir George Rooke, and to prove, that 
he was a man who acted upon principle, and was 
not governed in his political conduct either by hopes 
or fears. * 

Yet Sir George was for the war against France, 

o *^ 

and for carrying it on vigorously ; and, as I shall 
shew hereafter, he was uniform in his conduct, 
though he had the misfortune to be censured for 
want of vigour, merely because he shewed too strong 
an inclination that way. I do not say this from any 
desire to the maintaining paradoxes, or playing with 
words ; but because I take it to be the fair truth, and 
that I could not express it otherwise, without doing 
his memory injustice. 

Upon the accession of Queen Anne, in ]?0i2, Sir 

* It was certainly wrong in the king to interfere in this matter 
at all, because he ran too great a risk, in case of a disappointment; 
and experience will always shew, that in the end such princes are 
safest, and most happy, as surfer the machine of govt rnment to 
roil on. according to its natural con'trt'cuofi. without tinkering 
at al! ; which serves ouly to spoil it, and. expose theai extremely. 


George was constituted vice-admiral, and lieutenant 
of the Admiralty of England, as also lieutenant of 
the fleets and seas of this kingdom ; and, upon the 
declaration of war against France, it was resolved, that 
Sir George Rooke should command the grand fleet 
sent against Cadiz, his grace the duke of Ormond 
having the command in chief of the land forces. I 


shall not enter into the history of that expedition, 
because I have already given the best account of it 
that was in my power : I shall only say here, that 
when it appeared to be a thing very difficult, if not 
impracticable, for the land-forces to make themselves 
masters of the place, Sir George Rooke proposed 
bombarding it; which occasioned a long represen- 
tation from the prince of Hesse D'Armstadr, setting 
forth, that such a proceeding would entirely alienate 
the affection of the Spaniards from the house of Aus- 
tria ; and as Sir George could not but discern the 
inconsistency of this method with the manifesto 
which had been published in the duke of Ormond's 
name and his own, he was prevailed upon to desist ; 
and when he had done this, he judged it best to re- 
turn home both with the fleet and army ; the land 
and sea-officers unanimously concurring, in that re- 
spect, with him in opinion ; excepting only the duke 
of Ormond, and Baron Sparr, who protested against 
it. Upon this opinion, for returning home, the charge 
was founded against him, for want of vigour, whereas 
nothing can be more clear, than that Sir George was 
inclined to act more vigorously than his instructions 
would permit; and therefore when he saw that pro- 
posal rejected, and that nothing could be done abroad, 
thought it the wisest wav to come home. Of this 

O *s 

he was certainly the best judge, since he had been often 
in those parts before, and knew very well, if once 
the Spaniards took a resolution, fair words would not 
go far towards making them alter it. 

On the 19th of September, 1702, the fleet sailed, 
and had for several days a fair but very gentle wind ; 


and, in their passage home, the admiral on the 6th 
of October received an account from Captain Hardy, 
that the galleons, under the escort of a strong- French 
squadron, were got into the harhour of Vigo ; upon 
which Sir George resolved to attack them ; and, hav- 
ing declared this resolution the next day in a council 
of flag-officers, they concurred with him, and it was 
unanimously resolved to put it in execution ; accord- 
ingly the fleet sailed for Vigo, and on the llth of 
October came before the harbour of Rodondello, 
where the French commodore, to do him justice, had 
neglected nothing that was necessary for putting the 
place into the best posture of defence possible, which, 
however, did not signify much; for a detachment c.f 
fifteen English and ten Dutch men of war of the line 
of battle, and all the lire ships, were ordered in, the 
frigates and bomb-vessels were to follow the rear of 


the detachment, and the great ships were to move 
after them, while the army was to land near Rodon- 
dello. The whole service was performed under Sir 
George's directions with admirable conduct and 
bravery, all the ships destroyed or taken, prodigious 
damage <lone to the enemy, and immense wealth ac- 
quired by the allies. Afterwards the duke of Ormond, 
and Sir George Rooke, though he was much indis- 
posed with the gout, congratulated each other on this 
glorious success, and then continued their voyage 
home, arriving safely in the Downs on the 7th of 
November; and the admiral soon after came up to 

While the fleet and army were thus employed 
abroad, her Majesty had thought fit, from the advice 
of her ministers, to call anew parliament at home, to 
meet on the 20th of October ; of which parliament 
Sir George was, in his absence, chosen a member for 
Portsmouth ; and, as soon as he came to take his seat 
in the house, the Speaker was directed, in the name 
of the Commons of England, to return him thanks; 
which he did in the following terms : 




" You are now returned to this house after a most 
glorious expedition : her Majesty began her reign 
with a declaration, that her heart was truly English; 
and Heaven hath made her triumph over the enemies 
of England : for this, thanks hath been returned in a 
most solemn manner to Almighty God. There re- 
mains yet a debt of gratitude to those who have been 
the instruments of so wonderful a victory, the duke 
of Ormond and yourself, who had the command of 
the sea and land forces. In former times admirals 
and generals have had success against France and 

O */ 

Spain separately, but this action at Vigo hath been a 
victory over them confederated together; you have 
not only spoiled the enemy, but enriched your own 
country ; common victories bring terrors to the con- 
quered; but you brought destruction upon them, and 
additional strength to England. 

" France hath endeavoured to support its ambition 
by the riches of India; your success, Sir, hath only 
.left them the burden of Spain, and stripped them of 
the assistance of it. The wealth of Spain and ships 
of France are by this victory brought over to our 
jaster cause. This is an action so glorious in the per 
formance, and so extensive in its consequences, that, 
as all times will preserve the memory of it, so every 
day will inform us of the benefit. 

" No doubt, Sir, but in France you are written, in 
remarkable characters, in the black list of those who 
.have taken French gold ; and it is justice done to the 
duke of Ormond, and your merit, that you should stand 
.recorded in the registers of this house, as the sole in- 
struments of this glorious victory; therefore this house 
eame to the following resolution : 

" Resolved, nenrine contradicente, That the thanks 
of this house be given to the duke of Ormond, and Sir 
George Ilooke, for the great and signal service per- 
formed by them, for the nation, at sea and land; 
which thanks I now return you." 


To this Sir George Rooke answered : 



" I am now under great difficulty how to express 
myself on this very great occasion: I think myself 
very happy, that, in zeal and duty to yourself, it hath 
been my good fortune to be the instrument of that 
'which may deserve your notice, and much more the 
return of your thanks. 

" I am extremely sensible of this great honour, and 
shall take all tlie care I can to preserve it to my 
grave, and convey it to my posterity, without spot 
or blemish, by a constant affection, and zealous per- 
severance in th.e queen's and your service. Sir, no 
man hath the command of fortune, but every ma!i 
hath virtue at his will ; and though I may not always 
be successful in your service, as upon this expedition, 
yet I may presume to assure yon, I shall never ho 
more faulty. 

" I must repeat my inability to express myself 
upon this occasion ; but, as I have a due sense of the 
honour this house hath been pleased to do me, I shr- :l 
always retain a due and grateful memory of it, And,, 
though my duty and allegiance are strong obligations 
upon me to do my best in the service of my country, 
I shall alwavs take this as a particular tie upon me 

*s Li 

to do right and justice to your service upon ail occa- 

But, notwithstanding the queen's having celebrated 
this action by a day of thanksgiving, that her ex- 
ample had been imitated by the States-general, this 
thanks of the House of Commons, and the quern's 
O'ivino- a seat to Sir George Rooke in the privy-coun- 

*~-'^ O C7> 1 i/ 

cil, it was resolved to inquire into his conduct in the 

House of Lords, the reason of which is very candidly 
given by Bishop Burnet ; he tells us, that the di ike 
of Ormoncl v;as extremely angry with Sir Gecn-e 
Rooke, had complained loudlv cf his behaviour at Ca- 
diz, upon his return home ; and though h'.; was ai'tc'v 


wards softened, that is^ in the bishop's opinion, by 
being made lord lieutenant of Ireland, and so willing 
to drop his complaint, yet lie had spoken of the mat- 
ter to so many lords, that it was impossible to avoid 
an inquiry, though he might not then desire it. 

A committee was accordingly appointed by the 
House of Lords to examine into the whole affair ; and 
they did it very effectually, not only by considering 
the instructions and other papers relating to the Ca- 
diz expedition, but by sending for Sir George llooke, 
and the principal sea and land officers, all of whom 
were very strictly examined. In his defence the 
bishop admits, that Sir George arraigned his instruc- 
tions very freely, and took very little care of a mi- 
nistry, which, according to this prelate's account, 
took so much care of him. 

The truth of the matter was, Sir George set the 
whole affair in its proper light. He shewed that, 
throughout the whole expedition, the enemy had 
great advantages : for, if it was considered on the 
peaceable side, they had a king of Spain, called to 
the succession by the will of the last king, and ac- 
knowledged by the best part of the nation ; whereas 
the allies had not then set up any other king, but in- 
vited the Spaniards, in general terms, to support the 
interest of the house of Austria, which was very in- 
consistent with the temper and genius of a nation 
always distinguished for their loyalty : that, on the 
side of war, the instructions seemed to contradict 
themselves ; for, whereas they were im powered to use 
hostilities, the declaration promised peace and pro- 
tection; that, consequently, whoever executed t!ie. c e 
instructions, would bu liable cither to a charge of 
shewing too much pity and concern for those people, 
or of not acting vigorously in the support of the com- 
mon cause ; and Sir George observed, that, by endea- 
vouring to avoid giving grounds for either, he had 
drawn upon himself both these charges. 

For, whereas he inclined to gentle methods when. 


they first came before the place, the construction 
given to this was, that he intended only to amuse and 
make a she\v, but that, finding this indulgence had 
no effect, and that, after the outrages committed at 
Port St. Maries, there was nothing to be hoped for 
from the Spaniards, he proposed bombarding the 
place ; which must have succeeded, but that the prince 
of Hesse D'Armstadt protested against this, as an ac- 
tion that would alienate the people entirely from the 
interest of the house of Austria; he then thought 

that, as fair means would do nothing, and force was 
not to be tried, the only measure left was, to return 
home. The committee made their report, and the 
house passed a vote, which fully justified Sir George 
Rooke's conduct, the duke thinking it proper to be 
absent upon that occasion.* 

In the year 1703 Sir George Rooke was again at 
sea, but waited so long for the Dutch, that the 
scheme, which was a very good one, and entirely of 
his o\vn projecting, became impracticable ; and as he 
was restrained from sailing, when lie desired, by or- 
ders from the lord high-admiral, so he had orders for 
sailing, when he thought the proper time was past ; 
which, however, he obeyed, and continued for about 
a month upon the French coasts ; and, having greatly 
alarmed them, returned" back with the fleet, having 
done less, indeed, than he could have wished, 
but not less than might have been expected from a 
fleet in such a condition as his was, sailing so late in 
the year. His enemies, indeed, said then, as they said 

* The most natural account of the duke's behaviour is, that 
when hi' saw the unreasonableness of his own heat, and the justice 
of the admiral's sentiments, clearly made out, he was ashamed of 
the trouble he had given the house, and, as a man of honour, re- 
tired, that his presence might not put any of his friends under dif- 
ficulties. It must be likewise observed, that the House of Lords 
was not at all disposed to favour Hooke's party, but rather the con. 
trary, as appears by the whole proceedings of that session ; so that 
nothing can be more partial than to ascribe this vote to par- 


often, that lie intended to do nothing; which can 
scarcely be believed, since he w r as extremely ill when 
he took the command upon him ; growing worse, he 
desired to resign it ; but afterwards, finding himself 
better, put to sea. This certainly looked as if he had 
the expedition much at heart ; for, though some men 
trifle with the affairs of their country, yet certainly 
no man, who had common sense, ever played the fool 
with his own health and safety. / 

On his return Sir George had a severe fit of the 
out; which obliged him to go down to Bath; and 
then it was given out, that he did this because he 
was laid aside. But the contrary very speedily ap- 
peared ; party-measures were not yet so strongly sup- 
ported as to produce any event like this, and there- 
fore, upon his coming to town again. Sir George was 
as v/ell received at court as ever, stood in the same 
light witii Iris royal highness the lord high-admiral, 
and \vas soon after employed in a station worthy of 
his character, and of the high posts he had already 

A resolution having been taken by the British mi- 
nistry to send over King Charles III. of Spain on 
board our fleet, in the spring of the year 1/04, choice 
was made of Sir George Rooke to comi-mml the ships 
of war employed for that purpose ; and he shewed 
himself extremely active and vigilant, in this service. . 
He was at Portsmouth in the beginr.icg of the month 
of February, where lie did every thing that could be. 
expected from him to hasten the expedition ; but. 
finding that the Dutch were backward, in sending the 

*' I hare already given a full account of (his matter, and there- 
fore it is unnecessary to detain the reader long upon il here. I 
cannot, however, help intimating, that there seems to have been 
ionic secret at the bottom of this undertakino-, wit!* which, hi- 
therto, the world is not thoroughly acquainted, antl therefore can- 
not so perfectly judge of the, admiral's conduct ; it may be. poste- 
rity will obtain from memoirs not hitherto published, an exact 
detail of the management of the war in Spun, which would bring 
tnany singular passages to light* 


ships that were to have joined the llect, and that the 
king was extremely eager to he gone, he very gene- 
rously made a proposal for the furtherance of that de- 
sign ; which shews him to have heen as hearty to- 
wards the common cause as any admiral then living; 
for he offered to proceed with his Catholic Majesty, 
without waiting for the Dutch, if he could have as- 
surance given him, that he should have proper assist- 
ance sent after him to Lisbon ; and this assurance, 
upon which he insisted, was nothing more than put- 
ting Sir Cloudesley Shovel at the head of that rein- 

This proposition was accepted, and Sir George 
sailed on the 12th of February, from St. Helen's, and 
continued his voyage so happily to Lisbon, that he ar- 
rived there safely on the 25th ; the king- of Spain ex* 
pressing the highest satisfaction in respect to the ad- 
miral, and the zeal and diligence he had shewn in his 
service.* That this proceeded entirely from senti- 
ments of public spirit, and not from any views of in- 
gratiating himself with that monarch, or any other 
foreign prince, is evident from Sir George's refusing 
to gratify the kings of Spain and Portugal, in a point 
of ceremony which he thought injurious to the ho- 
nour of the British flag, of which we have already 
given a large account ; and yet neither of the kings 
took this at all amiss, but treated him with the same 
regard and esteem as before. 

When the expedition against Barcelona was first 
set on foot, Sir George liooke immediately concurred 
to the utmost of his power, and the fleet arrived safely 
before that city in the beginning of May; the troops 
on board were, with gnat difficulty,, made up two 

* That prince presented Sir George Rooke with a sword the 
hilt of which Mas set with diamonds; a buckle for a hatband, 
adorned hi like manner, and also a button and loop. Jie gave 
Captain Wishart his picture set with diamonds, and two hundred 
guineas. One hundred guineas to Sir George Kooke's Sec,-iary, 
and various other presents to the rest of thg officers. 


thousand men, by volunteers from the fleet ; and yet, 
with this handful of forces, the place might possibly 
have been taken, if the partizans of the house of Aus- 
tria, instead of holding private consultations, had ven- 
tured upon some vigorous resolution, and executed it 
immediately; but they met so often, and to so little 
purpose, that King Philip's viceroy discovered the 
design, and arrested the persons who were at the' 
head of it ; which frustrated the whole affair, and en- 
gaged even the gallant and enterprising prince of 
Hesse D'Armstadt, to desire the admiral to re-embark 
the troops, which he accordingly did. 

The attempt on Barcelona having thus miscarried, 
the admiral, though not joined by the reinforcement 
from England, chaced the Brest squadron into Tou- 
lon; and having afterwards passed through the Straits' 
mouth, joined Sir Cloudesley Shovel, with the fleet 
under his command, off Lagos ; and continued cruis- 
ing, for about a month, in expectation of orders from 
home, or from the court of Spain. On the 17th of 
July, bein<>- in the road of Tetuan, a council of war 

v ' O 

was called, in which several schemes were examined, 
but were ail found to be impracticable; at last, Sir 
George Ilooke proposed the attacking of Gibraltar, 
which was agreed to, and immediately put in exe- 
cution ; for, the fleet arriving there on the C 2 1st of 
the same month, the troops, which were but eigh- 
teen hundred men, were landed the same day ; the 
admiral gave the signal for cannonading the place on 
the 25d, and, by the glorious courage of the English 
seamen, the place was taken on the C4th, as the 
reader will sea by Sir George Ilooke's own account,* 

* This is to be found in the London Gazette, No. -1045, and 
whoever considers the consequence of this action, and compares it 
with the modesty of Sir George Rooke's expressions, \\\\\ need no 
other character of the man. 

" The 17th of July, the fleet being then about seven leagues to 
the eastward of Tetuan, a council of war was held on board th 
Royal I'atharine,, wherein it was reselved to make a sudden ut- 
upon Gibraltar ; and, accordingly the ileet sailed thither, 


which we have placed at the bottom of the page. Af- 
ter this remarkable service, the Dutch admiral thought 
of nothing but returning home, and actually detach- 

and the 21st got into that bay ; and, at three o'clock in the after, 
noon, the marines, English and Dutch, to the number of 1800, 
with the prince of Hesse at the head of them, were put on shore on 
iheneck of land to the northward of the town, to cut off any com- 
munication with the country. His highness having posted his men 
there, sent a summons to the governor to surrender the place, for 
the service of his Catholic Majesty ; which he rejected with great 
obstinacy ; the admiral, on the 22d in the morning, gave orders 
that the ships which had been appointed to cannonade the town, 
under the command of Rear-admiral Byng. and Rear-admiral Van- 
derdussen, as also those which were to batter the south mole-head, 
commanded by Captain Hicks of the Yarmouth, should range 
themselves accordingly ; but the wind blowing contrary, they 
could not possibly get into their places, till the day was spent. 
In the mean time, to amuse the enemy, Captain Whitaker was 
sent with some boats, who burnt a French privateer of twelve 
guns at the mole. The 23d, soon after break of day, the ships 
being all placed, the admiral gave the signal for beginning the can. 
nonade ; which was performed with very great fury, above 15.000 
shot being made in five or six hours time against the town, inso- 
much that the enemy were soon beat from their guns, especially at 
the south mole-head : whereupon the admiral, considering that by 
gaining the fortification they should of consequence reduce the 
town, ordered Captain Whitaker, with all the boats, armed, to 
endeavour to possess himself of it ; which was performed wish 
great expedition. But Captain Hicks, and Captain Juniper, who 
lay next the mole, had pushed ashore with their pinnaces, and 
some other boats, before the rest could come up ; whereupon the 
enemy sprung a mine, that blew up the fortiticatious upon the 
mole, killed two lieutenants, and about forty men, and wounded 
about sixty. However, our men kept possession of the great 
platform which they had made themselves masters of, and Captain 
Whitaker landed with the rest of the seamen which had been order- 
ed upon this service ; they advanced, and took a redoubt, or 
small bastion, half-way between theoiole ad the town, and possessed 
themselves of many of the enemy's cannon. The then 
sent a letter to the governor and, at the same time, a message to 
the prince of Hesse to send him a peremptory summons; which 
his highness did accordingly ; and, on the 24th, in the morning, 
the governor desiring to canitulatc,hostages were exchanged, and the 
capitulation being concluded, the prince marched into the town in 
the evening, and took possession of the land and north mole gates, 
and the out- works. The articles are in substance as follow : 


eel six men of war to Lisbon ; so little appearance was 
there of any engagement. 

But, on the 9th of August, the French fleet, un- 
der the command of the Count De Thoulouse, was 
first seen at sea, and appeared to he by much the 
strongest that had been equipped during this whole 
war ; the English admiral, however, resolved to do 
all that lay in his power to force an engagement. I 
have already given a fair account of the battle which 
followed oil* Malaga, and also the relation published 
by the French court; but 1 purposely reserved Sir 

1. That the garrison, officers, and soldiers, may depart, with 
their necessary arras and baggage, and the officers, and other gen. 
tlcmca of the town may also carry their horses with them ; they 
may, likewise, have what boats they shall have occasion for. 

'2. That they may take out of the garrison three pieces of brass 
cannon, of different weight, with twelve charges of powder and 

o. TLat they may take provisions of bread, wine, and ficshj 
for six d:us inarch- 

4. That none of the officers baggage be searched, although it 
be carried out hi chests or trunks. That the garrison depart in three 
da^s : an 1 such of their necessaries as they cannot carry out with 
conveniency, may remain in the garrison, and be afterwards sent 
for ; and tiiat they shall have the liberty to make use of some 

5. That such inhabitants, and soldiers, and officers of the town, 
as are -, iiilr.g to remain there, shall have the same privileges they 
enjoyed in the time of Charles II. and tiuir religion and tribunals 
shall remain untouched, upon condition thatihev take an oath of fi- 
delity to King Charles [11. as their lawful king and master. 

G. That they shall discover all their maga/ines of powder, and 
other ammunition, or provisions and arms, that may be in the city. 

7. That all the Frrnch, and subjects of the French king, arc 
excluded from any part of these capitulations, and all their effects 
shall remain at our disposal, and their persons prisoners of war. 

' T':e town is extremely strong, and had an hundred guns 
rv:''unU-cl, all facing the sea, and the two narrow passes to the land, 
and v, ;i~ wdl supplied with ammunition. The officers, who liavj 
TJL'\\','(! ilu- fortifications, aiVirin, that there never was such an at- 
tack as the. seamen mad; 1 ; for that fifty men might have defended 
those works against thousands. Ever since our coming to the bay., 
great numbers of Spaniards have appeared on tbc hills : but none of 
them have thought lit to advance towards us." 


ftcorgc Rooke's own account, as published by autho- 
rity, for this place, to which, indeed, it properly he- 
longs. It was dated from on hoard the Royal Katha- 
rine, off Cape St. Vincent, August 27, O. S. 1704, 
and addressed to his royal highness Prince George of 
Denmark. It runs thus : 

" On the i)th instant, returning from watering our 
ships on the coast of Barbary, to Gibraltar, with lit- 
tle wind easterly, our scouts to the windward made 
the signals of seeing the enemy's fleet; which, accord- 
ins: to the account they save, consisted of sixtv-six 

" i " 

sail, and were about ten league's to windward ot us. 

A council of flag-officers was called, wherein it was 
determined to lie to the eastward of Gibraltar, to re- 
ceive and engage them. But perceiving that night, 
by the report of their signal guns, that they wrought; 
from us, we followed them in the morning, with all 
the sail we could make. 

" On the 1 1th, we forced one of the enemy's ships 
ashore, near Fuengorolo ; the crew quitted her, set 
her on fire, and she blew up immediately. We con- 
tinued still pursuing them ; and the l^th, not hear- 
ing: anv of their "Tins all night, nor seeing any of their 

o / o cj y <-' > 

scouts iii the morning, our admiral had a jealousy 
they might make a double, and, by the help of their 
gallies, slip between us and the shore to the westward; 
so that a council of \var was called, wherein it was 
resolved, That, in case we did not see the enemy be- 
fore night, we should make the best of our way to Gi- 
braltar ; but standing in to the shore about noon, we 
discovered the enemy's fleet and gallies to the west- 
Ward, near Cape Malaga, going very large. We im- 
mediately made all the sail we could, and continued 
the chace all night. 

" On Sunday the 13th, in the morning, we were 
within three leagues of the enemy, who brought to, 
with their heads to the southward, the wind bein' 

7 <r> 

easterly, formed their line and lay-to to receive us. 
Their line consisted of fifty-two ships, and twenty- 


four gallies ; they were very strong in the centre, and 
weaker in the van and rear, to supply which, most of 
the gallies were divided into those quarters. In the 
centre was Monsieur De Thoulouse, with the white 
squadron ; in the van the white and blue, and in the 
rear the blue ; each admiral had his vice and rear- ad- 
mirals : our line consisted of fifty-three ships, the ad- 
miral, an d rear-admirals Byng and Uiikcs, being in 
the centre; Sir Cloudesley Shovel and Sir John Leake 
led the van, and the Dutch the rear. 

" The admiral ordered the Swallow and Panther, 
with the Lark and Newport, and two fire-ships, to 
lie to the windward of us, that, in case the enemy's 
van should push through our line with their gallies and 
fire-shins thev mi^ht s'ive them some diversion. 

i / f-j n 

" We bore down upon the enemy in order of battle, 
a little after ten o'clock, when, being about half gun- 
shot from them, they set all their sails at once, and 
seemed to intend to stretch ahead and weather us, so 
that our admiral, after firing a chace-gun at the French 
admiral, to stay for him, of which he took no notice, 
put the signal out, and began the battle, which fell 
very heavy on the Royal Katharine, St. George, and 
the Shrewsbury. About two in the afternoon, the 
enemy's van gave way to ours, and the battle ended 
with the flay, when the enemy went away, by the 
help of their gallies, to the leeward. In the night, 
the wind shifted to the northward, and in the morn- 
ing to the westward, which gave the enemy the wind 
of us. We lay by all day, within three leagues one of 
another, repairing our defects; and at night they fil- 
led and stood to the northward. 

" On the 15th, in the morning, the enemy was 
got four or five leagues to the westward of us ; but a 
little before noon we had a breeze of wind easterly, 
with which we bore down on them till four o'clock in 
the afternoon; it being too late to engage, we brought 
to, and lav by with our heads to the northward all 


" On the 16th, in the morning, the wind being still 
easterly, hazy weather, and having no sight of the 
enemy or their scouts, we iilled and bore away to the 
westward, supposing they would have gone away for 
Cadiz; but being advised from Gibraltar, and the 
coast of Barbary, that they did not pass the Straits, 
we concluded they had been so severely treated as to 
oblige them to return to Toulon. 

" The admiral says, he must do the officers the jus- 
tice to say, that every man in the line did his duty, 
without giving the least umbrage for censure or re- 

O O O 

flection, and that lie never observed the true English 
spirit so apparent and prevalent in our seamen as on 
this occasion. 

" This battle is so much the more glorious to her 
Majesty's arms, because the enemy had a superiority 
of six hundred great guns, and likewise the advantage 
of cleaner ships, being lately come out of port, not to 
mention the great use of their gallies, in towing on 
or off their great ships, and in supplying them with 
fresh men, as often as they had any killed or disabled. 
But all these disadvantages were surmounted by the 
braverv and good conduct of our officers, and the un- 

v O 

daunted courage of our seamen." 


On the return of Sir George Rooke to Portsmouth, 
and coming up from thence to Windsor, where the 
court then resided, he was extremely well received by 
the queen, and his royal highness the lord high admi- 
ral. But, unluckily for him, the battle off Malaga 
was, some way or other, compared to that of Blen- 
heim, fought the same year ; which made the matter 
of fact a point of party-debate, and, in the addresses 
sent up from all parts of her Majesty's dominions, the 
Whigs took all imaginable care to magnify the duke 
of Marlborough's success, without saying a word of 
the victory ,at sea ; whereas the Tories were equallv 
zealous in their compliments upon both; and, to say 
the truth, both these battles were decisive ; that of 
Blenheim put an end to the influence of France in the 


empire, as that off Malaga extinguished the French 
power at sea. 

Among these addresses, the following was the most 
remarkable ; it was presented by Sir Richard Vyvyan, 
Bart, and James Buller, Esq. knights of the shire lor 
the county of Cornwall, attended by the representa- 
tives of boroughs in that .county, and the principal 
gentry, introduced by the Lord Granville, lord-warden 
of the stannaries : the address itself being penned by 
SL relation of his, whose writings will always do ho- 
nour to the English language. 


" Permit, Madam, the landlords, bounders, adven- 
turers, and whole body of the tinners of Corn- 
wall, with hearts full of all dutiful acknowledgments, 
to approach your Majesty, who want words to express 
their gratitude, their joy, their admiration, for the 
wonderful success of your Majesty's arms, under the 
conduct of his grace the duke of Marlborough. 

" Never was success greater in all its circumstan- 
ces, a design more secretly carried on, so effectually 
supported from home, so vigorously executed abroad, 
on u'hich no less than the liberty of Europe depended; 
,a cause worthy the best of princes, a victory worthy 
the greatest of generals, which will transmit to all 
future ages your Majesty's name truly great ; great 
for deliverance, not for oppression. 

" But it is not enough that your Maicstv triumphs 

C? V t' / I 

,at land ; to complete your glory, your forces at sea 
have likewise done wonders. A fleet so much infe- 
rior, in so ill a condition, by being so long out, in 
such want of ammunition, by taking Gibraltar with- 
out gallics, \vhich were of so great service to the ene- 
my ; all these disadvantages considered, nothing cer* 
Mainly could equal the conduct of your admiral, the 
(bravery of your officers, the courage of your seamen 
; (In ring the engagement, but their conduct, their bra- 
^.-ciy. and their courage after it. whereby they per- 


fectecl a victory, which otherwise, in human probabi- 
lity, must have ended in an overthrow; an action as 
great in itself as happy in its consequences. 

" May your Majesty never want such commanders 
by sea and land, such administration in the manage- 
ment of the public treasure, which so much contri- 
butes to the success of armies and of fleets. 

" May your Majesty never want, what sure you. 
never can, the hearts, the hands, the purses, of all 
your people. Had not we, Madam, - of this county 
inherited the loyalty of our ancestors, which your 
Majesty has been pleased so graciously to remember, 
such obligations must have ensued the utmost res- 

c? d? o 

pect ; and such all of us will ever pay to your sacred 
person and government, as with one voice we daily 
pray, LONG LIVE QUEEN ANXE, to whom many 
nations owe their preservation." 

This, and some other addresses of the like nature, 
fdarmed the ministry extremely ; and they took so 
much pains to hinder Sir George Rooke from receiv- 
ing the compliments usual upon such successes, that 
it became visible he must either give way or a change 

" ^ 

very speedily happen in the administration. Yet even, 
the weight of the ministry could not prevent the 
House of Commons from complimenting the queen, 
expressly upon the advantages obtained at sea under 
the conduct of our admiral ; but the House of Lords, 
who were under a more immediate influence at that 
time, was entirely silent; the commons, however, 
as if they intended to push this matter as far as it 
would go, presented another address on the 2d of No* 
vember, in which they desired her Majesty to bestow 
a bounty upon the seamen and land forces, who had 
behaved themselves so gallantly in the late actions at 
sea and land. 

This determined the point, and Sir George Rooke 
perceiving that, as he rose in credit with his country, 
he lost his interest with those at the helm, resolved 
to retire from public business, and prevent the affairs 


of tht nation from receiving any disturbance upon his 
account. Thus, immediately after he had rendered 
such important services to his country, as the taking 
the fortress of Gibraltar, and beating the whole na- 
val force of France in the battle off Malaga, the last 
engagement which, during this war, happened be- 
tween these two nations at sea, he was constrained to 
quit his command : and, as the Tories had before dri- 
ven the earl of Orford from his post, immediately af- 
ter the glorious victory at La Hogue, so the Whigs 
returned them the compliment, by making use of their 
ascendency to the like good purpose, with regard to 
Sir George Rooke : such is the effect of party-spirit 
in general ! such the heat with -which, it proceeds ! 
such its dangerous and destructive effects, with res- 
pect to the welfare of the state ! 

After this strange return for the services he had 
done his country, Sir George Rooke passed the re- 
mainder of his days as a private gentleman, and for 
the most part at his seat in Kent. His zeal for the 
church, and his strict adherence to the Tories, made 
him the darling of one set of people, and exposed him 
no less to the aversion of another ; which is the rea- 
son that an historian finds it difficult to obtain his true 
character from the writings of those who flourished in 


the same period of time. For my part, I have studied 
his actions, and his behaviour, and from thence have 
collected what I have delivered of him, without fa- 
vour or prejudice: lie was certainly an officer of great 
merit, if either conduct or courage could entitle him 
to that character. The former appeared in his beha- 
viour on the Irish station, in his wise and prudent 
management, when he preserved so great a part of 
the Smyrna fleet, and particularly in the taking of 
Gibraltar, which was a project conceived and execut- 
ed in less than a week. Of his courage he gave 
abundant testimonies ; but especially in burning the 
French ships at La Hogue, and in the battle off Ma- 
laga, where he behaved with all the resolution of a 



British admiral ; and as lie was lirst in command, 
was lirst also in danger. 

In party matters, be was, perhaps, too warm and 
eager, for all men have their tailings, even the great- 
est and best ; but in action he was perfectly cool and 
temperate, gave bis orders with the utmost serenity, 
and as he was careful in marking the conduct of bis 


principal officers, so his candour and justice were al- 
ways conspicuous in the accounts be gave of them to 
Ills superiors : he there knew no party, no private 
considerations, but commended merit wherever it 
appeared. He had a fortitude of mind that enabled 
him to behave \vith dignity upon all occasions, in the 
day of examination as well as in the day of battle ; 
and though he was more than once culled to the bar 
oi the House of Commons, yet lie always escaped cen- 
sure ; as he likewise did before the lords ; not by 
shifting the fault upon others, or meanly complying 
with the temper of the times, but by maintaining 
steadily what he thought right, and speaking his sen- 
timents with that freedom which becomes an English- 
man, whenever his conduct in his country's service is 
brought in quesrion. In a word, he was equally su- 
perior to popular clamour, and popular applause ; but 
above all, he had a noble contempt for foreign inter- 
ests when incompatible with our own, and knew not 
what it was to seek the favour of the crcat, but by 

O * 

performing such actions as deserved it. 

In his private life he was a good husband and a 
kind master, lived hospitably towards his neighbours, 
and left behind him a moderate fortune : so moderate, 
that, when he came to make his M'ill, it surprised 
those that were present; but Sir George assigned the 
reason in few words. " I do not (cave much," said 
be, " but what 1 leave was honestly gotten, it never 
cost a sailor a tear, or the nation a farthing." As to 
this last article, I cannot but take notice that, even 
after he was laid aside, a privy seal was offered him 
for passing his accounts, but he refused it, and made 



them up in the ordinary way, and with all the exact- 
ness imaginable. 

The gout, which had for man}* years greatly afflic- 
ted him, brought him at last to his grave, on the 
24-th of January 1/08-9, in the fifty-eighth year of 
his age. Sir George was thrice married; first, to 
Mrs. Marv Howe, the daughter of Sir Thomas Howe, 

f O t * 

of Cold Berwick, in the county of Wilts, baronet: 
next, to Mrs. Mary Luttcrel, daughter of Colonel 
Francis Lutterel, of Dunster-castle, in Somersetshire, 
who died in child-bed of her first child, in the month 
of July, 1/02 ; and lastly, to Mrs. Katherine Knateh- 
hull, daughter to Sir Thomas K;:atchbull, of Mer- 
shem-hatch, in the county of Kent, baronet ; by 
which wives he left only one son, born of the second, 
George Ilooke, Esq. the sole heir of his fortune. 

But his executors took care to secure his memory, 
by erecting a beautiful monument in the cathedral 
church of Canterbury, with an excellent character of 
the deceased inscribed thereon. 





As there are some who seem born to easy fortunes, 
and to a safe and quiet passage through the world ; 
so there arc others unlucky enough to be continually 
exposed to envy, though not excluded from honours. 
This arises from ditK:rcnt causes, but chiefly from the 
\vant of popular talents, of which many are deprived 
bv nature, and not a few neglect the use. 1 cannot 
say whether the iirst was the misfortune, or the se- 
cond the fault, of the gentleman whose life I am at 
present to consider ; but certain it is, that few men 
were more exposed to envy than he; especially if \ve 
remember, that he rose no higher in his profession 


than might seem the just reward of his services. 
But, however he might he persecuted by this spirit 
in his life-time, there seems to he not the least reason 
that the effects of popular dislike should attend his 
memory ; and, therefore, it shall he my business to 
give as clear and candid an account of his actions as 
I can ; and this without any bias either from favour 
or prejudice. 

He was the second son, his grace the duke of Marl- 
borongh being the eldest, of Sir Winston Churchill, 
Knt. clerk of the board of green-cloth, and of a wor- 
thy family in Dorsetshire. He was born in the year 
1652, some say in February, I6\53, and entered early 
into the sea-service, where lie always behaved with 
great courage and reputation, and this, added to the 
interest of his family, procured him the command of 
a man of war before lie was quite thirty, which was a 
thing very unusual in these days. In the reign of 
King James II. he was made captain of the New- 
castle, a fourth rate; and soon after the revolution he 
had a third rate given him. In the famous battle of 
La Hogue he commanded the St. Andrew, a second 
rate, in which he performed as good service as any 
officer in the fleet, according to all the accounts that 
were published of that en^a^ement ; and yet, very 
soon after, he quitted the service, for which several 
reasons were assigned ; but the true or.e is said to 
have been the promotion of Colonel Aylmer to the 
nuik of rear-admiral, who being a younger officer, 
Air. Churchill could not think of serving under him, 
but retired, and lived privately for some years. 

I shail not rake upon me to censure this part of his 
condi ct ; though I mu-t say, that 1 ! < it would 
be a vjry difficult task to justify it; since every man 
is bound to serve his country, whether he be re~ 
\vardrd or not; and. therefore, every resignation of 
this sort is usually attributed to a narrow iuid selfish 
spirit, though it is not impossible it may spring fioin 
& nobler principle ; however, it is better certainly for 


an officer to avoid all those steps in bis conduct that 
are liahle to such sinister interpretations 

In the year l6Q</, he had an opportunity of coming 
again into business ; for the current then hore so 
hard on the earl of Orforcl, who was at the head of 
the Admiralty, that he found it necessary to resign; 
upon which a new commission issued, and another 
before the close of the year, in which Admiral George 
Churchill was, amongst others, included, and in which 
he continued nearly two years ; and then King Wil- 
liam was pleased to declare Thomas, earl of Pem- 
broke, lord high-admiral, which threw him out again, 
though but for a very short time ; since, upon the 
accession of Queen Anne, and the promotion of her 
consort, Prince George of Denmark, to be lord high- 
admiral, he was appointed one of his council, and 
was restored to his rank in the navy, which was 
chiefly owing to the high degree of favour in which 
he stood with his royal highness ; who, among many 
other virtues which adorned his character, was for 
none more remarkable than for steadily supporting 
such as he had once honoured with his friendship. 

His being made admiral of the blue, had the same 
effect upon Admiral Aylmer, as it is confidently said 
the promotion of that gentleman had a few years be- 
fore upon Mr. Churchill; for he immediately quitted 
the service, and remained for several years unem- 
ployed. They were rivals, and would not act to- 
gether. Churchill repaired to Portsmouth, and hoist- 
ed his flag on board the Triumph, though it is pro- 
bable he did not go to sea that year* Hut, whatever 
satisfaction Mr. Churchill ini->-ht receive from this 
victory over his rival, it is very certain that he could 
not be said to enjoy much pleasure in the post to 
which he was raised; for, during the six years he sat 
at that board, as his royal highness's council was 
continually attacked, so Mr. Churchill, in particular, 
had a double portion of that spite and resentment de- 
volved upon him, with which our great losses at sea 


inspired many of our merchants ; and this was very 
probably increased by the warmth of the admiral's 
temper, who had a very free way of speaking, and 
took, perhaps, too great liberties with men of such 

For, as the naval power of Great Britain arises ab- 
solutely from her extensive trade, and the number of 
ships employed therein, it is very certain that there 
is a great respect due to those who cany on that 
trade, and are thereby so very instrumental to the 
wealth, prosperity, and grandeur of this nation, which 
are all founded upon its commerce. However, Mr. 
Churchill maintained himself, by his interest with 
Prince George, not only against the clamours of 
the many, and the intrigues of the few, but against 
several addresses and representations of the House of 
Lords, which were particularly calculated for his re- 
moval. He was chosen representative for the borough 
of St. Alban's in the first parliament which met after 
the accession of Queen Anne : and after the month 
of May, 1703, he probably never again took any 
command at sea. 

His royal highness dying on the 28th of October, 
1708, the commission which impowered his council 
to act, naturally terminated ; and thenceforward Ad- 
miral Churchill led a private life, at a pleasant house 
he had in Windsor-Park, where lie constructed the 
finest aviary that was ever seen in Britain, which he 
had collected with great care, and at. a vast expence. 
This collection of birds, at his decease, he left to his 
two intimate friends and patrons, James, duke of Or- 
moncl, and Arthur, earl of Torrington. He was never 
married, but dvinu; in very u'ood circumstances, he 

v O v * 

left the best part of his fortune to his natural son. 
He deceased on the 8th of May, 1710, in the 58th 
year of his age, and was buried, with great funeral 
solemnity, in the south isle of Westminstier-Abbey, 
where a beautiful monument lias been erected to his 
memory, with an. elegant latin inscription. 




AMONG other reasons, of which there are many, 
for preserving, as far as possible, the memoirs of de- 
serving persons deceased, who nave rose to thai de- 
gree of eminence by the services they have rendered 
their country, this is not the least considerable ; 
viz. to engage others to proceed as they have done, 
and to deserve like honours from a like conduct. It 
is certainly the highest encouragement to behave 
well, to see that in preceding 1 limes men have as- 
cended thereby to the highest honours of which their 
professions were capable; and this without the coun- 
tenance of great relations, or the assistance of any 
other friends than those procured to them by the dis- 
play of their own desert. But, if this be a thing of 
cr nsequence in every situation of life, it is much more 
so in respect to naval affairs ; for as there are none of 
the subjects of Gnat Britain more useful, or who re- 
flect more honour upon their country, than such as 
are employed in the iuivv, so there is nothing that 
contributes so highly to the support of that srenerous 
spirit, and invincible courage, by which they have 
been always distinguished, as the thoughts of their 
I) -ing ;i|)j c . t o r j se i n their own profession, bv mere 
clnit of merit, and without borrowing any help from 
thoM' kinds of arts, to which, from their education 
and manner of living, they must be necessarily stran- 
gers. '\ Ins it was that chiefly induced me to pre- 
serve such f ragmen i's as I could collect, in relation IP, 
1>" hi>- of Nr David ^'iU'iicil, who was promoted 
without envy, lived, with universal reputation, and 
died with the character of an experienced seamar, 
and a worthy honest gcntkma 1 .!. 

lie was descended from a verv reputable family iv, 



Scotland, though of small fortune ; and at the acre of 
sixteen, was put out apprentice to the master of a 
trading vessel who lived at Leith; with him Mr. 
Mitchell continued seven years, and afterwards ser- 
ved as a mate on board several other ships, especially 
in northern voyages ; by \vhich he not only acquired 
great experience as a seaman, but also attained the 
knowledge of most modern languages; which, with 
his superior skill in the mathematics, and other gen- 
teel accomplishments, recommended him to the fa- 
vour of his officers, after lie had been pressed to sea 
in the Dutch wars. At the. revolution he was made a 
captain, and being remarkable for his thorough ac- 
quaintance with man rime affairs, and known to be 
firmly attached to that government, he was very 
soon distinguished and promoted ; so that in April 
16"93, he commanded the squadron that convoked the 
king to Holland, and having, by this means, an op- 
portunity of conversing freely and frequently with 
his Majesty, became much in his favour, that prince, 
the 8th of February proceeding, having made him 
rear-admiral of the blue; and not long after, appoint- 
ed him one of the grooms of his bed-chamber. In 
16'94, Sir David Mitchell, being then a knight, and 
rear-admiral of the red, sailed with Admiral llussel 
into the Mediterranean ; and on the admiral's return, 
home, he was appointed to command in chief a squa- 
dron left in those seas ; in the execution of which 
commission he behaved himself with great reputa- 
tion ; and, in 1696, served under Sir George Rooke, 
with whom lie lived in great friendship, notwith- 
standing lie owed his rise and fortunes, in some mea- 
sure, to the kindness of Admiral Russel, in proce-.s of 
time earl c.T Orford. 

I have already taken notice, in the former vdkur-e, 
tint lie brought over, and carried back, his C';-:;iri>h 
Majesty, Peter the Great, emperor of Russia, who 
was so extremely pleased with the company of Sir 
David Mitchell, from whom, he often professed, lu 


learned more of maritime affairs than from any other 
person whatever, that he offered him the highest pre- 
ferments in Muscovy, if he would have accompanied 
him thither; but his proposal was not agreeable either 
to Sir David's circumstances or inclinations ; for 
having, on the death of Sir Flectwood Sheppard, 
been appointed gentleman-usher of the black rod, 
and having also his pay as a vice-admiral, he had no 
reason to quit the service of his native country, even 
to oblige so great a prince. 

In his passage from Holland, his Czarish Majesty 
asked Admiral Mitchell, who gave satisfactory an- 
swers to all his maritime questions, the manner in use 
in the British navy, of correcting sailors who de- 
served punishment ; when the admiral mentioning 
keel-hauling, among manv others, that prince de- 
sired it might be explained to him, not by words, 
but by experiment ; which the admiral excused, as 
not having then an offender who deserved it. The 
Czar replied, " Take one of my men," but Sir David 
informed him, that all on board his ship were under 
the protection of the laws of England, and he was 
accountable for everv man there, according to those 
laws, upon which that monarch persisted no farther 
in his request. The king likewise directed Admiral 
Mitchell to wait on the Czar to Portsmouth, and put 
the fleet out to sea which lay atSpithead, on purpose 
to entertain him with a mock engagement, which he 
had seen also in Holland, but not so much to his sa- 
tisfaction, it affording his Imperial Majesty so great 
pleasure, that he declared he 1 thought an English ad- 
miral a much happier man than a Czar of Muscovy. 

His skill and conduct as ;i seaman, and his perfect 
acquaintance with every brunch of naval affairs, ren- 
deivd him extremely useful, as his polite behaviour 
nride him agreeable to everv administration, l/pou 
the accession of Queen Anne, Sir David Mitchell 
Yv'as appointed one of the council to Prince George ot 
Denmark, as lord high- admiral, in which honour- 


able office lie continued till the year before the prince's 
death, when lie was laid aside; but upon another 
change of affairs he was sent over to Holland, with a 
commission of great importance, which was, to expos- 
tulate with their High Mightinesses, about the defi- 
ciences of their quotas during the continuance of the 
war, which commission he discharged with great ho- 
nour. This was the last public act of his life ; for, 
soon after his return to England, he died, at his seat 
called Popes, in Hertfordshire, on the 1st of June, 
1710, with as fair a reputation as any man of his rank 
and character could acquire, and lies buried in the 
parish-church of Hatiield in the county before-men- 


Tins gentleman was son of Mr. Andrew Leake, 
merchant of Lowestorfe, in Suffolk, and, being 
brought up to the sea-service, was appointed com- 
mander of the Roe-buck fire-ship on the 17th of Au- 
gust 16.QO; and, in July 1693, he was given the com- 
mand of the Greenwich. This ship was one of those 
belonging to the grand fleet, and after that arma- 
ment, returned into port for the winter; the Green- 
wich was ordered to cruise at the entrance of the 
Channel, in company with several other third and 
fourth rates. His zeal in his country's service pro- 
cured him success in his several pursuits, and the ap- 
plause of his superiors. He was probably continued 
in commission during the war, but at the peace of 
Ryswic he appears to have retired for a short time to 
the place of his nativity, to which town, we are told 
by its historian, Gillingwater, he ever proved himself 
a warm and indefatigable friend. It is mentioned to 
his honour that, in the year 1(K)8, the chapel belong- 
ing to Lowestoffe being in a ruinous state, and the 
parish-church at too great a distance to beirequented 


by the aged and infirm, Captain Leake, in conjunc- 
tion with other public spirited men, cause. 1 it to be 
rebuilt. In the year 1700, Captain Leake again re- 
turned to the service, and was appointed commodore 
of a small squadron sent to Newfoundland for the 
protection of the fishery. In 1702 he was appointed 
captain of the Torbay, of eighty guns, and sailed 
soon afterwards under the command of Sir George 
Rooke, in t!ie expedition against Cadiz. At ihe at- 
tack made on Vigo, Admiral Hopson, who led the 
division, shifted his flag from the Prince George into 
the Torbay. In this action, the behaviour of Cap- 
tain Leake was truly exemplary. To his activity 
and personal exertions, it was chiefly owing that the 
flames of the ship were so speedily extinguished, after 
the Torbay had been grappled with a fire-ship. So 
highly meritorious was his conduct on this occasion, 
that immediately after the return of the fleet into 
p.'i'it, he received the honour of knighthood. Ik was 
now removed to the Grafton, a ship of seventy guns, 
in order that his former vessel might undergo a tho- 
rough repair. He joined the fleet destined for the 
Mediterranean, which was put under the command 
of Sir Cloudesley Shovel. Little was done in this 
expedition owing to the lateness of the season when 
it put to sea; but, upon its return in November, the 
admiral detached Sir Andrew with two third-rates, a 
fourth-rate, and other vessels to Lisbon ; from whence 
he was to proceed to Oporto, and take under his con- 
voy sue]] merchant-ships as were bound for England, 
from both those porls he arrived safe at. Plymouth 


with his charge on the 16th of December. In the 

following year Sir Andrew, v, ho still continued in 
the command of the Grafton, sailed under Sir George 
Rooke for the Straits. During his passage thither, 
he was accused of disobedience to order?, and was 
brought to a court-martial, but alter his conduct had 
undergone a serious ;:T/1 solemn investigation, he wa^ 
honourably acquitted. Siili there were not wanlir.i^ 


persons who arraigned his character, and aspersed his 
honour. In support, however, of the above testi- 
irouy to his innocence, we may be allowed to cite 
that character uniformly given him, on all other oc- 
oaM'Mis a a man of the strictest integrity and most 
approved intrepidity. In the successful attack of 
(I'hiuiiar, made on the 22d of July following, Sir 
Andrew's ship, the Grafton, was one of those detached 
from rhe main ti::et to cannonade the town by sea, 
and create a diversion in favour of the land-forces ; 
Tins measure w.i.s well devised, and, in fact, proved 
the sole c.insc of the sudden conquest of the place. 
S;r Andrew was one of the commanders who were 
stationed in the hottest part of the service, and in 
this situation his expenditure of shot was so great, 
that, in the battle off Malaga, fought on the 13th of 
August following, the Graf ton was, before the con- 
clusion of the engagement, one of the ships employed 
in the same service, which was obliged to quit the line, 
of battle merely for want of the power of annoying 
the enemy. We now have only to mention the fatal, 
but glorious catastrophe of this brave man's life. In 
the engagement of which we have been just speak- 
ing, lie led the van of the commander in chief, Sir 
George Ilooke's division, and while exerting himself 
most eminently, he received a morval wound, of which 
he died before the conclusion of the action. " In 
this <?;reat battle," says one of his biographers, " that 
brave and valiant officer, Sir Andrew Leake, was m - 
fortunately slain, receiving a wound in his body, 
which proved mortal. After the fatal wound had been 
inflicted, and he was carried down to the surgeon's 
room to be dressed, when his heroic soul, fired with the 
love of his country, and burning with an insatiable 
thirst for glory, would not sufl'er him to remain in- 
active ; but despising death, tbouirh surrounded with 
all its terrors, he wrapped a table-cloth round his 
body, and, though possessing oniv the small remains 
of life, he placed himself in his elbow-chair, and gave 


orders to be carried again upon the quarter-deck, 
where he bravely sat and partook of the glories of 
the day till lie boldly breathed his last." The Graf- 
ton had thirty-one men killed, and sixty-six wounded, 
a most irrefragable proof of the share which it bore 
in this memorable engagement. Sir Andrew, from 
the grace and comeliness of his person, is said to 
have been called Queen Anne's handsome captain. 


PHILIP STAXHOPK, was the third son of the ho- 
nourable Alexander Stanhope, only son to the right 
honourable Philip, earl of Chesterfield, by his second 
lady, Anne, daughter of Sir John Pakington, a privy- 
councillor and favourite of Queen Elizabeth. This 
family is of very great antiquity and honourable ex- 
traction. The learned Camden, in his account of 
Nottinghamshire, mentions Shelford, the seat of the 
famous family of Stanhope, knights, whose state and 
grandeur in those parts is eminent, and their name 
renowned. In his discourse on surnames, he ob- 
serves, " them to be denominated from a place of 
their own name, the town of Stanhope, near a fo- 
rest so called, in Darlington Wapentake, in the 
bishopric of Durham, of which they might be own- 
ers, tor it is certain their residence was in those 
parts before they came into Nottinghamshire, as is 
fully attested by Glover, Somerset herald ; Vincent, 
Windsor herald; Dodsworth, and others." Cap- 
tain Philip Stanhope was promoted to the command 
of the Hastings frigate, as successor to Captain 
Charles Parsons, on the 7th of November, 1704. To- 
wards the latter end of the following 1 year he was 


appointed Captain of the Milford; in which ship we 
:i:i:l him, in Juiv 1/Ob', serving, under Sir Stafford 
Fail borne, at the .-siege of Ostcnd ; and chosen by 


that commander to bear to England the news of its 
surrender. He was sent, not long after, to the Me- 
diterranean, where, in the month of December, we 
find him employed under the command of Captain 
Coney. He continued in the same command during 
the remainder of his life; which, excessive gallantry, 
added to a degree of fraternal love almost unequalled, 
rendered, alas ! too short. Frequent mention is made 
of him both in history and the private journals of 
officers more particularly connected with him in ser- 
vice and command, as a very active, diligent, and 
intelligent officer; nevertheless it is needless to de- 
scend more into particulars, as these notices, contain 
nothing more interesting than being generally con 
ducive to the establishment of an highly-to-be-envied 
character. Being left, in the month of August 1708, 
at Barcelona, under the command of Captain Hub- 
bard, by Sir John Leake, who had just before sailed 
for Leghorn, it was determined, at a council of war 
held on board the Elizabeth, at the request of the 
king of Spain, that the York and Milford should 
assist in convoying the transports, which had on 
board Lieutenant-general Stanhope and a strong 
body of troops, from Catalonia to Minorca. The re- 
duction of this island was not only become a veiy fa- 
vourite object with the king of Spain, but was also 
considered as likely to be most eminently conducive 
to the success of the allied cause. General Stanhope, 
who commanded the land-forces destined for this ex- 
pedition, was the elder brother of this gentleman ; 
and, as we have already remarked, the ties of con- 
sanguinity appeared to increase the thirst of glorv. 
and stimulated the latter to share with the former in 
the danger, as, though a younger, he appeared a 
scarcely less ambitious candidate for fame and mili- 
tary glory. Attending the land-forces as a volunteer 
at the assault of the Spanish lines at Port Mahon, he 
there fell, in the hour of victory, on the 17th of 
September, N. S. 1708. 



SIR THOMAS DUKES was appointed second lieu- 
tenant of the Hampshire on the '2.9th of April, ]6'87 ; 
and, on the 3d of September, 16'8S, of the Henrietta. 
On the 8th of April, 1G8.9, he was promoted to the 
command of the Charles lire-ship ; in 16\92 he was 
captain of the Adventure, a fifth rate, on the Irish 
station. In the month of October, being in com- 
pany with the Rupert, commanded by Captain Beau- 
mont, they captured t\vo large French privateers. 
The enemy made a resolute defence. The largest of 
them resolutely boarded the Adventure; but the su- 
perior discipline and conduct of Captain Dilkes's 
people soon prevailed over the rash valour of the as- 
sailants. In December following he had the <iood 
fortune to iall in with a very large privateer mount- 
ing thirty-two uns and six patereroes, commissioned 
by I'lie late King .lames. A desperate action ensued, 
and continued six hcurs, when the enemy surren- 
dered, bavin I-;- had their captain and twelve men 
killed, and twenty wounded. In the year 1(594 he 
M'a-i removed into the Dunkirk ; and, in the month 
of June, being'in company with the YTeymoiith, had 
the go;,;l fortune to meet with, and capture off Cape 
Clear. ?. large ship of war, belonging to St. Maloe's, 
mounting fifty-six guns : the particulars of which ac- 
tion are g ; ven in the lite of Captain, afterwards, Sir 
Wiilium j umer. 

d, (luring the remainder of 
h station ; a?;;!, by his diligence 
plete pr-.>t:cct:on to com- 
ow hunts of 'us command 
In io'u,} he v.'as Captain 
tie fo!!.'i\ving year, of the 
uns. On the i'l ,h of Maich, 
lca to be icui 1 adiijrai of the 


white. In July, having hoisted his flag on hoard 
the Kent, he was sent with a small squadron to de- 
stroy a fleet of merchant ships, and their convoy, 
which were at that time lying in Concalle Bay. lie 
sailed from Spithead on the 22d, and on the 24th 
ordered the Nonsuch, a-head of the squadron, to 
procure some intelligence of the enemy from Alder- 
ney. On the 26th of July, at day-break, the enemy 
was discovered at anchor about a league to the west- 
ward of Granviile. They immediately slipped on the 
approach of the English squadron, and ran in for 
the shore. The rear-admiral pursued them as far as 
the pilot thought it in any degree warrantable to 
venture. The enemy's fleet was found to consist of 
forty-five merchant ships under the convoy of three 
corvettes or small frigates. The rear-admiral sent in 
his boats manned and armed, as did all the other 
ships of the squadron. The enemy was attacked with 
so much spirit and vigour, that by noon fifteen sail 
were taken and brought off, six were burnt, and 
three sunk ; the remainder got away so far up a bay 
between Avranche and Mount St. Michael, that the 
pilots were of opinion the ships could not stand in 
near enough to afford any protection or assistance to 
the boats. A council was, however, called on the 
morning of the 27th, in which it was resolved, that 
a detachment should be formed of the smaller ships, 
to support the boats of the squadron, and that the 
attempt should be made the next morning. This 
was accordingly carried into execution between ten 
and eleven o'clock, the admiral and the captains of 
the squadron going in, to encourage the men. The 
three corvettes were first attacked : the largest, 
mounting eighteen guns, was burnt by the enemy to 
prevent her falling into the hands of the Eng'.ish : 
the second, was set on fire by 3,1 r. Paul, first- lieute- 
nant of the Kent, who was shot through the lower 
jaw while effecting it: the third, was brought off. 
Of the merchant ships, seventeen were burnt or 


otherwise completely destroyed, so that of the whole 
fleet, only four escaped, by getting under the guns 
of Granville Fort, where it was impossible for boats 
to attack them. This service was thought so highly 

O c5 / 

of by the queen, that she ordered gold medals to be 
struck in order to perpetuate this event, and dis- 
tributed them to the admiral and the principal of- 

On the 9th of March 1704, Sir George Rooke 
sailed from Lisbon, on a cruise, with such ships as 
were in a condition for immediate service. Having, 
received an account, from a Dutch privateer, that he 
had the night before seen three Spanish ships of war, 
and a dogger, which he at that time judged to bear 
south from the fleet, and distant not more than ten 
leagues ; Sir George, immediately on receiving this in- 
formation, made sail ; and the Rear-admiral Dilkes 
was ordered to continue the chace to the south-west, 
with the Kent and Bedford of seventy guns each, and 
the Antelope of iifty. During the next day and the 
following night it blew so hard that Mr. Dilkes was 
unable to make sail ; but the weather becoming more 
moderate on the 12th, he got sight of the enemy's 
ships, all which he took alter some resistance. They 
proved to be the Porta Coeli, and the Santa Theresa, 
of sixty guns each ; and the St. Nicholas, a merchant 
frigate of twenty-four. These were bound from St. 
Sebastian's to Cadi;-: : their cargoes were not only 
valuable in themselves, but the loss of them was par- 
ticularly distressing to the enemy, as they consisted 
entirely of cannon, bombs, and military stores. Con- 
trary winds prevented the return of Rear-admiral 
Dilkes to Lisbon till the '.2.5th of March : and in 
going into the -:ver one of his prizes, the Santa The- 
resa, was unfortunately lost. At the battle off Mala- 
ga, which took place soon afterwards, Mr. Dilkes 
behaved with the utmost gallantly. Several of the 
ships belonging to his squadron had been engaged in 
the attack on Gibraltar, where their expenditure of 


ammunition causing a great want of it in the action 
alluded to, they were obliged, to quit the line. The 
gallant behaviour of the rear-admiral in this action, 
rendered more perilous by the circumstance just 
mentioned, procured him the honour of knighthood, 
on the 22d of October, soon after his return to Eng 
land. On the 18th of January 1704-5, lie was ad- 
vanced to be rear-admiral of the red, and appointed 
to command the convoy sent with a fleet of merchant- 
ships to Lisbon. Having hoisted his flag on board 
the Revenge, he sailed from Spithead on the 1st of 
February, but was compelled, by a contrary wind, to 
put back to St. Helen's. He sailed again on the 15th, 
but did not succeed in getting to sea till the 18th ; 
and, after a successful passage, arrived in the Tagus 
on the last day of February, where he put himself 
under the orders of Sir John Leake. The whole fleet 
sailed on the 6th of March, and on the 10th, he had 
a conspicuous share in capturing and destroying the 
squadron that was employed, under the Baron De 
Pointis, in blocking up Gibraltar by sea. Of the 
death of this brave man we have already had an ac- 
count : he was interred with much solemnity, on the 
1 4th of the same month, in the burial-ground of the 
British, without the city, all the ships of the squadroi?, 
firing minute-guns during the ceremony. 


WAS the nephew of Sir Palmes Fairborne, some? 
time governor of Tangiers, who, in consequence f 
his bravery against the Moors, had arms, with the 
following crest, granted him :-r-a dexter armed hand 
with a gauntlet proper, holding a sword erect, argent, 
pomel and hilt, Or, on the point thereof a Turk's 
head coupe" e. He was afterwards mortally wounded 
VOL. iv. .<* 


in October 1 680, by the Moors, who were at that 
time besieging Tangiers. We meet with nothing re- 
lative to Sir Stafford till we find him lieutenant of the 
Bonad venture, in June 1685. The Captain (Priest- 
man) was, at that time, ill at Tangiers, and the com- 
mand of the ship of course devolved upon Mr. Fair- 
borne, who, in company witli the Captains Leightori 
and Macdonald, projected, and successfully executed, 
an attack on some Salletine ships of war, which were 
lying in the harbour of Marmora. On the 30th of 
August 1688, he was appointed commander of the 
Richmond ; from which he was removed into the 
Fairfax. Soon after the Revolution he was promoted 
to the Warspight, a third rate of seventy guns. He 
commanded this ship at the battle off JJeachy Head. 
In this he was so near his antagonist that the musket 
shot lodged in the hammocks with which his nettings 
were stuffed. In the month of September 16.90, 
being present at the siege of Cork, he was one of 
those gallant naval commanders who quitted their 
own service, in which, at that time, there appeared 
little opportunity of distinguishing themselves, and 
went as volunteers under Brigadier Churchill, and 
Lord Colchester, who were ordered to assault the 
breach. For two or three years after this time 
nothing memorable occurs. In the year 16\93 he 
commanded the Monk of fifty-two guns, one of the 
squadron under Sir George ilooke, sent to convoy 
the unfortunate Smyrna fleet. During the pursuit of 
this licet, by the enemy, the Monk separated from the 
other ships of war ; but, repairing to rhe .Madeira's, 
the appointed rendezvous in case of accident, was 
quickly joined by Sir George, and the ships which 
Lad happily escaped the misfortune. AVhen the re- 
mains, thus collected, returned to Ireland, Sir George 
joined the main fleet, with the six ships that were in 
the best condition for service, and left Captain Fair- 
borne to command the rest, which v/ere to return in- 
to port when rciittcd. In the month of July 1696, 


we find him captain of the Alhemarle of ninety-* 
guns, and stationed in the line as second to the 
commander-ill chief; soon afterwards he was made 
commander of the Victory. The peace of Hyswick 
took place in the following year, and in 1700, he was 
appointed commodore of the small squadron, which 
is usually sent, even to the present time, to Newfound- 
land, for the protection of the fishery. On his return 
he was appointed to the Tilbury, and sent into the 
Mediterranean, where he continued but a short time. 
Hostilities were thought to be on the eve of com- 
mencing- with France at the time of his arrival in 
England. This probably accelerated his promotion 
to be rear-admiral of the blue on the 30th of June 
1701 : but the rupture, which had been long expect- 
ed, did not break out till after the accession of Queen 
Anne. In the month of April, 170-2, Rear-admiral 
Fairborne was dispatched,^ with a small detachment 
of the fleet, to Ireland, for the purpose of bringing 
over some troops, destined to form part of the land* 
forces about to be sent, under the duke of Ormond, 
on the expedition against Cadiz. He was, during 
his absence, advanced on the 8th of May, 1702, to 
be rear-admiral of the white. He served in this sta- 
tion during the ensuing expedition ; and, on the 
22d of June, having hoisted his flag on board the 
St. George, of ninety-six guns, was detached before 
the main body of the fleet under Sir George Ilooke, 

The ill success of this part of the expedition is too 
well known ; but where the commandeivjn-chief is 
exempt from all blame relative to the failure, it be- 
comes impossible for the most inveterate calumny to 
affix a stigma on those, who, acting on every occa- 
sion in conformity to his orders, could, at most, only 
be censured in a secondary light. The fleet, on its 
return home, acquired some satisfaction for the for- 
mer disappointment. The capture of Vigo, in a pe- 
cuniary sense, rewarded the gallantry of the asscii!.- 
more substantially than that of Cadiz wuu'4 


have done. Sir S. Fairborne removed his flag from 
the St. George into the Essex ; but was not personally 
concerned in the attack. When Sir George Rooke 
returned to England he was left with Sir Cloudesley 
Shovel, to bring home the prizes; a service, in which 
they encountered much difficulty, from the severity 
of the season, and contrary winds. After being se- 
parated from Sir Cloudesley, in a violent gale on the 6th 
of November, that part of the fleet which kept company 
with Sir Stafford, arrived safe at Spithead with him 
on the 17th of the same month. On the 6th of Ma} r , 
in the following year, Sir Stafford was promoted to 
be vice-admiral of the red ; and, as it is said, was of- 
fered the chief command in the West Indies, which 
he thinking proper to decline, it was conferred on 
Vice-admiral Crayclon. He was afterwards sent on 
the Mediterranean service, as second in command of 
the fleet under the orders *of Sir Cloudesley Shovel. 
Having hoisted his flag on board the Association, 
they sailed from St. Helen's on the first of July. On 
the 24th the fleet arrived off Cascais, and Sir Stafford 
Fairborne was immediately dispatched to Lisbon to 
inform the king of Portugal, who had joined the 
grand alliance, of the arrival of the combined fleet. 
He was received with every possible mark of atten- 
tion by the king ; and returned to the fleet satisfied 
with these convincing proofs of royal attention to 
the dignity of his character. The fleet returned to 
England in November, and on the 26th that most 
furious tempest arose, which has ever since been dis- 
tino-uished by the name of the "freat storm. At 

* . ^ 

this time Sir Stafford was lying in the Downs, hav- 
ing his flag on board the Association. This ship was 
blown from her anchors ; and, after having, almost 
miraculously, escaped a myriad of perils, was obliged 
to put into Gottenburgh. Soon after his return, he 
shifted his flag into the Shrewsbury, and was ap- 
pointed second in command of the squadron, sent 
out in the month of May, under Sir Cloudcsley Sho- 
vel. The object of this equipment was, to attack, or 


to Confine in port, a French armament, fitting for sea 
at Brest, under the Count De Thoulouse. Infor- 
mation was received hy the admiral that the French 
had quitted Brest some days before lie himself left 
Portsmouth ; so that after an ineffectual cruise, it 
was determined, hy a council of war, that the ad- 
miral himself should proceed for Lisbon to join Sir 
George Kooke, according to his instructions, with 
t \vo-and-twcnty ships of the squadron ; and that Sir 
Stafford, with the major part of the remainder, should 
return to England. In the month of April, 1706, 
Sir Stafford, who still continued vice-admiral of the 
red, was appointed commander of a small squadron 
which rendezvoused at Spithead. His instructions 
were, to proceed, with all secrecy, off the river Cha- 
rente, where he was to use his utmost endeavours to 
take or destroy such ships as the enemy might be 
fitting out from Ilochfort,- which usually lay at the 
mouth of that river to take in their guns, stores, and 
provisions. Contrary winds for a considerable time 
impeded his progress ; and when he reached the 
place of his destined attack, the time limited for his 
absence was so nearly expired, that he was obliged 
to return without having been able to effect any 
other service than the destruction of about half a 
score trading vessels, and the capture of a few prizes 
which he surprised between the islands of Rhe and 
Oleron. The squadron returned to Plymouth on the 
17th of May, and Sir Stafford received orders to re- 
pair to the Downs with seven ships of the line, four 
frigates, a fire-ship, two bomb-ketches, and four 
small vessels. On the 30th he received farther or- 
ders to repair to Ostend, with the force under his 
command, in order to co-operate with the land-force 
under Monsieur Auverquerque, who was detached, 
by the duke of Marlborough, to besiege that town. 
Sir Stafford sailed on this service, and anchored as 
near Ostend as a proper attention to the safety of 
his ships warranted. It was proposed that NieuporC 


should be first attacked ; to promote which, he de- 
tached three of his small frigates to block up that 
place, and prevent the introduction of provisions 
Or reinforcements by sea. The intended plan of 
operations being- afterwards changed, and Ostend 
invested by land, Sir Stafford proceeded to recon- 
noitre the place, in order to discover whether it were 
possible to render any service by an attack from the 
sea; of this there appeared, indeed, but little hopes, 
inasmuch as the ships lay at the back of the town ; 
and the entrance into the harbour was not only long, 
narrow, and crooked, but well defended by several 
formidable batteries, so that the attempt was given 
up. Bat tiie general (Au verquerque) being of opinion 
that two or three frigates, stationed near the shore, 
might render some service at Furnes, in preventing 
the passage of troops over the gut at Nieuport, they 
were accordingly detached, though it was feared the 

O J o 

sands would prevent their approaching near enough 
the shore, to do any material execution. The trenches 
were opened on the 17th, and on the 19th, three 
small vessels got into the harbour, notwithstanding 
the vigilance of the frigates and guard-boats. On 

t 7 O O 

the 2()th, the batteries of the besiegers were ready to 
Open, and on the 22cl Sir Stafford went on shore, to 
conceit with the general, Monsieur Auverquerque, 
the plan of a general attack. This being agreed on, 

i o o o ' 

the bomb-ketches began, at break of day on the 
23d to throw shells, while at the same instant the 
land-batteries opened on the fortifications. The con- 
sequence of this combined attack was, that in a 
quarter of an hour, the town was observed to be on 
fire in several parts, and by eight o'clock the con- 
flagration had rapidly increased. The assault was 
continued with so much spirit and fury, both by sea 
and land, that before night most of the cannon be- 
longing- to the besieged were dismounted, and the 
place nearly reduced to a heap of ruins. On the 
morning of the 25th, the town being no longer 

C? / O 2 


l-enable against so formidable an enemy, the besieged 
beat a parley, and the same day the capitulation was 
actually concluded. Thus, by a happy conjunction 
of spirit, prudence, and ability, was a conquest 
effected after only three days open trenches, which 
had cost the Spaniards, about an hundred years be- 
fore, a siege of upwards of three years, and the lives 
of near fourscore thousand persons. With this suc- 
cess Sir Stafford appears to have closed his naval life, 
and not again to have hazarded the loss of that re- 
putation he had so justly acquired. On the 28th of 
June, 1707, he was, with Sir Cloudesley Shovel and 
Mr. R. Walpole, afterwards earl of Orford, added 
to the list of Prince George's council, in his quality 
of lord high -admiral ; an office he, however, scarcely 
held twelve months. From this time he lived a re- 
tired life till November 1742. when lie died. 


SIR JOHN LEAKE was the second son of Captain 
Richard Leake, master gunner of England, an ap- 
pointment of considerable note, which he obtained 
by dint of personal merit. Sir John was born at Ro- 
therhithe in the year 16\5(>; and, following the steps 
of his father, entered early into the navy. He served 
us a midshipman on board the Royal Prince in the 
memorable sea-fight between the English and Dutch, 
on the K)th of August, 16'73, being then only seven- 
teen years old. At the conclusion of the war, Mr. 
Leake finding his hopes of preferment in the royal 
navy at least postponed, engaged, for a short time, 
iii the merchants 1 service. lie quitted it on being 
appointed to succeed his father as gunner of the Nep- 
tune. He was, on the 2-lth of September, ]68, ap- 
pointed commander of the Fire-Drake lire-ship. In 
this he was present at the battle of Ban try Bay, where 


lie found an opportunity of performing a signal ser- 
vice by firing one of the French line-of-battle ships, 
Commanded by the Chevalier Coetlogon. This he 
did by an invention of his father's, called a cnshee 
piece, a species of cannon, throwing a small shell, or 
carcass, instead of shot. Admiral Herbert, who com- 
manded in-chief, did justice to his merit, by appoint- 
ing him, two days after the battle, to command the 
Dartmouth frigate of forty guns. On the 28th of 
July following, he relieved the city of Londonderry, 
at that time hard pressed by King James's army, con- 
sisting of 30,000 men. He effected this in spite of 
every impediment which a very powerful and active 
enemy could contrive. The Dartmouth being paid 
off at the close of the year, Mr. Leake was ap- 
pointed captain of the Oxford, of fifty-four guns ; 
and, in May following, was promoted to the com- 
mand of the Eagle, a third rate of seventy guns. 
He was one of the members of the court-martial ap- 
pointed for the trial of the gallant but unfortunate 
earl of Torrington, and proved himself to be one of 
those truly valuable persons, who, ever bent on the 
strict performance of their duty, ever zealous in the 
pursuit of true honour, are neither to be intimidated 
by the clamours of disappointed faction, or allured 
by the pleasing prospect of courtly favour. At the 
battle off La Hogue, being still commander of the 
Eagle, he continued to preserve that character for 
gallantry which he had before so industriously la- 
bourtcl to acquire. The recital of his loss is a suffi- 
cient proof of the share he bore in the action: seven- 
teen of the Eagle's guns being dismounted, seventy 
of her men killed, and one hundred and fifty wound- 
ed. On the Monday following, four days after the 
action, Sir George Rooke shifted his flag into the 
Eagle, disabled as she was, for the purpose of (!e! 
st roving thirteen of the enemy's ships under Cape 
La Ilogue : which service being performed, the fleet 
returned home; and the Eagle being put out of com- 


mission, Mr. Lcake was appointed to the command 
of the Plymouth, a third rate ; from which he was 
soon removed into the Ossorv, a second rate, of ninety 
guns. This ship proving leaky, was ordered round 
to Chatham for repair. Early in the ensuing spring, 
Captain Leake, still continuing in the Ossory, joined 
the fleet destined for the Mediterranean service, under 
the command of Admiral Ilussel. But the French, 
smarting under their defeat at La Hogue, suffered 
themselves to be pent up quietly in Toulon* The 
peace of Ryswick taking place soon after (September 
J20, 1697) the Ossory was, on the 5th of December, put 
out of commission, when Captain Leake was out of 
employ, though for the first time since he had be- 
come a naval commander, in the year of the Revo- 
lution. In the beginning of the year 1701, on the 
prospect of a fresh war with France, he was appoint- 
ed to the Berwick of seventy guns ; and, after a se- 
cond twelve-month of inactive service, was again put 
out of commission in January 1701-2. On the pre- 
paration for war, just before the death of King Wil- 
liam, he was recommended, by his old and steady 
friend, Admiral Churchill, as the fittest man in the 
service to be captain to the earl of Pembroke, at that 
time appointed lord high-admiral ; and who never 
having been bred to the sea, consequently required 
the assistance of the greatest professional abilities he 
could procure, in aid of his own natural gallantry 
and spirit. The death of King William, which hap- 
pened almost immediately afterwards, prevented his 
going to sea in that station ; and caused not only his 
removal, but that of the earl of Pembroke also, to 
make room for the appointment of George, prince of 
Denmark, for whom, it is said, that office had been 
long designed. Captain Leake was, however, ap- 
pointed to the command of the Association, a second 
rate, the very day he was removed from his former 
station, and, in three weeks afterwards, commodore 
of a squadron destined for Newfoundland, He now 


removed from the Association to the Exeter, a fourth 
rate, of sixty guns ; the former ship being too large 
for the service he was going upon, lie perform- 
ed every thing that the most sanguine expecta- 
tion could have formed, having, in the course of 
his summer's cruise, taken or destroyed upwards of 
fifty of the enemy's ships and vessels, as well as com- 
pletely routed them from all their considerable settle- 
ments on the shore. On the Qth of December he 
was appointed rear-admiral of the blue ; and, in the 
next month, commander-in-chief at Spithead. Still 
continuing in the same current of promotion, he was, 
in March, advanced to be vice-admiral of the blue. 
Early in the month of February he received the ho- 
nour of knighthood, and on the 19th of the same 
month, took tha command of the squadron destined 
to convoy the troops to Lisbon ; where, having ar- 
rived with his charge in perfect safety on the 2d of 
March, he put himself under the command of Sir 
George Hooke, who had sailed thither some time be- 
fore. In August Sir John Leake commanded the van 
division of the combined fleet at the battle of Malaga, 
his ship, the Prince George, being the fourth in the 
line. After an action of four* hours, he compelled 
Monsieur D'lmfreviMe, vice-admiral of the white and 
blue, to bear away, lie was soon after followed by the 
rest of the white and blue or van squadron of the French. 
On the return of the fieet to Gibraltar, Sir John Leake 
was appointed, by Sir George Rooke, to take the 
command of the squadron left for the protection of 
that place. On this occasion lie shifted his flag from 
the Prince George to the Nottingham, a fourth rate, 
the former ship beir:^ sent to England to be repaired. 
Having icceived advice that Gibraltar was attacked 
by the: i rench, he used the utmost dispatch in getting 
ready for sea. : and, being joined by a reinforcement, 
he sailed on the <2oth of October upon that service. 
Having made his passage in four days, lie had the 
good fortune to surprise, in Gibraltar Bay, the cue- 


Iriy's light squadron, so that the French lost, on thi.> 
occasion, two frigates of thirty-six guns, one of six- 
teen, afire-ship, and several smaller vessels, which 
run on shore, and were burnt to prevent their falling 
into the hands of the English. Sir John arrived at 
Lisbon in January following, and used the utmost 
diligence in refitting. Having been reinforced by 
Sir Thomas Dilkes, with five men of war, he hoisted 
his flag, as vice-admiral of the white, on board the 
Hampton-Court, of seventy-guns ; and, on the 6th 
of March, sailed with the fleet, consisting of thirty- 
live sail of the line, twenty-three of which were Eng- 
lish, the rest Dutch and Portuguese. On entering- 

* C-* ij 

Gibraltar Bay, he found the French admiral, Pointis, 
endeavouring to escape with his squadron; but giving 
chace to them, the whole were taken or destroyed. In 
consequence of this victory, the siege was raised ; and 
the prince of Hesse, as a mark of the high sense he 
entertained of the service rendered him by the fleet 
under Sir John's command, presented him with a gold 
cup. Having performed this eminent service, Sir John 
Leake returned to Lisbon, where he was joined by 
Sir Cloudesley Shovel, with the armament from Eng- 
land, in the month of June. On the 22d, they sailed 
for the Mediterranean, to assist, King Charles in the 
farther reduction of Spain. The grand object of at- 
tack was Barcelona, which having surrendered, Sir 
Cloudesley Shovel returned, with the main body of 
the fleet, to England, leaving Sir John Leake again 
commander in chief in the Mediterranean. After 
having encountered the greatest difficulties and hard- 
ships from the misfortunes of short allowance, con- 
trary winds, and sickness, he arrived on the 16'th of 
Junuary at Lisbon. The usual business of refitting 
being entered upon with the utmost despatch, on the 
G5th of February he sailed on an expedition against 
the Spanish flota at Cadiz ; but, owing to the Portu- 
guese, who had laid an embargo on all ships, and 
which he was unwilling to break through, he did not 


pass the bar till the 27th. On his arrival off 
he found the flota had, through the treachery of the 
Portuguese, been apprized of his intended visit, and 
left that place the day before, with so favourable a 
wind as rendered it impossible for him to overtake 
them. On the 29th of March he arrived in Gibraltar 
Bay, where he received a letter from King Charles, 
informing him of his extreme distress, being closely 
besieged in Barcelona, and pressing him to come, 
with the utmost expedition, to his relief. He arrived 
off Barcelona on the 26th of April. The French 
squadron under the Count De Thoulouse, having 
been informed of Sir John's approach the night be- 
fore, retired with the utmost precipitation. Five 
days afterwards, the duke of Anjou raised the siege, 
abandoning to his rival all his cannon, camp-equip- 
age, and military stores. This actj as well the 
most glorious as the most fortunate, being achieved, 
Sir John sailed for Valencia, from whence he pro- 
ceeded to Carthagena, which important place he im- 
mediately reduced and took possession of. From 
thence he proceeded to Alicant, which was stormed 
by the boats of the fleet on the 28th of July; but 
the castle continued to hold out till the 24th of Au- 
gust. After the reduction of the castle of Alicant, 
Sir John Leake sailed for Yvica and Majorca; both 
which having surrendered to him, he prepared to re- 
turn to England, and arrived in perfect safety, after 
encountering a dreadful storm in the Bay of Biscay, 
lie was received with acclamations by the populace, 
and with marks of the highest favour by his sove- 
reign. Prince George of Denmark, then lord admi- 
ral, presented him, as a token of his esteem, with a 
very valuable diamond ring and a gold hilted sword. 
The queen gave him a still more substantial mark of 
her esteem, by ordering him a thousand pounds. The 
following year Sir John Leake commanded in the 
Channel, and in the year after, having been appointed 
admiral of the white, and commander in chief of the 


fleet, he was again sent to the Mediterranean ; and 
in his passage to Barcelona, having fallen in with a 
fleet of victuallers belonging to the enemy, and taken 
seventy-five of them, he was enabled, a second time, 
to rescue King Charles and Barcelona from destruc- 
tion ; and as he had in the former instance delivered 
them from the swords of their antagonists, so on the 
present occasion did he save them from the no less 
certain and horrid enemy, famine, brought on them 
in consequence of the duke of Anjoti's success at 
Almanza. His next enterprise was, the reduction of 
the island of Sardinia, which was quickly followed by 
an equal success in an expedition to Minorca. These 
services being performed, and the season far advanced, 
he prepared to return again to England, where he ar- 
rived the latter end of October. During his absence 
he had been appointed one of the council to Prince 
George of Denmark, in his capacity of lord high- 
admiral : but he hardly arrived time enough to take 
possession of his office, his highness dying in six 
days after Sir John's return to Portsmouth. In the 
ensuing campaign he was again appointed admiral of 
the fleet by the earl of Pembroke, successor to Prince 
George; and, on the 24th of May following, was 
constituted, by patent, rear-admiral of Great Britain. 
The preliminaries of peace being settled in July 
1712. Sir John was sent, wilh General Hill, to take 
possession of Dunkirk according to the treaty. Hav- 
ing executed his part of the commission, Sir John, at 
the end of the month, struck his flag, and returned 
once more to a private station. He was again ap<- 
pointed admiral of the fleet the ensuing year, but 
there is no account of his ever having even hoisted 
his flag 1 . On. the death of the queen, and the conse- 
quent accession of George I. Sir John was not only 
dismissed from the Admiralty-board, but deprived of 
his other appointments. To crown at once the ill 
iisage he met with from those persons who, at that 
day, called themselves friends to their country, this 
man, who had spent the whole of his life honestly, 


and with unblemished reputation in its serviee, who 
had procured it as solid advantages as any either of 
his contemporaries or predecessors had done, was 
obliged to retire on a pension of 6001. a year, a sum 
harely equivalent to his half-pay ; yet this he accept- 
ed without a murmur, and without the smallest at- 
tempt, by painting the hardships of his case, to render 
odious the government of that country to which he 
had ever proved himself a steady friend, a zealous de- 
fender, and an able minister. Retiring to a country 
villa near Greenwich, he continued ever afterwards 
to live a private life; and died on the 21st of August 
1720, in the sixty-fifth year of his age. 


Tins celebrated vova^er was born at East-Coker, 

c/ O 

near Yeovil, in Somersetshire, in the year 16.52. 
lie had from his childhood a strong propensity to the 
sea- service; vet lie was not intended by his parents 
for such a way of life. But his father and mother 
dying whilst he \\irs at the grammar-school, his guar- 
dians took him from thence, ai 4 sent him to another 
place of education, with a viev/ of gratifying his pre- 
vailing disposition, and earnest desire of visiting fo- 
reign countries. Accordingly they soon after put 
him under the care of a master of a ship at Wey- 
mouth, with whom he made a voyage to Newfound- 
laud ; being then about eighteen years of age. But 
the rigour of that dimple was too severe for his con- 
stitution ; and there fore, upon his return to England, 
he determined not to revisit that country. So he re- 
tired to his friends in Somersetshire, where he con- 
tinued for .;onie time. After sufficient repose in this 
obscure situation, JJr. Dumpier went to London; 
and there rcv-dilv accented the oiier 01 a warm voyage 

and a ioi:!>' one, which was \\hnt he hud nhvavs do 



sired. He entered on board a ship bound to the East 
Indies, and was employed before the mast. In the 
course of this voyage, which took up little more than 
a year, he acquired much knowledge and experience; 
and he returned greatly improved in the art of na- 

The war with the Dutch being just begun about 
the time of his return, he declined going to sea that 
summer, and retired again into the country. But 
growing weary of his situation on shore, he entered 
on board the Royal Prince, and served under Sir 
Edward Spragge, in the year lG/3, being the last 
year of the Dutch war. This gallant admiral had 
three engagements with the enemy that summer, in 
two of which Mr. Dampier was present ; but happen- 
ing to fall sick, he was put on board an hospital- 
ship a day or two before the third, in which Sir Ed- 
ward Spragge was lost. Soon after this, he was sent 
to Harwich, with the rest of the sick, and wounded, 
where he languished for a considerable time, and at 
length returned to his native place, for the recovery 
of his health. As his strength returned, his inclina- 
tion to the sea returned with it ; and the war being 
now at an end, he accepted the offer of a neighbour- 
ing gentleman, who had desired him to go to Ja- 
maica, and to take upon him, under one Mr. \Vhalley, 
the management of a plantation, which he possessed 
in that island, in pursuance of this engagement, 
he left England in a merchant vessel, in the begin- 
ning of the year 1674, and arriving safely at Jamaica, 
entered upon his employment. He continued with 
Mr. Whaliey about six months, and then entered 
into the service of another gentleman, who had a 
plantation on the north side of the island. But dis- 
liking this situation, he embraced the first opportu- 
nity of disengaging himself from it, and took his 
passage on board a sloop to Port- Royal. From 
hence he sailed with the master of a trading vessel, 
which went commonlv to the north side of the island, 


and sometimes round it; and by these coasting voy- 
ages he became acquainted with all the ports and 
bays about Jamaica, and with all their manufac- 
tures ; and, at the same time, acquired a thorough 
knowledge of the nature and advantages of the land 
and seawinds. Having spent six or seven months 
in this way, our adventurer entered on board a ship 
bound from Port-Royal to the Bay of Campeachy, 
for logwood. Upon his arrival at that place, he was 
so pleased with the prospect of enriching himself by 
the employment of cutting logwood, that he re- 
solved to make a. second voyage thither. The va- 
rious difficulties and dangers, through which he 
passed in his return to Jamaica, did not deter him 
from this resolution ; but he took the first oppor- 
tunity of going as a passenger, well furnished with 
all necessary accommodations for the logwood trade. 
Arriving at vhe principal island in the bay, to which 
the traders resort, he .settled himself with some old 
logwood-cutter:-, to follow the employment with 
them ; hiring himself first as a servant, and being af- 
terwards admitted into partnership. Here he endured 
a variety of hardships, and escaped from many dan- 
gers : and being apprehensive of more, he determined 
to quit the island ; although (says he) it was a place 
where a man might have gotten an estate. Accord- 
ingly he left the employment, ai;d returned to Ja- 
maica. He had spent almost a year at the logwood 
trade, and was grown pretty well acquainted with 
die nature of it; and he designed to return to the 
same employment, after lie had vi-^ed his native 
country. From Jamaica he sailed for England ; and, 
after a short stay, set off again tor Jamaica, in order 
to proceed to Campeachy, but this expedition ended in 
a voyage round the world. lie sailed from England, in 
1679, a passenger on board a merchant-ship, but 
when he arrived at Jamaica, lie altered his design of 
going to Campeachy, anil waited for the opportunity 
.of some -'iher employmeu-;. Accordingly, in a. bhor.t 


time, he set out, with other adventurers, on a priva- 
teering expedition to Porto Itello ; and having ac- 
complished their scheme, they determined to march 
by land over the Isthmus of Darien, and to try their 
fortune in the South Seas. In pursuance of this reso- 
lution, they went ashore on the Isthmus, in number 
about three or four hundred men, carrying with them 
such provisions as were necessary, and toys proper to 
sooth the Indians, through whose country they were 
to pass. They landed, on the 5th of April, 1680; 
and in about nine days arrived at Santa Maria, which 
they took : there they remained a few days, and then 
set forward on their march to the South Sea coast ; 
from whence they embarked on board such canoes, 
and other vessels, as they could procure from their 
Indian friends. On the 23d of the same month they 
came in sight of Panama ; and continuing their course 
to the Keys, or Isles of Quicaro, they advanced 
against the town of Pueblo Nuevo ; but were re- 
pulsed, with the loss of their leader, and several 
others. Hereupon they resolved to change their 
course, and stand away to the > south-ward for the 
coast of Peru. Accordingly they left the Keys of 
Quicaro, on the 6th of June, and spent the remain- 
der of the year in that southern course. In the 
month of October they came to Ylo, a small town on 
the coast of Peru, and took it ; from whence they 
went, in November, to Coquimbo, on the same coast ; 
and in the latter end of December they were got as 
far as the Isle of Juan Fernandez, which was the ut- 
most of their course to the southward. They did not 
remain long at this place, but went back again to the 
northward ; having a design upon Arica, a strong 
town, advantageously situated on the Peruvian coast: 
but being repulsed from thence with great loss, they 
continued their course northward, till, by the middle 
of April, they were come in sight of the Isle of Plata, 
a little to the southward of the equinoctial line. Af- 
ter their defeat before Pueblo Nuevo, they had cho- 



sen another leader in the room of him who fell there. 
But while they lay at the Isle of Juan Fernandez, this 
new captain was degraded hy general consent ; the 
company heing not satisfied either with his courage 
or his conduct. The leader whom they chose in his 
stead was killed shortly after, before Arica; so that 
they were without a commander, during their return 
from that place, to the Isle of Plata. Here then a 
new election became necessary ; but not agreeing in 
their choice, they were divided into two parties ; and 
the diiference ran so high between them, that they 
determined to put it to the vote, and to separate com- 
panies.; having first concluded, that the majority 
should keep the ship, arid the other party content 
themselves with the lanch or long-boat, and canoes ; 
and return over the Isthmus, or try their fortune else- 
where, as they pleased. After the decision hy vote, 
Mr. Dampier, who had hitherto concealed his senti- 
ments, declared himself on the side of the minority, 
which consisted of the ablest and most experienced 
men ; who being now at liberty to pursue their own 
schemes, resolved to cross the Isthmus, and imme- 
diately prepared for their departure. On the 1 7th of 
April, 168], they left their former companions, and 
embarked in their long-boat and canoes, designing 
for the river Santa Maria, in the Gulph of St. Michael : 
which is about two hundred leagues from the Isle of 
Plata. They were in number forty -four white men, 
who bore arms ; a Spanish Indian, and two Moskito. 
Indians, who also bore arms ; and rive slaves taken in 
the South Seas. Their provision consisted of as much 
flour as they could conveniently take with them, and 
about twenty or thirty pounds of chocolate, rubbed 
up v.'ith sugar. They had also a kettle, which., with 
their provision, was carried by the slaves, alter their 
landing on the Isthmus. As there were some in their 
company not very well able to inarch, they gave out, 
before they sailed, that if any man faltered in the 
journey over land, he must expect to be shot to 


death ; for they knew that the Spaniards would soon 
be after them, and one man falling into their hands, 
might l>e the ruin of them all, by giving an account 
of their strength and condition: yet this did not de- 
ter any one from the expedition. In their passage 
they took a small hark ; which was a very useful ac- 
quisition, as their own boats were too small to trans- 
port them. Soon after this, they lost one of their 
canoes in a storm ; for they took their boat and 
canoes with them, for the better passage up the 
river Santa Maria ; their bark being not so conve- 
nient for that purpose. After various, perils, and 
narrow escapes from some Spanish vessels, which 
were looking out for them, they arrived on the 50th 
of April, in the Gulph of St. Michael ; through which 
they first came into the South Seas, and by which 
they designed to return. The river Santa Maria com- 
municates with this gulph ; and by that river they 
intended to pass into the country : but discovering a 

tJ f C7 

large Spanish ship at the mouth of the river, their 
scheme was frustrated. Hereupon they immediately 
got under sail ; and using the utmost care and cau- 
tion to avoid the enemy, determined to land some- 
where else that night, or the next morning early. 
They rowed and towed against the wind all night ; 
and, in the morning, they sailed about four miles to 
the westward, and running into a small creek, rowed 
up to the head of it; and landed in safety. Having 
got out all their provision and clothes, they sunk their 
ship, and prepared to march. Had they been able to 
land where they first proposed, their journey across 
the Isthmus would have been modi shorter and less 
inconvenient ; but now it was attended with almost 
insuperable difficulties: their bold and enterprising 
genius, however, ro^e superior to ail daubers and 
fatigues; and, with the help of their pocket compasses 
and Indian guides, they accomplished their journey in 
twenty- three days, with the loss of only one man, 
who was drowned. They travelled, according to Mr. 


Dampier's computation, about one hundred and ten 
miles, crossing some very high mountains ; though 
their common march was in the valleys, through wild 
and pathless woods, and among deep and dangerous 
rivers : and, to complete their sufferings, they had 
excessive rains the greater part of the way. How ex- 
tremely disadvantageous the place of their landing 
was, we may see from the time spent in their journey ; 
for, by going up Santa Maria river, a man may pass 
from sea to sea, in three days time, with ease : the 
Indians can do it in a day and half. They had left 
some tired men on the road, together with their sur- 
geon, who, by an unfortunate accident, was rendered 
incapable of marching. All these joined them after- 
wards ; having been hospitably treated by the natives, 
whose kindness their companions had secured by pro- 
per presents. Having got some canoes to carry them 
down the river Conception* to the sea-side, our band 
of adventurers departed ; and meeting with a French 
privateer, they all went on board ; and soon after 
joined a fleet of eight sail of privateers, French and 
English, which were ready for a cruise. They had 
not proceeded far, before the fleet was dispersed by 
a storm, without any hopes of being collected again. 
The captain of the ship, with whom Mr. Dampier 
was, being thus left to himself cruised for some time 
amongst the West India islands, with various success ; 
till at length Mr. Dampier, with about twenty more, 
fitted up one of their prize vessels, and, with their 
share of the plunder sailed directly for Virginia ; 
where he arrived in July, IfiS'J. In August 168S, 
Mr. Dampier sailed from Achamack, in Virginia, on 
board a privateer of eighteen guns, under the com- 
mand of Captain Cook, bound for the South Seas ; 
from whence he went to the East Indies, and so re- 
turned to England by the way of the Cape of Good 
Hope. In this voyage, they proceeded first to the 
Cape de Verd Islands, where they made a short stay, 
and from thence stood away to the southward ; in- 


tending to touch no where till they came to the 
Straits of Magellan : but meeting with contrary 
winds, they altered their resolution, and steered for 
the coast of Guinea, and came to an anchor in Sher- 
borough river. Here they went on shore, and re- 
freshed themselves for three or four days ; and then 
taking in water and rice, they proceeded on their in- 
tended course to the Straits of Magellan. Mr. Dam- 
pier endeavoured to dissuade Captain Cook from pass- 
ing through the Straits, knowing the danger of that 
passage in their circumstances : they did, however, 
attempt to pass, but were prevented by contrary 
winds; whereupon they doubled Cape Horn; and 
soon after their entrance into the South Seas, meet- 
ing with au English vessel which had passed the 
Straits, and being both bound for the Island of 
Juan Fernandez, they sailed in company. Imme- 
diately on their arrival at the south end of the 
island, they went ashore in search of a Mosquito 
Indian, whom they had left behind in the year 
16*81, when they were chased from thence by three 
Spanish ships : he was in the woods hunting for 
goats when the Captain drew off his men ; and 
the ship was under sail before he came back to 
the shore. The Indian lived here alone for more 
than three years. The Spaniards, who knew that 
he was left upon the island, searched for him se- 
veral times, but could never find him. He had 
seen Captain Cook's ship the day before they came 
to an anchor, and believing it to be an English 
vessel, had killed three goals in the morning, and 
dressed them for their entertainment: he then 
came down to the sea- side, to congratulate them 
on their safe arrival. As soon as they reached land, 
a Mosquito Indian, named Robin, leapt a-shore, and 
running to his countryman, threw himself flat on his 
face at his feer ; who helping him up, and embracing 
him, prostrated himself in like manner at Robin's 
feet; and was by him raised up and cordially em- 


braced. We stood with pleasure," says Mr. Dam pier, 
" to behold the surprise, and tenderness, and solem- 
nity of this interview, which was exceedingly affec- 
tionate on both sides; and when their ceremonies of 
civility were over, we also that stood gazing at them 
drew near, each of us embracing him we had found 
here, who was overjoyed to see so many of his old 
friends come hither, as he thought, purposely to 
fetch him- He was named Will, as the other was 
Robin. These were names given them by the Eng- 
lish, for they have no names among themselves ; 
and they take it as a great favour to be named by 
any of us ; and will complain for want of it, if we 
do not appoint them some name when they are with 
us ; saying of themselves they are poor men, and 
have no name." When this Indian was left on shore, 
he had with him his g-un and a knife, with a small 
horn of powder, and a few shot ; which being spent, 
he contrived a way, by notching his knife, to saw 
the ban-el of his gun into small pieces, with which 
he made harpoons, lances, hooks, and a long knife ; 
heating the pieces first in the fire, which he struck 
with his gun-flint, and a piece of the barrel of his 
gun which he had hardened ; having learnt that art 
among the English. The hot pieces of iron he 
would hammer out and bend, as he pleased, with 
stones, and saw them with his jagged knife, or grind 
them to an edge by long labour, and hardened them 
to a good temper, as there was occasion. With in- 
struments made in this manner, he got such pro- 
vision as the island afforded ; either goats or fish. 
At first, before he had make hooks, he was forced to 
eat seal, which is very indifferent food ; but after- 
wards he never killed any seals, but to make lines, 
by cutting their skins into thongs. He had a little 
house, or hut, hair" a mile from the sea, \vhich was 
lined with goats skin; his couch, or barbecu of sticks, 
lying; along' about two feet from the ground, was 

/ o <j o 

spread with the same, and was all his bedding. He 


was covered with a skin about his waist, having no 
clothes left. 

Captain Cooke and his companions stayed at Juan 
Fernandez about sixteen days, for the recovery of 
their siek, who were much afflicted with the scurvy ; 
but were soon restored by the pure waters and whole- 
some vegetables which this island afforded in great 
abundance. On the 8th of April, 1684, the two ships 
left this place, and sailed in company, coasting South 
America. The main land both of Chili and Peru is 
exceedingly high, and therefore they kept twelve or 
fourteen leagues otf from shore, being unwilling to 
be seen by the Spaniards. They pursued this course, 
without any adventure, till the 3d of May, when 
they discovered a sail to the northward, which they 
chaced and took. Their prize was a vessel which 
came from Guiaquil, laden with timber, and was 
bound to Lima. From her they learned, that the 
Spaniards had heard of their being in these seas, and 
that the vice-roy of Lima had sent expresses to all 
the sea-ports, to put them on their guard. Our ad- 
venturers, judging from this intelligence that the 
Spaniards would send no riches by sea, whilst they 
were hovering about, determined to attack some 
town on the coast, and immediately prepared for the 
expedition ; but failing in with three more vessels 
laden with flour, bound for Panama, they took 
them all ; and from the accounts of their prisoners, 
corroborated by letters found on board, they now 
concluded that their scheme would be impracticable, 
and therefore they steered wkhout delay, with their 
prizes, for the Gallipago Islands, which are many 
in number, large, and uninhabited, lying some under 
the equator, and others on each side of it. Here 
they remained twelve days, and then departed for 
the coast of Mexico, with intent to attack a town 
of whose strength and riches they had been well in- 
formed. In their passage they lost their captain, 
who died of a disorder which he had contracted at 


Juan Fernandez; and the quarter-master of their com- 
pany succeeded him. The Spaniards being alarmed, 
and on th^ir guard, they could not attempt the town; 
whereupon they steered for the Gulph of Amapalla, 
intending there to careen. Here the ship, which had 
accompanied them from their first entrance into the 
South Seas, left them. But they soon after met with 
another English vessel, under the command of Cap- 
tain Swan ; with whom they concerted some expe- 
ditions against the towns on the coast. Their at- 
tempts, however, did not succeed to their wish, and 
therefore they returned to the Isle of Plata ; from 
whence they sailed again, soon after, for the Bay of 
Panama, design in"; to attack La Velia, a considerable 

vT 1 C7 J 

town, situated on the north side of the hay, on the 
banks of a river, six or seven leagues from the sea. 
As they wanted canoes to land their men, they went 
up the river St. Jago, in search of some which they 
might procure from the Indians ; and having spent 
much time in these necessary preparations, they were 
now ready for their enterprise : but falling in with 
a packet-boat, that was sent from Panama to Lima, 
they learned from some letters which they found on 
board, that the Armada from Old Spain was arrived 
at Porto-Bello, and that the president of Panama had 
sent this packet on purpose to hasten the Plate-fleet 
from Lima. Being extremely rejoiced at this news, 
they altered their former resolution, and determined 
to careen their ships as soon as possible, that they 
might be ready to intercept this fleet. The place 
which they cho^e for this purpose was amongst the 
King's Islands, or Pearl Keys, which lie near Pana- 
ma, and are so situated, that all ,->hips bound for Pa- 
nama from the coast of Lima, puss by them. In 
pursuance of this design, they sailed the next morn- 
ing; their force consisting of two ships of war, a 
iire-ship, and two small barks, as tenders. In their 
way they took a prize laden with flour, which was 
extremely acceptable. They soon reached the place 


of their destination; and whilst they were cleaning 
their larger vessels, they sent out their barks to 
cruize before Panama ; which returned in a few days, 
bringing a prize laden with Indian corn, salt beef, 
and fowls ; which was a seasonable acquisition, as 
they had eaten but little flesh for some time. Hav- 
ing cleaned their ships, and taken in their water, 
and being so well furnished with provisions, they 
sailed towards Panama; intending to cruize before 
that place, as the Spanish fleet was not yet arrived. 
Here, as they lay at anchor near the Island of Tobago, 
in the bay they were surprised with the sight of a great 
number of canoes full of men, passing between To- 
bago and another island, which at first threw them 
into some consternation ; but observing that they 
came directly towards them, they weighed and stood 
towards the canoes ; which, upon a nearer approach, 
they discovered to be full of English and French 
adventurers, who were come out of the North Seas, 
through the Isthmus of Darien : they were in num- 
ber two hundred Frenchmen, and eighty English- 
men. From these they learned that there were one 
hundred and eighty Englishmen more, under the 
command of one Townley, in the country of Darien, 
making canoes to bring them into these seas ; where- 
upon they determined to sail towards the Gulph of 
St. Michael, in quest of them. But first, they dis- 
posed of the present party, entering the Englishmen 
on board Davis and Swan's ships, and giving the 
Frenchmen one of their prizes, under the command of 
their own senior captain. When they were come near 
the place where they had cleaned their ships, they met 
Townley coming with his men in two barks, which 
they had taken in the night as they were getting out 
of the river. Their prisoners informed them, that the 
Lima fleet was ready to sail ; which intelligence was 
soon after confirmed by some letters found on board 
a packet which they intercepted ; and from which 
they learned that the fleet was coming with all the 


strength that Peru could muster, though with express 
orders not to fight, unless they were forced to it. 
Having taken some more prizes, and being joined by 
more adventurers from the Isthmus, their fleet, which 
consisted now of twelve ships, well appointed, rendez- 
voused amongst the King's Islands; where they waited 
the arrival of the Lima fleet. On the 28th of May 
they discovered this fleet coming towards them, and, 
as they plainly saw, with an intent to fight; being 
in all fourteen sail, besides periagoes, rowing with 
twelve or fourteen oars. Their force, as it after- 
wards appeared, was vastly superior to that of the 
privateers ; yet the latter determined to engage them : 
for, being to svindward of the Spaniards, they had it 
at their option to fight, or not. Accordingly, at 
three o'clock in the afternoon, they weighed, and 
bore down right before the wind on the enemy, w r ho 
kept close on a wind to come to them - y but night 
overtook them, when they had only exchanged a 
few shot on each side. In the night, the Spanish ad- 
miral deceived the privateers by the stratagem of 
a false light, in such a manner, that when morning 
came, they found he had got the weather gage of 
them, and was coming on with full sail. This 
unexpected stroke ruined the hopes of our adven- 
turers, who were glad to make the best of their 
way from the enemy ; and after a running fight all 
the day, in which they were driven almost round the 
Bay of Panama, they came to an anchor in the same 
place from which they had sailed, on the approach 
of the Spanish fleet. Thus their long-projected de- 
sign ended unsuccessfully ; and, instead of making 
themselves masters of the Spanish treasure, they were 
glad to save themselves by flight ; which they could 
hardly have done, had the Spaniards thought fit to 
pursue their advantage. One of their ships having 
bjen parted from them in the fight, they went in 
earch of her to the Keys of Quicaro; that being the 


place appointed for their rendezvous. Here they 
called a council ; and as they had no prospect of 
making- their fortunes by sea, they now determined 
to attempt something by land. The city of Leon 
was the place they fixed upon for their first enter- 
pr^e ; which they took and burnt: and shortly after 
the town of Rea Sejo shared the same fate. But 
they did not enrich themselves by these expeditions ; 
the Spaniards having been for some time in expec- 
tation of such a visit. Captain Davis being now de- 
sirous to return to the coast of Peru, and Captain 
Swan beino- determined to proceed on the coast of 

o I 

Mexico, they agreed to separate; whereupon Mr. 
Dam pier resolved to accompany the latter, knowing 
that he intended, after having coasted as far as he 
thought convenient, to pass over to the East Indies ; 
which was a voyage he wished to make. Swan con- 
tinued his course to the north-west, on the Mexican 
coast, though without success, till he found it ne- 
cessary to depart for California, to careen. He now 
proposed to his companions a voyage to the East 
Indies, and with some difficulty obtained their con- 
sent. This expedition, indeed, was bold and daring; 
for they had only sixty days provision, at very short 
allowance, and they must sail at least two thousand 
leagues before they could touch at any place; and even 
when they should arrive at the first land, which is 
Guam, one of the Lad rone Islands, they were not 
sure of getting provisions, as the place was under 
the Spanish government. By good fortune, how- 
ever, they got sight of this island, three days be- 
fore their provision was spent, At Guam they pro- 
cured provisions by stratagem, and then made for 
Mindanao, one of the Philippine Islands ; being in- 
forme'd that it abounded with provisions, and was in- 
habited by a people not well-affected to the Spa- 
niards. It was moreover very convenient for them, 
as it lay in their way to the East Indies. Here they 
continued for a considerable time, till, at length, a 


great part of the crew, through neglect of discipline, 
and for want of action, Mere become mutinous ; and 
their disorders ran so high, that they formed a con- 
spiracy against the captain, who spent his time 
wholly on shore, and bound themselves by an oath 
to remove him from his post, and to conceal their de- 
sign from the rest of the crew, who \vere likewise on 
shore, till the ship was under sail. Their plot being 
ripe for execution, they weighed and fired a gun ; 
whereupon Swan immediately sent his chief mate on 
board, to inquire into the reasons of these proceed- 
ings. Having related to him their pretended griev- 
ances, and acquainted him with their resolution, they 
consented to stay and give their old captain, and the 
men who were with him, an opportunity of coming 
on board ; but the time limited for this purpose be- 
ing expired, they set sail, and left him with about 
thirty-six of the crew on shore. Mr. Dampier had 
no knowledge of the plot which was thus laid against 
the captain ; but being on board at the time of its 
execution, he was forced to remain there, though he 
disliked his company, and was determined to take 
the first opportunity of escaping from them. 

When these adventurers left Mindanao, thev tier 
signed to cruize before Manilla; and in their way 
they took some small prizes : but the season of the 
year being unfit tor their purpose, they left that 
coast, and went to Pulo-Condore, which is the prin- 
cipal and only inhabited one of a number of islands, 
Avhich are situatul nb'nit twenty leagues south-east 
from the rivei of Cambodia.- Here they careened; and 
being reach for sea, engaged a pilot to carry them 
into the Bay of Siam ; where they hoped to supply 
themselves with salt fish, having no provisions but 
rice. In this, however, the) were disappointed, and 
therefore they made the best of their way back to 
Pulo-Condore. I'i their return they overtook a jonk 
from the Island of Sumatra, bound to Siam ; the crew 
of which informed them that the English were 


settled at Sumatra. This news of an English settle- 
ment so near (of which they had no knowledge be- 
fore), induced the surgeon to attempt his escape, by 
staying on shore at Pulo-Condore ; in which, how- 
ever, he was disappointed. Mr. Dampier was also 
heartily tired of his companions, and determined to 
give them the slip whenever he might hope to get a 
passage to an English factory. Having prepared 
every thing for their expedition, they left Pulo-Con- 
dore, and sailed for Manilla ; but could not execute 
their intentions, being driven by contrary winds on 
the coast of China, The dreadful storms which they 
met with in their passage from hence effectually de- 
terring them from their design of cruizing before 
Manilla ; the captain persuaded his crew to go to- 
wards Cape Comorin, with the view of trying their 
fortune in the Red Sea. 

The eastern monsoon was now at hand, and their 
best way was through the Straits of Malacca ; but 
the captain, being probably afraid of meeting with 
some English or Dutch ships in that passage, pre- 
vailed upon his men to go round on the east side of 
the Philippine Islands, and so keeping south towards 
the Spice Islands, to pass out into the East Indian 
ocean, about the Island of Timor. This seemed to 
be a very tedious circuit ; but it was not disagreeable 
to Mr. Dampier, as it promised him the acquisition 
of further knowledge and experience, which was the 
principal object he had in view. He likewise hoped 
that he should be more in the way of meeting with 
some opportunity to make his escape; upon which 
he was fully bent. In their passage they stopped be- 
tween two small islands, about three or four leagues 
from Mindanao, to clean and refit their ship. Whilst 
they lay here, a young Indian prince, a native of a 
neighbouring island, with whom they were acquaint- 
ed during their former abode at Mindanao, where 
he was at that time a slave, came on board; and 
understanding that they were bound farther to the 


southward, desired them to transport him to his own 
island. He informed them that Swan, and several 
of his men, were then at Mindanao, in good health, 
and highly honoured bv the sultan for their military 

CT v */ */ 

exploits against his enemies. Upon this intelligence, 
Mr. Dampier endeavoured to persuade the crew to 
return with the ship to the river of Mindanao, and 
offer their service again to their old captain : hut he 
did not succeed in his endeavours ; and their present 
commander getting knowledge of his attempt, and 
fearing the worst, made all possible haste to be gone; 
insomuch that, although he had engaged to carry 
home the Indian prince, who was to return to the 
ship in three days, he departed without him. They 
pursued their course through the Spice Islands ; and, 
being got clear of them all, they stood off south, in- 
tending to touch at New Holland (which is a part 
of Terra Australis Incognita), to see what that coun- 
try would afford them. Here they came to an an- 
chor, on the 5th of January, 1688, and remained 
some time to clean and refit their vessel ; but the 
miserable natives, who seem far inferior to the Hot- 
tentots in every thing that distinguishes the human 
race from the brute creation, could afford them little 
assistance of any kind. Whilst they lay there, Mr. 
Dampier endeavoured to persuade the men to go to 
some English factory; but was threatened to be 
turned ashore and left there, for his pains. This 
made him desist; and he was forced to wait with 
patience for some more convenient place and oppor- 
tunity to take his leave. Being ready for sea, they 
left New Holland on the 12th of March ; but meeting 
with very bad weather, and contrary winds, they were 
induced to iorsake t]u T intended course, and to bear 
away towards <!;3 west side of Sumatra; which was a 
very pleasing circumstance to our voyager, as it seem- 
ed to promise him some opportunity of an escape. As 
they were coasting along the west side of Sumatra, 
they took a small boat with four men, belonging to 


Achin. The captain sunk the boat, and detained the 
men, in order to prevent any of his crew from going on 
shore, knowing the inclinations of Mr. Dam pier and 
others. They now directed their course to the Nico- 
bar Islands, which are situated to the north-west of 
Sumatra; and coming to an anchor, cleaned their 
ship, and took in their water, with the utmost expe- 
dition ; the captain being in hopes to get to Cape 
Comorin, before the westerly monsoon set in, which 
was near at hand. Mr. Dampier judging; this a pro- 
per time and place to make his escape, and finding it 
impossible to do it by stealth, desired the captain to 
set him ashore on this island; from which he did not 
doubt of getting a passage, either to Europe in some 
trading vessel, or at least to the English factory at 
Achin, in a canoe. The captain, supposing that he 
could not be set on shore in a place less frequented 
by ships than this, and consequently more out of the 
way of communicating intelligence to the English or 
Dutch, complied with his request; and he was imme- 
diately rowed off, with his chest and bedding. But 
he had not been on shore an hour, before an officer 
came, with three or four armed men, to bring him 
aboard again. Upon his return, he found the ship in 
an uproar; three more of the crew, encouraged by 
his example, having asked leave to accompany him. 
One of these was , the surgeon, with whom the 
captain and the crew would by no means part; but 
the other two were permitted to return with Mr. 
Dampier. Besides these, the captain sent on shore 
the four men belonging to Achin, whom he had taken 
in the boat; and a Portuguese who came aboard their 
ship from the Siamese jonk at Pulo Conrlore; so that 
their party was now of considerable force, and able 
to row themselves over to Sumatra. Accordingly 
they purchased a canoe of the natives, into which 
they entered with great joy, and launched from the 
shore. But no sooner were they off, than the canoe 
overset, bottom upwards; and ; though they saved 


their lives by swimming, and recovered their chests, 
yet they were forced to employ three days in drying 
their books and drafts, and in fitting- their canoe for 
their purpose. Being again ready for sea, they left 
Nicobar Island, directing their course to Achin, 
which is a town on the north-west end of Sumatra, 
distant from Nicobar about forty leagues. Their 
canoe was about the size of a London wherry ; 
deeper, but not so broad, and built sharp at both 
ends. They had a good mast, a mat-sail, and, by 
the contrivance of their Achinese companions, good 
outlayers, lashed very fast on each side the vessel, 
being made of strong poles ; so that, while these 
continued firm, the canoe could not overset, as she 
easily might without them. Thus equipped, they 
entered upon this bold and hazardous exploit ; though 
both Mi\ Dampier, and Mr. Hall, one of his compa- 
nions, were very sensible of the danger, .being expe- 
rienced seamen. The weather, at their first setting- 
out, was fair, clear, and hot, a gentle breeze just 
fanning the air. They rowed with four oars, the men 
taking their turns ; Mr. Dampier and Mr. Hall steer- 
ing also by turns; for of this none of the rest were 
capable. In this manner they pursued their course 
till the third morning ; when they looked out for 
Sumatra, supposing that they were within twenty 
leagues of it. But they looked in vain; and turning 
themselves round, saw, to their sorrow, Nicobar Island 
lying not above eight leagues from them. By this it 
appeared, that they had met with a very strong cur- 
rent against them in the night, a circumstance which 
Mr. Dampier all along suspected. On the fourth 
day the wind began to rise, and the sky was clouded; 
and they beheld, with the utmost concern, very 
alarming tokens of an approaching tempest. The 
force of the wind increased apace, and being on their 
broadside, pressed down the canoe to such a degree, 
that the poles of the outlayer going from her sides, 
were plunged under water, and bent like twigs; and 


had these given way, they must inevitably have been 
overset. Besides this danger, Mr. Dampier plainly 
saw, that, if they heid on their present course, the 
waves of the increasing sea, taking the side of the 
vessel, would certainly fill and sink them, whereupon 
he shewed Mr. Hall the necessity of steering away 
right before the wind and sea; which they accord- 
ingly did. The wind was still increasing, and the 
sea swelled higher and higher, breaking frequently, 
but doing them no great injury ; for the ends of the 
canoe being very narrow, the steersman received the 
sea on his back, and thus breaking it, prevented its 
coming in so as to endanger the vessel, though he 
could not so effectually exclude it, but that they were 
constantly employed in heaving out the water. The 
evening now approached, and their prospect was full 
of horror. The skies were wrapt in clouds of uncom- 
mon blackness, and the tempest was increasing. 
" The sea," says Mr. Dampicr, " was already roaringin 
a white foam about us; a dark night coming on, and 
no land in sight to shelter us, and our little ark in 
danger of being swallowed up by every wave." The 
terrors of their situation overcame the fortitude of 
this bold adventurer. "Iliad been/' says he, "in 
many imminent dangers before now; but the worst of 
them all was but a play-game in comparison of tin's. 
Other dangers came not upon me with such a leisurely 
and dreadful solemnity : but here I had a lingering 
view of approaching death, and litlls or no hopes of 
escaping it; and I must confess that my courage, 
which I had hitherto kept up, failed me here." To 
complete his sufferings, Conscience re-assumed her 
full dominion in his breast, and overwhelmed him 
with anguish and remorse. Many scenes of his past 
life now rose before him in their native deformity ; 
and he trembled at the recollection of actions which 
he had always disapproved, and could not now re- 
member but with extreme horror and detestation, 
Bat though he was so much discomposed and di-:*. 

Y0. IV. I 


heartened, he did not neglect the necessary precau- 
tions for their preservation. Mr. Hall and he were 
to steer alternately, and their companions were to 
heave out the water by turns : " And thus," says he, 
" we provided to spend the most doleful night I was 
ever in." About ten o'clock the thunder began to 
roll, and the lightnings to fly, and the rain poured 
down in torrents: but the rain indeed was very 
acceptable to them, for they had drank up all the 
water which they had brought from Nicobar. The 
wind now blew harder than before; but within half 
an hour it became more moderate, and the fury of 
the sea was much abated. Immediately hereupon 
they had recourse to their compass, by means of a 
lighted match (of which they kept a piece burning 
for that purpose), and observing their situation, they 
ventured to hale to their former course, being once 
more in hopes of reaching Sumatra. 13ut, about two 
o'clock in the morning, the tempest came on again, 
and they were obliged to put before the wind a second 
time; to run they knew not whither. It was ex- 
tremely dark, and they were chilled with rain; in 
which deplorable condition they counted the tedious 
hours, till at length the day appeared. But they 
were not much comforted by its appearance; for the 
first glimpse of the dawn exhibited to them the well- 
known signs of impending storms. Thus were these 
unfortunate wanderers situated, their course still 
continuing before the wind and sea, till, about eight 
o'clock, to their inexpressible joy, one of the Achi- 
nese discovered land. About noon, they saw more 
Jund; and steering towards it, descried, before night, 
the whole coast of Sumatra. The wind continued 
with a strong gale till the evening, when it abated ; 
and at ten o'clock it died away. They then took to 
their oars, which they managed with great difficulty, 
being worn down with hunger and fatigue. The 
next morning they saw all the low land in full view, 
at the distance of about eight leagues; and, in the 


afternoon, they ran into the mouth of a river, and 
went to a small fishing village, well known to the 
Achinese. Their joy at this unexpected deliverance 
was allayed by the consequences of those hardships 
to which they had been exposed. They were all 
seized with a fever; and, though during their 
continuance at this village, they met with the 
most kind and tender usage from the natives, 
yet, finding they were not in the way to recover 
their health, they desired to go to Achin. Their 
request was complied with, and a vessel was imme- 
diately provided to carry them thither; for they 
were not able to manage their own canoe. Upon 
their arrival at Achin, they were taken care of by the 
English resident at the factory ; and were treated 
with particular humanity by the captain of an Eng- 
lish ship which lay then in the road. But the Por- 
tuguese died in a few days, and the English sailor 
did not long survive; and both Hall and Dampier 
were in imminent danger. They did, however, re- 
cover their health ; and some English ships arriving 
there soon after, Mr. Dampier engaged with one of 
their captains, and went several trading voyages to 
various parts of the east. In one of these expeditions 
he met with a merchant-vessel from Mindanao; the 
supercargo of which had there purchased the Indian 
Prince, of whom we have spoken before, and his mo- 
ther ; and in the course of his connexions \vith this 
gentleman, Mr. Dan-. pier got them into his posses- 
sion. He had concerted measures for carrying them 
to their native island, and thereby to establish a com- 
merce with the natives for cloves ; but his schemes 
were frustrated, and the prince was brought to Eng- 
land. Before Mr. Dampier left. Sumatra, he was ap- 
pointed gunner of the fort of Bencoolin, in the ser- 
vice of the East India Company ; but, disliking that 
situation, he determined to take the first opportunity 
of getting away. Accordingly, in the beii'inning 1 of 

i 2 * 


the year 1691, be went on board a ship which came 
to an anchor in Bencoolin road, and was bound for 
England. This ship had the misfortune to take in 
bad water at Bencoolin, which occasioned such a 
sickness and mortality amongst the crew, that it was 
with the utmost difficulty they reached the Cape of 
Good Hope. Here they remained some weeks to re- 
cover their sick ; and then proceeded on their voyage 
to England, in company with other vessels ; where 
they arrived in September 1691. On his arrival in 
the Thames, Prince Jeoly was sent a-shore to be seen 
by some persons of rank. He was an object of great 
curiosity, being painted in a most artificial and sin- 
gular manner, after the custom of his country. Mr. 
Dampier, when he brought him to England, was in 
hopes of finding some opportunity of restoring him 
to his native island; but being now in very necessi- 
tous circumstances, was prevailed upon to part with 
him. He was afterwards carried about for a show, 
and died at Oxford of the small-pox. His mother 
died at Bencoolin. Soon after his return, Mr. Dam- 
pier published an account of his voyage round 
the world, and dedicated his book to the presi- 
dent of the Royal Society ; who recommended 
him to the patronage of the first lord of the admi- 
ralty. In consequence of this recommendation, he 
was preferred to the command of the Roe-buck, and 
sent upon a voyage to New Holland. He executed 
this commission with success, till, in his return from 
the Cape of Good Hope, he had the misfortune to 
lose his ship ; for having sprung a leak, which could 
not be stopped, she foundered at sea, through perfect 
age, near the island of Ascension. The crew were 
fortunately saved ; and some English ships arriving 
there about six weeks after, they were taken off from 
the island ; some of the men went to Barbadoesj but 
the captain returned immediately to England. 


We have no further particulars of the life, nor any 
account of the death, of this circumnavigator of the 
globe. From the relation of his voyages it appears, 
that Captain William Dampier was a man of ability 
and penetration. His curiosity was unbounded; and 
he was no mean observer of nature in her wonderful 
varieties. His diligence and attention seem to have 
recommended him to the notice and favour of the 
Royal Society ; and a collection of curious plants, 
which he made in his voyage to New Holland, was 
deposited in the hands of Dr. Woodward. Though 
he was the companion of licentious men, and engaged 
with them in many actions of an unwarrantable na- 
ture ; yet his principles were not corrupted by their 
example. He seems to have been exempt from the 
vices peculiar to such persons ; and he disdained to 
mix with them in their grosser scenes of riot and de- 
bauchery. His guardian virtues were temperance 
and fortitude ; and to these he probably owed his 
preservation in a variety of unwholesome climates, 
and amidst his long-continued hardships and fatigues. 

WE have now finished, not only the naval history,, 
but the naval memoirs of this reign, by annexing the 
best accounts we could collect of those great men 
who served their country under the happy auspice of 
this illustrious Princess; the few things that remain 
to be said, are of a miscellaneous nature, and are 
brought in here because they relate to naval affairs, 
and so are connected with our history more than with 
any other, and are at the same time of too great im- 
portance to be suffered to sleep in oblivion, while it 
is in our power to save them. 

Of all the reigns since the conquest, it may be 
truly said, that the British constitution never appeared 
with greater lustre than under that of the queen ; by 
which I mean, that the prerogative, or influence of 
the crown, was never less exerted than by Queen 
Anne and her ministers. 


Thus immediately after the peace of Utrecht, in 
order to shew the care and concern that was had for 
the trade of the nation, the commissioners appointed 
for taking and stating the public accounts, directed 
Dr. Charles D'Avenant, director-general of the ex- 
ports and imports, to lay before them distinct annual 
accounts of the importations and exportations of all 
commodities into and out of this kingdom, which 
lie accordingly did, with his own remarks and reflec- 
tions ; a thing of very great importance to the state, 
and a precedent worthy of imitation ; because, with- 
out such authentic grounds, it is simply impossible 
that any probable conjecture should be made as to 
the growth or decay of our commerce in general, or 
how far it is, or is not, affected by the encourage- 
ment or discouragement of particular branches ; 
which, however, are points of great importance to 
every government, and without a competent know- 
ledge of which, no ministry can ever make a figure, 
or any parliament be able to decide with certainty, as 
to those points which are of greatest, consequence to 
their constituents. 

At the close of that work, Dr. D'Avenant enters 
largely into the advantages that might be made by a 
trade carried on directly into the South Seas, and 
this in terms which shew plainly that the commerce 
of the company was not, even in a commercial sense, 
so visionary a thing as the enemies of the Lord High- 
treasurer Oxford, its patron, pretended ; for he there 
says plainly, that this company might extend the 
trade of the nation by vending its commodities and 
manufactures in unknown countries, and gives his 
reasons why he so thought. I must confess, that I 
never understood the scope of this great man's rea- 
soning upon that subject till I read a book lately pub- 
lished by Mr. Dobbs, wherein he has shewn, with 
great public -spirit, how this may be done, cither by 
discovering a north-west passage into those seas, and 
fixing colonies in the countries beyond California, or 


by prosecuting those discoveries that have been al- 
ready made by the Dutch, and some of our own na- 
vigators, in respect to the Terra Australia, through 
the Straits of Magellan, either of which would 
open to us a new commerce, infinitely more advan- 
tageous than that of Spain to her Indies, because 
these newly-discovered countries are so situated, as 
that their inhabitants must stand in want of our 
goods, at the same time that they stand possessed of 
gold, silver, spices, and other rich commodities, 
which must come to us in return ; and, therefore, 
Dr. D'Avenant had great reason to suggest, that the 
new South Sea, might prove as beneficial to Britain 
as her old East India, Company. This very discourse 
of his, being addressed to the commissioners for 
taking and stating accounts, is the clearest demon- 
stration, that, when the South Sea Company was 
erected, there was a prospect of these advantages, 
and that, with a view to these, the powers of the 
company were rendered so extensive, and their capi- 
tal made so large. 

If this has not'hitherto been done, still, however, 
it may be done, since the same powers remain vested 
in the company by their charter; and it is the more 
reasonable that something of this sort should be at- 


tempted, because the Assiento contract is now given 
up. Besides, if we are able to settle any ne\v colo- 
nies in that part of the globe, we should be able to 
trade with the Spaniards without an Assiento, and 
secure to ourselves such a proportion of commerce 
as might, perhaps, equal all that we now possess. But, 
if it should be found, that, notwithstanding these ex- 
tensive powers, the company is either not inclined, 
or disabled to carry on such a new trade, then I hum- 
bly think it will be high time for the legislature to 
transfer those powers to some other body corporate, 
that may be able and willing to exert them, and this 
with such clauses of emendation or restriction, as the 
experience we have since had of the management of 


public companies shall suggest to be either necessary 
or expedient. 

In the same report by Dr. D'Avenant, there are 
several other curious remarks on almost all the 
branches of our commerce ; and if such a general 
state of trade as this were to be laid before the par- 
liament, once at least in every reign, we should then 
be able to judge both of the efficacy of the laws 
already made, and of the usefulness and expediency 
of new ones. But it is now time to return from this 
digression, into which I was led by the desire of pre- 
serving a hint which seems so very capable of im- 
provement, to the last acts of the queen's govern- 
ment and life, with which I shall conclude this 

The treaty of Utrecht, which put an end to our 
disputes abroad, proved the cause of high debates 
and great distractions at home. The people grew 
uneasy, the ministry divided, and the heats and vio- 
lence of party rose to such a height, that her Majesty 
found herself so embarrassed, as not to be able either 
to depend upon those in power, or Venture to turn 
them out. The uneasiness of mind that such a per- 
plexed situation of affairs occasioned, had a very bad 
effect upon her health, which had been in a declining 
condition from the time of Prince George's death ; 
and tliis weakness of her's served to increase those 
disorders in her government, which were so grievous 
to herselfj and so detrimental to her subjects : for her 
ministers, forgetting their duty to her and their re- 
gard for their country, consulted only their ambition 
and their private views; so that, whenever they met 
in council, they studied rather to cross each other's 
proposals, than to settle or pursue any regular plan; 
and to such a monstrous extravagance these jealou- 
sies rose at last, that it is believed a quarrel between 
two of her principal ministers, in her presence, proved, 
in some measure, the cause of her death. 

Tor being at Kensington, to which she had re- 


moved from Windsor, she was seized on the 29th of 
July with a drowsiness and sinking of her spirits, 
and the next day, about seven in the morning, was 
struck with an apoplexy, and, from that time, conti- 
nued in a dying condition. About three in the af- 
ternoon, she was sensible, and, at the request of the 
privy-council, declared the duke of Shrewsbury lord 
high-treasurer of Great Britain, though he was al- 
ready lord-chamberlain and lord-lieutenant of Ire- 
land. This was the last act of her administration ; 
for the council now took upon themselves the direc- 
tion of public affairs, appointing the earl of Berkeley 
to hoist his flag on board the fleet, and sending Ge- 
neral Whitham to take the command in Scotland, 
and likewise dispatched orders for the immediate em- 
barkation of seven British battalions from Flanders. 
In the mean time, the queen continued in the hands 
of her physicians and domestics, some of whom flat- 
tered themselves with false hopes to the last ; but, 
the blisters not rising, her Majesty, about seven in 
the morning on the 1st of August, 1/14, breathed 
her last. The following character I have taken from 
a history of her reign in MS. which now, in all pro- 
bability, will never be printed : 

ANNE STUART, daughter to James II. king of Eng- 
land, &c. was born at St. James's, February 6, 1664-5, 
at thirty-nine minutes past eleven at night. She was 
tenderly and carefully educated; and, having from 
nature the most valuable gifts, she became a very ac- 
complished princess. She was moderately tall, and 
well-proportioned, her complexion and shape excel- 
lent, till her constitution was impaired by grief and 
sickness. She appeared to best advantage speaking; 
for she had a clear harmonious voice, great good 
sense, and a very happy elocution. Her piety was 
unaffected; her humility sincere; her good-nature 
very conspicuous, but would have been more so, had 
it not been inherent in her family. As a wife, she 


was the pattern of conjugal fidelity, without any af- 
fectation of fondness. Her tenderness, as a mother, 
to her children, was regulated by the rules of reason 
and religion ; but her indulgence, as the mother of 
her subjects, knew no bounds. It was her only foible, 
that the uprightness of her own intentions left her 
without suspicion. Her affection for her people was 
so apparent, that it was never doubted, and so firmly 
rooted, as to be discernible in her last words. With 
a just sense of her own high dignity, she had a true 
concern for the rights of her subjects, and a strong 
passion for the glory of the nation ; she loved public- 
spirit, and encouraged it; and, though she was natu- 
rally magnificent and generous, yet she was frugal in 
her private expences, not to hoard, but to bestow on 
the necessities of the state. She gave her tenths to 
the clergy, which will remain a lasting monument of 
her zeal for the church. The many good laws, and 
the numerous happy events which fell out in her 
reign, will ever preserve her memory in esteem with 
those who wish well to the state. In a word, she 
was blessed with all the endowments that could make 
a woman admired, and exerted all the virtues neces- 
sary to make a monarch beloved. At her death, her 
loss was thought irretrievable, and few who remem- 
ber her have altered their opinions. It would be im- 
proper to say more, and ingratitude to have said less. 
Her Majesty had issue by the Prince of Denmark, 
1. A daughter, that was still-born the 12th of May, 
1684; 2. Lady Mary, a second daughter, born the 
2d of June, 1685, and died in February 1(>90; 3. 
Anne Sophia, who was born the 12th of May, 1686, 
and died the February following; 4. William, duke 
of Gloucester, born the 24th of July, 1689, who 
lived to be eleven years of age i 5. The Lady Mary, 
born October, 1690, who lived no longer than to be 
baptixcd ; 6. George, another son, who died also 
soon after he was born. 

































Fire-ships, 7 




The Tonnage of the Royal Navy was equal to 167,596. 



Containing the Naval History of Great Britain, from the 
Accession of King George I. to the time of his Demise. 

VV E are now to enter on a new period of time ; and 
a great change in our government, brought about by 
a statute made in the twelfth year of King Wil- 
liam III. for limiting the succession of the crown ; 
by which, after the death of the queen, then Princess 
Anne, without issue, it was to pass to the most il- 
lustrious house of Hanover, as the next Protestant 
heirs : for the Princess Sophia, clectress-dowager of 
Hanover, was daughter to the queen of Bohemia, 
who, before her marriage with the Elector Palatine, 
was styled the Princess Elizabeth of Great Britain, 
daughter to James VI. of Scotland, and I. of Eng- 
land ; in whom united all the hereditary claims to 
the imperial crown of these realms. 

But the Princess Sophia dying a very little while 
before the queen, George-Lewis, Elector of Hanover, 
her son, became heir to this crown on the demise of 
Queen Anne, and was accordingly called to the suc- 
cession, in the manner directed by another statute 
passed in the fourth year of her Majesty's reign. 

For, by that law, the administration of the go- 
vernment, immediately on the queen's death, de- 
volved on seven persons named in the act, in con- 
junction with as many as the successor should think 
lit to appoint, in the manner directed by that law. 

The seven justices fixed by the statute were, the 
archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Thomas Tennison ; 
the lord high-chancellor, Simon, Lord Ilurcourt; 
the lord-president of the council, John, duke of 


Buckinghamshire ; the lord high treasurer*, Charles, 
duke of Shrewsbury ; the lord privy seal, William, 
earl of Dartmouth ; first lord-commissioner of the 
Admiralty, Thomas, earl of Straffbrd ; and lord chief- 
justice of the King's Bench, SirThomas Parker. The 
lords justices appointed by the successor were, the lord 
archbishop of York, Sir William Dawes ; the dukes 
of Shrewsbury, Somerset, Bolton, Devonshire, Kent, 
Argyle, Montrose, and Roxborough ; the earls of 
Pembroke, Anglesea, Carlisle, Nottingham, Abing- 
don, Scarborough, and Orfbrcl ; the Lord Viscount 
Townshend ; and the Lords Halifax and Cowper.* 

These lords justices, the same day the queen died, 
issued a proclamation, declaring the accession of 
King George I. and commanding him to be pro- 
claimed throughout all parts of the kingdom ; which 
was done accordingly. On the next day they sent 
the earl of Dorset to his Majesty, to invite him over ; 
and on the 3d of August the lord high-chancellor, in 
the name of the lords justices, opened the session of 
parliament by a speech. On the 17th of the same 
month, the earl of Berkeley sailed with a squadron 
of sixteen men of war, and six yachts, for Holland, 
in order to attend his Majesty, where he was joined 
by eight ships of the States-general, under Rear-admi- 
ral Coperen ; and, to secure the coasts and the Chan- 
nel, Admiral Wager was sent down to Portsmouth, 
and Sir Thomas Hardy to Plymouth, to equip such 
ships as were fit for service. 

His Majesty arriving from Holland on the 18th of 
September, and making his public entry on the 20th, 
took the reigns of government into his own hands ; 

O O " 

and very soon made some considerable alterations in 

* It may not be amiss to remark, that the electorate was created 
in 1692, in favour of Duke Ernest Augustus of Hanover, his Ma- 
jesty's father, who, in 1698, was succeeded by this monarch in 
that quality, his mother, the Princess Sophi?, being styled dec- 
tress-dowager, who died at the age of eighty-four, June 8. 
1714, N. S. 


the several boards ; particularly in that of the Admi- 
ralty, which was clean swept ; for, instead of Tho- 
mas, earl of Strafford, Sir John Leake, Sir William 
Drake, John Aislabie, Esq. Sir James Wishart, and 
Dr. John Clarke, who were there on the demise of 
the late queen, his Majesty appointed Edward, earl 
ofOrford, Sir George Byng, George Dodington, Esq. 
Sir John Jennings, Sir Charles Turner, Abraham 
Stanyan, and George Baillie, Esqrs. In the month 
of November, Matthew Aylmer, Esq. was declared 
admiral and commander-in-chief of his Majesty's fleet; 
and, soon after, Sir Charles Wager, rear-admiral of 
the red, was sent to relieve Sir James Wishart in the 

The subject of this work obliges me only to take 
notice of such acts of the new "'overnment as relate 


to naval affairs ; and therefore, after observing that 
a new parliament was summoned, and met at West- 
minster, March the 17th, the next thing that occurs 
is, that, on the 1st of April, 17*5, they came to a 
resolution to allow ten thousand seamen, at four 
pounds a month; and, on the 9th of May, following, 
granted 35,5 74/. 3*. 6d. for the half-pay of sea-offi- 
cers; 197,8967. 17*. 6V/. for the ordinary of the navy; 
and Q37,277l. for the extraordinary repairs of the 
navy, and rebuilding of ships. These large sums 

* In order to render the subsequent history more clear, it will 
be requisite to give the reader a short state of the commands in the 
navy, at the accession of King George I. 

Sir John Leake, Knight, rear-admiral of Great Britain. 

Matthew Aylmer, Esq. admiral and commander-in-chief of his 
Majesty's fleet. 

Sir James Withart, Knight, admiral of the white squadron. 

Sir John Norris, Knight, admiral of the blue. 

James, earl of Berkeley, vice-admiral of the red. 

Sir Edward Whitaker, Knight, vice-admiral of the white. 

John Baker, Esq. vice-admiral of the blue. 

Sir Charles Wager, Knight, rear-admiral of the red. 

fir Hovemlen Walker, Knight, rear-admiral of the white. 

Sir Thomas Hardy, Knight, rear-admiral of the bluo. 


were thought necessary, because, at this juncture, 
the fleet of Gi cat Britain was very much decayed; 
and it was foreseen, that, notwithstanding the peace 
so lately concluded, new disputes were likely to arise, 
which might require fresh armaments. 

Amongst these disputes, the most serious was that 
in which we were engaged with Sweden. This had 
begun before the queen's death, and was occasioned 
by the Swedish privateers taking many of our ships, 
which, with their cargoes, were confiscated, under 
a pretence that we assisted and supplied the Czar and 
his subjects with ships, arms, ammunition, &c. con- 
trarv. as was su^o-ested, to our treaties with the 

*j ' *--'O 

crown of Sweden. Mr. Jackson, her Majesty's mi- 
nister at Stockholm, had presented several memorials 
upon this subject, without receiving any satisfactory 
answer ; and therefore it was now thought expedient 
to make use of more effectual means ; viz. sending 
a strong squadron of men of war into the Baltic, the 
rather because their High Mightinesses the States- 
general, labouring under the same inconveniencies, 
found themselves obliged, after all pacific methods 
had been tried in vain, to have recourse to the same 
measures, in order to protect the commerce of their 

This once resolved, a squadron of twenty sail was 
appointed for the service, and the command given to 
Sir John Norris, who was then admiral of the blue, 
and who had Sir Thomas Hardy, rear-admiral of the 
same squadron, to assist him.* The Admiral hoisted 
his flagon board the Cumberland, a third rate, having 
ten ships of the line in his division. Sir Thomas 
Hardy was in the Norfolk, a third rate also, and had 
in his division eight ships of the line, the Mermaid 
frigafte of thirty-two guns, and the Drake sloop, 
which carried sixteen. This fleet sailed from the Nore 

* When the commerce of Britain suffers, a British fleet is the 
quickest and most t-ffactual remedy that can be applied. 


on the 18th of May, and arrived in the Sound on 
the 10th of June following; where, finding the Dutck 
squadron, a conference was held on board the Cum- 
berland on the 14th, in which it was resolved, that 
the combined squadron should proceed together, with 
the English and Dutch merchantmen under their 
convoy, for their respective ports ; which they per- 
formed accordingly by the close of the month. 

One of the first things Sir John Norris did, was, to 
dispatch an express to the court of Stockholm, in 
order to be satisfied whether the Swedes were re- 
solved to go on in their practice of seizing and con- 
fiscating our ships ; or whether, before it was too 
late, they would consent to enter into a negociation 
for determining the disputes which had arisen be- 
tween the two nations. The answer he received was 
so loose and uncertain, that he resolved to proceed 
according to his instructions. After Sir John's de- 
parture from Copenhagen, there arrived, under the 
convoy of two British men of war, forty-six mer- 
chant ships, that were not ready to sail from England 
with Sir John Norris. These ships remained till the 
Danish fleet was ready to sail, in order to take the 
advantage of their convoy. About the middle of 
the month of August the Danish fleet, consisting; of 

twenty ships of the line, with the Russian squadron, 
resolved to sail up the Baltic with the English and 

As the Czar of Muscovy was at this time at Co- 
penhagen, and designed to command his own ships, 
several consultations were held to regulate the com- 
mand of the several squadrons of different nations 
then in that road, which together were called the con- 
federate fleet. It was at last resolved to give the chief 
command of it to the Czar of Muscovy, but so*that 
Sir John Norris should command the vanguard of the 
united fleet, the Czar the body of the line of battle, 
the Danish admiral Count Gueldenlew the rear, and 
ihat the Dutch commodore, with his squadron, and 


five British men of war, should proceed with the 
trade of both nations for their respective harbours in 
the Baltic. According- to this resolution, the iGtli 
tiie Czar hoisted his imperial flag, as admiral, on 
hoard one of his finest ships, and was thereupon im- 
mediately saluted hy Sir John Norris with a dis- 
charge of his cannon, which was followed by the 
Danish and Dutch ; and, these compliments being 
paid, his Czarian Majesty gave the signal for sailing; 
the 18th they came to an anchor in the Kieger- 
bncht, from whence they sailed towards Bornholm, 
where, being informed that the Swedish fleet was 
returned to Carlscroon, the British and Dutch mer- 
chant ships, with their convoys, separated, and pro- 
ceeded on their respective voyages, and the Czar, 
with his squadron, sailed for the coast of Meck- 
len burgh. 

The Swedes had at this time a very numerous fleet, 
and in pretty good condition ; but they were too 
wise to hazard it against such an unequal force as 
that of the confederates, and therefore withdrewit 
into one of their own ports, till they could receive 
the king's absolute orders. On the 28th of October 
Sir John Norn's, with the British squadron under his 
command, and the Danish men of war commanded 
by Count Gueldenlew, arrived at Bornholm, on 
which day the two cruizers, which Sir John Xorris 
had sent to Carlscroon, returned to him with an ac- 
count, that they had seen the Swedish fleet, with 
two flags and seven broad pendants, in Carlscroon, 
and all the ships they could discover lay rigged, as 
also that they had three cruisers under sail off the 
port. That night Sir John Norris sent these two 
cruisers, being the best sailers of his squadron, to 
Dantzick,- to hasten the trade down the Baltic, and, 
if they found the six British men of war and all the 
merchantmen had joined there, to order the commo- 
dore not to lose a moment that could be made use of 
for sailing, but to proceed. These cruisers arrived at 

VOL. iv. K 


Dantzick on the 30tli, where they joined the British 
men of war, and the trade, which, on the 31st, all 
sailed from Dantzick. 

On the 9th of November, the British men of war, 
with the trade, joined Sir John Norris's squadron at 
Bornholm, having sailed from the fleet off Dantzick 
on the 4th of this month, and the next day, came all 
with him into the road of Copenhagen. On the 12th, 
arrived the Dutch trade with their convoy, which had 
been obliged to stay after ours at Dantzick for provi- 
sions. A few days after, Sir John sailed from the 
road of Copenhagen ; and, notwithstanding his fleet, 
as well as the merchantmen under his convoy, were 
surprised by a violent storm, which dispersed them, 
and in which the August of sixty guns, and the 
Garland of twenty-four, were unfortunately lost; 
yet the rest, with all the trade, safely arrived at the 
Trow, on the 29th of November, in the morning. 
Sir John Norris left seven ships of war, under the 
command of Commodore Cleeland, in the Baltic, to 
act in conjunction with the Danes, and for the far- 
ther security of the British trade, if necessary. Thus 
I have prosecuted the history of this Baltic expedi- 
tion, from the sailing to the return of the fleet, that 
the reader might the better apprehend it: and now I 
ought to recur to the proceedings of our fleets in the 
channel, but that it seems requisite to clear up some 
points relating to this Baltic expedition, which have 
been the subject of dispute. 

The great point in question as to this Swedish ex- 
pedition is, whether it took rise from our own con- 
cerns, or from those of the electorate of Hanover. 
On the one hand, it is very certain, that the Swedish 
privateers took our ships as well as those of other na- 
tions, and that, in fitting our fleet for those seas, we 
did no more than the Dutch. On the arrival of Sir 
John Norris in the Baltic, our minister presented a 
memorial, in which he set forth the particular dama- 
ges sustained by our merchants, amounting to 6'9,024A 


2s. 9d. for which lie demanded satisfaction, and, at 
the samp time, insisted on the repeal of an edict, 
which his Swedish Majesty had lately published, and 
by which the commerce of the Baltic was wholly 
prohibited to the English. This memorial was pre- 
sented June 15, 1715, and in it the nature of Sir John 
Norris's commission was explained; so that, thus far, 
all this quarrel seems to arise from his Majesty's care 
of the British commerce. 

But, as elector of Hanover, he had also some dis- 
putes with his Majesty of Sweden, of quite a different 
nature; for having purchased from the crown of 
Denmark the duchies of Bremen and Verden, which 
had been taken from the crown of Sweden, he found 
himself obliged, in quality of elector, to concur with 
the first-mentioned power in declaring war against 
Sweden ; and, even before this was done, some Eng- 
lish ships joined the Danish fleet, in order to distress 
the Swedes. Of this, the Swedish minister here, 
complained by a memorial delivered to Lord Towns- 
hend, then secretary of state, dated Octobers, 1715. 
His Swedish Majesty, also, in answer to the Hanove- 
rian declaration of war, published some very severe 
reflections, in which he asserts, that the honour of 
the British flag had been prostituted to serve the in- 
terests of another state, and in order to create an in- 
tercourse between the king's regal and electoral domi- 
nions. Thus far I have given the evidence on both 
sides, and leave the whole to the determination of the 
reader, with this observation only, that the Dutch, 
though no less injured, no less concerned in their 
trade than we, did not, however, think it necessary 
to come to such extremities. 

While this squadron was employed in the Baltic, 
the rebellion was extinguished in Scotland, but with 
so little assistance from our naval force, that it scarcely 
deserves to b? mentioned. It is true, Sir George 
Byng was sent to hoist his flag in the Downs in the 
middle of summer, and continued there as long as 

K 2 


the season would permit ; but no enemy appeared, 
and Sir John Jennings was sent to Edinburgh, from 
whence he went on board the Oxford in the Frith, 
and hoisted his flag as commander in chief of the 
squadron then upon the coasts, which would have 
been highly serviceable in case the pretender's adhe- 
rents had either possessed a naval force, or had been 
succoured from beyond the seas : but there was nothing 
of this kind. The rebellion broke out under the in- 
fluence and direction of the earl of Mar, who was 
soon joined by the clans ; and, the duke of Argyll 
being sent down against him, it quickly appeared, 
how ill their measures had been taken. His sfrace 


had, indeed, but a small number of regular troops 
under his command ; but his interest was so extensive, 
that he not only engaged many powerful families to 
declare for King George, but, which perhaps was the 
greater service of the two, engaged many more to re- 
main quiet, who would otherwise have joined the rebels. 
The business was decided by the battle of Sheriff- 
inuir, near Dunblain, fought November 13, 1715, 
the same day that General Foster, and the English 
who were in arms, surrendered at Preston. Yet, af- 
ter this, the Chevalier De St. George ventured over 
into Scotland in a very poor vessel, where soon find- 
ing his affairs desperate, and his person in the utmost 
danger, he contrived to make his escape from the 
north with the utmost secrecy, which he effected, 
by going on board a clean tallowed French snow, 
which sailed out of the harbour of Montrose, Febru- 
arv 3d, in si"'ht of some English men of war, but 

*- o o ' 

kept so close along shore, that they soon found it was 
impossible to follow her. 

These were the principal transactions of this year, 
at the close of which things were still in such confu- 
sion, that the parliament thought fit to grant very 
large supplies for the ensuing year; viz. 10,000 
seamen, at the rate of 4/. per month, the sums of 
233, S4<J/. 19-y. 6V. for the ordinary of the navy, and 


23,6C3/. for the extraordinary repairs of the navy. 
We have already taken notice of what passed under 
Sir John Norris in the Baltic, and have, therefore, 
only to observe, that this year, some of the piratical 
republics in Bar bary having broke the peace, Admiral 
Baker, who had the command of the English squad- 
ron in the Mediterranean, received orders to bring 
them to reason, winch he did without any great diffi- 
culty. But the Sallee rovers still did a great deal of 
mischief, and it was the more difficult to suppress 
them, because their ships were so small, and drew so 
little water, that our men of war were very seldom 
able to come near enough to exchange shot with 
them. At last, Captain Delgarno, one of the most 
active officers in the navy, in his Majesty's ship the 
Hind, of twenty guns only, came up with one of their 
best men of war of twenty-four guns, and, after an 
obstinate engagement of two hours and a half, oblig- 
ed her to strike; but she had not been in his possession 
above a quarter of an hour before she sunk, and all 
her crew, except thirty-eight hands, perished; this, 
with the loss of another vessel of eight guns, and two 
more of sixteen guns each, which were forced on 
shore by his Majesty's ship the Bridgewater, delivered, 
in a great measure, the English commerce in the 
Mediterranean from the interruptions given by these 

In the month of July, his Majesty went over to 
Holland, escorted by an English squadron, and from 
thence continued his journey by land to Hanover, where 
the disturbances in the north made his presence at that 
time particularly necessary, and where lie continued 
the rest of the year 171fi, at the close of which, Ad- 
miral Aylmer sailed with his squadron for Holland to 
escort him home. In the mean time, the government 
was employed in extinguishing the remains of the re- 
bellion here and in Scotland, and providing, in the 
best manner they could, against the revival of such 
disturbances, of which they had the greater hopes from 


the conduct which the regent of France pursued, who 
shewed a strong inclination to live upon good terms 
with Great Britain, as was indeed his interest. But 
it very soon appeared, that, notwithstanding the che- 
valier's adherents had lost their hopes with respect to 
succours from France, they had still another power 
willing and ready to assist them. 

Upon his Majesty's return a dangerous conspiracy 
was said to be discovered, in which many were en- 
gaged at home and abroad, and for defeating of which 
it was thought necessary to secure the person and 
papers of Count Gyllenbourg, then his Swedish Ma- 
jesty's ambassador at this court, and who at the 
time of his death was prime minister of that king- 
dom ; a fact which struck the foreign ministers here 
with the utmost surprise, from which, however, 
they quickly recovered themselves, when they were 
informed, that it was not for any act of his minis- 
try, but for his being concerned in the management 
of a plot against the government. About the same 
time, the famous Baron Goertz was, at his Britan- 
nic Majesty's request, arrested in Holland, where 
he acted as minister from the king of Sweden. In 
order to satisfy the world, the letters and papers relat- 
ing to the invasion, which it was said his Swedish 
Majesty intended to have made in Scotland, were 
rendered public, and the parliament soon after shew- 
ed the warmest resentment at the insolence of this at- 

It was, indeed, amazing, that a prince, already 
overwhelmed by so many, and so powerful enemies, 
should think of adding to their number by practices 
of this kind ; but whoever considers the genius and 
spirit of the late Charles XII. will easily conceive, 
that it was natural enough for him to embrace any 
expedient, how dangerous soever, which seemed to 
promise the dissolving that confederacy by which he 
was distressed. But his design was not only rendered 


abortive by this unexpected discovery, which put it 


absolutely out. of bis power to carry it into execu- 
tion ; but it likewise brought upon bini new difficul- 
ties, in consequence of his Britannic Majesty's resent- 
ment of sucb hehaviour, \vbicb presently discovered 
itself by tbe vigorous resolutions taken heje : for, on 
tbe 2 1st of February, it was resolved in tbe House of 
Commons, " Tbat a bill be brought in to authorize 
bis Majesty to prohibit commerce with Sweden, dur- 
ing sucb a time as bis Majesty shall think it neces- 
sary, for tbe safety and peace of bis kingdom ;" which 
afterwards passed botb bouses, and had tbe royal as- 
sent ; and, on the 2d of March, a proclamation was 
published for this purpose. 

As it was foreseen, that this affair must necessarily 
occasion the sending another squadron to tbe Baltic, 
the necessary supplies were very early granted ; viz. 
10,000 seamen for the service of tbe year 1717; 
226,799!. 5s. 3d. for the ordinary of tbe navy, and 
20, 70' I/, for the extraordinary repairs, and for tbe 
furnishing such sea-stores as might be necessary. Im- 
mediately after, orders were issued for forming a grand 
squadron, consisting of twenty-one ships of the line, 
besides frigates, for the Baltic, tbe command of 
which was given to Sir George Byng, who was to 
have had two admirals under him, with an additional 
force ; but, before those ships were ready, the minis- 
try altered their design, and Sir George, in obedience 
to fresh orders, sailed on the 3()th of March for Co- 

Whatever necessity there might be for these vigor- 
ous measures, yet it is certain, that this necessity did 
not so fully appear to many who were hitherto sup- 
posed as penetrating politicians as anv in this king- 
dom; and, therefore, an opposition was created where 
it was least expected, I mean by some who had the 
honour to be in the king's councils, which, however, 
did not hinder them from expressing their sentiments 
with a British freedom. Their arguments, however, 
had so little weight, that, as soon as Sir George Bvn 


was sailed, some of the great ministers prevailed upon 
his Majesty to send, on the 3d of April, 17 J 7, a mes- 
sage to the House of Commons to this effect: " That, 
being desirous to secure his kingdoms against the pre- 
sent dangers with which they were threatened from 
Sweden, he hoped they would enable him to make good 
such engagements as might ease his people of all fu- 
ture charge and apprehensions upon this account." 
This occasioned warm debates in the house, it being 
said, that the demanding a supply, without commu- 
nicating the particular uses to which it was to be ap- 
propriated, was unparliamentary; and even Mr. Wai- 
pole, afterwards created earl of Orford, and Mr. 
Speaker, appear to be against it. However, it was 
at length carried in the committee, by 164 to 14y r 
" That it was the opinion of the committee, that a 
sum not exceeding two hundred and fifty thousand 
pounds he granted to his Majesty, to concert such 
measures with foreign princes and states as may pre- 
vent any charge and apprehension from the designs 
of Sweden for the future. When the question for 
agreeing with the committee was put in the house, 
it was carried but by four voices ; viz. yeas 153, 
noes 149. 

The next morning, Mr. Secretary Stanhope let the 
Lord Townshend know, that his Majesty had no far- 
ther occasion for his service as lord lieutenant of Ire- 
land : whereupon Mr. Walpole, who was then first 
commissioner of the treasury, Mr. Methuen, secretary 
of state, and Mr. Ptilteney. secretary at war, laid 
down their employments. A few days after, Ed- 
ward ilnssel, earl of Orford, resigned his office of 
first lord of the Admiralty; upon which his Majesty 
thought proper to change that hoard, and, accord- 
ingly, James, carl of Berkley, Matthew Aylmer, Esq. 
Sir George ljyng> James Cockburn, and William 
Chctwynd, Esqrs. were made lords commissioners of 
ihe Admiralty. 

It v;as neccssarv to t:ike notice of these domestic 


proceedings, before we followed Sir George Byng 
with his fleet into the Baltic ; where so little was per- 
formed, that it is not easy to give the reader any to- 
lerable satisfaction about it. On the llth of April, 
Sir George arrived in the road of Copenhagen : the 
next day he had an audience of the king of Denmark, 
and assisted at several conferences, which were held 
in the succeeding week, in order to settle the opera- 
tions by sea, and the command of the confederate 
fleet, in case it should be thought requisite for the 
several squadrons to join. Sir George next detached 
five ships of the line to cruise in the Cattegat, between 
Gottenburgh and the point of Schagen, to cover the 
trade from the Swedish privateers. The Danish cruis- 
ers being, likewise, employed for the same purpose, 
the passage was so effectually secured, that no ships 
could pass out of that port. Sir George himself wait- 
ed only for a fair wind to sail M'ith the rest of the 
British squadron into the Baltic, where the Swedes, 
however, had, by this time, absolutely laid aside 
whatever designs were formed, either to our preju- 
dice, or against the general peace of Europe. 

On the 7th of May, our admiral sailed from Copen- 
hagen, having under his convoy a great number of 
merchant ships, bound for several parts of the Baltic, 
and, in the Kiogerbucht, was joined by the Danish 
fleet, commanded by Vice-admiral Gabel; they sailed 
together towards Carlscroon ; but were obliged, by 
contrary winds, to return. As no enemy appeared, 
and the season of the year began to advance, Sir 
George Byng thought of coming home with the fleet; 
and, accordingly, on the 2d of November, passed the 
Sound with nine English men of war, three frigates, 
and three vessels of small burden, leaving behind him 
six men of war, to act in conjunction with the Danish 
fleet; and, on the lath of the same month, arrived 
safe at the mouth of the Thames : there leaving his 
squadron, he came up to London, where he was gra- 
ciously received by his Majesty. So that here ended 


the naval expedition for this year, and with it, in a 
great measure, all the apprehensions that the nation 
was under from the Swedes.* 

In the mean time, his Majesty had thought fit to 
appoint Sir John Norris envoy extraordinary and ple- 
nipotentiary to the Czar of Muscovy ; and, as if 
things began to be so disposed as to admit of a peace 
in the north, a resolution was taken to discharge 
Count Gvllenbourff, which was thus brought about. 

i O- O 

His royal highness the duke of Orleans ordered the 
French minister here to acquaint the king, that his 
royal highness was perfectly well informed as to the 
king of Sweden's disposition, and that he was tho- 
roughly satisfied, that his Swedish Majesty had not, 
or ever had, any intention to disturb the tranquillity 
of his Britannic Majesty's dominions; that if, there- 
fore, his ministers had entered into any practices of 
that kind, it was entirely without his knowledge ; 
and that, upon their return to Sweden, he would 

* To quiet the minds of the people, and prevent their running 
into a notion that the fitting out this fleet was not really intended 
for the honour and service of Great Britain, the following account 
was published in the Gazette : 

Admiralty" office^ June 28. 

" Captain Lestock, of the Panther, who commands the ships 
appointed by Sir George Byng to cruise off Gottcnburgh, gives an 
account by his letter, dated the 13th of last month, that, on the 
27th of April, he sailed out of Marde in Norway, and three days 
after, took a Swedish privateer-dogger., of six guns, and seventy- 
two men, commanded by one St. Leger, the person who some time 
since seized one of our packet-boats. That the same afternoon, he 
re-took a Dutch hoy, which had been taken the day before by a 
Swedish ship of ten guns ; and, on the 1st of May, in the after- 
noon, he met and took the privateer into whose hands the hoy had 
fallen ; all which prizes were carried into Arundel ; and that the 
Sth, at night, the Strafford re-took a Dutch fly-boat. By ano- 
ther letter from Captain Lestock, dated the 26th of -May, lie gave 
an account, that his Majesty's ship the Severn had taken a pirate, 
and re-taken a Dutch fly-boat ; that the Chatham had taken two 
Swedish privateers ; arid that, on the loth of the said month of 
May, our ships took a Swedish brigantir.c of eight guns and hv en- 
six men. 


cause a strict enquiry to be made into their conduct, 
in order to punish them, if they should be proved 
guilty. Upon this proposition from the regent of 
France, it was agreed, that Count Gyllenbourg should 
be exchanged against Mr. Jackson, the English mi- 
nister at Stockholm, and that Baron Goertz should 
be released from his confinement in Holland, which 
was accordingly performed. Yet the storm did not 
entirely blow over; but the Swedish quarrel still prov- 
ed a source of new expence to the British nation. 

The ministry, to shew that their thoughts were not 
wholly taken up by these disputes in the north, fram- 
ed at this time a very just and laudable design of sup- 
pressing the pirates in the West Indies, who, since 
the close of the late war, were become very numer- 
ous and highly insolent. And to give the public a 
just idea of their care in this respect, they caused an 
order of council, dated the 15th of September, 1717, 
to be published to the effect following ; viz. " That 
complaint having been made to his Majesty by great 
numbers of merchants, masters of ships, and others, 
as well as by the several governors of his Majesty's 
islands and plantations in the West Indies, that the 
pirates are grown so numerous, that they infest not 
only the seas of Jamaica, but even those of the north- 
ern continent of America; and that, unless some 
effectual means be used, the whole trade from Great 
Britain in those parts will not only be obstructed, but 
be in imminent danger of being lost; his Majesty has, 
upon mature deliberation in council, been graciously 
pleased, in the first place, to order a proper force to 
be employed for suppressing the said piracies ; and, 
that nothing may be wanting for the more effectual 
putting an end to the said piracies, his Majesty had 
also been graciously pleased to issue a proclamation, 
dated the 5th instant. And, whereas it hath also 
been represented to his Majesty, that the House of 
Lords had addressed her late Majesty on this ac- 
count, particularly with respect to the Bahama is- 


lands ; but that there were not any means used, in 
compliance with that address, for securing the said 
Bahama islands ; and that, at this time, the pirates 
have a lodgment with a battery on Harbour Island, 
one of the Bahamas, as also that the usual retreat, 
and general receptacle for pirates, is at Providence, 
the principal of those islands ; his Majesty has been 
farther pleased to give directions for dislodging those 
pirates, who have taken shelter in the said islands, as 
well as for securing those islands, and making settle- 
ments, and a fortification there, for the safety and 
benefit of the trade and navigation of those seas for 
the future." 

By a proclamation, dated the 5th of September, 
1717, his Majesty promised his pardon to any Eng- 
lish West India pirates, who should surrender them- 
selves on or before the 5th of September following, 
for all piracies committed before the 5th of January 
preceding : and, after the said 5th of September, any 
of his Majesty's officers by sea or land, who should 
take a pirate, upon his conviction, to have for a cap- 
tain, a hundred pounds, for any other officer, from 
a lieutenant down to a gunner, forty pounds ; for an 
inferior officer, thirty pounds; and for every private 
man, twenty pounds. Lastly, any pirate delivering 
up a captain, or commander, on or before the 6th of 
September following, so as he should be convicted, 
was to have two hundred pounds reward, to be paid 
at the treasury. We shall, in treating of the events 
of next year, give a large account of the good effects 
which tiiis proclamation produced, by giving an im- 
mediate check to the insolency of these sort of peo- 
ple, and opening a way to their total suppression. 
But it is now time to return to affairs of greater im- 
portance, and to say somewhat of the polities of the 
British ministry at this juncture; the rather, because 
all the naval transactions which follow, depend en^ 
tirely upon them. 

The troubles of the north still subsisting, we couk) 


not suddenly extricate ourselves from the share we had 
taken in them ; though it was visibly such a one, as 
had put our commerce under great difficulties abroad, 
and perplexed us not a little at home. The merchants 
complained of the bad effects which the prohibition 
of trade with Sweden had produced ; asserting that, 
instead of thirty thousand pounds a-year, which the 
balance of that trade constantly brought us, we now 
lost ninety thousand pounds a-year, by purchasing 
Swedish commodities from other people, particularly 
from the Dutch, who raised the price of Swedish 
iron four pounds a ton ; which was thought the 
harder, because, in the original quarrel, the Dutch 
were as deep as ourselves, and now, by an unaccount- 
able turn, they were in possession of the whole Swed- 
ish trade ; and we, after all our armaments, were en- 
tirely excluded, 

This was the effect of the Swedish war abroad ; but 
here at home, things were in a worse situation ; for 
several of the leading patriots, who had resigned 
their places, upon that change of measures which pro- 
duced the Swedish war, insisted warmly, both within 
doors, and without, that it was now carried on, not 
only without regard, but in direct opposition, and 
with manifest disadvantage to the interest of Great 


Britain, In proof of this, they alleged not only the 
memorials presented from time to time by the Swed- 
ish ministers, but those also delivered of late by the 
minister from the Czar; which concurred in affirming, 
that all our measures in the north were governed by 
the German interest. I do not take upon me to de- 
termine, whether these gentlemen were in the right, 
or in the wrong. I only relate matters of fact as I 
find them : and reb.te them, because my history 
would not be intelligible without them. 

The ministry, however, did not change their sen- 
timents, but persisted still in their resolution, to 
bring the king of Sweden to such terms as they 
thought reasonable bv force. This was a method. 

wP . J 


which, of all princes, Charles XII. could least bear; 
and, therefore, instead of thinking of a peace upon 
such terms, he turned his thoughts entirely on the 
means of carrying on the war ; and, though his af- 
fairs were in a very low and distressed condition, yet 
his heroic spirit, joined to the indefatigable pains he 
took, put them at last into such a posture, that, if 
he had not been snatched away by a sudden death, 
it is highly probable he would have restored them, at 
least on the side of Germany. 

But this was not the only affair of consequence 
that employed the thoughts of the administration. 
We were then in close confederacy with the emperor 
and France, and, in conjunction with these powers, 
had undertaken to settle the affairs of Europe on a 
better foundation than the treaty of Utrecht left 
them. With this view, the triple alliance was con- 
cluded on the 4th of January, 1717; and, that not 
answering the end expected from it, we next entered, 
as will be shewn, into the famous quadruple alliance, 
which was intended to remedy all these defects, and 
to fix the general tranquillity for ever. Yet, by un- 
foreseen accidents, to which human policy will be 
always liable, this alliance proved the cause of an im- 
mediate war between us and Spain, and in its conse- 
quences was thesourceof all the troubles that disturbed 
Europe, from the time of its conclusion to the peace 
of Aix-la-Chapelle. 

By this quadruple treaty, the terms of which were 
already fixed, though it was not executed for some 
months afterwards, the contracting powers under- 
took to satisfy the emperor and the king of Spain : in 
order to which his Imperial Majesty was to have Si- 
ciiv inven him: and the reversion of all the Italian 


dominions, which the queen of Spain pretended, was 
to he secured to her posterity. The crown of Spain 
was highly displeased with the provision made for its 
interest ; and though the emperor seemed to be very 
well contented at this juncture : yet, as soon as Spain 


was compelled to accept what was now offered her, 
he also grew displeased with this partition, and we 
were many years unable to keep them both in any 
temper, or preserve ourselves from being involved in 
their quarrels, as the reader, in the course of this 
work, will be sufficiently informed. These Spanish 
disputes were another ground of opposition, which 
afforded room for the then patriots to complain, that 
we were more attentive to the interest of the emperor, 
than careful of the commerce of Great Britain. la 
spite of this clamour, the ministry concerted, with the 
emperor and France, the proper means for executing 
the project which gave birth to this treaty, by taking 
the island of Sicily from the duke of Savoy, who was 
now possessed of it with the title of king, and giving 
it to his Imperial Majesty ; to which the first menti- 
oned prince was obliged to submit, because he saw 
plainly, that if he did not consent to yield this king- 
dom to the emperor, he should either have it taken, 
from him by force, or lose it to the Spaniards, from 
whom Sardinia was by our plan, to be taken, and be- 
stowed on the duke of Savoy in exchange for Sicily. 

In this critical situation things were, when the par- 
liament met on the 21st of November, 1717 ; and on 
the 2d of December following, they granted, as the 
custom had been of late years, 10,000 seamen for the 
year 1718, and 224,S37/. 14.?. lid. for the ordinary 
of the navy. But, as this would by no means answer 
the designs that had been formed by the administra- 
tion, the king was prevailed upon to send a message 
to the House of Commons on the 17th of March, con- 

ceived in the following terms : 


" His Majesty being at present engaged in seve- 
ral negociations, of the utmost concern to the M 7 el- 
fare of these kingdoms, and the tranquillity of Europe; 
and having lately received information from abroad, 
trhich makes him judge that it will give weight to his 


endeavours, if a naval force be employed where it 
shall be necessary, does think fit to acquaint this 
house therewith ; not doubting, but that in case he 
should be obliged, at this critical juncture, to exceed 
the number of men granted this year for the sea-ser- 
vice, the house will, at their next meeting, provide 
for such exceeding." 

This message was brought to the house by Mr. 
Boscawen, and an address, promising to make good 
such exceedings as were mentioned, if they should 
be found necessary, was moved for by Sir William 
Strickland, and agreed to, without a division ; which 
was extremely agreeable to the court. The next day, 
the king thought fit to make some alterations at the 
navy-board ; and, accordingly, James, earl of Berk- 
ley, Sir George Byng. Sir John Jennings, John Cock- 
burn, and William Chetwynd, Esqrs. Sir John Nor- 
ris, and Sir Charles Wager, were declared commissi- 
oners for executing the office of lord high admiral of 
England, Ireland, c. the Right Honourable James, 
earl of Berkley, appointed vice-admiral, and Matthew 
Aylmer, Esq. rear-admiral of Great Britain, who was 
soon after raised to the dignity of a baron of the 
kingdom of Ireland. 

While these steps were taking, a great number of 
large ships were put into commission, and such other 
measures pursued, as rendered it evident, that the 
fleet now fitting out, would not prove a fleet of pa- 
rade. The Spanish minister here, M. De Monteleone, 
who was a man of foresight and intrigue, being 
alarmed at these appearances, represented in a memo- 
rial, dated the 18th of March, 1718, " That so pow- 
erful an armament in time of peace, could not but 
cause umbrage to the king his master, and alter the 
good intelligence that reigned between the two 
crowns.'' The kina; answered, " That it was not his 

~ m ' 

intention to conceal the subject of that armament ; 
and that he designed soon to send Admiral Byng, with 
a powerful squadron, into the Mediterranean Sea, in 


tmler to maintain the neutrality of Italy, against those 
who should seek to disturb it." The reason assigned 
for acting with so much vigour was, the dispositions 
made in Spain for attacking the island of Sicily, and 
the hardships that were put upon the British mer- 
chants. Cardinal Alberoni, who was then at the 
head of the Spanish affairs, defended himself and the 
measures he had taken, with great spirit, endeavour- 
ing to make the world believe, that the Spanish expe- 
dition against the island of Sicily was not so much a 
matter of choice as of necessity. I should wrong- 
that able minister extremely, if I should endeavour 
to give his sense in any other words than his own; 
and, therefore, I have preserved his letter upon this 
subject ;* which is so much the more curious, as no 

* The letter referred to in the text, was written by Cardinal 
Alberoni to the Marquis De Beretti Landi, his Catholic Majes- 
ty's ambassador to the States-general, who communicated it to 
their High Mightinesses. The reader will easily perceive, that this 
letter falls a good deal later in point of time, than where I place it; 
but, as it contains the reasons of the Sicilian expedition, 1 thought 
it came in best for my purpose here. 

" I acquaint your excellency, that my Lord Stanhope set out 
the 20th of this month from the court at the Escurial for Madrid ; 
whence he was to proceed in his journey to Paris ; having seen 
proofs sufficient, during his stay here, of the constancy and firm- 
ness with which the king rejected the project of the prince's media- 
tors, and the suspension of arms last proposed. lie learned from 
their Majesties' own mouths, in t\vo long conferences, to which 
he had the honour to be admitted, that they detested that project, 
as unjust, prejudicial, and offensive to their honour; I told him, 
that 1 did not comprehend what motive could induce the confede- 
rated powers to admit the duke of Savoy into their alliance ; not 
only considering of wh^t little use he will be to them, but because, 
it is certain those powers have no need of the troops of Savoy, 
unless that prince will maintain them at his own ex pence, which 
will be very difficult to obtain. 

u As for Sicily, I declared to my Lord Stanhope, in the pre- 
sence of the Marquis De Nancre, that France and Great Britain 
had of themselves, and none else whatever, induced the king to re- 
cover that kingdom ; for both these courts had assured his Ma- 
jesty, that the duke of Savoy was treating with the arch-duke to 
jive up to him that island, if he would accept of it : but that he 


notice at all is taken of it, in some late accounts of 
this expedition. 

About the middle of the month of March, Sir 
George Byng was appointed admiral and commander 
in chief of the squadron intended for the Mediterra- 
nean ; and, on the 24th of May following, he receiv- 
ed his instructions, which were to this purpose : 
" That he should, upon his arrival in the Mediterra- 
nean, acquaint the king of Spain, and likewise the 
viceroy of Naples, and governor of Milan, that he 

had refused it, considering it would be better for him to receive it 
by the disposition of the powers' mediators, and with the consent 
of Spain, because, in that case, he would have the advantage to 
obtain it by a more just and more authentic title ; besides the as- 
surance of keeping it by the favour of so powerful a guaranty. I 
likewise shewed my Lord Stanhope, that the arch-duke being mas- 
ter of Sicily, all Italy will become slaves to the Germans, and the 
powers of Europe not be able to set her at liberty. And, that the 
Germans in the last war, with a small body of troops, made head, 
-and disputed the ground against the two crowns, which had for- 
midable armies in Lombardy, were masters of the country, and a 
great number of considerable places. I also represented to him 
very clearly, that, to make Avar in Lombardy, was to make it in 
a labyrinth, and that it was the fatal burial place of (he French and 
English. That every year of the last war, cost France 18,000 or 
'20,000 recruits, and above fifteen millions ; that the duke of Ven- 
dosrne, at the time things went prosperously, said, that if the war 
in Italy lasted, the two crowns must indispensably abandon that 
province, because of the immense charge. That, according to the 
engagements now proposed, the succours of Great Britain are far 
off, and impracticable, and that the rest would cost a Potosi, 
enough to ruin a kingdom. That at present those of France are 
impossible, and would be generally opposed by the nation. That 
the arch-duke would triumph with all these advantages, and Eng- 
land not recover the least reimbursement ; when, on the contrary, 
she might gain considerably by siding with Spain. In conclusion. 
.1 told Lord Stanhope plainly, that the proposition of giving Sicily 
to the arch-duke was absolutely fatal ; and that of settling bounds 
afterwards to his vast designs, a mere dream and illusion, since 
that prince, being possessed of Sicily, would have no farther need 
either of France or England, for bringing immediately the rest of 
Italy under subjection ; and no power would be in a condition to 
oppose it. This is the substance of all the. conferences my Lord 
Stanhope had, and your excellency may make use of it as occasion 
shall oiler." 


was sent into that sea, in order to promote all mea- 
sures that might best contribute to the composing 
the differences arisen between the two crowns, and 
lor preventing' any farther violation of the neutrality 
of Italy, which he was to see preserved. That he 
was to make instances to both parties, to forbear all 
acts of hostility, in order to the setting on foot and 
concluding the proper negociations of peace. But, 
in case the Spaniards should still persist to attack the 
emperor's territory in Italy, or to land in any part of 
Italy for that purpose, or should endeavour to make 
themselves masters of the island of Sicily, which must 
be with a design to invade the kingdom of Naples, he 
was then, with all his power, to hinder and obstruct 
the same ; but, if they were already landed, he was 
to endeavour amicably to dissuade them from perse* 
vering in such an attempt, and to offer them his as- 
sistance to withdraw their troops, and put an end to 
all farther acts of hostility ; but, if his friendly en- 
deavours should prove ineffectual, he was then to de- 
fend the territories attacked, by keeping company 
with, or intercepting their ships and convoys, or, if 
necessary, by opposing them openly." It is evi- 
dent, that these instructions were not of the clearest 
kind ; but, it seems, they were explained to him be- 
fore-hand, by the great men who had then the direc- 
tion of all things, as appears by a letter which is still 
preserved, and which I have placed in the notes.* 

* The letter referred to in the text, is from Mr. Secretary 
Craggs, immediately before his embarkation ; it is preserve:! by 
the accurate historian of this expedition, in his appendix, p. 20:J 5 
of his original edition ; from -whence 1 have transci'ibed it, as a 
full proof that Sir George acted according to the verbal explication 
of his written orders by the ministers. 

" SIR, CvcL-pit, Nay 27, G. S. 1718. 

u I enclose to you his Majesty's instructions, as v/iih rela- 
tion to your conduct in the Mediterranean a to the treaty- \\itli the 

" After what passed yesterday between my Lord Snaderhmd, 
j-ny Lord Stanhope, you a;:d me, v,-hon v e ux-ro together at Lord 

L S 


The admiral sailed the 15th of June, 171 8, from 
Spithead, with twenty ships of the line of battle, two 
fire-ships, two homb vessels, an hospital ship, and a 
store ship. Being got into the ocean, he sent the Ru- 
pert to Lisbon for intelligence ; and arriving the 30th 
off Cape St. Vincent, he dispatched the Superbe to 
Cadiz, with a gentleman, who carried a letter from 
him to Colonel Stanhope, the late earl of Harring- 
ton, the king's envoy at Madrid, wherein he desired 
that minister to acquaint the king of Spain with his 
arrival in those parts, in his way to the Mediterra- 
nean, and to lay before him the instructions he was 
to act under, with his squadron ; of which he gave a 
very ample detail in his letter. 

The envoy shewed the letter to the Cardinal Albe- 
roni, who, upon reading it, told him with some 
warmth, " That his master would run all hazards, and 
even suffer himself to be driven out of Spain, rather 
than recall his troops, or consent to any suspension of 
arms ;" adding, " That the Spaniards were not to be 
frighted, and he was so well convinced of the fleet's 
doing their duty, that if the admiral should think fit 
to attack them, he should be in no pain for the suc- 
cess." Mr. Stanhope having in his hand a list of the 
British squadron, desired his eminence to peruse it, 
and to compare its strength with that of their own 
squadron ; which the cardinal took and threw on 
the ground with much passion. Mr. Stanhope, with 
great temper, entreated him ' ; To consider the sin- 
cere attention the king, his master, had to the honour 
and interest of his Catholic Majesty, which it was im- 
possible for him to give greater proofs of than he had 
done, by his unwearied endeavours through the whole 

Stanhope's lodgings, there remains nolhing for me, but to >vish 
you a good voyage and success in your undertakings. I da it 
iery heartily, and am v.ith great truth, Sir, 

" Your most obedient, 

" Humble servant, 

" J. CllAGGS." 


course of the present negotiation, to procure the most 
advantageous conditions possible for Spain, in which 
lie had succeeded even beyond what any unprejudiced 
person could have hoped for; and that, though by 
the treaty of Utrecht for the neutrality of Italy, 
which was entered into at the request of the king of 
Spain himself, as also by that of Westminster, the 
25th of May, 17 16, his Majesty found himself obliged 
to defend the emperor's dominions when attacked, he 
had hitherto only acted as a mediator, though, ever 
since the enterprise against Sardinia, by his treaties 
he became a party in the war, and for this year last 
past had been strongly called upon by the emperor 
to comply with his engagements; and that, even 
now, \vhen it was impossible for him to delay any 
longer the sending his fleet into the Mediterranean, it 
plainly appeared by the admiral's instructions, which 
he communicated to his eminence, and by the orders 
he had himself received, that his Majesty had nothing 
more at heart, than that his fleet might be employed 
in promoting the interests of the king of Spain, and 
hoped his Catholic Majesty would not, by refusiim' 

j / v o 

to recall his troops, or consent to a cessation of arms, 
put it out of his power to give all the proofs of sin- 
cere friendship he always designed to cultivate with 
his Catholic Majesty." 

All that the cardinal could be brought to promise 
M r as, to lay the admiral's letter before the king, and 
to let the envoy know his resolution upon it in two 
days: but it was nine before he could obtain and 
send it away; the cardinal probably hoping, that the 
admiral would delay takinc; vigorous measures in 

. ^ --> 

expectation of it, and perhaps put into some of the 
ports of Spain, and thereby give time for their fleet 
and forces to secure a good footing in Sicily. The 
answer was written under the admiral's letter in these 
words: " His Catholic Majesty has done me the 
honour to tell me, that the Chevalier Byng may exe- 


cute the orders which he has from the king his 

" The Cardinal ALBERONI."* 

" Escurial, July 15, 17i8.' ; 

Mr. Stanhope seeing things tending to a rupture, 
gave private and early notice of his apprehensions to 
the English consuls, and merchants settled in the 
Spanish sea-ports, advising them to secure their 
effects against the dangers that might arise from a 
breach between the two crowns. This shewed plainly 
enough, that our minister was perfectly acquainted 
with the disposition of the administration at home, 
who, notwithstanding they steadily pursued these 
warlike measures, as constantly adhered to the first 
resolution, of throwing the weight of this rupture, 
on the court of Spain. With this view, Lord Stan- 
hope set out himself for Madrid, in order to make 
new propositions to his Catholic Majesty ; which, if 
accepted, might prevent things from coming to ex- 
tremities; in which negociation he actually laboured 
till very near the time that hostilities were begun ; 
but tone purpose, for Cardinal Alberoni was as much 
bent on executing his own scheme, as the British 
ministry could be with regard to theirs ; and there- 
fore rejected all the proposals that were made him, 
with a firmness that was styled insolence by his 
enemies, -j- 

* See the account of the expedition of the British fleet to Sicily. 
As this is collected very fairly from original papers, I depend 
upon it as to facts; but have endeavoured to state them with con- 
cucring evidence, in a manner more suitable to this history, in 
vvhich I desire to be considered in no other light than as a lover of 
truth, independently of complaisance or party. 

+ Lord Stanhope arrived at Madrid on the 12th of August, 
and on the 1-lih had a long conference with the cardinal at the 
Kscurial, which save him great hopes of success; but, it seems, 
the news which that Court received a few days after, from Sicily, 
so elevated the prime minister, that all prospect of a pacification 
dj whicii his lordship no sooner perceived, than he left 


The admiral pursuing his voyage with unfavoura- 
ble winds, it was the 8th of July before he made 
Cape Spartel, where the Superbe and Rupert rejoined 
him, and brought him advice of the mighty prepara- 
tions the Spaniards had made at Barcelona, and of 
their ileet sailing from thence the 18th of June to 


the eastward, In passing by Gibraltar, Vice-admiral 
Cornwall came out of that port and joined him, with 
the Argyle and Charles galley. The squadron want- 
ing water, and the wind continuing contrary, they 
anchored off Cape Malaga; where having completed 
their watering in four days, they proceeded to Minorca, 
where the admiral was to land four regiments of foot, 
which he carried out from England, in order to 
relieve the soldiers in the garrison, w r ho were to em- 
bark and serve on board the squadron. On the 23d 
of July, he anchored with the squadron off Port 
Mali on : here he received advice, that the Spanish 
fleet had been seen on the 30th of June, within forty 
leagues of Naples, steering S.E. upon which he 
dispatched away expresses to the governor of Milan, 
and viceroy of Naples, to inform them of his arrival 
in the Mediterranean ; and having shifted the garri- 
sons of Minorca, he sailed from thence the 2.3th of 
Julv, and arrived the 1st of August in the 13uv of 

One need not wonder that the German government 
was extremely well pleased at the admiral's arrival, 
or that they paid him every honour in their power, 
since it is very certain, that his coming so luckily 
preserved that kingdom for the house of Austria, 
which had otherwise, in all probability, shared the fate 
of Sicily; that the Marquis De Lede had conquered 
almost as soon as he landed, or rather his landing 
gave the people an opportunity of declaring for that 

Spain as soon as possible, having his audience of leave on the 26th 
of the same month. 


power, which, though it had lost its sovereignty over 
them, had still preserved their affections.* 

This news alarmed the viceroy of Naples, who had 
now no hopes hat from the defence that might be made 
by the citadel of Messina; and from that he could 
have no great confidence, since it was garrisoned by 
the duke of Savoy's troops, who could not be sup- 
posed to interest themselves much in preserving a 
place which their master was to part with so soon. 
The viceroy, therefore, wisely considered how he 
might make the best use of the British fleet and his 
own forces; upon which he came at last to this pru- 
dent resolution, which was, to embark 000 German 
foot under the command of General Wetzel, who 
were to take possession of the citadel of Messina, and 
fort Salvador, in pursuance of an agreement with the 
duke of Savoy, who, finding that at all events he was 
to lose the island, contrived to lose it so, as that he 
might get something for it. These German forces 
were to be escorted by the British fleet, which sailed 
for that purpose from Naples on the 6th of August, 
and arrived on the i)th in view of the Faro of Messina. 

The Spanish army, after having taken the city last 
mentioned, were now encamped before the citadel, 
which the troops, under the protection of Sir George 
Byng, were going to relieve. It was therefore very 
likely that an action would ensue ; and for this reason 
it was thought requisite to put on still a peaceable 
appearance, in order to throw the blame upon the 
Spaniards; which, however, was pretty difficult to do, 

* The imperial viceroy of Naples presented Sir George with a 
sword set with diamonds, and a very ricli staiF of command; and 
to the admiral's son he made a present of a very fine sword. Aftev 
the conference, the admiral was splendidly entertained at dinner, 
and then lodged in the palace of the Duke De INiatelona. which had 
been magnificently fitted up for his reception. The viceroy like, 
wise .--IK refreshments to the fleet, consisting of a hundred oxen, 
three hundred sheep, si\ hundred pounds of sugar, seventy hog.<- 
heads of brandy, and several other things. 


since, with respect to the treaty of Utrecht, the only 
treaty of which the Spaniards could take any notice, 
the Germans were as much invaders as they, and 
consequently the escorting an invasion seemed to be 
an odd way of conserving a neutrality.* This step, 

* As our ministers, in conjunction with those of the emperor 
and France, were at great pains to inspire all Europe with the 
utmost horror for Cardinal Alberoni, so that minister, than whom 
perhaps there never was an abler politician, thought fit, on his 
side, to publish several pieces, in order to shew, that the present 
dispute was not between the English and Spanish nations, but 
between the English ministry, who would give law to the king of 
Spain, and the Spanish nation, that were determined not to receive 
it. Among these, the following manifesto was thought the most 
remarkable, and will serve to give the reader a clear idea of the 
manner in which the court of Spain would have had this aifair 
understood. It is a letter written by the cardinal to the M. De 
Bcretti Landi ; but the reader will see by the close of it, why I 
style it a manifesto ; in which light it was also considered by our 
court, as appears by Secretary Craggs's letterto the Spanish minis- 
ter, dated from Hampton-court, Sept. 4, 1718, in which he com- 
plains loudly of this proceeding, as if intended to excite the mer- 
chants to disaffection towards the government: 
" SIR, 

a It is notorious every where, that the ministry of Great Bri- 
tain, being prepossessed by their passions and private views, have 
endeavoured, by all imaginable means, to infuse into the English 
nation an entire distrust and aversion for Spain, to engage the said 
jiation to pursue the maxims of that ministry, which are so preju- 
dicial and contrary to the common good. It is known, that of 
late the government of England hath used their utmost endeavours 
to persuade the nation, that the application and designs of Spain 
were to increase considerably her naval forces, to oppose the com- 
merce which all nations in general carry on with the Indies, not- 
withstanding the two last treaties and the religions observation 
of his Majesty's royal word ought to convince the English of the 
artifice with which those rumours are spread, and which are con- 
trived only to excite distrust and disunion with the Spaniards ; and 
every man of sound judgment will reflect, that God has put the 
Indies into the power of that monarchy, to the end that all nations 
might partake of that advantage: however, it is the king's will, 
that, for the greater proof of the sincere desire he has to maintain 
the public tranquillity, and for dispelling reports so pernicious to 
the quiet of the. subjects of Spain and England, your excellency 
should assure the English merchants that are in Holland, and all 
those who are concerned in commerce^ that his Majesty will never 


however, was necessary to be taken; and the admi- 
ral, who in point of good sense and good breeding, 
was as able a man as any in his time, did it with a 
very gooct grace. 

He sent for this purpose his first captain, who was 
Captain Saunders, with a letter to the Marquis De 
Lede, in which he acquainted him, "That the king 
his master, being engaged by several treaties to pre- 
serve the tranquillity of Italy, had honoured him with 
the command of a squadron of ships, which he had 
sent into these seas, and that he came fully impow- 
ered and instructed to promote such measures as 

alter the established laws, nor ever infringe the treaties which the 
English nation enjoy, with so great benefit, by his generosity ; 
and that the naval forces of Spain are to consist only of a limited 
number, that may be sufficient to secure her coasts in the Medi- 
terranean, and to defend and convoy her galleons. For a proof 
of what his Majesty orders me to say to your excellency, a new 
conjuncture just now offers itself, in which the king my master, 
to signalize his love of the British nation, passes by, without re- 
sentment, the contents of the paper here subjoined, which is a 
copy of that delivered by Mr. Stanhope, and by which an open 
rupture is declared, if the project be not accepted; and they offer 
to oblige the king. to it by threats. On the contrary, his Majesty, 
instead of being provoked at such a proceeding, has ordered, as 
an instance of the goad faith with which he hath always acted, 
that the effects and merchandise of the English, which arc in the 
flota that is newly arrived at Cadiz from the Indies, shall not be 
touched, nor any charge made in relation to them, it being the 
king's intention, that what belongs to each of the English mer- 
chants respectively, should be delivered to them. The resolution 
is very different from the rumours which the British ministry 
spreads, and is an inconies-lible proof, that the king's will ever 
inclines him to promote the benefit of that nation. IJis Majesty 
orders, that your Excellency read this letter to all English mer- 
chants in general, as also the conti-ius of the paper hereunto 
annexed, and that vou assure then;, that the king \vill firmly main- 
tain the treaty, preferring the advantages of the British nation to 
ail other satisfaction, ami hoping that, in return, men so wise, so 
prudent, and so intelligent, will not let themselves be drawn away 
by the persuasions, ami for the private ends of the English mim<- 
Iry, which are entirely fatal to the peace of the two nations and 
of the two kingdoms. 

" I am. &t." 


t host accommodate all differences between the 
powers concerned ; that his Majesty was employing 
his utmost endeavours to bring about a general paci- 
fication, and was not without hopes of success. He 
therefore proposed to him to come to a cessation of 
arms in Sicily for two months, in order to give time 
to the several courts to conclude on such resolutions 
as might restore a lasting peace:" but added, " That, 
if he was not so happy to succeed in this offer of ser- 
vice, nor to be instrumental in bringing about so 
desirable a work, he then hoped to merit his excel- 
lency's esteem in the execution of the other part of 
his orders, which were, to use all his force to prevent 
farther attempts to disturb the dominions his master 
stood engaged to defend." 

The next morning the captain returned with the 
general's answer, " That it would be an inexpressible 
joy for his person to contribute to so laudable an end 
as peace; but, as he had no powers to treat, he could 
not of consequence agree to any suspension of arms, 
even at the expence of what the courage of his mas- 
ter's arms might be put to, but should follow his 
orders, which directed him to seize on Sicily for his 
master the king of Spain; that he had a true sense 
of his accomplished expressions; but his master's 
forces would always be universally esteemed in sacri- 
ficing themselves for the preservation of their credit, 
in which cases the success did not always answer the 
ideas that were formed for it/' 

According to the best accounts the admiral could 
receive, he was led to conclude that the Spanish fleet 
had sailed from Malta, in order to avoid him ; and, 
therefore, upon receiving the marquis's answer, he 
immediately weighed, with an intention to come with 
his squadron before Messina, in order to encourage 
and support the garrison in the citadel; but as he 
stood in about the point of the Faro, towards Messina, 
he saw two of the Spanish scouts in the Faro; and 
being informed at the same time, by a felucca that 


came off from the Calabrian shore, that they saw from 
the hills the Spanish fleet lying by, the admiral altered 
his design, and sending away General Wetzel with the 
German troops to Reggio, under the convoy of two 
men of war, he stood through the Faro with his 
squadron, with all the sail he could, after their scouts, 
imagining they would lead him to their fleet, which 
accordingly they did; for about noon he had a fair 
sight of their whole fleet, lying by, and drawn into a 
line of battle, consisting of twenty-seven sail of men 
of war, small and great, besides two fire-ships, four 
bomb-vessels, seven gallies, and several ships laden 
with stores and provisions, commanded by the Admi- 
ral Don Antonio De Casteneta, and under him four 
rear-adinirals, Chacon, Mari, Guevara, and Cam- 
mock: on the sight of the English squadron they 
stood away large, but in good order of battle. 

The admiral followed them all the rest of that day, 
and the succeeding night, with small gales N. E. and 
sometimes cairn, with fair weather; the next morn- 
ing early, (the llth,) the English being got pretty 
near them,* the Marquis De Mari, rear-admiral, with 
six Spanish men of war, and all the galiies, fire- 
ships, bomb-vessels, and store-ships, separated from 
their main fleet, and stood in for the Sicilian shore ; 
upon which the admiral detached Captain Walton in 
the Canterbury, with five more ships after them; and 
the Argyle fired a shot to bring her to, but she not 
minding it, the Argyle fired a second, and the Can- 
terbury, being something nearer, fired a third; upon 
\vhich the Spanish ship fired her stern-chace at the 
Canterbury, and then the en^ao-ement 

*/ ' O O 

* It is evident from hrnce, that our admiral had no intention 
to decline fighting: and the following letter from Karl Stanhope, 
then secretary of state, plainly proves it was not the intention of 
those who sent him that he should decline fighting. It is a curious 
piece, and very well worthy of the reader's notice, as it tends to 
explain the great views of this expedition. 

" Bayonnc, Sept. 2, 1718. 

" Being arrived here last night, in six days from Madrid, 1 do, 


The admiral pursuing the main body of the Spa- 
nish fleet, the Orfbrd, Captain Falkingham, and the 
Grafton, Captain Haddock, came up first with them, 
about ten of the clock, at whom the Spaniards fired 
their stern-chace guns. The admiral sent orders to 
those two ships not to fire, unless the Spaniards re- 
peated their firing; which, as soon as they did, the 
Orfbrd attacked the Santa Rosa, of sixty-four guns, 
and took her. The St. Carlos, of sixty guns, struck 
next, without much opposition, to the Kent, Captain 
Matthews. The Grafton attacked warmly the Prince 
of Asturias, of seventy guns, formerly called the 
Cumberland, in which was Rear-admiral Chacon ; 
but the Breda and Captain coming up, Captain Had- 
dock left that ship, much shattered, for them to take, 
and stretched a-head after another ship of sixty guns, 
which had kept firing on his starboard bow during 
his engagement with the Prince of Asturias. About 
one o'clock the Kent, and soon after the Superbe, 
Captain Master, came up with, and engaged the Spa- 
nish admiral of seventy-four guns, who, with two 
ships more, fired on them, and made a running fight 
till about three; and then the Kent, bearing clown 
under his stern, gave him her broadside, and fell to 
leeward afterwards; the Superbe, putting forward to 
lay the admiral aboard, fell on his weather-quarter; 

In pursuance of the commands I have from his Majesty, take this 
first opportunity of acquainting you, that nothing has passed at 
Madrid which should divert you from pursuing the instructions 
you have. 

" If the news which I learn at Bayonne. that the citadel of 
Messina is taken, he not true, or if, notwithstanding the Spani- 
ards have that port, their ilect, by contrary winds, or any other 
accident, should not have got into the harbour, and that you have 
an opportunity of attacking them, I am persuaded you will not 
let such an occasion slip; and I agree perfectly in opinion with 
what is recommended to you by Mr. Secretary Craggs, that the 
first blow you give should, if possible, be decisive. 

u The two great objects which, 1 think, we ought to have in 
view, are, to destroy their tleet, if possible, and to preserve such 
3 footing in Sicily, as may enable us to land an nrinv there." 


upon which, the Spanish admiral shifting his helm, 
the Superbe ranged under his lee-quarter ; on which 
he struck to her. At the same time the Bartleur, in 
which was the admiral, being a-stern of the Spanish 
admiral, within shot, and inclining on his weather- 
quarter, Rear-admiral Guevara and another sixty-gun 
ship, which were to windward, bore down upon him, 
and gave him their broadsides, and then clapped upon 
a wind, standing in for land. The admiral immedi- 
ately tacked and stood after them, until it was almost 
night, but it being little wind, and they hauling away 
out of his reach, he left pursuing them, and stood 
in to the fleet, which he joined two hours after 

The Essex took the Juno of thirty-six guns ; the 
Montague and Rupert took the Volante of forty-four 
guns; and Rear-admiral Delaval, in the Dorsetshire, 
took the Isabella of sixty guns. The action hap- 
pened off Cape Passaro, at about six leagues distance 
from the shore.* The English received but little cla- 


Ships. Captains. Men. Guns. 

( Admiral Byng, "1 

Barficur, < 1 George Saunders, > 730 SO 

C 2 Richard Lestock, j 

cu I Vice-admiral Cornwall, 7 

Shrewsbury, < T , , , ' > 545 80 

I John Balchcn, j 

P. , , . 5" Rear-admiral Delaval, 1 

Dorsetshire, 1 T i r> r 53j 80 

(. John P urger, _} 

Burfordj Charles V r anbrugh, 410 70 

Essex, Richard Rowzicr, 440 70 

Grafton, Nicholas Haddock, 440 70 

Lenox, Charles Strickland, 440 70 

Breda, Barrow Harris, 440 70 

Orford, Edward Falkingham, 440 70 

Kent, Thomas Matthesvs, 440 70 

Royal Oak, Thomas Kempthome, 440 70 

Carried over 5330 810 


mage: the ship that suffered most was the Grafton, 
which, being a good sailer, her captain engaged seve- 
ral ships of the enemy, always pursuing the head- 
most, and leaving those ships he had disabled or da- 
maged, to be taken by those that followed him. The 
admiral lay by some days at sea to refit the rigging of 
his ships, and to repair the damages which the prizes 
had sustained; and the 18th received a letter from 
Captain Walton, who had been sent in pursuit of the 
Spanish ships that escaped. The letter is singular 
enough in its kind to deserve notice, and, therefore, 
the historian of this expedition has, with great judg- 
ment, preserved it. Thus it runs : 

" SIR, 

" We have taken and destroyed all the Spanish 
ships and vessels which were upon the coast, the 
number as per margin. 

" I am, &c. 

" Canterbury, off Syracusa, G. WALTON.' 5 

Aug. W, 1718." 

These ships that Captain Walton thrust into his 
margin, would have furnished matter for some pages 
in a French relation; for, from the account they ie~ 
ferred to, it appeared that he had taken four Spanish 

Ships. Captains. Men. Guns. 

Brought over 5330 810 

Captain, Archibald Hamilton, 440 70 

Canterbury, George Walton, 3(15 60 

Dreadnought, William Haddock, 205 CO 

Rippon, Christopher Obrian, 365 60 

Superbe. Streynsham Master, 355 60 

Rupert, Arthur Field, 365 60 

Dunkirk, Francis Drake, 3G5 6'0 

Montague, Thomas Beverly, 3G5 60 

Rochester, Joseph Winder, 280 50 

Argyle, Coningsby Norbury, 280 50 

8 a-S 5 1400 


men of war, one of sixty guns, commanded by Rear-* 
admiral Mari, one of fifty-four., one of fort)', and one 
of twenty- four guns with a bomb-vessel, and a ship 
laden with arms; and burnt four men of war, one of 
fifty-four guns, two of forty, and one of thirty guns, 
with a fire-ship and a bomb-vessel. Such is the ac- 
count given of this famous action by our admiral : 
the Spaniards published likewise an account on their 
side, which was printed in Holland, and circulated 
with great industry throughout all Europe, in order 
to make such impressions as might serve their pur- 
pose, and incline the world to believe, that their fleet 
had not been attacked and beaten fairly, but had 
been surprised and destroyed without that kind of 
notice which the laws of nature and nations require, 
to distinguish force of arms from piratical violence. 
It is but just in any cause to hear both parties, and 
the office of an historian obliges him to record what- 
ever may give light to the events of that period he 
pretends to illustrate by his writings. For this rea- 
son 1 have thought it requisite to give place in a note 
below to the Spanish account without curtailing or 
disguising it.* 

* u On the 9th of August, in the morning, the English squa- 
dron was discovered near the tower of Faro, which lay by towards 
night, oft' Cape Delia Metellc, over-against the said tower. The 
Spanish squadron was then in the Strait, and some ships and fri- 
gates were sent to other places; besides the detachment command- 
ed by Admiral Guevara. And, as the intention of the English in 
coming so near was not known, the admirals of the Spanish squa- 
dron resolved to go out of the Strait, to join together near Cape 
Spartivento, carrying along with them the transports laden with 
provisions, that they might penetrate the better into the designs 
of the English ; the rather, because the officer \\hom Sir George 
Oyr.g had sent to the ^iarquis De Ledc was not yet returned. The 
said otlicer had orders to propose to the said marquis ,1 suspension 
of arms for two months; upon which the said marquis answered 
him, that he could not do it v, ithout orders from court. Never- 
theless, though it was believed that the alternative was taken of 
sending a courivr to Madrid with the said proposal, the English 
squadron took the opportunity of night to surprise the Spanish 


There is no question to be made, but that both 
these relations retain some tincture of the passions 

squadron, and to improve those advantages which were owing to 

11 The suit! English squadron, on the 10th in the morning, ad- 
vanced farther into the Faro, and was saluted by all the Spanish 
ships and vessels which were there; and it is to be observed, that 
Admiral iSyng having convoyed some transport-vessels as far as 
Itixoies, with the arch-duke's troops, the officer dispatched to the 
Marquis DC Lode affirmed, that it was not to commit any act of 
hostility, but only that the said transports might be secured from 
insults under his protection. 

" The Spanish squadron sent two light frigates to get intelli- 
gence of the English squadron ; and though they saw the English 
made all the sail they could, their intention being not known, to 
approach the Spanish squadron, whose admiral knew not then 
whether the English came as friends or enemies, yet the Spaniards, 
being two leagues from the English, resolved to retire towards 
Cape Passaro, but without making much sail, tliat it might not 
be thought they suspected any hostilities. During this, a calm 
happened, by which the ships of both squadrons fell in one among 
another; and the Spanish admiral, perceiving this accident, caused 
the ships of the line to be towed, in order to separate them from 
the English, and join them in one body, without permitting tha 
gallies to begin any act of hostility; which they might have dona 
to their advantage during the calm. The weather changed when, 
the Marquis De Mari was near land, and by consequence sepa- 
rated from the rest, making the rear-guard, with several frigate* 
and other transport-vessels which made up his division, and cn- 
dcavouied, though in vain, to join the main body of the Spa- 
nish squadron, while the English held on their way, filling 
their sails to gain the wind, and cut off the said division of the 
said Marquis De Mari; and having at last succeeded in it, 
they attacked him with six ships, and obliged him to separate from 
the rest of the squadron, and to make towards the coast, where they 
itood in against seven ships of the line, as long as the situation 
permitted; and being no longer able to resist, the Marquis De 
IMari saved his men, by running his ships a-ground, some of 
which were burnt by his own order, and others taken by the 

' 4 Seventeen ships of the line, the remainder of the English 
squadron, attacked the Royal St. Philip, the Prince of Asturius, 
the St. Ferdinand, St. Charles, St. Isabella, St. Pedro, and the fri- 
gates St. Rosa, Pearl. JUBO, and Volante, which continued makinj 

VOL. IV. >I 


and prejudices of those who drew them up ; and it 
is no less certain, that what was commonly reported 

towards Cape Passaro ; and as they retired in a line, because of 
the inequality of their strength, the English attacked those that 
composed the rear-guard, with four or five ships, and took them ; 
and this happened successively to the others, which notwithstand- 
ing all the sail they made, could not avoid being beaten ; inso- 
much, that every Spanish ship being attacked separately by five, 
six, or seven of theirs, after a bloody and obstinate fight, they 
made themselves masters at last of the Royal St. Philip, tho 
Prince of Asturias, the St. Charles, the St. Isabella, St. Rosa, the 
Volante, and the Juno. 

" While the Royal St. Philip was engaged with the English, 
ihe rear-admiral of the squadron, Don Balthazar De Guevara, re- 
turned from Malta with two ships of the line, and turning his 
prow towards the St. Philip, passed by the English ships which 
were a-breast of him, firing upon each of them, and then attacked 
Admiral Byng's ships, which followed the St. Philip, and retired 
in the night, being very much damaged ; for after the engagement, 
he stayed three or four days fifty leagues at sea, not only to repair 
the Spanish ships, which he had taken, and were all shattered to- 
pieces ; but also to make good the damages which himself had suf- 
fered ; wherefore he could not enter Syracusa till the 16th or 17th 
of August, and that w ith a great deal of difficulty. 

i( The particulars of the action are, that the whole division of 
the English admiral, which consisted of seven ships of the line, 
and a fire-ship, having attacked the Royal St. Philip, at two in 
the afternoon the light began, by a ship of seventy guns, and ano- 
ther of sixty, from which he received two broadsides ; and ad- 
vancing towards the Royal St. Philip. Don Antonio De Castaneta 
defended himself so well, that the said two ships retired, and two 
others ; viz. one of eighty guns, and the other of seventy, renewed 
the attack. The said ship of eighty guns retired very much 
shattered, without making into the line ; but others making to- 
wards the Spanish admiral, they fired upon him, while it was im- 
possible for him to hurt them, and shot away all his rigging, with- 
out leaving him one entire sail, while two others, one of thirty, 
iind the other of sixty guns, attacked the starboard of his ship, to 
oblige him to surrender ; but he defending himself till the English 
admiral was resolved to board him, and carried a lire-ship to reduce 
Jiim by the flames, which the Spanish commander prevented. But 
after having lost 200 mon, and maintained the light till tqwards 
night, Don Antonio De Castaneta received a shot which pierced his 
left leg, and wounded liis right heel ; nevertheless he continued 
to defend himself, till acanuou-bullet having cut a man in two, the 


at that time., of the bad behaviour of the Spaniards, 
and of their making but a weak defence, was indif 

pieces of which fell upon him, and loft him half dead, he \vas forced 
to surrender. 

" The Prince of Asturias, commanded by Don Fernando Cha, 
con, was at the same time attacked by three; ships of equal force, 
against which he defended himself valiantly, avoiding being boarded, 
till, being wounded, and having lost most of his men, he was obli- 
ged to surrender his ship, which was all shot through and through, 
after having shot down the. masts of an English ship that retired 
out of the light. 

" Captain Don Antonio Gonsales, commander of the frigale 
St. Rosa, defended himself above three hours against five English 
ships, who did not take him till after they had broke all his sails 
and masts. 

" The Volante, commanded by Captain Don A.ntonio E?cu- ! 
(lero, knight of the order of Malta, fought three hours and a ha!f 
against three English ships ; and having lost his sails, he put up 
others (hat were in store, and was just going to board one of the 
three snipe that attacked him ; but his own being shot through and 
through by six cannon bullets, and the vvater coming in, he was 
obliged to surrender, because the ship's crew forced him. 

' c The Juno was engaged also by throe English ships; yet 
maintained the light above three hours, not surrendering till after 
most of her men were killed, and the ship just falling in pieces. 

" Captain Don Gabriel Alderete, a!so defended the frigate 
called the Pearl, against three English ships for three hours ; and 
after having shot down the masts of one, which immediately retired, 
he was relieved by Admiral Don Balthazar DJ Guevara, and had. 
the good fortune to escape to Malta, 

'*' Captain Don Andrea Reggio, knight of the order of Malta, 
who was farthest advanced with the ship the Isabella, was pursivji! 
all that night by several English ships ; ;,:ul after having defended 
himself for four hours, he surrendered the- nc7;t. day. 

" The frigate called the Surprise, which was of the Marquis De 
jMari's division, and by consequence farther aJvar.oeii than l!u 
others, was attacked by three En^'-rr-h ships, and inai:;taivieu a H^hc 
for three hours, till the Captain, Don. Michncl Do S;;da, knight oi: 
the order of !t. John, being wounded, most of her irsen killed. a:id 
all her rigging spoiled, she was fo-ccd to surreruior. 

" The other light ships arid frigates of the Spanish squadron, 
uot already mentioned, retired to 3'aitu and San'rilr 1 . ; as dkl 
the Admiral Don Balthazar DC Guevara, with his t\vj shi] s St. 
Lewis, i-iul St. John, after having been er.^igod \viih the Eriglic-h 
admiral, and Laving rescued the frigate e;; ; ;-'d ihe Pearh 


ferently founded. For the truth is, that their fleet, 
though strong in appearance, was every way inferior 
to ours ; their ships heing old, their artillery none of 
the best, and their seamen most of them not to be 
depended upon. Yet it is agreed on all hands, that 
their admirals defended themselves gallantly; so that, 
upon the whole, their defeat may be charged upon, 
their irresolution at the beginning, and their not 
taking good advice when it was given them. 

I mean that of Rear-admiral Cammock, an Irish 
gentleman, who had served long in our navy, and 

t( It must not be forgotten that the marines in every ship signa- 
lized and distinguished themselves with a great deal of valour, they 
being composed of the nobility of Spain. 

" The seven gallies which were under the command of Admiral 
Don Francisco De Grimao, having done all that was possible to 
join the Spanish ships, seeing that there was still a fresh gale of 
Avind, retired to Palermo. 

" Besides the above-mentioned ships, which the English took 
out of the main body of the Spanish squadron, they also made them- 
selves masters of the Royal, and of two frigates, St. Isidore, and 
the Eagle; those that were burnt by the order of the Marquis De 
Mari, are two bomb-gallies, a fireship, and the Esperanza frigate ; 
so that the ships which escaped out of the battle are the following : 
St. Lewis, St. John, St. Ferdinand, and St. Peter ; and the frigates 
Hermione, Pearl, Galera, Porcupine, Thoulouse, Lyon, Little St. 
John, the Arrow, Little St. Ferdinand, a bomb-galley, and a ship 
of Pintado. 

" This is the account of the sea-fight which was at the height of 
Abola, or the Gulf of 1'Ariga, in the canal of Malta, between the 
Spanish and English squadrons, the last of which, by ill faith, and 
the superiority of their strength, had the advantage to beat the Spa- 
nish ships singly, one by one ; and it is to be believed, by the de- 
fence the Spaniards made, that if they had acted jointly, the battle 
would have ended more happily for them. 

*' Immediately after the fight, a captain of the English squadron 
came, in the name of Admiral Byng, to make a compliment of 
excuse to the Marquis De Lede, giving him to understand, that 
the Spaniards had been the aggressors, and that this action ought 
not to be looked upon as a rupture, because the English did not 
take it as such. To which it was answered, that Spain on the 
contrary will reckon it a formal rupture ; and that they would do 
the English all the damages and hostilities imaginable, by giving 
rders to begin with reprisals ; and, in consequence of this, sevc- 


who was, to speak impartially, a much better seaman 
than any who bore command in the Spanish fleet, 

ral Spanish vessels, and Guevara's squadron, have already taken 
some English ships." 

We shall now, to render the subject as complete as possible, 

In the action off Cape Passaro, in the year 1713, under the command of 

Don Antonio De Castaneta, including two ships which were among 
those that Captain Walton destroyed, on the coast of Sicily. 

Ships. Captains. Men. Guns. 

St. Philip, the ...... Admiral Cas f nneta, taken .......... 650 74 

Prince of Asturias. .. Rear-admiral Chacon, taken ........ 550 70 

The Royal ........ Rear-admiral Mari, taken ......... 400 CO 

St. Lewis ....... .. Rear-admiral Guevara, escaped .... 400 60 

St. Ferdinand ...... Rear-admiral Cammock, escaped ~\ 

sunk afterwards at Messina V.. 400 60 
Mole ................. J 

St. Carlos ........ Prince De Chalay, taken .......... 400 60 

Sancta Isabella .... Don Andrea Rezio, taken ........ 400 60 

Sancta Rosa .... .. Don Antonio Gonsales, taken ..... . 400 60 

St. John Baptist .... Don Francisco Gerrera, escaped ---- 400 60 

St. Peter .......... Don Antonio Arrisago, escaped,"} 

afterwards lost in the Gulf L.. 400 60 
of Tarento ............ J 

Pearl ............ Don Gahriel Alderete, escaped ...... 300 50 

--- . --- , burnt ....... 300 50 

St. Isidore ........ Don Manuel Villa Vicentia, taken . . . SCO 46 

T , n Don Juan Deltino and Barlaudi,"! ^.^ 

LEsperanza ....... burnt ................ _'j..300 4o 

Volante .......... Don Antonio Escudera, taken ...... 300 44 

------- , burnt ...... 300 44 

Harmonia ........ Don Rodrigo De Torres, escaped "] 

sunk afterwards in Messina >.. 300 44 

Mole ................. J 

Porcupine ........ A Frenchman, escaped ........... 250 4.} 

Surprize .......... Don Michael De Sada, knight of "1 

Malta, taken ........... / 2o 36 

Juno ............ Don Pedro Moyana, taken ......... 250 36 

La Galera ........ Don Francisco Alverera, escaped ____ 200 30 

La Castilla ........ Don Francisco Lenio, knight of~l 

Malta, escaped.:...!....)-- 200 S0 
Count De Tlioulouse Don Joseph Jocona, escaped, taken "I 

in Messina Mole ......... / " 20 

Tyger ......... . . Don - Covaigne, taken ........ 340 26 

Eagle ............ Don Lucas Musnata, taken ........ 240 24 

St. Francis Areres .. Jacob, a Scotsman, escaped .... 100 22 

Little St. Ferdinand , - - , escaped ___ . 150 20 
Little St. John ..... Don Isjnatii Valevale escaped, 1 

taken afterwards ........ J " lo 

Arrow , . . , . ..... , Don Juan Pvipajena, escaped .... ___ 100 18 

8830 1284' 


He knew perfectly well the strength of both parties, 
and saw plainly, that nothing could save the Spa- 
niards but a wise disposition ; and therefore, in the 
last council of war held before the battle, he pro- 
posed, that they should remain at anchor in the road 
of Paradise, ranging their ships in a line of battle, 
\vith their broadsides to the sea ; which measure would 
certainly have given the English admiral infinite 
trouble to attack them; for the coast there is so bold, 
that their biggest ships could ride with a cable a-shore, 
and, farther out, the currents are so various and ra- 
pid, that it would be hardly practicable to get up to 
them, but impossible to anchor, or lie by them in 
order of battle. 13csides, they might have lain so 
near the shore, and could have received so great re- 
inforcements of soldiers from the army to man and 
defend them, and the annoyance the Spaniards might 
have given, from the several batteries they could have 
planted along the shore, would have been such, that 
the only way of attacking the ships seemed to be by 
boarding and grapling with them at once, to prevent 
being cast off by the currents, which would have 
been an hazardous undertaking, wherein the Spa- 
iiiaids would have had many advantages, and the Eng- 
lish admiral have run the chance of destroying his 
fleet, or buying a victory, if he succeeded, very dearly.* 
The Spanish admirals were too much persuaded of 
their own strength, and the courage of their seamen, 
or else they foolishly depended on their not being 
attacked bv our fleet. Whatever the motive was, 
they slighted this salutary counsel, and were thereby 

As soon as Admiral Byng had obtained a full ac- 
count of the whole transaction, he dispatched away 
his eldest son to England, who, arriving at Hamp- 
ton-court in fifteen days from Naples, brought thi- 

* This was the sentiment of Admiral Byng, and therefore we 
iJiay conclude, he who gave the advice was a good seaman. 


ther the agreeable confirmation of what public fame 
had before reported, and upon which the kino- had 
already written a letter to the admiral with his own 
hand.* Mr. Byng met with a most gracious recep- 
tion from his Majesty, who made him a handsome 
present, and sent him back with plenipotentiary 
powers to his father, to negociate with the several 
princes and states of Italy as there should be occa- 
sion, and with his royal grant, to the officers and 
seamen, of all prizes taken by them from the Spa- 
niards, f 

* This circumstance, as well as the style of the following letter, 
will sufficiently demonstrate how welcome the news was to his Ma- 
jesty, and how much he approved Sir George Byng's conduct, and 
the system on which it was founded. 

'* Quoy que je n'ay pas encore rccu de vos novellcs en droit- 
iure, j'ay appris la victoire que la ilotte a remportee sous vos or- 
dres, et je n'ay pas voulu vous diifcrer le contentment que moa 
approbation de votre conduit vous pourroit donner. Je vous en 
xemercie, ctjcsouhaite que vous en temoigniez ma satisfaction a 
tons les braves gens, qui se sont distinguez dans cctte occasion. 
Le secretaire d'etat Craggs a ordre de vous informer plus an long 
de mos intentions, mais j'ay voulu vous assurer moy memo que je 
*uis, monsieur ie Chevalier Byng, 

a Votre bon amy, 

" Hampden Court, ^ GEORGE R." 

" ce 2o d'Aout, 1718, 

In English thus : 


<c Although I have received no news from you directly, I am 
informed of the victory obtained by the lleet under your command, 
and would not, therefore, defer giving you that satisfaction which, 
must result from my approbation of your conduct, i give you 
my thanks, and desire you will testify my satisfaction to all the 
brave men who have distinguished themselves on this occasion. Mr. 
Secretary Craggs has orders to inform you more fully of my inten- 
tions; but I was willing myself to assure you, that 1 am 

u Vour <;ood friend, 
"Hampton-Court, '"GEORGE R," 

" Jw* 1 . 23, 1718. 

f The earl of Sundcrland, then at the head of the British ad- 
ministration, had a very great opinion of Sir George Byng's ta- 


The admiral in the mean time prosecuted his af- 
fairs with great diligence, procured the emperor's 
troops free access into the fortresses that were still 
held out in Sicily, sailed afterward to Malta, and 
brought out the Sicilian gallies under the com- 
mand of the Marquis De Rivaroles, and a ship be- 
longing to the Turkey company, which had heen 
blocked up there by Rear-admiral Cammock, with a 
few ships which he had saved after the late engage- 
ment, and then sailed back again to Naples, where 
he arrived on the 2d of November, and soon after 
received a gracious letter from the Emperor Charles 
VI. written with his own hand,* accompanied with 

lenfs, and thought they qualified him equally for command at sea 
and for the functions of a minister on shore: a circumstance of 
which he very ably availed himself, without intending to create a 

* Copy of the Emperor's Letter to the Admiral, written by his 

own hand. 

" J'ay recu avec beaucoup de satisfaction et de joy, par le por- 
teur de celle cy la votrc du 18me d'Aout. Quand de sceus quo 
TOUS eticz nomme de sa Majestti le roy votre maitrc pour com- 
mandez sa flotte dans la Mediterranee, je conceus d'abord toutcs 
Jes bonnes esperances. Le glorieux success pourtant les a en qucl. 
que inaniere surpasse. Vous avez en cette occasion donne dcs 
preuves d'une valeur, comluite, et zele pour la commune cause 
tres singulier ; la gloire que vons en rcsultc est bicn grande, mais 
aussi en ricn moindre ma reconnoissance, comme vous I'expliquera 
plus le Compte de Hamilton. Comptez toujours sur la continua- 
tion de ma reconnoissance, et de mon affection, priant Dieu qu'il 
vous ait en sa sainte garde. 

" A Vicnne, CHARLES." 

(i ce 22/e Octobrc., 1718. 


" 1 have received with a great deal of joy and satisfaction, by 
the bearer of this, yours of the- 18th of August. As soon as I 
knew you was named by the king your master to command his 
fleet in the Mediterranean, I conceived the greatest hopes imagin- 
able from that very circumstance. The glorious success you have 
had surpasses, however, my expectations. You have given, upon 
this occasion, very singular proofs of your courage, conduct, and 
real for the common cause: the glory you obtain from thence is 


a picture of his Imperial Majesty, set round with very 
large diamonds, as a mark of the grateful sense he 
had of the signal services rendered by his excellency 
to the house of Austria. 

As for the prizes that had been taken, they were 
sent to Port Marion, where by some accident the 
Royal Philip took fire, and blew up, with most of 
the crew on board ; but the admiral had been before 
set a-shore in Sicily, with some other prisoners of dis- 
tinction, where he died soon after of his wounds 

The Spanish court, excessively provoked at tin's 
unexpected blow, which had in a manner totally de- 
stroyed the naval force they had been at so much 
pains to raise, were not slow in expressing their resent- 
ments. On the 1st of September Rear-admiral Gue- 
vara, with some ships under his command, entered 
the port of Cadiz, and made himself master of all the 
English ships that were there ; and at the same time 
all the effects of the English merchants were seized 


in Malaga and other ports of Spain, which, as soon 
as it was known here, produced reprisals on our part. 
But it is now time to leave the Mediterranean, and 
the affairs of Spain, in order to give an account of 
what passed in the northern seas. 

A resolution having been taken, as before observed, 
to send a strong squadron to the Baltic, it was put 
tinder the command of Sir John Norris and Rear- 
admiral Mighels, who, with ten sail of the line of 
battle, left Sole-bay on the 1st of May, having eigh- 
teen merchant ships under their convoy, and on the 
14th arrived safely at Copenhagen, where the same 
day Sir John Norris had an audience of his Danish 
Majesty, by whom he was very graciously received ; 

indeed great, and yet my gratitude falls nothing short thereof, as 
Count Hamilton AviJI fully inform you. You may alwa\s depend 
upon the continuance of my thankfulness and affection towards 
you: may God haye you always in his holy keeping. 

" Vienna, Oct. 22. " CHARLES." 

"O.S. 1718. 


and, soon after, he sailed, in conjunction with the 
Danish fleet, to the coast of Sweden, where the king 
found himself obliged to lay up his ships in his own 
harbours, and to take all possible precautions for 
their security. That monarch, however, was far 
from being idle, notwithstanding he was sensible of 
the great superiority of his enemies, but endeavoured 
to provide, in the best manner he was able, for his 
own security, by making a peace with the Czar, and 
in the mean time turning his arms against the king 
of Denmark in Norway, which kingdom he entered 
with an army of thirty thousand men, in two bodies, 
one commanded by General Arenfelt, and the other 
by himself in person. 

He had ail the success in this expedition that he 
could wish, especially the season or the year con- 
sidered ; for it was in the depth of winter that he 
penetrated into that frozen country, where, at the 
siege of Frederickshall, he was killed by a cannon 
bullet, about nine in the evening, on the 50th of 
November, 1718. The death of this enterprising 
monarch gave quite a new turn to the affairs in the 
north, and particularly freed us from all apprehen- 
sions on that side. Before this extraordinary event 
happened, Sir John Noiris was returned with the 
fleet under his command to England, where he safely 
arrived in the latter end of the month of October. 

There remains only one transaction more of this 
year, which in a work of this kind requires to be 
mentioned; and it is the account we promised to 
give of the reduction of the pirates. Captain Wood 
Rogers, having been appointed governor of the Ba- 
hama Islands, sailed for Providence, which was to 
be the seat of his government, on the 1 K~h of April, 
and after a short and easy passage, an King there, he 
took possession of the town of Nassau, the fort be- 
longing to it, and of the whole island, the people re- 
ceiving him with all imaginable joy, and many of 
the pirates submitting immediately. He proceeded 


soon after in forming a council, and settling the civil 
government of those island;), appointing civil and 
military officers, raising militia, and taking every 
other step necessary for procuring safety at home, 
and security from any thing that might he attempted 
from abroad, in which, by degrees, he succeeded. 
Some of the pirates, 'tis true, rejected at first all 
terms, and did a great deal of mischief on the coast 
of Carolina ; but when they saw that Governor 
Rogers had thoroughly settled himself at Providence, 
and that the inhabitants of the Bahama Islands found 
themselves obliged through interest to be honest, 


they began to doubt of their situation, and thought 
proper to go and beg that mercy which at iirst 
they refused; so that by the 1st of July, 1719, to 
which day the king's proclamation had been extend- 
ed, there were not above three or four vessels of 
those pirates who continued their trade, and two of 
them being taken, and their crews executed, the rest 
dispersed, and became thereby less terrible. 

Thus, in a short time, and chiefly through the 
steady and prudent conduct of Governor Rogers, 
this herd of villains was in some measure dissolved, 
who for many years had frighted the West Indies, 
and the northern colonies; coming at last to be so 
strong, that few merchantmen were safe, and withal 
so cruel and barbarous, that slavery among the 
Turks was preferable to falling into their hands. It 
had been happy for us, if the management of the 
Spanish Guard a Costas had been committed to the 
care of some man of like spirit, who might have deli- 
vered the merchants from being plundered, without 
involving the nation in a war. 

The parliament met on the 1 1th of November, and 
one of the first things they went upon, was the affair 
of Spain, which had indeed engrossed all public con- 
versation, from the time of the stroke given to their 
fleet in the Mediterranean, some looking upon that 
as one of the noblest exploits since the Revolution ; 


but others considered it in quite another light ; and 
when an address was moved for to justify that mea- 
sure, it was warmly opposed by the dukes of Buck- 
ingham, Devonshire, andArgyle; the earls of Not- 
tingham, Cowper, Oribrd, and Hay ; the Lords 
North, Grey, and Harcourt, in the House of Peers; and 
by Mr. Shippen, Mr. Freeman, Sir Thomas Hanmer, 
Horatio Walpole, Esq. and Robert Walpole, Esq. in 
the House of Commons ; but without effect. On the 
19th of the', same month the House of Commons voted 
thirteen thousand five hundred seamen for the service 
of the year 1719, at 4/. a month; and at the same 
time granted 187,63S/. \7s. 6d. for the ordinary of 
the navy ; and that we may range all the sums given 
under the same head, it may not be amiss to observe, 
that, on the 19th of January, the House of Com- 
mons granted 25,000/. for the half pay of sea officers. 
On the 17th of December, 1718, a declaration of 
war in form was published against the crown of 
Spain ; as to the expediency of which, many bold 
things were said in the House of Commons, especially 
with regard to the pretensions, and the intentions of 
those who made this war; for the ministry insisted 
strongly, that it was made in favour of trade, and 
upon repeated complaints from the merchants. It 
was urged by a great speaker, that the ministers had 
shewn no great concern for the trade and interest of 
the nation, since it appeared by the answer of a se- 
cretary of state to the Marquis De Monteleon's 
letter, that they would have passed by the violations 
of the treaties of commerce, provided Spain had ac- 
cepted the terms of the quadruple alliance; and, that 
his Majesty did not seek to aggrandize himself by 
any new acquisition, but was rather inclined to sacri- 
fice something of his o\vn, to procure the general 
quiet and tranquillity. That nobody could yet tell 
how far that sacrifice was to extend; but certainly it 
was a very uncommon piece of condescension. Ano- 
ther member went yet farther, and made use of his. 


favourite expression, insinuating, that this war seemed 
to be calculated for another meridian ; but wrapped 
up the inuendo so dextrously, that no exception was 
taken to it. The ministry, however, continued the 
pursuit of their own scheme, in spite of opposition, 
and took such vigorous measures for obliging Spain 
to accept the terms assigned her by the quadruple 
alliance, that she lost all patience, and resolved to at- 
tempt any thing that might either free her from this 
necessity, or serve to express her resentments against 
such as endeavoured to impose it upon her, and with 
this view she drew together a s;reat number of trans- 

O O 

ports at Cadiz and Corunna. 

The late earl of Stair, who was then our minister at 
the court of France, dispatched the first certain intel- 
ligence of the designs of Spain; which were, to have 
sent a considerable body of troops, under the com- 
mand of the late duke of Ormonde, into the west of 
England ; upon this, the most effectual methods were 
taken here for defeating that scheme. A fleet was 
immediately ordered to be got ready to put to sea ; a 
proclamation issued for apprehending James Butler, 
late duke of Ormonde, with a promise of 50001. to 
the .person that should seize him ; and an embargo 
was laid on all shipping. These precautions were at- 
tended with such success, and the fleet was fitted out 
with so much' expedition, that on the 5th of April Sir 
John Norris sailed from Spithead to the westward, 
with nine men of war ; and on the 29th, the earl of 
Berkley sailed from St. Helen's, with seven other men 
of war to join him, which he did the next day. 

The government likewise took some other very sa- 
lutary measures to oppose this intended invasion of 
the Spaniards. The troops in the west of England, 
where it was conjectured they designed to land, were 
reinforced by several regiments quartered in other 
parts of the kingdom, and four battalions were sent 
for over from Ireland, and were landed at Minehead 
and Bristol, while at tiie same time the allies of hi* 


Majesty were desired to get in readiness the succours, 
which by several treaties they stood engaged to furnish 
in case of a rebellion, or, if the British dominions 
should be invaded by any foreign power. Accord- 
ingly, about the middle of April, two battalions of 
Switzers, in the service of the States-general, arrived 
in the river Thames ; and about the same time three 
battalions of Dutch troops, making together the full 
complement of men which Holland was obliged to 
furnish, landed in the north of England. But by 
this time came certain advice, that the Spanish fleet 
designed for this expedition, consisting of five men 
of war, and about forty transports, having on board 
the late duke of Ormonde, and upwards of 5000 men, 
a great quantity of ammunition, spare arms, and one 
million of pieces of eight, which sailed from Cadiz on 
the 23d of February, O. S. being on the 28th of that 
month about fifty leagues to the westward of Cape 
Finisterre, met with a violent storm, which lasted 
forty-eight hours, and entirely dispersed them. Thus, 
this design of the Spaniards, whatever it was, became 

What loss they met. with is uncertain ; but several 
of their vessels returned to the ports of Spain in a very 
shattered condition. A very small part, however, of 
this embarkation, had somewhat a different fortune: 
for the earls of Marshal and Seaforth, and the marquis 
of Tullibardin, with about four hundred men, mostly 
Spaniards, on board three frigates and five transports, 
landed in the shire of Ross in Scotland, where they 
were joined by fifteen or sixteen hundred Scots, and 
had instructions to wait the duke of Ormonde's orders, 
and the account of his being landed in England. But 
the whole design being quashed by the dispersion of 
the Spanish fleet, the Highland troops were defeated 
fit Glenshie!, and the auxiliary Spaniards surrendered 
at discretion. They had met with a check before at 
Donaii Castle, which \v;is secured by his Majesty's 
ships, the V/orccsiCT, Enterpriz- 1 , and Flam bo rough,- 


the Castle being blown up, and the greatest part of 
their ammunition taken or destroyed. 

It may be proper, in this place, to take notice, that 
we acted now in such close conjunction with France, 
that the regent declared war against his cousin the 
king of Spain ; and though Marshal Villars, and some 
other officers of great rank, refused, from a point of 
honour, to lead an army against a grandson of France, 
yet Marshal Berwick, who, by the victory of Alman- 
za, fixed that prince upon his throne, accepted the 
command of the army which was appointed to invade 
his territories, in order to force him to such conditions 
as were thought requisite for establishing the general 
tranquillity of Europe. Many people here suspected 
that this war would produce no great effects ; but 
it proved quite otherwise ; for the Marquis De Silly 
advanced in the month of April as far as Port Passage, 
where he found six men of war just finished, upon the 
stocks, all which, prompted thereto by Colonel Stan- 
hope, afterwards earl of Harrington, he burned, to- 
gether with timber, masts, and naval stores, to the 
value of half a million sterling; which was a greater real 
loss to the Spaniards than that which they sustained by 
our beating their fleet. Soon after, the duke of Ber- 
wick besieged Fontarabia, both which actions shewed 
that the French were actually in earnest. 

While the Spaniards were pleasing; themselves with 
chimerical notions of invasions which it was impossible 
to effect against us, our admiral in the Mediterranean 
was distressing them effectually; for, having early in 
the spring sailed from Port Mahon to Naples, he 
there adjusted every thing for the reduction of Sicily, 
in which he acted with such zeal, and what lie d;d 
was attended with so great success, that not only the 
imperial army was transported into the island, and so 
well supplied with all things necessary from our fleet, 
which at the same time attended and disturbed all the 
motions of the enemy's army, that it may be truly 
saidj tiie success of that expedition was as much owing 


to the English admiral, as to the German general ; 
and that the English fleet did no less service than the 
army. To enter into all the particulars of this Sici- 
lian expedition, would take up much more room than 
I have to spare, and \vould, besides, oblige me to di- 
gress from my proper subject, since the motions of a 
fleet attending a land army, for the service of the em- 
peror, cannot be, strictly speaking, thought a part of 
the British naval history ;* for which reasons I shall 
speak of it as concisely as may be. 

There is, however, one circumstance that deserves 
to be made known to posterity, and which I will not 
therefore omit. The Imperialists having taken the 
city of Messina, on the 8th of August, 1719, the ad- 
miral landed a body of English grenadiers, who very 
quickly made themselves masters of the tower of Faro, 
by which, having opened a free passage for the ships, 
he came to an anchor in Paradise road ; and this being 
perceived by the officers of the Spanish men of war 
in the Mole, who began to despair of getting out to 
sea, they unbent their sails, and unrigged their ships, 
and resolved to wait their fate, which they knew must 
be the same with that of the citadel ; and this gave 
great satisfaction to the admiral, who now found him- 
self at liberty to employ his ships in other services, 
which had been for a long time employed in blocking 
up that port. 

But, while all things were in this prosperous con- 
dition, a dispute arose among the allies about the dis- 
position of the Spanish ships before-mentioned, which, 
upon taking the citadel, would of course fall into their 

* The reader may inform himself fully as to all these circum- 
stances, by perusing the " Account of the Expedition to Sicily," 
which I have cited so often, and which is a very ample history of 
that memorable war, that embarrassed us so much while it con- 
tinued ; and which has been buried in obscurity ever since, except 
as to the promise it occasioned about Gibraltar ; of \\hich we shall 
hear more than once, before we conclude, this volume; and per. 
haps we may, some time or other, find the history of that promise 
no unuseful piece of intelligence. 


hands. Signior Scrampi, general of the king of Sar- 
dinia's gallies, first started the question, and claimed 
the two best of sixty, and the other of sixty-four 
guns, new sliips, which had belonged to his master, 
and were seized by the Spaniards in the port of Paler" 
mo. He grounded his right on the convention made 
at Vienna the 2.9th of December, 1718, in which it 
was said, " That as to the ships belonging to the 
king of Sardinia, if they be taken in port, they shall 
be restored him ; but that this shall be referred to 
Admiral Bynr to answer." To this the admiral re- 

.' O 

plied, " That this convention having been only a 
ground-work for another to be made at Naples, lie 
could be directed by none but that which had been 
made in consequence thereof, in April 1719, between 
the viceroy of Naples, the Marquis De Breille, minis- 
ter of Sardinia, and himself, in which no mention is 
made of those ships ; and as for the reference to his 
opinion, he did freely declare he could not think the 
king of Sardinia had any shadow of title to them ; 
that they had been taken by the enemy, were now 
fitted out and armed at their expence. and under 
their colours ; that they would put out to sea if he 
did not hinder them, and attack all English sliips they 
met with, and, if stronger, take them ; so that he 
could not consider them in any other light than as 
they were the ships of an enemy." Count De Merci 
next put in his claim for the emperor, alleging, 
" That as those ships would be found within the port 
of a town taken by his master's arms, according to 
the right of nations they belonged to him." The ad- 
miral replied, " That it was owing to his keeping two 
squadrons on purpose, and at a great hazard, to watch 
and observe those ships, that they were now confined 
within the port ; which if he was to withdraw, they 
would still be able to go to sea, and he should have a 
chance of meeting with and taking them."* 

* Sir George Byng understood the spirit of his instruction.?, and, 
without being inquisitive into the nature of our quarrel \vith Spam, 


But reflecting afterwards with himself, that possibly 
the garrison might capitulate for the sale return of 
those ships into Spain, which he was determined never 
to suffer; that, on the. other hand, the right of pos- 
session might breed an inconvenient dispute at that 
critical juncture among the princes concerned; and, 
if it should he at length determined that they did 
not belong to England, it were better they belonged 
to nobody ; he proposed to Count De Merci to erect 
a battery, and destroy them as they lay in the bason ; 
who urged, that he had no orders concerning those 
ships, and must write to Vienna for instructions about 
it. The admiral replied with some warmth, that he 
could not want a power to destroy every thing that 
belonged to the enemy, and insisted on it with so 
much firmness, that the general, being concerned in 
interest not to carry matters to an open misunder- 
standing, caused a battery to be erected, notwith- 
standing the protestations of Signior Scrampi, which, 
in a little time, sunk and destroyed them, and thereby 
compleated the ruin of the naval power of Spain. 

The imperial court had formed a design of making 
themselves masters again of Sardinia, out of which 
they had been driven, as is before observed, by the 
Spaniards ; but our admiral judged it more for the 
service of the house of Austria, that this army should 
be immediately transported into Sicily. In order to 
effect this, and at the same time to procure artillery 
for carrying on the siege of the citadel of Messina, 
lie went over to Naples, where, finding that the 
government was absolutely unable to furnish the 
military stores that were wanting, he very generously 
granted to his Imperial Majesty the cannon out of 
the British prizes, and procured, upon his own credit, 
powder and other ammunition from Genoa ; and soon 
after went thither himself, in order to hasten the em- 

rcsolvecl to use his best endeavours to put it out of the Spaniards' 
power to hart us ; ,ind. in doing this, we shall see ho could be pe- 
remptory ; as well a* complaisant, to our allies. 


barkation of the troops, which was made sooner than 
could have been expected, merely through the dili- 
gence of the admiral, and in spite of the delays 
effected by the then Count, afterwards Bashaw Bon- 
neval, who was appointed to command them. 

After the citadel of Messina surrendered, Sir 
George Byng re-em barked a great part of the army, 
and landed them upon another part of the island, by 
which speedy and unexpected conveyance they dis- 
tressed the enemy to such a degree, that the Marquis 
De Lede, who commanded the Spanish forces in chief, 
proposed to evacuate the island, to which the Ger- 
mans were very well inclined; but our admiral pro- 
tested against it, and declared, that the Spanish troops 
should never be permitted to quit Sicily and return 
home, till a general peace was concluded. In this 
Sir George certainly acted as became a British admi- 


ral, and after having done so many services for the 
Imperialists, insisted on their doing what was just 
with respect to us, and holding the Spanish troops in 
the uneasy situation they now were, till they gave 
ample satisfaction to the court of London, as well as 
to that of Vienna. It must, however, be considered, 
that, in the first place, the admiral had the detention 
of the Spaniards in his own hands, since the Germans 
could do nothing in that matter without him ; and, 
on the other hand, our demands on the court of Spain 
were as much for the interest of the common cause as 
for our own ; so that though the steadiness of Admiral 
Byng deserved commendation, yet there seemed to be 
no great praises due to the German complaisance, 

The more effectually to humble Spain, and at the 
same time to convince the whole world that \ve could 
not only contrive but execute an invasion, a secret 
design was formed for sending a licet and anr.v to the 
coasts ofSrain, which was very siicces-.T.ily per- 
formed; and, on the 21st of September, 171.9, Vice- 
admiral MighcK with a strong sqi 1 ulro.i of his Ma- 
jesty's ships uiidur his command, aud the transports. 


having on board the forces commanded by the late 
Lord Viscount Cobham, consisting of about 6000 
men, sailed from St. Helen's ; and the first account 
we had of them is comprised in the following letter, 
which, indeed, contains the only good account that 
was ever published of this expedition ; and therefore 
I presume the reader will not be displeased to see it. 

" His excellency the Lord-viscount Cobham, with 
the men of war commanded by Vice-admiral Mig- 
hels, and the transports having the forces on board, 
arriving on the coast of Gallicia, kept cruizing three 
days in the station appointed for Captain Johnson to 
join them ; but having no news of him, and the 
danger of lying on the coast at this season of the 
year with transports, rendering it necessary to take 
some measures of acting without him, and the wind 
offering fair for Vigo, his lordship took the resolution 
of going thither. 

" On the 2pth of September, O. S. they entered 
the harbour of Vigo, and the grenadiers, being im- 
mediately landed about three miles from the town, 
drew up on the beach ; some peasants fired from the 
mountains at a great distance, but without any ex- 
ecution. His lordship went a-shore with the grena- 
diers, and the regiments followed as fast as the boats 
could carry them. That night, and the following 
day and night, the troops lay upon their arms. In 
the mean while provisions for four days were brought 
a-shore, and guards were posted in several avenues to 
the distance of above a mile up the country. 

" On the 1st of October his lordship moved, with 
the forces, nearer the town, and encamped at a strong 
post, with the left to the sea, near the village of 
Boas, and the right extended towards the mountains. 
This motion of the army, and some parties that were 
ordered to view the town and citadel, gave the enemy 
some apprehensions, that preparations were making 
to attack them ; whereupon they set fire to the car- 
riages of the cannon of the town, nailed those cannon. 


and by all their motions seemed to be determined to 
abandon the town to the care of the magistrates and 
inhabitants, and to retire with the regular troops into 
the citadel ; whereupon the Lord Cobham sent to 
summon the town to surrender, which the magistrates 
made no difficulty of doing ; and the same night his 
lordship ordered Brigadier Honywood, with eight 
hundred men, to take post in the town, and Foit 
St. Sebastian, which the enemy had also aban- 

" On the 3d a bomb-vessel be^an to bombard the 


citadel, but with little execution by reason of the 
great distance. That evening the large mortars and 
the cohorn-mortars were landed at the town ; be- 
tween forty and fifty of them, great and small, placed 
on a battery under coverof Fort St. Sebastian, began 
in the night to play upon the citadel, and continued 
it four days with great success. The fourth day his 
lordship ordered the battering cannon to be landed, 
and, with some others found in the town, to be placed 
on the battery of Fort St. Sebastian. At the same 
time his lordship sent the governor a summons to sur- 
render, signifying, that, if he stayed till our battery 
of cannon was ready, he should have no quarter. 
Colonel Ligonier was sent with this message, but 
found that the governor Don Joseph De los Cereos had 
the day before been carried out of the castle wounded ; 
the lieutenant-colonel, who commanded in his ab- 
sence, desired leave and time to send to the Marquis 
De Risburg at Tuy for his directions ; but, being told 
the hostilities should be continued if they did not send 
their capitulation without any delay, they soon com- 

The capitulation consisted of ten articles, by which 
the garrison were permitted to march out with the ho- 
nours of war, and the place, with all its works, ma- 
gazines, and whatever they contained either of am- 
munition or provisions, were delivered up to big. ex- 
cellency the Lord Cobham. 


On the 10th of the same month, in the morning', 
the garrison marched out, consisting of 46'9 men, 
having had above 300 killed or wounded by our 
bombs. The place, it is said, cost us but two offi- 
cers, and three or tour men killed. There were in 
the town about sixty pieces of large iron cannon, 
which the enemy abandoned, and these they nailed 
and damaged as much as their time would give them 
leave; and in the citadel were forty-three pieces, of 
which fifteen were brass, and two large mortars, be- 
sides above two thousand barrels of powder, and se- 
veral chests of arms, amounting in the whole to 
about 8000 musquets ; all which stores and brass 
ordnance were lodged there from on board the ships 
that were to have visited Great Britain in the preced- 
ing spring, and the very troops that gave up Vigo 
were part also of those corps which were to have been 
employed in that expedition ; seven ships were seized 
in the harbour, three of which were fitting up for pri- 
vateers, one was to carry twenty-four guns ; the rest 
were trading vessels. 

Vigo being thus taken, the Lord Cobhara ordered 
Major-general Wade to embark with a thousand men 
on hoard four transports, and to sail to the upper end 
of the bay of Vigo ; which he accordingly did on the 
14th, and, having landed his men, marched to Ponta- 
Vedra, which place surrendered without opposition, 
the magistrates of the town meeting them with the 

o o 


In this place were taken two forty-eight pounders, 
four twenty-four pounders, six eight-pounders, and 
four mortars, all brass, besides seventy pieces of iron 
cannon, two thousand small arms, some bombs, &c. 
all which, except the twenty-four pounders, were em- 
barked, and Major-general Wade returned with his 
booty and troops to Vigo on the 23d. 

The next day the Lord Cobham, finding it would 
be impossible for him to maintain his ground any 
longer in Spain, ordered the forces to be embarked^ 


as likewise the cannon, &c. which being done by the 
27th, lie sailed that day for Kngiand, where he ar- 
rived the 1 1th of November, having lost in the whole 
expedition about three hundred of his men, who were 
eitl'er killed, died, or deserted. 

There is yet another expedition, of which we must 
take some notice before \ve shut up the transactions 
of this year, and it is that of Sir John Norris into the 
Baltic. Things had now changed theii face in the 
north ; the Swedes, since the death of their king, 
were become our friends, and the great design of 
sending this fleet \vas to protect these new friends 
against our old allies the Russians. The qneen of 
Sweden was extremely well pleased on the receiving 
so seasonable a succour. In the beginning of Sep- 
tember, Sir John Norris with his squadron joined the 
Swedish fleet, and on the 6th of the same month ar- 
rived at the Dahlen near Stockholm where her Ma- 
jesty's consort, the late king of Sweden, did him tiie 
honour to dine on board his ship. This junction of 
the English and Swedish fleets broke all the measures 
of the Czar Peter the Great, who had ruined the 
Swedish coast in a cruel manner, but was now 
forced to retire with his fleet into the harbour of 

The Lord Carteret, afterwards carl of Granville, was 
then ambassador at Stockholm, and, in conjunction 
with Sir John Norris, laboured assiduously to bring 
the conferences at the island of Ahland to a happy 
conclusion ; but the Czar not being at that time dis- 
posed to think of paciiic measures, they could not 
prevail; so that, about the middle of September, tie 
conferences broke up. All this time the fleet conti- 

* The Czar had more than one English admiral jn his service, 
and they honestly represented the risk he ran of seeing the naval 
force, which was the creature of his own brain, and which he 
nursed with so niucl) care, strangled, as soon as brought forth, by 
an unequal contest with a British fleet, which he might avoid with- 
out any dishonour. 


fined near Stockholm ; but the winter season coining 
on, and there being no reason to fear any farther at- 
tacks on the Swedes, as the Danes had accepted his 
Britannic Majesty's mediation, Sir John Morris 
thought of returning home, and accordingly sailed 
from Klscnap on the 27th of October, with a large 
fleet of merchantmen under his convoy, and safely ar- 
rived at Copenhagen on the 6th of November, where 
he was received bv his Danish Majesty with all ima- 

* ' . %J v 

ginable marks of distinction and esteem. It must in- 
deed be allowed, to the honour of this worthy admi- 
ral's memory, that, whatever views the ministry 
might have at home, he consulted the nation's glory 
abroad, and, by preserving the balance of power in 
the north, rendered the highest service to his coun- 
try. On the 12th of the same month the fleet sailed 
from Copenhagen, and on the 17th met with a dread- 
ful storm, which damaged several ships, but destroyed 
none. Towards the close of the month they arrived 
safe, and on the last day of November Sir John came 
to London, after having managed with great reputa- 
tion, and finished with much expedition, an enter- 
prise which, in less able hands, would either have 
brought discredit on our naval power, or involved 
the nation, in a bloody war ; but by his steady and 
prudent conduct they were both avoided, and a stop 
put to those troubles, which for many years had em- 
broiled the north. 

His Majesty returned from Hanover about the mid* 
die of November, 171^, and the parliament met the 
latter end of the same month, when there were very 
warm debates upon the subject of the Sicilian expe- 
dition ; where many great men, and good patriots, 
thought our fleet had clone too much for the Ger- 


mans, and too little for themselves. On the other 
hand, the friends of the ministry maintained, that 
their measures were right ; that the giving Sicily to 
the emperor, and Sardinia to the duke of Savoy, would 
effectually fix the balance of power in Italy, and free 


us, and the rest of Europe, from the apprehensions 
created by the mighty naval power of Spain. 

It is not, strictly* speaking, my business, and to 
say the truth, the compass of this work will not al- 
low me to enlarge much upon it, if an inquiry into 
the politics of those times was more so than it is ; but 
thus much I think is to be said, in justice to Sir 
George Byng; that the question does not at all re- 
spect his behaviour, since the merit of an officer con- 
sists in executing his orders, for which alone he is an- 
swerable, and not at all for the rectitude of those orders. 
If this be not allowed, we must never hope to be well 
served at sea, since the admiral who takes upon himself 
to interpret his instructions, will never want excuses 
for his management, be it what it will; and if this 
proposition be once granted, Sir George Byng must 
be allowed to have done his duty, as well as any ad- 
miral ever did ; for to his conduct it was entirely 
owing that Sicily was subdued, and his Catholic Ma- 
jesty forced to accept the terms prescribed to him by 
the quadruple alliance. He it was who first enabled 
the Germans to set foot in that island ; by him they 
were supported in all they did; and by his councils 
they were directed, or they had otherwise been again 
expelled the island, even alter the taking of Messina. 
As warm debates were there about our proceedings in 
the Baltic, which, whether they were right or wrong, 
ought not to affect the character of the admiral, who 
punctually executed his instructions, and performed 
all that was, or could be, expected from him ; nei- 
ther was this denied by such as opposed the ministry, 
and whose sentiments were at this time over-ruled in 

On the 2d of December, the naval supplies for the 
ensuing year were settled. Thirteen thousand five 
hundred men were allowed for the service of 1720, 
and the sum of 41. per month as usual, granted for 
that purpose; 21 7,91 8/. 10,?. Sd. was given for the 
ordinary of the navy, and 79,7 ( 13l. for the extraor- 


clinary repairs. Soon after, a demand was made for a 
considerable sum, expended in the necessary service 
of the last year, beyond what was provided for by 
parliament ; and, after great debates, in which those 
then in opposition took great freedoms, a vote was ob- 
tained on the 15th of January, for 3/7,56 1/, fo. 9 l ^d. 
in discharge of those expences. In the beginning 
of the month of February, the king of Spain acceded 
to the quadruple alliance ; and, as a consequence 
thereof, a cessation of arms was soon after published, 
\vhich was quickly followed by a convention in Sicily 
for the evacuation of that island, and also of the 
island of Sardinia ; and thus the house of Austria got 
possession of the kingdom of Sicily by means of the 
British fleet. But, what return the Imperial Court 
made Great Britain for these favours, we shall see in 
its proper place. About the same time, a messenger 
dispatched by the then Lord Carteret, from Stock- 
holm, brought the instrument of the treaty of friend- 
ship and alliance concluded between his Majesty and 
the crown of Sweden. 

The Czar of Muscovy remaining still at war with 
that crown, and having entered into measures that, 
in the opinion of our court, were calculated to over- 
turn the balance of power in the north, it was re- 
solved to send Sir John Norris once more with a 
fleet of twenty men of war under his command, into 
those seas. The design of this was, to secure the 
Swedes from feeling the Czar's resentment, or from 
being forced to accept such hard and unequal condi- 
tions as he might endeavour to impose. The better 
to understand this, it will be requisite to observe, that 
the Swedes had made some great alterations in their 
government, not onlv by asserting their crown to be 
elective, but by making choice of the prince of llesse, 
consort to the queen their sovereign, for their king, 
on her motion and request; notwithstanding the 
claim of the duke of Ilolstcin, her sister's son, to the 
succession. This young prince, the Czar, was pleased 


to take under his protection, and proposed to the 
Swedes, that it' they would set-ie the crown upon 
him, his Cz nisii Majesty would give him his daugh- 
ter, with tlic provinces conquered from Sweden, hy 
way of dowry ; but, in case this was refused, he 
threatened to pursue the w^r more vigorously than 
ever; ami for that purpose began to make very great 
naval preparations. 

As our old league with Sweden was now renewed, 
the British fleet, on the iGih of April, sadcd for the 
Baltic; m the beginning of the month of May they 
were joined, on the coast of Sweden, by a squadron 
of .ships belonging to that crown ; and, on the 124th 
of the same month, being near the coast of Ahland, 
they were joined hy seven Swedish men of war more, 
under the command of Admiral \Vuchmeister ; the 
26th it was resolved, that the fleet should proceed 
towards the coast of Revel; which ssved the Swedes 
from reding at that juncture any marks of the Czar's 
displeasure. In the mean time, our minister at the 
eourt of Denmark having prepared that monarch for 
an accommodation with Sweden, Lord Carterct, who 
was our minister at Stockholm, negociated, and 
brought to a happy conclusion the treaty of peace 
between the two crowns, under our mediation, and 
went afterwards to Copenhagen to present it to his 
Danish Majesty, of whom he had an audience on the 
29th of June, 1720, for that purpose. 

His lordship continued for some time after at the 
Danish court, where he was treated with unusual 
marks of esteem and respect, by a prince who was 
allowed to be one of the wisest crowned heads in 
Europe, and who, as a signal testimony of his favour 
to that accomplished statesman, took a sword from 
his side, richly set with diamonds, to the value of five 
thousand pounds, of which he made a present to his 

The season for action being over, Sir John Norris, 
on the 8th of September, sailed with the squadron 


under his command to Stockholm. The new kitig- 
of Sweden did him the honour to dine with him on 
board his ship, accompanied by Mr. Finch, the Bri- 
tish envoy, and the Polish minister Prince Lubomir- 
ski, and other persons of distinction ; and his excel- 
lency soon after returned with the squadron under 
his command to Eno'land. The Czar bore this inter- 


position of ours very impatiently, and his ministers 
did not fail to impute it wholly to the interest which 
his Majesty, as a German prince, had to compromise 
affairs with Sweden, with relation to the acquisition 
he had made of the duchies of Bremen and Verden. 
However, thus much is very certain, that whatever 
benefit his Majesty, as elector of Hanover, might 
draw from the protection afforded to Sweden by the 
British fleet, this was a measure, as things then stood, 
entirely corresponding with the British interest; and 
we had often interposed in the very same manner un- 
der former reigns, to prevent such conquests in the 
north as might be fatal to a commerce, upon the 
proper carrying on of which, in a great measure, de- 
pends almost all the other branches of our trade. 
The insinuations, therefore, of the Czar, had no great 
weight at the time, either with us, or with other 
powers, as appears by the conduct of Prussia and 
Denmark, both making separate treaties witli Swe- 
den, notwithstanding all the expostulations, remon- 
strances, and even threatenings of his Czarish Ma- 
jesty to prevent it. Neither is it at all impossible, 
that the very dread of that exorbitant power, to 
which that ambitious monarch aspired, might contri- 
bute as much to their taking that resolution, as any 
other motive whatever. 

His Majesty having spent the summer in his Ger- 
man dominions, returned to Great Britain in the 
month of November; and the parliament meeting 
on the 8th of December following, the proceedings 
of the whole year were laid before that august assem- 
bly ; in which it was insisted upon, that the money 


issued for the sea-service had produced all the desired 
effects ; and that, as peace had been settled by the 
force of our arms in the Mediterranean a few months 
before, so it was highly probable that the very terror 
of our arms would cause the troubles of the north to 
subside in a few months to come. Upon these sug- 
gestions, a considerable naval force was asked for the 
next year ; and though there was a good deal of op- 
position, and a great many bold speeches made, yet, 
in the end, the point was carried; and, on the l^th 
of December, the House of Commons resolved, that 
ten thousand men be allowed for the sea-service, for 
the year 1721, at 4/. a man per month, for thirteen 
months : that 219,049/. 14*. be granted for the ordi- 
nary of the navy ; and 50,200/. for extra repairs for 
the same year. This provision being made, it was re- 
solved to send Sir John Norris and Rear-admiral Hop- 
son, with a squadron of thirteen men of war of the 
line, besides frigates and bomb-ketches into the Bal- 
tic, to put an end to these disputes, which had already 
cost our allies so much blood, and ourselves so large 
a proportion of treasure, and which it was thought 
could not be soon settled any other way. 

The Czar bavins: still in view the reduction of the 


Swedes to his own terms, was very early at sea with 
a laro^e fleet, and, designing to strike a terror into 

^j ' * <^> -._/ 

the whole Swedish nation, he ravaged their coasts 
with incredible fury, to give it the softest name, 
committing such cruelties as were scarcely ever heard 
of amongst the most barbarous nations ; yet the 
Swedes kept up their spirits, arid, depending on our 
protection, did not take any hasty measures, but in- 
sisted on certain mitigations, which by this firmness 
they at last obtained. In the middle of the month 
of April, Sir John Norris sailed from the Nore, and 
towards the latter end of the same month arrived at 
Copenhagen, where he was received with all imagin- 
able marks of esteem ; soon after, he continued his 
voyage for the coast of Sweden, where he was joined 


by a few Swedish ships. His appearance in those 
seas, and with such a force, produced greater conse- 
quences than were expected from it ; for the Czar 
doubting his own strength, and fearing, upon the 
loss of a battle, that his whole naval force would be 
destroyed, as he had seen of late to be the case of 
Spain, began to be more inclinable to a peace ; 
winch was concluded at Neistadt, upon the 31st of 

This treaty having settled the Czar's rights to the 
conquered provinces, and secured to the Swedes vari- 
ous immunities and privileges, in order to bring them 
more readily to consent to such terms, as they would 
have otherwise thought hard, satisfied, in some mea- 
sure both crowns. Sir John Norris continued all this 
time, with his fleet, in the neighbourhood of Stock- 
holm, in order to give weight to the negociations of 
Mr. Finch ; and the peace being signed and ratified, 
lie took leave of the Swedish court, and sailed for 
Copenhagen, where he arrived in the beginning of 
the month of October ; and on the 6th of the same 
month, returning home, arrived safely at the Nore 

j , 

on the 20th, leaving the north in perfect quiet, and 
all its powers under a just sense of the seasonable in- 
terposition of Great Britain, in favour of that balance 
of power in those parts, which is of such high conse- 
quence to the tranquillity of Europe in general, as 
well as the particular advantage of each of the mon- 
archs thus, not without much difficulty, reconciled. 

At home, the disputes and uneasiness vhich had 
been occasioned by the execution of the South-sea 
scheme, kept the nation in a high ferment, and put 
tiie court under a necessity of altering its measures, 
and making some changes in the administration ; 
among which, we in'iy reckon the great alteration of 
the board of Admiralty, which took phce in the 
month of September, when his Majesty was pleased 
to order letters patent to pass the great seal, consti- 
tuting the Right Honourable James, earl of lierklcv. 

^j \j +, f 


Sir John Jennings, John Cock burn, and William 
Chetwynd, Esqrs. Sir John Norris, Sir Charles Wa- 
ger, and Daniel Pulteney, Esq. commissioners for 
executing the office of lord high admiral of Great 
Britain, &c. This appointment gave the most general 
satisfaction at that time ; and it must be allowed by 
all who were well acquainted with their characters, 
that the board was never better settled than by these 
gentlemen, four of whom were as great seamen as any 
in this age ; and the other three as well acquainted 
with the business of the office, and the duties of their 
post, as any that ever filled them. 

The parliament met on the 19th of October, and 
on the 27th of the same month, the House of Com- 
mons granted 7000 men for the service of the sea, for 
the year 1722, at the usual rate of 4 /. a man per 
month ; and, on the 2d of November, they resolved, 
that the sum of 218,799/. 4*. Id, be granted for the 
ordinary of the navy for the same year. This was a 
very moderate expence, and very agreeable to the 
situation of our affairs at that time, which had not 
been a little disordered by the large disbursements 
into which we had bijen drawn for many years past. 
It was not long, however, after this grant was made, 
before a new squadron was ordered to be got ready, 
consisting of thirteen large ships, which squadron 
was to be commanded by Sir Charles Wager and 
Rear-admiral Hosier. The destination of this arma- 
ment was never certainly known ; but the most pro- 
bable account that has been given is, that it was in- 
tended to chastise the Portuguese, for an insult offer- 
ed by them to Mr. Wingrieid and Air. Uoberts, two 
gentlemen of the factory at -Lisbon, who^e goods 
they seized, imprisoned their persons, and even went 
so far as to condemn them to be hanged, upon a very 
trifling pretence. 

The case was this : There is a law in Portugal, 
which torbids the exportation of anv coin whatsoever 
out of that kingdom, upon pain, of death ; but it >vas 


a law never insisted upon, and, therefore, thought to 
be obsolete, and, by custom, in a manner repealed ; 
which construction was justified by the transporting 
gold coin from Lisbon to other countries almost every 
day, and in such a manner as the court could not be 
ignorant of it. What induced the Portuguese minis- 

o o 

try to venture upon such an ill-timed severity, is not 
well known; but the vigorous measures taken by our 
court were certainly the properest methods that 
could be taken, to hinder their proceeding to execu- 
tion. At the same time, our minister stated the case 
of those gentlemen in the fairest and fullest light, ob- 
serving to the king of Portugal, that of all nations 
in Europe, the English least deserved to be thus used, 
because they took the largest quantity of the manu- 
factures of Portugal, in exchange for their own, of 
which last the Portuguese, also, exported a great 
deal. That the balance of trade in our favour, had 
been, and must be, always discharged in gold, and 
that, consequently, these severe proceedings, if not 
remitted, must not only produce an immediate rup- 
ture between the two nations, but also hinder all 
commerce between them for the future. By degrees, 
these representations were attended to, the merchants 
released, their goods restored, and the whole affair 
was amicably adjusted. Upon this, our naval arma- 
ment was laid aside, and the mutual interest of the 
two nations, after this explanation, being better un- 
derstood, the harmony between them was effectually 
restored, and this unlucky interruption of it buried 
on both sides in oblivion. 

We may, from this instance, discern, how danger- 
ous a thing it is, in any state, to suffer these sleeping- 
laws to remain virtually, and yet not actually repeal- 
ed, since, in certain conjunctures, there never will be 
wanting a sort of enterprising men, who will endea- 
vour to take advantage of such penal statutes, dis- 
guising their private views under a specious pretence 
of pursuing the public good, As. on the other hand. 


\ve cannot avoid observing 1 , that the best way to se- 
cure justice to our subjects abroad is, always to keep 
up a considerable maritime force at home, that it may 
be known to all nations, with whom we have any 
dealings, that we are always in a situation to exact a 
speedy and ample satisfaction for any insults that arc 
offered to our merchants, as believing it but equitable 
to employ, in favour of our commerce, that power 
which is the result of it : which never can be attained, 
but by encouraging an extensive trade, and which 
never can decay or decline, if we do not suffer our 
neighbours to interfere therein to our prejudice, by 
not applying timely and effectual remedies upon their 
first invasions. But to return from these salutary 
cautions, to the thread of our narration. 

The pirates in the West Indies, which had receiv- 
ed some check from the vigorous dispositions of Go- 
vernor Rogers, and other commanders in those parts, 
began to take breath again, and by degrees grew so 
bold, as even to annoy our colonies more than ever. 
This was owing to several causes ; particularly to the 
encouragement they had met with of late from the 
Spaniards, and to the want of a sufficient force in the 
North American seas. The merchants, finding them- 
selves extremely distressed by a grievance that en- 
creased every day, made repeated representations, 
upon this head, to the government; upon \vhich, 
fresh orders were sent to the officers of the navy, 
cruising on the coast of Guinea, and in the West In- 
dies, to exert themselves, with the utmost diligence, 
in crushing these enemies to mankind ; and these in- 
"unctions had at length the desired effect. There was 
among these pirates, on the coast of Africa, one Ro- 
berts, a man whose parts deserved a better employ- 
ment; he was an able seaman, and a good comman- 
der, and had with him two very stout ship:?, one 
commanded by himself, of forty guns, and one hun- 
dred and fifty-two men; the other of thirty-two guns, 
undone hundred and thirty-two men; and to com- 

VOL. iv. o 


plcte his squadron, he soon added a third, of twenty- 
four guns, and ninety men : with this force, Roberts 
bad clone a great deal of mischief in the West Indies, 
before bo sailed for Africa, where lie likewise took 
abundance of prizes, till in the month of April, 1722, 
be was taken by the then Captain, afterwards Sir 
Chaloner, Ogle. 

Captain Ogle was then in the Swallow, and was 
cruising off Cape Lopez, when be had intelligence of 
Roberta's being not far from him, and in consequence 
of this lie went immediately in search of him, and 
soon after discovered the pirates in a very convenient 
bay, where the biggest and the least ship were upon 
the heel scrubbing. Captain Ogle taking in his lower 
tier of guns, and lying at a distance, Roberts took 
him for a merchantman, and immediately ordered 
bis consort Skyrni to slip his cable, and run out after 
him. Captain Ogle crowded all the sail be could to 
decoy the pirate to such a distance, that his consorts 
might not hear the guns, and then suddenly tacked, 
run out bis lower tier, and gave the pirate a broadside, 
by which their captain was killed ; which so discou- 
raged the crew, that after a brisk engagement, which 
lasted an hour and a half, they surrendered. Captain 
Ogle returned then to the bay, hoisting the king's 
colours under the pirates" black flag with a death's 
head in it. This prudent stratagem had the desired 
effect ; for the pirates, seeing the black flag upper- 
most, concluded the kind's shin had been taken, and 

O I ' 

came out full of joy to congratulate their consort 
on the victory. r l his joy of theirs was, however, of 
no long continuance ; for Captain Ogle gave them a 
very warm reception ; and, though Roberts fought 
with the utmost bravery for nearly two hours, yet, be- 
ing at last killed, the courage of his men immediately 
sunk, and both ships yielded. Captain Ogle carried 
these three prizes, with about one hundred and sixty 
men that were taken in them, to Cape Coast. Castle, 
where they were instantly brought to their trials. 


Seventy-four were capitally convicted, of whom fifty- 
two were executed, and most of them hung in chains 
in several places, which struck a terror in that part of 
the world, as the taking several pirates in the West 
Indies, towards the latter end of the year, did in 
those seas. But these successes were far from putting 
an end to the mischief; so that it was found necessary, 
soon after, to send several ships of war to the northern, 
colonies and Jamaica, where by degrees they extir- 
pated entirely this dangerous crew or robbers. 

As this year was very barren in naval transactions, 
I think I am at liberty to take notice of an event that 
otherwise might seem of too little importance to be 
recorded. The case was this : The government had 
intelligence, that the emissaries of the Pretender were 
very busy in carrying on their intrigues at several fo- 
reign courts, and that, for the greater expedition and 
security, they had fitted out a ship called the Resolu- 
tion, which then lay in the mole of Genoa. It was 
in the midst of autumn when this intelligence was re- 
ceived ; upon which orders were immediately dis- 
patched to the captains of such of our men of war, as 
were cruising in the Mediterranean, to seize and pos- 
sess themselves of this vessel, which they accordingly 
did in the beginning of the month of November. But 
it so happened, that most of her officers were at this 
juncture on shore, which obliged Mr. Davenant, his 
Majesty's envoy extraordinary to that republic, to 
demand them of the senate and state of Genoa; but 
the senate were either so unwilling, or so dilatory in 
this affair, that the persons concerned had an oppor- 
tunity, which they did not miss, of making their es- 
cape; and though they were a little unlucky in losing 
their ship, which was a pretty good one, yet they 
were very fortunate in saving themselves, since, if 
they had been taken, they would have been treated as 
rebels, or perhaps considered as pirates, as some peo- 
ple were in King William's time, who acted under a 
commission from Kini? James II. 

o 2 


The parliament having met on the 9th of October, 
the House of Commons, on the 24th of the same 
month, granted 10,000 men for the sea-service, at 
four pounds per man per month, for the year 1723: 
and, on the 29th, they resolved, that 2 16,38 8 /. 14*. 
Sd. be allowed for the ordinary of the navy, for the 
same year; and soon after, the king was pleased to 
promote Sir George Walton, Knt. to the rank of 
rear-admiral of the blue, in the room of Admiral Mig- 
hels, who was appointed to succeed Thomas Swanton, 
Ksq. lately deceased, as comptroller of the navy ; and 
Admiral Littleton dying the 5th of February, Rear- 
admiral Strickland succeeded him as vice-admiral of 
the white; the other admirals taking place according 
to their seniority. 

The naval transactions of this year were, as I have 
already hinted, very inconsiderable ; for though some 
great ships were put into commission, and there was 
once a design of fitting out a fleet, yet it was very 
soon after laid aside. But that we may not seem to 
pass by any thing that has the smallest relation to the 
sul/ject of this work, we shall take notice of an ac- 
count received about this time, of an extraordinary 


hurricane* at Jamaica, said to be the most remarkable 
that ever happened in that island : which account, as 
it is in itself equally curious and remarkable, so it is the 
more valuable, because not to be met with elsewhere. '|~ 

* Hurricane, which the French write Onragan, is a word, in 
the language of the Caribbee Indians, expressing a violent tempest, 
in which the wind veers from one point of the compass to another. 
It is preceded first by a dead calm, the sun or moon very red, then 
a strong west wind. When this shifts to the north, the hurricane 
begins, continues shifting westward, till it come to south-cast, and 
there stops. The bounds of these dreadful storms are from July 
2.5, to September 8, O. S. but in general August is looked on, in 
America, as the hurricane month. 

-f TO SIR II. S. BA11T. 

Dtilffl at in Jatnaica, Av>r. 1;5, 1722. 

Since my Ia5t to you, iho affairs of the island are altered infi- 
nite!^ for the worse. This change lias been made by a most tcrri* 


There remains but one thing more to he mentioned 
within the compass of this year, and that is, the per- 
plexed situation of affairs on the continent, making it 

ble storm, that happened the 28th of August last ; the damage 
which Jamaica has suffered by it is too great to be easily repaired 
again. Abundance of people have lost their lives by it, in one 
part or other of this island : some of them were dashed in pieces by 
the sudden fall of their houses, but the much greater part were 
swept away by a terrible inundation of the sea, which being raised 
by the violence of the wind, to a much greater height than was 
ever known before, in many parts of the island broke over its an- 
cient bounds, and of a sudden overflowed a large tract of land, 
carrying away with an irresistible force, men, cattle, houses, and, 
in short, every thing that stood in its way. 

" In this last calamity, the unfortunate town of Port Royal, 
has had, at least, its full share. And here, I confess myself at a 
loss for words to give a just description of the horror of that scene 
that we the afilicted inhabitants saw before our eyes. When the 
terror of the sea broke in upon us from all quarters with an impe- 
tuous force, conspired with the violence of the wind to cut on all 
hopes of safety from us, and we had no other choice before us, but 
that dismal one of perishing in the waters, if we fled out of our 
houses, or of being buried under the ruins if we continued in them. 
In this fearful suspense we were held for several hours, for the 
violence of the storm began about eight in the morning, and did 
not sensibly abate till between twelve and one, within which space 
of time the wind and sea together demolished a considerable part 
of the town, laid the churches even with the ground, destroyed 
above one hundred and twenty white inhabitants, and one hundred 
and fifty slaves, besides ruining almost all the storehouses in the 
town, together with all the goods that were in them, which 
amounted to a considerable value. 

" We had, at Port Royal, two very formidable enemies to en. 
counter at the same time, vtz. the wind and the sea ; the situation 
of the place, it being at all times surrounded with the sea, ren- 
dering it more exposed than other places, to the fury of that boister- 
ous element; our defence against the sea, consists in a great wall, 
round all along on the eastern shore of the town, the side upoii 
which we apprehend most danger. This Avail is raised about nine 
feot above the surface of the water, and may be about six or seven 
feet broad. And for these twenty years past, for so long the wall 
has been built, it has proved a sufficient security to the town. But, in 
this fatal storm, the sea scorned to be restrained by so mean a bul- 
wark ; for flic wind having, as I observed before, raised it very much 
above its ordinary height ; it broke over the wall with such a force, 
as nothing was able to withstand. Two or three rows of Louses 
that were next to the Avail, and ran parallel v.ith it ? were entirely 


necessary for his Majesty to visit his German domini- 
ons, he embarked on board the Carolina yacht on the 

taken away, among which was the church, a handsome building, 
and very strong, which Avasso perfectly demolished, that scarcely 
one brick was loft upon another. 

" A considerable part of the wall of the castle was thrown 
down, notwithstanding its being of a prodigious thickness, and 
founded altogether upon a rock, and the whole fort was in the 
utmost danger of being lost, the sea breaking quite over the walls 
of it, though they are reckoned to stand thirty feet above the wa- 
ter. This information I had from the captain of the fort, and 
other officers, that were in it during the storm, who all told me, 
that they expected every minute to have the fort washed away, and 
gave up themselves and the whole garrison for lost. In the high. 
cs. streets in the town, and those that are most remote from the 
sea, the water rose to between five and six feet ; and at the same 
time the current was so rapid, that it was scarcely possible for the 
strongest person to keep his legs, or to prevent himself from being 
carried away by it. In these circumstances, we were obliged to 
betake ourselves to our chambers and upper rooms; where yet we 
ran the utmost hazard of perishing by the fall of our houses, which 
trembled and shook over our heads to a degree thatis scarcely cre- 
dible. The roofs were, for the most part, carried off by the vio- 
lence of the wind, and particularly in the house to which mine, and 
several other families had betaken ourselves, the gable end was 
beaten in with such a force, that a large parcel of bricks fell 
through the garret floor into the chamber where we Mere, and had 
they fallen upon any of us, must infallibly have beaten out our 
brains; but Cod was pleased to order it so, that not a soul re- 
ceived an\ hurt. 

u There was, the morning on which the storm happened, a good 
fleet of ships riding in the harbour of Port Royal, most of which 
ITU! i-il. en in thi :-ir full freight, and were to have proceeded home 
in a few da) s, had they not been prevented by this terrible storm, 
vvliH-h left but one vessel in the harbour, besides four sail of men 
of war, all which had their masts and rigging blown away, and 
the ships themselves, though in as secure a harbour as any in the 
whole \\w.l Indies, \\erc ar. near to destruction as it was possible 
to be, ;.;H! escape it. I'ut the most sensible proof of the unac- 
countable force, of the v.ind and sea together. v.;;s, the vast quan- 
tity of that were thrown over the town wall ; which, as 1 
observed before, sfaiuls nine i'eet above the surface of the water, 
a. id ye! such a prodigious number were forced over it, that almost 
rn !iundr"d iuy;roes were employed for nearly six weeks together 
to throw them back again into the sea : and home of those stones 
were f-o vastl> bi::, thai it v.:;s a- much as nine or ten men could 
do !o heave them Lack ayain over the wall. 


3d of June, arrived safely in Holland on the 7th, and 
continued his joarney hy land, to Hanover, where he 

" I am sensible this part of the relation will seem a little 
strange; but yet I doubt not of obtaining your belief, when I affirm 
it to you of my own knowledge for a certain truth. 

' But Port Royal was not the only place tiiat suffered in the 
storm ; at Kingston, also, great damage was done ; abundance of 
houses were blown quite down, and many more were so miserably 
broken and shattered, as to be little better than none; abundance 
of rich goods were spoiled bv the rain, the warehouses being 
either blown down or uncovered. But they had only one enemy 
to encounter, r/r. the wind, and were not prevented by the sea 
from forsaking their falling houses;, ami betaking themselves to the 
savannahs or open iields, where they were obliged to throw them- 
selves all along upon the ground, to prevent their being bUrvn 
away ; and yet, even in Kingston, some persons were killed, 
amongst whom was a very worthy gentlewoman, the wife of the 
Reverend Mr. May, minister of the town, and the bishop of Lon- 
don's commissary; she was killed by the fall of their house, as 
she lay with her husband under a large table, who had also the 
misfortune of having his own leg broke. All the vessels that rode 
in the harbour of Kingston, which were between forty and fifty 
sail, were either driven on shore or overset and sunk. Abundance of 
the men and goods were lost, and one could not forbear being sur- 
prised, to see large ships with all their heavy lading in them, 
thrown quite up upon the dry land ; and nothing could afford a 
more dismal prospect than the harbour did the next day, which was 
covered with nothing but wrecks and dead bodies. 

" At Spanish Town nobody indeed was killed, but a great many 
had very narrow escapes, some families having scarcely quitted 
their houses before they fell down Hat at once, without giving any 
warning. The king's house stands, indeed, but it is all uncovered, 
and the stables, coach houses, &c. are quite demolished. The 
river, near to which the town is situated, swelled to such a degree 
as was never before known ; and I was assured by the minister of 
the place, Mr. Scott, it rose full forty feet perpendicular above 
the ordinary rr.urk, and did incredible damage to the estates that lay 
bordering upon it. From the other parts of the country we had 
very melancholy accounts of the great looses they had sustained, 
and particularly at Old Harbour, a village built at a little d stance 
from that shore; the se : i made such haste to devour, as most unex- 
pectedly to intercept many poor creatur-'S before they had time to 
make their escape, and almost forty poor souls perished altogether 
in one house; and while they only sought security from the wind, 
exposed themselves to be destroyed by the sea, from whence when 
they first tied, they apprehended no danger. In Clarendon and 
Yore parishes great mischief was done : in the latter, the minister^ 


remained during the rest of the year 1723; at the 
close of which, Sir John Norris, with a small squad- 
ron of men of \var was sent to escort him from Hol- 
land ; and he returned safely to St. James's on the 
30th of December. 

The parliament, which had been farther prorogued, 
on account of the king's stay abroad, was now sum- 
moned to meet on the o,th of January ; and care was 
taken in the mean time, to regulate whatever had re- 
lation to foreign affairs, in such a manner as that his 
Majesty might assure both houses, in his speech from 
the throne, that, through his assiduous application 
to business while at Hanover, all affairs had been ad- 
justed, so that most of the courts of Europe were, at 
that juncture, either in a favourable disposition to- 
wards its, or at least in no condition to create in us 
any apprehensions on account of their armaments or 

In this state they continued for about two years, 
that is to say, till a little before the treaty of Hano- 
ver, which was concluded there on the 3d of Sep- 
tember, 1725. It is sufficiently known to every bo- 
dy, that this alliance was concerted in order to pre- 
vent the bad effects that were apprehended from the 
treaty of Vienna ; in which, at least it was so sug- 
gested, there were many things dangerous to the 
trade of England, and the succession of the royal 

Mr. ^Vhife, had his leg broken by the fall of the house where he 
was, not to mi'tifion several persons that were killed outright. 

" But 1 should qui f e tire out your patience, should I undertake 
to gire you a particular account, of the damages that were done, by 
the storm i:i all parts of the island. It shall therefore suffice to 
say, that the damage which the trading part o,f the island h=ts sus- 
tained, by the loss of their shipping and goods, is not to bt valued; 
and, on the other hand, it is impossible to say how deeply the 
planting interest has shared in 'his common calamity, by the loss 
of dwelling houses and *Mg;:r works, and nu'iiv other ways. And, 
in !>ii.rt. had the fury ot the storm lasted much longer, the whole 
iidaml must have b-'cn one geii'-ral wreck, and nothing but final 
and universal ruin could have ensued." 


family ; but this, however, the late emperor, Charles 
VI. absolutely denied, and took a very strange as 
well as extraordinary measure, which was, to appeal 
from the judgment of the king and his ministry 
to that of the people of this nation, for whom he pro- 
fessed the warmest gratitude, and the highest esteem; 
however, there was no great sign of this in the pro- 
clamation, published some time after, for prohibiting 
any of the goods and manufactures of Great Britain 
from being imported into the island of Sicily, of 
which we had so lately, and at such a mighty ex- 
pence to ourselves, put him in possession. 

The year 179.6 opened very inauspiciously: his 
Majesty embarked on board the Carolina yacht, at 
Helvoetsluys, about one in the afternoon, on new 
year's day, with a fair wind at north-east, and sailed 
immediately. But, about seven the same evening, a 
most violent storm arose, with hail and rain, which 
so separated the fleet, that only one man of war, com- 
manded by Captain Pansie, kept company with the 
king's yacht, on board of which was Sir John Norris. 
The tempest continued so high and the sea so boister- 
ous, for about thirty-six hours, that the whole fleet 
was in the utmost danger. The third, in the morn- 
ing, the yachts and men of war were near Dover ; 
and one of the yachts, with seme of his Majesty's 
attendants, entered the river ; but it was thought 
more advisable that his Majesty should land at live, 
where he arrived about noon ; and on the 5Hh, iu the 
evening, he came from thence to his palace at St. 
James's, in perfect health. 

On the 20th of January the parliament met, and 
the king made a very remarkable speech from the 
throne, in which he took notice of the critical situa- 
tion of affairs in Europe, and of the measures he had 
taken for supporting the honour of his crown, and 
preserving the just rights of his people. When this 
speech came to be debated in the House of Commons, 
verv warm things were said bv those who were then 


in the opposition, against the plan of the Hanover 
alliance, which, though it was also disliked by many 
of the ministers here at home, yet was strenuously 
supported hy others, and even by them, in that de- 

It has been generally said, and, I believe, with 
truth, that the secretary of state, then abroad with 
bis Majesty, was the sole, or at least, the principal 
adviser in that affair, which gave a new turn to our 
politics, and engaged us in a scheme for humbling 
the house of Austria, which we had so long, and even 
so lately, supported, and in the support of which, we 
have been since also engaged at an cxpence, that 
might certainly have been spared, if this scheme had 
not taken place; such fluctuations there are in mo- 
dern policy, and so dearly do whole nations p<iy for 
the intrigues, caprices, and errors, of particular men ! 
But to proceed. 

On the 26th of January, the House of Commons 
resolved, that ten thousand men be employed for the 
sea-service, for the year 1726, at 4/. a man p-:r month 
for thirteen months. The 2: '3d of February they re- 
solved, that 2 12, 38 1/. 5s. be granted for the ordinary 
of the navy for the same year, ikit this provision, 
as the affaiis of Europe then stood, being not thought 
sufficient, his Majesty held it requisite, on the 24th 
of March, to scud a message to the House of Com- 
mons, importing, that he found it absolutely neces- 
sary to augment his maritime force, and hoped he 
should be enabled, by the assistance of parliament, 
to increase the number of seamen already voted and 
granted for the seivke of this year, that lie might be 
thereby enabled not only to secure to his own sub- 
jects the full and free enjoyment of their trade and 
navigation, but in the best manner to prevent and 
frustrate designs as had been formed against the 
particular interest of this nation, and the general 
peace of Europe. Upon this message there was a 
very warm debate, which issued in an address from 


the house to his Majesty, desiring, " That lie would 
be pleased to make such an addition to the number 
or' seamen already voted, and to concert such other 
measures as he in his great wisdom should think most 
conducive to the security of the trade and navigation 
of this kingdom, and to the preservation of the peace 
of Europe, assuring his Majesty that they would ef- 
fectually provide for, and make good, all such ex- 
pences and engagements as should be entered into 
for obtaining those great and desirable ends. 

The administration had all things now in their own 
power, and were at full liberty to act as they thought 
fit; but, before we proceed to what they did, it will 
be reasonable to take a view of what was then looked 
upon as the scheme of our enemies. This I think 
the more reasonable, because hitherto it has never 
been, done, at least in a clear, intelligible way, so that 
a reader of common capacity might understand it. 
As soon as the courts of Vienna and Madrid appre- 
hended that their views were crossed, and the ends 
proposed by their conjunction utterly disappointed 
by the counter-alliance at Hanover, they immediately 
resolved to have recourse to farther negotiations, in 
order to increase the number of their allies; and, 
when they found themselves sufficiently powerful, 
they designed to have resorted to open force. 

With a view to render this scheme effectual, the 
emperor began to execute projects in the north, in 
which he met at first with some extraordinary suc- 
cess. The Czarina Catharine, dowager of the Czar 
Peter the Great, had conceived a distaste to the Bri- 
tish court, and had, by some people about her, been 
drawn to believe it might prove no difficult matter 
to overturn the government in Britain. The same 
scheme had been proposed and countenanced at the 
Imperial court by some of the ministers, as the em- 
press-dowager informed the king; and. on the credit 
of that information, his Majesty mentioned it in his 
speech. The Spanish court readily adopted that or 


any other expedient which might procure them Gib- 
raltar, and facilitate their acquisitions in Italy, then 
and long after the great, objects of their policy. 

Thus the Hanover alliance, originally contrived for 
the securing that electorate, proved the means of 
bringing it into some degree of danger, and, perhaps, 
the same cause will hardly ever fail to produce the 
same effects; whence it is evident, that, the less 
share we take in the affairs of the continent, the less 
the present royal family will be exposed to such at- 
tempts ; and, therefore, a wise ministry will be sure 
to inform their master, that pursuing the real and 
acknowledged interests of Great Britain will concili- 


ate all the powers of the continent except France, 
and that attempts to aggrandize his electoral domi- 
nions will always create him enemies, disturb the 
peace of Germany, and affect the balance of Europe. 
I have already observed, that the ministry at home 
were by no means the authors of the Hanover alli- 
ance, though they looked on themselves as obliged 
to support it ; and, therefore, as soon as they were 
acquainted with the schemes formed by the allies of 
Vienna, they set about disappointing them with all 
their force. In order to this, they did not much 
trust to their good allies the French, or to the slow 
assistance of the Dutch, but chose the shortest and 
most expeditious method possible, of helping them- 
selves, with which view it was resolved to send a 
strong fleet into the Baltic, to awe the Czarina, to 
bring round another power, and to keep steady a 
third. It was likewise thought requisite to have an- 
other strong squadron on the coast of Spain to inti- 
midate his Catholic Majesty, and to render his efforts, 
if he should make any against Gibraltar, ineffectual; 
and, to sum up all, as they very well knew that 
money was not only the sinews of war, but the great 
bond of friendship, at. least among states and princes, 
they determined to send a considerable force to the 
.Indies, in order to block up the galleons, as the 


shortest means of dissolving the union between their 
Imperial and Catholic Majesties; being satisfied, that, 
if the former could not receive his subsidies, the latter 
could never rely upon his assistance : such were .the 
plans on both sides at this critical juncture ! 

The command of the fleet intended for the Baltic 
was given to Sir Charles Wager, vice-admiral of the 
red, who had under him Sir George "Walton, rear- 
admiral of the blue. The squadron they were to 
command, consisted of twenty ships of the line, one 
frigate, two fire-ships, and one hospital-ship. His 
iinal instructions having been given to the com- 
mander in chief) he on the 13th of April, 172o\ 
hoisted his flag on board the Torbay, a third-rate 
man of war, at the Nore. lie was saluted thereupon 
by all the ships lying there, and returned their salutes 
Avith one and twenty suns. About an hour after, 


Sir George Walton hoisted his flag on board the 
Cumberland, at her mizen-top-mast head, and saluted 
the admiral with nineteen guns, and was answered 
with seventeen. The 14th, Sir Charles delivered out 
a line of battle, and a rendezvous for Copenhagen 
road, or the Dablen, near Stockholm, with sailing in- 
structions. The 17th in the morning, the fleet 
weighed, and set sail from the Nore. On the 23d 
of the same month, the fleet came to an anchor in 
the road of Copenhagen ; and, on the 25th, Sir 
Charles presented his Majesty's letter to the king of 
Denmark in cabinet-council, dined with his Danish 
Majesty the same day, and entertained the then 
prince royal of Denmark on board his own ship the 
next. On the 6th of May, the fleet under the com- 
mand of Sir Charles Wager anchored near Stock- 

The very next day, Stephen Pointz, Esq. his Ma- 
jesty's envoy extraordinary and plenipotentiary, ac- 
companied by Mr. Jackson, his ?Jajesty's resident, 
came on board the admiral. The 8th, Sir Charles 
went up to that city with them ; and on the 10th, 


had an audience of the king- of Sweden, in the pre- 
sence of several of the senators, to which lie was in- 
troduced by MY. Pointz. Sir Charles delivered a 
letter from the king his master to his Swedish Ma- 
jesty, by whom he was very graciously received. 
The 14-th of the same month, the squadron of Danish 
men of war sailed from Copenhagen for the island of 
Bornholm, in order to join the British squadron. 
These ceremonies over, Sir Charles Wager sailed with 
his squadron to the island of Narignan, within three 
leagues of Revel. There, on the 25th of May, Cap- 
tain Deane, who had been on board the Port Mahon, 
nearer in with the shore, returned on board the Tor- 
bay, and brought the admiral an account, that he 
had spoken with a Lubccker that came five days be- 
fore from Petersburgh, whose master informed him, 
that there were sixteen Russian men of war in the 
road at Cronslot, with three flags flying; viz. Lord- 
admiral Apraxin, Vice-admiral Gordon, and Rear- 
admiral Sannders ; that a great number of gallies 
were in readiness, of which but twelve were at Cron- 
slot, and the rest at Petersburgh, or Wyburgh. 

The admiral took the first opportunity of sending 
his Majesty's letter to the Czarina, inclosed in a letter 
to her Admiral Apraxin, in which letter his Majesty 
expostulated very freely with her on the subject of 
her armaments by sea and land, and on the intrigues 
which her ministers had lately entered into with the 
agents of the Pretender. It is said, that the Russian 
court was very much nettled at this appearance of a 
British fleet upon their coasts, and was inclined to 
have come to extremities, rather than endure it. But 
Vice-admiral Gordon very wisely represented to the 
council, that the Russian fleet was in no condition 
to venture an engagement with that of Great Bri- 
tain ; upon which, orders were given tor laying it 
up, and for securing, in the best manner possible, 
both it and the gal lies from being insulted. In the 
month of July, Prince Menzikou', who was then 


prime minister, coming to Revel, mutual civilities 
passed between him and Sir Charles Wager ; and his 
highness, to shew his regard to the English officers, 
frequently invited them to his own table. 

The British fleet, while in this station, was joined 
by a Danish squadron, commanded by Rear-admiral 
Bille, and remained before Revel till the 28th of Sep- 
tember, when, having received certain intelligence 
that the Russians would not be able to attempt any 
thing that year, he sailed for Copenhagen, and from 
thence home, arriving safelv at the Gun-fleet on the 

d? i' 

1st of November. It must be allowed that Sir Charles 
Wager performed, on this occasion, all that could 
be expected from the wisdom and skill of an English 
admiral; so that this expedition effectually answered 
its end, which ought to be considered as an honour 
to his memory, whether that end shall be thought 
right or wrong ; for that is a mere political dispute, 
which neither can, nor ought, to affect the character 
of the admiral in the least. 

The fleet that was sent to the coast of Spain, was 
commanded by Sir John Jennings, and consisted of 
nine large men of war, which were afterwards joined 
in the Mediterranean by several ships that were cruiz- 
ing there The admiral sailed on the 20th of July 
from St. Helen's ; and, on the 3d of August, entered 
the bay of St. Antonio, which alarmed the Spaniards 
excessively, who immediately drew down a great 
body of regular troops towards the coast. When the 
fleet first entered the bay, some pieces of cannon 
were fired at the foremost ships ; but the governor of 
St. Antonio presently sent an ofiicer to Sir John 
Jennings to excuse it, and to assure him it was an 
act of indiscretion committed by the governor of the 
fort, without orders. On the 25th of the same 
month, the fleet arrived at Lisbon, and was received 
there with all possible marks of respect; and Sir 
John Jennings having received a message from the 
king of Portugal, intimating that he would be q;lad 



to see him, the admiral landed, paid his compliments 
to his Majesty, and then returning on board hts squa- 
dron, sailed from the river of Lisbon for tbe Bay of 
Bulls, near Cadiz, where he was treated with great 
distinction, and had all the refreshments he desired, 
sent him, by order of the Spanish governor. 

He cruized for some time after off Cape St. Mary's, 
in order to wait for the ships that were to join him. 
On the 7th of the same month, Rear-admiral Ilopson, 
with four British men of war, came into the river of 
Lisbon, and one of the ships having lost her main- 
yard, and another having her fore-mast damaged, the 
rear-admiral applied to our minister, Brigadier Dor- 
mer, who immediately obtained an order from his 
Portuguese Majesty, for furnishing every thing that 
was necessary out of his naval stores. The 9th, his 
Majesty's ships the Winchelsea and Swallow, which 
sailed soroe time before from the Downs, came into 
the entrance of the river Tagus, and the next day 
proceeded to join Sir John Jennings. 

It would be needless for me to enter into a farther 
or more particular detail of the motions of this squa- 
dron, which soon after returned to Spithead, It is 
sufficient to observe, that it answered perfectly the 
ends proposed by it ; alarmed the Spanish court to 
the highest degree, obliged it to abandon the mea- 
sures then taking to the prejudice of Great Britain, 
and gave such spirits to the party in Spuin which op- 
posed those dangerous councils, as enabled them to 
triumph over all opposition. The Duke De Ripperda, 
who had been lately prime minister, the very man 
who had negociated the treaty of Vienna, bv whose 
intrigues the two courts had been embroiled, took 
shelter, at the time of his disgrace, in the house of 
the earl of Harrington, then Colonel Stanhope, and 
our minister at Madrid; and though he was taken 
from thence by force, yet the terror of a British squa- 
dmn upon the coast, prevailed upon the Spanish 
court to lav aside all thoughts of proceeding against 

9 O 1 O O 


him capitally, which they before intended, for be- 
traying to the British ministry those very designs 
that occasioned the sending of this fleet ; and he soon 
after made his escape from the castle of Segovia, and 
retired hither as to the only place of safety, from the 
resentment of his Catholic Majesty. Such were the 
events that attended the expedition of Sir John Jen- 
nings on the coast of Spain : let us proceed t.o the 
transactions in the M'est Indies. 

As the execution of all the great designs formed 
by the Vienna allies, depended entirely on the sup- 
plies that were expected from the Spanish West In- 
dies, our ministry thought they could not take either 
a wiser or a bolder measure, than sending a squadron 
into those parts to block up the galleons, and so pie-? 
vent them from receiving those supplies. A squa- 
dron was accordingly ordered to be equipped for that 
purpose, the command of which was given to Francis 
Hosier, Esq. rear-admiral of the blue, an excellent 
officer; but what his instructions were, I am not 
able to say, as having no better authority to proceed 
upon than bare conjectures. He sailed from Ply- 
mouth on the 9th of April, 1726"; and though he had 
a very quick passage, yet the Spaniards had previous 
notice of his design, by an advice-boat from Cadiz, 
so that before he reached the Bastimeiitos, the trea- 
sure which had been on board the galleons, and 
which that year consisted of about six millions and a 
half sterling, was fairly carried back to Panama, on 
the other side the Isthmus. On the 6Yn of June, 
Vice-admiral Hosier anchored within sight of Porto 
Bello; upon which the governor sent to know his 
demands. The vice-admiral answered, with great 
prudence and temper, that he waited for the Royal 
George, a large South Sea ship, then in the harbour, 
which had disposed of ail her cargo, and ha;l a very 
large sum of money on board. The Spaniards, in 
hopes of getting rid of so troublesome a guest, hasr- 

O O <-' 



ened her away ; which, I think, was the greatest 
service this squadron performed. With respect to the 
blocking up of the galleons, that was so much mag- 
nified here at home, it was really a dream, for his re- 
maining there three weeks was time sufficient to put 
it out of their power to return for that season; and, 
therefore, his continuing there six months, as he 
did, till his squadron, that had been the terror, be- 
came the jest of the Spaniards, was altogether need- 
less. A little before Christmas he weighed, and sailed 
for Jamaica, after such a loss of men, and in so 
wretched a condition, that I cannot prevail upon my- 
self to enter into the particulars of a disaster, which 

1 heartily wish could be blotted out of the annals, 

and out of the remembrance of this nation. 

It happened very luckily for him, that there wer 
at that time in the Island of Jamaica, a great number 
of seamen out of employment; so that in two months 
time his squadron was once more manned, and in a 
condition to put to sea, which he did, and stood 
over to Carthagena, where he was able to do little 
or nothing; for the Spaniards had by this time re- 
covered their spirits, and began to make reprisals, 
seizing the Prince Frederic, a South-Sea ship, then 
at La Vera Cruz, with all the vessels and effects be- 
longing to that company, which Admiral Hosier did 
indeed demand, but to no purpose. He continued 
cruising- in those seas, and some of his ships took 
several Spanish prizes, most of which were afterwards 
restored ; and in this situation things continued till 


the vice-admiral breathed his last, on the 23d of 
August, 1727. But that, and what followed, being 
without the limits of this work, I have nothing far- 
ther to- say of this expedition, which, whether well 
or ill concerted at home, was undoubtedly executed 
with great courage and conduct by this unfortunate 
commander, who lost his seamen twice over, and 
'whose .ships were totally ruined i>v the worms ia 


those seas, which created a mighty clamour at home, 
and was, without doubt, a prodigious loss to the 

The Spaniards, intending to shew that they were 
not intimidated by these mighty naval armaments, 
proceeded in the scheme they had formed, of attack- 
ing the important fortress of Gibraltar; and towards 
the close of the year 1726, their army, under the 
Count De Las Torres, actually came before the 
place. Our ministry at home having had previous 
intelligence of this design, ordered a small squadron 
to be got ready at Portsmouth in the month of De- 
cember; and on the 24th, Sir Charles Wager, having 

* o ' tj 

hoisted his flag on board the Kent, as soon as the 
wind would permit, sailed, in order to join Rear- 
admiral Hopson, for the relief of that garrison, 
which he performed very effectually in the succeed- 
ing year. 

The parliament met on the 17th of January, 1727, 
and on the 23d of the same month the House of 
Commons came to a resolution, that twenty thousand 
men should be allowed for the sen-service, at the 
usual rate of 4/. a month per man ; and on the 1st of 
the next month, they voted 199,07 1/, for the ordi- 
nary of the navy. The first use made of these ex- 
traordinary supplies was, to send once more a fleet 
into the Baltic, where, it was said, the Czarina was 
preparing to attack the Swedes ; and afterwards to 
proceed to the execution of designs which have been 
formerly mentioned. On the 21st of April, Captain 
Maurice, commander of the Nassau, was appointed 
rear-admiral of the white squadron, and Captain Ro- 
bert Hughes, commander of the Hampton- Court, 
rear-admiral of the blue squadron of his Majesty's 
fleet; and Captain Rogers was appointed to com- 
mand the Nassau in the room of Admiral Maurice. 
They were all three to serve under Sir John Non is, 
who sailed the latter end of that month, and arrived 

p 2 


on the coast of Jutland the 8th of May, anchored in 
sight of Elsineur the llth; and the next day in the 
road of Copenhagen; the king of Denmark being at his 
palace at Fredericksburgh, Sir John, with the Lord 
Glenorchy, his Majesty's minister at that court, waited 
on his Danish Majesty, and was extremely well re* 
ceived. But while he was employed in this expe- 
dition, that event fell out, which puts a period to 
the present chapter. 

This event was, the death of King George I. which 
happened at his brother's palace, in the city of Osna- 
burgh, June the llth, 1727, about one in the morn- 
ing, in the thirteenth year of his reign, and in the 
sixty-eighth of his life. To speak without flattery, 
his Majesty was a prince of great virtues, and had 
many qualities truly amiable. He was very well ac- 
quainted with the general interest of all the princes 
in Europe, and particularly well versed in whatever 
related to German affairs, with respect to which he 
always acted as a true patriot, and a firm friend to 
the constitution of the empire. As to his conduct 
after his accession to the British throne, his ministers, 
were intirely accountable for it ; for he constantly 
declared to them, that his intention was, to govern 
according to the laws, and with no other view than 
the general good of his people. He was allowed, by 
the best judges of military skill, to be an excellent 
officer, lie was very capable of application, and un- 
derstood business as well as any prince of his time. 
In his amusements he was easy and familiar, of a 
temper very sensible of the services that were ren- 
dered him ; firm in his friendships, naturally averse 
to violent measures, and as compassionate as any 
prince that ever sat upon a throne. 

C 213 ) 




GEORC;E BYNG, Lord Viscount Torrington, rcar 
admiral of Great Britain, was descended from au 
ancient family in the county of Kent, and was born 
in the year 1663. At the age of fifteen, he went to 
sea, a volunteer, with the king's warrant, which was 
given him at the recommendation of the duke of 
York. In 16\S1, he quitted the sea service, upon the 
invitation of General Kirk, governor of Tangiers, and 
served as a cadet in the grenadiers of that garrison ; 
but a vacancy soon happening, the general made him 
ensign of his own company, and, not long after, a 
lieutenant. In 1684, after the demolition of Tangiers, 
he was appointed lieutenant of the Orford ; from 
which time he continued in the sea service. The 
next year he went a lieutenant of the Phoenix, to the 
East Indies, where he engaged and boarded a Zin- 
ganian pirate, who maintained a most desperate fight, 
insomuch that most of those who entered with him 
were slain, and he himself was severely wounded ; 
and the pirate sinking, he was taken out of the sea, 
with hardly any remains of life. In the memorable 
year 1688, Mr. Byng being first lieutenant, to Sir 
John Asbby, in the lleet commanded by the earl of 
Dartmouth, and fitted out to oppose the designs of 
the prince of Orange, was particularly entrusted and 
employed in the intrigues then carrying on among 
trie most considerable officers of the fleet, in favour 
of that prince, and was the person they chose to send 
wiih their secret assurances of obedience to "his high- 
ness; to whom he was privately introduced at Shcr- 
borne, by Admiral Ilusscl, afterwards carl of Orford. 


Upon his return to the fleet, the ear! of Dartmouth 
sent him, with two captains, to carry a message of 
submission to the prince, at Windsor, and made him 
captain of a fourth rate man of war. In 1090, he 
was advanced to the command of the Hope, a third 
rate, and was second to Sir George Rooke in the bat- 
tle off Beachy Head. After this he was captain of 
the Royal Oak, and served under Admiral Russel, 
commander-in-chief of his Majesty's fleet. In 1693, 
that great officer distinguished him in a particular 
manner, by promoting him to the rank of his first 
captain; in which station he served two years in the 
Mediterranean. Upon the breaking out of the war 
in the year 1/02, he accepted the command of the 
Nassau, a third rate, and was at the taking and burn- 
ing of the French fleet at Vigo. In the following 
year he was made rear-admiral of the red, and served 
in the fleet commanded by Sir Cloudesley Shovel in 
the Mediterranean ; under which great admiral he 
served again, in 1704, in the grand fleet that, was sent 
into the same sea in search of the French ; and it 
was lie who commanded the squadron that cannon- 
aded Gibraltar with such vigour and effect, as obliged 
the Spaniards to quit their posts, and thereby enabled 
the seamen, who were immediately landed, to make 
themselves masters of their fortifications; by which 
exploit the garrison was reduced to a capitulation, 
and the place taken. The success of this undertaking 
was entirely owing to the cannonading, which drove 
the Spaniards from their posts; for the general offi- 
cers, who viewed the fortifications after the place was 
in our hands, declared, that they might have been 
defended by fifty men against as many thousands. 
In the battle of Malaga, which followed soon after, 
lie acquitted himself so well, that Queen Anne con- 
ferred upon him the honour of knighthood. Towards 
the hitter end of this vear, Sir George Bynir coin- 

v O v O 

mauded a squadron in the Soundings, and was so 
successful, as to take twelve of the largest of those 


French privateers which had so much annoyed our 
trade, together with the Thetis, a French man of war, 
of 44 guns, and also seven French merchant ships, 
most of which were richly laden from the West In- 
dies. The number of men taken on hoard was 2070, 
and of guns 334. This remarkable success gave such 
a blow to the French privateers, that it was some time 
before they dared venture again into the Channel. 

In the year 1705, Sir George ISyng was made vice- 
admiral of the blue; and, upon the election of a new 
parliament, was returned for Plymouth ; which place 
he represented in every succeeding parliament, till 
the year 1/21, when he was created a peer, In the 
following year, his assistance was extremely useful to 
Sir John Leake, in relieving Barcelona; and he greatly 
'furthered the other enterprises of that campaign, and 
particularly the reducing of Carthaeena an-d Al leant. 

* v O O 

In the beginning of the year 1 707, Sir George \yas 
ordered, with a strong squadron, to the coast of 
Spain, for the relief of the army, which was in want 
of almost every necessary. He accordingly sailed on 
the 30th of March ; but when he arrived off Cape 
St. Vincent, he received the news of our defeat at the 
battle of Almanza; and soon after a message was 
brought to him from Lord Gal way, acquainting him 
with the distress he was in, and desiring, that what- 

j ^ > t 

ever he had brought for the use of the army, might 
be carried to Tortosa, in Catalonia, to which place 
his lordship designed to retreat; at the same time 
informing him, that, if possible, he would save the 
sick and wounded men at Denia, Gandia, and Valen- 
cia, where it was intended that every tiling which 
could be got together, should be put on board. The 
admiral having performed tin's service, and being 
soon after joined by Sir Clotidesley Shovel from Lisbon, 
proceeded with him to the coast of Italy, with a fleet 
of forty-three men of war, and iifty transports, to 
second Prince Eugene and the duke of Savoy, in the 
siege of Toulon. In their Ye turn kome from thi* 


expedition. Sir George narrowly escaped shipwreck, 
when Sir Cloudcsley Shovel was lost; for the Royal 
Anne, in which he bore his flag, was within a ship's 
length of the rocks, upon which the other great 
admiral struck ; yet he was fortunately saved by his 
own presence of mind, and that of his officers and 
mcri, who in a minute's time set the ship's top-sails, 
even when one of the rocks was almost under her 
tnain clv.iins. In the year 1708, Sir George was made 
admiral of the blue, and commanded the squadron 
that was fitted out to oppose the invasion designed 
against Scotland by the Pretender, with a French army 
from Dunkirk. This squadron consisted of twenty- 
four men of war; with which Sir George Byng and 
Lo cl Dursley sailed from Deal for the French coast; 
and having anchored in Gravelin Pits, Sir George 
went into a small frigate, and sailed within two miles 
of the Flemish Road, and there learned the strength 
and number of the enemy's ships. On the admiral's 
anchoring before Gravelin, the French officers laid 
aside their embarkation; but, upon express orders 
from court, were obliged to resume it; and accord- 
ingly, on the 6th of March, they saiied out of Dun- 
kirk. Sir George, at this time, had been obliged, for 
security, to go to an anchor under Dungeness; and, 
in his return to Dunkirk, was informed that the 
French were sailed, but could get no account of the 
place of their destination. lie was, however, inclined 
to believe that they were designed lor Scotland; 
whereupon it was resolved, in a council of war, to 
pursue them to the road of Edinburgh. On the 13th 
of March, the French were discovered in the Firth of 
Edinburgh, where they made signals, but to no pur- 
po-,e ) and then steered a north-cast course, as if they 
intended to have gone to St. Andrew's. Sir George 
purged them, and took the Salisbury, a ship of fifty 
guns, formerly taken from us; on board of which 
were sever:;! persons of quality, many hind and sen 
ccr^ of great distinction, and live companies of the 


regiment of Beam. After this, Sir George finding it 
impossible to come up with the enemy, returned with 
the fleet to Leith, where he continued till he received 
advice of the French admiral's getting hack to Dun- 
kirk, and then proceeded to the Downs, pursuant to 
his orders. But before he left Leith road, the lord 
provost and magistrates of Edinburgh, to shew their 
grateful sense of the important service he had done, 
them, by thus drawing off the enemy before they had. 
time to land their forces, presented him with the free- 
dom of their city in a gold box. Upon his arrival in 
London, Sir George was most graciously received by 
the queen, and by his royal highness, Prince George 
of Denmark, lord high admiral. One would have 
thought that the defeating of so extraordinary a 
scheme as this invasion was allowed to be, and the 
immediate restoring of public credit, which had sut* 
fered greatly, should have given entire satisfaction to 
the nation; but this was so far from being the case, 
that the admiral had scarcely set his foot in London, 
before it was whispered, that the parliament would 
inquire into his conduct. This rumour took its rise 
from a very foolish persuasion, that having once had 
sight of the enemy's fleet, he might, if he pleased, 
have taken every ship of them, as well as the Salis- 
bury ; and the persons who lirst propagated this 
story, thought fit to add, that Sir George was hin- 
dered from taking the French fleet by his ships 
being foul. This insinuation actually produced an 
inquiry in the House of Commons, and an address to 
the queen, desiring her Majesty to direct, that an 
account might be laid be-fore them, of the number 
of ships that went on the expedition with Sir George 
Byng, and when the same \\ ere cleaned. Their 
request being granted, the inquiry ended in a reso- 
lution, that the thanks of th house should be given 
to the prince, as lord high-admiral, for his great 
care, in so espeditiousiy setting forth so great a 
number of ships, whereby the fleet under Sir George 


Byng was enabled, so happily, to prevent the intended 
invasion, This was a very wise and well-concerted 
measure; since it fully satisfied the world of the false- 
hood of these reports, and, at the same time, gave 
great satisfaction to the queen, and to her royal con- 
sort, the prince of Denmark, who had both testified 
an unusual concern upon the occasion, as they 
thought his royal highnesses character, as lord high- 
admiral, was affected by such suspicions and insinu- 
ations. This same year, Sir George had the honour 
of conducting the queen of Portugal to Lisbon : for 
the marriage of this arch-duchess of Austria with the 


king of Portugal was thought to be highly advan- 
tageous to the common cause, and was therefore 
very acceptable to our court, who readily offered to 
send her Majesty to Lisbon, under the protection of 
a British squadron, after having been first espoused 
by proxy at Vienna. Accordingly she set out for 
Holland, where Rear-admiral Baker attended, with a 
small squadron, in order to bring her to England. Her 
Majesty soon arrived atPortsmouth, whereshe received 
the compliments of our court, and had the highest 
honours paid her, during her residence at that place; 
and, after a short stay, she went on board the Royal 
Anne, and was conducted safely to Lisbon. Upon 
this occasion, her Portuguese Majesty presented Sir 
George Byng with her picture set in diamonds, to a 
very great value; and, before he left Lisbon, he 
received a commission from England, appointing him 
to be admiral of the white. In the year 1709, Sir 
George commanded in chief her Majesty's squadron 
in the Mediterranean, where, however, though he did 
all that could be expected from him, or that it was 
possible for him to do, most of his measures and 
great designs were frustrated by the warmth, impa- 
tience, and irresolution of the court of Spain ; for, 
without regard to what had been resolved, or even to 
what they themselves had demanded before, they 
were continually debii'in^ something new to be done 


for them, not considering- that it was impossible our 
ships could perform one service, without neglecting 
another. After his return home from this command, 
he was made one of the commissioners for executing 
the office of lord high-admiral (the prince of Den- 
mark being dead); in which post he continued till 
some time before the queen's death, when, not falling 
in with the measures of those times, he was removed; 
but, upon the accession of King George, he was 
restored to that employment. Upon the breaking out 
of the rebellion, in the year 1715, he was appointed 
to the command of a squadron in the Downs; with 
which he kept so watchful an eye along the French 
coast, that he examined ships even in their ports; and 
having detected at Havre de Grace great quantities 
of arms and ammunition, shipped there for the use of 
the Pretender, he obtained orders from the court of 
France for putting them on shore ; for which impor- 
tant services, the king created him a baronet, and 
gave him a ring of great value, with other marks of 
his royal favour. In the year 1717, it being disco- 
vered that an invasion was intended against this 
kingdom by Charles XII. king of Sweden, orders 
were issued for sending- a formidable squadron into 
the Baltic, under the command of Sir George Byng; 
who accordingly sailed for Copenhagen, where he 
arrived on the llth of April. The next day he had 
an audience of the king of Denmark, and assisted at 
several conferences which were held the succeeding 
week, in order to settle the operations by sea, and the 
command of the confederate fleet, in case it should be 
thought requisite for the several squadrons to join, 
lie then dispatched five ships of the line to cruise in 
the Categat, between Gottenburgh and the Point of 
Schagen, to cover the trade from the Swedish priva- 
teers. He himself only waited for a fair wind to sail 
with the rest of the British squadron into the Baltic; 
and on the 7th of May he left Copenhagen, having 
under his convoy a great number of merchant ships, 


bound for several ports of the Baltic, and being* 
joined by the Danish fleet commanded by Vice-ad- 
miral Gabel, they sailed together towards Carlscroon, 
but were obliged, by contrary winds, to return. The 
Swedes had absolutely laid aside whatever design they 
had formed to our prejudice, and as no enemy ap- 
peared, and the season began to advance, Sir George 
thought of returning home with the fleet ; and, ac- 
cordingly, having left behind him six men of war to 
net in conjunction with the Danish fleet, he passed 
the Sound, with the remainder of his squadron, on the 
2d of November, and on the fifteenth of the same 
month, arrived safe at the mouth of the Thames. 
There he left his ileet, and coming up to London, 
was graciously received by his Majesty. Thus ended 
this expedition, which effectually removed all appre- 
hensions that the nation was under from the Swedes. 
We are now to enter upon a scene of action the 
most important of any Sir George Byng was ever en- 
gaged in. This was, the famous expedition of the 
English fleet to Sicily, in the year 1718, for the pro- 
tection of the neutrality of Italy, and the defence of 
the emperor's possessions, according to the obliga- 
tions Eno-Jand was under bv treatv, against the inva- 

O *' f i* ' O 

sion of the Spaniards, who had, the year before, sur- 
prised Sardinia, and had this year landed an army in 
Sicilv. On the 1.5th of June, Sir George, who was 

*' . 

appointed admiral and commander-in- chief, sailed 
from Spithead for tiie Mediterranean, with twenty 
ships of the line, two lire-ships, two bomb-vessels, an 
hospital ship, and a store ship. Being got into the 
ocean, he sent the Rupert to Lisbon for intelligence; 
nnd when he was arrived off Cape St. Vincent, he 
dispatched the Superbe to Cadi/, with a gentleman 
\viio carried a letter from him to Colonel Stanhope, 
the King's envoy at Madrid, wherein he desired that 
minister to acquaint the king of Spain with his arri- 
val in those parts, in his way to the Mediterranean, 
and to lay bel'ojc him the instructions he had received 


for his conduct, of which he gave a very ample detail 
in his letter. This was done with a view to induce 
the king of Spain to recall his troops, or at least agree 
to a suspension of arms. But it had not this effect ; 
for when Mr. Stanhope shewed this letter to the Car- 
dinal Alberoni, who was then at the head of the 
Spanish affairs, that able minister, upon reading it, 
told him with some warmth, that his master would 
run all hazards, ami even suffer himself to be driven 
out of Spain, rather than consent to any such propo- 
sals ; adding, that the Spaniards were not to be 
frightened, and that he was so well convinced of 
their fleet's doing their duty, that, if the admiral 
should think fit to attack them, he should be in no 
pain for the event. The Cardinal, however, was pre- 
vailed upon by the- mild expostulations of Mr. Stan- 
hope, to lay the admiral's letter before the king, and 
to let him know his Majesty's resolution thereupon : 
accordingly an answer was returned by the cardinal, 
written under the admiral's letter, acquainting the 
British Minister, that it was his Catholic Majesty's 
resolution, that the Chevalier Byng might execute 
the orders he had from the king his master. The 
admiral pursuing his voyage, though with unfavour- 
able winds, was rejoined, off Cape Spartel, by the 
Superbe and Rupert, who brought him advice of the 
mighty preparations that the Spaniards had made at 
Barcelona, and informed him that their fleet had sailed 
from thence to the eastward, on the 18th of June. 
In passing by Gibraltar, Vice-admiral Cornwall came 
out and joined him, with the Argyle man of war, and 
a galley. The admiral having four regiments of foot, 
which he was to land at Minorca, in order to relieve 
the Soldiers there in garrison, who were to embark 
and serve on board the fleet, proceeded to that place, 
and on the 2.0th of July, anchored with the squadron 
off Port Mahon. Here he received advice, that the 
Spanish fleet had been seen, on the 30th of June, 
within forty leagues of Naples, steering southeast; 


upon this he dispatched expresses to the governor of 
Milan, and the vice-roy of Naples, to inform them 
of his arrival in the Mediterranean; from whence he 
sailed on the 25th of July, and arrived, on the 1st of 
August, in the Bay of Naples. The fleet sailing in, 
with a gentle gale, and consisting of twenty-one sail 
of the line, most of them large ships, and three of 
them hearing flags, afforded such a sight as had never 
been seen before in those parts. The whole city was 
in a tumult of joy and exultation. The shore was 
crowded with multitudes of coaches and people ; and 
such a prodigious number of boats came off, some 
with provisions, others cut of curiosity, that the sea 
between the fleet and the shore was, literally covered. 
The Imperial viceroy, Count Daun, being ill, sent 
his compliments to the admiral, who went on shore, 
attended by the flag-officers and captains, in their 
boats, and was saluted on his landing by all the can- 
non round the city and castles, and was conducted 
to court, through an infinite throng of people, with 
the greatest acclamations of joy. In his conference 
with Count Daun, Sir George learned that the Spa- 
nish army, consisting of thirty thousand men, had 
landed in Sicily, and made themselves masters of a 
great part of the island ; that they had taken the 
town of Messina, and were then carrying on the 
siege of the citadel. Hereupon it was agreed, that 
the viceroy should send two thousand Germans, in 
tartans, to Messina, under the protection of the Bri- 
tish fleet, to relieve that citadel. "Whilst the neces- 
sary preparations were making for this service, the 
admiral was lodged at the palace of the Duke De 
Matalona, which had been magnificently fitted up 
for his reception, and was entertained in the most 
splendid manner. The viceroy, moreover, presented 
him with a sword set with diamonds, and a very rich 
staff of command : he likewise made a present of a 
verv line sword to the admiral's son, and sent abun- 
dance of refreshments to the licet, consisting of oxen, 


sheep, sugar, wine, brandy, and other things. On the 
6th of August, Sir George sailed from Naples, and on 
the Qth, arrived in vie\v r of the Faro of Messina. 
From this station he dispatched his first captain to 
Messina, with a letter to the Marquis De Lede, who 
commanded the Spanish army, wherein he acquainted 
him, that the king, his master, being engaged by 
several treaties to preserve the tranquillity of Italy, 
had sent him into these seas ; that he came fully em- 
powered and instructed to promote such measures as 
might best accommodate all differences between the 
powers concerned ; and that his Majesty was employ- 
ing his utmost endeavours to brill"' about a general 

O ~ O 

pacification, and was not without hopes of success ; 
for which reasons he proposed to him to come to a 
cessation of arms in Sicily for two months, in order 
to give time to the several courts to conclude on such 
resolutions as might restore a lasting peace; observ- 
ing, at the same time, that if he was not so happy as- 
to succeed in this proposal, he then hoped to merit 
his excellency's esteem in the execution of the other 
part of his orders, which was, to use ail his force to 
prevent further attempts to disturb the dominions his 
master stood enffasred to defend. The next morninsj 

o O O 

the captain returned with the general's answer, 
which was expressed in very polite terms, but ac- 
quainted Sir George, that the marquis had no powers 
to treat, and consequently could not agree to any sus- 
pension of arms, and that he should follow his orders, 
which directed him to seize upon Sicily for his mas- 
ter, the king of Spain. According to the best ac- 
counts the admiral could receive, he was led to con- 
clude, that the Spanish fleet was sailed from Malta. 
in order to avoid him ; and therefore, upon receiving 
the marquis's answer, he immediately weighed, with 
an intention to come with his squadron before Mes- 
sina, in order to encourage and support the garrison 
in the citadel: but, as he stood in about the Point of 


the Faro towards Messina, lie saw two of the Spanish 
scouts in the Faro ; and being informed at the same 
time by a felucca, which came off from the Calabrian 
shore, that they saw from the hills the Spanish fleet 
lying by, the admiral altered his design, and sending 
away the German troops to Reggio, under the convoy 
of two men of war, he stood through the Faro with 
his squadron, with all the sail he could, after their 
scouts, imagining they would lead him to their fleet, 
which accordingly they did ; for before noon he had 
a fair view of it lying by, and drawn into a line of 
battle, consisting of twenty-seven men of war, small 
and great, besides fire-ships, bomb-vessels, gallies, 
and store-ships. On sight of the English squadron, 
they stood away large, but in good order of battle. 
The admiral followed them all the rest of that day, 
and the succeeding night ; and the next morning 
early, the English being got pretty near up with 
them, the Marquis De Mari, rear-admiral, with six 
men of war, and all the gallies, fire-ships, bomb-ves- 
sels, and store-ships, separated from their main fleet, 
and stood in for the Sicilian shore ; upon which the 
admiral detached Captain Walton, of the Canterbury, 
with live more ships, after them, whilst he himself 
pursued the main body of the Spanish fleet. About 
ten o'clock, tu'o of his ships came up with them, and 
the engagement began, which continued till the 
evening, and ended in the total defeat of the Spa- 
niards. The English received but little damage. The 
admiral lay by some days at sea, to refit the rigging 
of his ships, and to repair the damages which the 
prizes had sustained ; and whilst he was thus em- 
ployed, he, as we have already seen, received a 
letter from Captain Walton, who had been sent 
in pursuit of the Spanish ships that separated from 
the main ilect, under the command of the Marquis 
De Mari, giving him an account that he had taker}, 
di si roved them all. 


As soon as Admiral Byng had obtained a full ac- 
count of the whole transaction, he sent away his 
eldest son to England to report the same to his Ma- 
jesty. He was most graciously received by the king 
who made him a handsome present, ami sent him 
back with full powers to his father to negociate with 
the several princes and states of Italy, and with the 
royal'grant to the officers and seamen of all prizes 
taken by them from the Spaniards. The admiral, in 
the mean time, prosecuted his affairs with great diln 
gence, procured the emperor's troops free access into 
the fortresses that still held out in Sicily, sailed after- 
wards to Malta, and brought out the Sicilian galjies, 
and a ship belonging to the Turkey company, which 
had been blocked up there by one of the Spanish rear* 
admirals, with a few ships winch he had saved after 
the late engagement, and then sailed back to Naples, 
where he arrived on the d of November. Here he 
stayed till February, when he sailed to Port Mali on 
to refit his ships, leaving his son at Naples, to manage 
his correspondence with the viceroy, and to inform 
the court of England of all that happened in those 
parts. Having refitted his squadron, the admiral 
sailed from Port Mahon to Naples, where by the 
wisdom of his counsels, his Catholic Majesty was 
forced to accept the terms presented to him, and to 
accede to the quadruple alliance. Thus ended the 
war of Sicily, in which the fleet of Great Britain bore 
so illustrious a part, that the fate of the island was 
wholly governed by its operations. Having per- 
formed so many signal services, and brought the war 
to so fortunate a conclusion, the admiral departed 
from Italy, to attend the king his master at ILinover, 
where his Majesty devised means to reward the faith- 
ful services of the admiral, by making him treasurer 
of the navy, and rear-admiral of Great Britain ; and. 
on his return to England, he nominated him one of 
his privy-council. In the year 1721, Sir George was 
created a Peer of Great Britain, by the title of Vis-' 



count Torrington, and Baron Byng of Southhill in 
Bedfordshire, and in 1725, he was made one of the 
knights of the Bath, upon the revival of that order. 
After this his lordship had no other command at sea, 
and on that account we insert his memoirs at the end 
of the present reign, although he was singled out as 
an object of respect and honour by King George the 
Second, who when he came to the crown, was plea 
sed to place his lordship at the head of naval affairs, 
by appointing him first lord commissioner of the 
Admiralty, in which station he died, at his house, in 
the Admiralty in January 1733, in the 70th year of 
his age. lie was naturally of a tender constitution, 
but full of ardour ; and by his indefatigable activity 
in the discharge of his duty upon all occasions, he 
had hardened his body to severe service, and had 
.enured it to patience under the greatest fatigue. The 
early age at which he went to sea, would not admit 
of his making any great proficiency in literature ; 
but his constant diligence, joined with excellent, 
talents, and a just sense of honour, made him capable 
.of conducting difficult ne2;ociation$ and commissions 


with proper dignity and address. His lordship's 
maxim was, to leave nothing to fortune that could be 
accomplished by foresight and application : and so 
striking and various were the proofs which he gave 
of his abilities and integrity, and so thoroughly was 
his reputation established abroad, that he left behind 
him in Italy, and other foreign parts the character of 
a great soldier, an able statesman, and an honest 

" In his civil capacity," says Mr. Charnock, " he 
appears to have suffered his attachment to particular 
forms and systems of government, to have hurried 
him into measures which moderate men would, per- 
haps, have hesitated to adopt, but in the midst of his 
enthusiasm, he was directed, at all times, and on all 
occasions, by what he thought the good of 



WAS appointed lieutenant of the Pearl on the 12th 
of May 16'87; on the 27th of August 1688, of the 
St. David ; and, on the 22cl of December following, 
of the Swallow ; the last by commission from Lord 
Dartmouth. On the 16'th of November 16*89, he 
was advanced to the command of the St. Paul fire-ship. 
In 1690 he was made captain of the Experiment, of 
thirty-two guns, at that time employed as a cruising 
ship off the coast of Ireland, where he met with con? 
siderable success. 

In l6)3 he was made captain of the Victory under 
Sir John Ash by. He remained in this ship a very 
short time ; and afterwards commanded the Win- 
chester of sixty guns, one of the ships attached to 
the main fleet; afterwards he accompanied, in the 
Mary, Admiral Russel on his expedition to the Medi- 
terranean. He continued to command this ship till 
the year 1696, when he was appointed captain of the 
Chichester, of eighty guns. In the month of January 
following he commanded the Plymouth, at that time 
employed as a cruising ship. On the 27th he fell in 
with and captured, a very fine privateer belonging to 
St. Maloe's, called La Concorde, pierced fur twenty- 
two guns ; but, at the time she was taken., mounting 
only fourteen. On the 5th of February; having at 
that time the Rye frigate in company, he discovered 
three ships standing towards him. lie r.ufrered two 
of them to run within gun-shot of him before he pre- 
tended to observe them : finding the Plymouth, on 
their nearer approach, to be a ship of war, they bore 
away with all the sail they could croud. Captain 
Jennings pursued them, and in about an hour's time 
got nearly along-side of the largest. The enemy 
threw their shin up into the wind ; by which accident 

i f tj 

they lost their main-mast, and fore-top-mast : and on 
Captain Jennings's firing a single gun, struck their 


colours. The prize was called the New Cheiburg. 
built at Marseilles, for a cruiser, and mounting thirty- 
six guns. 

The Rye coining up soon afterwards, Captain Jen- 
nings left that ship to take care of the prize, and with 
his utmost expedition made after the consort. He 
came up with her about one o'clock. Her captain 
finding all farther attempts to escape would he vain, 
resolutely brought to, and engaged the Plymouth for 
the space of three hours : nor did he at last surrender, 
till thirty-three of his people were either killed or 
wounded. This second prize was called the Dolphin, 
a privateer, from St. Maloe's, mounting only twenty- 
eio-ht o'uns, but manned with a chosen crew, consist- 

o o * * 

ing of one hundred and ninety-six men. 

Captain Jennings lost no longer time than was ne- 
cessary to convoy his prizes into port. Sailing imme- 
diately with his old consort, the Rye, he met with 
the Severn man of war, which was employed also on 
the cruising service. They all three stood over to 
the coast of France; and, on the 25th of the same 
month, got sight of a French convoy of twelve ships. 
The Plymouth out-sailing her companions, soon came 
up with the sternmost of the merchant-ships, which 
Captain Jennings left to be secured by the Rye and 
Severn. He himself pursued the convoy, which con- 
sisted of two small ships of war belonging to Dun- 
kirk, one mounting twelve the other eight guns. The 
latter Captain Jennings captured, as he afterwards 
did two of the merchant-ships; his consorts taking 
four more. 

The peace at Ryswick taking place in a few months 
after this time, we meet with nothing memorable re- 
lative to this excellent commander till after the ac- 
cession of Queen Anne. 

On the recommencement of the war with France, 
in 1702, he was appointed to command the Kent, of 
seventy guns, and sailed soon afterwards, under Sir 
George Uookc, on the expedition against Cadiz. At the 


attack on Vigo lie assisted Vice-admiral Hopson, who 
led the assault with his division. After his return he 
was promoted to the St. George, a second rate of 96" 
guns. In this station he accompanied Sir Cloudesley 
Shovel, in the year 17013, on his fruitless voyage 
to the Mediterranean, for the relief of the Cevcnois. 
During the next year he continued captain of the 
same ship, and was present under Sir George Hooke, at 
the capture of Gihraltar, and the hat tie off Malaga, 
in which last he was stationed as one of the seconds 
to the commander-in-chief. His conduct and gal- 
lantry, on this occasion, were so remarkably conspi- 
cuous, that, on the 9th of October following, he re- 
ceived the honour of knighthood, as an express re- 
ward for the service he had rendered. 

On the 24th of January 1704-5, he was promoted to 
be rear-admiral of the blue ; andbeingappointed to com- 
mand in that station, under Sir Cloudesley Shovel, 
joint-admiral of the main fleet, with the earl of Peter- 
borough, was ordered to collect the ships of war at 
Spithead, previously to Shovel's arrival. He appe: rs 
to have sailed, with a strong detachment of the fleet, 
under the command of Vice-admiral Sir Georire By no- 

C7 */ O * 

a few days before Sir Cloudesley, with the remainder, 
was ready for sea. The object of the cruise was, to 
reconnoitre the harbour of Brest, in order to discover 
whether the enemy had any squadron in that port 
ready for sea. Having received information that the 
French had eighteen ships of the line there, com- 
pletely equipped, the commanders repaired to the 
rendezvous assigned them, where they were joined by 
Sir Cloudesley Shovel on the 27th of May. 

A council of war was held, in which it was deter- 
mined, that Sir George Byng, and Sir John Jennings, 
should be left behind, with twelve ships of the line, to 
watch the motions of the enemy. A discretionary power 
was vested in Sir George either to dispatch Rear- ad- 
miral Jennings after the fleet, or to retain him in 
SO'.mdiugs, according to the intelligence he might at- 


tenvards receive relative to the motions of the enemy* 
It was thought most prudent to adopt the latter mea- 
sure, and Sir John removed his flag into the Mary. 
But the French ships continuing in port, we do not 
meet with any thing more remarkable performed by 
this squadron than the capture of some privateers, 
which had for some time infested the coast of Ireland. 
Sir John returned into port, about the middle of No- 
vember, having, as his last piece of service during this 
naval campaign, convoyed, from Ireland, an East 
India fleet, which had put in there some time be- 

He was sent out, in the month of April 3706, under 
Sir George Byng, with the reinforcement dispatched 
to Sir John Leake at Lisbon. -That admiral having 
sailed before their arrival, they proceeded after him 
to the Mediterranean, and joined him on the 30th of 
April. The first service undertaken by the fleet was 
the relief of Barcelona. Sir John Jennings, with Sir 
George Byng, and several of the ships which came 
from England with them, arrived off that city some 
hours before their comrades, and were very near sur- 
prising and capturing several of the enemy's ships, the 
rear of whose fleet they got sight of, as it quitted 
Barcelona road in great disorder. The siege being 
raised, and the soldiers embarked, the fleet sailed, on 
the 7th of May, for Valencia, where the troops were 
landed. It was afterwards resolved to proceed to Ali- 
Cant : but information being received that the inha- 
bitants of Carthagena wished only for the presence of 
the fleet, and an opportunity of declaring for King- 
Charles III. it was immediately determined to steer 
thither. The fleet arrived on the 1st of June, and 
the conditions of surrender were finally settled the fol- 
io \v ing day. 

On the surrender of Carthagena, and the sailing of 
the main body of the fleet from hence, Sir John Jen- 
nings was left behind, with a squadron of four ships 
of the iiiic, to arrange the civil government, and se- 


the future internal tranquillity of that city. This 
task he diligently and judiciously fulfilled, to the sa- 
tisfaction of all the inhabitants, and in so short a 
time, that in less than six weeks he was enahled to 
quit it and join Sir John Leake, who was at that time 
engaged in the sieaje of Alicant. Sir John Jennings 

<r> o ^ o ~ 

arrived off that place on the 24th of July ; and se- 
veral breaches having been made in the fortifications 
next the sea, by a furious cannonade from the ships, 
a general assault, both from the sea, and the land, 
was resolved to be made on the CSth. The former of 
these was commanded by Sir John, who having over- 
come every impediment, notwithstanding the attack 
from the land was at first repulsed, succeeded in mak- 
ing himself master of the town, with a very inconsi- 
derable loss. During this spirited encounter he had 
a very narrow escape, Lieutenant-colonel Petit being 
killed by a musket-shot, from a window, while stand- 
ing close by him. The castle having surrendered 
about the middle of August, the fleet sailed for Altea 
bay, where it arrived on the 22d. Sir John was de- 
tached from thence for Lisbon with ten ships of the 
line, two frigates, and a fireship, which he was or- 
dered to relit, and then to sail for the West Indies. 

The greatest possible dispatch was used by him, 
after his arrival, in getting his squadron ready for 
sea, insomuch that he was enabled to sail by the 15th 
of October. Contrary winds impeded his voyage, 
prevented his getting into Madeira, and compelled 
him to bear away for Santa Cruz, where he discovered 
five ships hauled close in under the forts. He at- 
tempted to take or destroy them, but was obliged to 
desist, finding it impracticable, except by incurring 
the risk of disabling some of his ships, an hazard he 
was not warranted in venturing on, for so trivial a 
prospect of advantage. 

On the 10th of December 1707, he was promoted 
to he rear-admiral of the white ; as he was, on the 8th 
of January ensuing, to be rear-adaiinil of the red : he 


had served some years as rear-admiral of the blue: 
and, at that day, it was rather extraordinary tor so 
active and highly esteemed a commander to remain 
in the same station so long without experiencing pro- 
motion ; but now the current had once found its 
channel, it appeared to rush on him like a torrent, for, 
on the 20th of the same month, he was farther ad- 
vanced, to be vice admiral of the red. When the 
French, in March following, meditated the invasion 
of Scotland, he was appointed commander-in-chief in 
the Thames and Medway, in order to expedite the 
equipment of the ships that could be fitted out from 
Chatham and Woolwich. On that extraordinary 
emergency he acquitted himself with the greatest 

Towards the latter end of the year 1708, he was 
sent out, under the orders of Sir George Byng, to 
Lisbon and the Mediterranean. 

Early in the year 1711, having been advanced to 
be admiral of the white, he was appointed commander- 
in-chief in the Mediterranean. He sailed from St. 
Helen's on the 7th of January, and arrived at Lisbon, 
on the 23(1. He stayed some weeks to collect the ships 
he was to convoy to the Mediterranean ; and arrived 
with them at Barcelona on the 20th of March. Re- 
peated defeat and misfortune had convinced the 
French of the folly of equipping large fleets: these 
had always been unable to contend with those of the 
allied powers. Their system of naval war was com- 
pletely changed ; and they contented themselves with 
sending out, small squadrons, and single ships, to 
keep the spirits of the people alive by the depreda- 
tions which these desultory cruises enabled them to 
commit on our commerce. 

Sir John having regulated and dispatched the ne- 
cessary convoys from Barcelona, he sailed from thence 
for Port Mahon, where he was joined, on the l^th of 
May, by Vice-admiral Baker, and several ships, and 
he returned to Barcelona on the Ibt of June. After 


a short stay in that port he sailed for Toulon, in hopes 
of intercepting some of the enemy's corn ships from 
the Levant. On his return to Barcelona he received 
intelligence of an event which occasioned a new ar- 
rangement of the future operations : this was the 
death of the Emperor Joseph ; in consequence of which 
King Charles became the presumptive heir to the Im- 
perial crown. Sir John received orders to convoy his 
Majesty back to Genoa in case he should think pro- 
per to return to his hereditary dominions; and to pro- 
vide for the tranquillity of the city of Naples, against 
any commotion that might arise during the then cri- 
tical situation of affairs. The king himself appeared, 
at first, irresolute, not wishing to quit Catalonia till 
he had positive information of his having been actu- 
ally elected emperor; and at the same time appearing 
unwilling to suffer the fleet to depart, as the safety 
of the Spanish cause, and all hopes of future success, 
were principally to be sustained by it. In this state 
were affairs when Sir John found it absolutely neces- 
sary to proceed to Mahon in order to refit ; and in 
this, King Charles acquiesced, after having exacted 
from him a promise that he would return to Barce- 
lona as soon as he had obtained the necessary sup- 
plies, and put his ships into a proper condition for 
service. Sir John strictly adhered to it, returning 
to Barcelona road on the 26th of July, with fourteen 
English and Dutch ships of the line. The rest of the 
ships of his squadron, being detached on different 
services, with orders to rendezvous at Barcelona, he 
did not think it proper to sail from thence till they 
had ail rejoined him. His force, however, being 
completely collected by the beginning of September, 
the king embarked with Sir John, who sailed front 
Barcelona on the lo'th; and, after a passage of ten 
days, landed his Majesty in safety at Genoa. 

Sir John sailed almost immediately afterwards for 
Leghorn, in order to procure cables, and several other 
stores, of which he stood in need. Having supplied 


himself with these, lie repaired to Vado bay, where 
having caused the troops, destined for Catalonia, to 
be embarked, he put them under the protection of 
Captain Sv/anton, with five ships of the line and two 
fire-ships ; accompanying them himself, as far as 
Cape Roses ; and intending, afterwards, to proceed, 
with the remainder of the squadron, for Minorca. 
Off that island he encountered a dreadful storm ; in 
which several of his ships sustained considerable da- 
mage, but had, however, the good fortune to get 
into Port Mahon, on the following day, without hav- 
ing sustained any more serious injury. 

About Christmas the admiral received intelligence 
that the French were employed in equipping a squa- 
dron of eight ships of the line and four frigates at 
Toulon, which were intended for sea early in the 
spring, and destined for the West Indies. This ar- 
mament being of too much consequence to be disre- 
garded, and he himself too modest to trust his own 
judgment, a council of war was called on the 22d of 
February ; in which, after having enquired into the 
state of the ships, it was found they could not pro- 
ceed to sea till they had procured a supply of pro- 

The necessary recruit of stores and provisions hav- 
ing reached Mahon, a second council of war was 
held on the llth of March, in which it was deter- 
mined to put to sea immediately with all the ships 
that were at that time in a condition for service. 
These amounted to eleven ships of the line, and four 
frigates, with which they stretched over to Cape 
Toulon, off which it was intended to cruise until 
some certain advice could be collected relative to the 
enemy. But information being received, a few days 
afterwards, from Captain Walpolo, of the Lion, that 
he had seen nine large ships to the north-west of Mi- 
norca, it was resolved to proceed to the southward of 
.Majorca, and A vica, in order to intercept, the enemy 
in their passage down the Straits. This measure 


g unsuccessful, the admiral came to an anchor, 
on the ist of April, off the island of Formentura; and, 
after having dispatched two frigates to look into the 
several ports and bays, where it might be most pro- 
bably presumed the French ships had taken shelter, 
sailed to Barcelona to wait their return. No satis- 
factory intelligence being procured by these means, 
Sir John continued in that port till he was joined, iu 
the month of May, by the Dutch vice-admiral, having 
under his convoy a fleet of transports, with six thou- 
sand troops on board. These being disembarked, 
and the emperor, as well as Count Staremberg, being- 
desirous of having a large body of cavalry escorted 

cr* o / / 

from Italy to Catalonia, the admiral sailed to Vado ; 
from whence, having the troops just mentioned under 
his protection, he returned to Barcelona on the 7th of 

In about a month after this he received information 
of the suspension of arms ; and, at the same time, 
special instructions from Lord Bolingbroke, then Se- 
cretary of State, to suffer a large corn fleet, bound for 
France, to pass unmolested. This had been long ex- 
pected ; and, but for these orders, would, from the 
precautions he had taken, have fallen into the admi- 
ral's hands. The operations of war being closed, it 
might naturally be supposed a life of ease and inacti- 
vity would have succeeded to those fatigues of watch- 
ful service, in which he had, for so many years, been 

lie cannot, however, be said to have remained iu 
a state of useless inactivity, notwithstanding hostili- 
ties had ceased between the allied powers. The Sal- 
letine corsairs had committed .some acts of violence : 
these Sir John, during the ensuing winter, not only 
took care to repress, but also to prevent the repe- 
tition of. In the spring he had the honour of con- 
voying the empress from Barcelona to Genoa. At 
liis departure she presented him with her picture set 
with diamonds j and, as an additional mark of her 


esteem, gave his nephew a very valuable diamond 


Another service he was engaged in during the year 
1713, was the conveyance back to Italy, of the 
troops, that had been employed in the service of the 
allies, amounting to thirty thousand ; an undertaking 
of much difficulty, though not of danger. He after- 
wards conducted the duke and duchess of Savoy from 
Villa Franca to Sicily, their new kingdom. Having 
completely fulfilled all his instructions, he obtained 
permission to resign his command and return home 
through France. He arrived at Paris on the ]6th of 
November, and in England a few days afterwards. 

After George the First landed, a change took place 
in the naval department ; and, in consequence, Sir 
John Jennings, who stood among the highest in 
the royal favour, was appointed one of the commis- 
sioners of the Admiralty, an office in which he con- 
tinued during the whole of the reign. Early in the 
year 17 1 6, he was called into active service as admiral 
of the white, and appointed to command a squadron 
of ten ships of the line, sent to the Firth of Edin- 
burgh, in consequence of the Pretender having, a 
short time before, landed in Scotland. Sir John re- 
paired by land to Edinburgh, and hoisting his flag- 
on board the Oxford, took upon him the command 
on the 1st of February. He immediately detached 
several ships to attend the motions of the king's forces, 
and render them every assistance in their power where 
necessary or possible, and at the same time to distress 
the rebels by harrassing their posts near the coasts 
and intercepting their supplies. 

From this time we meet with nothing very interest- 
ing relative to Sir John, till the ( JSth of August 17120, 
when lie was appointed ranger of Greenwich park, 
and governor of the hospital ; of which noble insti- 
tution he proved a most worthy ruler and protector.* 

* ' A noble statue of George tlio First, cut out of a block of 
white ni.irble. taken in a Fieadi ship, b) Sir George llooke ; \v;is 


A greater compliment could not at that time have 
been paid him, than in having appointed him suc- 
cessor to so good and worthy a man as Lord Aylrner; 
and it is but justice to his memory to assert, he did 
not derogate from the well-known virtues of his pre- 
decessor. In the month of November he was ap- 
pointed to command the convoy which attended the 
king from Helvoetsluys to Margate : after this he 
does not appear to have been employed in the line of 
active service till the year 1 726, when he was ap- 
pointed to command a squadron of nine ships of the. 
line, which the intrigues of the Spanish court induced 
the British government to send into the Mediterra- 
nean. He sailed from St. Helen's on the 20th of 
July ; but was obliged, by a contrary wind, to put 
into Torbay, where he continued till the 23d. On 
the 3d of August he arrived in the Bay of St. Antonio, 
where he found two Spanish ships of war, to which he 
never offered the smallest violence. 

The Spaniards themselves were in the utmost agi- 
tation and consternation. All the regular troops in 
the neighbourhood of St. Antonio were drawn thither, 
in expectation of an immediate descent ; which } 
indeed, was sufficiently warranted by the unprovoked 
conduct of the governor, who ordered several shot to 
be fired at the headmost ships, as though they had 
been declared enemies. The cool conduct of the 
admiral prevented any farther ill consequences: he 
contented himself with sending an officer to expos- 
tulate on the impropriety of such behaviour; and an 

presented by him, and is erected in the centre of the great square 
of the hospital. An exceedingly good portrait of him, at full length, 
painted by Richardson, is preserved in the council room there : wo 
know not, however, so well to associate our ideas, at the present 
day, as to persuade ourselves of its being a representation of tha 
admiral and Commander-in-chief of the British faYet. This is occa- 
sioned by his being painted in the whimsical habit of the times ; a 
full dress suit of brown Telvet ; rolled up stockings, ami immense; 
square-toed shoes." 


handsome apology, on the part of the aggressors, 
instantly healed the breach. On the 8th the admiral 
sailed for the Groyne, and on the 25th reached Lis- 
bon. Here he was received with the utmost attention ; 
the king of Portugal giving him an audience, and 
issuing orders that the squadron should be immedi- 
ately supplied with whatever stores or refreshments 
the ships, or their crews, stood in need of. 

The admiral quitted the Tag us on. the 25th of 
August, and anchored in the Bay of Bulls, near Cadiz, 
on the 31st. He was received with the utmost civi- 
lity, notwithstanding the people were every where in 
the utmost consternation, and actually retired several 
leagues into the country. The alarm \vas excessive, 
for a strong reinforcement was immediately marched 
to augment the garrison of Cadiz ; and the most 
vigorous measures were immediately used to put that 
city into the best possible state of defence. The 
appearance of this squadron, for that time effectually 
intimidated the Spaniards from all hostile designs. 
This being the sole end of its equipment, Sir John 
quitted Cadiz the latter end of September; and, after 
a short stay at Lisbon, returned to Spithead, where 
lie arrived on the 2d of October. 

\Yith this expedition ends the naval life of Sir John 
Jennings. lie continued to live ever afterwards in 
honourable retirement, quitting the office of commis- 
sioner of the Admiralty on the accession of King 
George the Second, and resigning also his rank 
as an admiral, which he had till then retained, in 
the year 1/34. He died on the 23d of December, 
1745, at which time lie had attained a very ad- 
vanced age. 



THE descendant of a very respectable family in North 
Britain, was appointed commander of the Pearl on 
the 4th of July, 1689- We find him captain of the 
Mary galley, of thirty-four guns, in 1691, and prin- 
cipally employed in the unenviable service of convoy- 
ing the Russian and coasting trade. His care and 

O O 

diligence, however, in this occupation, procured him 
the notice and esteem of his superiors in command, 
and caused his promotion in the following year, to 
the Oxford, a fourth rate, of fifty-four guns. In the 
year 1696, he was appointed captain of the Dorset- 
shire, of eighty guns, one of the ships belonging to 
Sir George Rooke's division in the main fleet. 

In the month of March, 16"9(>-7, still continuing 
in the same ship, he was appointed to command a 
small squadron employed in the North Sea, princi- 
pally in the escort of the trade to, and from Holland. 
The peace of Ryswick taking place in a few months 
after this time, he had a retirement from the service, 
not appearing to have again received any commission 
till after the accession of Queen Anne, when he was 
made captain of the Eagle, and sent on the expedition 
to Cadiz, under Sir George Rooke. This great com- 
mander having observed in him all the qualities 
necessary to form a good officer, as well as a constant 
attention to render those vimies conspicuous, con- 
ceived for him the strongest attachment, which the 
worthy conduct of the latter proved not to have, 
been, in the smallest degree, misplaced. 

When the fleet was on its return to England, alter 
the failure of the attempt on Cadiz, Captain Wishart 
was detached, with two other ships, raid some trans- 
ports, to take in water in Lagos Bay. This measure 
proved the means of first procuring intelligence of 
the arrival of the Spanish galleons in the harbour of 


Vigo. Captain Hardy, of the Pembroke, having 
made this discovery, imparted it to Captain Wishart, 
who was the senior officer of the detachment He 
dispatched the Pembroke itself, being the best sailing 
ship, to carry this important information to the com- 
mander-in-chief. The attack, and the success which 
attended it, \ve have already seen. 

In the year 1 703, he was taken by Sir George Rooke, 
who was again appointed commander-in-chief, to be 
his first captain; hut no enemy appearing in the 
Atlantic, the plan of operations was changed. The 
fleet returned into port; and a considerable part of it 
sailed, early in the month of July, under Sir Cloudesley 
Shovel, for the Mediterranean. Captain Wishart did 
not accompany him : and, as Sir George continued 
on shore till the month of January ensuing, is not 
believed to have received any other commission till 
that time. The promotion of Captain Whetstone, 
who was a junior officer to Mr. Wishart, occasioned 
much concern to Sir George. The business was, 
however, soon accommodated, so as to satisfy the 
demands of Sir George, and the honour of Captain 
Wishart, by promoting the latter to be rear-admiral 
of the blue, with that precedence to which he was justly 
entitled to, to rank before Mr. Whetstone. He still 
retained his original station, though promoted to be 
a flag officer. 

On the arrival of the fleet at Lisbon, King Charles 
presented him with his picture richly set with dia- 
monds, and two hundred guineas for the purchase of 
a piece of plate. Although he held the station of 
first captain to Sir George llooke, while that com- 
mander continued at Lisbon, Sir James Wishart, who, 
in addition to his promotion, had received the honour 
of knighthood, \vas detached on a cruise, with ten 
Knghsh and Dutch frigates and ships of war. No- 
thing material, however, occurred except his falling 
MI with six large French ships, supposed to have been 
I lie same which had been chaced a fc\v* clavs before 


by a stouter detachment under Sir Andrew Lcakc. 
The ships under Sir James, though superior in point 
of numbers, were much interior in actual strength; 
so that the enemy, when the fleets fell in with each 
other, appeared very resolute, and to have a fixed 
intention to come to action. But they soon after 
wards hauled their wind, and having- the advan- 
tage, in point of sailing, effected their escape. Sir 
James rejoined Sir George llooke on the 18th of 

The other operations of the fleet, during the expe- 
dition of the year 1704, have been already given at 

/ } > j 

some length in the life of Sir George Rooke; and, as 
from the station lie held, it is impossible to discover 
the services of the rear-admiral from those of the com- 
mander-in-chief, all that can be said is, that there can 
he no farther commendation bestowed on his conduct 
than that it merited, the cordial approbation of Sir 
George, whose esteem for him rose, if possible, with 
the length of their acquaintance. When the ships 
returned to England, Sir James, en the removal of Sir 
George from the chief command, laid down his com- 
mission, and retired from the service, 

We meet with nothing relative to him after this 
time, till we find him, in November 1/07, one of the 
admirals assembled, with five other flag officers, under 
Prince George, the lord high-admiral, to examine the 
proceedings of the court-martial, and its decision, on 
the trial of Sir Thomas Hardy. On the 20th of 
June, 1708, Sir James was appointed one of the 
council to Prince George, as lord high-admiral; but 
his royal highness dying on the 28th of October fol- 
lowing, that commission of course terminated. On 
the 20th of December 17 jQ, Sir James was made a. 
lord of the Admiralty; and, on the 7tb of February, 
1711-12, was appointed the commissioner to go to 
Holland, as successor to Sir David Mitchell, to regu- 
late the marine quota, pursuant to the treaties between 
her Majesty and the States-general, ibr the service of 

VOL iv 


the year 1712. The treaty of Utrecht having closed 
hostilities, little information is to he expected relative 
to him in the line of service. His seat at the board 
of Admiralty he retained through several commissions; 
and, in the month of December, 1713, was advanced 
to be admiral of the white, and commander-in-chief 
in the Mediterranean. 

On the accession of George I. the interest of those 
men, with whom he had lived in the strictest terms 
of intimacy and friendship, began to decline; and a 
complete change taking place soon afterwards in every 
department of administration, Sir James was involved 
in it. On the 14th of October a new commission 
was made out for executing the office of lord high- 
admiral, which was a prelude to his final dismission, 
both from his civil employment and from the service; 
Sir Charles Wager being sent, in the month of Janu- 
ary following, to supersede him in his Mediterranean 
command. After his return, he lived totally in 
retirement till the time of his death, which took place 
time in. the year 1729.* 


THE first commission of this gentleman in the navy, 
which was that of appointing him lieutenant of the 
Woolwich, he received from Lord Dartmouth, on the 
14th of November, 1688. After the Revolution, hav- 
ing served in the same station, on board divers ships, 
with distinguished credit and reputation, he was pro- 
moted to the command of the Mary galley, in 
October, lo'91. In lo'ys, he was made captain of the 
Newcastle, of forty-six guns, one of the ships sent 
Under Sir George Rooke, in the following year, as 

* In Rear-admiral Hardy's List of Naval Officers, he is said to 
have died on (he 30th of May, 1723; but this, we apjpreheml, to 


convoy to the unfortunate Smyrna fleet. In 1696, 
we find him commanding the Falmouth, of forty- 
eight guns, then a cruiser in the Mediterranean. He 
was, in 1698, commander of the Medway, on the same 
station; and, in the month of October, 1699, was 
sent in this ship to Tangiers, to treat with the em- 
peror of Morocco, for the redemption of sucli British 
captives as were in his possession; but with the suc- 
cess of this negociation we are not acquainted. 
Although the early part of this gentleman's service 
does not appear to have been marked with any of 
those brilliant achievements which have so deservedly 
raised such a number of his gallant contemporaries 
so high in public notice, as well as popular favour, 
yet his services appear to have justly merited every 
honour, which the strictest attention to duty naturally 
claims. He continued to be employed constantly 
during the peace; and soon after the accession of 
Queen Anne, was advanced to be captain of the 
Mon mouth, of seventy guns. 

This ship he commanded as one of the fleet sent 
on the expedition against Cadiz, which bore a very 
distinguished share in the subsequent attack on Vigo, 
being one of Vice-admiral Hopson's division, who led 
the assault. Pie continued, during the next t\\ r o 
years, in the command of the same ship, first under 
Sir Cloudesley Shovel, in 1703, who was sent into the 
Mediterranean, to attempt the relief of the Cevenois; 
and, in 1704, under Sir George llooke. The latter 
expedition will always be remembered, as well OH 
account of the capture of Gibraltar, as of the victory 
over the French fleet off Malaga. In both these sig- 
nal services, Captain Baker bore a most distinguished 
part; and, in the latter, he was severely wounded. As 
soon as he had recovered, he was re-appointed to the 
Monmouth; in which ship he continued to serve till 
the month of January, 1707-8. Although the nature 
of the service allotted to him, which was that of a 
private commander in the main fleet> prevented him 

u 2 


from using those more brilliant exertions necessary 
to acquire popularity and fame, yet, in the milder 
duties of a commander, which were those which fell 
within his reach, it may be insisted, that he always 
stood, we will not say unrivalled, but undoubtedly 

These quiet, but, at the same time, most valuable 
qualifications, recommended him to the attention and 
friendship of all men: and while, on the one hand, 
his courage gained their admiration; so, on the other, 
did his humanity and benevolence justly earn their 
love and esteem. On the 26th of January, 1707-8, 
he was very worthily promoted to be rear-admiral of 
the white. He was immediately afterwards appointed 
to serve under Sir George Byng, who was made 
admiral of the squadron sent to counteract the in- 
vasion of Scotland, by the French, in favour of the 
Pretender. The rear-admiral was detached with a 
small squadron to escort the troops from Ostend, 
which were sent thither, from the army in Flanders, 
to prevent the attempt of the French by land. He 
arrived with his charge at Teignmouth, on the 31st 
of March, after a very prosperous passage of three 
days. The next service we find him engaged in, was 
that of convoying, from Holland to this country, 
Mary Anne, the daughter of the Emperor Leopold, 
and betrothed queen of Portugal. He afterwards 
accompanied her to Lisbon, under the command of 
Sir George Byng, with whom he continued to serve 
in the Mediterranean, during a part of the following 
year. Returning to England in the beginning of the 
.summer, he, for a short time, commanded a small 
squadron in the Channel. 

On the 1 2th of November, 1709, he was advanced 
to be vice-admiral of the blue. A little while before 
this he had been appointed to take charge of a con- 
voy of troops, for the army in Spain, as well as a rein- 
forcement for the Mediterranean fleet, of which he 
\vas appointed commander, us successor to Sir Ed- 


\vavd Whitaker. Having joined that admiral at Ma- 
hon, he assumed tlie chief command, on the departure 
of the former for England, in the month of March. 
Having; under him nine ships of the line, a ['rig-ate, 
and a (ire-ship, he conducted the several transports 
and store-ships to the ports whither they were bound; 
and, on his return to Barcelona, when off the Faro of 
Messina, he fell in with two large ships and two gal- 
lies, belonging to the enemy, having under their con- 
voy a number of saitees. He gave chace, and \vith 
such success, that the two ships, one of them mount- 
ing fifty-six guns, and a few of the convoy, were 
taken ; the gallies, and the remainder of the saitees 
making their escape. Having executed his commis- 
sion, by afterwards escorting the troops to Barcelona, 
lie proceeded to Tarragona, where he put himself 
under the orders of Sir John Norris, who had just 
arrived from England, with a commission of com- 
mander-in-chief in the Mediterranean* 

On this station, Mr. Baker continued during the 
remainder of the war, but with little opportunity of 
distinguishing himself, except by his diligence. In 
171 1, when Sir John Jennings was sent to take the 
command in the Straits, he dispatched Mr. Baker to 
Lisbon, with six ships of the line and two frigates, 
for the protection of commerce, on the coast of Por- 
tugal. Having received orders from England to 
escort, as far as Cape Spartel, a fleet of transports 
and store-ships, bound to Port Mahon, he sailed OR 
this service about the eighth of February, 1712; and, 
on the 16th, drove on shore near Cape St. Mary's, a 
very valuable Spanish ship, mounting sixty guns. The 
weather being tempestuous, it was too dangerous for 
boats to approach the prize ; and when it had mode- 
rated -sufficiently to 'permit them, the captors, to their 
great disappointment, found it already plundered by 
the Portuguese from the shore. The vice admiral 
complained of this; and represented it somewhat 
forcibly to the court of Portugal, but without being 


able to obtain any satisfaction, either from their ho- 
nour, or their justice. In a few days after, he had 
the good fortune to capture a valuable French ship, 
bound toMartiuico: and having fulfilled his instruc- 
tions returned to Lisbon, where he arrived on the 8th 
of March. 

The short interval between this and the peace at 
Rysu-ick was consumed in convoying, to the Madeiras, 
the outward-bound Portuguese fleet, and in cruising 
for the protection of another which was expected 
from the Brazils. A violent storm which happened 
about the middle of September, prevented his accom- 
plishing this service ; many of his ships being much 
shattered by it, and the squadron blown so far from 
its station, that it was judged most expedient to bear 
away for Lisbon, to re n't. The cessation of hostilities 
being proclaimed soon after, the vice-admiral was 
ordered to return with his ships to England. 

He bad no other appointment during the reign of 
Queen Anne; but, soon after the accession of George 
I. was appointed to command a squadron sent into 
the Mediterranean, as well for the protection of com- 
merce as to restrain the depredations of the Salletines, 
who began to be troublesome. He was ordered also 
to renew the treaties of peace with the rest of the 
Barbary states. He sailed on this service in June, 
1716; and, on the I6th r was advanced to be vice- 
admiral of the white. He arrived at Tripoli on the 
2d of July; and having included, in the treaty of 
peace, the Minorquins, the recently acquired subjects 
of the king of Great Britain, he sailed for Tunis, 
where he was equally successful as a negociator. The 
Salletines were not so equitably disposed: the vice-ad- 
miral, therefore, was obliged to have recourse to com- 
pukive measures ; and his own activity, assisted by the 
gallantly of the private commanders under him, were 
not long in compelling that peaceable demeanour 
which pirates are always unwilling to observe. 
Having thus happily fulfilled the whole object of his 


expedition, he was preparing to return to England, 
when death, ever regretted, when putting a period to 
the life of a gallant man, but particularly so when he 
is, as it may be said, prematurely snatched in the 
prime of life, closed the honourable career of this 
brave and good man,* on the tenth of November, 
1716', he being then in the fifty-sixth year of his 



BETTER known in the naval world as earl of Danby 
and marquis of Carmarthen, was the son of Sir Tho- 
mas Osborne, Baronet; created Baron Kiveton, Vis- 
count Larimer, and earl of Danby, by King Charles 
II.; and raised, by King William, to the dignities of 
marquis of Carmarthen and duke of Leeds, Peregrine 
Osborne was called up, by writ, to the House of Peers, 
and took his seat in that assembly on the ]^th of 
March 1685-90, by the title of 'Lord Osborne, of 
Kiveton. Having conceived a strong inclination to 
a naval life, he served as a volunteeer on board 
divers ships, and was, on the 2d of January 1691, 
appointed commander of the Suffolk. He was styled 

* Lediard makes the following just and honourable remark on 
his death : " The loss of Admiral Baker was very much lamented, 
he being an officer of consummate skill and experience." A 
splendid monument, bearing the following inscription, was erected 
to his memory in Westminster abbey : 


To the memory of JOHN BAKER, Esq. 
Vice-admiral of the white squadron of the BRITISH fleet] 
Who, when he commanded in the 

Died at PORT MAHON, the 10th of November, 1716. 

yEt. 56. 

He was a brave, judicious, and experienced officer j 

A sincere friend, and a true lover of his country. 

Manet post funeni virtu*. 


earl of Danby, as the immediate heir of the marquis 
of Carmarthen. He continued as a private captain 
till. July 16'tjJ, having in the intermediate time much 
distinguished himself at the battle off La Hogue, 
as well as on other occasions. In the beginning of 
the yea'- Ki<13 he was appointed commander of the 
Royal William, a first rate of one hundred guns; 
and, on the sailing of the fleet, was stationed in the 
line as one of the seconds to the joint commanders- 
in-chief; but on the death of Sir John Ashby, in 
1693, he v^as promoted to be rear-admiral of the red.* 
In the following year Tie served under Lord Berkeley 
a.s rear-admiral of the hlue. Among the operations 
intended for the Channel fleet was the attack on Brest; 
and the marquis is said to have requested the com- 
mand of the detachment ordered on this service. 

This \vas one of the most desperate undertakings 
ever allotted to a commander ; and the steady reso- 
lution with which he carried his orders into execu- 
tion, as well as the precautions he took to ensure suc- 
cess, reflect on him a greater honour, than could 
have been acquired in a less arduous undertaking by 
the most brilliant victory. The marquis having 
shifted his flag into the Monk, led his detachment 
and saw his ships posted in the several stations as- 
signed to them. The service was attended with the 
gteatest danger; for they were not only very warmly 
received by a number of batteries of heavy cannon 
and mortars, but as soon as the Monk and the other 

* In the original line of battle, made out in consequence of Sir 
J. Ashby's death, and bearing date Ihc very day he died, he is so 
stationed, having ('apt. Benj. Iloskins under him as commander 
of the ship. All historians have agreed in dating his promotion to 
this high station in the year 1697; and \\c have some doubt, whe- 
ther this was not: merely temporary. It is the only instance, how- 
ever, if it is one, of any appointment short of permanent rank 
taking place in the European seas: nevertheless, as we find him 
commanding after this time as rear-admiral of the blue, uc think II 
H least, fair to express our doubts. 


ships bad brought up, three very heavy masked bat- 
teries, of which the assailants were perfectly igno- 
rant, suddenly opened upon them, and rendered their' 
utmost exertions of no effect. 

The marquis had on this occasion a narrow escape, 
a shell bursting in the Monk and killing a marine 
who was at that instant close to him. His conduct 
after his defeat, did him, probably* as much honour 
as others have derived from the most successful ope- 
rations. He bore his misfortune with magnanimity, 
and bestowed the highest encomiums on all those 
who were employed under him. He published a very 
modest account of this desperate undertaking, in 
U'hich lie contented himself with saying, for his own 
justification, that if the force of the assailants had 
been double what it was, the attempt must have 
proved impracticable. 

After his return froln this unfortunate expedition 
he was appointedj in November, to command the 
ships which convoyed the king from Holland. In 
169.5 he was stationed with a squadron, for the pro- 
tection of trade, during the summer, at the entrance 
of the Channel ; and this appears to have been the 
only service in which he was en'ao;ed durino- that 

/ i O CT> o 

year. While thus employed he mistook a fleet of 
homeward-bound merchant ships for that of Brest, 
which was supposed to be at sea, and in such force as 
would have rendered it an act of the most extravagant 


rashness to have faced them. This error caused him 
to retire, through thejustest motives of prudence, up 
the Irish Channel ; and the passage being left clear, 
a considerable number of ships bound home from 
Barbadoes, as well as two others still more valuably 
laden from the East Indies, fell into the hands of the 

In the year 1697, he was appointed colonel of the 
first regiment of marines, and rear-admiral of the red ; 
but he does not appear to have put to sea, with any 
command, after this time, during the reign of King 


William ; nor, indeed, while he chose to retain his 
rank in the service, if we except his having, in the 
month of Apiil 1705, taken the command of a squa- 
dron, with which he escorted the duke of Marlbo- 
rough to Holland, and a fleet of merchant-ships from 
thence to England. He continued, however, on the 
list of admirals, and received the regular promotions, 
till, at last, he attained the highest rank in the ser- 
vice, having, on the 21st of December 1708, been 
declared admiral and commander-in-chief of the fleet. 
He did not, however, take upon him the execution 
of this high trust, which was immediately afterwards 
transferred to Sir John Leake. 

From this time he continued to live in retirement 
with regard to the naval service, which he finally 
quitted in the year 1712, in consequence of the death 
of his father ; by which event he became duke of 
Leeds. He enjoyed, many years, this high dignity, 
which he maintained in its fullest lustre. Dying 011 
the 25th of June 1729, in the 71st year of his age, 
he was succeeded in his titles and estate by Peregrine 
Hyde Osborne, the survivor of his two sons. 


FEW men, who have not lived to attain the rank of 
commanders-in-chief, or, at least, flag-officers, have 
ever acquired so much renown as this gentleman; 
fortune having been singularly bountiful in throwing, 
perhaps, a greater number of opportunities of distin- 
guishing himself, as a private captain, than, pro- 
bably, ever before fell to the lot of any one person. 
His first commission was that of second lieutenant of 
the Resolution, which he received from the Lord 
Dartmouth, at that time commander-in-chief of the 
fleet, on the 20th of November 1688. Having served 
with distinguished reputation, as lieutenant of various 
ships, he was promoted, on the 17th of February 16'92, 


to be commander of the Ilopewcll fire-ship, In the fol- 
lowing year he was appointed captain of one of the 
light vessels belonging to the main fleet. Pie was, in 
the month of July, promoted to the Adventure, of 
forty-four guns, a ship, though of much superior force, 
employed in the same line of service as the former. 

His diligent attention to the duties of his station 
procured him, in 16'94, a still farther promotion, to 
be captain of the Weymouth, a fourth rate, in which 
he quickly acquired the greatest renown. Being on a 
cruise off the coast of Ireland, in the month of June, 
in company with the Medway, at that time com- 
manded by Mr. Dilkes, they fell in with a ship of 
war, belonging to St. Maloe's, called the Invincible. 
The Weymouth being by far a better sailing ship than 
the Medway, began to engage the enemy at two 
o'clock on the morning of the 17th of June. The In- 
vincible used every endeavour to escape, and had so 
far the advantage, in point of speed, that the Wey- 
mouth was unable to close with her till after a run- 
ning fight, which continued till eight o'clock at night. 
The Invincible's main-top-mast being then carried 
away, the Dunkirk was enabled to join the Wey- 
mouth in the attack, which the enemy prevented by 
an immediate surrender. 

On the 31st of the same month, after a very long 
chace, he took a second, of interior force indeed to 
the first, but little less important in a national point 
of view, as it had done incredible mischief to the 
commerce of the allied powers, and was esteemed one 
of the best sailing vessels that ever put to sea. On 
the 31st of August following he took a third, mount- 
ing twenty-eight guns. The captain of this vessel 
being a man of most daring spirit, and having a 
chosen and numerous crew to support him, did not 
surrender till after a desperate action, in which he had 
thirty of his men killed, and twenty-five wounded. 
Having received intelligence, about the middle of 
September, of a fleet of ships being seen off Ushant, 


Captain Jumper hesitated not a moment in putt ng to 
sea in search of them, and overtaking them, he was 
disappointed in finding them all neutral ships, bound 
indeed to different ports in France, but which, from 
the nature of their cargoes, the laws of nations, and 
treaties then existing, forbade him to make prize of. 

On the ',23d of the same month he was again equally 
unfortunate; for having, during his chace of a large 
French ship, lost both his fore-top-mast and fore-top- 
o-allant-mast, his antagonist derivino- courage from 

o o o o 

the misfortune, tacked and bore down upon him with 
much appearance of resolution : but on Captain 
Jumper receiving him with a broadside, disliking so 
rough a salutation, he betook himself to immediate 
flight, which the disabled state of the Weymouth 
rendered our English commander incapable of pre- 

The Weymouth being employed, for some months, 
in convoying; the fleets to and from Ireland, we find 

- O ' 

nothing very interesting till May 16^5, during which 
month he captured two privateers, one of fourteen, 
the other of sixteen guns. On the ipth of July he 
fell in with another large privateer belonging to St.Ma- 
loe's, pierced for forty-eight guns, though having only 
thirty-six on board. Being of larger dimensions than 
the Weymouth herself, and the French commander a 
man of natural gallantry, a spirited contest ensued ; 
inconsequence of which, the enemy having lost all 
their masts and a considerable number of their men, 
were at length compelled to surrender. He had soon 
after this some success against the commerce of the 
enemy, from whom he took some very valuable 

In November, he captured a large private ship of 
war, which had been lent by the king to the mer- 
chants, and, when in the service of the former, had 
mounted forty guns, but when captured had only 
twenty-four. This rapid tide of success, which, with 
a few exceptions, had so long attended him, was in- 


terrupted, in the course of the following month, by a 
very melancholy private misfortune. 

Having returned into Plymouth to recruit his stock 
of water and provisions, as he was coming on shore 
in his pinnace, accompanied hy his wife, and a Cap- 
tain Smith who commanded the Portland, the boat 
overset, and Captain Smith, as well as Mrs. Jumper, 
unhappily lost their lives. Captain Jumper, as soon 
as he had recovered from this shock, again put to sea, 
and in the month of February captured a large French 
privateer, of twenty guns, and several other prizes of 
inferior consequence. He continued during the whole 
of this year on the same kind of service ; and in the 
beginning of December engaged and captured a French 
ship of war, called theFougueux, pierced for sixty and 
mounting forty-eight guns, which striking on a rock 
during the engagement, sunk soon afterwards. Hav- 
ing in the interval captured several merchant vessels 
of small note, on the 22d of the same month he fell 
in with a French ship of war, mounting fifty guns, 
which he engaged, and would have taken, but that 
some cartridges taking fire on board the Weymouth, 
blew up the round-house, and disabled many of the 
men upon the quarter-deck. During the confusion, 
the enemy seized the opportunity of edging away; 
but the lire being presently extinguished, Captain 
Jumper pursued, and once more brought his anta- 
gonist to close action. He was afterwards made cap- 
tain of the Lenox, one of the ships sent, under Sir 
George Rooke, on the expedition against Cadiz ; in 
which attack, he bore a greater part than any other 
naval commander, being ordered to cannonade St. 
Catherine's fort, and cover the landing of the troops : 
a service he completely executed, and with the most 
spirited address. In the following year he accom- 
panied Sir Cloudesley Shovel, to the Mediterranean, 
and came back to England in the month of Decem- 
ber : and in the following year, still keeping the com- 


xnand of the Lenox, again returned to the Mediter- 
ranean with the fleet under Sir George Rooke. 

The brilliant success which crowned this expedition 
is well known ; and in every operation the bravery of 
Captain Jumper was singularly conspicuous. After 
being instrumental in the reduction of Gibraltar, he 
signalized himself no less remarkably at the battle off 
Malaga, having engaged and driven three of the 
enemy's ships out of the line. He was dangerously 
wounded in this encounter ; but was not prevented, 
by that accident, from continuing in service : nor 
does it even appear that he ever quitted his ship on 
the above account. It is a singular circumstance, 
worthy to be remarked, that he never changed his 
ship after the accession of Queen Anne. Soon after 
his return to England he received the honour of 
knighthood as a public and highly deserved mark of 
the royal approbation of his conduct. 

In the month of January 1705-6, he commanded 
the convoy bound from Lisbon for England, which 
he conducted in safety to the Downs, after a pros- 
perous passage of eleven days. While he continued 
at Lisbon waiting to collect his charge, he displayed 
the strongest proof of zeal for the service of his coun- 
try, and the cause of the Arch-duke Charles, having, 
at the representation of Mr. Methuen, the British 
envoy at Lisbon, dispatched the Pembroke, one of the 
ships under his command, to Gibraltar, with a sup- 
ply of money ; for the want of which the garrison was 
almost in a state of mutiny. 

In 1706, and again in 1707, he continued to be 
employed on the same station. Returning from the 
Straits, with Sir Cloudesley Shovel, at the end of the 
latter year, he was detached, on the morning of the 
22d of October, for Fal mouth, where he arrived in 
safety. It is not believed that he ever went to sea 
after this time ; and he is said to have been imme- 
diately made superintendant of the ships at Chatham. 


an office since suppressed, and rendered unnecessary 
by the modern appointment of port-admiral. He had 
a handsome pension granted him on his retirement 
from service ; and no person appears to have thought 
this mark of royal munificence, or public gratitude, 
improperly or extravagantly bestowed. In the year 
1 714 he was appointed commissioner of the navy, re- 
sident at Plymouth ; but did not long enjoy his new 
office, dying on the 12th of March in the following 


Rate. No. of Ships. Men. Guns. Swivels 

I. 7 5,460 700 

II. 13 8,840 1,170 
1IT /1 6 8,320 1,280 

\24 10,568 1,680 

Tv r f** 37,600 1,440 

\40 17,200 2,000 

v /24 4,800 960 

\ 1 155 30 

VI / 1 140 22 

t28 3.580 560 

Fire-ships 3 155 24 

Bombs 3 1-20 16 16 

Store-ship 1 90 20 

Sloops 1 990 78 78 

Yachts 7 260 64 

Ditto, small 5 29 26 6 

Hoys 11 87 12 2 

Smacks 2 4 

Long-boat 1 t 
Buoy-boat 1 

Lighter 1 3 

Hulks 9 159 

Total 283 64,514 10.08-2 



The Nai'al History of Great Britain, from the Accession 
to the Death of Kins: George II. 

J O O 

KlNG GEORGE II. ascended the throne of Great 
Britain in the year 1727, and in the forty-fourth year 
of his age. All the European powers were now at 
peace, nevertheless, some of them were so little sa- 
tisfied with the terms to which necessity had compel- 
led them to accede, that a future war was easily fore- 
seen. The late king had engaged in an unnatural 
alliance with France, and, under a pretence of adjust- 
ing the balance of power, had burdened the nation 
with subsidies to Sweden and the landgrave of Hesse 
Cassel. The Emperor Charles VI. for whom we had 
so lately wrested Sicily from the Spaniards, was now 
leagued with the court of Madrid; and the political 
scheme of our ministry, some time before the death 
of George I. was, to humble this very emperor, in 
whose cause we had so lately expended such sums of 
British treasure. 

Ik-fore I proceed to the occurrences which are the 
immediate objects of a naval history, it seems neces- 
sary to bring the reader acquainted with the men in 
power at the beginning of this reign. Lord Towns- 
bend and the (hike of Newcastle were generally sup- 
posed to conduct the important concern of foreign ne- 
'gociations. The iirst of these is allowed to have pos- 
-,e.-,sed knowledge and talents equal to the task. As 
to the latter, he was certainly not a man of great abi- 
lities ; but he had distinguished himself as a steady 


and indefatigable friend to the house of Hanover, 
and his parliamentary interest was very considerable. 
Lord Carteret, though not ostensibly in the adminis- 
tration, was frequently consulted, and his advice ge- 
nerally followed. lie was a man of some genius and 
learning, and, having been much abroad, was sup- 
posed to be well acquainted with the general system 
of Europe. The interior government of the kingdom 
was principally conducted by Sir Robert Walpole, 
who was at the head of the treasury, and leader 
of the Whigs in the House of Commons. He was 
well versed in the mvsterv of financing, funding, and 

/ *.' O * O ' 

in the effectual application of money, as a powerful 
engine of government. He spoke in parliament, 
though not elegantly, yet with ease, fluency, and 
persuasion. He knew mankind, and on this know- 
ledge he is said to have laid the foundation of that 
uniform plan of influence, so very agreeable to sub- 
sequent parliaments,, and so indispensably useful to 
future ministers. The principal speakers in the oppo- 
sition were, Sir William Wyndham, Mr. Shippen, 
Mr. Hungerford, and Air. Pultney. 

The reader has seen, in the last page of the pre- 
ceding reign, that, the navy of England was, at this 
period, exceedingly formidable. Our chief naval 
commanders, who were at this time employed, were 
Sir Charles Wager, Sir John IS orris, and Admiral 
Hosier : the first commanded a fleet in the Mediter- 
ranean, the second in the Baltic, and the third in the 
West Indies, where lie cued, about two months after 
the king's accession Sir Charles Wager had been. 
sent to secure Gibraltar, then besieged by tiie Spa- 
niards. He afterwards continued upon the of 
Spain, in order to persuade that nation, by the ulti- 
ma rat o region, it necessary, to acquiesce in the ge- 
nt nil plan of ptace to which the other considerable 
powers had already acceded. Sir John Norris had 
been sent with a fleet into the JJaitic, \\ith a design 
to protect Sweden from the Czarina, who threatened 



that country with an invasion. And Admiral Hosier 
had sailed in April 1?26', to the West Indies, in order 
to bloek up the Spanish galleons, and thereby pre- 
vent that treasure from being brought to Europe, 
without which, it was imagined, the courts of Vienna 
and Madrid could not prosecute the war. 

Such was the situation of the British navy at the 
accession of George II. who, as I have before ob- 
served, found his kingdom at peace with all the 
world. No immediate change was made, either of 
ministers or measures ; but, before the expiration of 
the year, Lord Torrington was placed at the head of 
the Admiralty, and the earl of Westmoreland made 
first lord of trade. 

A new parliament was called. The two houses 
met on the twenty-third day of January, 1 728, The 
commons unanimously chose for their speaker Arthur 
Onslow, Esq. member for the county of Surrey; a 
man whose abilities and integrity rendered him sin- 
gularly qualified for that important office. The king, 
in his speech from the throne, informed his parlia- 
ment, that the difficulties which had hitherto pre- 
vented the execution of the preliminaries to the es- 
tablishment of a general peace, were now removed, 
and that a congress would soon be opened for that 
purpose, in which he hoped the peace of Europe 
would be effectually secured ; but that, nevertheless, 
in order to prevent the possibility of an open rupture, 
it was necessary to continue the preparations for war. 
He wished that some scheme might befonned for the 
increase and security of seamen, that they might ra- 
ther IK- invited than compelled into the service. He 
promised economy as soon as the public safety would 
ptTMiif, and concluded his speech, as usual, with re 
commending unanimity and dispatch. The two 
houses presented most dutiful addresses on the occa- 
sion. They voted 22,95,5 men for guards and garrisons, 
and U.0i,0 seamen for the service of the year. They 
granted <JJJ,000/. for the maintenance of 1*2.000 Hes- 


skins ; a subsidy of 50,000/. to the king of Sweden, 
and 25,00()/. to the duke of Brunswick. 

The congress, which met at Soissons to establish 
peace having yet determined nothing, the fate of Eu- 
rope remained suspended. Spain had secretly shaken 
hands with France, and was now allied to Portugal 
by means of a double marriage ; she, therefore, grew 
indifferent as to peace with England. She continued 
her depredations on our commerce in the West Indies, 
where our fleet remained inactive and rotting, and 
our sailors perished miserably, insulted and un re- 

The parliament of England met, according to their 
prorogation, on the 21st of January, \729> They 
voted 15,000 seamen for the service of the year ; the 
number of land forces was also continued, as were 
likewise the subsidies to foreign princes. The mer- 
chants of London, Bristol, and Liverpool, presented 
petitions to the House of Commons, complaining of 
the repeated injuries they had sustained by the ciepre- 
.dations of the Spaniards in the West Indies ; upon 
which the house ordered the lords of the Admiralty 
to produce every similar memorial which they had re- 
ceived ; and they addressed the king, praying, that 
the instructions and letters sent to Admiral Hosier 
and his successors in command, might be laid before 
them. A committee of the whole house took this im- 
portant -affair into consideration, and after examining 
evidence, and amply debating the matter, resolved, 
that the Spaniards had violated the treaties subsisting 

i o 

between the two crowns; that they had treated the 
crews of several English ships wMi inhumanly ; that 
the instructions given to Admiral Hosier, to seize 
and detain the Spanish galleons, were just and neces- 
sary. The House of Commons then addressed the 
king, requesting his Majesty to require satisfaction of 
.Spain; an;l tie answered them by a promise to com- 
ply with their request. 

Meanwhile, the House of Lords deliberated ou the 


positive demand made by the Catholic king, of the 
restitution of Gibraltar, founded on the contents of a 
letter written by King George I. to the king of Spain. 
From an authentic copy of this letter, it appeared, 
that his late Majesty had actually consented to this 
restitution. Their lordships then resolved, that the 
house did firmly rely, that his Majesty would, in 
support of the honour and trade of this kingdom, 
take effectual care to preserve his undoubted right to 
Gibraltar and Minorca. 

The year 1730 produced nothing worthy the at- 
tention of a naval historian. The king, in his speech 
to parliament, which met on the 13th of January, 
informed them, that the peace of Europe was now 
established by a treaty concluded at Seville; that the 
uninterrupted commerce of Great Britain was restor- 
ed : and that the nation was to be amply indemnified 
for the Spanish depredations in the West Indies. Ne- 
vertheless, we find, that on the 2d of March, 1731, 
several masters and sailors of merchant-ships, who had 
been taken by the Spanish guarda-costas, came to 
London, to give an account to parliament of the 
cruel treatment they had received from the Spaniards. 

In 1/33, the House of Commons addressed the 
king, to know what satisfaction had been made by 
Spain for the depreciations above-mentioned : and, by 
his Majesty's answer, it appeared, that the commis- 
sioners had not yet made their report. In the speech 
from the throne, which put an end to the preceding 
session of parliament, the nation \vas told, that all 
disputes with foreign powers were settled, and the 
public tranquillity established. However, twelve 
ships of the line were put into commission, and press 
warrants were issued for manning the fleet. Mean- 


while, Rear-admiral Stewart demanded of the go- 
vernors of Campeachy and the Havannah, restitu- 
tion for three ships Dlundered bv Spanish oriarda 

11 v 1 

costas. Inconsequence of this peremptory demand, 
4ie of the guarda-costas v/as sold at St. Jago de 


Cuba, and the money paid to the South-sea factors. 
One of the Spanish governors was sent home, and 
another coniined in the castle of Cuba. 

That we may in some degree preserve the chain of 
such public events as are connected, though indi- 
rectly, with our naval history, it is necessary to in- 
form the reader, that, in the year 1/33, the king of 
France concluded a treaty with Spain and Sardinia, 
by which they mutually agreed to declare war against 
the emperor. Accordingly a war in Germany and 
in Italy immediately commenced. 

In 1734, the navy of England consisted of ninety- 
two men of war, sixty of which were of the line. 
This year is likewise remarkable for a peace conclud- 
ed between 'Great Britain and the emperor of Mo- 
rocco, by which 140 British subjects were released 
from slave rv. In the following year a mi sunder- 

> O / 

standing, on a frivolous occasion, happening between 
the courts of Spain and Portugal, the latter applied to 
Great Britain for protection; in consequence of which, 
Sir John Norris sailed with a powerful fleet, and ar- 
rived at Lisbon on the 9th of June, where he was 
jovfullv received as their deliverer. His Portuguese 

J *J .' O 

Majesty, as an expression of his gratitude, gave or- 
ders for the fleet to be supplied weekly with one hun- 
dred oxen, four hundred sheep, besides abundance of 
poultrv, vegetables, fruit, and eighty pipes of wine. 

Regardless of the frequent complaints and remon- 
strances delivered to the court of Spain by the British 
ambassador at Madrid, the Spaniards in America con- 
tinued audaciously to insult and molest our commerce. 
The}' pretended, that we had no right either to cut 
logwood in the Bay of Cam peachy, or to collect salt 
on the Island of Tortu^as. Their guarda-costas 
boarded and plundered every English ship they met, 
under a pretence of searching for contraband goods. 
Thev even seized several English vessels, confiscated 

** ~ 

their cargoes, and threw the sailors into prison. Fir- 
ed by such reiterated provocation, the people of Eng- 


land bcp;an now to lose all patience. Petitions to the 
ij'Uise of Commons were transmitted from various 
parts of the kingaom. The house again addressed 
the king, and the king again returned a promissary 
answer. It is difficult, even at this distance of time, 
to reflect with patience on the pusillanimity of the 
British ministry at tins period ; nor is it possible to 
imagine that the Spaniards would have carried their 
insolence so far, if they had not depended on the pa- 
cific disposition of Sir Robert Walpole. * That able 
minister dreaded the consequences of a war to him- 
self and friends. He had other uses for the treasure 
which fleets and armies would consume ; and, there- 
fore-, he left nothing unattempted to avert, or, at least, 
to procrastinate the storm. For this purpose, he 
patched up a convention with the court of Spain, im- 
porting, that the disputes between the two crowns 
should be settled by two plenipotentiaries. This 
convention was severely censured by the opposition, 
in both houses of parliament. The city of London, 
the West India merchants, and the merchants of 
Bristol, presented petitions, justly complaining, that 
tin ..;r indisputable right to pass unmolested to and 
from the British colonies, was, in this convention, 
left, as a dubitable privilege, to be determined by ple- 

1 he convention above mentioned stipulated, that 
f)o,( ()()/. being a balance due from Spain to the 
crovni and subjects of Great Britain, should be paid 

*-" One of the most shocking instances of Spanish insolent bar- 
l:3ii:v. aii;;eaivd'ni the case of Jenkins, master of a Scots incr- 
(!:;;!!! >'ii;>, who, at (he liar of the liou-c of Commons, held his 
i'.;;' .;i i:!s hand, which had been torn from his head by the crew of a 
iriiania-C'isiiis. vho declared they would do the same by his mas- 
ter. '! hey tortured him v, iih the most wanton inhumanity, and 
threa leiied him v>it:i infant d:ii(li. licing asked by a member, 
v hat were !,is ti!f:ii^ii{> \vhe.i lie v,as in the hands of these barba- 
rian> ? i-e answi-red. " I rccoip.r.ii'iided my soul to (rod, and my 
ca:; .-; to r.iy country." Tliis evic'cjivje made a strong impression, cm 

ill, 1 lluUSC. 


in London before the expiration of four months after 
the ratification. The time was now expired, and the 
money not yet paid. The Mouse of Lords appointed 
a day for taking the state of the nation into considera- 
tion, and when the day arrived, Lord Carteret moved 
for a resolution, that this failure of payment was a 
high indignity to the king, and an injustice to the 
nation. The previous question was put, and the mo- 
tion lost. But though the minister yet retained a 
sufficient majority in both houses, the nation in ge- 
neral, was too much exasperated to afford any hopes 
of preventing a war with Spain. Letters of marque 
and reprisal were granted; the army was augmented; 
an embargo was laid on all out ward -bound vessels ; a 
fleet was assembled at Spithead, and a reinforcement 
was sent to Admiral Haddock, who at this time com- 
manded a fleet in the Mediterranean. Our whole 
fleet in commission consisted of eighty-four men of 
war, besides thirty-two ready to be put into commis- 
sion.* The entire navy of Spain amounted to thirty- 
three ships of war, those of the flota, which are pro- 
perly mer, hant ships, included. 

Both nations began to make vigorous preparations 
for war. The court of Spain, at this juncture, revived 
its alliance by a marriage between the Infant Don 
Philip, and Madame de France, and the French mi- 
nistry did not scruple to declare, that if Spain were 
oppressed by any power whatsoever, they should not 
remain idle spectators. The States-general, on the 
other hand, did not scruple to signify by their minis- 
ters at the courts of France and Spain, that they 

* The ships in commission were, Shi^s ready for commission. 

1 of SO guns. 

5 80 

12 70 

20 60 

19 50 



84 4436 

2 of 100 guns. 

2 90 
6 80 

4 70 

10 50 and 60 

3 44 

5 20 and 22 


were under certain mutual engagements to England,, 
which, if' required, they thought themselves in hon- 
nour obliged to fulfil. 

Vice-admiral Vcrnou sailed on the 20th of July 
for the West Indies with nine men of war. This 
gentleman had rendered himself conspicuous in the 
House of Commons by his blunt opposition to the 
ministry. In die debate concerning the Spanish de- 
predations in the West Indies, he had affirmed, that 
he could take Porto-Bello with six men of war. He 
had formerly commanded a fleet on the Jamaica sta- 
tion, and was, therefore, supposed to be well ac- 
quainted with those seas. His ofYer was echoed by 
the members in the opposition, and the whole nation 
resounded his praise. The minister embraced this 
opportunity of acquiring some popularity, and, at 
the same time, of removing a troublesome opponent 
in the House of Commons. Besides, it was generally 
imagined that he was not without hopes that the ad- 
miral might disgrace himself and Ins party by not 
succeeding in the adventure. Vernon sailed for the 
AVest Indies. 

M he English fleet cruising on the coast of Spain 
was particularly intended to intercept the Assogues 
ships from Vera Cruz. These ships, however, ar- 
rived safe at St. Andero. Having received in forma- 

turn of the situation of affairs in Europe, instead of 
coining by the Madeiras for Calais, as usual, they 
sailed by the Bahamas, and went north about ; then 
bteering westward, and doubling the Eixard, they 
made Ushant, and thence creeping along shore, 
crossed the Bay erf Biscay, and so to St. Andero. 

On the 2;jd day of October, Great Britain de- 
clared war against Spain, and, in the same mouth, 
intelligence was received that Admiral Haddock had 
taken two rich ships from the Caracoas, having 
on board 2,000,000 pieces of eight. He was soon 
after joined by Admiral Balchin, with six ships of 
the line. 


Vice-admiral Vernon arrived at Jamaica the 23d 
of October, the day on \\hich war was proclaimed in 
England. On his arrival off Port- Royal in that island, 
he had ihe satisfaction to seethe Diamond man of war 
standing inU> the harbour with two Spanish vessels 
in LOW, one of which was a register ship with one 
hundred and twenty thousand pieces of eight, and 
clothing- for six thousand men, ou board. The ad- 
miral sailed from Jamaica on the 5th of November, 
wiih six ships of wai.* Having met with contrary 
winds, he did not come in sight of Porto-Bello till 
the ^oth in the evening. lie was apprehensive of 
driving to the eastward during the night ; "he there- 
fore anchored about six leagues from shore. Porto- 
Bello is a town in the Spanish West Indies, so called 
from the beauty of its harbour. It is situated on 
the north coast of the Isthmus of Darien, which di- 
vides the kingdom of Mexico from Terra Firma. 
The town staivis at the bottom of a small bay, de- 
fended by a castle and t\vo forts, one of which, called 
the iron Fort, is situated on the north side of the 
mouth of the harbour, and the other, St. Jeronimo, 
near the town, with a battery facing the entrance 
into the hay. The castle, called Gloria, stands on 
the west side of the town. 

On the 21st, in the morning, the admiral weighed 
and plied to windward in line of battle. The ships 
entered the bay in the following order: viz. The 
Hampton-Court, Norwich, Worcester, Burford, Straf- 
ford, Louisa. Orders had been given for a general 
attack ; but the wind coming to the eastward, the 
admiral was obliged to confine his attack to the Iron 
Fort, close to which the squadron was piloted by 
Captain Rentone. When the Hampton-Court came 

* Viz. Burford, of 70 guns and 500 men. 

Hampton-Court, 70 495 Capt. Watson. 

Worcester, 60 400 Main. 

Louisa, CO 400 Watcrhouse. 

Stratford, CO 400 Trevor. 

Norwich, iO 300 Herbert, 


Avithin a cable's length of the fort, she was suddenly 
becalmed bv the high land to windward, and, before 
she could bring her guns to bear, was exposed to a smart 
fire from the enemy. But as soon as she was in a si- 
tuation to retum the salute, after having dropped her 
anchor, she seemed, in a moment, a cloud of per- 
petual thunder. She appeared to the rest of the fleet 
to be all on lire. In the space of twenty-five mi- 
nutes she is said to have fired four hundred balls. 
The Norwich and the Worcester were not long be- 
fore they came up, and fired upon the fort with vast 
alacrity. These were followed by the Btirford, on 
board of which was the admiral, who perceiving that 
the Spaniards began to fly from several parts of the 
fort, made a signal for landing. Mean while he 
luffed up as near the fort as possible, and, by means 
of his small arms, drove the garrison from the lower 
battery. As the boats full of sailors and marines 
passed the admiral, he called to them to land imme- 
diately under the walls of the fort, though there was 
no breach made. The sailors were no sooner on shore 
than they scaled the wall, and pulling up the soldiers 
after them, struck the Spanish colours in the lower 
battery, and hoisted an English ensign. This was 
no sooner perceived bv the garrison in the upper part 
of the fort, than they hoisted a white flag, a signal 
for capitulation, and surrendered at discretion. The 
garrison of this fort consisted of three hundred men, 
out of which, at the time of surrender, there re- 
mained only thirty-live privates and five officers. 

The ships which sailed in before the admiral, were 
now fallen to leeward ; but the Burford being ex- 
posed to Gloria-castle, it continued firing at her till 
night, without however doing her anv other damage 
than wounding her fore-top-mast a little above the 
rigging. The admiral then pointed some of his lower- 
deck guns at this castle, and sent several shot over 
it into the town, one of which went through the go- 
vernor's house. 


On the morning of the 22d, the admiral called a 
council of war, and, it being thought not advisable 
to attack the Gloria castle by day, orders were issued 
for warping the ships up the following night. This 
circumspection proved unnecessary. The Spaniards 
hoisted a white flag, and immediately sent a boat 
with a flag of truce, with terms on which they wished 
to capitulate: in answer to these the admiral re- 
turned other articles, and allowed them a few hours 
for deliberation. They accepted his terms,* and the 
British troops took immediate possession of the 
Gloria and St. Jeronimo forts. 

* Articles of Capitulation granted by Edward Vernon, Esq. vice- 
admiral of the blue, and Commander-in-chief of his Majesty's 

ships and vessels in the \Ycst Indies, and Commodore Lrown, 
to Don Francisco lUartinez De Retcz, governor of Porto- 
Bell o, and Don Francisco De Abarca, commandant of the 
guarda-costas at the same place, the 2 6 2d of November., 
1739, O.S. 

T. That the garrison bo allowed to march out, as desired, upon con- 
dition that the king of Great Britain's troops be put into possession 
of the Gloria-castle before four o'clock this evening, and the gar- 
rison to march out by ten o'clock to-morrow morning. That the 
inhabitants may either remove or remain, under a promise of se- 
curity for themselves and their etFects. 

II- That the Spanish soldiers may have a guard, if they think 
it necessary. 

III. That they may carry off two cannons mounted with ten 
charges of powder each, and their match lighted. 

IV. The gates of the Gloria-castle must absolutely be in 
possession of the king our master's troops by four o'clock, and 
the Spanish garrison shall remain in all safety, for their persons 
and effects, till the appointed time for their marching out, and to 
carry with them the provisions and ammunition necessary for their 

V. That the ships, with their apparel and arms, be absolutely 
delivered up to the use of his Britannic Majesty; but that, all the 
officers, soldiers, and crews, shall have three days allowed them to 
retire with all their personal effects, only one officer being ad- 
mitted on board each ship and vessel, to take possession for the 
king our master, and to see (his article strictly complied uith. 

VI. That provided the Articles above mentioned are strictly 
complied with, and that possession is given of the Castle of St. 
Jeronimo, in the same manner as is stipulated for the Castle Gloria, 


There were in the harbour of Porto-Bello two Spa- 
nish guarda-costas of twenty guns each, and an 
armed snow. The crews of these vessels, chusing to 
anticipate the British sailors, plundered the town 
in the night, and committed great outrages on the 
inhabitants. The English seamen and soldiers, on 
the contrary, behaved with great decency and hu- 
manity after they became possessed of the town ; 
and, as a. reward for their moderation and gallantry, 
the a iniiral distributed among them ten thousand 
dollars, which were just arrived in order to pay the 
Spanish troops. The admiral, having taken on board 
his fleet all the brass cannon and ammunition found 
in the several forts, he proceeded to demolish the 
fortifications ; which was completely effected in three 
weeks, at the expence of one hundred and twenty- 
two barrels of Spanish gunpowder.* On the 27th of 
November the Diamond, Captain Knowles, and on 
the 29th the Windsor, Captain Berkley, and the An- 
glesea, Captain Reddish, arrived at Porto-Bello, in 
consequence of orders, left by the admiral at the Lee- 
ward Islands, for these ships to follow him. On the 
J3th of December the admiral, with his squadron, 
sailed for Jamaica, and on the 28th, being then off 
Carthagena, he dispatched Captain Rentone, in the 
Spanish snow, with the news to England. 

Admiral Vernon, and the fleet under his command, 
certainly deserved the honour they acquired by the 
success of this expedition; nevertheless, it must be 
confessed, that their easy conquest must be in part 

then the clergy, the churches, and town, shall be protected and 
preserved in all their immunities and properties : and that all persons 
already taken shall be set at liberty before our leaving the purl. 

Given under our hands on board his Majesty's ship Burford, 
in 1'orto-Beilo harbour, this 22d of November, 1739. O.S. 

!<;. VERXON. 

* The admiral took on board, from the several batterir,,, 40 
pieces of brass cannon, 10 brass fieid-pieccs, 4 brass mortarSj 18 
brass patereroes, and spiked 80 pieces of iron ordnance. 


attributed to the cowardice of the Spaniards in sur- 
rendering* the first fort before a breach was made, 
and the other two before they were attacked. The 
Gloria-castle was garrisoned by four hundred men, 
and was so regularly fortified that it might have sus- 
tained a long siege. Its lower battery had two bas- 
tions, and a curtain which mounted twenty-two guns, 
besides a line of eight guns facing the mouth of the 
harbour. There were also several other batteries 
both in the Gloria and St. Jeronimo, in the same 
direction, which, if properly served, would have ren- 
dered the entrance into the harbour exceedingly 
dangerous, if not impracticable. 

The taking of Porto-Bello, while it did honour to 
the British navy, reflected at the same time no in- 
considerable degree of praise on the English ministry. 
There was an evident propriety in punishing the in- 
solence of the Spaniards in the offending part. Porto- 
Bello was an asylum for the guarda-costas, tw r o of 
which were found in the harbour, and carried off by 
' the admiral. But this was not the only service he 
rendered to his country in the destruction of Porto- 
Bello. His success enabled him to extend his influ- 
ence to Panama, where some of the factors and ser- 
vants of the South-Sea Company were confined. He 
wrote to the president of that place in the language 
of a conqueror, and the factors and servants were 
immediately sent to Porto-Bello. 

Captain Rentone, in the Triumph sloop, arrived in 
England on the 12th of March, 1740, with the news 
of this expedition.* The whole nation became fran- 
tic with joy. Congratulatory addresses were pre- 
sented by parliament, by the cities of London, Bris- 
tol, &c. The commons granted ever} demand of 

* The news was known in England before his arrival. On the 
llth Mr. Baker, master of Lloyd's Coffee House, waited on Sir 
II. Walpole with a letter, containing an account of Vernon's sue- 
cess. It was brought from Jamaica by a ship which sailed from 
thence in company with Captain Rentone ; and arrived at Dover a 
day before him. 


the crown. They voted twenty-eight thousand land 
forces, besides six thousand marines ; they provided 
for a powerful navy, and several men of war were 
added to those already in commission.* 

There were at tins time two considerable squa- 
drons of Eng'ish men of war in the Mediterranean; 
one at Gibraltar, commanded by Sir Chaloner Ogle, 
consisting of twelve sail, and the other on the Mi- 
norca station, commanded by Rear-admiral Haddock. 
But these fleets were only employed in cruising on 
the coast of Spain and Italy, without any attempt to 
attack or annoy the enemy, except by now and then 
seizing a poor defenceless ^ly that happened unfortu- 
nately to fall into their web. The reader needs not 
to be informed that I allude to the capture of un- 
armed trading vessels by ships of war. A contem- 
plative mind, reflecting on these maritime depreda- 
tions, is naturally led to inquire, by what law of 
nature or of nations, or on what principle of justice, 
princes at war thus seize the private property of each 
other's subjects, in ships trading to other kingdoms? 
This procedure seems more extraordinary when we 
consider, that their land-forces generally observe a 
different conduct. A general, in marching through 
an enemy's country, so far from robbing and impri- 
soning every peasant he meets, gives positive orders, 
that the person and property of individuals, not in 
arms, shall not be molested. He makes war against 
the prince, and not against the people individually. 
An admiral, on the contrary, takes every trading vessel 
he meets, robs the owners of their property, and sends 
the crew h:nnc to be confined as prisoners of war. 
Here then is a heavv punishment inilietccl on persons 

"I I 

* r/r. CoVhe'-ler. of 8() guns, ami GOO men, Ca_)t. Carlington. 
Tui-b.iy, 80 (00 1'Vrivcr. 

Car.iijrid^R. 8<J 600 M'horwood. 

Vv. i'VcK'rlrk, 70 480 Clinton. 

Oxford, 70 4bO LlAu^itzroy. 

Soca iji'e-shms. 


who had neither intention nor power to commit any 
offence, or in any wise to injure those by whom the 
punishment is inflicted. I do not obtrude these re- 
flections with any hope of influencing the conduct of 
the riders of the earth : reason, justice, and huma- 
nity are not the privy-counsellors of kings. But, 
perhaps, the reader may not totally disregard these 
counsellors, and will therefore pardon this short in- 
terruption of the thread of our history. 

We now return to Admiral Vernon, the hero of 
this period. I have related above, that in the last 
month of the year 1739, he sailed with his squa- 
dron from Porto-Bello to Jamaica. He continued at 
Port-Royal, in that island, till the 25th of February, 
1740, following, on which day lie sailed for Cartha- 
gena, which he bombarded at intervals during three 
days, with no other effect than that of terrifying the 
inhabitants, and injuring some of their churches and 
convents. What was intended by this bombardment 
is not very evident. On the tenth of March the 
squadron weighed anchor, and sailed in line of 
battle westward along the coast. In passing by Boca 
Chica, they were saluted with a few shot from three 
small forts near the mouth of the harbour ; but they 
fell short of the ships. The admiral, having ordered 
the Windsor and the Greenwich to cruise off Car- 
thagena, proceeded with the rest of his fleet to Porto- 
Bello, in order to repair the damages sustained bv 
the small craft in the late bombardment. This busi- 
ness being completed, and the fleet watered in about 
eight, days, he sailed 011 the 2i2d, and steering south- 
west along shore, entered the river Chegre, which is 
but a few leagues distant from Porto-Bel io. At the 
mouth of this river there was a castle, or fort, 
called St. Lorenzo, under whose protection the 
guarda-costas used to ride secure. The only two of 
these Spanish pirates, for they were little better, 
which now remained on the coast, were at this time 
in the river. The admiral, in going in, had the mis- 


fortune to be retarded by an accident which happened 
to his fore-top-sail-yard. lie was on board the Strat- 
ford. This accident obliged him to make a signal 

o ^ t o 

for f he Norwich to sail in before him, with the 
bomb- ketches, fire-ships, and tenders. The Norwich 
was then commanded by Captain Herbert and the 
ketches, &c. were conducted by Captain Knowles, 
who came to an anchor at three in the afternoon, 
and began to bombard the fort that evening. The 
admiral's ship did not come to an anchor till ten 
o'clock at night. Far be it from me to insinuate that 
there was any want of personal courage in Admiral 
Vernon. But I beg leave to advise all future admi- 
rals, to whom such an accident in the fore- top- sail- 
yard may happen, im medial ely to hoist their flag on 
board the leading ship. This, however, does not 
appear to have been a service of much danger. The 
castle mounted only eleven brass cannon, and as 
many patereroes. Nevertheless it sustained a furious 
bombardment, and a continued cannonade from three 
of the largest ships in the fleet, till the morning of 
the 24th, when the garrison surrendered, and the 
fort was immediately possessed by the Eritish troops.* 
There were found in the custom-house, on the op- 
posite side of the river, four thousand three hundred 
bags of Peruvian bark, and other merchandise, which 

* Articles of Capitulation between Ed\vard Vernon. Esq. -vice- 
admiral, &c, Don Juan Carlos Zavellos, captain of foot, &c. 

I. That, upon his Britannic Majesty's troops being put in pos- 
session of the fort St. Lorer.'/.o, at. the. mouth of the. river Chegre, 
tlu said captain, and all his garrison, be at free liberty to march 
out without any molestation, and may retire into the village of 
Chegre. or v, here else they please. 

LI. Tiia; the iiihabitauis of Chegre may remain in ail safety in 
their o\vn houses, under a promise oi security to their persons and 
hi) '.is 'S. 

III. That the gunrda-costa sloops be delivered up in (lie condi- 
tion th'jv are, and the custom-house. 

IV. That the cle ;.;, and churches in Chegre Hiaii be protected 
and preserved in all liic-ir immunities. 



were shipped on board the fleet, together with the 
brass ordnance above-mentioned. The custom-house 
was then set on fire, the two guard a-costas destroy- 
ed, and the fort entirely demolished; after which, the 
admiral returned to Porto-Bello, where he arrived on 
the 1st of April. 

Whilst Vernon was thus employed in the West 
Indies, our fleets in Europe were unemployed. I 
mean to sav, that they achieved nothing against the 

v ' i/ O O 

enemy; for as to employment, they had enough of 
sailing and counter-sailing, and of lighting too, with 
adverse winds* On the 23d of July a fleet of twenty- 
one ships of the line, commanded by Sir John Nor- 
ris, with two other admirals; viz. Sir Chaloner Ogle, 
and Philip Cavendish, sailed from Si. llelen's with a 
fair wind, the duke of Cumberland serving on board 
as a volunteer. But the wind shifting, they were 
obliged, after being three days at sea, to put back 
into Torbay. On the 4th of August they sailed 
again, with the wind at north-east, and on the fol- 
lowing day were within a few leagues of the Lizard ; 
but on the 6th it blew so violently from the west, 
that they were obliged once more to return to Tor- 


bay. On the 22d they made a third attempt ; aud 
after five days obstinate contention wi f1 - tempestuous 
and contrary winds, were a third time < sbli - ; 1 to return 
to the same place. What was the destination of this 
fleet remains a matter of doubt. Frouably the Spa- 
nish squadron, at that time at Ferrol, was the object. 
But, be the design whatsoever it ir?<vht, it wa^ now 
relinquished, and the ad mini!, with the duke of 
Cumberland, returned to London. Thus began, and 
thus ended, the naval history of hi>> royal big!' ness, 
who prob ibly conc'iudrJ, from this in- '.-.picious cs.suy, 
that he had mistaken his eh niciii. 

In this }ear tbe celebrated Commodore Arison be- 
gan Ins voyage to the South-Seas. He sailed from 
St. Helen's with five inci) .l war on the 18fh of Sv:p- 
teruber. About two months after, oir Chaloner Ogle 



sailed for the West Indies with twenty-one ships of 
the line, and a considerable body of land-forces, com- 
manded by Lord Cathcart. This formidable fleet, 
which consisted of a hundred and seventy- sail, had 
scarcely taken its departure from the Land's-end, be- 
fore it was scattered and dispersed by a violent tem- 
pest. The admiral nevertheless pursued his voyage, 
and came to an anchor in the neutral island of Do- 
minica, in order to take in wood and water. In 
this island the expedition sustained an irreparable 
loss in the death of Lord Cathcart, a brave and ex- 
perienced officer, who died of a dysentery. The 
command of the land-forces now devolved upon Ge- 
neral Wentworth, an officer of no experience, and of 
very moderate abilities. The admiral, in his voyage 
from Dominica to Jamaica, sailing 1 near the Island of 
Hispaniola, discovered four large ships of war. He 
made signal for an equal number of his squadron to 
give them chace. The chace refused to bring to, 
and Lord Augustus Fitzroy, who commanded the 
English detachment, gave one of them a broadside, 
and an engagement ensued, which continued during 
part of the night. In the morning they hoisted 
French colours, and consequently the firing ceased, 
there being at this time no declaration of war be- 
tween the two nations. The commanders apologized 
to each other for the mistake, and parted but with 
loss of men on both sides. 

Sir Chaloner Ogle arrived off Jamaica on the 9th 
of January, 1741, where he joined Admiral Vernon, 
who now commanded a fleet of thirty ships of the 
line, with a considerable number of frigates, bomb- 
ketches, fireships, &c. The number of seamen was 
about fifteen thousand, ant! that of the land-forces 
at least twelve thousand, including four battalions 
raised in America, and five hundred negroes from Ja- 


inaica. This very formidable armament, doubtless 
the most" tremendous that ever appeared in those 
seas, was certainly equal to any attempt against the 


Spanish settlements. Their treasure might have been 
intercepted, and their colonies easily reduced. But 
the complete humiliation of Spain was prevented by 
the concurrence of a variety of circumstances. The 
British ministry, for reasons best known to them- 
selves, detained the fleet at Spithead much too long-. 
For the credit of human nature, I am willing- to be- 
lieve, that the prime minister was not so exceedingly 
wicked as to endeavour, by retarding the fleet, to 
frustrate the expedition : and yet, to the disgrace of 
human nature, I tear there have been instances of 
ministers so diabolical as to be influenced by very 
ignoble passions, in opposition to the interest and 
dignity of the nation, with whose weal they were in- 
trusted. It seems, however, a safe maxim in politics, 
not to commit the management of a war to a minis- 
ter who shall have repeatedly declared his disappro- 
bation of the measure. But be the designs of the 
minister what they might, it is scarcely possible to 
suppose that the admiral was not hearty in the 
cause; and yet it was near the end of January before 
he sailed from Jamaica, though he certainly was not 
ignorant that the season was already too far advanced, 
in a climate where the rains, which begin about the 
end of April, render it impossible for troops to keep 
the field. 

I must here take occasion to observe, that the ad- 
miral's orders were discretionary : he might there- 
fore have made his attack on any of the Spanish 
settlements. The Havannah, which was certainly 
an object of the greatest importance, lay to leeward, 
and might easily have been reached in less than three 
days. Nevertheless, Mr. Vernon thought fit to beat 
against the wind to Hispaniola, with an intention as 
it was said, to observe the French fleet. On the 
15th of February he learnt, that this fleet had sailed 
for Europe, having previously sent an advice-boat ta 
Carthagena, to inform the Spaniards of Vernon's 
being in those seas. The admiral called a council of 


war, and it was determined to land on the continent 
of New Spain. Accordingly, after spending some 
clays in taking in wood and water at liispaniola, the 
fleet sailed, and, on the 4th of March, came to an 
anchor in a bay called Playa Granda, to windward 
of Carthagena. This fleet consisted of one hundred 
and twenty-four sail, the sight of which must have 
struck such terror into the Spaniards, that nothing 
but want of resolution and dispatch could have pre- 
vented its success. There cannot be a truer maxim 
in the art of war, " Than, that hesitation in the as- 
sailant inspires the defendant with courage, which 
augments progressively in proportion to the delay." 
But the commanders of this fleet and army, as if de- 
termined to give the enemy time to recover from 
their surprise, remained inactive in the bay till the 
9th. On that day the first division of the fleet, com- 
manded by Sir Chaloner Ogle, followed by Admiral 
Vernon with all the transports, moved forwards to- 
wards the entrance of the harbour called Boca Chica, 
which was defended by several formidable batteries. 
The third division, commanded by Commodore Les- 
tock, remained at anchor. The Norfolk, the Russel, 
and the Shrewsbury anchored very near two forts 
called St. Jago and St. Philip, which being silenced 
in less than an hour, were immediately possessed by 
a detachment of British grenadiers. 

On the 10th, the two regiments of Harrison and 
Wentworth, witli six regiments of marines, landed 
on the island of Tierra Bomba, where, having pitched 
their tents, they began to erect a battery against the 
castle of Boca Chica. Five days more were employed 
in landing the artillery and necessary stores. But 
General Wentwortlfs want of knowledge in the art 
of war, soon discovered itself in the choice of his 
ground; for the tents were no sooner pitched, than 
the soldiers found themselves exposed to the fire of a 
fascine battery from the opposite side of the harbour, 
on the island of Varu. To remedy this evil, the ad- 


miral immediately detached a considerable number 
of sailors under the command of Captain Boscawen, 
who landed about a mile to leeward of the battery, 
which mounted fifteen twenty-four pounders, under 
a raised butrery of five guns. These intrepid sons of 
Neptune soon gained possession of both batteries, 
and, having spiked the cannon, returned to their 

On the 2Cd, General Wentworth opened a battery 
of twenty twenty-four pounders against the castle of 
Boca Chica, and the next day, Commodore Lestock, 
with five ships, was ordered to attack it by sea. He 
renewed his attack on the 24th, and on that day fell 
Lord Aubrey Beauclerc, captain of the Prince Fre- 
deric, a very brave and experienced officer. Mean- 
while the Spaniards had remounted their fascine bat- 
tery, which was a second time destroyed by a detach- 
ment of sailors. A snuil breach being now made 
on the land- side of Boca Chica castle, the general 
acquainted the admiral with his resolution to storm 
it, who, in order to divert the attention of the enemy, 
manned his boats under the command of Captain 
Knowles. The sailors landed near the castle, and 
there waited for the general assault. The grenadiers, 
on the other side, marched up in good order ; but 
they no sooner began to mount the breach, than the 
garrison fled without firing a single musket. The 
garrison of another fort, called St. Joseph, followed 
their example, and our sailors took immediate posses- 
sion of it. Emboldened by this succvss, and per- 
ceiving the enemy preparing to sink their ships, they 
boarded the Spanish admiral's ship, the Galicia, ori 
board of which they found the captain and sixty 
men. There were in the harbour, when tne attack 
of Boca Chica began, six Spanish men of war, two 
of which were now sunk, and one burnt by the Spa- 
niards themselves. The sailors then proceeded to 
cut the boom, and thus opened a free passage for our 
ships into the lake. Next morning the fleet entered 


without molestation, but the wind blowing fresh and 
contrary, it was several clays before they reached the 
narrow entrance into the harbour near the town. 
This entrance was defended by a considerable fort- 
ress, called Castillo Grande, mounting fifty-nine 
guns, which the enemy abandoned as soon as the 
ships approached. 

Thus far all went well. The castles, forts, and 
batteries, which commanded the lake, were now in 
possession of the English. The entrance into this 
lake was doubtless an enterprise of no small danger 
and difficulty, the channel being commanded by two 
hundred cannon, those from the enemy's ships in- 
cluded. So far, the admiral seems to have done every 
thing necessary on his part, by removing all obstacles 
in the way to conquest ; and he was so confident of 
succeeding, that, on the 1st of April, he sent an ex- 
press to the duke of Newcastle, with an account of 
his progress; on the receipt of which, his grace, with 
the rest of the people of England, became frantic 
with joy and exultation. But with pain I proceed 
to record, that here our success ended. The next 
express brought a tale as humbling as the former was 
triumphant. On this luckless 1st of April, the sailors 
having opened a channel through the sunken wrecks 
of the enemy, the bomb-ketches, covered by two fri- 
gates, entered the harbour, and were, on the succeed- 
ing day, followed by three fire-ships, which were so 
posted as to cover the intended landing of the troops. 
The Wcymouth, Captain Knowles, got into the har- 
bour on the 3d, and on the 5th, early in the inorn- 
iiiL' 1 , the troops began to land at a place called La 
Quint;? from whence General M'entworth, at the 
heu>! of lifleen hundred men, pushed forward through 
a narrow defile, to an open ground about a mile from 
Fort ^'. L;;Z'ir, which tort en ;i rely commanded the 
town of Caithagrna. He met with some interrup- 
tion i.i his march from a bodvof six or i-even hundred 
Spaniards, and lost a few of his men; but the enemy 


soon retired, and, in the evening of the 6th, the remain- 
der of ihe English army were disembarked, and, hav- 
ing joined their general, the \vhole encamped on the 
plain above-mentioned. 

Fort St. Lazar, the only remaining fortress, was 
well fortified, and defended by a numerous gar- 
rison. The general \vas of opinion, that any attempt 
to take it without regular approaches would he at- 
tended with much danger and difficulty. The ad- 
miral, on the contrary, was positive that it was prac- 
ticable by escalade. From this time the demon of 
discord presided in their councils, and they began to 
entertain a sovereign contempt for each other's opi- 
nions. The general upbraided the admiral for not 
cannonading the town, and the latter reproached the 
former for not storming the fort. It was at length 
resolved in a council of war to attack St. Lazar by 
storm, the season being now too far advanced to al- 
low time for erecting a battery of cannon in order to 
open a breach. In consequence of this resolution, on 
the 9th, before break of day, Brigadier-general Guise, 
Avith twelve hundred men, marched to the attack. 
Unfortunately his guides were slain before he reached 
the walls. His scaling-ladders, being applied at ran- 
dom, proved too short. The officers were discon- 
certed for want of orders. A general confusion en- 
sued, and the troops were obliged to retire with the 
loss of six hundred men killed or wounded. By this 
time the rains began to fall very heavily, and disease 
became so universal in the camp, that it was deter- 
mined in a council of war to relinquish every idea of 
a farther attempt. The remnant of the army retired 
to their ships, and were re-embarked on the 16th. 
The admiral, in order to clear himself from any im- 
putation of neglect, and to demonstrate the imprac- 
ticability of taking the place with ships after the suc- 
cessless attack on St. Lazar, having previously con- 
verted the Spanish admiral's ship, Galieia, into a 
floating battery, warped her into the harbour as near 


to the town as possible In this station she fired 
upon the town for some hours; but it appearing that 
she was at too great a distance to injure the walls, she 
was sufTr-red to drive, and soon struck upon the sand. 
This experiment, how plausible soever it might st-em, 
was by no means allowed to be satisfactory. An 
historian, Dr. Smollett, who \\as present, affirms, that 
in another part of tin- harbour there was space and 
water sufficient for four or five men of war v o tie 
within pistoUshot of the walls of Carthagena. If this 
be true, the admiral was certainly inexcusable for not 
bringing his ships to bear upon the town during the 
attack upon St. Lazar. 

The shattered remnant of this ill-fcited army having 
returned to their ships, diseases, peculiar to the cli- 
mate, raged with inconceivable malignity, and many 
brave men who had escaped the enemy died in their 
hammocks. The jarring chieftains were unanimous 
as to the expediency of retiring from this scene of 
destruction and disgrace. A few days were spent in 
destroying the forts already taken, and then the fleet 
sailed for Jamaica. 

As tlie rational design of historical writings is not 
merely to gratify the reader's euriosit}, but rather to 
exhibit examples of vice and lolly, virtue ami saga- 
city, for his occasional abhorrence or imitation, I 
shall endeavour to point out the causes of the mis- 
carriage of this important expedition, Some future 
commander of an attack upon Carthagena may pos- 
sibly deem this investigation worthy of his atten- 

The old adage, that, ' A bad beginning commonly 
produces a bad ending,' is more frequently verified 
in the catastrophe of naval expeditions, than in any 
other .species of human transactions. It is al\\ays in 
the power of a malignant prime minister to frustrate 
the best-concerted aticmpt, if he be influenced by 
passions or policy to wish that it may not succeed ; 
*nd I fear there have Ueen very few prime minister* 


o unintfrestedly dispassionate, as sincerely to wish 
the success of measures adopted in opposition to their 
ad\ice. Sir Robert Walpole's consent to a war with 
Spain, was evidently an involuntary compliance with 
the clamour of opposition, and of the nation in ge- 
nera!. The fleet was not only unnecessarily retarded 
at Spithead, but the troops which were put on board, 
were raw and undisciplined. The fleet ought certainly 
to have sailed, at least, a month earlier ; for though 
the v e might be barely time to execute the plan pro- 
posed, n.i val expeditions are, in their nature, liable 
to so many causes of delay, that they will not ad- 
mit of ni "e calculation in point of time. But if this 
ministerial delay was inexcusable, what shall we say 
of the dilatory proceedings of the admiral, who was 
certainly better acquainted with the climate. 

From the above account of this unsuccessful ex- 
pedition we learn, that our fleet and army were no 
sooner in possession of all the forts which defended 
the lake, than the admiral and general began to 
quarrel ; their animosity daily increased, and their 
mutual contempt became at last so excessive, that 
the glorious cause in which the}' were engaged 
seemed less the object of their attention, than the 
rneans of effecting each other's disgrace. But the 
mischief did not end with the commanders : each Ir-id 
his separate cabal, and the spirit of discord was dif- 
fused through the whole fleet and army. This fatal 

i. j v 

and childish misunderstanding is an evident proof 
that both the admiral and genera!, to say no woise of 
them, were weak men. If either of them had pos- 
sessed the soul of a great commander, he would not 
have suffered the folly of the other to ruin an enter- 
prise of such importance. Fools, it is true., are some- 
times obstinate; but it is seldom difficult for dispas- 
sionate wisdom to flatter them into compliance; and 
certainly, on such an occasion, somewhat of punc 
tilio should have been sacrificed to patriotism. 
The attack upon St, Lazar was certainly absurd, 


and the hope of succeeding was doubtless founded 
solely on the facility with which the other forts had 
been possessed. This was a false conclusion ; for 
that facility had rendered this fortress more formi- 
dable by an accumulation of troops. But in order to 
give the least degree of probability to the success of 
this attack, the admiral ought at the same time to 
have cannonaded and bombarded the town with all the 
power of his fleet. He might certainly have brought 
more ships into the harbour, and they might with 
safety have come up much nearer to the walls. When 
the French took Carthagena in 1697, the firing from 
the ships contributed essentially to their success ; but 
they landed a considerable train of artillery, with 
which they made a breach in the walls of the town, 
and then bravelv fought their way into it. I also 
beg leave to remind the reader, that, in the year 
1740, Admiral Vernon bombarded the town of Car- 
thagena from the sea. As therefore he had now so 


many ships more than he wanted, why did he not 
leave some of them on the coast, with orders to co- 
operate with the fleet in the harbour and the army, 
in the moment of a general attack ? Upon the whole, 
Wentworth appears to have done all in his power, 
and his troops do not seem in any wise to have dis- 
graced their country ; but, alas! the resolutions by 
which they had the misfortune to be directed, were 
the result of jarring deliberations among the incon- 
gruous inhabitants of different elements. The gene- 
ral might be culpable in not treating the admiral with 
that degree of respect which his late victory gave 
him some reason to expect ; but the latter was cer- 
tainly inexcusable in not assisting the former in the 
reduction of the town. This conduct in the admiral 
will appear exceedingly reprehensible, if, upon a care- 
fid survey of the forts and harbour, it should appear, 
that, after the reduction of the several fortresses 
com n lauding the lake, the town might be reduced 
by a fleet, without the assistance of a land-army: and 


the truth of this supposition seems so extremely 
probable, that I verily believe Yernon would have 
taken it, if the troops had never been landed, or if 
there had been no troops to assist him in the 
It is evident that the town of Carthagena ma) be 
easily bombarded both from the sea and from tlie 
harbour ; and it is equally certain, that no town in 
which there are any number of opulent inhabitants, 
will sustain that species of destructive insult for any 
length of time ; they will rise upon the garrison, and 
oblige them to capitulate. 

Be this as it may, though the English sailors and 
soldiers were disappointed of their expected spoils of 
the enemy, they retired with the satisfaction of hav- 
ing done the Spaniards great injury in the destruc- 
tion of many considerable fortifications, in spiking a 
number of cannon, and in annihilating six men of 
war and six galleons, besides many other vessels. 

Let us now follow the English fleet to Jamaica, 
where it arrived on the 19th of May. The climate 
of this island did not contribute much towards the 
recovery of the sick, many of whom died after their 
arrival ; among the rest Lord Augustus Fitzroy, cap- 
tain of the Orford. Yernon, on his arrival at Ja- 
maica, having received orders from England to re- 
tain in the West Indies no more ships than were 
necessary, sent home several men of war under 
the command of Commodore Lestock.* The re- 
mainder of his fleet were deemed quite sufficient ; 
there being, at this time, but one Spanish squadron 
at the Havannah, and a small French fleet at Hispa- 
niola. It is very certain that the ac'miral \\ as so ex- 
ceedingly dissatisfied with his colleague Wentworth, 
that he ardently wished to return to England ; but 
the king had conceived so high an opinion of his 
abilities, and the letters which the admiral received 

* Those Avere, the Carolina, Kussel. Norfolk, Shrewsbury, 
Amelia, Torhay, Chichester, Hampton-Court, liurfordj Windsor, 
and Falmouth ; besides five frigates. 


from the duke of Newcastle were so extremely flat- 
tering, that he determined to continue in his station. 
On the 56th of May, he called a general council of 
war. the mem hers of which were himself, Sir Cha 
loner Ogle, General Wentworth, General Guise, and 
Governor Trelavvny. The four first of these gentle- 
men were unanimous in opinion, that St. Jago on the 
Island of Cuba M'as the proper object of attack. Go- 
vernor Trchiwny, on the contrary, thought Cuba cf 
little importance, and strenuously advised an expe- 
di r ion against Panama on the Isthmus of Darien. The 
governor, however, acquiesced, and raised a corps of 
a thousand negroes, which were put on board the 
fleet with all possible expedition. 

This armament, which sailed from Jamaica on the 
first of July, consisted of eight ships of the line, one 
of 50 guns, 12 frigates, &c.* and about forty trans- 
ports, on board of which, including blacks, were 
3400 land forces. The fleet came to an anchor on the 
18th, in Walthenham harbour, on the south side of 
the isle of Cuba. The admiral, fully determining to 
annex for ever this fine island to the dominions of his 
Britannic Majesty, began by changing the name of 
Walthenham into that or' Cumber land harbour, in 
compliment to his royal highness the duke. With 






Captain Long 








(Admiral) Watson 



"Worcester, Cleland 






Princess Royal, 




Experiment, Kent, Mitchel 70 

Sheeriu-ss, Cumberland (Adm.) Norris 80 

Vesuvius, Tyger, Herbert (50 

Scarborough. Moutaguc, Chambers 60 


submission to commanders of fleets, invading an 
enemy's country, I should think it most advisable 
to avoid this parade of giving names to places which 
were named before, unless they are perfectly certain 
of being able to maintain their conquest ; because the 
spurious appellation, after their departure, will be re- 
collected only as a memorandum of their disgrace. 
This harbour, howsoever called, was a very capa- 
cious and secure asylum against the hurricanes so 
frequent in the West Indies at this season of the year : 
it was therefore a desirable possession, particularly as 
it was acquired without molestation. The island of 
Cuba is not only the largest of the Antilles, but it is 
also said to be the most fruitful and healthy of any in 
the West Indies. 

There we re, at this time, twelve Spanish ships of 
the line at the Havannah, a populous city on the west 
side of the island, where the governor resides, and 
where there were strong fortifications and a numerous 
garrison. For these reasons, though the conquest of 
the whole island was ultimately intended, it was 
thought advisable to begin with St. Jago, a less con- 
siderable city on the eastern coast. Walthenham har- 
bour lies about eleven leagues south-west from St. 
Jago, and distant by land about sixty miles, on which 
side the city is almost entirely defenceless. Its for- 
tifications to the sea were not formidable, but the en- 
trance into the harbour is so extremely narrow, and 
the navigation so dangerous, that nature has suffici- 
ently secured it from a naval attack. On these con- 
siderations it was resolved, in a general council of 
war, held on board the admiral, on the 20th of July, 
to land the troops immediately, and take the city of 
St. Jago by surprise. 

The troops were accordingly disembarked, and 

1 O */ 

meeting with no opposition, marched some miles up 
the country, and encamped on the banks of a na- 
vigable river. From this encampment General Wcnt- 
worth detached several reconnoitring parties, which 


falling in with small bodies of the enemy, repulsed 
them with very little loss on either side. One of these 
reconnoitring parties, consisting of 150 Americans 
and negroes, commanded by Major Dunster, pene- 
trated as far as the village of Elleguava, where he 
continued some time; but not being supported by the 
main army, he returned to the camp. Meanwhile 
Admiral Vernon dispatched part of his fleet to block 
up the port of St. Jago, and to watch the motions of 
the Spanish admiral at the Havannah, expecting with 
the utmost impatience the progress of the army. But, 
on the oth of October, he had the mortification to 
receive a letter from General Wentworth, expressing 
his doubts of being able either to advance farther, or 
even to subsist his army much longer in the part 
which they then possessed. On the 9th the general 
called a council of war, the members of which were 
unanimously of opinion, that it was impossible to 
march farther into the country, without exposing the 
troops to certain ruin. The army, nevertheless, con- 
tinued in its encampment till the 7th of November, 
when another council of war, consisting of the land- 
officers only, resolved, that the troops ought to be 
re-embaiked with all possible expedition ; and they 
were accordingly put on board their transports on 
the 20th, without the least molestation from the 
enemy. During this expedition, the Worcester, De- 
fiance, Shoreham, and Squirrel, took several valuable 
prizes, which were, however, but of little consequence, 
when compared with the expence of the armament. 

Thus ended the anticipated conquest of the isle of 
Cuba, the inhabitants of which were, from the in- 
comprehensible conduct of the British troops, at last 
persuaded that they landed without any hostile inten- 
tions. The good people of England grew extremely 
dissatisfied, impatient of news, and astonished at the 
cautious inactivity of General Wentworth. But the 
people of England, who reason only from appearance, 
and are guided solely by common sense, are veiy in- 


competent judges of the actions of great generals and 
great ministers. A general, though absolute at the 
head of his army, is a mere instrument in the hands 
of the prime minister, and must fight or not light ac- 
cording to his private instructions. Some of the po- 
liticians, of the period of which I am now writing, 
were of opinion, that our making conquests in the 
West Indies was disagreeable to France, and that a 
French war was to be avoided at all events : others 
did not scruple to insinuate, that the minister did all 
in his power to frustrate every attempt in the prose- 
cution of a war into which he had been forced by the 
opposition; and a third class of people attributed ibis 
miscarriage entirely to the general's want of skill and 
resolution. Whatsoever might be the real cause of 
this very extraordinary supineness in the British 
troops, there are very few incidents in history which 
afford more apparent foundation for censure. St. Jago, 
which was not above four days march, for light 
troops, from Cumberland harbour, was in a great 
measure defenceless 011 the land side, and therefore 
might have been easily surprised. There was no 
army in the country to oppose an enemy, therefore 
why it was not immediately attempted is very diffi- 
cult to conceive ; unless we suppose that the officers 
had no inclination to make conquests in so fatal a cli- 
mate, where, if they had succeeded, they would have 
been left in o-arrison. As to their resolution of return- 


ing to their ships, after remaining four months on the 
island, it was certainly proper; for by this time their 
number was so exceedingly decreased by the diseases 
of the climate, that probably, in another month, 
there would scarcely have been a man left to brng 
home the tale of their disasters. 

When we consider the number of men sacrificed to 
the climate in this, and in the preceding attempt 
against Carthagena, one cannot help wishing, if hu- 
manity be admissible in politics, that future ministers 
would not wantonly transport so many thousands of 


Europeans to a climate where it is almost impossible 
for them to exist. Possibly the political system of 
Great Britain may sometimes require such sacrifices; 
but one would hope, that nothing but the most in- 
evitable necessity would authorize such destruction 
of the human species. 

Before we quit this expedition, we cannot avoid 
inquiring into the design of it. That General Went- 
worth did not act his part in the reduction of St. Jago 
is pretty evident. But suppose that town had been 
taken, what then ? Would the island have fallen in 
consequence ? By no means. The Havannah was 
strongly fortified, well garrisoned, and defended by 
twelve ships of the line : so that any idea of reducing 
the whole island seems to be entirely out of the ques- 
tion. What possible advantage could therefore result 
from taking St, Jago? It may be answered, That a 
reinforcement of 2000 marines was expected from 
England. This supply, however, was a precarious 
expectation. They did not arrive at Jamaica till the 
15th of January: and had they even arrived two 
months sooner, the army would still have been inade- 
quate to the reduction of the Havannah, and conse- 
quently insufficient to conquer the island, or even to 
maintain their ground for any length of time ; and yet 
the heroes of this expedition were so confident of suc- 
cess, that they not only entered upon it by giving 
English names to the enemy's harbours and rivers, 
but they actually invited new settlers from North 

V f 

America, and promised them grants of land. 

From these considerations it follows, that, though 
General Went worth may be justly censured for ptr- 
forming nothing, yet all he could possibly have done 
would have answered no rational purpose ; and the 
expedition was no less injudiciously planned than pu- 
sillanimously executed. 

The troops were re-embarked on the 20th of No- 
vember, and on the 2.5th it was resolved in a general 
council of war, that the general, with the troops un- 


der his command should return to Jamaica, and that 
the fleet should continue to cruize off Hispaniola in 
search of the expected reinforcement from England. 
The transports sailed on the ^8th, and the admiral 
on the 6th of December, with the remaining squa- 
dron, consisting of eight ships of the line, a fire-ship, 
an hospital-ship, and two tenders. But before we 
take an entire leave of Cuba, it is necessary, injus- 
tice to the navy, to inform the reader, that, whilst 
the troops were on snore, the fleet was not quite in- 
active. The Worcester took a Spanish man of war 
of 24 guns, the Defiance took a register ship huen. 
with provisions for Carthagena, and the Shoreman 
took another vessel with 70,000 pieces of eight on 

Having closed the naval transactions of the year 

o \j 

1741, in the West Indies, I must, recall the reader's 
attention to the progress of Mr. Anson, who, I before 
mentioned, had sailed from St. Helen's on the 18th 
September, 1740, with a squadron of five men of 
war, a small sloop, and two victuallers.* This expe- 
dition was originally planned prior to the declaration 
of war with Spain, and was rationally founded on a 
design of seizing th'c wealth of that kingdom at its 
source, and thereby depriving the enemy of the means 
of' executing their hostile intentions. There were in- 
deed at first two separate fleets destined for this ser- 
vice ; one of which was to have been commanded by 
Mr. Cornwall, and the other by Mr. Anson. The 
iirst was to have sailed round Cape Horn into the 
South Seas, and the other directly to the East Indies. 
These two squadrons \vere to have met at Manilla, 
where they were to expect farther orders. This pro- 

Gt:n<!. Men. 

* The Centurion, 60 400 Goo. Anson commander, 

Gloucester, 50 200 Richard 2S' orris, 

Severn, 50 300 Edward Legge, 

Pear)/ 40 250 Matthew Mitchell, 

Wager, 28 160 Dau!?y Kidd, 

T\ rell, 8 100 Hon. Geo. Murray. 



ject seemed well calculated to humble the pride and 
insolence of Spain ; because their remote settlements 
were, at this time, almost entirely defenceless, and 
several of the most important of them might probably 
have been surprised before they had intelligence of a 
war between the two nations. The original scheme, 
however, was laid aside, and it was determined that 
one squadron only should be sent to the South Seas, 
of which Mr. Anson should have the command. 

This deviation from the original plan w r as no less 
displeasing to Mr. Anson than to Sir Charles Wager, 
by whom it was first proposed, and who was equally 
ignorant of the reasons which induced the ministry 
to lay it aside. However, on the 10th of January 
Mr. Anson received his commission as commodore of 
the squadron above-mentioned. The king's instruc- 
tions were dated the 31st of the same month, which, 
nevertheless, Mr. Anson did not receive before the 
28th of June following. He then went down to 
Portsmouth, where his squadron lay, in full expecta- 
tion of sailing with the first fair wind; for though he 
knew that he was at least 300 men short of his com- 
plement, he had been assured that the deficiency 
would be supplied from Sir John Norris's fleet then at 
Spithead. Jiut Sir John did not chuse to part with 
any of his sailors. This disappointment was another 
cause of delay, and all that Mr. Anson could at last 
obtain was 170 men, ninety-eight of whom were ma- 
rines, and thirty-two from the hospitals. 

According to the first plan, Bland's entire regi- 
ment of foot and three independent companies were to 
have embarked on board this fleet. But it was after- 
wards resolved, that the land forces should consist of 
500 out-pensioners of Chelsea hospital, of which only 
259 of the most, feeble were embarked, all those who 
were able to walk havinsr deserted. On such occasions 


it is not easy to determine which most to execrate, the 
heads or hearts of those who are intrusted with the 
management of public affairs. It surely requires a 


very moderate degree of understanding to know that 
such troops, so far from being serviceable, must ne- 
cessarily prove a burdensome obstruction to the suc- 
cess of an expedition, which, from its nature, required 
heal tli, strength, and vigour, in their utmost degree 
of perfection. As to heart, can any thing be ima- 
gined more inhuman, than treacherously to drag from 
their peaceful habitations, and from the enjoyment 
of the scanty reward of past services, a number of 
decrepid old men, conscious of their inability to ren- 
der further service to their country, and certain of an 
inglorious catastrophe? To supply the place of the 
240 invalids who had deserted, 210 marines, newly 
raised and totally undisciplined, were ordered on 
board, the last detachment of which embarked on the 
8th of August, and on the 10th the squadron sailed 
from Spithead to St. Helen's, there to wait for a fair 

If Mr. Anson's squadron had now been suffered to 
proceed, he might have gone down the channel with 
the tides without waiting for a fair wind : but the 
Lords Justices, the king being then at Hanover, or- 
dered him to sail from St. Helen's in conjunction with 
the two fleets commanded by Admiral Balchen and 
Sir Chaloner Ogle, amounting, in all, to 145 sail. 
Now it being impossible for so numerous a fleet to 
proceed, with safety, without an easterly wind, forty 
days more were spent in hourly expectation of a fa- 
vourable breeze. At last, on the 9th of September, 
Mr. Anson received orders to proceed with his ov.ii 
squadron, independently of the rest. He sailed on 
the 18th, and in four days got clear of the channel. 

I have dwelt a little upon this very extraordinary 
delay, and its several causes, because to this very un- 
accountable conduct of administration may rationally 
be ascribed the many hardships, dangers, and disap- 
pointments experienced in the progress of this expe- 
dition. It seems indeed exceedingly inconceivable, 
that au expedition appointed early in the month of 

u 2 


January, should not have proceeded till late in Sep- 
tember. But so it was, and the consequences were 
such as might easily have been foreseen. The squa- 
dron \vas not only, bv this delay, obliged to double 
Cape Horn in the most tempestuous season of the 
year, but the Spaniards, in every part of the globe, 
were informed of its destination. 

Having cleared the channel, Mr. Anson steered for 
the island of Madeira ; but, as if all nature as well as 
art had conspired to retard his progress, he was forty 
days on a passage which is frequently made in ten. 
However, at last, after this tedious contention with 
adverse winds, he arrived at Madeira on the 25th of 
October. He immediately visited the governor, who 
informed him, that for several days past there had ap- 
peared to the westward of the island seven or eight 
men of war, which he supposed to be Spanish. Mr. 
Anson dispatched a sloop to reconnoitre this squadron, 
and the sloop returned without any intelligence. 
This was in truth a Spanish squadron of seven ships 
of the line and a Pattache, which were sent for the 
sole purpose of counteracting Mr. Anson's operations 
in the South Seas. They had on board a regiment of 
foot, intended to strengthen some of their garrisons, 
and two of the ships were destined for the West-In- 
dies. Their commodore was Don Joseph Pizarro. 
Of the live ships that sailed for the South Seas, but 
one returned to Europe, the rest having either foun- 
dered at sea, or were wrecked or broken up in the 
course of the voyage. 

On the :'d of November Mr. Anson left Madeira, 
and crossed the line on the l 2Sth. He arrived at the 
island of St. Catherine, on the coast of Brazil, on the 
'2]>t. of December, where he repaired such of his ships 
a.s had suffered in the vovage, took in wood and 
water, regaled his people with fresh provisions, and 
recoveied some of his sick. But he neither found the 
climate so healthy, nor the Portuguese so hospitable, 
'?> represented by former voyagers. The governor of 


the island perfidiously dispatched a vessel to the Spa- 
nish admiral, then at Buenos- Ayres, with an account 
of Mr. Anson's strength and condition, during his 
continuance in this ne.utral port. 

The squadron sailed from St. Catherine's on the 
JSth of January, steering southward along the coast 
of America, towards Cape Horn. In so hazardous a 
voyage, at this season of the year, it was more than 
probable that the fleet would be separated, the com- 
modore therefore appointed three several places of 
rendezvous : the first at St. Julian on the coast of 
Patagonia, the second at the island of Socoro in the 

O * 

South-seas, and the third at Juan Fernandez. Soon 
after their departure from St. Catherine's, the Pearl 
was separated, and did not rejoin the squadron till 
near a month after. On her return Lieutenant Salt 
informed Mr. Anson, that Captain Kidd died on the 
olst of January ; that he had fallen in with the Spa- 
nish fleet above-mentioned, and that, mistaking one 
of their ships for the Centurion, he very narrowly 
escaped being taken. The English squadron anchored 
in the harbour of St. Julian on the 18th of February, 
principally with a design to repair the Tryal sloop. 
which had lost her main mast in a squall. This busi- 
ness being finished, they sailed again on the C 27th, 
and passed the Straits Le Maire on the 7th of 

At this time their ships were in good condition, 
and their crews in tolerable health and spirits. They 
flattered themselves, that as they were now entering 
into the Pacific Ocean, their dangers and difficulties 
would gradually vanish, and that SpanUh treasures 
would soon reward their labour. Biu delusive were 
these expectations. They did not even clear the 
Straits without great danger, and they no sooner 
quitted the land than they found themselves exposed 
to all the horrors of impetuous winds, ai.d waves tur- 
bulent and mountainous beyond all conception. They 
now began emphatically to execrate the causes of 


their late departure from Europe. This formidable 
squadron soon separated, nevermore to unite ! After 
struggling with infinite variety of distress during two 


long months, the Centurion, Mr. Anson's ship on the 
last day of April, found herself to the northward of 
the Straits of Magellan, and therefore concluded that 
she had secured her passage round Cape Horn. On 
the 8th of May she arrived off Socoro, the first ren- 
dezvous in the Pacilic Ocean. She cruised there, in 
extreme had weather, above a fortnight, in hopes of 
rejoining some of the squadron ; but being disap- 
pointed in that expectation, stood for the island of 
Juan Fernandez, where she arrived on the 9th of 
June ; but in so feeble a condition, that at this time 
not above twenty hands, officers included, were left 
capable of assisting in working the ship. The scurvy 
had made such terrible havock among the crew, that 
out of 450, their complement when they passed Strait 
Le Maire, scarcely half that number were now living, 
and most of these were sick in their hammocks. The 
Tryal sloop reached the island about the same time, 
in the same distressful situation, and the} 7 were joined 
by the Gloucester on the 23d of July, which ship had 
lost three fourths of her crew, and M'ould certainly 
never have been able to reach the island, but for the 
assistance sent her by the commodore after she was 
in sight. The Anna Pink, their victualler, came in 
about the middle of August, and this was the last 
ship of the squadron they ever saw. 

The missing ships were the Severn, the Pearl, and 
the Wager store-ship, The two first parted company 
off Cape Noir, and put buck to the Brazils.' 1 ' The lat- 
ter pursued her voyage towards the island of Socoro. 
She made the land on the western coast of South 
America, on the 14th of May, in latitude 47, and the 
next morning struck upon a sunken rock, and soon 
after bulged. Most of the crew were landed on ibis 
desolate island, where they remained five months, 
and then about eighty of the sailors, in a schooner, 


built by lengthening the long-boat, sailed back for the 
Urazils, leaving Captain Cheap and nineteen other 
persons on shore. These were by various accidents 
at last reduced to four, who were landed by an Indian 
on the coast of Chiloe, thence conveyed to St. Jago, 
where they continued a year, and three of them were 
finally sent to Europe on board a French ship ; viz. 
Captain Cheap, Mr., afterwards Admiral Byron, and 
Mr. Hamilton. 

We now return to Mr. Anson's squadron at Juan 
Fernandez, consisting of the Centurion, the Glou- 
cester, the Tryal sloop, and the Anna Pink. The last 
of these being found totally unfit for service, was 
broken up. By the beginning of September the 
crews were pretty well recovered, though the whole 
number was, by this time, reduced to 335, boys in- 

On the 19th of September, Mr. Anson with his 
small squadron sailed from the island of Juan Fer- 
nandez, with a design to cruise near the continent 
of Spanish America. On this cruise he took three 
trading vessels of no great value; but from the pas- 
sengers on board he received such intelligence as de- 
termined him to surprise the town of Paita, in latitude 
50 12' south. It consisted of about 200 houses, 
and was defended by a small fort mounting eight 
guns. Fearful of alarming the inhabitants by the 
approach of his ships, he resolved to make the at- 
tempt by means of his boats only. While the 
squadron was yet at too great a distance to be per- 
ceived by the enemy, about ten at night he detached 
fifty-eight men, commanded by Lieutenant Brett, and 
conducted by two Spanish pilots. They landed with- 
out opposition, and soon took entire possession of 
the place. The governor, with most of the inhabi- 
tants, having had some previous notice from the 
ships in the harbour, fled into the country at their 
approach, and continued parading on the hills. The 
English remained three days on shore ; during which 


time they sent all the treasure they could find on 
board their ships. They then set fire to the town 
and re-embarked, having lost only t\vo men in the 
enterprise. The booty they carried oft" amounted to 
about 30,000/. The loss sustained by the Spaniards 
was estimated at a million and a half of dollars. 

While Mr. Anson was thus engaged, the Glou- 
cester, which had been sent on a cruise, took two 
Spanish prizes with specie on board amounting to 
l.Q,000/. sterling. She joined the squadron two days 
after their departure from Paita, and they stood to 
the northward with a design to water at the island of 
Quibo. near the Bay of Panama. At this island they 
arrived on the 4th of December. The commodore 
had indeed entertained some hopes of being rein- 
forced from Admiral Vernon's squadron across the 
Isthmus of Darien ; but he learnt, from the papers 
found on board one of his prizes, that the attack upon 
Carthagena had failed. These hopes therefore im- 
mediately vanished, iind he now determined to steer 
for the coast of Mexico, in expectation of falling in 
with the galleon which he supposed to be on her 
passage from Manilla to Acapulco. The squadron 
sailed from Quibo on the 12th of December, and did 
not make the coast of Mexico till the 29th of January. 
But, as this brings us to the transactions of the year 
174 '-2, we must now return to Europe, in order to 
take a view of the British navy nearer home to the 
end of the year 1741. 

A\ hilst Vernon and Anson were thus employed in 
America, the admirals Sir John Norris and Haddock 
commanded two formidable fleets in Europe. The 
first of these commanders sailed from Spithead on the 
U?th of July with sixteen ships of the line, and, steer- 
ing for the liay of Biscay, began to cruise upon the 
coast of Spain. With this formidable fleet he might 

with the utmost facility have injured the enemy most 
essentially, by ravaging their coast and destroying 
(heir maritime towns, which were almost totallv tie* 


fenceless. Not only the British nation in general, 
but the Spaniards themselves, and every person on 
board, except the admiral, were confident that so 
powerful a fleet had some capital object in view. But, 
to the astonishment of all the world, except those 
who were admitted behind the curtain, in less than a 
month, Sir John Norris returned to Spithead with 
half his fleet, without having executed, or even at- 
tempted, any thing- worth relating. Part of the 
squadron continued cruising on the Spanish coast, 
and the Nassau and Lenox were sent to join Admiral 
Haddock, who, with thirteen men of war, spent the 
whole summer cruising in the Mediterranean, with- 
out achieving any thing sufficient to furnish a tolera- 
ble gazette. The causes assigned for his being sta- 

o or? 

tioned in that sea were, to prevent the junction of 
the Spanish fleet at Cadiz with that of France at 
Toulon, and to intercept the troops which were in- 
tended to be transported from Barcelona to Italy, in 
order to act against the queen of Hungary. But 
unfortunately neither of these purposes were an- 

What were the private instructions given to Nor- 
ris and Haddock will probably always remain a se- 
cret. Their respective characters as men of abilities 
and resolution stand unimpeached ; but abilities and 
resolution are not sufficient to complete the character 
of a naval commander. Probity is an indispensable 
ingredient. The man who is mean enough to accept 
of a command with ignominious restrictions, merits 
the obloquy which posterity will never fail to be- 

On the 12th of October Sir John Norris sailed 
again for the coast of Spain with a fleet of ten men 
of war. The inhabitants of the towns along the 
shore were at first a little alarmed at his re-appear- 
ance ; but, finding him now no less harmless than 
before, they beheld the English fleet, as an agree; 1 ;-j 
spectacle, and were at length fully persuaded that b 


was sent to parade along their coast merely for their 

Notwithstanding the formidable state of our navy 
at this period, our trade was so ill protected, that, 
since the commencement of the war, the Spaniards 
had taken no less than three hundred and seventy 
two of our trading vessels. The merchants of Lon- 
don and other ports were convinced that their losses 
were chiefly owing to neglect, and they remembered 
the declaration of the minister, " That as the war 
was their own, they must take the consequences." I 
have he fore animadverted on the imprudence of in- 
trusting the conduct of a war to a minister who is 
forced into it by opposition. Sir Robert Walpole did 
every thing in his power to avoid a war with Spain, 
which, with a little of that spirit which Cromwell on 
a like occasion would have exerted, he might have 
avoided. The Spaniards presumed on a knowledge 
of Sir Robert's pacific disposition. That nation had 
indeed great reason to be dissatisfied with the illicit 
trade carried on by English vessels in the West In- 
dies. If, instead of guarding their coasts by armed 
ships, they had complained to the British ministry, 
and if the British ministry had taken effectual me- 
thods to prohibit this illicit trade, in consequence of 
such complaint, pence between the two nations might 
have been preserved, and Sir Robert Walpole would 
have remained prime minister. He was averse from 
the war, because he foresaw that it would destroy his 
influence, and I am afraid he wanted magnanimity to 
exert a degree of patriotic zeal surlicient to render 
successful a war which he did not approve. 

Sir Robert Walpole, though extremely unpopular, 
had hitherto stood secure under the shelter of the 
throne. But the people of England were now so dis- 
satisfied with this unsuccessful war with Spain, and 
particularly with his total neglect of the queen of 
Hungary in her distress, that, at the general election 
of a new parliament, a considerable majority of the 


independent voters, throughout the kingdom, oppo- 
sed the court ; many of Sir Robert's members were 
thrown out, and when the parliament met, the com- 
plexion of the House of Commons was such, that a 
change of ministry became unavoidable. Sir Robert 

Walpole was created earl of Orford ; he resigned all 
his employments, and found an asylum in the House 
of Lords. The leading patriots in both houses were 
either taken into the new administration, or silenced 
by titles, so that all enquiry into the conduct of the 
late minister fell to the ground. Mr. Sandys was 
appointed chancellor of the exchequer, the duke of 
Newcastle and Lord Carteret secretaries of state, and 
Mr. Pulteney was created earl of Bath. 

These incidental matters being premised, we now 
return to the proper object of our history. Forty 
thousand seamen were voted for the service of the 
current year. The fleet in the Mediterranean, under 
Admiral Haddock, consisted of twenty-nine men of 
war. He resigned to Lestock on account of his de- 
clining health; but the new ministrv 8,'ave the com- 

o o 

mand to Admiral Matthews, who sailed from Spit- 
head on the l6th of April, with the Namur, Caroline, 
Russel, and Norfolk. This admiral was also invested 
with the character of minister- plenipotentiary to the 
kino; of Sardinia and the states of Italv. As soon as 


he had assumed the command, being informed that 
five Spanish Dallies lay at anchor in the bay of St. 

O v / 

Tropez, lie ordered Captain Norris to attack and de- 
stroy them ; which service was immediately and 
effectually performed. The united fleet of France 
and Spain was at this time in the harbour of Toulon : 
it consisted of thirty-six ships of the line. The Bri- 
tish fleet, being joined by Rear-admiral Rowley, was 
somewhat superior in number of ships. Mr. Ma- 
thews's instructions were, to block up the Ton urn 
fleet, and by cruising on the con>t to prevent any 
supplies being sent to the army in Provence. For 


this purpose, on the 2(1 of June, he stationed his two 
rear-admirals, Lestock and Rowley, with twenty-four 
ships, off the islands of Hieres, with orders to 
cruise for six weeks. Whilst Mathews continued at 
Villa Franca, a French man of war, passing by that 
port, in sight of the fleet, neglected to pay a proper 
compliment to the British flag. The admiral fired a 
gun as a signal for her to bring to, the Frenchman 
continued obstinate ; upon which Air. Mathews 
ordered one of his ships to pursue and sink him ; 
which was immediately executed by the first broad- 
side. Meanwhile a part of the British fleet, cruising 
on the coast of Catalonia, bombarded the towns of 
Maturo and Paulinos, in both which they destroyed 
many houses and many of their inhabitants. What 
had these wretched inhabitants done to offend the 
king of England ? but such are the laws of war ! If 
Christian princes believed in 'the religion they pro- 
fess, surely they would not wantonly involve their 
innocent subjects in such calamities. But, if they 
must needs quarrel and li^ht, it were devoutly to be 
wished, that, bv some general law of nations, the 
inoffensive part of their subjects might be secured 

t' O 

from insult and devastation. 

In the beginning of August, Admiral Mathews de- 
tached Commodore -Martin with a squadron to the 
Bay of Naples, with orders to compel his Sicilian Ma- 
jesty to recall his tioops from the Spanish army in 
Italy. The Neapolitans were thrown into the utmost 
consternation at the appearance of an Fnglish fleet; 
expecting every moment a more dreadful thunder 
than that of Vesuvius. The king, however, to save 
his capital, signed a paper delivered to him by Air. 
Martin, by which he eng-.ged immediately to recall 
his troops, and to observe a strict neutrality during 
the war. Having performed tlm service, the com- 
modore rejoined the admiral in the road of Hieres, 
which was now the ireneral rendezvous of the British 


fleet. Towards the end of August, Mr. Mathcws, 
being informed that the Spaniards had collected a 
considerable magazine at St. Remo, in the Genoese 
territories, caused a party of sailors to be landed near 
that town in order to destroy it; and they executed 
their commission without any danger or difficulty. 
He likewise sent two ships with orders to take or de- 
stroy a Spanish man of war of the line, which lay at 
anchor at Ajaccio, in the island of Corsica ; but the 
Spaniard saved them the trouble, by iirst setting his 
men on shore, and then blowing up the ship. 

Let us now take a temporary leave of Europe, in 
order to review the British fleet and army in the West 
Indies. We are to recollect, that, after the retreat 
from Carthagena. the troops under General Went- 
worth returned to Jamaica, and Admiral Vernon 
with his squadron continued cruising off Hispaniola 
in expectation of a reinforcement from England. 
But not meeting with the convoy, he returned to 
Jamaica on the oth of January, where, on the loth, 
arrived also the Greenwich, St. Al ban's, and the 
Fox, with the expected reinforcement from England 
of two-thousand marines. The principal officers, both 
of the army and navy, ruminating, with regret, on 
their two last unsuccessful expeditions, were unani- 
mously of opinion, that they could not wich any de- 
gree of credit, return to England without some far- 
ther attempt against the enemy. General councils of 
war were frequently held, and it was at last deter- 
mined to land at Porto Bello, march across the Isth- 
mus of Darien, and take the rich town of Panama. 
But, though this resolution was taken early in Ja- 
nuary, it was upwards of two months before the 
troops and transports were ready for embarkation. 
However, the}' embarked at lat, and the whole fleet 
came to an anchor in the harbour of Porto-Bello, in 
the evening of the 23th of March. This fleet con- 
sisted of eight sail of the line, three fire-ships, and 
two hospital ships, with forty transports, on board of 


which were three thousand land forces, and five hun- 
dred negroes raised by Governor Trelawny, who 
himself attended the expedition. As soon as the 
fleet came to an anchor, the governor of Porto-Bello 
inarched directly to Panama with three companies of 
Spaniards and two companies of Mulattoes. There 
being nothing to oppose the landing of the troops, 
the admiral imagined that they would proceed with- 
out delay ; but, to his great surprise, a council of the 
land-officers resolved that the scheme was impracti- 
cable, and that it was therefore necessary to return to 
Jamaica. The reasons assigned for this resolution 
were, the season being too far advanced, their num- 
bers being diminished by sickness and the separation 
of some of the transports, and their having received 
intelligence that the garrison of Panama had been 
lately reinforced. These reasons did not appear quite 
satisfactory to Mr. Vernon ; nevertheless, as, in their 
general councils of war, there was a majority of land- 
orricers, his opinion was of no importance. That their 
number was somewhat reduced is most certain ; but 
there remained yet two thousand effective men ; an 
army more than sufficient, under a general of spirit 
and abilities, to have secured the treasure of Panama. 
Nothing can be more contemptible than this prudent 
timidity, when we consider that the attempt might 
have been made without the least risk, as there was no 
army in the whole country capable of meeting them 
in the Held, and consequently, in case of a repulse, 
they might have returned without the least danger 
of being harassed in their retreat. Possibly these 
land officers would have had more resolution in a 
colder climate, lie this as it may, the whole fleet 
sailed from Porto-Bello in the beginning of April, and 
arrived at Jamaica on the 1.5th of May. On the 3(\ 
of September the Gibraltar man of war arrived at 
Port Royal in that island, with a letter from the (hike 
of Newcastle, ordering Vice-admiral Vemon and Ge- 


ncral Wentworth to return immediately to England, 
and they returned accordingly. 

Thus ended this vast enterprise against the Spanish 
settlements in America ! in which enormous sums 
were expended, and ten thousand lives sacrificed, 
without the least benefit to the nation, or glory to 
the commanders. To inquire into the cause, or 
causes, of such a series of disappointments cannot, 
at this distance of time, be attributed to partiality 
or malevolence; and to neglect such inquiry, were 
to frustrate the only rational design of history. The 
death of Lord Cathcart was the first misfortune, 
and, probably, the foundation of all that followed. 
Though this could neither be foreseen nor prevented, 
yet it may teach future ministers of state, that it is 
not sufficient to attend solely to the abilities of the 
commander in chief; the second, and even the third, 
in command, should also be men equal to the com- 
mand of an army. That General Wentworth wanted 
that determined intrepid alacrity so necessary in the 
execution of such enterprises is self-evident. As to 
Vernon, he certainly did not want resolution, but it 
is pretty certain that his contempt for Wentworth 
prevented him from acting so cordially and vigorously 
as he ought to have done, lie wished to have had 
the sole direction of every operation, and I must do 
him the justice to believe, that, if that had been the 
case, he would generally have succeeded. 

I must now recall the reader's attention to Mr. 
Anson, whom we left in the Pacific Ocean, cruising 
on the coast of Mexico, in hourly expectation of full- 
ing in with the annual Spanish galleon in her pnssage 
from Manilla to Acapulco. In these hopes he was 
dissappoiuted ; for he was informed by three negroes 
whom he surprised in a canoe, off the harbour of 
Acapulco. that the galleon arrived on the 9th of Ja- 
nuary, about twenty (lays before the squadron fell in 
with the coast. But he had the satisfaction to learn 


also, that her return was fixed for the 5d of March* 
This information was joyfully received, as the specie 
for which she had sold her cargo would render her a 
much more valuable prize than she would have been 
before her arrival at Acapulco. 

All hands were now employed in preparing for the 
reception of the galleon, not doubting but that this 
immense reward of their former sufferings would soon 
be in their possession ; for though the crews of the 
five ships amounted in all to no more than three hun- 
dred and thirty, boys included, and the hands on 
board the galleon were generally almost double that 
number ; yet there was not a person on board the 
squadron who had any other doubt, or fear, than that 
of her not sailing at the time appointed. Mr. Alison's 
fleet consisted of the Centurion, the Gloucester, the 
Carmelo, the Cannin, the Tryal's prize, and two 
cutters. With these five ships he formed a chain, 
commanding an extent of about twenty leagues, at 
such a distance from the harbour of Acapulco as not 
to be seen from the shore, and sent the two cutters 
every night nearer the shore, with orders to stand oif 
asjain at the approach of day. In this disposition 

t I */ 1 

they expected the appointed day with the utmost 
impatience. The important day dawned at last, and 
every eye in the fleet gazed perpetually towards the 
land. The sun sunk beneath the horizon, and no 
ship appeared. Another day passed, and then a 
third, in fruitless expectation. In short, after wait- 
ing to no purpose till the"23d, the commodore ra- 
tionally concluded, that the galleon was detained till 
the year following; and this was really the case, in 
consequence of his barge having been seen by the 
enemy when she was sent to discover the harbour of 

Having now remained on this station as long as 
his stores of wood and water would allow, Mr.Anson 
thought it expedient to prepare for his vovnge to 
China, and it bcin- determined to recruit his stores 


at Chequetan, about thirty leagues west of Acapulco, 
lie steered directly for that harbour, where he arrived 
on the ?th of April. The first business here, after a 
vain attempt to open an intercourse with the natives, 
was to unload and destroy the Carmelo, the Carmin, 
and the Tryal's prize, in order to strengthen the 
crews of the men of war, so as to enable them to un- 
dertake, with any degree of safety, the voyage across 
the Pacific Ocean. The business of watering, <Scc. 
being now finished, the Centurion and the Glouces- 
ter weighed anchor on the 28th of April, and pro- 
ceeded on their voyage to China. They lost sight 
of the American mountains on the 8th of May. After 
contending with repeated scales of contrary winds, 

O O /' ' 

the Gloucester, having lost most of her masts, be- 

' O 

came so leaky, that, on the J5th of August, it was 
found impossible to keep her any longer above water. 
The crew was, therefore, removed to the Centurion, 
and the Gloucester was set on lire. On the 28th, 
the Centurion arrived at Tinian, one of the Lad rone 
islands, in latitude 15 north, and 115 west of Aca- 
pulco. At this time so many of their people had 
perished, or were sick of the scurvy, that not quite 
a hundred men remained fit for duty. The number 
of the sick amounted to one hundred and twenty- 
eight, most of whom recovered soon after landing on 
this fertile, healthy, and beautiful island. Here they 
remained till the 21st of October, on which day, the 
crew being now in good health, the Centurion stood 
out to sea, steering directly for the island of Macoa, 
a Portuguese settlement near the mouth of the river 
Canton in China. She made the land on the 5th of 
November, and came to an anchor on the 12th, in 
the road near the city of Macoa. 

After many provoking delays and difficulties, Mr. 
Anson at last obtained permission from the Chinese 
government to repair his ship, and replenish Ins store 
of provisions. This business being at length effected 
to his satisfaction, he put to sea on the l^th of April, 



1743; and, though lie had given out that he was 
bound for Batavia, lie had resolved once more to try. 
to intercept the Acapulco ship in her passage to Ma- 
nilla. With this intention, he returned to the Phil- 
lippine islands, and cruised orl' Cape Espiritu Santo, 
on the Island of Samuel, that being the first land ge- 
nerally made by the galleons. lie continued cruising 
on this station till the 20th of June, when, early m 
the morning, to the inexpressible joy of the whole 
crew, they discovered the long-expected galleon. 
The engagement soon began, and continued about 
two hours; after which, the Spaniard struck, having 
sixty-seven men killed and eighty-four wounded. 
The Centurion had only two killed and seventeen 
wounded, who all recovered, except one man. The 
treasure on board this galleon consisted of 1,313,843 
pieces of eight, and 35,682 ounces of virgin silver, 
besides some cochineal and other merchandise, 
amounting in the whole to 313,000/. sterling- 

. . *~* 

The commodore being now in possession of the 
reward of his toil, dangers, perseverance, and reso- 
lution, with a crew on board whose felicity cannot be 
easily imagined, returned to the river of Canton, 
where he came to an anchor on the 14th of July. 
His sole intention being to lay in the stores necessary 
for his voyage to England, he applied immediately to 
the Chinese government, for leave to victual his ship; 
but such is the suspicious folly and absurd policy of* 
that people, that after five months delay, he was at 
last obliged to insist on an audience of the vice-roy 
of Canton, before he could be supplied. Immediately 
after this audience, his stores were sent on board; 
and, on the 7th of December, the Centurion and her 
prize unmoored, and fell down the river. On the 
12th, they anchored before the town of Macoa, 
where Mr. Anson sold the Spanish galleon for 6000 
dollars, and on the 15th proceeded on his voyage, 
lie arrived at the Cape of Good Hope on the 1 1th of 
jMiuch, and sailing from thence on the 3d of April, 


came to an anchor at Spithead, on the 15th of Junc ? 

Having- thus brought the fortunate Centurion safe 
to England, Jet us inquire into the exploits of our 
fleet in the West Indies. When Admiral Vernon. 
returned home, the command of the fleet devolved on 
Sir Chaloner Ogle, who, in the month of February, 
detached Captain with eight men of war, 
having four hundred land forces on board, with 
orders to make an attack on the town of La (.iuira, 
on the coast of Caraceas. Mr. Knowles accordingly 
proceeded; lie began his attack on the 18th, about 
noon, and continued firing upon the town till night, 
without any other effect than that of destroying some 
houses and churches. His ships were so shattered, 
that he was obliged to desist, and to sail for Curacoa, 
in order to refit. It was said that the Spaniards lost 
.seven hundred men on this occasion; it is, however, 
certain that the English squadron had nearly a hun- 
dred men killed, and three times that number wounded 

Mr. Knowles having miscarried in this attack, was 
unwilling to return, without a farther attempt, to 
revive the faded laurels of his country. His ships 
being repaired, lie resolved to make an attack upon 
Porto Cavallo. The Spaniards were apprized of his 
design, and had taken effectual measures for their 
defence. The garrison, consisting of sailors, Indians^ 
Mulattoes, and Blacks, amounted to about 000 men; 
.and the entrance into the harbour was secured by 
sunken vessels, and commanded by several fascine 
batteries. The squadron sailed from Curacoa on the 
520th of March, but did not arrive off Porto C'avallo 
before the 1.5th of April. It was resolved to send in 
two men of war to cannonade the batteries, and the 
Lively and Eltham being immediately ordered upon 
iiiis service, silenced the guns of the enemy before 
night. As soon as it was dark, the firing on both 
sides bavins ceased. Major Lucas, with 1200 men. 

x 9 


sailors and soldiers, landed on the beach, and, march- 
ing' along shore, took possession of one of the fascine 
batteries. The Spaniards being now alarmed, two 
guns were fired from another battery upon the assail- 
ants, which throwing them into confusion, they began 
to fire upon each other, and with great precipitation 
retired to their ships. The British spirit being not 
yet quite subdued by this miscarriage, it was resolved, 
in a council of war, to make a general attack upon 
the castle and batteries at the same time: accordingly, 
on the 24th, this general attack was begun by seven 
men of war; the Assistance, Burford, Suffolk, and 
Norwich, battered the castle ; and the Scarborough, 
Lively, and Eltham, fired upon the fascine batteries. 
The cannonading continued with great furv till nine 

ci o / 

at night, at which time the commodore made a signal 
to cut. It was indeed high time, for he had now lost 

O ' 

two hundred men, and most of his ships had sus- 
tained considerable damage. His disgrace being now 

o o o 

complete, Commodore Knowles made the best of his 
way to Jamaica, where he remained inactive during 
the remainder of the year. 

Such were the achievements of the British navy in 
the West Indies, during the year 1743. We were 
indeed peculiarly unsuccessful in that part of the 
world, every attempt against the enemy, since the 
taking of Porto Bello, having miscarried. Our com- 
manders probably were not deficient in point of per- 
sonal courage; but personal courage without abilities, 
is frequently productive of disappointment and dis- 
grace. In the Mediterranean, the fleet under the 
command of Admiral Mathews continued still on its 
station at Hieres, without performing any signal ser- 

' 1 i^J i.' iTJ 

vice, except preventing the French and Spanish fleets 
from sailing out of the harbour of Toulon. 

The Spaniards in the course of this year took two 
hundred and sixty-two British prizes, valued at 
67,000/. sterling;; and we took from them one bun- 


dred and forty-six ships, worth about 754,0007. 
including the Acapulco shipt;:ken by Mr. Anson. 

The i! ival promotions in this year were these: Sir 
John Norris made admiral of the red; J<>hn Balchen, 
Esq. admiral of the white; Thomas Mathews. Esq. 
vice-admiral oi' the red ; Nicholas Haddock, Esq. 
vice-admiral (-1 the w;nte; Sir Chaloner Ogle, vice- 
admiral of the bine; James Stuart, Esq. rear-admiral 
of the red; Richard Les'ock, Esq. rear-admiral of 
the white ; Sir Charles Hardy, rear-admiral of the 

Though, in the preceding year, the French army 
was defeated by the king oi Great Britain in person; 
though the French and Spanish ileets were united in 
the Mediterranean, yet between England and France 
there was no war. However, in the beginning of the 
year 1744, both nations threw off the mask. The 
dissensions in the British parliament at this time ran 
high, and the people in general were discontented. 
The Popish emissaries and Jacobites, in different parts 
of the kingdom, persuaded the French ministry, that 
a revolution in favour of the Pretender mio;ht easily 
be effected, and Cardinal Tencin gave ear to their 
project, fully persuaded that the attempt would at 
least cause a considerable diversion from the Conti- 
nent. Charles, the second son of the Chevalier De St. 
George, was accordingly invited to Paris, where he 
arrived some time in the month of January. In the 
same month, a fleet of twenty French men of war 
sailed up the English Channel, and seven thousand 
men were actually embarked at Dunkirk, with a 
design to invade England. These proceedings being 
immediately known in this "kingdom, Sir John Norris 
was ordered to take the command of the fleet at Spit- 
head, which being joined by several ships from Chat- 
ham, became superior to that of France. At the same 
time, proper measures were taken for defending the 
coast, incase of an invasion. The fleets of the two 
nations came within sight of each other ; but the 


French admiral, conscious of his inferiority, thought 
iit to decline an engagement, and taking the advan- 
tage of a hard gale of wind, returned to the port 
from whence he sailed. Thus ended this famous in- 
vasion, which was intended to restore the unfortunate 
family of Stuart to the throne of their ancestors, and 
the young adventurer was obliged to postpone the 
assertion of his pretensions to a more favourable op- 

I must now conduct the reader to the grandest 
scene exhibited during the whole war: a scene which 
for magnificence and importance, hath rarely been 
equalled in any age, on any sea. Seventy-four men 
of war in the Mediterranean, all in view, at the same 1 
time preparing to pour out their thunder, destructive 
of the human species, and decisive of the fate of 
nations ! The great, the anxious expectation raised 
by such a prospect, may be easily imagined; but the 
vast machinery was too stupendous for human ma- 
nagement, and the heroic virtue of former ages was 
wanting to produce a glorious catastrophe. 

The French and Spanish fleet, in the harbour of 
Toulon, consisted of twenty-eight sail of the line and 
six frigates; that of England of twenty eight ships 
of the line, ten frigates, and two fire- ships, all moored 
in the Bay of Ilieres. The number of guns in the 
united fleet was one thousand eight hundred and 
twenty, and of men sixteen thousand five hundred; 
the guns on board the British fleet were two thousand 
four hundred and ninety, and the number of men fif- 
teen thousand. But the number of ships of the line 
was equal, and these were equally manned. IIow- 
evei-j on a comparative view of the whole force of 
each squadron, there was an evident superiority ill 
favour of the English; injustice to whom, we must, 
nevertheless, remember, that having been long at sea, 
their ships were foul, whilst those of the enemy were 
clean, and in fine sailing condition. 

The courts of France and Spain, no longer able to 


support the disgrace of having their fleets blocked up 
in the harbour of Toulon, sent positive orders for 
them to proceed to sea, at all events. On the 8th of 
.February they were perceived to he under sail, the 
French admiral, De Court, having hoisted his ting on 
board the Terrible. Admiral Mathews immediately 
made a signal for unmooring, and the British fleet got 
under weigh on the ,9th, with all possible expedition. 
During this and the following day, these two tremen- 
dous fleets continued manoeuvring in sight of eaeh 
other, apparent!} 7 endeavouring, like two land armies, 
to gain the advantage of situation. It was very evi- 
dent that tiie French admiral had no great inclination 
to fight, and his ships sailed so well, that he might 
easily have escaped; but the Spaniards, cither from 
want of skill, or want of hands, proceeded so tardilv, 
that it was impossible to bring them off. 

On the llth, at break of day, the two fleets were 
at a greater distance than on the preceding day, and 
Admiral Mathews had the mortification to find Mr. 
Lestock's division considerably astern. He now ima- 
gined that De Court's intention was to draw him 
towards the Straits, in expectation of a reinforcement 
from Brest; he therefore determined to engage the 
enemy as soon as possible, notwithstanding the irre- 
gularity of his line, his van and rear being at too 
great a distance from the centre. Accordingly, at 
half past eleven, Admiral Mathews made the signal to 
engage; which signal Lestoek did not think proper to 
repeat. Indeed he was, at this time, so far astern, 
that he had no enemy to engage. Admiral Mathews, 
with the centre of the English, was opposite to the 
enemy's rear, consisting of the Spanish squadron ; 
and Rear-admiral Rowley, who commanded the van, 
was abreast of the enemy's centre. Thus were the 
two fleets situated, when Admiral Mathews hoisted 
the signal for engaging. Himself in the Narnur, and 
Captain Cornwall, in the Marlborough, bore down 
upon the Spanish admiral and the Isabella, and began 


the attack about half past one o'clock. At the same 
time, Captain Foi bes, in the Norfolk, engaged the Con- 
stant, and the Princessa Somerset, Bedford, Dragon, 
and Kingston, fired at the Poder. Ab nit two 
o'clock, Rear-admiral Rowley, in the BainYur, and 
Captain Osborne, in the Caroline, came up v. ith the 
French admiral and the Ferine, and engaged them 
some time. The brave Captain Cornwall iost both his 
legs by one shot, and was afterward-, killed In the fall 
of a mast, which was shot bv the board. The Nor- 
folk obliged the Constant to quit the line. Mean- 
while the Princessa and Somerset were disabled by 
the Poder, but she being afterwards engaged by 
Captain liawke, in the Berwick, was dismasted and 
obliged to strike. 

This irregular and partial conflict continued till 
night, when the French admiral, hiving collected his 
scattered fleet, bore away. The British fleet pursued 
them all the next day ; but on the 13th, though they 
v\ T erc yet in sight, Admiral Mathcws, being apprehen- 
sive that they intended to decoy him from the coast 
of Italy, made a signal to discontinue the chace The 
French squadron put into Alicant on the U>th, and 
the Spaniards into Carthagena on the day following. 
The British fleet, having spent some days to no pur- 
pose, in looking cut for the enemy, and afterwards in 
vamlv attempting to regain their former station off 
Toulon, were at lengrh obliged, by contrary winds, to 
bear away for the Inland of Minorca. 

Thus ended, chiefly in smoke, this memorable bat- 
tle, which seemed to threaten a most tremendous 
coiiiiict; and which, from the superiority of the Bri- 
tish fleet, ought to have annihilated the naval power 
of France and Spain. How it happened that so many 
of our cap-ains were on that' day fascinated, I know 
not ; it is however very ecitain, that few of them were 
fairly engaged. Admiral Mathewswas so dissatisfied 
with Le-.t.'::c k's conduet, that he suspended him from 
i-is command, and sent l.iin to Fnirlund. That Lei- 


tock did not fight, is most certain. He said in his 
defence, that lie could not have engaged without 
breaking ihe line, which he was not authorized 10 do, 
because, though the signal for engaging was made, 
yet that for ihe line of hattle was still abroad. That 
Ma hews itjiyht be guilty of inattention in this p;,r- 
tici-'.ar. Without any impeachment of his abilities as a 
naval commander, may surely be admitted, when we 
consider him bearing down upon the enemy, and pre- 
paring to engage; but it was an excuse for declining 
an attack, \vhicb an honest and brave man would 
never have pleaded. Tiie misfortune originated in a 


continued misunderstanding between Mathews and 
Lestock; the latter of whom sacrificed his own repu- 
tation, to the hope of ruining the former. In that 
hope he \\as but too successful; for, by the sentence 
of a court-martial in England, Admiral Ma: hews was 
dismissed, and rendered incapable of serving the king; 
Lestock was honourably acquitted. The people of 
England were, however, of a very different opinion 
from the court, and posterity will do justice to both 
commanders. Mathews was, doubtless, a brave and 
an honest man ; Lestock was an artful, vindictive 
disciplinarian. Whether he was really a coward, 
cannot be positively determined; but if he was not 
deficient in courage, he apparently wanted both 
honour and honesty. As second in command, he had 
no business with the propriety or impropriety of 
orders. The last order, or signal, like a last will and 
testament, supersedes all the preceding signals, and 
ought to be immediately obeyed, regardless of any 
apparent impropriety or absurdity. Every individual 
in a fleet or army, except the commauder-in-chief, 
is a mere 1 machine; whose business it is to execute, 
not to reason. The signal for the line of battle being 
abroad, when that for engaging was hoisted, was a 
pitiful excuse for not lighting. Lestock evidently 
saw that the enemy was in cur power, anil though 
the admiral's signals might seem somewhat inconsis- 

o o 


tent, his intentions were not equivocal. Mathewtf 
might want head; Lestock certainly wanted heart 
The one might deserve censure: the other ought ta 
have heen i>hot. By what extraordinary evidence, or 
other instigation, the members of the courts-martial 
who determined the fate of these admirals were in- 
fluenced, I know not; but their sentence must for 
ever remain a blot in the anilals of this country. 

The few naval commanders who distinguished 
themselves in this skirmish, for it hardly deserves the 
name of a battle, were, the Admirals Mathews and 
Rowley, the Captains Cornwall, Forbes, Osborne, and 
Hawke. Few of the rest were much engaged. The 
Spaniards lost but one ship, the Pocler, and about a 
thousand men killed and wounded. The British fleet 
lost a fire-ship, and in killed and wounded about four 

Notwithstanding this naval engagement in the 
Mediterranean with the combined fleets of France and 
Spain, there was yet no declaration of war between 
Great Britain and France. This ceremony, Iwnvever, 
M r as at last performed. On the 20th of March, war 
was declared at Paris; and, on the 31st of the same 
month, at London. The navy of France consisted, 
at this time, of forty-five ships of the line, sixty-seven 
frigates, and fifty-five gallics: that of England of 
ninety ships of the line, eighty-four frigates, and fifty 
other vessels ; in all two hundred and twenty-four 
.ships of war. On the 23d of June, the following 
promotions were made in the navy ; Nicholas Had- 
dock, Esq. and Sir Chaloner Ogle, appointed admirals 
of the blue; James Stuart, Esq. and Sir Charles 
Hardy, vice-admirals of the red; Thomas Davers, Esq. 
and the Hon. George Clinton, vice-admirals of the 
white ; William Rowley, and William Martin, Esqrs. 
vice-admirals of the blue ; Isaac Townsend, Esq. rear- 
admiral of the red; Henry Medley, Esq. rear-admiral 
:f the white; George Anson, rear-admiral of the blue. 

The first fleet which sailed from England after the 


declaration of war with France, was commanded by 
Sir Charles Hardy ; it consisted of eleven ships of the 
line. He sailed from St. Helen's on the 18th of 
April, with a number of store-ships under his convoy 
for the relief of the Mediterranean fleet, which was in 
great want of stores and provisions. Having put 
into the port of Lisbon, and being there detained by 
contrary winds, the French ministry, acquainted with 
his destination, sent immediate orders for the Brest 
squadron, of fourteen sail of the line, to block him up. 
This service was effectually performed, and Sir 
Charles remained in the Tagus, 

On the 6th of July, the British navy was reinforced 
by the arrival of twenty Dutch men of war at Ports- 
mouth, under the command of Admiral Bacherest. 
On the 15th, they were joined by Admiral Balchen, 
with fourteen sail of the line. This united fleet sailed 
from Spithead on the 7th of August, to the relief of 4 
Sir Charles Hardy, and on the 9th of September 
came to an anchor off the rock of Lisbon. The 
French admiral, having had previous intelligence of 
Balchen's approach, quitted his station. Sir Charles 
Hardy, with his convoy, joined the fleet, which im- 
mediately proceeded to Gibraltar, and, having rein- 
forced the garrison, returned in search of the Brest 
squadron. But M. Ilochambault, the French admi- 
ral, was, by this time, safe in the harbour of Cadiz. 
Sir John Balchen entered the Bay of Biscay, in his 
return to England, on the 30th of September; and, 
on the 3d of October, his whole fleet was dispersed by 
a violent storm. Several of the ships suffered consi- 
derably, particularly the Exeter and the Duke, the first 
of which lost her main and mizen-masts, and was under 
the necessity of throwing twelve of her guns over- 
board; and the latter had all her sails torn to pieces, 
and ten feet water in her hold. The whole fleet, 
however, except the admiral, arrived at St. Helen's 
on the 10th of October. The Victory was separated 
from the rest of the fleet on the 4th. after which she 


was never seen or heard of more. It is generally sup- 
posed that she struck upon a ridge of rocks, called the 
Caskets, near Alderney, as repeated signals of distress 
were heard by the inhabitants or' that island ; but it 
blew so violently, that it was impossible to give her 
any assistance. Thus perished the finest first rate 
man of war in the world, one of the best admirals in 
the British service, eleven hundred sailors, and a con- 
siderable number of volunteers, many of whom were 
of families of distinction. 

Having now concluded the naval transactions in 
Europe during the year 1744, we direct our enquiries 
towards America, where we left Sir Chaloner Ogle 
\vitli the British fleet, in the harbour of Port Royal, in 
Jamaica, and Admiral De Torres, with that of Spain, j 
at the Havannah. In these respective situations 
they both remained, not otherwise employed than in 
sending out cruizers to interrupt the trade of each 
nation ; till, on the 4th of November, De Torres, 
with five men of war and as many galleons, richly 
laden, sailed for Europe, and arrived safe atCorunna 
on the 29th of December. These galleons brought a 
treasure of fifteen millions of piastres. 

During this year the navy of England sustained 
some considerable losses. I have before mentioned 
the fate of the unfortunate Victory. On the 4th of 
June the Northumberland, a new ship, of seventy 
guns and four hundred and eighty men, commanded 
by Captain Watson, cruising in the Channel, fell in 
with three French men of war, viz. the Mars, of 6'8 
guns, and five hundred and eighty men, commanded 
by Monsieur De Perrier; the Constant, of sixty guns 
and four hundred and eighty men, commanded by 
Monsieur Conflans ; and the Venus, of twenty-six 
guns and two hundred and fifty men, commanded by 
Monsieur De Ditcher. The Northumberland sus- 
tained this very unequal conflict for three hours, with 
amazing activity and resolution ; till, unfortunately, 
Captain Watson was mortally wounded : she then 


struck her colours, by order of the master, who was 
therefore afterwards sentenced by a court-martial, to 
spend the remainder of his life in the Marshalsea 
prison. The French ships lost one hundred and 
thirty men in the en^aujement. and their ri<r<nn was 

J O O * , ^ 

so shattered, that they intended to sheer off as soon 
as it was dark. They carried the Northumberland 
in great triumph into Brest, where Captain Watson 
died. The Seaford, Captain Pie, the Solebay, Cap- 
tain Bury, both of 20 guns, and the Grampus sloop, 
were likewise taken by part of the Brest squadron in 
the course of this year. 

Before I conclude the naval history of the year 
1744, it is necessary to turn our eyes, for a moment, 
towards the East Indies. In consequence of an ap- 
plication to the lords of the Admiralty, from the East 
India company, Commodore Barnet, with four men 
of war, sailed from Portsmouth on the 5th of May, 
and, after his arrival in the East Indies, took a 
French fifty-gun ship, and three rich prizes. 

At the close of this year it appeared, that, since the 
commencement of the war, the Spaniards had taken 
seven hundred and eighty-six British vessels, which 
werevaluedat 2,751, OOO/. and the British effects seized 
in Spain, on the declaration of war, were estimated at 
50,0001. On the other hand, the number of Spanish 
ships taken by our men of war and privateers, 
amounted to eight hundred and fifty, supposed to be 
worth 2,550, OOO/. To this if we add 2,181,000/. 
the supposed amount of the prizes taken, fortifications 
destroyed, &c. by Admiral Vernon and Mr. Anson, 
the loss sustained by Spain will exceed that of Great 
Britain 1,930, OOO/.' By a similar estimate of the 
account with France, there appeared above half a 
million sterling in our favour. 

Notwithstanding this balance, the reader has, 
doubtless, been disappointed to find our naval history 
of 1744 so unimportant; and, in the only engage- 
ment of consequence, so disgraceful. The fatal ciis- 


agreement between Mathews and Lestock cannot be 


remembered, without indignation; but the ministry, 
who knew their enmity, must have foreseen, and 
were therefore answerable for the consequence. That 
ministry was now changed. Lord Carteret resigned 
his place of secretary of state to the earl of Harring- 
ton, and the duke of Bedford was appointed first lord 
of the Admiralty. Orders were immediately issued 
for every man of war in the several ports to be u'tted 
for service. Admiral Dav.ers was sent to protect 
Jamaica, the Mediterranean fleet was reinforced y 
Admiral Medley, and the coast of Great Britain was 
secured by cruizers properly stationed. 

Meanwhile, a project was formed in the general 
assembly of Massacbuscts in New England, to sur-* 


prise the city of Louisbourg, the capital of Cape Bre- 
ton, and to drive the French entirely from that 
island. The ministry being made sensible of the 

i ^.j 

importance of tin: .enterprise, ordered Commodore 
Warren to quit his station at the Leeward Islands, and 
join the American expedition. This armament wa* 
raised with so much secrecy and dispatch, that an 
army of 3850 volunteers, under the command of 
William Pcpperel, Esq. was ready to embark at Bos- 
ton before the French government were apprized of 
their intention. They arrived at Canso in Nova Sco- 
tia, under the convoy often American privateers, on 
the Cd of April, and on the 2.5th were joined by Com- 
modore Warren, in the Sup; ! rbe of sixty guns, attend- 
ed by the Lanceston, the Eltham, and the Mermaid, 
of forty guns each. Canso is within sight of Cape 
Breton, and yet the inhabitants of that island were 
hitherto totally ignorant of their danger, till, on the 
30th of April, they beheld this hostile fleet come to 
an anchor in Gabarus Bay, about a league from 
Louisbourg. The governor immediately scuta detach- 
ment of a hundred men, to oppose the landing of the 
American troops; but the French were soon obliged 
io retire in confusion and the invaders dis 


without the loss of a single man. General Pepperel 
immediately invested Louisbourg, whilst Mr. Warren 
blocked up the harbour, convoyed several vessels with 
stores and provisions from Boston, and intercepted a 
French man of war of forty-four guns, and other 
ships intended to relieve the city. Meanwhile, he 
was joined by the Canterbury, the Sunderland, and 
the Chester ; the two first of sixty guns, and the 
Jast a fifty gun ship, and on the llth of June the 
Princess Mary, the Hector, and the Lark, were also 
added to his fleet. On the 15th of June, Monsieur 
Chambon, the governor of Louisbourg, sent a flag 
of truce to the British camp, and the island of Cape 
Breton was surrendered to his Britannic Majesty. 

It is impossible to consider, without astonishment, 
the rapid success of this handful of undisciplined 
Northern Americans, against a city regularly fortified, 
with several very formidable batteries, and defended 
by twelve hundred regular troops and skilful engi- 
neers. But the activity and resolution of the besieg- 
ers was such, that skill and discipline fled before them 
like chaff before the wind. Can these Americans be 
a race of cowards ? Are these a people to be bullied 
into obedience? Will the feeble attempts of a Ge- 
neral Wentworth in the West Indies bear any com- 
parison with the conquest of Louisbourg ? It was in- 
deed a very important conquest, as it dispossessed the 
French of the fishery on the banks of Newfoundland, 
and deprived them of their only sea-port in North 

After the departure of Commodore Warren for 
North America, the W r est India Islands \rere left, in 
a great measure, defenceless, Sir Chaloner Ogle hav- 
ing returned to England with six. men of war. For 
this reason, Vice-admiral Townsend was ordered 
from the Mediterranean to the West Indies, with a 
squadron of eight ships. He sailed from Gibraltar 
on the 2cl of August, and arrived off Martinico on the 
3d of October^ when be was joined by the Pembroke 


of sixty guns, and the Woolwich of fifty. Admiral 
Townsend having had information, that the inha- 
bitants of Martinico were in great distress for provi- 
jiions, determined to remain upon this station in or- 
der to prevent their receiving any supplies from 
France: for though it be a maxim of honourable 
war, among Christian princes, not to murder such of 
each other's subjects as do not bear arms, it is, never- 
theless universally allowable to destroy by hunger as 
many peaceable men, women, and children, as they 
can. Gospel and political Christianity are very diffe- 
rent religions. 

On the 31st of October, Admiral Townsend dis- 
covered a fleet of forty sail of French ships, turning 
the southern extremity of Martinico. It proved to 
be a fleet of merchantmen and store ships sent to the 
relief of the French West India Islands, under convoy 
of four men of war, commanded by Commodore 
M'Namara; who, perceiving the superiority of his 
enemy, saved himself by running under the guns of 
Fort-Royal. The other three men of war also es- 
caped ; but nearly thirty of the other vessels were ei- 
ther taken, burnt, sunk, or driven on shore. The ad- 
miral, likewise, took a large privateer and three Dutch 
vessels bound from St. Fustatia to Martinico with 
provisions, by which he had the happiness of com- 
pleting the famine on that island so entirely, that ma- 
ny thousand negroes and other inhabitants perished 
of hunger ! Exploits of this nature must afford little 
satisfaction on reflection ; especially when they con- 
tribute nothing either to the glory or emolument of 
the state. 

Such were our naval exploits in the West Indies, 
in the year 174.5, exclusive of some valuable prizes 
taken by our men of war and privateers ; the most 
considerable of which were, the .Marquis D'Antin, 
and the Lewis Erasmus, woith ?0,0()0/. taken by the 
Prince Fa-deric and the Duke privateers. In the 
course of ibis year, the Uritibh navy suffered the loss 


of one sloop only, which was taken and carried into 
Martinico; whilst the British cruisers, in that part, of 
the world made captures of five French and two Spar 
iiish men of war. 

In Europe, nothing material happened to grace onr 
annals. Admin. 1 Martin commanded a squadron in 
the Channel, attending the motions of the Brest fleet. 
Rear-admiral Medley sailed from Spithead, with seven 
men of war, in order to reinforce Admiral How ley, 
who now commanded in the Mediterranean, and ar- 
rived at Minorca on the 10th of April. Thus strength- 
ened, the vice admiral proceeded, with twenty-four 
ships of the line, to hlock up ihe Spanish fleet at 
Carthagena, which he thereby prevented either from. 
transporting troops to Italy, or from joining the 
French squadron at Brest. The republic of Genoa 
having declared against the queen of Hungary, Ad- 
miral Rowley detached a part of his fleet, under the 
command of Commodore Cooper, to bombard the 
towns upon their coast; several of these towns suffer- 
ed considerably, particularly St. Ilemo, which he re- 
duced almost to ashes. 

The year 1746, affords not a single example of the 
naval superiority of Great Britain. It is nevertheless'' 
necessary, in order to preserve the thread of (Air his- 
tory, to inform the reader where and how our several 
ileets were employed. Commodore learner, who died 
in the East Indies, was snc.veedcd in the command 
x)f the squadron by Captain Peyton. This squadron 
consisted of six men of war, which were now stauon- 
ed at Fort St. David. At Poodicherry the ivench 
had eight ships of force, under the command of 
Monsieur Bourdonnais. Commodore Peyton, cruis- 
ing between the coast of Coromandel and the island 
of Ceylon, on the 'Jotli of June, fell in with Bour- 
jdonnais, whose squadron was somewhat reduced by 
the io:i.-i of the Insulaire. Both squadrons prepared to 
engage, and about four in the afternoon they began 
,to fire upon each other. The battle lifted till seven, 

V.QL. iv. y 


it being then almost dark. The English had 14 men: 
killed, and 46 wounded ; the French 27 killed, and 
53 wounded. Next morning the two fleets appeared 
at no great distance from each other; but neither of 
the commanders chose to renew the engagement. At 
four in the evening, Mr. Peyton called a council of 
war, which determined, as councils of war generally 
do, not to light. When a commander in chief, in- 
vested with full power to act by his sole authority, 
calls a council of war, it creates a strong suspicion, 
that he wants to divide the blame of an unjustifiable 
action. The history of mankind, affords innumera- 
ble examples of cowardice in collective bodies, of 
which every individual would have been grievously 
ashamed. The English squadron proceeded to the is- 
land of Ceylon, and the French to Pondicherry. 

Our principal historian of these times asserts, that 
the British squadron was superior to that of the ene- 
my. This, however, was evidently not the case ; 
therefore, the imputation of cowardice seems to fall 
more particularly on the French commodore. But 
Monsieur Bourdonnais had a greater object in view. 
The reduction of Madras promised a better harvest 
than disabling a few men of war. He appeared be- 
fore that settlement on the ] 8th of August, and fired 
upon one of the ships belonging to the English East 
India Company, chiefly with a design to try whether 
Mr. Peyton meant to defend the place. Our commo- 
dore, for reasons best known to himself, as soon as 
lie was- informed of this insult, and consequently of 
the danger of Madras, immediately disappeared, and 
sailed the Lord knows whither. Monsieur Bourdon- 
jiais, with his whole squadron, returned to Madras 
on the 3d of September, and in a short time, mads 
himself master of that important place. He would 
probably have succeeded in the reduction of every 
other British settlement on that coast, if he had 
not been prevented by a violent storm, which disabled. 
a considerable part of his fleet 


In Europe, great designs were formed in the res- 
pective cabinets of England and France against each 
other's settlements in North America. The French 
determined to retake Louisbourg, and also to surprise 
Annapolis-Royal in Nova-Scotia, The English, on 
the other hand, planned the reduction of Quebec. 
Both kingdoms were disappointed in their expecta- 
tions. The French fleet, consisting of eleven ships 
of the line, three frigates, three fire-ships, and two 
bombs, came out of Brest on the 7th of May, but 
was prevented, by contrary winds, from proceeding 
on the voyage till the 22d of June. This fleet, which 
with privateers and transports, made in all ninety - ; e- 
ven sail, was commanded by the Duke D'Anville. 
He had on board 3500 land forces, under the com- 
mand of Brigadier-general Jonquiere. They did not 
make the coast of Acaclia till the 10th of September, 
and on the 13th, a storm arose, which, continuing 
some days, dispersed the fleet, and destroyed several 
of the transports ; so that, on the 27th, they mus- 
tered at Chiboctou, their place of rendezvous, no 
more than seven ships of the line, t\vo frigates, one 
lire-ship, one bomb-vessel, twelve privateers, and eigh- 
teen transports, in all fifty-six sail. Whilst they lay 
in the harbour of Chiboctou, the mortality was so 
great, that, in a short space of time, they buried 
their commander in chief, their second in command, 
1500 of the land forces, and 800 sailors. The num- 
ber of their ships and of their men being thus reduc- 
ed, they gave up every idea of conquest, and sailed 
for Europe on the 12th of October, where they ar- 
rived without farther accident. 

Meanwhile, the British ministry, as I have said 
above, had planned an expedition for the reduction of 
Quebec. For this purpose, a considerable fleet was 
assembled at Portsmouth, in the month of April, and 
several regiments were actually embarked under the 
command of General Sinclair. The duke of Newcas- 
tle having previously communicated his intention of 


invading Canada to the northern provinces of Ame- 
rica, requiring their assistance, ten thousand men 
were immediately raised, and waited impatiently for 
the arrival of the British fleet. But such was the ir- 
resolution of the ministry at this period of our history, 
that the French were not only informed of their de- 
sign, hut had time to equip a squadron sufficient to 
counteract the entire project. This squadron, as we 
have seen ahove, sailed from France on the 22d of 
June. It was indeed ready to sail six weeks sooner, 
but was detained by contrary winds. 

The British ministry having now relinquished their 
design aa'ainst Canada, resolved to make a descent on 

O O * 

the coast of Britanny, in France, and particularly to 
destroy Port L'Orient, in order to ruin the French East 
India Company, Lieutenant-general Sinclair com- 
manded the land forces, and the command of the 
fleet was given to Admiral Lestock, that very Lestock 
with whose conduct in the Mediterranean the reader 
is sufficiently acquainted. This armament consisted 
of sixteen ships of the line, eight frigates, and two 
bomb-vessels, besides store-ships and transports, on 
board of which were oSOO regular troops, including 
matrosses and bombardiers. After various unaccount- 
able delays, during which the French were perfectly 
acquainted with their destination, they sailed at last 
from Plymouth, on the 14th of September, and, steer- 
ing directly for the coast of Britanny, came to an an- 
chor in Quimperlay-bay on the 18th. General Sin- 
clair, with the troops under his command, landed 
on the 20th in the evening, without the least moles- 
tation, and the next morning, took possession of a 
small town called Plemure, about a league from 
L'Orient, and there fixed his head quarters. On the 
22d, the British army having advanced to a rising 
ground, about half a league from the city, General 
Sinclair summoned it to surrender; but the governor, 
not liking the conditions, determined to defend it. 
Oa the 25th, the besiegers opened a batteiy of 


twelve cannon and amoitar, and the next day began 
to throw red hot halls into the rown, which took lire 
in several parts. Durinq- this time, ihc besif gee; con- 

O <^* 

tinned to lire from the ramparts with great alacrity ; 
nevertheless, their fortifications were in such had 
condition, that, on the 27th, they had resolved to 
beat a parley ; when, to their infinite surprise and 
joy, the firing of the besiegers ceased. General Sin- 
clair and his army retreated to their camp, leaving 
behind them four pieces of cannon, the mortar, and 
a considerable quantity of ammunition, and, on the 
28th, .re-embarked without molestation Their lo>-:, 
during the siege, amounted, in killed and wounded, 
to eighty men. Why the British general (led, with 
so much precipitation, from the arms of victory, is 
difficult to imagine, unless he was discouraged, -on 
finding the enterprise not seconded by the admiral, 
who, according to the original plan, was to have 
brought his ships to bear upon the town. Vn: Lcs- 
tock said, in his defence, that the enemy had reir : er- 
ed his entrance into the harbour of Port L'Orient 
impracticable. Probably, the signals for advancing, 
as with Matthews in the Mediterranean, woe n-,t 
made in due form. Ikit the cause of their mi ^car- 
riage seems to have originated in not landing the 
troops immediately and storming the town without 
the loss of a moment. When the British fleet came 
to an anchor, the garrison of Port L'Orient was very 
weak, and lew of their guns were mounted on the 
ramparts. SMIIC of our subsequent attempts on the 
coast of France have been frustrated by the same 
cause. The principal damage done to rhe enemy in 
this expedition, was the destruction of the Ardent, a 
sixty-four gun ship, by the Exeter, who, after an 
obstinate engagement, ran her on shore, and aiter- 
v.virds set her on fire. Admiral Lestoek, with his 
entire squadron, lefc the coast of France, on the 8th 
of October, and returned to England, without hav- 
ing: in any drwc fulfilled the intentions of the minis- 

* O v i j 


try, which were, to ruin the French East India Com- 
pany by destroying L'Orient, and, by dividing of 
the French troops, to facilitate the invasion of Pro- 
vence by the Austrian army. 

In the West Indies, nothing of importance was at- 
tempted by any of the belligerent powers. We find, 
luwever, upon record, one naval transaction, which, 
though it will not add much to our national renown, 


ought, nevertheless, not to be forgotten. Vice-admiral 
leavers, who commanded on the Jamaica station, 
having received intelligence that Monsieur Conflans, 
with four men of war and ninety mei chantmen, from 
France, was hourly expected at Martinico, detached 
Commodore Mitchel with five men of war and a sloop 
to intercept him. He fell in with the French fleet 
on the 3d of August, and at seven in the evening 
was about a league to windward of them, when, in- 
stead of engaging the enemy, he made a signal to 
speak with the captains of his squadron, a majority 
of whom were of opinion, that it were best to defer 
the battle till next morning. These councils of war, 
as I have before observed, seldom forebode much he- 
roism. When a man calls his friends about him, to 
ask them whether he shall fight to-day or to-morrow, 
there is great reason to believe that he had rather not 
fight at all. However, general orders were given to 
keep the enemy in sight, and to engage as soon as 
day- light should appear. I'ut the French merchant 
vessels, being so impolite as not to wait to be taken 
by the English, all escaped ; and Monsieur Conflans, 
after exchanging a feu- shot with the British squad- 
ron, followed his convoy. Mr. Mitchel's caution 
was so great, that, when night came on, he ordered 
his ships to c airy n;> iujhts, lest the French should be 
so rude as to give him chace. Monsieur Conflans, in 
his return to Europe, fell in with an English fleet 
from the Leeward islands, under the convoy oi the 
Woolwich and Severn, of o() guns each, the latter of 
which, after two hours engagement, he took and 


carried into Brest. Mitchel, being afterwards tried 
by a court martial, was fined five years pay, and ren- 
dered incapable of future service. 

The British fleet, in the Mediterranean, was, this 
year, commanded by Vice-admiral Medley, whose 
principal transaction was, the assistance which he 
gave to the Austrian general at the siege of Antibes. 
Admiral Martin, who commanded in the channel, 
was in the month of July succeeded by Admiral An- 
son, who was appointed vice-admiral of the blue. 

The French, in the course of this year, took from 
the English one man of war of 60 guns, two sloops, 
nine privateers, one East Indiaman, and four hundred 
and sixty-six merchant vessels. The Spaniards took 
one hundred and eighty-three British ships. The 
British men of war and privateers took from the Spa- 
niards twenty-two privateers, ten register-ships, and 
eighty-eight merchantmen. From the French we 
took seven men of war, ninety-one privateers, and 
three hundred and twelve merchant vessels. 

The French ministry, notwithstanding their late 
disappointment in North America, were determined 
to encrcase their force in Canada, and, with the as- 
sistance of Canadians and Indians, to extend their 
territories by encroachments on the neighbouring 
provinces belonging to Great Britain. At the same 
time they formed a design against some of our settle- 
ments in the East Indies. For these purposes, in 
the beginning of the year 1747, a considerable arma- 
ment was prepared at Brest ; the squadron destined 
for America, under the command of Monsieur Jon- 
<]uerre, and that for the East Indies, commanded by 
Monsieur De St. George. For greater security, these 
two fleets were to sail at the same time. 

The British ministry, being informed of the strength 
and destination of this squadron, sent a superior fleet 
to the coast of France, commanded by Vice-admiral 
Anson. He sailed from Plymouth on the .9th of 
April, and, cruising off Cape Finisterre, on the 3d of 


May, fell in with the French fleet consisting of thirty- 
eight sail, nine of which shortened sail and prepared 
to engage, whilst the rest hore away with all the sail 
they could make. Admiral Anson first formed his 
squadron in line of battle; but, perceiving the ene- 
my begin to sheer off, he made a signal for his whole 
fleet to give chace, and engage promiscuously. The 
Centurion came up with the stefnmost ship of the 
enemy about four in the afternoon. She was followed 
by the Namur, Defiance, and Windsor, who were 
soon warmly engaged with five of the French squad- 
ron. The Centurion had her main-top-mast shot 
away early in the action, which obliged her to drop 
astern ; but she was soon repaired. The battle now 
became- general, and the French maintained this very 
unequal conflict with great spirit and gallantry, till 
about seven in the evening, when the whole fleet 
struck their colours. The Diamant was the last 
French ship that submitted, after fighting the Bristol 
near three hours. Injustice to our enemy, it is ne- 
cessary to remember, that the squadron commanded 
by Admiral Anson, consisted of fourteen ships of the 
line, a frigate-, a sloop, and a lire-ship, with <) ( >Q guns, 
and 6*2 6'0 men on bo:-rd ; and that Monsieur De la 
Jonquiere had no more than five line of battle ships^ 
and as many frigates, 44'2 guns, and 3171 men. Admi- 
ral Ansrm, in the mean time, detached the Monmouth 
the Yarmouth, and the Nottingham, in pursuit of 
the convoy, and they returned with the Vigilant and 
Modeste, both of twenty-two guns, the rest having 
made their escape But though we acknowledge the 
great superiority of the British squadron, it is neces- 
sary to inform the reader, that no more than eight. 
English ships were engaged. Captain Grenville, of 
the Defiance, a very gallant officer, lost his life in 
this engagement. Our number of killed and wound- 
ed amounted to five hundred and twenty ; that of the 
enemy to seven hundred. Captain Boscawen was 
xvounded in the shoulder bv a musquet-ball. Monsieur 


3^c la Jonquiere was also wounded in the same part; 
one French captain was killed, and another lost 
a leg. 

Admiral Anson returned to England, and brought 
the captive squadron safe to an anchor at Spithead. 
He set out immediately for London, where lie was 
graciously received by the king, and afterwards 
created a peer. Rear-admiral Warren was made 
knight of the hath. The money taken on board of 
the Trench fleet was brought through the city of Lon- 
don in twenty waggons, and lodged in the bank* 

About the middle of April, Captain Pox in the 
Kent, with the Hampton-Court, the Eagle, the 
Lion, the Chester and the Hector, with two fire- 
ships, sailed on a cruize, designing to intercept a fleet 
of St. Domingo-men under the convoy of four French 
men of war. After cruising a month between Ushant 
and Cape Finisterre, Captain Fox fell in with this 
French fleet of 170 sail. They were immediately de- 
serted by their men of war, and forty-six of them 
were taken. 

The British ministry having received intelligence, 
that nine French men of war of the line had sailed 
from Brest, in order to convoy a large tleet of* 
chantmen to the West Indies, ordered Rear-ad- 
miral Ilawke, with fourteen men of war, to sail im- 
mediately in quest of them. The admiral, with the 
fleet under his command, left Plymouth on the 9th 
of August. The French fleet, consisting of the above- 
mentioned men of war and two hundred and fifty-two 
merchant vessels, sailed from the Isle of Aix on the 
6'th of October, and on the 14th they had the mis- 
fortune to fall in with the British squadron. As soon 
as the French admiral became sensible of his situation 
he made a signal for the trade to make the best of 
their way, with the Content and frigates, and for the 
rest of his squadron to prepare for battle. Admiral 
Ilawke first made a signal to form the line; but find- 
ing the French begin to sheer off, he ordered his 


whole fleet to give chace, and engage as thev came 

O O O _ ** 

up with the enemy. The Lion and the Louisa began 
the conflict ahout noon ; and were soon followed by 
the Tilbury, the Eagle, the Yarmouth, the Windsor, 
and the Devonshire, which ships particularly shared 
the danger and consequently the glory of the day. 

About four o'clock four of the French squadron 
struck, vis. Le Neptune, Le Monarque, LeFougueux, 
and the Severn ; at live Le Trident followed their ex- 
ample, and Lc Terrible surrendered about seven. Be 
it however remembered, to the credit of their several 
commanders, that they maintained this unequal con- 
flict with great spirit and resolution, and that they 
did not submit until they were entirely disabled. 
Their number of killed and wounded was about eight 
hundred, and of prisoners three thousand three hun- 
dred men. M. Fromentierre, who commanded Le 
Neptune, was among the slain, and their commander 
in chief was wounded in the leg and in the shoulder. 
The English had one hundred and fifty-four killed, 
and five hundred and fifty-eight wounded. Captain 
Saumarez, of the Nottingham, was among the former. 
We lost no other officer of distinction. On the last 
clay of October Admiral Hawke brought these six 
French men of war to Portsmouth in triumph, and, 
in reward for his services, was soon after honoured 
with the Order of the Bath. He was dissatisfied with 
the behaviour of Captain Fox in the engagement, 
who was tried by a court-martial and deprived of his 
command ; but lie was restored about two years 

Vice-admiral Medley, \vho commanded a fleet of 
fifteen ships of the line in the Mediterranean, died 
there on the 5th of August, and was succeeded by 
Rear-admiral Byng, who continued to block up the 
Spanish squadron in Carthagena, and to act in con- 
cert with the Austrian general on the coast of Italy. 
Rear-admiral Chambers commanded nine men of war 
in the channel, and on the 1st of November Reai> 


admiral Boscawen sailed for the East Indies with six 
ships of the line. 

Dunns this year the English took from the French 


and Spaniards six hundred and forty-four prizes, 
among 1 which were seventeen French and one Spa- 
nish men of war. The English vessels, including one 
man of war and a fire-ship, taken by the French and 
Spaniards, amounted to five hundred and fifty-one. 
The royal navy of Spain was now reduced to twenty- 
two ships of the line, and that of France to thirty- 
one ; while the navy of Britain amounted to one 
hundred and twenty-six sail of the line, besides se- 
venty-five fiigates. 

Beins: arrived at the last year of this 2,'eneral war, 

CT' / CJ 

I shall begin with the history of our naval transac- 
tions in the West Indies, where the British fleet was 
now commanded by Rear-admiral Kno\vles. He 
sailed from Jamaica, on the 13th of February, with 
eight ships of the line, on an expedition against St. 
Jago de Cuba ; but being prevented by contrary 
winds from approaching that island, Port Louis, in 
Hispanioia, became the object of his hostile inten- 
tions, before which place he arrived on the 8th of 
March. Port Louis was defended by a strong fort, 
mounting seventy-eight guns, with a garrison of six 
hundred men, commanded by M. De Chaleaunoye. 
The admiral began his attack immediately on his ar- 
rival, and after three hours violent cannonading, si- 
lenced the fort, which surrendered on the following 
terms, viz. The garrison not to serve against the king 
of Great Britain or his allies during a year ; that they 
should march out with their arms, but without can- 
non, mortars, or ammunition ; that the officers should 
retain their private baggage and servants; that the 
town should be spared on certain conditions to be 
settled next morning. The garrison lost one hundred 
and sixty men killed and wounded, and the fleet se- 
venty. Among the slain were the Captains Rentqne 


and Cast, the lust of whom was a volunteer in the! 

Admiral Kr,o\v1:\s having entirely destroyed the 
fort, resumed hi.-: lormer design against St. Jago de 
Cuba, where lie arrived on the 5th of April. The 
Plymouth and the Cornwall were ordered to enter the 
harbour ; but finding a boom across and four vessels 
filled with combustibles, after firing a few broadsides 
at the castle, they judged it prudent to desist, and 
the squadron returned to Jamaica. Captain Dent of 
the Plymouth was afterwards, at the request of the 
admiral, tried by a court-martial for not forcing the 
boom, and was honourably acquitted. 

From this tiHie the British and Spanish fleets were 
solely employed in cruising in detachments against 
the trade of each nation. Towards the latter end of 
August Admiral Knowles, having received intelli- 
gence that the annual fleet from Vera Cruz was daily 
expected at the Havannah, began to cruise off the 
banks of Tortuga. The Spanish Admiral Reggio, 
being informed of the vicinity of the English squa- 
dron, and of the consequent danger of the expected 
fleet, sailed from the Havannah, determined to give 
Admiral Knowles battle. On the 29th of September, 
Admiral Reggio saw, at a distance, fourteen sail of 
English merchantmen, under convoy of two men of 
war; he gave them chacc, but they had the good 
fortune to escape, and the Lenox, having made a 
signal for his convoy to save themselves by flight, 
joined Admiral Knowles, who, on the first of Oc- 
tober, fell in with the Spanish squadron near the lla- 

iJy a comparison of the two squadrons, it appears 
that in number of ships they were equal ; that III num- 
ber of f.^iiiis the Spaniards were somewhat superior, 
and that in number of men they exceeded us by one 
thousand two hundred and fifty. The English ad- 
miral, though he had the advantage of the wind, did 


not at first seem over anxious to engage. About two 
o'clock the Spaniards began to tire at a distance. Ad- 
miral Knowles then made a signal for his squadron to 
bear down upon the enemy, and in less than half an 
hour most of the ships were engaged. The two ad- 
mirals fought each other about half an hour, when 
Admiral Knowles, having received some damage, fell 
astern and quitted the line. The Conquestadore, 
being likewise injured in her rigging, was also obliged 
to quit the line of battle, and before she had time to 
repair the damage which she had sustained, she had 
the misfortune to be attacked by the British admiral, 
who had now replaced the yard and main-top-mast 
which he had lost in his engagement with the Africa. 
They fought for some time with great obstinacy. The 
Spanish captain was killed, and the Conquestadore 
finally struck to the Cornwall. The general action 
continued till eight in the evening, when the Spa- 
niards began to edge away towards the Havannah, 
and got safe into port, except the Conquestadore and 
the Africa, which last beino- entirely dismasted, was 

- . 

run on shore and blown up by the Spanish admiral. 
The Spaniards had in this action three captains and 
eighty-six men killed, and one hundred and ninety- 
seven wounded ; among the latter were Admiral 
Reggio and fourteen other officers. The English, 
though they had fifty-nine killed and one hundred 
and twenty wounded, were so fortunate as not to lose 
a single officer. 

After this action the English captains were by no 
means satisfied with each other's conduct. The ad- 
miral himself was accused by some of them, and he 
was afterwards tried by a court-martial, and repri-r 
mancled for not hoisting his (lag on board another 
ship after his own was disabled. It seems, indeed, 
very probable, notwithstanding the superiority of the 
enemy, that if the English fleet had been commanded 
by a Hawke, not a single Spaniard would have 


This was the last naval action of importance pre- 
viously to the general peace, which was finally con- 
cluded in the month of October 1748. The English, 
during this year, took three French and one Spanish 
jnen of war. The whole number of vessels taken 
from the Spaniards since the commencement of the 
Avar amounted to one thousand two hundred and forty- 
nine; from the French to two thousand one hundred 
and eighty-five : in all three thousand four hundred 
and thirty-four, The entire loss of the English 
amounted to three thousand two hundred and thirty- 
eight ships. 

When we consider the immense value of these cap- 
tures; when we reflect that most of this wealth was 
private property; when we count the number of lives 
that have been sacrificed during the war, and recollect 
that all the people sacrificed were neither consulted 
nor concerned in the contest : when we farther reflect, 
that all the princes who caused this horrible destruc- 
tion of life and property, professed the religion of 
peace, charity, philanthropy and concord, we are 
disgusted with human nature, and laugh at the pre- 
tensions that kings make to Christianity. But what 
will the reader think of these mighty potentates, 
when he is told, that, after all this waste of blood 
and treasure, the war ended just where it began. 
None of the contending powers retained any part of 
their acquisitions, the 5th article of the treaty of 
peace having stipulated, that all conquests whatso- 
ever should be restored ; consequently Cape Breton 
was restored to the French, and Madras to the Eng- 
lish. Great Britain had now increased her national 
debt to eighty millions, and her sole consolation was 
her having reduced the navy of France to a state of 
contemptible insignificance. As to that nation, the 
terms of peace were easily settled, because we fought, 
with her without any previous cause of quarrel or dis- 
pute ; she began the war merely in consequence of 
her alliance with Spain ; but against that nation we 


commenced hostilities, solely with a design to secure 
an uninterrupted navigation to our own settlements ; 
nevertheless, strange as it may seem, this important 
article was entirely neglected, or forgotten, by our 
plenipotentiaries at Aix-la-Chapelle. Our right to 
cut logwood in Campeachy and Honduras, an article 
of equal consequence to this nation, was also left un- 
determined. But these were not the only examples 
of inattention, I cannot suppose it ignorance in the 
British ministry at this very important period. The- 
French, in consequence of possessing Canada, had, 
formany years past, been gradually extending the li- 
mits of that province, and, in open violation of the- 
treaty of Utrecht, their encroachments were now 
flagrant and oppressive to our North American colo- 
nies : yet the peace of Aix-la-Chupelle was concluded, 
without this notorious cause of complaint being men- 
tioned by the British plenipotentiaries. The limits* 
of Nova Scotia, another doubtful point, were also 
left undetermined. 

From this precarious state of affairs it was easy to 
foresee, that the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle would be 
of no long duration ; and, from the conduct of the 
French immediately after, their latent intentions were 
obvious. But before w r e proceed to develope the 
principle of the succeeding war, it. is necessary to re- 
cord certain transactions in the British parliament, 
which are immediately connected with our naval his- 

The ministry, for very wise reasons, no doubt, 
brought a bill into parliament, under the title of T 
*' A bill for reducing into one act the laws relating 
to the navy ;" by which the half- pay officers were to- 
be rendered subject to martial law. The sea-officers 
took the alarm : they assembled, and presented a pe- 
tition to the house requesting to be heard by their 
counsel, and though the minister mustered sufficient 
strength to reject the petition, he thought proper to- 
relinquish his unconstitutional attempt, Another 


plan, relative to the navy, was also offered to the 
consideration of parliament, viz* to register a certain 
number of seamen, who, for an annual stipend, 
should be liable to serve when called upon. This 
project, being calculated to supersede the illegal ne- 
cessity of pressing, appeared rational ; nevertheless 
Mr. Pelham found it to be an unpopular measure, and 
therefore gave it up. 

In the course of this year, 1748, the earl of Hali- 
fax, who presided at the board of trade, formed a de- 
sign of establishing a colony in Nova Scotia. His 
projecc v/as approved, and four thousand adventurers, 
under the protection of Colonel Cornwailis, sailed 
from England, and landed in the harbour of Che- 
hnclou, in the neighbourhood of which they built a 
town and called it Halifax. The French were dis- 
pleased with this exertion of our right, and, by way 
of counterbalance, attempted to make a settlement 
.on the iikincl of Tobago in the West Indies; but, in 
consequence of a spirited remonstrance to the court 
of Versailles, they thought proper to desist. They 
continued, nevertheless to assert their title to St. 
Lucia, Tolx;40, and other neutral islands; and in 
North America their daily encroachments wire so 
daring, that the subjects of Great Britain bordering 
on the French settlements, became very loud in their 
complaints to our ministry. The French ministry, 
according to custom, endeavoured to exculpate .them- 
selves by throwing the blame on the governor of Ca- 
nada. After several ineffectual memorials and remon- 
strances delivered by our ambassador at Paris, com- 
missaries, of each nation, were appointed, in the year 
1750, to settle the limits or Acaciia or Nova iScotia. 
These commissaries met at Paris, and proceeded with 
all that deliberate circumspection which is generally 
observed by servants of the pu'.'ic \\-bcse stipends 
jnust end with their commission. The French com- 
jnissaries, in order to guin time by evading the main 
/nation, drew their antaonists into a discussion 


concerning the island of St. Lucia. Meanwhile the 
Indians bordering on the British dominions in North 
America, were instigated by the French to com- 
mence their barbarous hostilities against the defence- 
less inhabitants of our back settlements. The Spa- 
niards, in 17.52, began again their former practice, 
of insolently interrupting our navigation in the West 
Indies by their guarda-costas, and in Europe the navy 
both of France and Spain were daily augmenting. 
In 1753, the conference at Paris, concerning the li- 
mits of Nova-Scotia, ended without efiect; and the 
French continued to extend their dominions in North 
America, by erecting a chain of forts along the lakes 
of Erie and Ontario, so as to connect their settle- 
ments on the Mississippi with Canada. At length, 
presuming on the amazing supineness of the British 
ministry, they crossed Lake Champlain, and built a 
fort at Crown-Point, in the province of New York. 
A reader of English history, who reflects as he reads, 
when he meets with such examples of hvicriviry, 
such want of vigilance, such impolitic procrastina- 

O ' m I t 

tion, is necessarily led to inquire into the cause. 
Is it to be attributed to our natural or political 
constitution? Be this as it may, what we lose 
in power, as in mechanics, we sometimes gain in 

The French ministry, notwithstanding such fla- 
grant acts of hostility in America, continued to amuse 
the court of London with repeated assurances of 
friendship. But carlv in the year 17-55, cerr.-.ii.p in- 
telligence was received, that a considerable fleet of 
men of war \vas preparing to sail from different ports 
in France to America, with a formidable number of 
land-forces on bonrd. The British ministry, roused 
at this intelligence, gave immediate orders to equip 
a squatiion o, L< men of war, and, towaH- t)i^ hitter 
end of April, Admiral Boscawen, with eleven ships 
of the line, sailed for America. He was soon after 

VOL. iv. z 


followed by Admiral Holbourne with six line-of-battle 
ships and one frigate, the ministry having received 
subsequent intelligence that the French fleet, in- 
tended for America, consisted of twenty-five ships of 
the line, &c. This fleet sailefl from Brest in the be- 
ginning of May ; but, after sailing a few leagues 
beyond the mouth of the English channel, Monsieur 
Macnamara, the commander-in-chief, returned to 
Brest, with nine of the capital ships, and the rest 
proceeded to North America under the command of 
Monsieur Bois De la Mothe. Admiral Boscawen's 
orders were to attack the French fleet wheresoever 
lie should meet with it. Being joined by Admiral 
Holbourne, he continued cruising off the Banks of 
Newfoundland, in hopes of intercepting the French 
squadron in their attempt to enter the Gulf of St. 
Lawrence. But the thick fog, so frequent on thafe 
coast, favoured their enterprise, and Monsieur De la 
.Mothe arrived safe at Quebec with his whole squa- 
dron, except the Alcide and the Lys, the first of 
.sixty-four guns and four hundred and eighty men; 
the second of twenty-two, though pierced for sixty- 
four with eight companies of land forces on board. 
These two unfortunate ships fell in with the Dunkirk, 
Captain Howe, and the Defiance, Captain Andrews, 
botli sixty-gun ships. After a resolute engagement 
of five hours, the French ships struck. On board 
the Lys were several officers of distinction, and about 
S0,000/. sterling. 

From the capture of these two ships the com- 
mencement of the war may properly be dated. As 
soon as it was known in Europe, the French ambas- 
sador left London, and the British ministry issued 
general orders for making reprisals in every part of 
the -lobe. In consequence of this resolution, three 
hundred French merchantmen were taken and 
bi ought into England before the expiration of this 
^car. Ou the 21st of July, Sir Eilward llawke 


sailed on a cruise to the westward, with eighteen ships 
of the line, and, on the 14th of October, Admiral 
Byng proceeded to sea with twenty-two ships. Both 
these fleets returned without meeting with any thing 
worth their attention. The French nevertheless bore 
these insults with a degree of patience which astonish- 
ed all Europe. But they were not yet prepared for 
war: their alliances were yet unformed, and their 
fleet was much inferior to that of Great Britain, 
which, at this time, consisted of two hundred and 
thirteen men of war ; that of France, including ships 
upon the stocks, amounted to no more than one hun- 
dred and thirteen. 

In the beginning of this } T ear Major-general Brad- 
dock sailed from Cork, with two -regiments of foot, 
for Virginia, with orders to dispossess the French of 

C7 ' 1 

the lands they had unjustly usurped. That general 
was totally defeated, and slain, by an ambuscade of 
Indians. I have before observed, that tvree hun- 
dred French merchantmen were brought into the 
ports of England; and all this without a declaration 
of war. The British ministry intended, by this ex- 
traordinary conduct, to validate their defensive alli- 
ances, and tnat the private property of the subjects 
of France might not suffer, the several cargoes of the 
ships taken were ordered not to be touched. But 
this appearance of strict justice was a mere chimera, 
because many of these cargoes consisted of perishable 
commodities, and consequently proved a loss to the 
owners, without producing' any profit to those by 
whom they were taken. The French had evidently, 
and flagrantly, broken the bonds of peace by their 
audacious encroachments in America, so palpably 
contradictory to the tenor of treaties between the 
two nations. For the credit of England, I wish that 
a formal declaration of war had preceded the first act 
of hostility on our part. Previously to such decla- 
ration, every act of hostility is a piracy asraiust 

* */'&.-' > 

z 2 


the subjects of either nation. It is surely a suffi- 
cient hardship for subjects to be ruinously involved 
in the quarrels of their superiors after such quarrels 
are notorious ; but to feel the horrible effects of 
such quarrels, whilst these superiors wear the mask 
of mutual friendship, requires a greater degree of 
patience than any subjects can be supposed to pos- 
sess. We now proceed to the naval history of the 
year 1756. 

About the close of the preceding year, overtures of 
accommodation were made on the part of France by 
Monsieur Rouille, secretary of state, in a private let- 
ter to Mr. Fox, secretary of state to his Britannic 
Majesty. But as this application was calculated 
only to amuse the English ministry, in order to gain 
time, it produced no other effect. The French, hav- 
ing now augmented their navy very considerably, or- 
dered all the British subjects in France to depart 
the kingdom, published an edict for the encourage- 
ment of privateers, seized every English vessel in 
their ports, and sent their crews to prison. They 
then began to threaten us with an invasion, and, in 
order to give this project an air of probability, were 
extremely busy in their military preparations on the 
coast of the British Channel. But the design of 

these preparations was merely to divert our attention 
from their armaments in the Mediterranean, where 
the blow was really intended. The king, the mi- 
nistry, and their adherents in parliament, were, how- 
ever, so completely duped by this French manoeuvre, 
that Hessian and Hanoverian troops were sent for to 
protect us, and the repeated authentic information 
concerning the equipment and destination of the 
Toulon fleet totally disregarded. There never was a 
more flagrant example of obstinate infatuation. 

At length the destination of the armament at Ton*. 
Ion was so certainly and universally known, that the 
British ministry started suddenly from their apathy, 


and, like men j'.st awoke from a sound slumber, be- 
gan to act before they had recovered their senses. 
It was known to all Kurope, that the French squa- 
dron at Toulon consisted of thirteen ships of the line, 
and that fifteen thousand land forces were there ready 
for embarkation: nevertheless, only ten British ships 
were ordered for the Mediterranean, and the com- 
mand was given to Admiral Byng, a man whose 
courage and abilities were yet untried. With this 
squadron, not completely manned, without either 
hospital or fire-ship, he sailed from Spithead on the 
7th of April. He had on board Major-general Stuart, 
Lord Effingham, Colonel Cornwallis, and about 
forty inferior officers, whose regiments were in 
garrison at Minorca ; also a regiment of soldiers 
to be landed at Gibraltar, and about a hundred re- 

Admiral Byng arrived at Gibraltar on the 2d of 
May, where he found the Louisa, Captain Edg- 
combe who informed him, that he had been driven 
from Minorca by a French squadron of thirteen ships 
of the line, commanded by Monsieur Galissoniere, 
who had landed 15,000 men on that island. Admiral 
Byng gave immediate orders for the ships to complete 
their provisions and water with all possible expedi- 
tion. On the third day after his arrival, he went on 
shore to confer with General Fowke, the governor of 
Gibraltar, concerning a battalion to be transported 
to Minorca. When the admiral demanded this bat- 
talion, the governor produced three several letters of 
instruction from the war-office, which he could nei- 
ther reconcile with each other, nor with the order 
given by the Admiralty to Admiral Byng. These se- 
veral orders, which were then compared and consider- 
ed by a council of war at Gibraltar, being matter of 
importance to every future commander, whether a. 
land or sea, I must intreat the reader, before lie pro- 
ceeds, to consider attentively Admiral Byng's instruc- 


tions, which he will find in the Appendix, No. I. 
and then to read carefully the orders sent from the 
war-office to General Fowke, which he will find at 
the bottom of this page.* 

The council of war, after mature deliberation, de- 
termined not to part with the battalion required ; first, 
because it appeared, by Lord Barring-ton's first letter, 
that the Fuzileers were to remain at Gibraltar; and, 
secondly, because it was the opinion of the engineers, 
who were well acquainted with Minorca, that to 
throw succours into St. Philip's would be extremely 
difficult, if not impossible. But this resolution of the 
council of war was certainly wrong: for though it 
appeared by Lord Barring-ton's first letter, that the 
Fuzileers were to remain at Gibraltar, that order was 
evidently contradicted by Admiral Byng's instruc- 
tions of a later date, and the order for sending a bat- 
talion to Minorca was repeated and confirmed. How- 
ever, the council of war consented, that one cap- 
tain, six subalterns, five drums, and 235 privates, 
should Ke enibaiked, to supply the deficiency of those 
left at Minorca by Captain -Edgecombe, and without 
which his ships would have been of little service in 
case of an engagement. With regard to Admiral 
Byng's orders, though they were in many respects 
conditional, his orders to save Minorca, at all events, 
were positive and explicit, and this he ought to have 
effected, even at the risk of sacrificing his whole fleet. 

/ o 

* Lord Barrington's letter to General Fowke, dated the 2 1st of 
March, says, " The king has ordered the royal regiment of Fu J 
zileers to embark immediately for ( tar, and that upon their 1 
arrival you are to make a detachment equal to a battalion, from 
the four regiments in garrison, to Minorca." The second letter, 
without any reference to the first, repeats the order for embarking 
a battalion on board the lleet; for the relief of Minorca, in case 
there was any probability of its being attacked ; and the third let- 
ter, dated April 1st orders the governor to receive such women 
and children, belonging to the FuzilcerSj ' as Admiral Byng shoufd 
think fit to land. 


Be tliis as it may, he sailed from Gibraltar on the 8th 
of May, and, on the U>th. arrived at Majorca, where 
he was joined by the Phr^n^r, Captain HcTvey, who 
confirmed the intelligence revive to the French fleet 
and the siege of St. Philip. He then steered for Mi- 
norca, but having contrary winds, did not make 
that island until the morning of the 1.9th, when he 
saw the English Hag still flying on the castle of St. 
Philip, and several bomb-batteries playing upon it 
from the enemy's works. There have been British 
admirals, who at such a prospect, would have sworn 
to relieve the garrison, or perish in the attempt ! Early 
in the morning, the admiral dispatched Captain lier- 
vey, in the Phoenix, with the Chesterfield and Dol- 
phin, with orders to reconnoitre the entrance into the 
harbour, and, if possible, to convey a letter to Gene- 
ral Blakeney.* Captain Hervey got round the La 5 re 

* Though this letter from the admiral was not delivered, it is 
necessary that the reader should know its contents ; because no cir- 
cumstance ought to be concealed which may, in any degree, tend 
to elucidate a transaction attended by such serious consequences. 


11 I send you this by Captain Hervey, of his Majesty's ship 
Phoenix, who has my orders to convey it to you, if possible, toge- 
ther with the enclosed packet, which he received at Leghorn. I 
am extremely concerned to find that Captain Edgecombe was obliged to 
retire to Gibraltar with the ships under his command, and that the 
French arc landed, and St.Philip's castleis invested ; as 1 'flatter myself, 
-had i fortunately been more timely in the Mediterranean, that I 
should have been able to have prevented the enemy's getting a foot- 
ing in the island of Minorca. I am to acquaint you, that General 
Stuart, Lord Effingham, and Colonel Cornwallis, with about thirty 
officers, and some recruits belonging to the different regiments now 
in garrison with you, are on board the ships of the squadron and 
shall be glad to know, by the return of the officer, what place you 
will think proper to have them landed at. The royal regiment of Eng- 
lish Fuzileers, commanded by Lord Robert i3ertie, is likewise on 
board th squadron, destined, agreeable to my orders, to serve on 
board the fleet in the Mediterranean, unless it should be thought 
necessary, upon consultation with yuu ; to Jaud the regiment f-wf 


before nine o'clock in the morning; lie made signals 
to the garrison for a boat to come off; but without 
effect, and the admiral, about this time, discovering 
the iiuicb fleet, ordered him to return. 

Admiral Byng now stood towards the enemy, and 
about two in the afternoon made a signal for the line 
of battle a-heati. lie then distributed as many seamen 
as could be spared from the frigates, on board such 
ships as were most in want of 'hands, and converted 
the Phoenix into a fire-ship. At seven in the evening 
the French squadron, being then about two leagues 
distant, tacked, in order to gain the weather-gage; 
and the English admiral, not chusing to relinquish 
that advantage, also put his ships about. 

On the 20th, in the morning, the weather being 
hazy, the French fleet could not be discovered ; but 
it became visible before noon, and at two o'clock 
Admiral Byng made a signal to bear away two points 
from the wind and engage. Rear-admiral West was 
then at too great a distance to comply with both 
these orders ; he therefore bore away seven points 
from the wind, and with his whole division attacked 
the enemy with such impetuosity, that several of their 
ships were soon obliged to quit the line. Had Ad- 
miral Byng been equally alert and eager to engage, it 
is most probable that the French fleet would have 
been defeated and Minorca saved ; but the enemy's 
centre keeping their station, and Byng's division not 
advancing, Admiral West was prevented from pursu- 

the defence of Minorca ; but I must also inform you, should the 
Fuzileers bo landed, as they arc part of the ships' complements, tho 
marines having been ordered by the lords commissioners of the Ad- 
miralty on board of other ships at Portsmouth., to make room for 
them, that it will disable (he squadron from acting against that of 
the enemy, nhich 1 am informed, is cruising off the island ; how- 
ever, I shall gladly embrace every opportunity of promoting his 
jv'ajesiy's service in (he most effectual manner, and shall assist you 
to distress the enemy, and deficit their designs to the utmost c.f my 


ing his advantage, by the apprehension of being se- 
paraud from the rest of the fleet. 

After engaging about a quarter of an hour, the In- 
trepid, the stcniniosr Jiip of the van, lost her fore- 
top-inast, which, according to Byngs account of the 
action, obliged his whole division to back their sails, 
to prevent their fallirg foul of each other. But when 
this matter came to be examined by the court-mar- 
tial, it appeared, that immediately after the signal for 
engaging, whilst the van were bearing down upon the 
enemy, Admiral Byng, in the Kami Hies, edged away 
some points, by which means the Trident and Louisa 
got to windward of him, and that, in order to bring 
them again into their stations, he backed his mizen- 
top-sail, and endeavoured to back his main-top-sail. 
This manoeuvre necessarily retarded all the ships in 
his division, and gave the enemy time to escape. M. 
Galissoniere seized the opportunity, and, his ships 
being clean, was soon out of danger. But Admiral 
Byng, before the engagement, ordered the Deptford 
to quit the line, in order to reduce his line of battle 
to the same number of ships as that of the enemy. 
For this apparent generosity he was censured by the 
court-martial : nevertheless, there does not appear to 
be any great impropriety in reserving one or more su- 
pernumerary ships in readiness to supply the place of 
those which may happen to be disabled. 

From this relation of facts, the reader will easily 
perceive that Admiral Byng's conduct was by no 
ineansjustiriable. The naval reader sees very clearly, 
from the situation of the two fleets, relative to the 
wind, that he might have fought if he would; and, 
from a comparison of the two fleets, it will seem 
more than probable, to those who are acquainted 
with the superior activity and skill of our sailors in 
time of action, that a decisive victory might have 



been expected.* Whether Admiral Byng's conduct 
is justly to be ascribed to his excessive prudence, his 
want of skill, or want of courage, is difficult to deter- 
mine. Probably these three causes operated in con- 
junction to produce the fatal effect. The only plau- 
sible argument that can be urged in extenuation of 
this admiral's conduct is, that he might be too 
strongly imprest by the recollection of Mathevvs and 
Lestock ; the first of whom was punished for fighting, 
not" according to rule, and the latter not punished, 
though he did not fight at all. 

The English had", in this engagement, forty-two 
men killed, and one hundred and sixty-eight wound- 
ed ; the French, one hundred and forty-five wounded, 
and twenty-six killed. Captain Andrews, of the 




. Men. 


s. Men 










La Couronne, 






Le G uerricr, 






Le Temeraire, 






Le Redoubtable 

, 74 











Le Fier, 






Le Triton, 






Le Lion, 






Le Content, 






Le Sage, 


















La Juno, 






La Rose, 












La Topez, 






La Nymph, 








Defiance, was the only officer of distinction, on 
board the English fleet, who lost his life on this occa- 
sion. The French fleet soon disappeared, and at eight 
in the evening, Admiral Byng made a signal for his 
squadron to bring to, at which time the Intrepid and 
the Chesterfield were missing : the former, being dis- 
abled, had been left to the cave of the latter. They 
joined the fleet next morning, and the admiral then 
finding that three of his squadron were damaged in 
their masts, called a council of war, at which Gene- 
ral Stuart, Lord Effing-ham, Lord Robert Bertie, and 
Colonel Cornwallis were requested to assist. 

The council cf war being assembled on board of the 
Ramillies, the following questions were proposed by 
Admiral Byng : 

1. Whether an attack upon the French fleet gives 
any prospect of relieving Minorca. Answer. It would 

2. If there was no French fleet cruising off Minor- 
ca, whether the English fleet could raise the siege ? 
Ans. It could not. 

3. Whether Gibraltar would not be in danger by 
any accident that may befal this fleet ? Ans. It would 
be in danger. 

4. Whether an attack with our fleet, in the present 
state of it, upon that of the French, will not endan- 
ger the safety of Gibraltar, and expose the trade of 
the Mediterranean to great hazard? Ans. It would. 

5. Whether it is not for his Majesty's service, that 
the fleet should immediately proceed for Gibraltar ? 
Ans. It should proceed for Gibraltar. 

Here I must beg leave to retard the progress of 
our history a few moments, for the sake of the na- 
val reader, to whom the consideration of these five 
resolutions may prove of infinite importance ; these 
volumes being written with an intention, not only to 
record the heroic virtues of our naval commanders in 
times past ; not only to amuse the gentlemen, who, 
in the present age have the honour to serve on board 


the British fleet ; hut to animate, to inform, and to 
warn them by example ; I have, more than once, 
observed, and the truth of my observation hath been 
frequently confirmed, that councils of war seldom 
forebode much heroism. When a commander-in- 
chief, whose power is absolute, condescends to ask 
advice of his inferiors, it is a tacit acknowledgment, 
that his abilities are inadequate to his power ; or 
that he is inclined to do that for which he dares not 
be responsible. I do not believe, there was one mem- 
ber of tins council of war, who, if the five resolutions 
had depended upon his single voice, would not have 
answered them all in the negative. I am also of opi- 
nion, that if Admiral Byng had been positively order- 
ed to call no councils of war, but to relieve Minorca 
at all events, he would have destroyed the French 
fleet, saved the island, and would have returned tri- 
umphant to Britain ; unless we are to suppose him 
constitutionally a coward ; for on such a being, the 
present, though least, danger always acts most pow- 

How this council of war could determine, that it 
was impossible to relieve Minorca, without ever mak- 
ing the least attempt for that purpose, is incredibly 
astonishing; and, indeed, it afterwards appeared, 
that the troops on board might have been landed at 
the sally-port with little danger : for Mr. Boyd, com- 
missary of the stores, actually went out to sea in a 
small boat, in search of the English fleet, and return- 

> . 

ed safe to the garrison. As to their concern for the 
safety of Gibraltar, their apprehensions were in the 
highest degree ridiculous. According, however, to 
the fifth resolution of the council, Admiral Byng re- 
turned with his fleet to Gibraltar, and Galissoniere 
to his former station off Cape Mola, I low the garri- 
son of St. Philip's must have been affect ed, when they 
beheld the French squadron return triumphant, and 
afterwards heard a J'eu de joi/c in the enemy's camp, 
may be easily conceived. The besiegers had doubt- 


less cause to rejoice at the safe return of their fleet, 
though not on account of any victory obtained by 
their admiral ; for the two admirals evidently ran 
from each other. But though the garrison were not 
a little disappointed at Byng's disappearance, they ne- 
vertheless defended the castle till the 28th of June, 
when, despairing of relief from England, and ratio- 
nally supposing that, in the great system of politics, 
they were intended to be sacrificed, after a gallant de- 
fence often weeks, the venerable Blakeney, on very 
honourable terms, surrendered Minorca to the Due 
De Richlieu. 

Admiral Byng arrived at Gibraltar on the 19th of 
June, where Commodore Broderick had come to an 
anchor four days before, with a reinforcement of five 
ships of the line, which were sent from England in 
consequence of certain intelligence that the French 
were fitting out more ships at Toulon. Thus enforc- 
ed, Admiral Byng determined to return to Minorca, 
in hopes of being yet in time to relieve the garrison ; 
but while he was with great activity preparing for 
this second enterprise, the Antelope of 50 guns arriv- 
ed at Gibraltar. On board of this ship were Admiral 
Hawke, Admiral Saunders, and Lord Ty raw ley, who 
were commissioned to supersede and arrest Admiral 
Byng, Admiral West, and Governor Fowke. The 
three delinquents were, accordingly, sent on board 
the Antelope, and returned prisoners to England. 
Sir Edward Hawke, with the fleet under his com- 
mand, sailed immediately up the Mediterranean ; 
but, upon his arrival off Minorca, he had the morti- 
fication to seethe French flag flying on St. Philip's 
castle. As soon as the garrison surrendered, Galisso- 
niere prudently retired to Toulon, where he remained 
in security, whilst Sir Edward Hawke asserted the 
naval empire of Great Britain, insight of an enemy 
elated with the conquest of a small island, which they 
were afterwards obliged to relinquish. This con- 
quest, though really insignificant, caused such ex- 


travagant exultation in France, such an universal T& 
Deum laudamus, that one might rationally have sup- 
posed the British empire totally annihilated. 

The people of England, on the contrary, received 
the intelligence of Bvnafs retreat with general dissa- 

O <' O O 

tisfaction, and, without the least enquiry into the 
conduct of the ministry, pointed all their resentment 
against that unfortunate admiral. The ministry join- 
ed in the cry, doing every thing in their power to di- 
vert the resentment of the people from themselves. 
That Mr. Byng's conduct was, in many respects, ex- 
tremely reprehensible, is most certain ; but it is not 
less certain, that the ministry were equally inexcusa- 
ble, for not sending troops to Minorca much sooner, 
and for not giving Byng a superior fleet. If the five 
ships which afterwards sailed to his assistance, had 
made part of his squadron, Galissoniere must have tied 
.at his approach, and Minorca would infallibly have 
been saved. But these reflections, whilst they fix, 
eternal obloquy on the administration, do not excul- 
pate the admiral. The exigency and importance of 
the service on which he was sent, required a sacrifice 
of prudence to necessity. Our history affords many 
examples of English fleets obtaining a complete vic- 
tory over an enemy far superior in number of guns 
and men ; but these victories were gained by admirals 
who disdained to calculate the exact weight of metal 
in each squadron. 

Admiral Byng, Admiral West, and General Fowkc, 
arrived at Portsmouth on the 3d of July. The two 
latter were ordered to London, where Admiral West 
was graciously received bv the king. The general 

/ u O Cv 

was tried for disobedience of orders in not sending a 
battalion to the relief of Minorca, and sentenced to 
be suspended for a year. The king confirmed the 
sentence, and afterwards dismissed him the service. 
Admiral Hvng, after continuing some time in arrest 
at Portsmouth, was escorted to Greenwich-hospital, 
where he remained close prisoner till December, the,' 


time appointed for his 1 rial, which began on the 28th 
of that month, on board the St. George in Portsmouth 
harhour. The court martial consisted of four admi- 
rals, and ninecaptains of the navy.* They sat a 
month, daily examining evidence for and against the 
prisoner. Admiral West deposed, that he saw no 
reason why the rear-division might not have engaged 
the enemy as close as did the van, and that there was 
no signal made for giving chace when the French 

O v77 Cs 

sheered oft*. General Blakeney deposed, that, on the 
20th of May, boats might have passed between the 
fleet and the garrison with great security, and that if 
the troops ordered for his relief had been landed, he 
could have held out till the arrival of Sir Edward 
Hawke. Captain Young of the Intrepid, declared, 
that the loss of his fore-top-mast did not appear to 
prevent the rear-division from bearing down upon the 
enemy. Captain Gardiner deposed, that he advised 
the admiral to bear down, but without effect, and 
that, on the day of the action, the admiral took the 
command of the Ramillies entirely upon himself -- 
These cogent depositions were corroborated by other 
witnesses, and not in the least degree invalidated by 
any counter-evidence in favour of the delinquent. 
But some of the officers who were on board his ship, 
and near him during the engagement, deposed, that 
lie discovered no signs of confusion, or want of per- 
sonal courage, but that he gave his orders distinctly, 
and with apparent coolness. The admiral's speech in 
his defence, was inadequate to the great purpose of 
effacing the impression which the powerful evidence 
against him had made upon the court; they, there- 
fore, found him guilty of a breach of that part of the 
twelfth article of war, which says,< " or shall not do 
his utmost to take or destroy every ship which it shall 
be his duty to eiiffajre ; and to assist and relieve all 

5 *^ 

* Admirals. Smith president: Holbourne, Norris, Broderick. 
Captains. Holmes, Boys, Siuicoc, Beutley, Dennis, Geary, 
j Douglas^ K.eppel. 


and every of his Majesty's ships which it shall he his 
duty to assist and relieve." He was, therefore, sen- 
tenced to he shot, that being the punishment posi- 
tively ordained for a hreach of this article. The 
court, however, being of opinion, that Admiral Byng's 
misconduct did not proceed from want of courage or 
disaffection, added to the report of their proceedings 
to the lords of the Admiralty, a petition, requesting 
their lordships most earnestly to recommend him to 
his Majesty's clemency. 

The lords of the Admiralty, having compared the 
sentence of the court-martial with the words of the 
twelfth article of war, which are, " Every person in 
the fleet, who through cowardice, negligence, or dis- 
affection, shall," &c. and not finding the crime of ne-- 

4 ^ 

ligence, he heing acquitted of the other two, imput- 
ed hv the court, were in douht concerning the lera- 

> o 

lity of the sentence ; they, therefore, presented a 
memorial to the king, requesting, that the opinion of 
the twelve judges might he taken. This was accord- 
ingly done, and the judges pronounced it a legal sen- 
tence. After the lords of the Admiralty had signed a 
warrant for Admiral Byng's execution, some of the 
memhers of the court-martial expressed a wish to he 
released, hy act of parliament, from their oath of se- 
crecy. A hill for this purpose, accordingly passed 
the House of Commons; hut when it came to a se- 
cond reading in the House of Lords, each member of 
the court-martial was separately asked, whether he 
had any tiling to reveal which might incline the king 
to pardon the delinquent. Strange as it may seem, 
they all answered in the negative ! and, on the 14th 
of March, Admiral John Byng was shot on hoard the 
Monarque, in the harbour of Portsmouth. 

This exemplary punishment of a British admiral, 
was an event so singular, and so interesting to every 
gentleman of the navy, that it seems to require a few 
reflections before we dismiss the subject. '1 hat the 
admiral did not exert his utmost power against the 


enemy, is very evident; and it is equally apparent, 
his fleet having- the advantage of the wind, that his 
fighting- or not fighring was matter or' choice. Hence, 
it necessarily follows, allowing that he ought to have 
fought, that he either wanted judgment or resolution. 
As to judgment, it certainly required very little, to 
comprehend the importance of the service on which 
he was sent, and still less knowledge of the history 
of human events, not to know, that, when great 
achievements are required, something must be left to 
fortune, regardless of the calculation of chances, In 
all battles, whether at sea or in the field, fortuitous 
events have vast influence; but in naval combats 
most frequently, where a single accidental shot from 
a frigate may disable a first rate man of war. This 
consideration is alone sufficient to determine any com- 
mander of a king's ship, never to strike so long as he 
can swim, be the force of his antagonist ever so supe- 
rior. Upon the whole, I believe we may equitably 
conclude, that Admiral Byng was constitutionally de- 
ficient in that degree of personal intrepidity, by no 
means essential to the character of a private gentle- 
man, but which is the sine qua non of a British admi-? 
ral. The justice of punishing a man for a constituti- 
onal defect, rests solely on his accepting his commis- 
sion with the articles of war in his hand. But, ad- 
mitting that we are satisfied in regard to the justice 
of his execution, in consequence of the sentence of 
jthe court-martial, we are not at all satisfied with the 
conduct of that, or those members of that court, who 
were so anxious to be released from their oath of se- 
crecy as to push an act for tint purpose through the 
House of Commons, and who afterwards spoke ano- 
ther language at the bar of the House of Lords. 
Truth or calumny, I know not which,, have whisper- 
ed, that Lord Anson's private remonstrances deprived 
Byng of that last ray of hope, which some scruples cr' 
conscience gave him reason to expect, and the public 



of that satisfaction which they have still a right to 
demand. I say this on a presumption that the per- 
son alluded to is now living. [1779] 

The pursuit of this tragedy to its catastrophe hav- 
ing carried us somewhat beyond the limits of the year 
17.56', it is necessary that we should now resume the 
thread of our relation of such public transactions as 
were connected with the naval history of this king- 
dom. Hitherto, we have seen Great Britain and 
France actually at war, without the ceremony of an 
open declaration. Why this formality was so long 
deferred must be ascribed to political considerations, 
by which the ministers of both countries, were influ- 
enced ; but how cogent soever these considerations 
might seem to a cabinet-council, a piratical war be- 
tween two polished nations is unjust to the subjects of 
both : the reason is obvious. However, in the begin- 
ning of May, the British ministry being no longer in 

tr? t/ * ^ o 

doubt concerning the invasion of Minorca by the 
French, determined to throw off the mask ; accord- 
ingly a declaration of war with that nation was pub- 
lished in London, on the 18th, and on the 9th of 
June, war with England was proclaimed at Paris. 

One principal design of this history being to perpe- 
tuate the names of such naval commanders, as, by 
their gallant actions, deserve to be recorded in the 
annals of Britain, I cannot omit an engagement which 
happened on the 17th of May off Roch fort, between 
the Colchester, of 50 guns, commanded by Captaii^ 
O'Brian, and the Lime, of CO guns, with the Aquilon, 
of 48 guns, M. DC Maurville, and the Fidclle, of 36 
s/.'iuib, M. J)e Litanhiis. They were within gun-shot 
;Jn)ut six in the evening, and soon came to so close 
an engagement, that the fore-sail of the Lime was set 
on lire by the wad.s of the Fidelle, against whom, 
notwithstanding the great inequality of strength, she 
maintained a glorious contest upwards of li\e hours; 
when the Fidclle retreated iiriim- signals of distress, 


ami the Lime was so shattered as to be totally inca- 
pable of making any sail ahead. The Colches'er and 
the Aquilon fought with equal intrepidity till past 
midnight, and then parted with mutual honour and 
satisfaction. Previously to this action, the Warwick 
of 6'0 guns, Captain Shuldham, oil' Martinico, falling 
in with three French men of war, was taken, after an 
obstinate running fight, in which she lost her captain 
and a considerable number of men. 

Our fleet in North America was, during this year, 
not totally inactive. A French man of war of 50 
guns, called L'Arc-en-cicl, with troops and military 
stores for Louisbourg, was taken off that port by the 
Norwich and Litchlield, both 50 gun ships, belonging 
to Admiral Spry's squadron. On the 26th of July, 
off the harbour of Louisbourg, Commodore Holmes 
on board the Grafton, with the Nottingham, and 
the Hornet and Jamaica sloops, fell in with two 
French men of war, Le Hero, L'lllustre, and tvvo 
frigates, which were returning from Canada. The 

o ' O 

enemy being to windward, Commodore Holmes stood 
towards them, as near the wind as he could lie. 
The French squadron bore down upon him till within 
about two leagues distance, when the English tacked 
with a design to cut the enemy off from the port of 
Louisbourg ; but they hauled in for it, and came to an 
anchor about noon. Commodore Holmes pursued them 
till within a league of the harbour, where he laid to 
till four in the afternoon, and then made sail to the 
eastward. As soon as it was dark, he dispatched the 
Hornet sloop to Halifax, to request a reinforcement, 
being much inferior to the enemy. At eight next 
morning, the four French ships, above-mentioned, 
weighed anchor, sailed out of the harbour, and gave 
him chace. The English ships stood from the enemy 
at first, and fought them for some time with their 
stern chace only; bvifc the Grafton at length hauled 
up her coursers, bunted her main-sail, and bore down 

A A C 


upon the French commodore, who was also attacked 
by the Nottingham. L'lllustre was prevented from 
assisting his partner, by a sudden calm ; but a breeze 
springing up soon after, the French were again united 
about seven in the evening. At dusk, the battle end- 
ed, and the two squadrons separated. According to 
the French account of this engagement, the two 
English ships sheered off when they saw the Illustre 
coming up ; and next morning, Monsieur Beausier, 
the commodore, finding the English at too great a 
distance, returned to Louisbourg, with the loss of 
eighteen men killed, and forty-eight wounded. The 
English account, on the contrary, assures us, that, 
before it grew dark, the French sheered offj and next 
morning, prevented a renewal of the action, by bear- 
ing away right before the wind for Louisbourg. The 
Hero was considerably injured. The Graftonhad six 
men killed and twenty-one wounded. 

Spain, at this time, affected to entertain sentiments 
of sincere friendship towards England, and declared 
herself determined to maintain the strictest neutrality: 
nevertheless, she had so continued to augment her 
navy, that she had now forty-six ships of the line and 
twenty-two frigates almost n't for service. Notwith- 
standing the pacific declarations of the Spanish 
ministry, they were certainly determined, as soon as 
they were ready, if not to break with Jngland, at 
least to try her patience to the utmost. The g-uarda- 
costas began again to insult our trade in the West 
Indies, and private orders were sent to prevent our 
cutting logwood in the Bay of Honduras. But these 
insults being insufficient to provoke the British minis- 
try, the haughty Spaniard resolved to seize the iirst 
opportunity of insulting us nearer home. A French 
privateer having taken an English vessel on the coast 
of France, brought her to an anchor under the guns 
oi Algezire, a Spanish fort in $*e Bay of Gibraltar. 
Sir Edward Hawke, whose squadron was at this time 


riding in the Buy, and Lord Ty raw ley, governor of 
Gibraltar, immediately sent to demand the restitution 
of the prize, which the governor of Algezire positively 
refused. The English officer who carried this de- 
mand, being attended with a number of armed boats, 
with orders to cut the ship out, and to bring her off 
at all events, proceeded to execute his orders, and 
carried his point; but the castle gave him so warm a 
reception, that, above a hundred of his men were 
cither killed or wounded. The court of Spain ap- 
proved of the governor's conduct, and pretended to 
be violently offended with that of Sir Edward Hawke. 
England bore this outrage with Christian patience; and 
the impression it made was soon obliterated by a greater. 
Human nature, collected into states and kingdoms, 
is influenced by the follies, passions, and vices, bv 
which individuals are generally governed. The man 
who wants spirit to resent the first affront, must soon 
expect a second ; so it is with nations. The Anti- 
gallican, an English private ship of war, of thirty 
carriage and sixteen swivel guns, commanded by 
Captain William Foster, cruising in the Bay of Biscay, 
fell in with Le Due De Pcnthievre, a French East 
Indiaman, on the 2o'th of December, about seven 
leagues from Ferrol. The Indiaman, mounting fifty 
guns, being to windward, bore down upon the Anti- 
gallican, and fired a gun to bring her to. She then 
hoisted her colours. The Frenchman fired a broad- 
side, and half another, with considerable effect, before 
the Antigallican returned the compliment. A close 
engagement ensued, and continued three hours, when 
the Indiaman struck, her captain and twelve men 
being killed, and her second captain and twenty-seven 
men wounded. They were, at this time, five leagues 
and a half distant from the light-house at Corunna. 
Captain Foster attempted to curry his prize into Lis- 
bon; but, finding it impossible to make that port, he 
bore away for Cadiz, where, as soon as he came to an 
anchor, the officers of the Indiaman deposed upon 


oath, that their ship was, in all respects, a legal prize. 
Nevertheless, incredible as it may seem, it was not 
Ions: before orders were sent from Madrid, to the 
governor of Cadiz, to detain both the ships, under 
pretence that the Indiaman was taken so near a Spa- 
nish fort, as to be within the distance prescribed by 
the law of nations: a palpable falsehood! The 
Spaniards pretended to institute a legal inquiry; but 
their proceedings were a disgrace to all law and 
equity. Sir Benjamin Keene at Madrid, and Mr. 
Golds worth, the English consul at Cadiz, in vain 
remonstrated. The court of Spain sent a positive 
order for the prize to be delivered to the French con- 
sul, and the governor of Cadiz, on Captain Foster's 
refusing: to strike the English colours, sent a sixty-gun 

O en */ C5 

ship and a thirty-gun frigate to reduce the Penthi- 
evre to obedience by force. They continued firing 
upon her nearly two hours, without a single shot be- 
ing returned. They shot away his ensign, killed the 
sailorwho was sent to strike his pendant, and wounded 
seven of his men. When the Spanish commodore 
had thus amused himself as long as he thought fit, 
Captain Foster was told that he was not a prisoner, 
and suffered to go on shore, and was afterwards told 
bv the o-overnor, that he had no farther commands 

* p O 

for him: nevertheless, he was next morning dragged 
to prison, and his crew, after being robbed and 
abused by the Spanish soldiers, were thrown into a 
loathsome dungeon, where they must inevitably have 
perished of hunger, but for the humanity of the Bri- 
tish consul. These unhappy men were not released 
till the 5th of March. 

It is as painful to the British historian as to the 
British reader, to contemplate the insolent cruelty 
and injustice of Spain, in this and the preceding ex- 
ample. In some periods of our history, not a nation 
under heaven wnild have dared thus to provoke the 
growling lion. Ii this had happened in the reign of 
Elizabeth, or during Cromwell's usurpation, Cadiz 


would have been laid in ashes in less than a month. 
But the political system of the British ministry 
prompted them rather to submit to any insult, than 
risk a Spanish war. The people of England grew 
dissatisfied. Braddock's deteat, the reduction of 
Oswego and other forts in America; the loss of Mi- 
norca, and the absurd disposition and employment of 
the navy, convinced them, that the ministry werd 
unequal to the importance of their several offices. 
The nation became clamorous, and the kino; at last 


consented to a partial change in the administration. 
Mr. Pitt was appointed secretary of state for the 
southern department, and Mr. Legge nominated 
chancellor of the exchequer. 

The people in general were extremely delighted 
with this change of men, in full confidence that a 
change of measures would follow; but too much of 
the old leaven still remained, to suffer the full exertion 
of heroic patriotism. These new ministers began to 
act upon principles so diametrically opposite to those 
of their colleagues in administration, that they were 
hardly seated in their places, before it was determined 
to remove them. They were represented to the king 
as two obstinate, wayward servants of the people, 
rather than of the crown, and totally ignorant of that 
political system by which Hanover could possibly be 
preserved This artful appeal to his Majesty's natural 
affections, produced the desired effect. On the 5th 
of April Air. Pitt, by the king's command, was dis- 
missed the office of secretary of state; and Mr. 
Legge having also resigned, was succeeded by Lord 
Mansfield in the office of chancellor of the exchequer. 
This sudden dismission of the two popular ministers, 
surprised and alarmed the nation ; and, instead of 
disgracing them with the people, added infinitely to 
their popularity. Many of the principal cities in 
England complimented them with their fiecdom in 
gold boxes, and the whole nation became at last so 
clamorous, that it was soon thought advisable to 


solicit their re-acceptance of the places from which 
they had been so lately dismissed. Mr. Pitt resumed 
his office of secretary of state for the southern de- 
partment on the 12.9th of June, and Mr. Legge that of 
chancellor of the exchequer a few days after. From 
this time Mr. Pitt became prime minister, though the 
principal persons who composed the late administra- 
tion remained in office. The duke of Newcastle was 
appointed first lord of the- treasury, Mr. Fox pay- 
master-general of the army, and Lord Anson first lord 
of the Admiralty. 

The iirst expedition in which the navy bore a part, 
after Mr. Pitt's restoration, was that against Roch- 
fort, on the coast of France. This minister con- 
ceivedj that the most effectual means of stopping the 
progress of the French armies in Germany, was, by 
ravaging their coast, to call their attention to the 
security of their own dominions. Rochfort became 
the first object of his attention, in consequence of 
certain intelligence which he had received from a 
Captain Clerk, who informed him, that, returning 
from Gibraltar in the year 1744-, he visited Rochfort,, 
with a design to make himself acquainted with its 
strength, in case of a war with France, and that he 
found its fortifications in so ruinous a state, that the 
town might be easily taken by a coup-de-wain; pre- 
suming that it remained in the same situation, 
because the fortifications had not been repaired during 
the two last wars with England. Captain -Clerk's 
information was afterwards laid before the cabinet, 
and Tierry, a French pilot, was closely examined, 
concerning the practicability of landing and protect- 
ing the troops. 

The ministry being now perfectly satisfied, as to 
the feasibility and importance of the enterprise, a for- 
midable fleet was immediately ordered to Spithead, 
and ten regiments of foot encamped on the Isle of 
Wight, Sir John Mordaunt, knight of the bath, 
commanded the troops, and Sir Edward Ilawke the 


fleet of men of war ordered for this service. The des- 
tination of this formidable armament remained a 
profound secret for some time; it was, however, at 
last, generally understood to be intended against 
some part of the coast of France. Mr. Pitt, perfectly 
sensible of the necessity of proceeding with all possi- 
ble expedition, repeatedly urged the departure of the 
fleet; but, either by some unaccountable fatality, or 
by the malignant influence of men who would damn 
their country to thwart the measures of an envied 
minister, the transports did not arrive at St. Helen's 
till the 4th of September. The troops were embarked 
with all possible expedition, and the fleet got under 
sail on the 8th. This entire armament consisted of 
sixteen ships of the line, seven frigates, two bomb- 
ketches, two fire-ships, two busses, one horse-ship, 
and fifty-five transports, besides the Jason, a forty- 
gun ship, in the capacity of a transport, and the 
Chesterfield man of war, for the purpose of repeating 
signals. On board of this fleet were ten regiments of 

O f v 1 

foot, two regiments of marines, sixty light horse, 
and a formidable train of artillery. The admirals 
under Sir Edward Hawke were Knowles and Bro- 
derick, and under Sir John Mordaunt were the Gene- 
rals Con way and Cornwallis. 

This fleet sailed from St. Helen's with a fair wind, 
and bore away to the westward. The troops on board 
were totally ignorant of their destination till the 15th, 
when the orders issued by Sir John Mordaunt relative 
to the nature of the service on which they \vere sent, 
put the matter out of doubt. They stood into the 
Bay of Biscay, and on the 20th made the Isle of 
Oleron. Sir Edward Hawke sent immediate orders 
for Admiral Knowles to proceed with his division to 
Basque Road, and to attack the fort on the Isle of 
Aix; but the execution of this order, though posi- 
tive, was suspended by a very extraordinary accident. 
Admiral Knowles, as soon as he received these orders, 
iuade sail with his division, and prepared his ships for 


action ; but he had scarcely taken leave of Sir Ed- 
ward Hawke, before a French man of war was 
observed standing in towards the centre of the Eng- 
lish fleet. When this singular phenomenon appeared, 
Admiral Knowles was so deeply engaged in the im* 
portant occupation of exhibiting the entertaining 
spectacle of a clear ship between decks to General 
Conway, that he could not possibly attend to the first 
information brought by his lieutenant. However, in 
consequence of a second message, the admiral came 
upon deck, and, with his spy-glass, discovered this 
strange sail to be a two-decked ship. Admiral 
Knowles recollecting that he was sent on a different 
service, but not recollecting the comparative impor- 
tance of that service, was in doubt whether he should 
make a signal for any of his division to chase: dur- 
ing this hesitation, the French ship discovered her 
mistake, tacked, and bore away with all the sail she 
could crowd. The admiral continued still to doubt, 
and doubted so long, that all possibility of coming 
up with her before night vanished. At last, however, 
Admiral Knowles ordered the Magnanime and the 
Torbay to give chase. They chased as long as they 
could see their object, and next morning rejoined the 

On the 21st, Admiral Knowles, with the division 
under his command, made sail towards the land ; 
but the weather proving hazy, the pilots refused to 
carry the fleet in. This evening the troops were in 
full expectation of landing; but about seven o'clock 
the ships tacked, and came to an anchor near the Isle 
of Rhee. On the <2 l 2i\ t the fleet entered the bay 
called the Road of Basque, between the Islands of 
Rhee and Oleron, and there remained at anchor dur- 
ing the night. About eight next morning, Admiral 
Knowles in the Neptune, with the Magnanime, the 
Bartleur, America, Alcide, Burford, and Royal Wil- 
liam, made sail towards Aix, a small island in the 
mouth of the river leading up to Rochfort. Captain 


Howe, in the Magnanime, led the van. At half past 
twelve, the fort upon the island began to fire upon 
him, and his people soon grew impatient to return 
the compliment. But he continued to advance with 
the utmost composure, without firing a single shot, 
continually urging his pilot to lay the ship as close to 
the fort as possible. The moment he came abreast 
of the battery, he let go his anchors, and fired a 
broadside, which drove most of the Frenchmen from 
their guns. From this time, the fire from the battery 
gradually ceased. It was, however, near an hour 
before she struck her colours. That this island 
should prove so easy a conquest, will not appear sur- 
prising, when the reader is informed, that the battery 
so furiously attacked by the Magnanime, consisted of 
no more than six iron cannon, mounted en barbet ; 
so that the gunners were so entirely exposed, that 
Captain (afterwards Lord) Howe, might have taken 
the fort in his long-boat. There were indeed near 
thirty pieces of cannon upon the island ; but the six 
above mentioned were all that were brought to bear 
upon the ships. The fortifications of Aix were 
planned by the great Vauban; but the execution of 
that plan had been so totally neglected, that the 
island was, at this time, entirely defenceless. 

As soon as the French colours were struck, an 
English regiment landed and took possession of the 
important conquest. Aix is an island about five or 
six miles in circumference, entirely covered with vines, 
whicb yield a meagre wine, the common beverage of 
the country. The garrison consisted of about five 
hundred men, partly soldiers and partly sailors, most 
of which had been landed from the Continent on the 
day preceding the attack, and were now made pri- 
soners of war. As to the behaviour of the English 
regiment which took possession of the fort, I will tell 
it in the language of a writer, who served as a volun- 

~ . . 

teer on this expedition. "I wish," says the author, 
" I could with truth report, that our people behaved 


\vith the moderation they ought to have done : and 
I am sorry, for the credit of our discipline, that the 
severe orders issued by the general were not as severely 
executed. Both our soldiers and sailors were suffered 
to get abominably drunk, and, in consequence of that, 
cruelly to insult the poor sufferers. This little island 
became, in a very few hours, a most shocking scene 
of devastation ; even the church was suffered to be 
pillaged, tne poor priest robbed of his little library, 
and his robes became a masquerading habit to the 
drunken tars." Such behaviour is not surprising in a 
class of men who act without reflection, and in whom 
reflection would be a misfortune to themselves and to 
their country; but that such conduct should have 
been suffered by their superiors, is wonderful indeed ! 
That men flushed with wine and victory, are with 
difficulty restrained, I readily acknowledge; but the 
difficulty of preventing a crime, which admits of no 
palliation, is a very feeble apology. 

The conquest of the isle of Aix, though of little 
importance, considered as an omen of success, gave 
vast spirits to the whole fleet, and inspired the troops 
with such ardour, that, if they had been immediately 
landed on the Continent, they would, probably, have 
succeeded in any possible attempt. Five days from 
this period were spent in sounding the depth of water, 
in prudential deliberations, and sage councils of war; 
so that eight days were now elapsed, since the first 
appearance of the fleet on the coast of France, during 
which time we may rationally suppose, that the ene- 
my had made no inconsiderable progress in preparing 
for a vigorous defence. But before we proceed to 
the conclusion of this grand expedition, it is necessary 
to relate more particularly, the transactions of the 
five days from the taking of the Isle of Aix. 

On the 2:id, in the afternoon, immediately after 
the conquest, of that fortress, Sir Edward Hawke sent 
Admiral Broderick, with Captains Dennis, Douglas, 
and Buckle, to reconnoitre and sound the coast, in 


order to find a proper place for landing the troops 
which were intended to destroy the shipping, docks, 
and naval stores at Rochfort. These gentlemen, 
having spent the remainder of that day, and the fol- 
lowing night, in the laborious execution of their com- 
mission, returned to the fleet about four in the even- 
ing of the 24th, and reported, that from Angolin to 
Chataillon there was a hard sandy beach ; also a small 
bay farther to the eastward, at either of which places 
troops might be conveniently landed, and that there 
was sufficient depth of water, and clear ground for 
the transports to anchor at the distance of a mile and 
a half from the shore. They also reported, that on 
the south side of the bay there was a square fort, 
on the north-west side of which were nine embra- 
zures, and two on the north-east. This fort had been 
previously reconnoitred by Colonel Wolfe, who was 
of opinion, that it might be easily silenced by a single 
ship, or, at least, so engaged, that the troops might 
land on each side of it with very little interruption. 
The pilot of the Magnanime made no doubt of carry- 
ing his ship near enough to batter the fort. From 
these several reports Sir Edward Hawke and Sir John 
Mordaunt seemed determined to proceed to the ex- 
ecution of Colonel Wolfe's plan. But this resolution, 
was afterwards staggered by General Con way, who, 
after a tedious examination of several prisoners from 
the Isle of Aix, reported that, according to the infor- 
mation of these prisoners, the attempt against Roch- 
fort would be attended with danger and difficulty. 
This suspicious information determined the t\vo com- 
manders to have recourse to that bane of our national 
glory, a council of war. If Wolfe had commanded 
these brave troops, would he, on this occasion, have 
called a council of war ? The report of prisoners ought 
not to be entirely disregarded ; but a wise general, or 
admiral, will listen to their information with the ut- 
most suspicion. Be this as it may, if these prisoners 
produced the council of war. they ought to have been 


amply rewarded by the king of France as the saviours 
of Roc h fort. 

The members of this memorable council were, Sir 
Edward Hawke, Sir John Mordaimt, Admiral 
Knowles, General Conway, Admiral Broderick, Ge- 
neral Cornwallis, Captain Rodney, Colonel Howard. 
They met on the 25th, on board the Neptune, and, 
after mature deliberation, determined, unanimously, 
that an attempt upon Rochfort was neither advisable 
nor practicable. That it was unadvisable, if imprac- 
ticable, no body will presume to doubt. Neverthe- 
less, Admiral Knowles was sent next morning with 
two bomb-ketches and other small vessels to bombard 
the fort, and to sound the entrance into the river 
Charante ; who on his return reported, that one of 
the bombs ran a-ground, and that the Coventry 
touched five times in attempting to protect her from 
two French row-gallics. This report by Admiral 
Knowles can no otherwise be reconciled with that of 
the officers first employed in sounding, and with the 
evidence of the pilot of the Magnanime, than by sup- 
posing that the French pilots now employed, chose 
to sacrifice their reputation as pilots to the safety of 
their country. But notwithstanding this report, or- 
ders were issued that night for the troops to hold 
themselves in readiness to land next morning; yet 
that day passed in perfect inactivity. However, ano- 
ther council of war, consisting of the same members, 
being called, it was now unanimously resolved, that 
it was advisable to land the troops. 

In consequence of this resolution, on the 28th in 
the afternoon, the Ramillies hoisted a signal for the 
commanders of regiments to come on board, and at 
eight the same evening orders were issued* for the 

* f'i-. " Ramilltcs, Sept. 28. 

" The troops are to be ready to go from the transports into the 
boats at twelve o'clock at night ; a number of men of war's boats 
\\ill be appointed to every regiment, under the command of a lieu, 
tenant: these, uith the transport boats, who arc to be under the 


troops to prepare for landing in the night. Twelve 
hundred men were accordingly crowded into boats, 

direction of a lieutenant of foot, are to receive the grenadiers, the 
piquet companies, one, two, or more, as the boats can contain 
them ; the commander of every regiment lands with the first de- 
tachment, if it amounts to three companies. 

" Particular care to be taken that the soldiers be not too much 
crowded in the boats. 

" The crews of the boats that row the transports long-boats, 
are to be chiefly composed of soldiers, who are to return to the 
corps after the first landing, and row backwards and forwards till 
the whole disembarkation is completed, and till the provisions, 
tents, baggage, &c. are landed, according to the orders of the 15th. 

" When the first part of every regiment is embarked, it is to 
proceed silently and quietly to the place of rendezvous appointed 
for the division, and there the whole division receives their orders 
from a captain of a ship of war, which orders they are in every 
particular strictly to obey. 

11 The troops have had a great example before their eyes, and the 
general is confident that they will endeavour to imitate the cool, 
ness and determined valour that appeared in the attack of the Isle 
of Aix. 

" No soldier is to fire from the boats upon any account, but to 
wait for the moment to join the enemy with their bayonets. 

'* Eight mantlets per regiment will be distributed, and the com. 
manding officers will dispose of them, so as to cover the landing 
boats and rowers from the musquetry, in case it be necessary. 

" The troops are to land silently, and in the best order the na- 
ture of the thing allows of. 

" The companies to form, and be ready to attack whoever ap. 
pears before them. 

" The chief engineer, the quartermaster-general, and his depu- 
ties, are to go on shore with the first body that lands. 

" AH the intrenching tools are to be landed immediately after 
the second embarkation. 

u Mr. Boyd, the comptroller of the artillery, is appointed to 
carry orders to the chief engineer, captain of the artillery, and to 
every branch of the ordnance, and is to be obeyed. 

" Each regiment to send a return immediately of the number of 
tents they have remaining after the calculating a tent for eight men, 
as ordered on the 15th. 

" Colonel Kingsly to be ready to march with the grenadiers 
upon their landing, with two field-officers, .Major Farquhar, and 
Lieutenant-colonel Sir William Boothby. 

" The regiments are each of them to receive from the store- 
keeper of the ordnance, ten ehereaux-de-frize, and to send for 
them forthwith." 


in full expectation of a signal at midnight to put off. 
Indeed such was the alacrity of the troops on this oc- 
casion, and such their eagerness to land, that the 
boats were filled an hour before the time. In this 
.situation they remained, the boats beating against 
each other, for it blew rather fresh, till about three 
in the morning ; when, instead of a signal to put off, 
a laconic order came for the troops to return to their 
respective transports. This order was obeyed, but 
not without a general murmur of dissatisfaction. 

If the reader be unacquainted with the real history 
of this expedition, he will doubtless be at a loss, on 
any martial principle, to account for all these appa- 
rent dilatory, irresolute, incongruous, and even con- 
tradictory proceedings : in justice, therefore, to the 
commanders on each element, I will endeavour to de- 
velope the motives by which they were influenced in 
their various resolutions, and, if possible, to point 
out the several causes to which the miscarriage of 


this enterprise is to be attributed. 

Those who are acquainted with the history of 
Great Britain, must recollect many instances of our 
naval expeditions having failed for want of alacrity in 
the preparation. It requires very little nautical know- 
ledge or experience to conceive, that the success of 
naval enterprises depends almost entirely upon the 
proper season of the year. This diversion on the 
coast of France seems to have been first suggested 
by the king of Prussia hud the duke of Cumberland, 
who were at this time overpowered by numerous 
French armies in Germany. Mr. Pitt adopted their 
idea, because he thought it rational ; but he was 
principally influenced by the prospect of giving a 
mortal stab to the naval power of France, in the de- 
struction of Rochfort. When he first determined to 
carry this project into execution, there appeared to be 
time sufficient. The troops, and the fleet of men of 
war, were assembled early in the month of August, 
and their not sailing till the 8th of September was 


entirely owing to the misconduct of the contractors 
for the transports : so much is it in the power of little 
beings to frustrate the designs of the wisest of the 


human species ! 

That the fleet did not make the Isle of Oleron till 
the 20th, was chiefly owing to contrary winds; but, 
from the above narrative, it is evident that they 
might with great ease have anchored in Basque Road 
next morning; that the remainder of that day would 
have been sufficient for reconnoitring the coast, and 
that the troops might have been in possession of 
Rochfort on the evening of the 22d. The attack 
upon the Isle of Aix was a mere waste of time, nor 
would the taking of Fort Fouras have answered any 
better purpose ; because neither of these forts were 
so situated as to prevent the landing of the troops, or 
impede their march to Rochfort, or render their re- 
treat less secure. By the king's private instructions 
to Sir John Mordaunt, | see Appendix, No. II.J it 
appears, that the principal object of tlie expedition was, 
to destroy the docks, magazines, arsenals, ami shipping 
at Rochfort. This was to be effected by a coup dc 
main: therefore every hour of unnecessary delay was 
a fault, as it not only gave the enemy time to recover 
from the consternation into which the appearance 
of such an armament must have thrown them, but 
also gave them time to collect their troops, and acid 
strength to their fortifications. 

We have seen above, from th< report of Admiral 
Broderick, that the transports might safely ride at 
anchor within a mile and a half of a tirm beach, 
where the troops might have landed without the least 
molestation from any fort or baitery. Why \vae not 
the transports, immediately upon thir- report, ordered 
to that station, and the army landed upon the 
If the transports had b en thus situated, die entire 
disembarkation wovdd have be^ii effected in the space 
of a few r hours, and the first divs'uM landed would 
have been supported by the secoud in less than au 

VOL. iv. B 


hour. This seems to have been an obvious, easy, 
and rational method of proceeding, and probably 
would have been pursued, but for General Comvay's 
interrogation of the French prisoners which were 
taken on the Isle of Aix. The report of these pri- 
soners produced a council of war, and that council, 
on the information of these and other Frenchmen, 
were persuaded, that, if the troops should land on 
the continent, they would certainly all be drowned, 
for that, by opening certain sluices, the whole coun- 
try might be laid under water. With these terrible 
apprehensions, the council unanimously determined, 
that any attempt upon Rochfort was neither advis- 
able nor practicable. For this determination some 
reasons were assigned ; but it may be somewhat diffi- 
cult to find any reason for an apparent contrary de- 
termination at their next meeting-, especially when 

o ' i ' 

we consider, that the report of Admiral Knowles, sub- 
sequent to the first council, tended rather to increase 
than diminish the horrible chimeras which guarded 
the coast of France. But it is necessary to observe, 
that this second resolution meant nothing more than 
an attack upon Fort Fouras, if it had any precise 
object farther than that of mere bravado ; for, at this 
time, every idea of attempting Rochfort was entirely 

We have seen above, that, in consequence or the 
resolution of the council of war of the 28th, the 
troops were ordered to land the same night, and that, 
after remaining four hours in the boats, they were 
ordered to re/turn to their ships. The only reason 
that can be assigned for this counter-order is, that, 
after the first order had been issued, and in part ex- 
ecuted, the commanders discovered the absurdity of 
attempting to land a numerous army from ships which 
were at the distance of two leagues from the shore. 
It is also probable, that they now recollected, that, 
at this time, they had no motive, no object which 
<:ouki either distress the enemy or serve their country 


in the smallest degree. We find, in the fourth ar- 
ticle of the king's private instructions to Sir John 
Mordatint, that Mr. Pitt's plan extended to other 
towns on the coast of France, particularly L'Orient 
and Bourdeaux ; hut we see in the following article, 
of these instructions, that the end of September was 
fixed for the return of the fleet. Nevertheless, lest 
a scrupulous obedience to these orders might frus- 
trate the intent of the expedition, Mr. Pitt, on the 
15th of September, wrote to Sir Edward Hawke 
and Sir John Mordaunt, informing them, that his 
Majesty's commands were, to continue upon the coast 
of France as manv more days as niio-ht he necessary 

B " +/ v O B ' *- 

to the completion of any operation in which they 
were engaged. 

Having thus endeavoured to ;ive the reader a clue 


which mav enable him to pass through this labyrinth 

\j i o / 

of delays and councils, to the several apparent causes 
of our disappointment, I will now presume to assign 
the real cause. The very able and patriotic minister 
who planned this admirable enterprise, notwithstand- 
ing his superior sagacity, was mistaken in the cha- 
racter of Sir John Mordannt, of General Con way, 
and of General Cornwallis. In military knowledge 
and personal courage they were by no means defi- 
cient; but there was in them all a want of that con- 
stitutional spirit of enterprise, that impetuosity of 
resolution bordering, perhaps, upon imprudence, but 
without which an expedition of this nature will never 
succeed. If the minister himself, or any general of 
equal constitutional heroism, had commanded this 
army, Rochfort would have been destroyed in twenty-* 
four hours after the fleet came to an anchor on the 
coast of France. 

We now resume the thread of our narrative, Sir 
Edward Hawke, at length disgusted with the irreso- 
lute proceeding-, of the army, on the Cyth of Sep- 
tember, informed Sir John Mordaunt, by Utter, thai 
if he had nothing farther to propose, lie intended to 

B E2 


proceed with the fleet to England. The land-ofticers 
approved his resolution, and on the 1st of October, 
the fleet sailed with a fair wind for England, and 
came to an anchor at Spithead on the 6th of the same 

The people of England were exceedingly disap- 
pointed and dissatisfied at this inglorious return of 
such a fleet and such an arm} 7 . But no man in the king- 
dom had so much reason to be displeased as the mini- 
ster himself. He now plainly perceived that he had 
mistaken his generals, and, to satisfy the people, con- 
sented to an inquiry into their conduct. Accordingly, a 
board of inquiry was appointed, consisting of the duke 
of Marlborough, Lord George Sackville, and General 
Waldegrave. These gentlemen, after much examin- 
ation, deliberation, and reflection, presented to the 
king so vague, so unsatisfactory, so silly a report, 
that it was afterwards thought necessary to bring 
Sir John Alordaunt to a formal trial by a court-martial. 
But, before we proceed to speak of that court- 
martial, it is impossible to avoid taking some farther 
notice of this court of inquiry, the first article of 
whose report to the king \vas, that "The not attack- 
ing Eort Fouras by sea, at the same time that it would 
have been attacked by land, was one cause why the 
expedition failed." That is, the expedition failed, 
because something was not done in conjunction with 
something which was never attempted. The second 
article of their report was, " That the council of war 
of the 28th was not justifiable in the resolution not 
to make an attack upon Rochfort, because they after- 
wards resolved to attack Fort Fouras." Their third 
article of report was, "That the expedition failed, 
because the fleet returned to England without any 
previous regular meeting of the council of war." If 
the three members of this board of inquiry had been 
well informed as to the situation of Rochfort, Aix, 
and Fouras, they would have discovered that the first 
ought to have been attacked without any attention 


to either of the latter. Sir John Mordaunt was after- 
wards tried by a court- martial, and honourably ac- 
quitted. The minister and tiie admiral were also ac- 
quitted by the general voice of the people; so that 
this grand expedition miscarried without a. cause. 

Having, I hope, satisfied the reader concerning 
the employment of the British navy in Europe, let us 
now follow our fleets and armies to other parts of the 
world. In the East Indies we behold a scene ex- 
tremely different from that which we have just 
quitted; unanimity, resolution, and the genuine spi- 
rit of enterprise in our commanders ; intuitive mili- 
tary genius, and victory its natural attendant. Ad- 
miral Watson sailed from Bombay on the 30th of 
April, 1756. He arrived at St. David's on the 9th 
of May ; sailed from thence on the 20th of June, and 
anchored in Madras Road the day following. Here 
he first learnt the dreadful fate of Calcutta Having 
taken Colonel Clive and his small army on board his 
squadron, lie sailed on the fall of October, deter- 
mined to revenge the horrid murder of his country- 
men. They anchored in L;:ias>ore Road on the 5th 
of December, reached Eulta on the 15th, and on the 
2Sth proceeded to Calcutta, with the Kent, Tiger, 
Salisbury, Britlgewater, and King-fisher sloop. Next 
day Colonel Clive, wirh a small body of men, landed, 
in order to attack a fort called Busbudgia, which, 
being at tbe same time cannonaded by the ships, was 
soon abandoned by the garrison. Other forts and 
batteries were likewise deserted as the slfips proceeded 
up the river, and, on the 2d of January, 1757, after 
a smart cannonade from the Kent and Tyger, the 
enemy were driven from their g % uns, and the town of 
Calcutta restored to the East India Company. No 
more than nine seamen and three soldiers were killed, 
and about thirty men wounded. Ninety-one pieces 
of cannon were found in the place, with a consider- 
able quantity of ammunition and military stores. 
This important conquest being finished, the British 


commanders resolved to attempt Hughly, a city of 
great trade, higher up the Ganges. The Bridge- 
water of twenty guns, and a sloop, with a detach- 
ment of troops under the command of Captain Kirk- 
patrick, were destined for this service. This arma- 
m,ent proceeded up the river on the 5th of January, 
and reduced the place without much difficulty. 
Twenty pieces of cannon were found on the ram- 
parts, besides a considerable quantity of saltpetre and 
magazines of grain, which were immediately destroy- 
ed by the conquerors. The nabob of Bengal, en- 
raged at being thus rapidly driven from his most 
important possessions, assembled an army of ten 
thousand horse and fifteen thousand foot, and, on 
the 2d of February, encamped about a mile from 
Calcutta. Colonel Clive, though very inferior in 
number, resolved to attack the nabob in his camp, 
and requested the admiral to assist him with all the 
sailors he could spare. Six hundred seamen were, 
landed, under the command of Captain Warwick, 
on the fifth, at one in the morning; at three Colo- 
nel Clive marched his little army, and about five the 
attack began. The nabob, after a feeble resistance, 
retreated, with the loss of a thousand men killed, 
wounded, and taken. This action, though not de- 
cisive, obliged the nabob to sign articles of capitu- 
lation, very advantageous to the East India Com- 

Having thus humbled this insolent nabob, the 
conquerors turned their attention towards Chande- 
nagore, a capital French settlement, above Calcutta, 
on the same river. Colonel Clive, with seven hun- 
dred Europeans, and about sixteen hundred Indians, 
marched towards the place, and, after gaining pos- 
session of the principal outposts, waited for the ar- 
rival of the fleet. On the 18th of March, the Ad- 
mirals Watson and Pocock, with the Kent, Tiger, 
and Salisbury men of war, came to an anchor two 
miles below Chandenagore. They found their pas- 


sage obstructed by booms and chains across the 
river. These obstacles being removed, on the 124th 
in the morning they began to batter the fort, whilst 
Colonel (.'live continued his approaches by land, and 
'titter three hours cannonading the enemy hoisted a 
flag of truce, and surrendered by capitulation. The 
garrison consisted of five hundred Europeans and 
twelve hundred Indians, well provided with ammu- 
nition and subsistence, and a hundred and twenty- 
three pieces of cannon mounted on the ramparts. 
This important conquest cost the victors no more 
than forty men. Colonel dive's subsequent achieve- 
ments are foreign to the purpose of this history. It 
is sufficient to say, that he totally defeated the na- 
bob Sulajud Dow la at the head or twenty thousand 
men, caused him to be solemn!} 7 deposed, and his 
prime minister Ali Khan to be proclaimed viceroy 
in his stead. 

We now rake our leave of the East, in order to inquire 
how our fleets in the West Indies and in North Ame- 
rica were employed. We are to remember that Mr. 
Pitt's first administration, which commenced with 
the year 17-57, was of short duration. It continued, 
however, long enough to convince the nation of his 
spirit and political sagacity. Astonished at the neg- 
ligence of his predecessors in administration, he 
immediately conceived, and in part executed, a plan 
of operation wisely calculated to revive the faded 
laurels of Britain. He sent a squadron of men of 
war under the command of Commodore Stevens to 
the East Indies, another to Jamaica under Admiral 
Cotes, and a third was ordered to be equipped for 
North America, the command of which was to be 
^iven to Sir Edward Hawke. This third squadron 
was destined, with a body of troops under Lord 
London u, then in America, for the reduction of 
Louisbour ; but the design was scarcely revealed to 

O J ^ v 

the privy-council, before it was known in the French 

cabinet, u:ul the preparations at Portsmouth so iia- 


grantly retarded, that the enemy had sufficient time 
to render the expedition abortive. One French fleet 
of nine ships sailed from Brest in January, a second, 
of live men of war, sailed from Toulon in April, and 
a third, of fourteen sail, left France on the third of 
May. The last of these squadrons arrived at Louis- 
bourg in June. The English flret. intended for Sir 
Edward Hawke, \vas given to Admiral Melbourne, 
who sailed fiom Cork a week after the departure of 
the last French squadron from Brest, and arrived at 
llahfax in North America on the 9th of July. Ad- 
miral Ilolbourne being joined by Lord Loudoun with 
the troops from New York, councils of war were fre- 
quently held, and, according to the general issue of 
such councils, .it was resolved to postpone the attack 
upon Louisbourg to a more favourable opportunity. 
P i bus ended the naval expedition of Admiral IIol- 
bourne. The troops under the command of Lord 
Loudoun were 1^,000 effective men, and the fleet 
consisted of fifteen ships of the line, and eighteen 
fr gates, &e. 

We have seen above, that early in this year a 
squadron sailed to the West Indies, under the com- 
mand of Admiral Cotes. Soon after his arrival on the 
Jamaica station, he detached Captain Forest with 
three frigates to cruise off Cape Francois, in order to 
intercept the trade from the French islands. Captain 
Forest had scarcely made his appearance on that coast, 
before he fell in with four French men of war, com- 
manded by Monsieur Kersaint. An engagement 
immediately ensued, which was sustained with mutual 
courage and obstinate resolution for two hours and a 
halt; after which, the enemy retreated to Cape Fran- 
( CMS, and the English frigates to Jamaica. Thus ends 
our TKival history of the year 17-37: a history equally 
unsatisfactory to the writer and to the reader; a year 
distinguished soldy by our conquests in the East 
Indies, \\hich are to be attributed entirely to the 
genius and intrepidity of one man. Our fleets and 


armies in Europe and in America were either totally 
inactive, or failed in their attempts. Notwithstand- 
ing- die superiority of our fleet, the number of prizes 
taken by the JTi''iich exceeded the English list of 
captures by more than two hundred. Let us now 
hasten to the war 17-58, where we may expect to find 
the patriot!^, zeal, politica' abilities, and heroic spirit 
of entrip'ise, so conspicuous in the character of the 
new minister, in full exert. ->n of their influence. This 
intrepid minister was so extremely disgusted at the 
behaviour of some of our commanders, that, in one of 
his speeches in rhe ilou^e of Commons, he did not 
scruple to declare, that, though the king- would rea- 
dily embrace any rational measure for the honour of 
his crown, he doubted whether a man could be found, 
who might safely be trusvd \virh the execution of 
any enterprise of danger or difficulty. 

The parliament voted, for the service of the year 
17.58, sixty thousand seamen, fifteen thousand ma- 
rines included; and for the land- service, near fifty- 
four thousand men. Our fleet, at this period, 
consisted of three hundred and twenty ships of war, 
one hundred and fifty-six of which were of the line. 
Besides these, there were on the stocks, four ships of 
seventy-four, two of seventy, four of sixty-four, six 
of thirty-six, and ten of twenty-eight guns. The 
supplies were raised with the utmost facility, and at a 
moderate interest. The languid, latent spirit of the 
nation, inflamed by that of the new minister, was 
suddenly roused from the disgraceful apathy which, 
except in the East Indies, characterized the operations 
of the preceding year. The navy of France, at this 
time, consisted of seventy-seven ships of the line, and 
thirty-nine frigates; that of Spain of fifty-two iine- 
of battle ships, twenty-six frigates from thirty to 
sixteen guns, thirteen xebequcs of twenty-four, and 
four packet-boats of sixteen guns. 

The reduction of Louisbourg being a principal 
object in Mr. Pitt's plan of military operations, a 


naval armament, adequate to the purpose, was pre- 
pared with all possible expedition, and the command 
given to Admiral Boscawen, au officer of approved 
abilities. The formidable French fleet which had 
protected Louisbourg the preceding year, had returned 
to France in a shattered condition. These ships being 
repaired, were intended to return to their former sta- 
tion in North America; but their intentions were 
effectually anticipated and prevented, by the vigilant 
alacrity of the British minister. Admiral Boscawen 
sailed from St. Helen's on the 19th of February, with 
forty-one men of war. Meanwhile, a fleet under the 
command of Sir Edward Hawke blocked up the 
French ports in the Bay of Biscay, and another 
squadron, commanded by Admiral Osborne, was sent 
to cruise between Cape de Gatte and Carthagena, on 
the coast of Spain. There were, at this time, three 
small squadrons of French ships of war in the different 
ports of Toulon, Carthagena, and Brest; which squa- 
drons, under the command of Monsieur Du Quesne 
and Monsieur De la Clue, had orders to steal away 
for Louisbourg, jointly or separately. The former of 
these commanders, in order to join the latter at Car- 
thagena, sailed from Toulon on the 25th April, on 
board tSie Foudroyant, of eighty guns, attended by 
the Orphee of sixty-four, the Oriflamme of fifty, and 
Pleiade of twenty-four guns. Admiral Osborne, ex- 
pecting the departure of this squadron from Toulon, 
had stationed the Gibraltar frigate in the offing of 
that harbour, to watch their motions. As soon as Du 
Quesne's squadron appeared, the Gibraltar sheered 
off, and gradually decoyed the enemy so effectually, 
that on the 27th, about two in the morning, Du 
Quesne found himself in the midst of Osborne's fleet. 
In this critical situation, the French admiral made a 
signal for his squadron to disperse: each ship imme- 
diately steered a different course, and were as imme- 
diately pursuetf by detachments from Osborne's fleet, 
who, with the remainder of his fleet, continued to 


block up the harbour of Carthagena. The Pleiade, 
being a prime sailer, escaped. The Oriflamme was 
chased by the Monarque and Montague, and escaped 
destruction by running under the guns of a small 
Spanish fort. The Orphee was pursued by the He- 
venge and Berwick, anil was taken by the first of 
these ships, in sight of Carthagena. The Foudroyant 
was chased by the Monraouth, Sxviftsure, and Hamp- 
ton Court. About seven in the morning, the Mori- 
mouth and Foudroyant began to fire at each other, 
the rest of the fleet being then totally out of sight. 
The disproportion between the two ships was very 
great. The Foudroyant had a thousand men on 
board, and mounted eighty guns, forty-two and 
twenty-two-pounders; the Monmouth mounted only 
sixty-four twelve and twenty-four-pounders, and her 
complement of men was no more than four hundred 
and seventy. This remarkable disparity notwith- 
standing, Captain Gardiner, who commanded the 
Monmouth, resolved, at all events, to vanquish his 
enemy. Thus determined, he brought his ship within 
pistol-shot of his antagonist, and now the battle raged 
with infernal fury. About nine o'clock, Captain 
Gardiner was shot through the head by a musket- 
ball.* He lingered till the day following, and then 
died, universally regretted and lamented, particularly 
by the officers and crew of his own ship. The death 
of such a man was a very great loss to his country. 
Soon after the captain fell, the Monmouth's mi/en- 
mast came by the board; on which the enemv gave 
three cheers. The crew of the Monmouth returned 
the compliment a few minutes afrer, on the mizen- 
mast of the Foudroyant being also shot away. This 

* It is said that Captain Gardiner, before he expired, sent for 
his first lieutenant, and made it his last request, that he \vouid not 
give up the ship. The lieutenant assured him he never would, 
and instantly went and nailed the flag to the stall'. He then took 
a pistol in each hand, and swore if any man in the ship should 
attempt to strike the colours^ he would put him to death. 


disaster was soon followed by the fall of her main- 
mast, which giving fresh spirits to the English, their 
fire became so incessant and intolerable, that the 
French sailors could no longer be kept to their guns, 
and the mighty Foudroyant struck a little after one 
o'clock. This action, which is one of the most glo- 
rious in the naval history of Britain, and which must 
ever remain an incontestable proof of our naval supe- 
riority, I beg leave to recommend to the constant 
recollection of such of our sea-officers as may be in- 
clined to calculate their comparative weight of metal 
before they venture to engage. 

The Orphee and Foudroyant being taken, and the 
commander-in-chief being a prisoner, Monsieur De 
la Clue gave up all thoughts of passing the Straits of 
Gibraltar, and returned from Carthagena to Toulon, 
where his squadron was laid up. But the French 
ministry, not depending entirely on their Mediterra- 
nean fleet for the protection of Louisbourg and the 
reinforcement of their army in North America, had 
prepared a considerable fleet of transports and store- 
ships at Rochfort, Bourdeaux, and other ports in that 
neighbourhood. These transports, with three thou- 
sand troops on board, were ordered to rendezvous in 
April, and to sail under convoy of six ships of the 
line and several frigates. Such, however, was the 
intelligence and alacrity of the EimTish minister, that 

O */ O 

effectual measures were taken to frustrate the design. 


Sir Edward Hawke, with seven ships of the line and 
three frigates, sailed down the Bay of Biscay, and on 
the 5,! of April brought up in Basque Road, where he 
discovered five French ships of the line and seven fri- 
gates at anchor off the Isle of Aix. They no sooner 
saw the English fleet, than they began, with the utmost 
precipitation, to slip their cables, and fly in great con- 
fusion. Some of them escaped to sea; but far the 
greater number threw their guns and stoics over- 
board, and, running into shoal water, stuck in the 
mud. Next morning, several of their men of war and 


transports were seen lying on their broadsides; but 
being out of the reach of his guns, Sir Edward 
Hawke left them to their fate, perfectly satisfied with 
having frustrated their intention of sailing to 

I have before observed, that some of the store-ships 
and transports destined for North America, were to 
sail from Bourdeaux. These transports were twelve 
in number. They sailed under convoy of the Gala- 
the, a frigate of twenty-two guns, and a letter of 
marque of twenty guns. In the Bay of Biscay they 
had the misfortune to fall in with the Essex, of sixty- 
four guns, and the Pluto and Proserpine lire-ships, 
which were on their passage to join Sir Ed ward Hawke. 
After a short, but smart conflict, the French frigate, 
the letter of marque, and one of the transports, were 
taken. But this advantage was dearly purchased 
with the death of Captain James Hume, who com- 
manded the Pluto. Two more of these transports 
were afterwards taken by the Antelope and Speedwell 

Having seen every attempt of France for the pro- 
tection of Louisbourg entirely frustrated, we now 
proceed to projects more directly offensive, planned 
and executed by Air. Pitt. But a melancholy event 
intervenes. On the 13th of April, the Prince George, 
of eighty guns, commanded by Rear-admiral 1-ro- 
derick, in his passage to the Mediterranean, took fire 
between one and two in the afternoon, and, notwith- 
standing the utmost exertion of human skill and 
labour, aided by despair, burnt with such rapidity, 
that in the space of a few hours she burnt down to 
the water edge. A little before six in the evcnin', 
she sunk entirely, and more than two-thirds of her 
crew perished in the ocean. The admiral, after buf- 
feting the waves nearly an hour, was at length taken 
up by a boat belonging to one of the merchantmen 
under his convoy. Captain Pay ton and the chaplain 
were also among the few that were saved. 


We now proceed to the circumstantial relation of 
an expedition to the coast of Africa; an expedition 
which, extraordinary as it may seem, was planned 
and executed by a Quaker. Thomas Cuming, the 
projector of this enterprise, having- made a voyage, as 
a merchant- adventurer, to Portenderriek, on the coast 
.of Africa, became personally acquainted with Amir, 
the Moorish king of Legibelli. This prince, being 
prejudiced in favour of the English nation, and ex- 
tremely dissatisfied with the French, wished eagerly 
for an opportunity to drive them from their settle- 
ments on the river Senegal, and promised all the 
.assistance in his power to the arms of Britain. Mr. 
Cuming, during his residence on the Gum-coast, 
became perfectly acquainted with the nature, extent, 
arid importance of the trade; and was very assiduous 
in his inquiry concerning the situation and strength 
of the French forts. On bis return to England, he 
communicated his observations and ideas to the Board 
of Trade, by whom his project was approved, and 
finally adopted by the ministry. Tins was in the year 
17.57. A force which was deemed adequate to the 
expedition, was ordered to be prepared; but before 
the ships were ready to sail, the seasoa was so far 
.advanced, that it was thought advisable to postpone 
the design. In the beginning of the following year, 
Mr. Cuming revived his application; the minister 
approved his pkm, and a small squadron was equipped 
with all possible expedition. The ships ordered for 
this service were the Nassau of sixty-four, the Har- 
wich of fifty, and the Rye of twenty gun.s, attended 
by the Swan sloop and two busses. They had on board 
two hundred marines, commanded by Major Mason, 
and a detachment of matrosses, iimi~r Captain Wal- 
ker: ten pieces of cannon and eight mortars. 

This small squadron, commanded by Captain 
Murbh, and conducted by friend Cuming, sailed from' 
Plymouth on the .9th of March, and oil the 24th of 
April .came to an anchor in the mouth of the river 


Senegal, and in sight of ort Louis, which is situated 
on the island of Senegal, about four leagues within 
the bar. The French governor of this fort, as soon 
as he discovered the English squadron, sent down an 
armed brig and six sloops to dispute the passage of 
the bar. A brisk but ineffectual cannonading ensued. 
Meanwhile the channel being discovered, and the 
wind blowing up the river, Captain Millar of the 
London buss passed the bar and came to an anchor, 
where he remained all night exposed to the fire of the 
enemy. He was followed next morning by the other 
small vessels, some of which ran a-ground and bulged. 
The troops on board these vessels immediately took 
to their boats, and landed on the east shore of the 
river. Apprehensive of being attacked by the natives, 
they threw up an entrenchment and disembarked 
their stores. Next morning they were reinforced by 
a detachment of three hundred and fifty seamen, and 
now began to meditate an attack upon Fort Louis. 
But the governor, not chusing to wait the event, 
sent two deputies with offers of surrender. His pro- 
posals, after a little deliberation, were accepted by 
Captain Marsh and Major Mason. By the articles of 
capitulation, the natives of France were to be sent 
home witli all their private effects. On the first of 
May the English took possession of Fort Louis, and 
all the settlements belonging to France on the river 
Senegal were at the same time ceded to the king of 
Great Britain. Thus this important conquest, which 
was planned and conducted by a quaker, was achieved 
in a manner perfectly consonant with the principles 
of his religion, namely, without spilling a single drop 
of human blood. It is also worthy of remark, that 
it was our first successful expedition since the com- 
mencement of the war. There were found in the fort 
ninety-two pieces of cannon, some treasure, and a 
considerable quantity of goods. This business being- 
accomplished, and Fort Louis garrisoned by English 
troops, the men of war proceeded to attack the island 


of Goree, about thirty leagues distant from Senegal; 
but their force being insufficient, the attempt mis- 

On the 29th day of May, the Dorsetshire, Captain 
Dennis, of seventy guns, cruising in the Bay of Bis- 
cay, fell in with the Raisouable, a French man of 
war of sixty-four guns, and six hundred and thirty 
men, commanded by Le Prince de Mombazon, 
who defended his ship with great resolution till one 
hundred and sixty of his men were killed or wounded, 
and his hull and rigging considerably damaged. 

Mr. Pitt's comprehensive plan of operation was too 
rational to be disconcerted by such miscarriages as 
were justly to be attributed to a want of spirit in the 
execution. The expedition to the coast of France, of 
the preceding year, having failed, made no alteration 
in the minister's opinion, that a diversion of the like 
nature was a proper measure. For this purpose, in the 
month of May, near fourteen thousand men were en- 
camped on the Isle of Wight. This army, com- 
manded by the duke of Marlborough. consisted of 

/ O * 

sixteen battalions of infantry, four hundred artillery- 
men, and live hundred and forty light horse. One 
of the regiments of infantrv, bein % destined for ano- 

V> v O 

ther service, did not embark ; so that the number 
employed in this expedition amounted to about thir- 
teen thousand. The subordinate general officers were 


Lord George Sackville, the earl of Ancram, Major- 
generals Waldegrave, Mostyn, Drury, Boscawen and 
Elliot. Two distinct fleets were assembled at Spit- 
head : the first commanded by Lord Anson, of twenty- 
two sail of the line ; the second under Commodore 
Howe, consisting of several frigates, sloops, fire- 
ships, bomb-vessels, tenders, cutters, and transports. 

This tremendous fleet sailed from St. Helen's on the 
1st of June. Lord Anson with the liue-of-battle 
ships stood away to the west, and proceeded to block 
up the French fleet at Brest; while Commodore 
Howe steered athwart the channel with the wind at 


south-east. The night proved so tempestuous, not- 
withstanding the season of the year, that one of the 
store-ships rolled away her masts. About eight next 
morning they made Cape la Hogue, and that night 
anchored in the Race of Alderney. On the third, 
about noon, one of the transports struck upon a rock, 
near the island of Sark, and was lost, but the troops 
on board were saved. On the fourth, Mr. Howe 
came to an anchor within three leagues of St. Malo. 
Next morning he weighed before break of da} 7 , and 
stood into the Bay of Cancalle, so called from a vil- 
lage of that name, where the troops were intended to 
land. At four in the evening the whole fleet brought 
up, and in a short time after ten companies of grena- 
diers landed near the village above-mentioned. The 
only opposition was from a battery of two guns fired 
by a. brave old Frenchman and his son, who main- 
tained their post till the poor old man was wounded 
by a shot from one of our frigates. If others of his 
countrymen had behaved with equal resolution, the 
disembarkation would have been more difficult; for 
there were at this time seven companies of foot and 
three troops of dragoons at Cancalle : but these troops 
retired to St. Malo. The British e;renadiers landed a 


little before sun-set, attended by five volunteers ot 
distinction, whose names should be recorded and re- 
membered with gratitude. Such spirit in young men 
of rank and fortune raises the military character of a 
nation more .effectually than a victory over the enemy, 
Lord Down, Sir John Annitage, Sir James Lowther, 
Mr. Francis Blake Delaval, and Mr. Berkley, were 
the men. The entire disembarkation was compleated 
on the sixth, and the whole avmy encamped near 
Cancalle ; the grenadiers and the light horse being 
advanced about a mile in the front of the line. 

Tiie duke of Marlborough, sensible of the ravages 
which are general ly committed bv the common sol- 

* ' " 

diers on their landing in an enemy's country, issued* 
strict orders to prevent marauding. Nevertheless, 

VOL. 7V, f : C 


some irregularities were committed. The offenders 
were brought to immediate trial, and two or three of 
them executed. This rigorous exertion of military 
law saved the inoffensive peasantry from many acts of 
brutal licentiousness which thev would otherwise have 



On the 7th, at break of day, the army marched 
towards St. Malo in two columns. The left column, 
commanded by Lord George Sackvillc, fell into the 
great road ; but the lanes through which Lord An- 

O ' O 

cram's column marched were so narrow, and the 
country so inclosed and woody, that notwithstanding 
the previous labour of two hundred pioneers, the men 
were frequently obliged to pass in single files ; so 
that a small number of the enemy might easily have 
destroyed this column, or at least have made it im- 
possible for them to advance. But, so far from meet- 
ing with any opposition, they found the villages and 
hamlets through which they passed entirely deserted. 
The army proceeded in good order without beat of 
drum, and, after a march of six miles, encamped at 
the distance of little more than a mile from the town 
of St. Malo. Whilst they were employed in pitching 
their tents, the light horse, with the piquets of the 
whole army, marched towards the town, and were sa- 
luted by a few shot from the cannon on the ramparts. 
As soon as it was dark the piquets marched down to 
the harbour, where they found a considerable number 
of privateers and other small vessels, most of which, 
it being low water, were laid dry. Having set fire 
to all the shipping, they proceeded to communicate 
the flames to the magazines of pitch, tar, ropes, c. 
all which were entirely destroyed, except one small 
store-house, which, if it had been set on fire, must 
from its situation have destroyed most of the houses 
in the suburbs. This building was spared from a 
noble principle of humanity, worthy the imitation of 
all future invaders. The number of ships destroyed 
was about one hundred and twenty. The piquets 


now rejoined the army, which continued unmolested 
in its encampment till the 10th, when the tents were 
struck, and the army in one column marched back to 
Cancalle. While the main body of the troops were 
employed as I have related, a battalion of the guards, 
under the command of Colonel Cesar, marched twelve 
miles up the country, to a town called Dolle, where 
they were politely entertained by the magistrates. 
As their design was merely to reconnoitre, they con- 
tinued one night in the town without committing the 
least act of hostility, and then returned. A party of 
the English light horse penetrating a few miles far- 
ther, fell in with the videfs of a French camp, two of 
whom they took, and brought prisoners to Canc-ille. 
The purpose of this invasion being fully accom- 
plished, the troops were re-embarked, and the fleet 
sailed on the 16'rh early in the morning, and, after 
heating against the wind during that whole day, came 
to an anchor off the harbour of St. Malo. The night 
proved so tempestuous, that many of the ships drove, 
and some parted their cables. Next morning, ihe 
wind continuing contrary, the fleet returned to Can- 
calle bay, and there remained till the 2d, when 
they sailed again, and next day passed the islands 
Jersey and Guernsey. On the 125th they ma^c the 
Isle ot Wight, and on the 26th, the wind veering to 

C5 m i ' 

the northward, they steered again for the coast of 
France, atid ran in with the land near Havre; but to- 
wards evening it blew so fie;!), that, to avoid the 
danger of a lee-shore, they stood out to sea, On ilie 
27th, the weather becoming more moderate, they 
ran in with the land a second time, and the duke of 
Marl borough and Mr. Howe went out ia a cutter ro 
reconnoitre the coast. At their return, orders were 
given for the tioops to prepare for immediate disem- 
barkation : nevertheless, the 28th passrd \\ithoiu any 
attempt to land, and on the <2yi!i the ilect bore away 
before the wind, and anchored within a league of 
Cherburg. Some of the tivnspuits which brought 

c c 2 


up nearer in shore were fired at from several bat- 
teries, but received no damage. A few troops were 
seen parading on the strand, most of which appeared 
to be militia. 

Soon after the fleet came to an anchor, the duke 
of Maryborough signified his intention of making an 
attack upon the town that night, and ordered the 
first battalion of guards to be in their boats at eleven 
o'clock. The rest of the troops received orders in 
what manner, and at what time, they were to pro- 
ceed, and every necessary preparation was made for 
immediate disembarkation. But as night approached 
the wind off shore gradually increased, and, before 
the appointed hour, became so violent as to render 
the attempt impracticable. Next morning, the duke 
of Marl borough, upon inquiry into the stock of pro- 
visions, hay, and water, found these several articles 
so nearly exhausted, that it would be dangerous, in 
so variable a climate, to remain any longer on an hos- 
tile coast. Pie therefore resolved to return to Eng- 
land. The fleet accordingly weighed anchor at ten 
o'clock, and arrived at St. Helen's the next day in 
the evening. The troops were encamped on the Isle 
of V/ighr, that they might recover the effects of so 
long a confinement on board of transports by no 
means sufficient for the accommodation of so nume- 
rous an army. These troops were destined for more 
expeditions of the like nature, the success of which 
will be seen in due time ; but a regular attention to a 
chronological series of naval events now calls us to 


North America. 

I am to remind the reader, that Admiral Boscawcn 
sailed from England, with a considerable fleet, on the 
19th of April. lie arrived at Halifax in Nova Scotia 
on the fj th of May ; from whence he sailed on the 
28th, with an army of fourteen thousand men, under 
the command of Major-general Amherst. This fleet, 
consisting of a hundred and fifty-seven sail, anchored, 
on the 2d of June, in the Bay of Gabarus, about two 

leagues westward of Louisbourg. The French go- 

*--* O CJ 

vernor, Le Chevalier Drucour, had taken every pos- 
sible precaution to prevent a surprise. lie had 
thrown up several entrenchments, erected batteries, 
and formed a chain of redoubts lor two leagues and 
a half along the coast. There were in the harbour 
six ships or' the line and five frigates, three of which 
were, during the sieire, sunk at the entrance. The 

fortifications of the town were not in good repair; 
the garrison consisted of two thousand five hundred 
regular troops, besides six hundred burghers and Ca- 
nadians. When the fleet first came to an anchor, 
and during several succeeding days, the surf ran so 
high, that it, was impossible for the boats to come 
near the shore. These several obstacles appeared so 
tremendous to many of the officers, that they advised 
the admiral to call a general council of war. Fortu- 
nately for the service, and for his own reputation, he 
disregarded such advice, and determined to land the 
troops at all events. 

On the 8th of June, the M'eather being more mo- 
derate, the grenadiers and light infantry were in tha 
boats before break of day. The frigates and armed 
sloops began to scour the coast, by an incessant fire 
upon the enemy ; and now the boats rowed briskly to- 
wards the shore in three divisions, commanded by 
the Generals Wolfe, Whitmore, and Laurence. When 
they approached the land they met with a warm re- 
ception from the enemy, and the surf ran so high that 
many of the boats were staved, and some of the sol- 
diers drowned. General Wolfe leapt into the sea, 
and, being followed by his whole division, formed 
his people on the beach, and marched intrepidly to 
the nearest battery. The other two divisions followed 
his example, and the enemy soon fled in confusion. 
The remainder of the army, cannon, and stores were 
landed with all possible speed, and the town was re- 
gularly invested. General Amherst having secured 
his camp by proper redoubts and epaulmeaU, uow 


began his approaches in form. In landing the troops, 
three officers, four Serjeants, one corporal, and thirty- 
eight private men, were killed or drowned ; five lieu- 
tenants, two Serjeants, one corporal, fifty-one men 
wounded ; and about seventy boats lost. The enemy, 
when they fled from their entrenchments, left behind 
them seventeen pieces of cannon, fourteen large swi- 
vels, two mortars, a furnace for red-hot balls, small 
arms, ammunition, stores, tools and provisions in 
considerable quantity. 

The Chevalier Drucour, having received his detach- 
ments into the town, destroyed his out- posts, and all 
buildings within two miles of the ramparts, prepared 
fora vigorous defence. The approaches of the British 
general were at first slow, owimr to the difficulty of 
landing his stores, the labour of dragging his cannon 
through a marshy country, and the necessity of for- 
tifying his camp. Meanwhile, General Amherst, 
being not a little incommoded by the fire from the 
enemy's ships in the harbour, and also from the island 
battery, detached General Wolfe, with a considerable 
body of troops, \virh orders to march round the north- 
east harbour and take possession of the light- house 
point. This order was executed with great alacrity 
and dispatch, and a powerful battery erected, which 
on the 25th silenced that of the enemy on the island. 
On the 2<)th the besieged sunk four ships at the en- 
trance of the harbour. They made several sallies 
from the town, and were repulsed with loss. The 
British nrmy continued to approach the town in a re- 
gular and scientific manner, and the enemy displayed 
r.o less resolution and skill in the science of defence. 
On the 13th of July the besiegers were about six hun- 
dred yards from the covert way. 

On the 2 1st, a shell from our battery on the light- 
house point set fire to one of the enemy's ships in the 
harbour. She immediately blew up, and two other 
men of war having caught the flame were also de- 
stroyed. These v/ere the EntrcprcnaTit, the Capri- 


cieux, and the Celcbre: so that the Prudent and the 
Bienfaisaiit were the only ships of force remaining. 
In the night of the 25th the first of these two was set 
on fire, and the other towed triumphantly out, by 
a detachment of seamen untie r the command of Cap- 
tains JLaforey and Balfour. This gallant exploit me- 
rits a circumstantial relation. The naval reader will 
peruse it with pleasure ; probably with advantage 
By the admiral's orders, a barge and pinnace from 
every ship in the fleet assembled, about noon, under 
the stern of the Namur. These boats were manned 
only by their proper crews, armed chiefly with pis- 
tols, and cutlasses, and each boat commanded by a 
lieutenant and midshipman. From thence they pro- 
ceeded, by two or three at a time, to join Sir Charles 
Hardy's squadron near the mouth of the harbour. 
Being there re-assembled in t\vo divisions, under the 
two captains above-mentioned, about midnight they 
paddled into the harbour of Louisbourg unperceived. 
The night was extremely dark, and the seamen were 
profoundly silent. They passed very near the island- 
battery undiscovered; the darkness of the night, and 
a thick fog, prevented their being seen, whilst the 
perpetual din of bombs, cannon, and musquetry, 
both of the besieged and besiegers, effectually covered 
the noise of their oars. As soon as each division came 
near enough to perceive the devoted object, the two 
men of war were immediately surrounded by the 
boats, and were first alarmed by the firing of their 
own centinels. All the boats fell a-board at the same 
instant, and the several crews, following the example 
of their officers, scrambled up every part of the ships, 
and, in a few minutes, took possession of their re- 
spective prizes. The resistance was very feeble, and 
consequently the loss of men on cither side incon- 

Day-light and the shouts of our sailors, having at 
length discovered to the enemy on shore, that their 
ships were in possession of the English, they imme- 


diaiely pointed every gun that could be brought to 1 
bear upon the boats and prizes, and a furious dis- 
charge of cannon ensued. Those who were in pos- 
session of the Prudent, finding her a-ground, set her 
on fire, and then joined the boats, which were now 
employed in towing off the Bienfaisant, which, with 
the assistance of a favourable breeze, was triumphantly 
carried away and secured. 

On the 26th, whilst Admiral Boscawen was prepar- 
ing to send six ships into the harbour, he received a 
letter from the Chevalier Drucour, offering to capitu- 
late on the same terms that were granted to the Eng- 
lish at Minorca. The admiral insisted on the garrison 
remaining prisoners of war, and with these terms the 
governor finally complied, lie could not do other- 
\vise. He yielded to irresistible necessity. His ships 
were all destroyed or taken ; his cannon were dis- 
mounted ; his garrison diminished, and the remainder 
harassed and dispirited; all his hopes of relief from 
Europe or from Canada were vanished, and his ram- 
parts in many places battered to pieces. The capitu- 
lation being signed, the British troops took possession 
of Louisbourg on the 27th, and the two islands of 
Cape Breton and St. John were ceded to his Britan- 
nic Majesty. The ships of war lost bv the French on 

* ^ * " 

this occasion were, the Prudent of 74 guns, Entrepre- 
nant. 74, Capricieux 6'4, Celebre 6'4, Bienfaisant 6'-.:, 
Apollo .50 ; Chevre, liichc, and Ficlelle frigates sunk 
at the harbour's mouth ; Diana of 36", taken by the 
Boreas, Echo of 26 taken by the Juno. 

We now return to Europe. The spirited minister, 
who, at this time, held the reigns of government ; 
whose successive expeditions were distinct gradations 
in a regular plan of operation ; whose invasions on the 
coast of France were principally intended to divide 
the forces of the enemy : this active minister, I say, 
determined once more to invade the coast of Nor- 
mandy, Part of the troops which, since the last ex- 
pedition, had been encamped on the Isle of Wight, 


were sent to Germany. The duke of Marlborougif, 
and Lord George Sackville were likewise ordered 
upon that service. The remainder of the troops no\v 
commanded by Lieutenant-general Bligh, embarked 
on board the fleet under Commodore Howe, and sail- 
ed from St. Helen's on the lirst day of August. Ort 
the 6th, in the evening, the fleet came to an anchor 
in the Bay of Cherbnrg, and a few shells were thrown 
into the town that nio-ht. Next morning, about sc- 

c5 O 7 

ven o'clock, the fleet got under way, and at nine, 
brought up in the Bay of Maris, two leagues west of 
the town, where the general resolved to land his 
troops. The governor of Cherburg, since his late 
alarm, had thrown up several entrenchments, and 
planted soine batteries along the coast. Behind these 
works, there appeared about two thousand regular 
troops, Oil the 7th, at two in the afternoon, the 
grenadiers and guards, commanded by General Drury, 
in flat-bottomed boats, landed, without opposition, 
under cover of an incessant fire from the fleet. Hav- 
ing formed his troops on the beach, he marched im- 
mediately towards a party of the enemy, received 
their fire, and then attacked them with such resolu- 
tion, that they soon fled in the utmost confusion, and 
Vv'ith considerable loss. They left behind them, two 
pieces of brass cannon. Of the English, about twen- 
ty were killed or wounded. 

The remainder of the infantry being disembarked, 
General Biigh marched to the village of Erville, and 
there pitched his tents for the night. The ground 
which he had chosen for his encampment was so in- 
adequate, in point of extent, to the number of troops, 
that the tents were crowded together as close as they 
could stand, without order or regularity. If the 
French commander had not been as ignorant in his 
profession as his enemy, the British army would, in 
this situation, have been surrounded and destroyed, 
or taken : two or three thousand men judiciously 
commanded, were sufficient. But either for want 


of skill, or strength, or resolution, the English army 
was suffered to sleep in perfect security, and the suc- 
ceeding dawn did not discover a single French sol- 
dier in sight of the camp. On reconnoitring the near- 
est fort, called Quirqueville, it was found desolate; 
so that the li^ht horse were now disembarked without 


the least interruption, and the army proceeded, in two 
columns, towards Cherburg, which they entered with- 
out filing or receiving a single shot, the town and all 
the forts being entirely abandoned by the troops. The 
inhabitants, in confidence of a promise of protection, 
contained in a manifesto published by General Bligh, 
remained in the town, and received their hostile vi- 
sitors with politeness and hospitality. I am sorry to 
record, to the disgrace of English discipline, that 
their confidence was abused. The proper means of 
restraining the licentious brutality of the common 
soldiers were neglected, till the just complaints of 
the sufferers reminded the general of his duty. 

General Bligh now proceeded, according to his in- 
structions, to demolish the harbour and basin, which 
had been constructed by Louis XV. at a vast ex- 
pence, and were intended as an asylum for men of 
war. It appeared, however, from the unfinished state 
of the fortifications, that the importance of Cherburg 
had of late dwindled in the estimation of the French 
ministry. Whilst the engineers were thus employed, 
the light horse were sent to scour the country, and 
to reconnoitre a French camp at Walloign, about 
twelve miles from Cherburg. In these excursions, 
they frequently skirmished with the enemy, and in 
one of these rencounters, Lindsay, a captain of the 
British light horse, was unfortunately killed. He 
was a very active and gallant officer. The great bu- 
siness of demolition being finished, on the lo'th of 
August, at three in the morning, the army evacuated 
Cherburg, marched down to Fort Galet, and there 
embarked \vithout molestation. 

In our estimate of the utility of this enterprise, we 


are to remetnhcr, that the primary object was, by 
keeping tht French coast in perpetual alarm, to oblige 
them ro retain an armv for their own security, which 
would otherwise have marched to Germany. Exclu- 
sive of tin-; consideration, the expedition to Cherburg 
was, by nr n tans, unimportant. Twenty-seven ships 
were burn" i:; the harbour. A hundred and s^venty- 
three pie< e.s of iron ordnance, and three mortars, were 
rendered useless; and twenty-two brass cannon and 
two mortars were sent to England. These cannon 
were afterwards exposed, for some time, in Hyde 
Park, and then drawn through the city in pompous 
procession, amidst the joyful acclamations of the peo- 
ple, the oldest of whom had never beheld a similar 

Thus far, the operations of this terrific itinerant 
army were successful. But the general's commission 
did not end with the destruction of the forts and har- 
bour of Cherburg, By bis secret instructions, he 
was ordered to keep the coast of France in continual 
alarm ; to make descent's, and attack any place that 
might be found practicable, between the east point 
of Normandy and Morlaix, In compliance with 
these instructions, the fleet weighed anchor on the 
] 8th of August, and steered towards St. JMalo, with 
a design to make a second attack upon that nest of 
privateers But they were obliged, by contrary 
winds, to run for the English coast. They came to 
an anchor in Weymouth road on the 23d ; they sail- 
ed from thence on the 25th, but were obliged to put 
back the same evening. The next attempt proved 
more successful. The fleet, though not without dif- 
ficulty, kept the sea, and, standing to the southward, 
soon made the coast of France ; but it was the 4th of 
September before they came to an anchor in the Bay 
of St. Lunaire, about two leagues west of St. Malo. 
Whilst the fleet was bringing up, the commodore, 
with Prince Edward, afterwards duke of York, who 
attended Mr. Howe in the capacity of midshipman, 


went off in their barge to reconnoitre the shore. See- 
ing no appearance of an enemy, the troops were dis j 
embarked without opposition ; but not entirely with- 
out misfortune. One of the flat-bottomed boats be- 
ing run down by the Brilliant, was overset, and live 
soldiers drowned. As soon as the troops were land- 
ed, Sir William Boothby, with 300 grenadiers, was 
detached with orders to destroy a hundred and fifty 
vessels in the harbour of Briac, near St. Malo. He 
executed his commission effectually ; but the number 
of vessels in that harbour did not exceed fifteen. 

The British army continued in their encampment 
near St. Limaire four days, "which were spent in deli- 
berations concerning the practicability of an attack 
upon St. Malo. It was finally determined to be im- 
practicable, and Mr. Howe having declared that it 
was impossible to re-embark the troops from the place 
where they had landed, it was resolved that the troops 
should march over land, and that the fleet should, in 
the mean time, proceed to the bay of St. Cas, and 
there remain ready to receive them. The commodore 
weighed anchor, and stood to the westward. On 
Friday, the 8th, in the morning, General Bligh 
struck his tents, and began his march towards the 
village of Gildau, where he was told, the river which 
he must necessarily pass, was fordable at low water. 
The day's march, though short, proved fatiguing to 
the troops, on account of the heavy rain and bad 
roads ; and. as the army marched in a single column, 
it was night before the rear came to their ground. 
When Colonel Clark, who marched at the head of 
the advanced guard, arrived at the village of Gildau, 
lie saw a body of about three hundred peasants on the 
opposite bank of the river, apparently formed with 
;m intention to oppose his passage. A few shot from 
two or three field-pieces immediately dispersed them. 
Orders were issued to prepare for passing the river at 
six o'clock next morning, and the army went to rest. 
Xtx: morning, at six o'clock, the troops were ready 


to plunge into the river, when it appeared, that the 
general had been so totally misinformed, as to the 
time of fording, that it was now high instead of low 
water, and that it would be three in the afternoon 
before the troops could pass. Such a mistake, though 
apparently of no great importance, as it discovered 
the fallibility of the general's intelligence, was a bad 

The army forded the river in two columns, without 
any other molestation than a volley or two of musket 
shot from the opposite village, by which Lord Frede- 
rick Cavendish, and a few grenadiers w r ere slightly 
wounded. They passed the river and pitched their 
tents immediately. Why they marched no farther 
that night is difficult to imagine. On Sunday morn- 
ing the army again decamped, and marched towards 
Mattingnon. When the advanced guard approached 
the town, they saw a party of French dragoons, and 
observed that the hedges were lined by foot which 
seemed to be regulars. This being reported to the 
general, all the grenadiers were ordered to advance, 
and they pressed forward with great eagerness ; but 
the enemy did not think fit to wait for them. Hav- 
ing marched about four miles, the army encamped to 
the southward of Mattingnon, after parading through 
the town by beat of drum. From this circumstance, 
it is evident that General Bligh had not the least idea 
that a superior army was, at this time, within a few 
hours march of his camp. 

This evening, a French soldier was brought into the 
.camp, who informed the general, that nine battalions 
of foot, two squadrons of dragoons, with live thousand 
Guardes de Costas, were on their march from Brest, 
and that they were not above two leagues distant. 
He named the general officers, and the regiments. 
His intelligence, however, produced no other effect 
than an order to the piquets of the English army to 
be particularly vigilant. During the night, the ad- 
vanced guard of the enemy came so near, as to ex- 


change some shot with the out-posts. Nevertheless, 
General Bligh continued so totally unapprehensive^ 
that lie ordered the usual drums, preparatory to a 
inarch, to beat next morning', at three o'clock. The 
drums beat accordingly, and the army marched, in a 
single column, towards St. Cas, which is about a 
league from Mattingnon. If the troops had marched 
in two columns, they would have reached their ships 
in half the time. When the head of the column reach- 
ed the eminence, about half a mile from the sea, they 
had orders to halt, and the regiments formed the line 
as they advanced in succession ; but, before the gre- 
nadiers in the rear reached the ground, the youngest 
brigade was ordered to march down to the beach. 
Meanwhile, the frigates which were intended to 
cover the embarkation, and the boats, were approach- 
ing the land. Before the grenadiers quitted the 
height, they saw the enemy advancing in four co- 
lumns. The grenadiers inarched deliberately down 
to the beach, and there rested on their arms, while 
the battalions were conveyed to their transports in 
the flat bottomed boats. 

The rear of the English army had scarcely quitted 
the height, before it was possessed by the enemy. 
As soon as they began to descend, Mr. Howe made a 
signal for his frigates to fire ; which order was execut- 
ed with so much skill and dexterity, that many of 
the French were killed, and their whole army thrown 
into confusion. The British troops were now all em- 
barked, except the grenadiers, and four companies of 
the first regiment of guards ; in all about 1400 men. 
The enemy continued to advance, and their cannon 
destroyed some of our boats. General Drury, who 
was now the senior officer on shore, formed his little 
army, and most imprudently advanced up tiie hill to 
meet his enemy. By this manoeuvre, he quitted a 
parapet of sand banks, and effectually silenced the 
frigates, which could not now fire wirhout destroy- 
ing their friends. This inconsiderable body of JBng- 


lish troops, with every disadvantage of situation, and 
commanded by a man of no expedience or abilities, 
maintained their ground against ten times their num- 
ber, till most of them had entirely spent their ammu- 
nition. Thus circumstanced, after making terrible 
havock in the enemies 1 ranks, they yielded to neces- 
sity, and retreated to their boats. Unhappily, the 
boats then in shore, were insufficient to receive half 
the number of men which now* crowded to the beach, 
and the boats were consequently in an instant so over- 
loaded, that most of them were a-oround. In this 


horrible situation, exposed to the continual fire of a 
numerous army, they remained for some time, till, 
at last, the commodore himself leapt into his boat, 
and, rowing to the shore, took one of the flat- 
boats in tow. The rest of the fleet followed his 
example, and about seven hundred men were brought 
on board. The other half were either shot, taken 
prisoners, or drowned. Among the killed, were 
Major-general Drury, Lieutenant-colonel Wilkinson, 
and Sir John Armitage, a volunteer. Lord Fre- 
derick Cavendish, Lieutenant-colonels Pearson and 
Lambert, and sixteen officers of inferior rank, were 
taken prisoners. Four captains of men of war, 
who went on shore in order to expedite the embarka- 
tion of the troops, were also obliged to surrender 
themselves to the enemy. Eight seamen were killed, 
and seventeen wounded. 

This terrible disaster was very justly ascribed to a 
total want of military knowledge, sagacity, and ex- 
perience, in the general, who imprudently gave ear 
to those about him, who talked of marching through 
France with a single company of British grenadiers. 
His marching, in an enemy's country, in a single co- 
lumn, was extremely imprudent. His beating the ge- 
neral the morning of his march from Matthignon, 
was inexcusable ; and his dilatory proceedings on the 
fatal day of embarkation, admit of no apology. But, 
though our loss on this occasion was considerable, the 


enemy had certainly no great cause of triumph : they 
had defeated a rear-guard of fourteen hundred men, 
with an army of at least fifteen thousand, and their 
loss in killed and wounded was much greater than 
that of the English. This check, however, was no 
proof that the minister's plan of operation was impro- 
per. His design was fully answered, and was cer- 
tainly attended with salutary consequences. Commo- 
dore Howe returned to Spithead, and the troops were 

We are now to recollect, that, after the reduction 
of Senegal, an attempt was mnde upon the island of 
Goree; but without success, owing to the want of 
sufficient naval force. The British minister, sensible 
that his conquest on the coast of Africa was incom- 
plete without the reduction of this island, sent out a 
small squadron of four ships of the line, two frigates, 
and two bomb -ketches, commanded b}- Commodore 
Keppel, with six hundred land-forces under Colonel 
Worge. This armament sailed from Cork on the 1 1th 
of November, and, after a tempestuous voyage, an- 
chored in the road of Goree, about a league from the 
island, on the 24th of December. Goree is a barren 
island, not a mile in length, situated near Cape 
Verde. The Dutch took possession of it in the begin- 
ning of th e last century. The French took it in 1677, 
and since that period it has remained in possession of 
their East India Company. On the south-west side 
there was a small fort called St. Michael, and another, 
less considerable, called St. Francis, near the oppo- 
site extremity. Besides these forts, there were seve- 
ral slight batteries along the shore, mounting* in the 
-vholea hundred cannon. The garrison, commanded 
by Monsieur St. Jean, consisted of three hundred re- 
ulars and about the same number or' nero iniiabit- 

On the 8th, in the morning, the troops were or- 
dered into tiie boats, ready for landing, if necessary ; 
ai:d, ihc ships being properly stationed on the west 


side of the island, a general cannonading began, 
which was answered by the enemy with great spirit, 
and with such success, that above a hundred of the 
English were killed or wounded. Nevertheless, the 
French garrison, though not one of them \vab killed 
were so terrified by the lire from the ships, that the 
governor \vas obliged to surrender at discretion. A 
detachment of marines was lauded co take possession 
of the island, and the British flag \vas hoisted on the 
castle of St. Michael. 

Mr. Keppel, having taken his prisoners on board, 
and left a sufficient garrison under the command of 
Major Newton, touched at Senegal, and then re- 
turned to England. But this expedition, though 
successful, was not unattended by misfortunes. The 
Litchfield, of fifty guns, a transport, and a bomb- 
ketch, were on their outward passage separated from 
the fleet, and wrecked on the coast of Bai bary. about 
nine leagues to the north waul of SarlV. A hundred 

O i/ 

and thirty people, among whom were several officers, 
were drowned. Captain Barton, with about two 
hundred and twenty, reached the inhospitable shore. 
They suffered great hardships, and were enslaved by 
the emperor of Morocco, our worthy ally, who held 
them in captivity till they were ransomed by the king of 
Great Britain. Such is the faith of barbarian princes. 
Our naval exploits in the \Vcst Indies, in the 
course of this year, were not attended with any im- 
portant consequences. There were performed, how- 
ever, several gallant actions, which ought not to pass 
unnoticed. Captain Forrest, of the Augusta, having' 
sailed from Port-Royal in Jamaica, cruised off Cape 
Francis, a harbour in the island of St. Domingo; he 
was accompanied by the Captains Suckling and 
Langdon, commanding the Dreadnought and Edin- 
burgh. There lay at that time, at the Cape, a 
French squadron of four ships of the line and three 
stout frigates, which the French commodore, piqued 
at seeing the coast insulted by Forrest's little squa- 



dron, reinforced with several store-ships, which he 
mounted with cannon, and supplied with seamen 
from the merchant vessels, and with soldiers from 
the garrison. Thus prepared, he weighed anchor, 
and stood out for sea. When Forrest perceived the 
approach of the French ships, he called to his two 
captains. "Gentlemen," said he, "you know our 
own strength, and see that of the enemv shall we 

O J *} 

give them battle ?" Being answered in the affirma- 
tive, he ho re down on the French fleet, and, be- 
tween three and four in the afternoon, came to 
action. The French attacked with great impetuosity, 
and displayed uncommon spirit in the sight of their 
own coast. Bat, after an engagement of more than 
two hours, their commodore found his ship so much 
shattered, that he was obliged to make a signal for 
his frigates to tow him out of the line. The rest of 
the squadron followed his example, and availed them- 
selves of the land breeze to escape in the night from 
the three British ships, which were too much damaged 
in their sails and rigging to pursue their Victory. 

Captain Forrest signalized his courage in this en- 
gagement ; but he displayed equal courage, and still 
more uncommon conduct and sagacity in a subse- 


quent adventure near the western coast of Hispa- 
m'ola. Having received intelligence, that there was 
a considerable French fleet at Port-au-Prince, a har- 
bour on that coast, ready to sail for Europe, he pro- 
ceeded from Jamaica to cruise between Hispaniola 
and the little island Goave. He disguised his ship 
with tarpaulins, hoisted Dutch colours, and, in order 
to avoid discovery, allowed several small vessels- to 
pass without giving them chace. The second day 
after his arrival in those parts, he perceived a fleet 
of seven sail steering to the Westward. He kept from 
them to prevent suspicion, but, at the approach of 
night, pursued them with all the sail he eould crowd. 
About ten in the evening he came up with two ves- 
sels of the chace, one of which tired a sun, and the 

O * 


other sheered off. The ship which had fired, no sooner 
discovered her enemy, than she suhmitted. Forrest 
manned her with thirty-five of his own crew, and 
now perceiving eight sail to leeward, near the har- 
bour of Petit Goave, ordered them to stand for that 
place, and to intercept any vessels that attempted to 
reach it. He himself, in the Augusta, sailed di- 
rectly for the French fleet, and, coming up with 
them by day- break, engaged them all by turns as he 
could bring his guns to bear. The Solide, the Theo- 
dore, and the Marguerite, returned his fire; but, 
having soon struck their colours, they were imme- 
diately secured, and then employed in taking the 
other vessels, of which none had the fortune to 
escape. The nine sail, which, by this well-conducted 
stratagem, had fallen into the power of one ship, and 
that even in the sight of their own harbours, were 
safely conducted to Jamaica, where the sale of their 
rich cargoes rewarded the merit of the captors. 

While Forrest acquired wealth and glory by pro- 
tecting the trade of Jamaica, the vigilance of Cap- 
tain Tyrrel secured the English navigation to Antigua. 
Jn the month of March, this enterprising and judi- 
cious commander demolished a fort on the Island 
of Martinico, and destroyed four privateers riding- 
tinder its protection. In November of the same 
year, he, in his own ship, the Buckingham of 
sixty-four guns, accompanied by the Weasle sloop 
commanded by Captain Boles, discovered, between 
the islands of Guadaloupe and Montserrat, a fleet of 
nineteen sail under convoy of the Florissant, a French 
man of war of seventy-four guns, and two frigates, 
of which the largest carried thirty-eight, and the 
Bother twenty-six guns. Captain Tyrrel, regardless of 
the great inequality of force, immediately gave chace 
in the Buckingham ; and the Wcazle, running close 
to the enemy, received a whole broadside from the 
Florissant. Though she sustained it without con- 
siderable damage, "Mr. Tyrrel ordered Captain Boles 

D D 2 


to keep aloof, as bis vessel could not be supposed to 
bear the shock of heavy metal ; and he alone pre- 
pared for the engagement. The Florissant, instead 
of lying to for him, made a running fight with her 
stern chace, while the two frigates annoyed the Buck- 
ingham in her pursuit. At length, however, she 
came within pistol-shot of the Florissant, and poured 
in a broadside, which did great execution. The sa- 
lutation was returned with spirit, and the battle be- 
came close and obstinate. Mr. Tyrrel, being wound- 
ed, was obliged to leave the deck, and the command 
devolved on the brave Mr. Marshall, his first lieu- 
tenant, who fell in the arms of victory. The second 
lieutenant took the command, and finally silenced 
the enemy's fire. On board the Florissant one hundred 
and eighty men were slain, and three hundred wound- 
ed. She was so much disabled in her hull, that she 
could hardly be kept afloat. The largest frigate re- 
ceived equal damage. The Buckingham had only 
seven men killed, and seventeen dangerously wound- 
ed : she had suffered much, however, in her masts 
and rigging, which was the only circumstance that 
prevented her from adding profit to glory, by making 
prizes of the French fleet under so powerful a convoy. 
In the East Indies the French squadron was com- 
manded by M. D'Ache\ and the English by Admi- 
ral Pocock, who had succeeded Admiral Watson. 
The former was reinforced by a considerable arma- 
ment under the command of General Lally, an ad- 
venturer of Irish extraction in the French service. 
The English admiral was also reinforced on the 24th 
of March by four ships of the line; and, being soon 
after apprized of Lally's arrival, he hoisted his flag 
on board the Yarmouth, a ship of sixty-four guns, 
and sailed in quest of the enemy. He made the 
height of Negapatam the 28th of March, and the day 
following discovered the enemy's fleet in the road of 
Fort St. David. It consisted of eight ships of the 
line, and a frigate, which immediately stood out to 


sea, and formed the line of battle. Pocock's squa- 
dron consisted only of seven ships ; with which he 
formed the line, and, hearing down upon M. 
D'Ache, began the engagement. The French com- 
modore, having sustained a warm action for ahout 
two hours, in which one of his largest ships was dis- 
abled, sheered off with his whole fleet. Being after- 
wards joined with two more ships of war, he again 
formed the line of battle to leeward. Admiral Po- 
cock, though his own ship and several others were 
considerably damaged, and, though three of his 
captains* had misbehaved in the engagement, pre- 
pared again for the attack. But the manoeuvres of 
the French fleet seem to have been intended merely 
to amuse him ; for they neither shewed lights, nor 
gave any signal in the night, and next morning the 
smallest trace of them could not be observed. 

Admiral Pocock made various attempts to bring 
the French squadron to a second engagement. These, 
however, proved ineffectual till the 3d of August, 
when he perceived the enemy's fleet, consisting of 
eight ships of the line and a frigate, standing to sea 
off the Road of Pondieherry. They would have 
gladly eluded his pursuit, but he obtained the wea- 
ther gage, and sailed down upon them in order of 
battle. As it was now impossible to escape without 
coming to action, the French prepared for the en- 

* Captain Brereton, of the Cumberland, was one of the three 
who misbehaved. God forbid that we should particularise an in- 
dividual with a view to insult his misfortunes. A man may pos. 
scss much probity, great good sense, and many amiable qualities, 
without being born with that constitutional courage, or endowed 
with that accurate circumspection, which qualifies him for doing 
his duty as a sea-officer. We name this gentleman as an example, 
that the, character of a naval commander, when once hurt by mis. 
conduct, is seldom to be retrieved ; and we would, if possible, 
persuade men in power of the dangerous consequences of again 
intrusting, with an honourable employment, those who, on any 
former occasion, hare shewed themselves undeserving of so import- 
ant a charge. 


gagement, and fired on the Elizabeth, which hap- 
pened to be within musket-shot of the ship in their 
van. But this spirited attack was not seconded with 
equal perseverance. In little more than ten minutes 
after Admiral Pocock had displayed the signal for 
battle, M. D'Ache set his fore-sail, and bore away, 
maintaining* a running 1 fight in a very irregular line 
for nearly an hour. The whole squadron immediately 
followed his example ; and at two o'clock they cut 
away their boats, crowded sail, and put before the 
wind. They escaped by favour of the night into the 
lload of Ponciicherry ; but their fleet was so much 
damaged, that, in the beginning of September, their 
commodore sailed for the Isle of Bourbon in order to 
refit, thus leaving the English admiral, whose squa- 
dron had always been inferior to that of the French 
in number of ships and men, as well as in weight of 
metal, sovereign of the Indian seas. 


Having examined the naval successes of Great 
Britain in the different quarters of the world, we 
shall, for the reader's satisfaction, exhibit in one 
view the consequences of these glorious exploits. 
During the course of this yeiir the French lost six- 
teen men of war, while the English lost no more 
than three : the French lost forty-nine privateers 
and armed merchantmen, carrying six hundred and 
nineteen guns and three thousand eight hundred and 
twenty-four men. The diminution of their commerce, 
and the dread of falling into the hands of the English, 
prevented many of their trading vessels from ven- 
turing to sea. Of these, however, they lost one hun- 
dred and four; and not less than one hundred and se- 
venty-six neutral vessels, laden with the rich produce 
of the French colonies, or with military and naval 
stores, to enable them to continue the war, rewarded 
the vigilance of the English navy. 

The loss of ships, on the part of Great Britain, 
amounted to three hundred and thirteen, a consi- 
derable number, but consisting chiefly of empty 


transports, and coasting or disarmed vessels, of little 
value or importance. 

The capture of so many of the enemy's vessels, 
though it added much wealth and i>lory to those con- 

o o ** 

cerned in maritime affairs, was not the only, or even 
the principal advantage which Great Britain derived 
from the spirited efforts of her seamen. The con- 
quests acquired to the nation were still more impor- 
tant. Not to mention the taking of Fort Du Qucsne, 
on the river Ohio, a place of the utmost consequence, 
on account both of its strength and situation ; the 
acquisition of the strong fortress of Louisbourg, 
with the islands of Cape Breton and St. John ; the 
demolition of Frontenac. and the reduction of Se- 
negal, were events not more destructive to the com- 
merce and colonies of France, than advantageous to 
those of Great Britain : even the British expeditions 
to the coast of France, though conducted with little 
prudence, brought glory and renown to the invaders, 
and taught an ambitious people, that, while they were 
intent on ravainno* the territory of their neighbours 

O O *s f CU 

their own dominions were still within the reach of 
the British thunder. 

The repeated triumphs of the year had inspired the 
English with a warlike enthusiasm : they discoursed 
about nothing but new plans of conquest ; and every 
object appeared inconsiderable, compared with mi- 
litary glory. In this disposition of the nation, the 
king assembled the parliament the 23d day of No- 
vember. The lord-keeper, who harangued them in 
his name, the king being indisposed, recapitulated 
the glorious events of the war, and observed, that, 
as it was uncommonly extensive, it must likewise be 
uncommonly burdensome ; but that no higher sup- 
plies should be required, than such as were adequate 
to the necessary services. The nation were not at 
present in a temper to refuse any reasonable demand. 
They voted, therefore, sixty thousand stamen, in- 
fourteen thousand eight hundred and forty- 


five marines, for the service of the ensuing year ; and 
they granted for the'r maintenance the sum of three 
millions one hundred and twenty thousand pounds. 
Besides this, two hundred thousand pounds were voted 
towards the building and repairing of ships of war. 
These sums together, how enormous soever they may 
appear, amounted to little more than was annually ex- 
pended in subsidies to German princes, and pay to 
German troops. Yet the former rendered the English 
name illustrious in every quarter of the globe, while 
the advantages of the latter still remain undiscovered. 
The operations of the year 1759 began in the 
West Indies. In the end of the preceding year, a 
squadron of nine ships of the line, with one frigate 
and four bomb -ketches, as well as sixty transports, 
containing six regiments of foot, commanded by Ge- 
neral Ilopson, sailed thither, with orders to attack 
and reduce the French Caribbee Islands. The fleet 
was to be under the orders of Commodore Moore, 
who was already in those parts. Martinico, as the 
seat of government, and the centre of commerce, is 
the most considerable of these islands. The princi- 
pal towns are St. Pierre and Port-Royal, places 
strong by nature and art, and at that time defended 
by a numerous and well-disciplined militia, as well 
as by a considerable body of regular troops. Port- 
Royal was the first object of English ambition. 
The ships of war easily drove the enemy from their 
batteries and entrenchments, and the troops landed 
without meeting any considerable opposition : but 
after they had effected their landing, they found 
it impossible to convey the cannon to a suffi- 
cient vicinity for attacking the town. General Hop- 
son judged the difficulties on the land side insur- 
mountable. Commodore Moore thought it impos- 
sible to land the cannon nearer the town ; and, in 
consequence of these opinions, the forces were re- 
cmbarkfd, in order to proceed to St. Pierre. When 
they had arrived before that place, and examined its 


situation, new difficulties arose, which occasioned a 
council of war. The commodore had no doubt of 
being able to reduce the town, but, as the troops had 
suffered greatly by diseases, and the ships might be 
so much disabled in the attack, as to prevent them 
from availing themselves of their success, and from 
undertaking any other expedition during that season, 
lie advised, that the armament should be brought be- 
fore Guadaloupe, the reduction of which would tend 
greatly to the benefit of the English sugar-islands. 
Guadaloupe falls little short of Martinico in the 
quantity 'and richness of its productions. It long 
continued, however, in a languishing condition, the 
French having treated Martinico with the predi- 
lection of a partial mother for a favourite child, to 
the great prejudice of all her other colonies. But the 
situation and natural advantages of Guadaloupe abun- 
dantly justified the opinion of Commodore Moore; 
and if our ministers had understood the value of 
such a conquest, this island might have still conti- 
nued a bright p-em in the British crown. The fleet 

O O 

arrived, on the 23d of January, before the town of 
Basseterre, the capital of Guadaloupe, a place of 
considerable extent, defended by a strong battery, 
which, in the opinion of the chief engineer, could 
not be reduced by the .shipping. But Commodore 
Moore entertained very different sentiments, and 
brought his ships to bear on the town and citadel. The 
Lion, a ship of sixty guns, commanded by Captain 
Trelawney, began the engagement, against a battery 
of ninety guns : the rest of the fleet took their sta- 
tions a- breast of the other batteries, and the action, 
in a little time, became general. The commodore, 
mean while, shifted his flag into the Woolwich fri- 
gate, and kept aloof without gun-shot, that he might 
have a more distinct view of the state of the bar !e ; 
an expedient seldom practised, though the propriety 
of it cannot admit of the smallest doubt. All the 
sea-commanders behaved with extraordinary spirit 


and resolution in the attack ; particularly Captain* 
Leslie, Burner., Gayton, Jekyl, Trelawney, and Shul- 
dam. The action had lasted trom nine in the morn- 
ing till five in the afternoon, when the fire of the ci- 
tadel was silenced. The Burford and Berwick being 
driven to sea, Captain Shuldam in the Panther, was 
unsupported, and two batteries played on the Rip- 
pon, Captain Jekyl, who silenced one of them, but 
could not prevent his vessel from running a-ground. 
The enemy, perceiving her disaster, assembled on the 
hill, lined the trenches, and poured in a severe lire 
of musquetry : they afterwards brought an eighteen 
pounder to bear, and, for two hours, raked her fore 
and aft with great effect : a box containing nine 
hundred cartridges, blew up on the poop, and set the 
ship on fire. The captain hoisted a signal of distress, 
which brought Captain Leslie, in the Bristol, who 
ran in between the ilippon and the battery, and en- 
gaged with such impetuosity, as saved Captain Jekyl 
from destruction, which otherwise was unavoidable. 
At seven in the evening, the large ships having 
silenced the batteries to which they were opposed, 
the four bombs began to play on the town, with 
shells and carcasses. In a short time the houses were 
in flames, the magazines of gunpowder blew up with 
a terrible explosion, and the sugar, rum, and other 
combustible materials composing a continued and 
permanent line of fire, formed a suitable back-ground 
to this terrible picture. 

Notwithstanding the vivacity of the engagement, 
the loss, on the par- of the British, was not very 
considerable. Next day our fleet came to anchor in 
the road, oil' Basseterre, having intercepted several 
ships, which had turned out and endeavoured to 
escape. They found the hulls of several more vessels, 
which the enemy had set on fire, to prevent them 
from falling into their hands. The troops landed in 
the afternoon, without opposition, took possession 
of the town and citadel, and displayed the British 


colours on the walls. The country, however, \vas 
still far from being reduced : it abounded in moun- 
tains and narrow defiles, of difficult and dangerous 
access; and although the governor, Monsieur D'Etreuii, 
possessed neither bravery nor conduct, the inhabi- 
tants of Guadaloupe were determined to defend their 
possessions to the last extremities. It is foreign to 
our design to enter into any detail of the operations 
by laud, which were drawn out to an extraordinary 
length. The French were too prudent to hazard a 
general engagement with regular troops : they de- 
termined to w T eary them out, if possible, by main- 
taining a kind of petty war, in detached parties, in 
which the British were harassed by hard duty, and 
suffered greatly by diseases in an unhealthy climate, 
ill supplied with those conveniencies to which they 
were accustomed. In this manner the war con- 
tinued from the 24th of January till the 1st of May, 
when the inhabitants of Guadaloupe thought proper 
to capitulate. Their example was followed a few 
days afterwards, by those of Desirade, Santos, and 
Petite-Terre, three small islands in that neighbour- 
hood ; and, on the 26th May, the island of Marie- 
Galante likewise surrendered, which left the French 
no footing in the Leeward Islands. 

These conquests being happily finished, part of the 
troops were sent in the transports to England. They 
sailed the 3d of July from the harbour of Basseterre; 
and next day Commodore Moore's squadron was 
joined by two ships of the line, which rendered him 
greatly superior to M. De Bom part, the French 
commodore, who lay in the harbour of Martinico. 
At this time Vice-admiral Cotes commanded in the 
Jamaica station ; but neither he nor Moore could bring 
M. De Bom part to an engagement : so that the naval 
transactions in the West Indies, during the remainder 
of the year, consisted solely in the taking of. several 
rich prizes and armed ships of the enemy, by cruisers 
detached from the English squadrons. 


The reduction of Guadaloupe, and the neighbour- 
ing islands, afforded an auspicious omen for the suc- 
cess of the British operations in North America. 
These were carried on in the year 1759, on the most 
extensive scale. The splendour of military triumph, 
and the display of extraordinary genius in the art of 
war, eclipsed, in some measure, the glory of the 
navy. But if we consider the conduct of the war 
with attention, we shall find, that our admirals had a 
principal share in the happy consequences which re- 
sulted even from our military expeditions. The hearty 
and powerful co-operation of the navy facilitated every 
enterprise ; but the nation, fond of novelty, and 
transported with their successes by land, to which 
they were less accustomed, conferred the most exalted 
honours on their generals, while they hardly bestowed 
due praise on the naval commanders. About the 
middle of February, a squadron of twenty-one sail of 
the line sailed from England, under the command of 
the Admirals Saunders and Holmes, two gentlemen 
of approved honour and bravery. By the 21st of 
April they were in sight of Louisbourg ; but, the 
harbour being blocked up with ice, they were obliged 
to bear away for Halifax. From hence they detached 
Rear-admiral Durel, with a small squadron, to the 
Isle of Courdres, in the river St. Lawrence, in hopes 
that he might intercept a fleet of French transports 
and victuallers, destined for Quebec. He accordingly 
took two store-ships ; but, before he reached his sta- 
tion, seventeen sail of transports had already got to 
the capital of Canada. Mean while Admiral Saunders 
arrived at Louisbourg, and took on board eight thou- 
sand troops, under the command of General Wolfe, 
whose name is so illustrious in the memoirs of the 
present year. With this armament it was intended, 
thur the General should proceed up the river St, Law- 
rence, and undertake the siege of Quebec- The re- 
dtici o ) o? this weilthy and populous city, which 
gave an opening to the possession of all Canada, was 


the object to which all the other operations of the 
English in North America were subservient, and 
which they were designed to assist. For this pur- 
pose General Amherst, who commanded an army of 
regulars and provincials, amounting to twelve thou- 
sand men, was ordered to reduce Ticonderoga and 
Crown-Point, cross the lake Cluimplain, and proceed 
along the river Richelieu, to the banks of the St. 
Lawrence, to effect a junction with the armament 
under Wolfe and Saunders. For the same purpose, 
General Prideaux, who commanded the provincials of 
New York, with a large body of the Indians of the 
five nations, collected by the influence of Sir William 
Johnson was commissioned to invest the French fort 
erected near the Fall of Niagara, and, having seized 
that important pass, to embark on the lake Ontario, 
fall down the river St. Lawrence, and co-operate with 
the united armies. This scheme, however, was too 
refined and complicated to be put in execution. The 
operations began by the taking of Crown-Point and 
Ticonderoga; the English standard was also dis- 
played at Niagara. But these events were not of the 
smallest importance in effecting the conquest of 
Quebec ; nor did the troops engaged in them afford 
any assistance to the northern armament. This, of 
itself, under such commanders as Wolfe and Saun- 
ders, seconded by the happy star of Britain, which 
every where prevailed in the present year, was suffi- 
cient to perform far more than had been expected, 
and to overcome obstacles of art and nature, that, at 
first sight, appeared insurmountable. 

Admiral Saunders arrived the latter end of June, 
with his whole embarkation, at the isle of Orleans, a 
few leagues from Quebec. As he had discovered 
some excellent charts of the river St. Lawrence in 
vessels taken from the enemy, he experienced none 
of those difficulties with which the navigation of this 
immense stream is said to be attended. The island 
of Orleans extends quite up to the basin of Quebec, 


and its most westerly point advances to a high pro- 
montory on the continent, called Point Levi. Both 
these were at present occupied by the French, but not 
with such powerful guards as their importance re- 
quired. The first operation of General Wolfe's troops 
was, to dislodge the enemy, and to secure these posts, 
without the command of which the fleet could not 
have lain in safety in the harbour of Quebec. This 
city now appeared full to view, at once a tempting 
and discouraging sight : no place is more favoured by 
nature, and there is none of which nature seems more 
to have consulted the defence: it consists of an upper 
and lower town, the former built on a lofty rock, 
which runs with a bold and steep front along the 
western banks of the river St. Lawrence : at the tcr-> 
ruination of this ridge, the river St. Charles, from 
the north-west, and the St. Lawrence join their 
waves, which renders the ground on which Quebec 
stands a sort of peninsula. On the side of St. Law- 
rence is a bank of sand, which prevents the approach 
of large vessels to the town ; an enemy, therefore, 
who attacks it, must either traverse the precipice 
which I have mentioned, or cross the river St. Charles. 
If lie attempts the former, he must overcome a dan- 
gerous rock, defended by the whole force of the be- 
sieged, which the importance of the post would draw 
thither, The difficulty of approaching the place, by 
Charles River, is not less considerable, as all the 
country to the northward, for more than five miles, 
is rough, broken, and unequal, full of rivulets and 
gullies, and so continues to the river of Montmo- 
renci, which flows by the foot of a steep and woody 
hill. Between the two rivers the French army was 
posted, their camp strongly fortified, and their forces, 
amounting to twelve thousand men, commanded by 
M. Montcalm, a general of tried bravery and con- 
duct. General Wolfe, having seized the west point 
of the Isle of Orleans, and that of Levi, erected bat- 
teries on the high grounds, which fired continually on. 


the town. Admiral Saunders was stationed in the 
north channel of the Isle of Orleans, opposite the. 
Falls of Montmorenci, while Admiral Holmes pro- 
ceeded up the river St. Lawrence, beyond Quebec, 
which not only diverted the enemy's attention from 
the quarter on which the attack was intended, but 
prevented their attempts against the batteries already 
erected by the English. But notwithstanding this, 
advantageous position, to undertake the siege of a 
city skilfully fortified, well supplied with provisions 
and ammunition, and defended by an army far supe- 
rior to that of the besiegers, was a design so bold and 
adventurous, that even the sanguine temper of Ge- 
neral Wolfe began to despair of its success : yet, 
whatever it was possible to perform, he was deter- 
mined to attempt, lie caused the troops, therefore, 
to be transported over the north channel of the river 
St. Lawrence to the north-east of Montmorenci, with, 
a view, after he had crossed the latter, of moving to- 
wards the enemy's flanks, and enticing them to an 
engagement. But his endeavours in this way proved 
ineffectual, M. Montcalm having chosen his situ- 
ation with too much judgment to abandon it impru- 
dently. Meanwhile the fleet had been exposed to the 
most imminent danger. A violent storm had caused 
several transports to run foul of each other ; many 
boats foundered, and some large ships lost their an- 
chors. The enemy, taking advantage of the confu- 
sion produced by this disaster, sent down seven fire- 
ships from Quebec at midnight, which must have 
been attended with the most fatal consequences to the 
whole expedition, had not the English sailors reso- 
lutely boarded these instruments of destruction, run 
them fast a-ground, and prevented them from doing 
the smallest damage to the British squadron. 

The general, despairing of being able to decoy the 
enemy to an engagement, and sensible that the ap- 
proach of winter would put an end to all military ope- 
rations in that northern climate, came at last to the 


resolution of forcing the French entrenchments. The 
best dispositions were made for this purpose both by 
sea and land ; but the design was disappointed by an 
accident which could neither be foreseen nor pre- 
vented : the English grenadiers, who led the attack, 
had orders to form themselves on the beach ; but, in- 
stead of attending to this necessary injunction, they 
rushed with an impetuous ardour towards the enemy's 
entrenchments in the most tumultuous confusion : 
they were met by a violent and steady fire, which 
prevented them from being able to form, and obliged 
them to take shelter behind a redoubt, which the 
French had abandoned on their approach. There 
they were forced to continue till night came on, when 
it was necessary to make a retreat, which could not 
be effected without considerable loss. 

This check is said to have had a strong effect on 
the mind and health of General Wolfe, who saw all 
his own measures miscarry, while those of other com- 
manders in North America, during the same year, 
had been attended with extraordinary success. About 
this time he sent home a letter, couched in terms of 
despondency, but which displayed a spirit that would 
continue the campaign to the last possible moment. 
As it seemed necessary to abandon all farther pros- 
pects of gaining any advantage on the side of Mont- 
morenci, Admiral Holmes's .squadron, which had re- 
turned to assist in the late unsuccessful attack, was 
again ordered to move up the river for several days 
successively. This had a better effect than before ; 
for, though Montcahn kept his situation, he detached 
M. De Bougainville with fifteen hundred men to 
watch the motions of the English admiral. Admiral 
Saunders, who still remained in his first position, was 
ordered to make a feint with every appearance of 
reality, as if the troops had intended to land below 
the town, and attack the French entrenchments on 
the Ik-auport shore. While the enemy were amused 
by these movements, the general embarked his troops 


aboard the transports the l<2th of July atone in the 
piorning, and proceeded three leagues farther up the 
river than the intended plaee of landing : then lie put 
them into boats, and fell down silently with the tide, 
unobserved by the French cc ntinels posted along the 
shore : the ships of war followed them, and, hy u 
well- conducted navigation, arrived exactly at the 


time concerted to cover their landing. When they 
were put on shore, a hill appeared before them ex- 
tremely high and steep, having a little winding path, 
so narrow that two men could not go abreast, and 
even this strongly entrenched and defended by a cap- 
tain's guard. This small body was speedily dislodged 
by the English light infantry ; alter which the whole 
army ascended the hill, and at clay-break appeared r> 
gularly formed in order of battle. 

Montcalm could hardly believe tiie advices that 
were brought him, so impregnable did he imagine the 
city to be on this side : but his own observation soon 
convinced him of the English movements, and that 
the hio-h town might be attacked bv their army, 

O O *J * 

while tlie low town might be destroyed by their fleet, 
It was thus become necessary, notwithstanding all 
his disinclination to such a measure, to decide the fate 
of Quebec by the event of a battle: accordingly he 
quitted Beauport, passed the river St. Charles, mid 
formed his troops opposite to the English army. The 
success of this engagement, conducted with the most, 
deliberate wisdom, united with the most heroic 
bravery, put Great .Britain in possession of the capital 
of French America. It is foreign to iny design to de- 
scribe the judicious disposition, animated behaviour, 
and steady perseverin."' courage of the British troops : 
these v/ere the immediate cause of the reduction of 
Quebec ; but the matter could not have been brought 
to this issue, had not the marine co-operated w:th 
an unanimity, ardour, and perseverance, that ean 
never be enough celebrated. U hen the English en- 
tered the place, they found the fortifications m to? 
VOL, iv. : 


Icrable order, but the houses almost totally demo- 
lished. Five thousand men were left to defend the 
garrison, and the remainder returned to England with 
the fleet, which sailed soon, lest it should be locked 
up by the frost in the river St. Lawrence. 

If we turn our attention to the affairs of the East 
Indies, we shall find the British arms equally triumph- 
ant. The French were unsuccessful in all their at- 
tempts by land, particularly in the siege of Madras : 
they had still, however, a considerable superiority of 
land-forces in India, and they had strained every 
nerve to enable the fleet under M. D'Ache to cope 
with that of Admiral Pocock. The former was aii"-- 


inented to eleven sail of the line, besides frigates and 
store-ships, an armament hitherto unknown in the 
Indian seas. The English commander no sooner had 
intelligence of their arrival in those parts, than he 
sailed to the coast of Coromandel, and determined, 
by the ino^t uni emitted exertions of vigilance, to pur- 
sue, and <;5ve them battle. This resolution shews 

' O 

the ardour and .spirit of the English navy at this pe- 
riod, as their enemies had a superiority of one hundred 
and ninety-two guns, two thousand three hundred 
and sixty-five men, besides a great advantage in the 

,' O *~-J 

si;:e of their shins. In the morning of the C 2d of 
September, the French fleet were descried from the 
liiast-liead : Admiral Pocock immediately threw out 
the signal fora general chace; but, the wind abating, 
he could not approach near enough to engage, though 
lie crowded all the sail he could carry: during seve- 
lal days his endeavours to bring the French fleet, to 
an eii^!". which they always declined, were 
equally fruitless. At length they totally disappeared, 
and the admiral stood lor Pondichcrrv, on a supposi- 
tion ihat they inteiifk-d to s'.il thither. His conjec- 
ture: was well-founded; for, on the 8th day of Sep- 
tember, he obscivcd them standing to the southward, 
iiud, on the lOlh, about two in the afternoon, M. 
D'Ache bcei n;' no possibility to escape, made the 

& A. v 


signal for battle. The cannonading began without 
farther delay, and both squadrons engaged with equal 
impetuosity : but the French directing their cannon 
at the masts and rigging, while the English fired 
only at the hulls of the ships, the former sustained 
such a loss of men, and found their vessels in so shat- 
tered a condition, that they were glad to sheer off, 
with all their canvas set. The loss on the side of the 
English was not inconsiderable, there being in the 
whole five hundred and sixty-nine men killed and 
wounded : but that on the side of the French must 
have been far greater, as their ships could hardly 
keep the sea, and they were obliged to make the best 
of their way to the island of Mauritius, in order to 
be refitted. Soon after this engagement, Admiral 
Cornish arrived from England with four ships of the 
]ine, and confirmed the dominion of the English over/ 
the Indian seas. 

The French, being equally unsuccessful in Asia, 
Africa, and America, sought in vain to repair their 
misfortunes : no sooner was a fleet put to sea than it 
was either taken or destroyed : they were active to 
no purpose ; for, while they built and armed vessels 
with the greatest speed and diligence, they only la- 
boured for the English, whose fleet was continually 
augmented by captures from the enemy. But neither 
the loss of their possessions, nor the destruction of 
their fleets, nor the complaints of twenty millions of 
people exhausted by oppression, could check the fa- 
tal ambition of the French court. The ministry 
seemed to derive courage from despair, and the 
greater misfortunes they sustained, the more daring 
were the projects which they had in agitation, All 
their ports were now filled with preparations for an 
invasion of Great Britain. Men of war, transports, 
and flat-bottomed boats were got ready with the ut- 
most diligence: they talked of a triple embarkation, 
M. Thurot, who, from being captain of a merchant-. 
S^ss.el, had successively become a commander of , 

"E E 2 


privateer, and now a commodore in the French ser- 
vice, commanded a squadron of men of war and 
several transports at Dunkirk, which, it was believed, 
were intended against Scotland. The design against 
England was to be carried on from Havre de Grace 
and some other ports of Normandy, where a great 
number of flat-bottomed boats had been prepared for 
the purpose of transporting troops. The third em- 
barkation, destined against Ireland, was to be made 
at Vannes in the Lower Brittany. The land-forces 
were commanded by the Due D'Aguillon, while a 
powerful squadron under M. De Conflans was to 
cover and secure their landing. In order to counter- 
act these machinations, the English ministry ordered 
a squadron under Commodore Boyc to be stationed 
before Dunkirk : Admiral Hawke was sent with a 
large fleet to block up the harbour of Brest, while a 
smaller fleet kept a watch upon that of Vannes. As 
to Havre, from which the clanger seemed most immi- 
nent, Rear-admiral Rodney was dispatched, with orders 
immediately to proceed to the bombardment of that 
place. He accordingly anchored in the road of Havre 
in the beginning of July, and made a disposition to 
execute his instructions, The bomb-ketches were 
placed in the narrow channel of the rive, 1 leading to 
Honfleur ; and, having begun the bombardment, con- 
tinued to throw their shells for above two days with- 
out intermission. The town was set on fire in several 
places, the boats overset or reduced to ashes, and, at 
the expence of nineteen hundred shells and eleven 
hundred carcasses, the French preparations at Havre 
were totally destroyed. 

While the danger threatening England from the 
northern coast of France was thus happily removed, 
the honour of the British flag was effectually main- 
tained by the gallant Admiral Bosc.iwen, who com- 
manded in the Mediterranean. The French had 
assembled there a considerable armament, under the 
command of Monsieur De la Clue, which 


believed to be destined for America, while others con- 
jectured, that it was designed to reinforce the squadron 
at Brest, and to co-operate with it in the intended 
descent on the English coast. At present M. De la 
Clue continued to lie in the harbour of Toulon, 
before which Admiral Boscawen took his station 
with fourteen ships of the line, besides frigates and 

Bosca\ven, having in vain displayed the British flag- 
in sight of Toulon, and tried every other art to bring* 
the enemy to an engagement, ordered three ships of 
the line, commanded by the Captains Smith, Barker, 
and Harland, to advance and burn two French vessels 
lying close to the mouth of the harbour. They pre- 
pared for executing their orders with the utmost 
alacrity, but met with a warm reception from several 
batteries, which had not been before perceived ; and, 
the wind unfortunately subsiding into a calm, they 
sustained such considerable damage, as made it conve- 
nient for the English admiral to put into Gibraltar, 
to refit his shattered ships. M. De la Clue seized 
this opportunity of sailing, in hopes of passing the 
Gut of Gibraltar unmolested, during the absence of 
the English fleet. But Boscawen had previously 
detached two frigates, of which one cruised off Ma- 
laga, and the other hovered between Estepona and 
the fortress of Ceuta, in order to observe the motions 
of the enemy. On the l/Ui day of August, the 
Gibraltar frigate made the signal at the mast-head for 
the enemy being in sight; upon which the English 
admiral, without delay, hove up his anchors, and put 
to sea. At day-light he descried seven large ships, 
part of M. De la Clue's squadron, from which five 
ships of the line and three frigates had been separated 
in the night. Having made the signal to chace, and 
to engage in line of battle a-head, his foremost ships 
came up with the rear of the enemy about half after 
two. The admiral himself did not wait to return the 
fire of the sternmost, but employed every effort to 


come up with the Ocean, which M. De la Cluef 
commanded in person; and about four o'clock he ran 
athwart her hawse, and poured into her a furious 
broadside, which was returned with equal vivacity. 
This dispute, however, was not of long continuance; 
for the French admiral being wounded in the engage- 
ment, and the next in command perceiving that 
Boscawen's vessel had lost her mizen-mast and top- 
sail-yards, went off with all the sail he could carry. 
Mr. Boscawen shifted his flag from the Namur to the 
Newark, and joined some other ships in attacking the 
Centaur, which was obliged to strike. The pursuit 
continued all night, and M. De la Clue, finding' 
himself at day-break on the coast of Portugal, deter- 
mined rather to burn his ships, than allow them to 
fall into the hands of the victors. When he reached 
the Portuguese shore, he put his ship under the pro- 
tection of Fort Almadana, to which the English paid 
no regard. He himself landed with part of his men; 
but the Count De Carne, who succeeded to the com- 
mand of the Ocean, having received a broadside from 
the America, struck his colours, and the English 
took possession of this noble prize, deemed the best 
ship in the French navy. Meanwhile Captain Bent- 
ley brought off the Temcraire, little damaged, and 
having on board all her officers and men; while Rear- 
admiral Broderic burnt the Redoubtable, and took 
the Modeste. The scattered remains of the French 
fleet got with difficulty into the harbour of Cadiz, 
where they were soon after blocked up. Nothing 
was wanting to complete the glory of this victory; 
for it was obtained with the iobS of only iifty-six men 
killed, and one hundred and ninety-six wounded, and 
not one officer lost in the action. 

After the memorable naval engagement off Cape La- 
gos, the French met with a disaster by laud equally ca- 
lamitous. The important battle of Minden deprived 
them of all hope.-, of again getting possession of 
Hanover, or of putting their affairs in such a situ- 


ation in Germany, as might afford them the prospect 
of any other than an ignominious peace. They were 
under the unhappy necessity, therefore, of trying a 
last effort on an element which had hitherto been 
extremely unpropitious to all their designs. Their 
sole hopes now centered in their fleets at Brest and 
Dunkirk, of which the former was blocked up by 
Admiral Ilawke, and the latter by Commodore Boyce. 
They still expected, however, that the winter storms 
would compel the English fleets to take refuge in 
their own harbours, and thus afford them an oppor- 
tunity to cross the sea unopposed, and to execute the 
object of their destination against the British coasts. 
Jn this expectation they were not wholly disappointed : 
on the 12th of October, a violent gale of \vind, which 
gathered into an irresistible storm, drove the English 
squadrons off the French coast. Thurot, a French 
adventurer, availed himself of this accident, to obtain 
his release from Dunkirk, without being discovered 
by Commodore Boyce, who, upon the first infor- 
mation of his departure, sailed immediately in 
pursuit of him: but Thurot had the good fortune or 
dexterity to ehide his vigilance, by entering the port 
of Gottenburgh, in Sweden, where he was laid up till 
after Christmas by the severity of the weather, and 
want of necessaries to enable his ships and men to 
keep the seas. 

Admiral Hcuvke's squadron had taken refuge, dur- 
ing the violence of the storm, in the harbour of 
Tor bay. When its fury began to subside, the French 
Admifal Contlans, perceiving no enemy on the coast, 
immediately put to sea. But the same day that he 
sailed from Brest, the English admiral sailed from 
Torhay. The two squadrons were the most powerful 
of any employed in the course of the war, and worthv 
to be entrusted with the fate of the two leading 
kingdoms in Europe. Their forces were nearly equal ; 
the English being, by some vessels, more numerous,, 


but having no superiority in number of men, ot 
weight of metal. 

Sir Edward Hawke directed his course for Quiberon 
Bay, on the coast of Bretagne, which he conjectured 
would be the rendezvous of the French squadron. 
But here fortune opposed his well-concerted mea- 
sures ; for a strong gale sprung up in an easterly 
point, and drove the English fleet a great way to the 
westward: at length, however, the weather became 
rnore favourable, and carried them in directly to the 
shore. The Maidstone and Coventry frigates, who 
had orders to keep a-head of the squadron, discovered 
the enemy's fleet in the morning of the 20th of 
November. They were bearing to the northward 
between the Island of Belleisle and the main land of 
France. Sir Edward Hawke threw out a signal for 
seven of his ships, that were nearest, to chace, in 
order to detain the French fleet until they themselves 
could be reinforced with the rest of the squadron, 
which were ordered to form into a line of battle 
a-head, as they chaced, that no time might be lost in 
the pursuit. These manoeuvres indicated the utmost 
resolution and intrepidity; for at this time the waves 
rolled mountains high, the weather grew more and 
more tempestuous, and the sea, on this treacherous 
const, was indented with sands and shoals, shallows 
and rocks, as unknown to the English pilots as they 
were familiar to those of the enemy. But Sir Edward 
Hawke, animated by the innate fortitude of his own 
heart, and the warm love of his country, disregarded 
everv danger and obstacle that stood in the way of 

^ / 

his obtaining the important stake which now de- 
pended. M. DC Conflans might have hazarded a fair 
battle on the open sea, without the imputation of 
temerity ; but he thought proper to attempt a more 
artful game, which, however, he did not play with 
the address which his situation required. As he was 
Unwilling to risk a fair engagement, he could have 


no other view but to draw the English squadron 
among the rocks and shoals, in order that, at a proper 
time, he might take advantage of any disaster that 
befelthem: but, fluctuating between a resolution to 
fiji'ht and an inclination to fly, he allowed the British 

C^ v J 

ships to come up with him, and then crowded his sail 
When it was too late to escape. At half an hour after 
two, the van of the English fleet began the engage- 
ment with the rear of the enemy. The Formidable, 
commanded by the French rear-admiral, M. Du 
Verger, behaved with uncommon resolution, and 
returned many broadsides poured into her by the 
Englisb ships as they passed to bear down on the van 
of the French. Sir Edward Hawke reserved his fire, 
and ordered his master to carry him alongside the 
French admiral. The pilot observed, that he could 
not obey his orders, without the most imminent risk 
of running upon a shoal: the brave admiral replied, 
" You have done your duty in pointing out the dan- 
ger ; you now are to obey my commands, and lay 1 
me alongside the Soleil Royal." While the pilot was 
preparing to gratify his desire, the Thesee, a French 
ship of seventy guns, generously interposed itself 
between the two admirals, and received the fire which 
Hawke had destined for a greater occasion. In 
returning this fire, the Thesee foundered, in conse- 
quence of a high sea that entered her lower-deck 
ports: the Superbe shared the same fate; the Heros 
struck her colours; and the Formidable did the same, 
about four in the afternoon; Darkness coming on, 
the enemy fled towards their own coast. Seven ships 
of the line hove their guns overboard, and took refuge 
in the river Villaine: about as many more, in a most 
shattered and miserable condition, escaped to other 
ports. The wind blowing with redoubled violence 
on a lee shore. Sir Edward made the signal for an- 
choring to the westward of the small island Dumet, 
where he continued all night in a very dangerous 
riding, continually alarmed by hearing guns of dis- 


tress. When morning appeared, he found the French 
admiral had run his ship on shore, where she was 
soon after set on fire by her own men. Thus con- 
cluded this memorable action, in which the English 
sustained little loss but what was occasioned by the 
weather. The Essex and Resolution unfortunately 
ran on a sand-bank called Lefbur, where they were 
irrecoverably lost, in spite of all the assistance that 
could be given; but most of their men, and some part 
of their stores were saved. In the whole fleet, no 
more than one lieutenant and thirty-nine seamen and 
marines were killed, and two hundred and two 
wounded. The loss of the French in men must have 
been prodigious. All the officers on board the For- 
midable were killed before she struck. They had, 
besides, four of the best ships in their navy destroyed, 
one taken, and the whole of their formidable arma- 
ment, the last hope of the French marine, shattered^ 
disarmed, and distressed. 

It would be unjust to pass over a circumstance 
which characterizes the spirit that distinguished the 
English navy at this happy period. Admiral Saun- 
ders happened to arrive from his glorious Quebec 
expedition a little after Hawke had sailed. Notwith- 
standing the length of the voyage, and the severity 
of the duty in which he had been so long employed, 
he lost not a moment in setting sail, with a view to 
partake the danger and honour of the approaching 
engagement. Fortune did not favour the generosity 
of his intentions. He w r as too late to give assistance; 
but such a resolution was alone equal to a victory. 

Under such commanders, it was impossible that 
the English should not maintain the ascendancy over 
their enemies. Accordingly, in the words of a cele- 
brated writer, (Voltaire) who ought not on this subject 
to be suspected of partiality, " the English had never 
such a superiority at sea as at this time." But, con- 
tinues he, " they at all times had the advantage over 
the French. The naval force of France they d eat roved 

mf * 


in the war of 1741 ; they humbled that of Louis 
XIV. in the war of the Spanish succession; they 
triumphed at sea in the reigns of Louis XIII. and 
Henry IV. and still more in the unhappy times of the 
league. Henry VIII. of England had the same ad-- 
vantage over Francis I. If we examine into past 
times, we shall find that the fleets of Charles VI. and 
Philip De Valois could not withstand those of the 
Kings Henry V. and Edward III. of England. What 
can be the reason of this continual superiority? Is 
it not that the sea, which the French can live well 
enough without, is essentially necessary to the Eng- 
lish, and that nations always succeed best in those 
things for which they have an absolute occasion? 
Is it not also because the capital of England is a sea- 
port, and that Paris knows only the boats of the 
Seine? Is it that the English climate produces men 
of a more steady resolution, and of a more vigorous 
constitution than that of France, as it produces the 
best horses and dogs for hunting ?" Fearful lest he 
had gone too far in sugoestins a reason, which is 

C 1 C? O O 

doubtless the true one, he returns to his natural scep- 
ticism, and concludes in a flattering strain ; " but 
from Bayonne even to the coasts of Picardy ami 
Flanders, France has men of an indefatigable labour; 
and Normandy alone formerly subdued England." 

The events above related compose the principal 
operations of the British navy during the present 
year. But besides the actions of whole squadrons, 
there were a great many captures made by single 
ships, attended with circumstances highly honourable 
and advantageous. The Favourite, of twenty guns, 
commanded by Captain Edwards, carried into Gib- 
raltar a French ship of twenty-four guns, laden with 
the rich productions of St. Domingo, valued at 
40,()00/. A French privateer belonging to Granville, 
having on board two hundred men, and mounted 
with twenty cannon, was taken by the Montague, 
Captain Parker, who soon after made prize of a- 


smaller vessel from Dunkirk, mounted with eight 
guns, and having on board sixty men. About the 
same period, that is in the month of February, Cap-* 
tain Graves of the Unicorn brought in the Moras 
privateer of St. Malo, carrying two hundred men and 
two and twenty guns. The Vestal, Captain Hood, 
belonging to Admiral Holmes's squadron in the West 
Indies, engaged a French frigate called the Bellona, 
greatly superior to the Vestal in men and weight of 
metal, and, after an obstinate engagement, which 
lasted above two hours, took her, and brought her 
safely into port. The English frigates the South- 
ampton and Melampe, commanded by the Captains 
Gilchrist and Hotham, descried in the evening of the 
28th of March, as they were cruising to the north- 
ward, the Danae, a French ship of forty guns and 
three hundred and thirty men. The Melampe came 
up with her in the night a considerable time before 
the Southampton, and with admirable gallantry main- 
tained the combat against a ship of double her own 
force. As they fought in the dark, Captain Gilchrist 
was obliged to lie by until he could distinguish the 
one from the other. At day-break he bore down on. 
the Dana6 with his usual valour, and, after a brisk 
engagement, in which she had forty men killed, and 
many more wounded, compelled her to surrender. 
This victory, however, was clouded by a misfortune 
which happened to the brave Gilchrist. He received 
a wound in the shoulder, which, though it did not 
deprive him of life, rendered him incapable of future 
service. On the 4th of April, another remarkable 
exploit was achieved by his Majesty's ship Achilles, 
commanded by the honourable Captain Barrington. 
The Achilles, which mounted sixty guns, encoun- 
tered to the westward of Cape Finisterre, a French 
ship of equal force, called the Count De St. Florentin, 
under the command of the Sieur De Montay. After 
a close engagement of two hours, during which the 
French captain was slain, and one hundred and six- 


teen of his men killed or wounded, the Count De St. 
Florentin struck her colours. She was so much da- 
maged, that it was very difficult to bring her into 
Falmouth. The Achilles had but twenty-five men 
killed or wounded, and had sustained no hurt but in 
her masts and rigging. On the 27th of March, Cap- 
tain Faulkner of his Majesty's ship the Windsor, 
mounting sixty guns, discovered off the rock of Lis- 
bon four large ships to leeward, and gave them chace. 
As he approached, they formed the line of battle a* 
head, at the distance of about a cable's length asun- 
der. He closed with the sternmost ship, which sus 
tained his fire about an hour; and then, upon a signal 
given, the other three edged off) and the ship en- 

giged struck her colours. She proved to be th$ 
uke De Chartres, pierced for sixty guns, but hav- 
ing only twenty-four, with a complement of three 
hundred men, about thirty of whom were killed in 
the action. She belonged, as well as the other three 
that escaped, to the East India Company, was loaded 
with sixty tons of gunpowder, and an hundred and 
fifty tons of cordage, with a large quantity of other 
naval stores. The Windsor had, in this engagement, 
but one man killed and eighteen wounded. About the 
same time, Captain Hughes, of his Majesty's frigate 
the Tamer, took and carried into Plymouth two pri- 
vateers, called Le Chasseur and Le Conquerant, the 
one from Cherburgh and the other from Dunkirk. 
A third ? called the Dispatch, from Morlaix, was 
brought into Penzance by the Diligence sloop; while 
the Basque from Bayonne, furnished with two and 
twenty guns, fell into the hands of Captain Parker of 
the Brilliant. Captain Atrobus of the Surprise took; 
the Vieux, a privateer of Bourdeaux : and a fifth from 
Dunkirk struck to Captain Knight of the Liverpool, 
Jn the month of May, a French frigate called the 
Arethusa, mounted with two and thirty guns, and 
commanded by the Marquis of Vaudreuil, submitted 
&> two English frigates, the Venus and the Thames, 


commanded by the Captains Harrison and Colby. The 
engagement was warm; the loss on the side of the 
English inconsiderable. The enemy had sixty men 
killed and wounded. In the beginning of June, an 
armed ship, belonging to Dunkirk, was brought into 
the Downs by Captain Angel of the Stag ; and a pri- 
vateer of force, called the Countess De la Serre, was 
subdued and taken, after an obstinate engagement, 
by his Majesty's ship the Adventure, commanded by 
Captain Moore. In the beginning of October the 
Florissant, a French ship of seventy-four guns, was 
engaged near the chops of the channei by Captain 
Porter of the Hercules. The English vessel having 
lost one of her top-masts and rigging, the Florissant 
took advantage of this misfortune to sheer off, and 
escaped behind the Isle of Oleron. 

While the English cruisers were attended with 
.continual success in Europe, several armed ships of 
the enemy and rich prizes were taken in the West 
Indies. About the same time that the Velour from 
St. Domingo, carrying twenty guns and above one 
hundred men, and loaded with a rich cargo, was 
taken by the Favourite sloop of war, commanded by 
Captain Edwards, two French frigates and two Dutch 
ships, laden with French commodities, fell into the 
possession of cruisers detached from Admiral Coates's 
squadron stationed at Jamaica. Captain Colling- 
wood, commanding his Majesty's ship the Crescent, 
off St. Christopher's, attacked two French frigates, 
the Amethyst and Berkeley : the former escaped, but 
the latter \ras conveyed into the harbour of Basse- 

These particular losses, combined with the general 
destruction of the French squadrons by Boscawen, 
ILiwke, Saunder.s, ami Pocock, in a great measure 
ruined the French navy. In the course of the year, 
the English had enriched their marine with twenty- 
scvcri ships of the line, and thirty one frigates of 
JYcndi construction. They had destroyed eight ships 


of the line and four frigates, whereas the English 
navy had lost, during all the various operations of 
the present year, no more than seven men of \var and 
five frigates. In reviewing the captures of merchant- 
men, the balance is not so much in our favour. 
Notwithstanding the courage and vigilance of the 
English cruisers, the French privateers swarmed to 
such a degree, that in the course of the year, they 
took two hundred and ten British vessels, chiefly, 
however, coasters and small craft, that did not choose 
to confine themselves and wait for a convoy. On 
the other hand, \ve took one hundred and sixty-five 
merchant-vessels from the enemy ; of which, as it 
appears from some examples ahove given, many con- 
tained very valuable cargoes. 

While the naval power of France was drawing to 
its ruin, her commerce was cut off in its source by 
the taking of Guadaloupe and Quebec. The French 
government, broken by repeated calamities, and ex- 
hausted by exorbitant subsidies to its German allies, 
was reduced to the lowest ebb of fortune. The mo- 
narch, however, still found a resource in the loyalty 
and attachment of his people. They acquiesced in 
the bankruptcy of public credit, when the court 
stopped payment of the interest on twelve different 
branches of the national debt ; they declared against 
every suggestion of accommodation that was not ad- 
vantageous and honourable ; and they sent in large 
quantities of plate to be melted down and coined into 
specie, for the support of the war. 

The liberal supplies granted by the British parlia- 
ment, which met in November, formed a striking 
contrast with the indigence of our rivals. For the 
service of the ensuing year they voted seventy-three 
thousand seamen, including eighteen thousand three 

7 O c* 

hundred and fifty-five marines; and they allotted 
three millions six hundred and forty thousand pounds 
for their maintenance. The sums destined to other 
purposes were no less ample; the whole amounted to 


fifteen millions five hundred and three thousand five 
hundred and sixty-four pounds. Of this immense 
supply not less than two millions three hunched and 
forty-four thousand four hundred and eighty-six 
pounds were paid to foreigners, for supporting the 
war in Germany, exclusive of the money expended 
by twenty thousand British troops in that country, 
and the charge of transporting them, with the ex- 
pence of pontage, waggons, and other contingencies, 
and the exorbitant article of forage, which alone 
amounted, in the course of the last campaign, to one 
million two hundred thousand pounds. 

The comparative expence of our naval prepara- 
tions, and of the German war, affected, with equal 
astonishment and concern, many disinterested and 
dispassionate men, whose imaginations were less heat- 
ed than those of the bulk qf the people with the en- 
thusiastic ardour of victory. Amidst the triumphs of 
glory and success concealed murmurs were heard, 
which, in a free nation, were speedily re-echoed with 
increased force. Men formed themselves into par- 
ties according to their different notions upon this 
subject, and the .dispute between the naval and con- 
tinental schemes came to he the common topic, not 
onty of public assemblies but of private conversation. 
The abettors of the naval interest asserted, that the 
insular situation of Great Britain, as well as the con- 
tinued experience of many ages, clearly pointed out 
the course which England ought to pursue in her 
wars with France. They pretended not that the 
former kingdom ought never, in any case, to take 
part in the disputes of the continent; but, this they 
thought, ought ajlwavs to be as an auxiliary only. 

O a 7 O / J J 

She might even engage with success in a continental 
war against France, provided she had a concurrence 
in her favour of the neighbouring powers of the con? 
tinent. This was the grand principle of King Wil- 
liam, and the -foundation of that alliance, at the head 
of which, in defence .of the liberties .of Europe, he 


acted the greatest part that can be allotted to man. 
It was on the same principle that, in conjunction 
with the powers of the empire, we carried on the 
war with so much honour and success against France, 
under the duke of Marlborough. Hut to engage in 
a continental war with that kingdom, not only un- 
assisted but opposed by the greatest part of those 
states with which we were then combined, is an at- 
tempt never to be justified by any comparative cal- 
culation of the populousness, the revenues, or the 
general strength of the two nations. They, asserted 
still farther, that the theatre we had chosen for that 
war was the most unfortunate that could possibly be 
imagined. Germany has at all times proved the 
firmest bulwark against French ambition. What, 
therefore, could France herself more heartily desire 
than to see the swords of the Germans turned against 
each other, and England co-operate with all her 
power in embittering the hostilities which have al- 
ready desolated that country. In carrying on a war 
there, France has many advantages : she supports 
her armies in a great measure by pillaging those 
whom, in every view, it is her interest to weaken : 
she is not very remote from her own frontiers, from 
which her armies may be recruited and supplied with- 
out great expence : even when unsuccessful, she is 
brought still nearer her own territories, supports her 
troops with still greater facility, and exhausts still 
less the natural wealth of her people. If she were 
obliged to take refuge at home, would the English 
continue so frantic as to follow her into her own 
dominions? To Great Britain, on the other hand, 
every thing is unfavourable in such a war. The ut- 
most success with which her arms can be attended, 
will onlv carry the Eno-lish to a greater distance from 

*s J O 

their resources ; and, by going a certain length, the 
transport of provision, artillery, ammunition, and 
the infinite impediments of a large army, must be- 
come altogether impracticable. Upon this plan, vic- 
vou tv. F F 


tory itself cannot save us, and all our successes will 
only serve to accumulate new distresses, new diffi- 
culties, and new charges. As to the king of Prussia, 
what does he give us in return for the immense sub- 
sidies which are paid him ? Instead of assisting our 
armies, is he able to defend himself? Besides, he is 
the worst ally we could have chosen, on account of 
his long and intimate connection with our enemies, 
and the general lightness of his faith in deserting 
every engagement which forms an obstacle to his 
ambition. He is looked upon as the protector of the 
Protestant religion : but has he not desolated the 
first Protestant electorate ? Has he not divided the 
reformed states of Germany, and turned their swords 
against each other ? And do not his writings suf- 
iiciently testify not only his indifference to the Pro- 
testant cause, but his total disregard to all religion 
whatever? Had England kept herself clear of the inex- 
tricable labyrinth of German politics, she might, with- 
out exhausting her own vigour by attacking France 
on her strong side, have been, before this time, in 
possession of all the French colonies together : even 
had the French, therefore, got possession of Hanover, 
which could not have suffered more by this event 
than it has already done in the course of the war, 
England, while her own power was entire, and while 
she held all the commercial resources of France in 
her hands, must not only have recovered the Hano- 
verian dominions to their lawful sovereign, but have 
procured full indemnification to them for what they 
had suffered in our quarrel. 

The advocates for continental measures were obliged 
to acknowledge the exorbitant expence of a German 
war ; but they affirmed, that, if it had cost England 
much, it had cost France still more, as the number 
of French troops to be paid exceeds the difference 
between French and English pay. They observed, 
that her subsidies to German princes greatly exceed- 
ed ours, although she had not derived so much ad- 


vantage from all her allies together as England had 
done from the victory of the king of Prussia at Ilos- 
hach : that the German war had brought the finances 
of France to that deplorable condition which all Eu- 
rope had witnessed : that her chief strength and at- 
tention, being engaged in this quarter, were in a 
great measure withdrawn from her navy, her com- 
merce, and her colonies ; which had enabled Eng- 
land to deprive her of the best part of her colonies, 
to render her commerce equally precarious and un- 
profitable, and to give such a blow to her navy as, 
perhaps, she might never be able to recover. But 
had England, instead of exhausting the French re- 
sources by cli veiling their efforts to Germany, allowed 
that country to receive laws from her rival, the con- 
tinental war would have soon terminated, and France, 
strengthened by victory, by conquest, and by al- 
liance, would have preserved the whole force and 
revenue of her mighty monarchy entire, to act against 
Great Britain. 

These reasonings will be interesting as long as the 
great system of European politics continues in any 
measure the same, and as long as the measures of 
the British court are liable to be warped by the same 
motives as formerly. I would therefore observe, 
that taking for granted the facts alleged by the par- 
tizans or our German allies, many of which cer- 
tainly require proof, and supposing that France had 
expended even more than Great Britain in prose- 
cuting the German war, the principal question \\ould 
still be undecided. It would be proper still farther 
to enquire, whether England or France could iriin- 
tain the same number of troops, and make the same 
efforts in Germany, at the smallest expenee? "Whe- 
ther, on the plan of a continental war a-one, the 
revenues and resources of France or England would 
be soonest exhausted? And which of the two king- 
doms - oidd, %vith the smallest trouble and, 
augment its navy, and prosecute successful enter- 

F F 2 


prises in distant parts of the world? These queries* 
need only he proposed ; their solution is ohvious, and 
it shows, in the fullest light, the impropriety of Eng- 
land's carrying the war into the continent of Europe, 
while France possessed any species of foreign com- 
merce, or a single foot of land in Asia, Africa, or 

But notwithstanding the force of evidence, and 
the clamour of party, the court remained firm in its 
first resolution. The continental system prevailed 
more than ever; and although the supplies granted 
for maintaining the navy were liberal beyond ex- 
ample, yet, the strength and attention of the nation 
being diverted to a different channel, our marine en- 
terprises appeared to languish at a time when past 
success ought to have caused them to be pushed 
\vith the utmost vigour, and fewer exploits were 
achieved at sea in 1 760 than are recorded in the me- 
moirs of the preceding year. 

The British navy at this time amounted to one 
hundred and twenty ships of the line, besides fri* 
gates, fire-ships, sloops, bombs, and tenders. Of 
these capital ships seventeen were stationed in the 
East Indies, twenty for the defence of the West 
India islands, twelve in North America, ten in the 
Mediterranean, and sixty-one either on the coast f 
France, in the harbours of England, or cruising in 
the English seas for the protection of commerce. 
Considering these mighty preparations, it is remark- 
able, that the return of the little squadron com- 
manded by Thurot (which, as has already been men- 
tioned, had taken refuge the preceding year in the 
harbour of Gottenburg in Sweden) should have 
caused a general alarm over the three kingdoms, 
This inconsiderable armament originally consisted of 
five frigates, on board of which were one thousand 
two hundred and seventy land-soldiers. They had 
sailed from Gottenburo; to Bergen in Norwav, and 

CJ C-> V 

tluriug that voyage had suffered so much by storms, 


that they were obliged to send back one of their 
largest vessels to France. It was not till the 5th of 
December that they were able to sail directly for the 
place of their destination, which was the northern 
coast of Ireland. In this voyage their ill-fortune 
continued to pursue them. For near three months, 
they were obliged to ply off and on, among the 
Western Isles of Scotland, during which time they 
suffered every possible hardship : their men thinned 
and disheartened, suffering by famine and disease, 
one ship irrecoverably lost, and the remaining three 
so shattered, that they were obliged to put into the 
Isle of Hay. Here this enterprising adventurer, 
though oppressed with misfortune, and steeled by 
such hardships as too often extinguish every gene- 
rous principle of humanity, behaved with the ut- 
most justice and moderation, paying handsomely for 
the cattle and provisions which he had occasion to 
use, and treating the natives with unusual courtesy 
and kindness. 

As soon as the weather permitted, Thuvot quitted 
this island, and pursued his destination to the Bay of 
Carrickfergus in Ireland, where, on the 2 1st of Fe- 
bruary, he effected a descent with six hundred men. 
They advanced without opposition to the town, 
which they found as well guarded as the nature of 
the place, which was entirely open, and the circum- 
stances of Colonel Jennings, who commanded only 
four companies of raw and undisciplined men, would 
allow. A vigorous defence was made, until the am- 
munition of the English failed ; and then Colonel 
Jennings retired to the castle of Carrickfergus, which, 
however, was in all respects untenable, being un- 
provided in provisions and ammunition, and having 
a breach in the wall of nearly fifty feet wide : never- 
theless, they repulsed the assailants in their lirst at- 
tack, having supplied the want of shot with stones 
and rubbish. At length the colonel surrendered, on 
condition that his troops should be ransomed by ex- 


changing them for an equal number of French prison- 
ers ; that the castle of Carrickfergus should not be 
demolished, nor the town burned or plundered. This 
last circumstance, however, was not strictly observed. 
The magistrates of Carrickfergus refused such sup- 
plies of wine and provisions as the French officers de- 
manded, and thus, by their own imprudence, caused 
the town to be subjected to a contribution, which, 
however, was not immoderate. Thurot, having, by 
this time, got notice of the defeat of Conflan's expe- 
dition, and hearing that a considerable body of re- 
gular troops were assembled, and preparing to march 
to the assistance of the inhabitants of Carrickfergus, 
embarked, and set sail for France, after gaining great 
reputation by the exploits of a squadron, which de- 
serves to be considered as little better than a wreck of 
the grand enterprise against the British coasts. 

But this gallant adventurer had not left the Bay of 
Carrickfergus many hours, when he perceived, near 
the coast of the Isle of Man, three sail that bore down 
on him. These were English frigates, the ./Eolus of 
thirty-six guns, commanded by Captain Elliot, the 
Pallas and Brilliant, each of thirty-two guns, under 
the command of the Captains Clements and Logic, 
who had been dispatched by the duke of Bedford, 
lord-lieutenant of Ireland, in quest, of the French 
squadron, At nine in the morning, of the 28th of 
February, Captain Elliot came up with the Belleisle, 
commanded by Thurot, which was superior to the 
yEolus in strength of men, number of guns, and 
weight of metal; but both ship and men were in a 
bad condition. The engagement was hardly begun, 
when the Pallas and Brilliant attacked the other t\vo 
ships of the enemy. The action was maintained with 
great spirit on both sides for an hour and a half, when 
Captain Elliot's lieutenant hoarded the Belleisle, who 
immediately struck her colours, the gallant Thurot 
having fallen in the action. The English took pos- 
session of their prizes, and conveyed them into the 


Bay of Ramsay, in the Isle of Man. In this en- 
gagement, three hundred of the French were slain, 
or disahled ; whereas our loss did not exceed forty 
killed and wounded. The name of Thurot had be- 
come so terrible to all the sea-ports of Britain and 
Ireland, that the service performed on this occasion 
was deemed essential to the quiet and security of 
these kingdoms. The thanks of the House of Com- 
mons of Ireland were voted to the conquerors of Thu- 
rot as well as to Lieutenant-colonel Jennings, the 
commanding officer at Carrickfergus ; and the defeat 
and capture of this petty squadron was celebrated with 
the most hearty and universal rejoicings. Such was 
the fate of the last branch of the grand armament 
which had so long been the hope of France and the 
terror of Great Britain. 

In North America, the affairs of the French had 
taken such a turn as afforded them a happy prospect 
of future success. While the operations of the war 
there were entrusted to the land forces alone, Eng- 
land was unfortunate, and France triumphant : but 
no sooner did our squadron appear on the coast, than 
every thing returned to its former situation, and Bri- 
tain was as victorious as before. The garrison left for 
the defence of Quebec amounted originally to 5000 
men, a number much too small, considering both 
the nature of the place, and the number of French 
forces which still remained in Canada. The fortifi- 
cations of Quebec were weak and incomplete ; with- 
out any kind of outworks ; and the town had been 
reduced, during the late siege, almost to a ruin. M. 
Levi had collected at Montreal, GOOO experienced mi- 
litia of Canada, with 300 Indians, besides ten batta- 
lions of regular troops amounting to about 5000 men 
more. With this force he took the field on the 17th 
of April; and, while his provisions and am munition 
fell down the river St. Laurence, under a convoy of 
six frigates, the French army arrived in ten days 
march at the heights of Abraham, three miles distant 


from Quebec. General Murray, who commanded 
the garrison, had it in his option eirher to remain 
within the city, or to march out and try his fortune 
in the field. As his troops were habituated to victory, 
and provided with a fine train of artillery, he was un- 
willing to keep them shut up in a place which appear- 
ed to him scarcely tenable. He determined, there- 
fore, to lead them against the enemy : a resolution, 
which, considering the immense inequality of num- 
bers, for, although the garrison originally consisted of 
5000, he had not now above 3000 effective men, sa- 
voured more of youthful temerity than of military 
discretion. At first, however, fortune seemed to fa- 
vour his designs. The English army having march- 
ed out of the city, and descended from the heights of 
Abraham, attacked the enemy's van with such impe- 
tuosity, that it was obliged to give way, and to fall 
back on the main body. This advantage brought 
them full on the main army of the French, which, 
by this time, had formed in columns. The tire be- 
came so hot, that it stopped the progress of our 
troops ; and the French, wheeling to right and left, 
formed a semicircle, which threatened to surround 
them, and to cut off their retreat. Nearly a third of 
the English army were now killed or wounded, and 
nothing could be thought of in this situation, but to 

O O ' 

make proper movements to secure their return to 
Quebec. This they effected, without losing many 
men in the pursuit ; and the severe misfortune, occa- 
sioned by their own temerity, roused the governor 
and troops to the most strenuous efforts in defence of 
the place. The French lost no time in improving 
their victory. They opened the trenches on the very 
right of the battle; but, being deficient in artillery, 
they had performed nothing of consequence before 
the 15th of May, when the besieged v/ere reinforced 
by the arrival of the British fleet. Then the enemy 
understood what it was to be inferior at sea ; for, had 
a. French squadron got the start of the English in 


sailing up the river, Quebec must have reverted to 
its former owners. 

On the 9th of May, to the great joy of the garri- 
son, an English frigate anchored in the bay, and told 
them, that Lord Colvillc, who had sailed from Ha- 
lifax with the fleet under his command, on the 22d ot 
April, was then in the river St. Lawrence. He had 
been retarded in his passage by thick fogs and con- 
trary winds. About the same time, Commodore 
Swanton, arriving with a small reinforcement from 
England, and hearing that Quebec was besieged, sail- 
ed up the St. Lawrence with all expedition. On the 
15th, he anchored at Point Levi, and early next 
morning ordered Captain Schomberg of the Diana, 
and Captain Deane of the Lowestofte to slip their ca- 
bles, and attack -the French fleet, consisting of two 
frigates, two armed ships, and a considerable number 
of smaller vessels. They were no sooner in motion, 
than the French ships tied in the utmost disorder. 
One of their frigares was driven on the rocks above 
Cape Diamond ; the other ran ashore, and was burn- 
ed at Point an Tremble, about ten leagues above the 
town, and all that remained, were taken or destroyed. 

M. Levi had the mortification to behold, from the 
heights of Abraham, this action, which, at one stroke, 
put an end to all the hopes he had conceived from his 
late victory. He was persuaded that these frigates, 
by the boldness of their manner, preceded a conside- 
rable reinforcement, and he, therefore, raised the 
siege in the utmost precipitation, leaving behind him 
a great quantity of baggage, tents, stores, magazines 
of provisions and ammunition, with thirty-four peices 
of battering cannon, ten field-pieces, six mortars, and 
a great number of scaling ladders, intrenching tools, 
and other implements necessary in a siege. 

This event, which was entirely owing to the sea- 
sonable assistance of the fleet, was equally important 
in itself and in its consequences. While it secured 
the possession of Quebec, it gave an opportunity to 


General Murray to march to the assistance of Gene- 
ral Amherst, who was employed in the siege of Mon- 
treal, the second place in Canada for extent com- 1 
mercc, and strength. Here the whole remaining 
force of the French in North America was collected 
under the command of M. Vaudreuil, an enterpris- 
ing and artful general, who neglected no means of 
protracting the siege. At length, he was obliged to 
yield to the united armies, and, on the 8th of Sep- 
tember, 1760, surrendered his garrison to be sent to 
France, on condition that they should not serve in 
the present war, and yielded up the inhabitants of 
his government as subjects to the king of Great Bri- 

The French had not neglected to send relief to a 
place, which was the last object of their hopes for 
regaining possession of Canada. They had dispatch- 
ed three frigates, with twenty ships of burden, con- 
taining a reinforcement of troops and military stores 
for the garrison of Montreal. But when the com- 
mander of this expedition understood, that the fleet 
under Lord Colville had anticipated his arrival in the 
river St. Lawrence, he attempted to land his whole 
embarkation in the Bay of Chaleurs, that they might 
endeavour, if possible, to join the principal army by 
land. But here they were discovered by Captain By- 
ron with three of his Majesty's ships ; their armament 
was taken or destroyed, and their whole design dis- 
concerted. Thus, by the bravery of our troops, and 
the uncommon spirit, vigilance, and activity of our 
navy, every attempt of the enemy was frustrated, and 
the quiet possession of all Canada confirmed to Great 

In the East Indies, the British arms were attended 
with equal success. After raising the siege of Fort 
St. George in February, 17-59, the Fnglish army 
possessed themselves of the important town and for- 
tress of Conjevenun, as well as of the city Mausulipa- 
tam, both on the Coroinandel coast. This coast 


joins to the rich province of Bengal, where the French 
interest had been totally ruined by the conduct and 
gallantry of Colonel Clive. 

Encouraged by these advantages, a body of twelve 
hundred men, Europeans and Seapoys, advanced 
farther, and attempted to dislodge an army of .French 
and their confederate Indians, encamped under the 
cannon of a fort near Wandewash. They were re- 
pelled with the loss of between three and four hundred 
killed and wounded. But Colonel Coote, at the head 
of the principal body of English troops, compensated 
for this disaster by investing and taking Wandewash 
in three days. Soon after, he obtained a complete 
victory over General Lally, who commanded an army 
twice as numerous as that of the English, and con- 
sisting of two thousand two hundred Europeans, and 
ten thousand blacks. After this decisive engagement, 
which, excepting the battle of Plaissy, was more im- 
portant in its consequences than any fought in India 
during the war, Colonel Coote undertook the siege of 
Chilliput, which surrendered in two days. He then 
prosecuted his march to Arcot the capital of the pro- 
vince, the fort of which being silenced, the garrison 
surrendered themselves prisoners of war. After the 
reduction of Arcot all the inferior places, such as Per- 
inacoil and Allumparva, submitted. The important 
settlement of Carical was reduced by the sea and land 
forces commanded by Rear-admiral Cornish and Ma- 
jor Monson ; and Colonel Coote formed the blockade 
of Pondicherry by land, while the harbour was beset 
by the English squadron. This town was the only im- 
portant settlement which now remained to our ene- 
mies in India. 

During; all this time Admiral Pocock had, witli 

Cj 7 

his usual skill and intrepidity, seconded the efforts 
of the troops, lie had more than once compelled \L 
D'Ache, the greatest admiral that France could boast 
of, and who alone supported the declining reputation 
of her marine, to take shelter under the walls of Pon- 


dicherry. Pocock had reduced the French ships to 
a very shattered condition, and killed a great many 
of their men ; hut, what shews the singular talents of 
both admirals, they had fought three pitched battles 
in the course of eighteen months, without the loss of 
a ship on either side. 

The British squadrons in the West Indies were 
commanded hy Admiral Holmes on the Jamaica sta- 
tion and Sir James Douglas in the Leeward Islands. 
The active vigilance of these commanders not only 
enahled them to protect the islands from insult or in- 
vasion, hut prompted them to annoy the enemy. 
Rear-admiral Holmes, having in the month of Octo- 
ber received intelligence, that five French frigates 

O ' O 

were equipped at Cape Francois on the island of His- 
paniola, in order to convoy a fleet of merchantmen 
to Europe, he stationed the ships under his command 
in such a manner as gave them an opportunity to in- 
tercept this fleet. The principal French ship was the 
Sirenne commanded by Commodore M'Cartie, an 
Irish officer of considerable reputation. After two 
sharp engagements she struck to the Boreas, while the 
other four frigates bore away, with all the sail they 
could crowd, i'or the west end of Tortuga, to shelter 
themselves in Port an Prince. They were pursued 
by the Lively and Hampshire ; the former obliged 
one of the French frigates to submit, after a warm 
engagement of an hour and a half. The Hampshire 
stood for the other three, and, running between the 
Duke of Choiseul and the Prince Edward, engaged 
them both at the same time. The first, having the 
advantage of the wind, made her retreat into Port ail 
Paix ; the other ran ashore about two leagues to lee- 
ward, and struck her colours. At the approach of 
the Hampshire, the enemy set her on fire, and she 
blew up. The Fleur de Lys, that had run into Fresh- 
Water bay, a little to leeward of Port an Prince, 
shared the same fate ; and thus by the gallantry of 
the Captains Norbury, Uvedale, and Maitland, and 


the prudent disposition of Admiral Holmes, two 
large frigates of the enemy were taken, and three 

Immediately after this event, advice being received 
by Admiral Holmes, that the enemy's privateers 
swarmed about the island of Cuba, he ordered the 
boats of the Trent and Boreas to he manned, that 
they might proceed under the direction of the Lieu- 
tenants Millar and Stuart, to the harbour of Cumber- 
land in that island. There they met with the Vain- 
queur of ten guns, sixteen swivels, and ninety men, 
the Mackau of six swivels and fifteen men and the 
Guespe of eight guns and eighty-five men. The boats, 
after surmounting many difficulties, rowed up to the 
Vainqueur, boarded and took possession of her under 
a close fire. The Mackau was taken without resist- 
ance; but before they could reach the Guespe, the 
enemy set her on fire, by which she was destroyed. 

The same enterprising courage distinguished the 
officers of the squadron commanded by Sir James 
Douglas off the Leeward Islands. The Captains 
O'Brian and Taylor, cruising near the Grenades, were 
informed that the Virgin, once a British sloop, with 
three French privateers, had taken refuge under the 
guns of three forts on one of these islands. They 
sailed thither in order to attack them ; and their en- 
terprise was crowned with success. Having demo- 
lished the forts, they took the four ships after a warm 
engagement, which lasted several hours. They next 
entered another harbour on the same island, where 
they had intelligence of three more ships ; they demo- 
lished the fort on this harbour, and carried off the 
three prizes. In returning to Antigua they fell in 
with thirteen victuallers, who immediately surren- 
dered. At the same time eight privateers were taken 
by the ships which Commodore Douglas employed in 
cruising round the island of Guadaloupe. 

While the Ensrlish were carried forward with a con- 


tinual tide, of prosperity in distant parts of the world. 


no action of importance was achieved in the British 
seas by the naval force of that kingdom. Admiral 
Rodney still maintained his station off the coast of 
Havre de Grace, to observe the French movements 
towards the mouth of the Seine. The Admirals Bos- 
cawen and Hawke alternately commanded the pow- 
erful squadron which still remained in the Bay of Qui- 
bcron, to interrupt the navigation of the enemy, to 
watch and detain the French vessels which had run 
into the mouth of the river Villaine after the defeat 
ofConflans; and to divert the efforts of the French 
from other quarters, by employing a great number of 
their forces on that part of the coast. 

Meanwhile a numerous body of forces were assem- 
bled, and a great number of transports collected at 
Portsmouth. The troops were actually embarked 
with a good train of artillery ; generals were nomi- 
nated to the command of the enterprise ; and the 
eyes of the whole nation were fixed upon this arma- 
ment, which had been prepared at an immense ex- 
pence, and the destination of which remained a pro- 
found secret. But, to the astonishment of all those 
who were not admitted behind the curtain, the whole 
.summer was spent in idleness and inaction, and in the 
month of October following, the enterprise was en- 
tirely laid aside. 

The seeming inutility of these mighty preparations, 
occasioned loud clamours in the nation. These were 
still farther increased by the inactivity of the power- 
ful squadrons in the British seas, It was said, that 
with either of these, or with the armament prepared 
at Portsmouth, we might have reduced the island 
Martinico in the West Indies, Mauritius on the coast 
of Africa, or Minorca in the Mediterranean, all 
which were objects equally important to our power 
and commerce. It was asked what advantage we de- 
rived from those squadrons which were so well pro- 
vided in all necessaries by the liberality of the supplies, 
but which were condemned to inactivity, or employed 


in useless parade? This question, however, was not 
unanswerable. The armament at Portsmouth might 
be intended to intimidate the French into proposals 
of peace ; to alarm the coast of Bretagne, and thereby 
make a diversion in favour of Germany ; or to trans- 
port troops into Flanders, in order to effect a junction 
with the hereditary prince of Brunswick, who, at the 
head of twenty thousand men, had crossed the Rhine, 
and was at first as successful as finally unfortunate in 
that daring expedition. 

Nor were the squadrons on the French coast alto- 
gether unnecessary. While Admiral Rodney hovered 
near the mouth of the Seine, he perceived, on the 5th 
of July at noon day, five larsje flat-bottomed boats, 

fc' .. ' O 9 

with their colours flying, as if they had set the Eng- 
lish squadron at defiance. These boats were dis- 
patched by way of experiment, to try whether it 
were possible for vessels of this newly invented con- 
struction to escape the vigilance and efforts of an 
English fleet The French had prepared above an 
hundred of them, which then lay at Caen in Nor- 
mandy. The ten which now sailed, stood back- 
wards and forwards on the shoals, intending to amuse 
Mr. Rodney till night, and then to proceed under 
cover of darkness. He perceived their drift, and gave 
directions that his small vessels should be ready to 
sail in the night for the mouth of the river Orne, in 
order to cut off the enemy's retreat, while he himself 
with the larger ships stood for the steep coast of Port 
Bassin. The disposition was judicious, and attended 
with success. The flat- bottomed hoats having no 
way to escape, ran ashore at Port Bassin, where the 
admiral destroyed them, together with the small fort 
which had been erected for the defence of this har- 
bour. Each of these vessels was one hundred feet in 
length, and capable of containing four hundred men. 
The disaster which beiel them taught the French 
minister of the marine n^t to build any further hopes 
upon such aukward machines. The remainder were 


ordered to be unloaded at Caen, and sent to Rouen to 
be laid up as useless. 

This was not the only service which Rodney's squa- 
dron performed. In the month of November, Cap- 
tain Gurry of the Acteon chaced a large privateer, 
and drove her on shore between Cape Barfleur and La 
Hogue ; and his cutters scoured the coast, and took 
or destroyed forty vessels of considerable burden, 
which carried on a great fishing near Dieppe. 

Besides the purposes above-mentioned, which were 
answered by Admiral Boscawen's fleet, it effectually 
prevented any vessels from sailing from the harbours 
of Brest or Rochfort, with the design to reinforce the 
French in North America, which might have pro- 
tracted the war there to another campaign, The en- 
terprising spirit of this English admiral, impatient of 
continuing so long in a state of inaction how ad- 

O O 

vantageous soever to the interests of his country, 
prompted him to employ his men in the execution of 
some actual service. He exercised them, therefore, 
in taking a small island near the river Vannes, which 
be ordered them to cultivate and plant with vege- 
tables for the use of the seamen infected with scor- 
butic disorders, arising from the constant use of salt 
provisions, from the sea air, and from a want of pro- 
per exercise. 

Sir Edward Hawke, who relieved Mr. Boscawen in 
September, pursued the same plan. Sensible of the 
inconveniences to which a fleet on that station is ex- 
posed for want of fresh water, which must be carried 
to them by transports hired on purpose, he detached 
Lord Howe in the Magnanime, with the ships Fre- 
derick and Bedford, to reduce the little island Dumet, 
which abounded in that great necessary of life. This 
island, about three miles in length and two in breadth, 
\vas defended by a small fort mounted with nine can- 
non, and garrisoned with one company of the regi- 
ment of Bourbon, who surrendered with little or no 
resistance after the ships had begun the attack. 


While the arms of Great Britain still prospered in 
every effort tending to the real interests of the nation, 
an event happened, which drew the attention of the 
public from warlike enterprises for a short time. 
This was, the death of the sovereign, King George II. 
who departed this life on the 25th of October, in the 
thirty-third year of his reign, and the seventy-seventh 
of his age. The immediate cause of his death was 
a rupture in the substance of the right ventricle of 
the heart. His death was almost instantaneous, and 
the rupture occurred without any apparent cause. 
A circumstance of this kind appears the more remark- 
able, as it happened to a prince of a healthy consti- 
tution, unaccustomed to any sort of excesses, and far 
advanced beyond that period of life, when the blood 
might be supposed to flow with a dangerous 

The reign of this monarch, until the war, in which 
he was engaged at his death, is not remarkable for any 
very great events. His subjects, with the exception 
of the rebellion in 1745, always enjoyed peace and 
quiet at home. Whenever the national strength was 
properly exerted, the kingdom always acquired glory. 
The latter years of his reign were, by much, the 
happiest; his ministers being highly agreeable to the 
nation at large, actuated as they ever appeared to be, 
by a true love of their country, whose interests and 
glory were their first consideration. George II. lived 
to see party-rage in a manner extinguished. In his 
person, he was rather lower than the middle size, well 
shaped, erect, with eyes remarkably prominent, a 
high nose, and a fair complexion. In his disposition 
he is said to have been hasty, prone to anger, espe- 
cially in his youth: in his method of living, he was 
temperate, regular and methodical. He had taken 
little pains to improve his mind, and was equally a 
stranger to learning and the arts, and contributed 
nothing to their advancement. Inheriting the poli- 
tical prejudices of his father, he never extended his 

voi,.iv, e G 


views beyond the adjustment of the Germanic 
balance of power. He was plain and direct in his 
intentions ; true to his word, steady in his favour and 
protection to his servants, whom he did not willingly 
change. He died universally beloved and regretted 
by all his subjects. If George II. cannot be ranked 
among kings who are usually styled great, it must be 
admitted that he was a worthy and honest man. 

We shall now give a brief sketch of the navy, as it 
stood at the close of this reign, and then finish our 
fourth volume with some biographical sketches of 
able and illustrious naval commanders, reserving a few 
pages to articles already referred to in an Appendix. 


At or near Home, under Sir Edzsard Hauke^ Admiral Bos* 
cazeen, and others. 

3 Ships of 100 Guns. 

6 eo 

1 84 

3 80 

13 74 

5 Ships of 70 Guns. 

1 66 

8 64 

12 . GO 

10 50 

In the EAST INDIES, under Vice-admiral Pococke. 

2 Ships of 74 Guns. 

1 68 

1 . fig 

2 64 

7 Ships of 60 Guns. 

1 58 

3 50 

In the WEST INDIES, under Rear-admiral Holmea. 

1 Ship of 90 Guns. 

2 80 

1 74 

t 70 

1 68 

1 Ship of 66 G tins. 

6 64 

4 60 


In NORTH AMERICA, under Commodore Colville. 

1 Ship of 74 Guns. 

3 70 

1 66 

2 Ships of 64 Guns. 

3 60 

2 50 

In the MEDITERRANEAN, under Vice-admiral Sounders. 

3 Ships of 90 Guns. I 3 Ships of 60 Guns. 

1 74 3 50 

1 64 I 

Making in the whole, At or near Home.... 62 

In the East Indies 17 

West Indies .. 20 

America 12 

Mediterranean 10 


During the war, from its commencement in 1755, 
to the death of George II. the French lost about one 
hundred ships, which carried four thousand two hun- 
dred and twenty-two guns ; whereas the loss on the 
part of the English was about twenty-one ships, that 
carried eight hundred and sixty guns. 



1(1 n. FRANCIS HOSIER became a lieutenant in the 
navy, in the year 16'92, when, after having been in 
that station on board different ships for four years, 
he \\ r as raised to the rank of captain, and appointed 
to the Winchelsea, a new frigate,, mounting thirty- 
two guns. Though the service never boasted a more 

brave, or able officer than this gentleman, vet mis- 

O * v 

fortune, or, at least, the absence of good fortune, 
appears- to have attended him, on many occasions, 
throughout life. His advancement in the navy was 
slow, but not, on that account, less merited ; his 
opportunities of distinguishing himself few, yet no 
person ever doubted either his courage, or his promp- 
titude in improving every occasion he could meet 
with, of being serviceable to his country. After a 
variety of uninteresting commands, he was, about 
the year 1710, appointed captain of the Salisbury f 
and, being sent upon a cruise off Cape Clear r in com- 
pany with the St. Albans, there experienced, for the 
first time, a gleam of success, by falling in with a. 
French ship mounting sixty guns, which struck to 
the Salisbury, after a very smart action, of which that 
ship bore the principal weight. In compliment to 
Mr. Hosier, the captured vessel was taken into the 
service, and named the " Salisbury's Prize." The 
Salisbury, with her prize, were ordered to be refitted, 
immediately after their arrival in port, and, when 
ready for sea, were sent to the West Indies, to rein- 
force the squadron already stationed in that quarter, 
under the command of Commodore Littleton. In 
July, l?'ll r the British ships being on a cruise, in the 
hope of falling in with the French Admiral l>u Casse, 
who was. said to have sailed with a fleet of Spanish 
under his protection, fell iu with four large 


vessels, which were immediately chaccd. The Salis- 
bury, with her former prize, which was commanded 
by Captain Harland, considerably outstripped their 
companions; but so trivial M'as the advantage they 
possessed, in point of sailing, over those they were in 
pursuit of, that the Salisbury's prize, which was the 
best sailer, consequently was not able to get up 
and close with the stern most of the enemy, till near 
six o'clock in the evening; but Captain Hosier, join- 
ing him soon afterwards, tlieir united assaults com- 
pelled their antagonists to surrender, before any other 
ship could get within gun-shot. The prize proved 
to be the vice-admiral of the Spanish galleons, mount- 
ing sixty guns. Although Captain Hosier continued 
several years in commission, subsequent to this time, 
yet no mention is made of him till I7i9, when he was 
appointed second captain of the Dorsetshire; the ship 
on board which the earl of Berkeley hoisted his flag, 
Vice-admiral Littleton commanding under him as 
first captain, and Mr. Hosier as second, with the 
honorary rank of rear-admiral of the blue. On the 
8th of May, 17-0, he was advanced to be rear- admiral 
of the white, and was afterwards promoted to be vice- 
admiral of the blue; but the fleet being ordered to be 
dismantled, without ever having put to sea, the above 
promotion was the only advantage he derived from 
his appointment. After this, he was engaged in a 
good deal of service, but without being able to dis- 
tinguish himself. At length, misfortunes, added to 
the reflection, that though intrusted with an impor- 
tant command, he had been totally incapable of 
rendering his country that service, \s'hicb he knew 
must naturally be expected from the force confided 
to his direction, overcame him, for he died at sea, as 
is most confidently reported, of mere chagrin, on the 
23d of August, 17^7. He was, a few days before his 
death, advanced to be vice-admiral of the white 
squadron, but he died before the news of his promo- 
tion reached the West Indies. A commission was 


also sent out, empowering the governor of Jamaica 
to confer on him the honour of knighthood : this, it 
is believed, he received, although some have doubted 
the fact. The body of this brave and unfortunate offi- 
cer, after being embalmed, and buried in the ballast 
of the ship he commanded, was afterwards brought 
to England for interment. His misfortunes and 
merit have survived him longer than is usually the 
case, either with the greatest, or the most unhappy 
of mankind; and it is no slender testimony of worth, 
when the absence of panegyric is feelingly supplied 
by compassion. 


WAS the descendant of a very respectable Hereford- 
shire family; and, after a regular service, in the 
different subordinate stations, was promoted on the 
,'jd of April, 1724, to be captain of the Sheerness fri- 
gate. No mention is made, as to the intervening 
commissions which he held, from that time till the 
year 1753, when he was made captain of the Grey- 
hound; in which he was sent, with two others, to 
exact a reparation from the Salletines, for the outrage 
committed by one of their corsairs, in capturing a 
British merchant vessel. Mr. Cornwall was the com- 
manding officer of this little squadron; and although 
the trust might, at the first view, be considered 
trivial, yet a moment's reflection will impress the 
conviction, that it Mas far from unimportant. He 
executed the trust with the spirit of an hero, and the 
prudence of an ambassador. This little armament 
sailed from Portsmouth on the 3d of March, and 
arrived, after a quick passage, at Gibraltar on the 
1 1th. It sailed the next day for Tetuari, the bashaw 
of which place was so much the fiiend of peace, that 
he dispatched a messenger to Mequinez, to intercede 
with the emperor, and induce him to comply with the 


just demands of the British court. The matter 
M'ould have been amicably and speedily settled, had 
not a considerable number of Portuguese been taken, 
a little time before, by some of their corsairs, and 
carried into slavery. These his Imperial Majesty 
would not consent to release; and, in consequence 
of his refusal, the British ships, together with some of 
the Dutch nation, took their stations off Tetuan, and 
blocked up the port so completely, that none of the 
corsairs could put to sea. The pride and insolence 
of the Salletines shrunk under the terror of a pointed 
attack. The necessary reparation was made, and 
tranquillity restored, without the necessity of spilling 
one drop of blood. Mr. Cornwall was not engaged 
in any subsequent memorable service, during the 
continuance of peace; but after the commencement 
of hostilities with Spain, he was pitched upon to com- 
mand a squadron, intended to be sent into the South 
Seas, round Cape Horn. This plan was afterwards 
most strangely abandoned, and one part only of the 
intended armament was dispatched. This was put 
under that gentleman's command, who proceeded to 
the South Seas, instead of Mr. Cornwall. In 1741, 
he commanded the Bedford, of seventy guns, one of 
the fleet employed in the Atlantic, under the orders 
of Sir John Norris, as well for the purpose of pro- 
tecting the British commerce, as the prevention either 
of single ships of war, or of small armaments, from 
slipping out of the ports of Spain, in the hope of 
carrving into execution, without chastisement, some 
predatory expedition in a distant quarter of the world. 
He was afterwards ordered to the Mediterranean, 
where he was, on the resignation of Captain Graves, 
appointed to succeed him in the command of the 
Marlborouffh. He served with the most distinguished 


reputation in the unfortunate encounter with the 
I'Yench and Spanish fleets oflf Toulon, being one of 
the seconds to Mr. Mathews, the commander-in- 
chief, whom he most nobly and gallantly supported. 


till the fatal moment that deprived him of life, and 
his admiral of so brave a supporter. 

The following extract from a letter, written by an 
impartial person on board the Marlborough, will suffici- 
ently explain the share which that unfortunate ship held 
in the encounter: " The first intention of the admi- 
ral was, to attack the French commander in chief in 
the Terrible, of seventy-four guns ; our ship and the 
Norfolk were to have been his seconds ; and accord- 
ingly passed by within musket-shot of the Real, 
without firing at her; but finding the French admi- 
ral stretched away with all the sail he could, in order 
to get to windward, the admiral thought he might 
intercept some of the Spanish ships, and ordered us 
to tack, and engage the Real. He likewise tacked, 
and fired at her, receiving one broadside from the Real 
himself, which wounded his main-mast, and hurt his 
figging very much, so that he fell off, and could not 
come up again, till we were disabled. We were within 
less than pistol-shot alongside of the Real, who had 
for her second, a seventy-gun ship that lay upon our 
quarter. We fired our first broadside at one o'clock, 
and continued engaged with both these ships, with- 
out any assistance, till thirty-five minutes after four; 
sometimes so near, that our yard-arm touched that 
of the Real, and were never farther distant than 
pistol-shot; at last, all the Real's guns were silenced, 
and she went off; her second followed her, and gave 
us a broadside at parting. The Real had her main- 
yard and fore-top mast shot through in several places; 
two port-holes beat into one. We likewise were dis- 
abled ; our main-mast and m'izen-mast were shot 
away ; our captain, Cornwall, was killed, having 
both his leg's shot off. Captain Godfrey, of Read's 
regiment, part or. which were on board our ship, was 
killed ; our first lieutenant, Frederic Cornwall, had 
his right arm shot off; our master, Caton, both his 
legs, and is since dead ; fifty men were killed, one 
hundred and forty wounded. Dalrymple, ensign in 


Read's, had all his clothes torn, his hack rased, and 
himself stunned by a cannon-hall ; he was carried 
clown as dangerously wounded to the surgeon ; hut, 
as soon as he recovered himself, finding his wound 
hut slight, he returned -with great courage to his post. 
Thus disabled, we saw five large ships of the enemy 
coming down upon us : we were in no condition 
either to fight or make off, but sent to acquaint the 
admiral with our state. He had made a signal to the 
Anne Galley fire-ship, Macky, to endeavour to burn 
the Real ; but the Spanish admiral having perceived 
his intention, sent his launch full of men to take the 
fire-ship. In the scuffle, both launch and fire-ship 
were burnt, and all in them. Our admiral then bore 
down upon the Real, which being perceived by the 
ships which were going to attack us, they left us to 
assist their admiral. This was followed by a very smart 
engagement between some of our ships and theirs, 
which lasted about an hour, when the night parted 
them." The parliament, in gratitude to the bravery of 
this great, though unfortunate commander, voted acon- 
siderablesum of money for the erection of a splendid 
monument in Westminster-abbey, to his memory. 


OF the earlier part of this gentleman's naval life, 
there is no account; not the slightest mention being 
made of him till he was appointed captain of the 
Jluzee fire-ship, by commission, bearing date June 
7, 16'92. His time, during the whole of the war 
then existing, was occupied in the service of his 
country ; but, from the nature of his employments, 
it appears to have passed extremely barren of inci- 
dents ; for, the only occasions on which his name 
occurs, previously to the accession of Queen Anne 
are, that in the year 16.95, he commanded the Wool- 
wich of fifty-four guns, one of the ships employed 


under the orders of Sir Cloudesley Shovel in the 
Channel, and in 1699, was captain of one of the ships 
of the line, kept in commission for service, in case of 
any sudden emergency. 

In 1703, he was appointed captain of the Hamp- 
ton-court of seventy guns, and invested with the 
rank of Commodore, as being the senior officer 
of a small -squadron, sent to cruise off the coast 
of France. He does not appear, however, to have 
been successful either while thus occupied, or on 
any subsequent occasion ; so that his appointment 
in 1/07 to the chief command of a squadron, fitted 
for the West India station, was one of the most ho- 
nourable proofs of the high estimation in which his 
talents were held, notwithstanding the nature of his 
employments had not afforded him an opportunity of 
raising himself into public notice. He sailed from 
Plymouth on the 10th of April, the force under his 
command amounting to nine ships of war, to the 
protection of which was entrusted a fleet consisting 
of forty-five sail of merchant-vessels. His rank was, 
when he sailed, merely that of captain of the Expe- 
dition, but he was empowered to hoist a broad pen- 
dant, so soon as he should be clear of the British 
Channel, and appoint a captain to command the 
ship under himself. He arrived in the West Indies, 
after a speedy and prosperous voyage, and applied 
him.self on his arrival so attentively to the interests 
of those colonies, that it was universally admitted, 
the trade had never been in a more flourishing state, 
than while Commodore Wager continued to com- 
mand on that station. During the ensuing winter, 
a report prevailed that Du Casse was hourly expected 
to arrive with a squadron of considerable force, hav- 
ing for its object the attack of the island of Jamaica. 
A different report quickly succeeded to the former ; 
it being stated that, the real cause of his errand was 
that of protecting to Spain an exceedingly valuable 
fleet of galleons, which were to rendezvous at the 


Havannali, and which the whole national marine of 
that country was in itself unequal to the task of con- 
voying. Mr. Wager, with all that strength of men- 
tal faculty which a great man invariably possesses, 
formed a plan of making himself master of this va- 
luable charge, before the arrival of those who were 
expected to be its guardians. The proper seizure 
of this interval was the only circumstance that 
could, in any degree, even forebode success. On 
the arrival of Du Casse, the great superiority of 
his force would have rendered it impracticable. Mr. 
Wager v, as well acquainted with the course and 
route of the galleons; he knew they were to proceed 
from Porto-Belio to Carthageiia, and from thence to 
the Havannah, where he expected Monsieur l)u Casse 
would wait for them, and he resolved, if possible, to 
intercept them during their passage thither. He ac- 
cordingly divided his force into two parts, and after 
retaining \\ifu himself such ships as he deemed suf- 
ficient to master the galleons, which he knew to be 
well armed, he dispatched the remainder to watch 
the motions of the enemy, and if possible, to pro- 
cure some intimation of their intentions. He pro- 
ceeded to carry his plan into execution, about the 
middle of the month of January, when he sailed from 
Port-Royal ; but after a successless cruise, he re- 
ceived intelligence, that the galleons were not to 
quit Porto Be Ho till the 1st day of May ; he accord- 
ingly resolved to return to Jamaica, in the hope that 
the Spaniards might, by such a measure, be lulled 
into a belief, that, finding himself baffled in his 
expectations, he had given up all hope of success. 
All the ships that could be got ready for sea, and 
Avhich consisted of no more than the Expedition, the 
Portland, and the Kingston, with a lire-ship, being 
equipped, the commodore sailed from Port-Royal on 
the 14th of April ; and early in the ensuing month, 
had the misfortune to encounter a dreadful storm, in 
which tiie ships under his orders, and mow? particu> 


larly his own, the Expedition, received much da- 
mage. He resolved, however, to repair it as well 
as he could, fearing the enemy might escape, if he 
ventured to return back to port. After a tedious in- 
terval of suspense, Mr. Wager's anxiety was relieved 
on the 28th of May, by his discovering, at day-break, 
two ships standing in for Carthagena, which were by 
noon, increased to seventeen. The enemy, confident 
in their superior numbers, and, in some degree, even 
contemning the small force of the English, seeiiied 
rather careless and indifferent whether to fight or en- 
deavour to escape. They held on their course, but 
without crowding sail, imagining their numbers would 
deter the English commodore from following them, 
in this they were mistaken. Finding themselves 
pursued, and that towards evening, they could not 
weather Barn, a small island in their track to their 
destined port, they formed a kind of line, and re- 
solutely determined to contest and end the matter 
at once. Mr. Wager got along-side of the centre or 
largest ship, just at sun-set, and immediately began 
to engage. He is said by Boyer, to have had, at 
one time, both the vice and rear-admiral upon him, 
as well as the large Erench ship just mentioned. No 
notice, however, is taken of this circumstance by 
any other historian ; but thus far, all agree, that 
neither the Kingston nor Portland did their duty, or 
fulfilled the commodore's orders, notwithstanding he 
purposely hailed the former, and having ordered her 
to ens;a^e the rear-admiral, sent his boat to the 

O O 7 

Portland, with instructions for him to engage the 
vice-admiral. Eindirig these directions were neither 
of them likely to be complied with, he made the sig- 
nal for a line of battle, as both the ships kept to 
windward out of their stations; but of this they were 
as regardless as they had been of his former orders. 
The "Expedition and the Spanish admiral had been 
engaged about an hour and a half, when by some 
accident the latter blew up, eleven only of her crew 


being saved, who were picked up floating on some 
part of the wreck the next day. About ten o'clock, 
he came np with the ship lie was in pursuit of, which 
afterwards proved to be the rear-admiral. It was 
then so extremely dark that it was impossible to dis- 
cover which way the enemy's head lay ; so that, 
firing at a venture, he had the good fortune to pour 
his whole broadside into the Spaniard's stern, which 
did him so much damage as to disable him from 


making sail. The commodore being then to leeward, 
tacked, and after a short stretch, put about, and 
weathered his antagonist, whom he immediately re- 
engaged. The Kingston and Portland being directed 
by the flashes of his guns, soon after came up, and 
assisted in the capture of the enemy, who surrendered 
about two o'clock in the morning. Almost imme- 
diately after this time, he received advice from En'- 

*/ , ^ ^ 

land of his promotion to the rank of rear-admiral of 
the blue squadron, an advancement which he was till 
then ignorant of, notwithstanding it had been con- 
ferred on him on the ipth of November, in the pre- 
ceding year. Mr. Wager was, on the 2d of Decem- 
ber, 1708, promoted to be rear-admiral of the white; 
hut, though he continued to command on the West 
India station, till the ensuing autumn, the enemy al- 
lowed him no other opportunity of making them feel 
that chastisement, which he so well knew how to 
inflict, on every occasion that fortune thought proper 
to furnish him with. On his return to England, he 
was received with the strongest testimony of regard, 
not only by the queen and her ministers, but by all 
ranks of people ; repeated addresses, votes of thanks, 
and other incontrovertible proofs of the satisfaction 
of the public were received from the West Indies, 
each exceeding the other in the warmth of their ex- 
pressions of respect, and uniting only in one point, 
their applause of the vigilance, the integrity, and the 
spirit which Mr. Wager had uniformly displayed, 
while he continued in that quarter of the woi'ld. 


Immediately after his return to England, he was ad- 
vanced to be rear-admiral of the red, and received 
from the queen the honour of knighthood; but he 
did not take on himself any command, till after the 
accession of King George I. Immediate!}' after that 
event, he was appointed commander-in-chief in the 
Mediterranean, as successor to Sir James Wishart, 
and the appearance of the naval force which he com- 
manded in those seas, obviating the rupture which 
it had been just before apprehended would take place, 
he returned to England, and did not again go to sea 
till the year 1722, so that nothing occurs for us to 
record during this period, except his promotions, 
which took place in the following progression : on 
the 16th of June, 1716, he was advanced to be vice- 
admiral of the blue; on the 1st of February, 1717, to 
be vice-admiral of the white; and on the 15th of 
March following to be vice-admiral of the red. Of 
his service, between 1722 and 1730, we have given 
a pretty full account in our history. 

Early in the year 1731, in consequence of an ap- 
prehended intention in the court of France to invade 
Great Britain, and the supposed collection of a for- 
midable flotilla, applicable to that purpose, at Dun- 
kirk and Calais, Sir Charles again received orders to 
hoist his flag, for the last time. The appearance, 
however, of an attack, vanished as suddenly as the 
report had been raised ; but Sir Charles, who was, 
in July, advanced to the rank of admiral of the blue, 
was ordered to proceed to Cadiz, with a fleet, con- 
sisting of twenty ships of the line, for the purpose 
of seeing the articles of the treaty, concluded be- 
tween the emperor of Germany and the king of 
Spain, under the mediation of Great Britain, properly 
carried into t fleet. After his return to England in 
December following, he never again went to sea. 
His abilities, however, did not lie dormant, and it 
would, perhaps, be a difficult matter to decide, whe- 
ther they had appealed most transcendant in his cha- 


racter of a naval officer, or in the civil stations he 
was, at different times, intrusted to fill. On the 
21st of June, 1733, he was appointed first commis- 
sioner for executing the office of lord high-admiral ; 

^J C? 

of this post he continued to fulfil the duties with the 
highest integrity and reputation, till March, 1742, 
when, on resigning it, he was appointed treasurer 
of the navy. The latter less fatiguing situation, than 
that which he before possessed, his advanced age did 
not long permit him to enjoy, he having died on the 
24th of May, 1743, in the 77th year of his age. A 
monument has been erected to his memory, on the 
base of which is represented in sculpture, the attack, 
capture, and destruction of the Spanish galleons in 
1/08. The inscription on the monument, being a 
record of the excellencies of this naval commander, 
and of the rank which he sustained in his Majesty's 
service, we shall transcribe : 

To the memory of 


Admiral of the white, first commiss oner of the Admiralty, 

and privy-counsellor. 

A man of great natural talents, 

improved by industry, and long experience, 

who bore the highest commands, 

and passed through the greatest employments 

with credit to himself and honour to his country. 

He was, in his private life, 
humane, temperate, just, and bountiful. 

In public stations 
taliant, prudent, \use, and honest; 

easy of access to all ; 

steady and resolute in his conduct ; 

.10 remarkably happy in his presence of mind, 

that no danger ever discomposed him. 

Esteemed and favoured by his king, 

beloved and honoured by his country, 

He died en the 24th of May. 1743, aged 77. 



THIS nobleman was the eighth son of Charles, first 
duke of St. Alban's. Having entered, while young, 
into the navy, and passed regularly through the se- 
veral subordinate stations, he was, on the 1st of 
April, 1731, promoted to the rank of post captain, 
and appointed to the Ludlow Castle. In 1739 we 
find him having the command of the Weymouth, but 
was immediately afterwards promoted to the Prince 
Frederic of seventy guns. At the end of the follow- 
ing year he was sent out to reinforce Mr. Vernon pre- 
paratory to the expedition against Carthagena. Being 
ordered, on the 23d of March, with a detachment of 
five ships to attack Boca Chica, he unfortunately fell 
in a renewal of the assault on the following day. A 
very elegant monument was erected to his memory in 
Westminster Abbey, ornamented with arms trophies, 
and naval ensigns. In an oval niche, is a bust of 
this promising young nobleman, thus prematurely 
snatched from life, and the service of his country. 
On the pedestal is a brief account of the leading trans- 
actions of his life. In speaking of the manner of his 
death it says " As he was giving his command upon 
deck both his legs were shot off, but such was his 
magnanimity, that he would not suffer his wounds 
to be dressed, till he had communicated his orders to 
his first lieutenant, which were to fight the ship to 
the last extremity. Soon after this he gave some di- 
rections about his private affairs, and then resigned 
his soul with the dignity of a hero and a Christian. 
Thus was he taken off in the thirty-first year of his 
a^e, an illustrious commander of superior fortitude 
and clemency, amiable in his person, steady in his af- 
fections, and equalled by few in the social and do- 
mestic virtues of politeness, candour and benevolence. 



THIS brave though unfortunate officer was born ou 
the 2d of February, ]669, and, after entering into the 
royal navy at a very early age, passed progressively 
though every rank, till he at last readied the highest 
in the service. The first particular mention made of 
the commission he held, was in Iofj7, when lie v;as 
about twenty-eight years old; and was then appoint- 
ed to a small frigate, called the Virgin, but, for ten 
years after this period, no mention is ir.ndc of any 
subsequent commissions which lie held, till the yer.r 
3707, Jit which time lie was captain of the Chester, 
a fifty-gun ship. The circumstance which attends 
this notice was disastrous, for it appears, that, hnving 
been ordered, in conjunction with the Huby, of equal 
force, to convoy to Lisbon a fleet bound thither, lie 
had the misfortune to be captured by a strong French 
squadron, under the orders of the Count De, ForbiiL 
lie not having been exchanged till the conclusion of 
the ensuing year, the investigation of Captain Bal 
chen's conduct on this occasion, was necessarily dcr 
ferrcd: he was, however, most honourably acquitted. 

The commands beheld Liter this time, for the spice 
of niihj years, are not noticed; but, in the year i?I7 ; 
lie is found to have been captain of the Oriord, of so 
.venty guns, one of the fleet ordered h?to the Baltic, 
under the command of Sir George Byng; from t hi.-; 
time, he continued to be employed till he was pro.- 
inoted to the rank of a flag-officer; but the services 
which necessarily occur during peace, cannot be ex- 
pected to abound with incidents sufnciau to render 
the detail of them in any decree interesting, On the 

, o K y 

19th of July, 1 7-8, he was promoted to be rear-ad- 

miral of the blue, afrer having continue-. I in the station 
or a private captain for no less a peiioJ ihan nearly 
thirty t\vo years. On the 4th of March roilenvir:'.;-, 
lie was advanced to be rear-admiral of the white, 

VOL. IV. H Ii 


did not take upon himself any command, till the year 
1731-2, when he proceeded to Cadiz and the Medi- 
terranean, as second under Sir Charles Wager. On 
the 16th of February, 1733, he was promoted to be 
vice-admiral of the white, and in the ensuing year, 
was invested with the command of a squadron collect- 
ed at Plymouth, and intended to be sent to Lisbon, 
for the purpose of reinforcing Sir John Norris. 

Towards the latter end of the year J74-0, Mr. Bal- 
chen was appointed to the command of the Channel 
fleet, which it was deemed prudent to keep in a state 
of equipment, against any emergency, notwithstand- 
ing the Spaniards never ventured to fit out any arma- 
ment for the Atlantic, or to act offensively to the 
westward of the Straits in Europe, during the whole 
war. On the 9th of August, 1743, he was promoted 
to be admiral of the white, and, immediately after 
Christmas, was most deservedly appointed governor 
of Greenwich Hospital, as successor to Sir John Jen- 
nings ; the honour of knighthood being also conferred 
upon him about the saruc time. In the year 1744, 
he accepted the command of a fleet, equipped with 
all possible expedition, for the purpose of relieving 
the squadron under Sir Charles Hardy, who was at 
that time blocked up in the Tagus, by a superior 
force, under the orders of the Count De Rocham- 
bault. The force of this armament amounted to 
twenty-one ships of the line, seven of which belonged 
to the States of Holland. Sir John Balchen hoisted 
his flag on this occasion, as commander-in-chief of 
the whole, on board the Victory, a first rate, of one 
hundred and ten guns, a ship, universally reputed, 
at that time, to have been the finest ever built. Her 
crew, amounting to eleven hundred men, contained a 
greater proportion of prime seamen, specially selected 
for the purpose, than had ever been before customary 
in the British service. There were, moreover, up- 
wards of fifty young gentlemen on board, serving as 
naval cadets, many of whom belonging to families of 


the first distinction in the kingdom, entered as volun- 
teers, being ambitious to enrol themselves, and learn 
the first rudiments of naval tacties under so worthy, 
so experienced, and so able a commander. 

The fleet sailed from Spithead on the 7th of Au- 
gust, having two hundred merchant-vessels under its 
convoy. Owing to this incumbrance, and the con- 
trary winds that prevailed, the passage to Lisbon was 
extremely tedious, the admiral not having arrived oft* 
the Tagus till the yth of September. The French 
fled at his approach, and took refuge in Cadiz. Sir 
Charles Hardy being thus freed, immediately put to 
sea, and having joined the main fleet, proceeded with 
it to Gibraltar ; the reinforcement of which garrison 
was among the principal objects confided to the di- 
rection of Sir John Balchen. The latter service be- 
ing effected, the fleet, after a cruise off the coast of 
Portugal, prepared to bend its course back to Eng- 
land, when, having entered the Bay of Biscay on 
the 30th, it was, three days after, completely dispersed 
by a violent storm on the 3d of October following. 
Many of the ships were, with the utmost difficulty, 
preserved from foundering ; they all of them, how- 
ever, reached England in safety, the Victory except- 
ed. This noble vessel, separating from all her com- 
panions, was supposed to have struck on the Caskets, 
a rido'e of rocks near Alderney. The waves thus, in 

O ^ 

one instant, overwhelmed a most worthy and able 
commander, with nearly twelve hundred of his brave 
associates, and destroyed a ship which was justly con- 
sidered the pride of Britain, and was confessedly the 
terror of her enemies. The inhabitants of Alderney 
heard many signals of distress made during the night, 
but, from the darkness, added to the violence of the 
tempest, they were totally unable even to attempt 
affording the sufferers any assistance. The nation 
was filled with the utmost grief at this dreadful and 
accumulated misfortune. The merits of the admiral 
himself) the lamentation of relatives, and the loss of 

H II 2 


such a number of brave men, all tended to increase? 
the public anxiety, to a degree that had scarcely been 
felt, since the loss of the brave Shovel. Sorrow, 
on such an occasion, is the only tribute which grati- 
tude can pay to deceased merit ; and the generous 
mind finds some relief in bestowing it worthily. On 
a small, but elegant, monument, erected to his me- 
rnory in Westminster Abbey, is the following epitaph, 
which, we shall, without hesitation, transcribe ; in- 
deed, it would be an injustice to the memory of a 
great and good man, to omit it. " Sir John 13al- 
chen, Knt. admiral of the white squadron of his Ma- 
jesty's fleet, who, in the year 1774, being sent out 
commander in-chief of the combined fleets of England 
and Holland, to cruise on the enemy, was, on his 
return home, in his Majesty's ship the Victory, lost 
in the Channel, by a violent storm; from which sad 
circumstance of his death, we may learn, that neither 
the greatest skill, judgment, or experience, joined to 
the most unshaken resolution, can resist the fury of 
the winds and waves ; and we are taught from the 

. ^ 

passages of his life, which were filled with great and 
gallant actions, but accompanied with adverse gales 
of fortune, that the brave, the worthy, and the good 
man, meets not always his reward in this world. Fif- 
ty-eight years of faithful and painful service he had 
passed, when, being just retired to the government of 
Greenwich Hospital, to wear out the remainder of his 
clays, he wa.s once more, and for the last time, called 
out by his king and country, whose interest he ever 
preferred to his own ; and his unwearied zeal for their 
service ended only with his life, which weighty mis- 
fortune to his afflicted family, became heightened by 
many aggravating circumstances attending it. Yet, 
amidst their grief, they had the mournful consolation, 
to find his gracious and royal master mixing his con- 
cern with the general lamentations of the public, for 
the calamitous fate of so zealous, so valiant, and so 
able a commander, and as a lasting memorial of siu- 


cere love and affection borne by his widow, to a most 
affectionate and worthy husband, this honorary mo- 
nument was erected by her. lie was born Febru- 
ary 2d, lo'(),9; married Susannah, the daughter of 
Colonel Aprcece, of Washingly, in the county of 
Huntingdon: died October 7, 1/44, leaving one 
son and one daughter; the former of whom, George 
13alchcn, survived him but a short time ; for, being 
sent to the West Indies in 1/4.5, commander of his 
Majesty's ship the Pembroke, he died at Barbadoes, 
in December the same year, aged 128, having walked 
in the steps, and imitated the virtues and bravery of 
hi*, good, but unfortunate father." 


Tins gentleman, who was the descendant of a re- 
spectable family in the kingdom of Ireland, having 
received the king's letter at an eariy age, and passed, 
with considerable credit, through the stations of mid- 
shipman and lieutenant, was, on account of his very 
meritorious conduct, at the battle off lieachy Head, 
promoted, in July 1690, to be commander of the 
Pelican fire-ship. He owed every subsequent ad- 
vancement entirely to his own merit; and is known 
to have experienced, in the course of his life and ser- 
vice, many of those checks, to which divers of the 
bravest, and best men have been oftentimes sub- 
jected. In the year 1693, he was captain of the 
Sheerness, a frigate mounting twenty-eight guns, one 
of the unfortunate squadron under Sir George Rooke, 
to whose protection the Smyrna fleet, was in that 
year conlided. Captain Norris acquired, neverthe- 
less, on that occasion, the highest credit; for his di- 
ligence, and activity in executing the commands of 
his admiral, were considered among the most effi- 
cient means that lessened the disaster, by preventing 
many of the merchant-ships from falling into the hands 


of the enemy, as in all probability they otherwise 
would have done. As a reward for his conduct, he 
was, after his return into England, promoted to the 
command of the Carlisle, a fourth rate; and, having 
distinguished himself very highly in the month of Ja- 
nuary 16^4-5, being then in company with, and un- 
der the command of Captain James Killegrew, in the 
attack of two French men of war, the Content and 
Trident, both of which were captured, after a severe 
action, was recommended by Mr. Russel to the Ad- 
miralty board, to command the Content. In 1696, 
he was appointed commodore of a small squadron, 
consisting of four fourth rates, an equal number of 
frigates, and other smaller vessels ordered to Hud- 
son's Bay, for the recovery of the British settlements 
in that quarter, which had surrendered a short time 
before to an armament sent out from France. On his 
arrival at Newfoundland, he received intelligence that 
a squadron, consisting of five large French ships, had 
been seen in the Bay of Conception, and it being 
specially enjoined him by his instructions, that, in 
the case of such an event, he should immediately 
call a council of war, and, as generally proves the 
case in such species of deliberation, the result com- 
pletely overturned that success, which, in all proba- 
bility, would have attended his exertions, had no 
such meeting taken place. It was a prevailing, and 
indeed unanimous opinion, that the squadron which 
had been seen, was a part of one commanded by the 
Marquis De Nesinoml, which was known to be 
greatly superior to tne force under Mr. Norris. The 
land-officers considered it imprudent that the ships 
should venture to sea, but insisted they should wait 
the approach of their antagonists, under the protec- 
tion of the batteries raised on shore. A few of the 
naval oilicers were unhappily of' the same opinion, and 
the question of put tin ; to sea was accordingly car- 

r^ o v 

ried against Air. Norris, by a great majority. Mr. 
Norris himself suggested, that it was probable the 


enemy's vessels were not any of those under the orders 
of the Marquis De Nesmond, but some which had 
casually put into the bay, for the supply of wood, 
water, or other refreshments: he accordingly dis- 

O */ 

patched a frigate to reconnoitre, and received, the 
truly mortifying intelligence that his own suggestions 
were true, and that the ships discovered, were those 
returning to Europe under the command of Mons. 
Pointis, laden with the plunder of the Spanish 
West Indies, and which, from the inferiority of 
their force, would undoubtedly have fallen an 
easy prey to the British armament. The disap- 
pointment, in the capture of Pointis, roused a 
considerable degree of indignation among the peo- 
ple at home, but it proved of no long duration, 
particularly in respect to Captain Norris, who, after 
the proceedings which had taken place under his com- 
mand had passed the ordeal of parliamentary inves- 
tigation, was immediately reinstated in the good opi- 
nion of ail ranks of men. 

During the peace, which soon afterwards took 
place, Captain Norris was employed as captain of 
the Winchester, first on the Mediterranean, and 
afterwards on the Newfoundland station. Imme- 
diately after the accession of Queen Anne, he was 
appointed to the Orford, one of the fleet sent 
on the expedition against Cadiz. On his passage 
thither, he had the good fortune to make no less 
than five or six prizes ; but, during the continu- 
ance of the fleet before that place, he became involved 
in a dispute, that threatened to terminate his naval 
life. lie was naturally of a very violent temper; ex- 
tremely irritable, and highly difficult to be appeased. 
A difference having arisen between Captain Ley, who 
then commanded the Sovereign, as captain to Sir 
George Rooke, he was so outrageous as not only to 
strike, but also to draw his sword on that gentleman. 
The insult was rendered still more heinous, from the 
circumstance of its having taken place on the quarter- 


deck of Captain Ley's own ship, who was an older 
OiiictT in the service than Captain Norris. The con- 
sequence might have been foreseen ; Sir George 
Ilooke [eh himself reduced to the necessity of putting 
the latter under an arrest; but the business was 
speedily compromised, bv the interference of the duke 
of Ormo'nd, the general in chief ; and the whole af- 
fair was quickly afterwards terminated by the death 
of Captain Ley. In the following year, Captain 
Norris had the good fortune, when on his passage to 
join the fleet under Sir Cloudesley Shovel, destined 
at that time for the Mediterranean, to fall in with a 
large privateer, called the Philippeaux, carrying 
tiihtv-six carriage srnns, together with twelve pate- 

*-' C? C? J O I 

rcroes. The enemy's ship being bravely commanded, 
and manned with a chosen crew of two hundred and 
forty men, did not surrender till after a most obsti- 
nate dispute, in the course of which she had fifty of 
her crew killed or wounded, and the Orford herself 
received much damage, although trivial when com- 

c? o 

pared with that of her antagonist. The success of 
Captain Norris by no means ended with this capture; 
lie having in a few days afterwards, made prize of a 
second armed ship belonging to the enemy, carrying 
sixteen guns, and one hundred and ten men. When 
the fleet was on its return fro'm the Strait.", in the 
month of November following, Captain Norris had 
the additional good fortune to fall in with the Hazard, 
a French fourth rate, carrying fifty-two guns, and tour 
hundred men, which he compelled to submit, though 
not till after a very gallant defence on the part of the foe. 
In 1704 he acted as one of the seconds to Sir Clou- 
desley Shovel, in the battle off Malaga, and his gallan- 
try on that occasion, raised his character higher, than 
all his preceding services had done. So strongly did 
it recommend him to the notice of the admiral, by 
whose side he fought, and who, consequently, was ren- 
dered a competent judge of his conduct, that in the 
ensuing year Captain Norris was selected to command 


the Britannia, a first rate, on hoard which himself and 
theearl of Peterborough hoisted their flag, as joint com- 
hianders-in-chief. His behaviour was so conspicuous 
in the attack of Fort Montjuic, that King Charles III. 
wrote a letter to Queen Anne with his own hand, for the 
express purpose of announcing the esteem he had for 
this gentleman, and soliciting for him the queen's fa- 
vour and protection. Being sent home shortly after- 
wards, as the bearer of the happy news that the city 
of Barcelona had surrendered, he received the honour 
of knighthood, and was presented with a purse of one 
thousand guineas. He is not known ever to have 
been subsequently employed as a private captain ; but, 
on the 10th of March ]?()6 % -7, he was advanced to 
the rank of rear-admiral of the blue, and appointed to 
serve under his former friend and patron, Sir Cioudes- 
ley Shovel, \vho was once more invested with the 
Mediterranean command. The admiral in chief, se- 
lected him to lead the detachment, employed on the 
very arduous and important service of forcing the 
passage of the Var. 1 he ships under his orders on 
this occasion amounted to four British and one 
Dutch, all of the line, and a detachment of six hun- 
dred chosen men were embarked on board the boats 
of the fleet, so as to be ready to land, and storm the 
entrenchments of the enemy, so soon as it. should be 
visible that the fire of the ships had effected any im- 
pression. The effect of the cannonade becoming ap- 
parent, very soon after its commencement, Sir John 
was ordered to land, and assault the fiank of the lines; 
this service he performed with so much spirit that 
the enemy almost instantly gave way, and the 
passage of the river was effected with a small loss. 
At the siege of Toulon, which succeeded, his counsel 
and advice was, on all occasions, sought by the com- 
mander in chief, as a person in whose judgment the 
most implicit confidence might be placed. On his 
return to England he escaped, though not without 
the utmost difficulty, the melancholy fate which be j 


fel his friend and patron, the admiral in chief. In 
the year 1708, he was employed under Sir John 
Leake in the Mediterranean, and the only service of 
moment that he was able to effect in that quarter, 
was executed by him : this was, the capture near Bar- 
celona, of a numerous fleet of tartans and barks, 
bound for Peniscola, near the mouth of the Ebro, 
all laden with provisions for the duke of Anjou's 
army ; of which, through the great activity of this 
admiral, about sixty-nine fell into the hands of 
the English. On his return from the Straits, 
he was, on the 21st of December, promoted to be 
vice-admiral of the red squadron, and is said to have 
commanded in the ensuing year, an armament sent 
into the Baltic. There appears some doubt whether 
this information is correct, but it is known that in 

1710, having been raised to the rank of admiral of 
the blue, he was sent into the Mediterranean, as 
commander in chief on that station, where he met 
with no material opportunity of effecting any service 
against the enemy, except that of repulsing a descent 
made by them on the Island of Sardinia. Sir John 
did not return to England till the month of October 

1711, and the peace of Utrecht almost immediately 
succeeding, a stop was put to his further naval exer- 
tions, till after the accession of King George I. 

Ih 1/10, the restless temper of Charles XII. of Swe- 
den, and the depredations committed by the privateers 
of that nation, rendered it highly expedient to the pre- 
servation of the British commerce, together with the 
maintenance of the kingdom's dignity and honour, 
that an armament should be sent into the Baltic; Sir 
John was chosen to command it: and, having hoisted 
his flag on hoard the Cumberland of eighty guns, 
he sailed from the Xore on the Ibth of May, having 
with him eighteen ships of the line, together with a 
very numerous licet of merchant- vessels, which lie 
was ordered to protect on their voyage to the north- 
ward. On the arrival of this force in the Sound, on 


the 10th of June, Sir John hoped that the very ap- 
pearance of his ships would strike sufficient terror 
into the Swedes, to induce their making the satisfac- 
tion that was required, without compelling him to 
have recourse to hostile measures. The prevarication, 
however, of his opponents, and the evident intentions 
they displayed of using every possible pretence for 
the purpose of gaining time, till the season was so 
far advanced as to prevent their being molested during 
the current year, compelled the admiral to pursue his 
ulterior instructions, and join the squadrons of Russia, 
Denmark, and Holland. That of Russia was com- 
manded by the Czar, well known in Europe by the 
distinguishing appellation of Peter the Great. In 
compliment to his dignity, it was agreed that he 
should have the chief command of the whole ; that 
Sir John, with the English squadron, should lead the 
van ; the Danes the rear; and that the Dutch, joined 
by five English ships of war, should take the charge 
of escorting, to their several places of destination, the 
trade of all the allied powers. This decided conduct 
produced the continuance of public quietude during 
the remainder of the year ; and, on the approach of 
winter, Sir John, with the main body of the fleet, re- 
turned to England, having adopted the precaution of 
leaving Commodore Cleland behind him, with a 
squadron of seven ships of war, and instructions to 
act in conjunction with the other allied powers, as 
circumstances might arise. Mattel's not being- ac- 
commodated, it was deemed proper to send a fleet 
into the same quarter the following spring. Sir John 
was again selected to direct its operations ; and to 
his former character of admiral in chief, was added 
that of minister plenipotentiary to the Czar Peter. 
Nothing could possibly have been more agreeable 
than this appointment to the emperor, who p ret erred 
the character of a naval commander to that of the most 
consummate politician in she universe. From this cir- 
cumstance might be expected as a natural consequence, 


that cordial intercourse to ensue, which never fails to 
take place between two persons influenced by the 
same turn of mind. The. same system was pursued 
for the third time in 171H, and was productive of the 
same effects. The death of Charles at the siege of 
Fredericshall, in the month of November following, 
put a period to these northern expeditions, which from 
long use might be considered an almostannual practice. 
In the year 1719, the extraordinary conduct of 
the court of Spain, and its avowed intentions of 
making a descent on Great Britain in favour of 
the Pretender, caused the equipment of two squa- 
drons, which were sent out for the purpose of inter- 
cepting the Spanish armament, consisting of five ships 
of war, having under its protection a fleet of trans- 
ports filled with stores, troops, and spare arms, toge- 
ther with a million of dollars in specie. The absence 
of Sir John, however, on this service, was but of 
short duration, for, in three weeks from the time of 
his sailing, he received authentic information that 
the Spanish fleet had been totally dispersed in a vio- 
lent gale of wind, of]' Cape Finisterre, and the greater 
part of the ships had put back, and had, with the ut- 
most difficulty, reached their own ports, on account 
of the damage they had sustained in the tempestuous 
weather. Sir John was next selected to check the 
ambitious project of Peter himself, who wished to add 
Sweden to his own dominions. The armament on 
this occasion was more formidable than it had been 
on either of the preceding occasions, for it consisted 
of no less than twenty-one ships of the line, with 
seven frigates, or smaller vessels. The rage of Peter 
became softened into the reflection that all resistance 
or opposition would be in vain, though exerted to 
the inmost of' Ins powers against so formidable an 
opponent as Britain. The peace signed at. Xeistadt 
closed the scene ; much to the satisfaction of Sweden, 
and highly to the honour of the country which 
espoused her cause. 


From this time, Sir John enjoyed a relaxation 
from the fatigues of public service; for, except that 
in the year 1/23, when he was appointed to com- 
mand the squadron which convoyed King George 
I. from Helvoetsluys to England, he held no com- 
mand till the year 1727, when the apprehension 
of an attack meditated on Sweden by the Czarina, 
rendered the equipment of a fleet absolutely neces- 
sary. Its appearance in the Baltic, produced the 
same instantaneous effect which it always had, on 
every preceding occasion ; and Sweden remained un~ 
attacked, because she was protected by Britain. From 
this time, till the year 1735, Sir John Norris held no 
naval command ; but a dispute having then arisen 
Letween the crowns of Spain and Portugal, the latter 
applied to Britain, as her ancient ally, for protection. 
The command of the fleet fitted out on this occasion 
was given to Sir John, who had been advanced in the 
year 1732, to the rank of admiral of the white. His 
arrival at Lisbon was regarded by the Portuguese as 
a certain deliverance, and the terror excited by the 
interference of Britain, produced in a southern clime 
the same effect which we have seen it did in the 
north; the storm of war instantly breaking away, 
the fleet returned, and was dismantled, On this oc- 
casion, the British admiral might vie with the Roman 
general, who is said to have finished a war in seven- 
teen days after he had taken upon him the command. 
In after ages, many brilliant exploits of the present 
day may, probably, eclipse in fame those of anti- 
quity, which are now the most celebrated. The con- 
duct of the court of Spain had, for a series of years, 
been extremely insulting to Great Britain. The de- 
predations committed by the guarda-costas of the 
former, together with the insults, the injuries, and 
the barbarities, which they were in the cons! nut ha- 
bit of exercising towards those who were unfortunate 
enough to fall in their way, and were not sufficiently 
powerful to resist their attack, roused at length the 


sleeping vengeance of Britain, and the pacific temper 
of her minister Sir llohert Walpole. 

In 1744, France became a partner in political mis- 
chief, attached herself to the cause of Spain, and, 
among other of her customary schemes, to distract 
the attention of the British councils, projected the 
-invasion of Scotland, in favour of the Pretender. A 
formidable force was collected at Brest, for this pur- 
pose ; it consisted of twenty-three ships of war, the 
chief command of which was bestowed on Monsieur 
De Rouqnefeuille, an officer of eminence and reputa- 
tion; but though these measures had been concerted 
with secrecy, the British ministry had the good for- 
tune to procure information of them ; and ere it 
reached the British Channel, a fleet consisting of 
twenty-nine ships of the line, was collected in the 
Downs under Sir John Norris. This circumstance 
broke at once all the measures of the enemy ; they 
beheld with astonishment the superiority of their op- 
ponents, and at the very instant, when they con- 
sidered themselves certain of success, found they 
were obliged to owe their safetv to their flight back 

o i> O 

to their own ports, and regard the winds, the fogs, 
and the state of the weather unfavourable in all re- 
spects, except in that of being propitious to their 
flight, as the friends which preserved them from de- 
struction. With this last service, the naval life of 
Sir John Xorris ceased. He had been in constant 
employment for nearly sixty years, so that his age, 
and his infirmities, rendered his retirement a matter 
of necessity. This relaxation from fatigue, however, 
lie did not long enjoy, having died in an advanced 
age on the 19th of July, 1749- In respect to his 
character, it may be remarked, that although many 
may have had the good fortune to acquire a greater 
share of popular applause, none have had a juster 
claim to public gratitude, than this brave and able 
commander; or have been more truly entitled to the 
compassion of those who are capable of feeling the 


misfortunes, which rarely failed to attend him through 
life. Seamen, who are the most superstitious in the 
world, constantly foretold a storm, whenever Sir 
John put to sea. 

The incidents of war, for the space of forty 
years, succeeding the battle oil' Malaga, in 1704, 
were uninteresting in the scale of' grand operation ; 
in such alone are we to look for those achieve- 
ments which high-sounding fame delights in pub- 
lishing to the world, and preserving to our memories. 
These having failed, the voice of envy never ceasing 
to demand what could not exist, imposes herself on 
the world, for that candour and justice, which forbid 
us to bestow honours that have not been truly earned. 
That courage and spirit of enterprise, which Sir John 
so frequently and happily displayed, when in the 
station of a private commander, would have borne 
him through the most arduous and difficult under- 
takings, when moving in the most elevated sphere ; 
and no man can doubt, but that the same glory which 
is so justly attached to the characters of Russcl, and 
Rooke, w r ould have been acquired by Norris, had he 
been fortunate enough to have experienced the same 
opportunity. In the less dazzling duties of his pro- 
fession, which were all that fortune put in his power 
to exercise, no man could be more assiduous. When 
commander-ill chief in the Baltic, he used every 
means to procure to his country a complete know- 
ledge of that dangerous and intricate navigation, 
which was, till his time, much feared, and little un- 
derstood. For this purpose he took uncommon pains 
to compile an accurate draught of that sea, by 
causing all officers under him to make every remark, 
and observation in their power. This laid the foun- 
dation of that more enlarged and general knowledge, 

Cr> O O ' 

which has at length rendered the navigation of it less 
difficult even than that of the Thames. His abilities 
as a negotiator were never disputed, because in that 
line of service he was always most successful. His 


temper as a commander, armed with powers either 
to enforce obedience, or accept submission, were 
such as claimed the praise, even of those against 
whom he served ; so that among all his enemies, 
he had at least the satisfaction of knowing there 
were none who could, with propriety, openly rank 
themselves under so despicable a banner, 



THE subject of the present memoir was the de- 
scendant or an ancient family, which had settled in 
England at the time of the Norman conquest, and 
outlined hindc-d possessions of considerable extent. 
Some of his ancestors enjoyed the honours of the 
peerage, and the name of Vernon frequently appears 
v/im approbation in the annals of English history. 
Our hero was born at Westminster, on the ]2th of 
November, 1684. His father, who was secretary of 
.state to King William and Queen Mary, gave him a 
good education, intending to qualify him for some 
civil employment; but the youth was desirous of 
entering into the sea-service, to which his father at 
last consented ; and he pursued, with surprising ap- 
plication and success, those studies which were con- 
nected with his intended line of profession. His first 
expedition at sea was under Vice-admiral Ilopson, 
when the Trench fleet and Spanish galleons were de- 
stroyed at Yigo. In 170'J ; lie served in an expe- 
dition to the West Indies, under Commodore Walker; 
and, in 1704, on board the fk'tt commanded by Sir 
.George llooke, which convoyed the king of Spain to 
Lisbon, on which occasion Mr. Yernoii had the ho- 
nour to receive a valuable ring, and a hundred 
guineas, from .1:1: Lit monarch's ov/n hand, lie va 


also at the battle oft* Malaga, on the 13th of August, 

O ' O 7 

the same year. 

Having- passed through the subordinate stations of 
the service necessary to qualify him for the rank of 
post captain, on the Q^d of January, 1706", lie was 
appointed to the command of the Dolphin frigate. 
In this vessel he was employed on the Mediterranean 
station under Sir John Leakc, who soon afterwards 
appointed him to the live, and sent him to England 
in the month of August following, with news of the 
surrender of Alicant. He returned back to the Me- 
diterranean in the same ship, and continued there 
till the end of the year 1707 under the command of 
Sir Cloudesley Shovel, but without distinguishing 
himself in any way so as to be noticed by those who 
have written on naval history. 

In the early part of the year 1708, Captain Vernou 
was appointed to the Jersey, of forty-eight guns, and 
sailed for the West Indies, in the month of May, in 
company with a reinforcement for the squadron 
under Sir Charles Wager, who then commanded on 


that station. On his arrival at Jamaica, the Jer- 
sey was employed in cruising against the enemy, and 
Captain Vernon's success was highly honourable to 
his vigilance and activity. He continued to com- 
mand the Jersey, and remained in the West Indies 
till nearly the end of the war. In the month of 
May, 1711, cruising to windward of Jamaica, lie 
captured a French ship, belonging to the port of 
Brest, which carried thirty guns and one hundred 
and twenty men ; and during the remainder of the 
summer the Jersey composed one of the squadron 
under Commodore Littleton, which was employed 
in watching the movements of the enemy at Car- 

The Peace of Utrecht, which happened soon after 
this period, and gave almost thirty years of repose to 
Europe, after the tranquillity of half the nations of 
the civilized world had been, for nearly an equal pc- 



riocl, disturbed by the profligate ambition of Louis 
XIV. placed our hero for the greater part of that 
time in the obscurity of a private situation, so that 
his biographer lias little to record of him, but a few 
appointments, which serve for no other purpose than 
to shew the estimation in which his professional abi- 
lities and experience were held. In the year 1714, 
Captain Vernon commanded the Assistance, of lifty 
guns, one of the fleet sent to the Baltic under Sir 
John Norris, to assist the Russians against the Swedes; 
and in 1726 he commanded the Grafton, of seventy 
guns, one of the armament under Sir Charles Wager, 
sent to the same quarter, to preserve the peace of the 
northern states of Europe. 

On the accession of King George II. in 1727, Cap- 
tain Vernon was chosen member of parliament for 
the borough of Penrvn in Cornwall, and soon dis- 

o / 

tinguished himself by his opposition to the pacific 
administration of Sir Robert Walpole. It has been 
asserted by some writers, that the happiest asra of the 
ancient world was from the battle of Actium to the 
death of Augustus ; and in modern times, the same 
honourable distinction has been awarded to the pe- 
riod when Sir Robert Walpole conducted the affairs 
of Great Britain. The general effects of his admi- 
nistration were fortunate for the interests of huma- 
nity ; and during the greater part of the time that he 
held the reins of power, France was governed by a 
minister of a similar disposition ; but the measures 
of Sir Robert . Walpole's administration, however ex- 
cellent in their consequences, and after a lapse of so 
many years, that \ve can weigh them without being 
influenced in our judgment by the passions, politics, 
or interest, of the day, we must pronounce them as 
some of the soundest efforts of enlightened policy 
which human ingenuity has ever contrived, were 
strenuously opposed by men of great political talents 
and unbounded po\vers of oratory. But. the oppo- 
sition of Pultcnty, 13olingbroke, and their party, 


great as the talents of the leaders \vere, was little 
more than a struggle for the emoluments of office, 
exasperated by feelings of personal animosity; while 
the opposition of Vernon and Shippen, proceeding* 
from very different causes, flowed on both sides from 
the most honest and disinterested motives, and was 
invariably directed against the minister, and not 

V O 

against the man. 

As a speaker in the House of Commons, Captain 
Vernon was one of Sir Robert Walpole's most for- 
midable opponents ; he had no pretensions, indeed, 
to what is usually called eloquence, nor much ar- 
rangement in his arguments, but he possessed a suf- 
ficient command of words, and delivered his opinions 
with generous warmth and manly freedom. The 
honour of England he thought endangered by the 
pacific councils of Sir Robert Vv'alpole, and his op- 
position was not that of a man educated at the bar 
or in the senate, of one whose words were uttered 
according to the scientific rules of disputation, and 
who with equal facility could espouse either side of 
a question, but originated in the unbiassed decisions 
of his own mind. His opinion, which was always 
forcibly delivered, invariably flowed from a persua- 
sion in his own breast of its rectitude; and this con- 
viction, which was, perhaps, most apparent when his 
judgment erred, as at such times it assumed a more 
prominent shape, wrought more on his hearers, than 
axioms more true, uttered by tongues more eloquent, 
could have done. Though a warm, and sometimes 
a diffuse, orator, his meaning was always obvious, 
he never bewildered the house with metaphysical so- 
phistries, nor descended to hide his mean