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consisting of ninety-seven sail, and arrived safely with them in the Downs, about the middle of October.
In November of the same year, Sir John received orders to hoist the flag of Rear-Admiral M'Bride, who commanded a squadron of several frigates, then ordered to escort, to the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, the British troops under the Earl of Moira, destined to succour the Royalist army in France; when Lord Moira and several officers of high rank embarked in the Flora. After the disembarkation of four thousand men at Guernsey, and their subsequent removal to the Isle of Wight, Admiral M'Bride shifted his flag, and sent Sir John, with the Crescent, la Nymphe, Druid, and Fury sloop, under his command, to cruise off the coast of France, where he captured la Vipere, a national corvette brig of 18 guns and 110 men, off Havre de Grace, and drove two other cruisers of the enemy on shore. In March 1794, after several months spent off Cherbourg, Havre, and St. Maloes, with Admiral M'Bride's force, Sir John was by that officer despatched as Commodore in the Flora, with the Arethusa, Sir E. Pellew; Concorde, Sir R. Strachan; la Nymphe, Captain Murray; and Melampus, Captain Wills, under his orders, to watch a squadron composed of the best frigates the French navy then possessed, which generally rendezvoused at Cherbourg or Cancale. They were found in Cancale bay, April 23. 1794, lying in wait for the trading fleet from Cork; and, after a contest of three hours, the British squadron succeeded in capturing la Pomone 44, 1'Engageant 34, and le Babet 22. The subject of our memoir was at this period Aid-de-camp to Sir John Warren, and continued so, till removed from under his command in 1799. This was the first general action in which Lord Huntingdon was present. During the whole of the contest he kept his station on deck, firm and collected: though so rough a taste of his profession might be supposed to produce other sensations in a mind not long released from school, more especially as the only man lost in the Flora was killed by a cannon ball so close to him, that the brains bespattered his face
and clothes all over. Sir J. B. Warren was soon after created a Knight of the Bath.
After some time spent in refitting at Portsmouth, the Flora, together with the Arethusa and Melampus, were again detached from Admiral M'Bride's squadron, on a separate service, cruising off the western coast of Brittany and la Vendee. At one time, owing to a peculiar combination of chances, they had no alternative but to steer directly through a part of the great convoy bound from America to France, laden with provisions and corn for the latter, then afflicted by her extremest distress. In this critical predicament they were pursued i>y three of the enemy's seventy-fours and three frigates, for several hours; and, though Sir John passed within sail, and spoke some of the rear of the convoy, he at length escaped from so unequal a force by superior nautical skill.
At the commencement of 1795, Sir John received orders to hoist his broad pendant on board la Pomone 44, (the largest of the frigates captured in the late action,) as Commodore of the expedition then planned against the French coast, as an effort to assist the French loyalists. During the gallant and perilous, but unsuccessful operations at Quiberon Bay, Lord Huntingdon, being engaged in the boats commanded by 'Lieutenant Burke, in the desperate service of bringing out a British vessel which had run on shore, received a severe wound in the left leg.
After the failure of the enterprise at Quiberon, Sir John proceeded to the mouth of the Loire, where the Isle Dieu was for three months occupied by the British forces; and after its evacuation, towards the close of 1795, he was employed in continual and successful cruises off the coast of France^ under the immediate orders of the Admiralty. By the vigilance of his squadron, and that under Sir E. Pellew, the convoys to the French fleet at Brest were continually intercepted. At one time, on occasion of his having captured 1'Etoile sloop of war and four merchantmen, the Committee of Merchantseamen, for the encourngement of the capture of the enemy's privateers, presented him with a sword of 100 guineas value, in consideration of the protection which the commerce of Great Britain had derived from his squadron; the list of its services then amounting to no less than 23 neutrals detained; 87 merchantmen captured, and 54 destroyed; 25 ships and vessels of war captured, and 12 destroyed; besides 19 vessels re-captured, making a total of 220 sail. Soon after this the squadron was attached to the Channel fleet, and afterwards dispersed on other points of service.
In 1797, Sir John Warren was appointed to the Canada 74,, stationed off Brest to watch the enemy's fleet; and in October of the following year, when it at last succeeded in escaping, he was, by Sir Alan Gardner, despatched in pursuit. After struggling with very unfavourable weather, he arrived off the coast of Ireland without meeting a single vessel of war; but at length, on the 12th of October, he fell in with and engaged La Hoche 80, eight frigates, a schooner, and a brig, which were bearing succour to the Irish rebels. The ship of the line and three frigates were taken, as in the subsequent pursuit were three others of those which were put to flight. After this brilliant affair Sir John Warren received the thanks of the Parliaments both of England and of Ireland, and was honoured with the freedom of the cities of London and Londonderry.
Lord Huntingdon having accompanied his friend and patron through six years of arduous service, being present in every action without receiving any very serious injury, had thus honourably gone through the professional ordeal of a midshipman, and now passed his examination for a lieutenancy. He was thereupon appointed acting-lieutenant in the Sylph brig, commanded by Captain J. Chambers White, and in that vessel cruised for two months off the Western Islands, and was present at the capture of two Spanish merchantmen. On his return to Plymouth with the prizes, he received the commission of second lieutenant of his Majesty's sloop Racoon, Captain Lloyd, of Sheerness, and continuing on the Downs station for the protection of trade, captured several row-boat privateers, and re-took the Benjamin and Elizabeth of London, belonging to Alderman Lushington. Early in 1800, he was appointed first lieutenant of the Thisbe, Captain Morrison, in which ship he accompanied the expedition to Egypt, and served the whole of that naval campaign.
He returned late in 1801, and, on the subsequent short peace of Amiens, retired into Leicestershire, where he settled with his uncle the Rev. Theophilus Hastings, at Leke, Colonel Hastings, his father, having died shortly before.
This interval of repose, however, as that of the country, was only of short duration. Through the interest of the immortal Nelson, he was appointed second lieutenant of 1'Aigle, Captain Wolfe; and afterwards, on the breaking out of the new war in 1803, was sent from Portsmouth to Weymouth Roads to impress seamen for his Majesty's service. Whilst performing this unpopular duty in the island of Portland, the party under his command were furiously attacked by a tumultuous assemblage, and a conflict ensued, in which seventeen of his men were wounded, and three of the assailants unfortunately lost their lives. Captain Wolfe immediately despatched him to London to lay a proper account of this unpleasant affair before Government; but on his landing at Weymouth, he was recognised by the mob from Portland, who seized him, and by their threats compelled the Mayor to commit him to Dorchester gaol for the alleged murder. Lieutenant Hastings humanely complied, and even advised the Mayor to acquiesce in the wishes of the populace for his detention. He was allowed to remain in confinement for six weeks, and then having been removed by Habeas Corpus to Westminster, was there bailed by Lord Moira. Immediately on his liberation, with a rapidity of movement which characterises the elasticity of youthful spirits, as well as the vicissitudes of the naval profession, he posted off to Ipswich, carried to London the lady afterwards his first Countess, to whom he had previously paid his addresses, and married her at St. Ann's, Soho, May 12. 1803. This lady was Frances, third daughter of the Rev.
Richard Chaloner Cobbe (a descendant of the Earls of Godolphin), Rector of Great Marlow, and son of the Rev. R. C. Cobbe, nephew and chaplain to Dr. Charles Cobbe, Archbishop of Dublin, and Vicar of St. Ann's and of Finglass, and treasurer of St. Patrick's. By this lady, who died in 1820, the Earl had four sons and four daughters, who shall be more particularly noticed hereafter.
Early in the morning following his marriage, Lieutenant Hastings was obliged to part from his bride to join his sloop at Plymouth, in consequence of peremptory orders to that effect. On his arrival, he found 1'Aigle just getting under weigh for a cruise, to intercept -French merchantmen then coming from the West Indies ; and he was fortunate in making some very valuable captures before his return to stand his trial at the Summer Assizes at Dorchester. At the necessary time, he and his brother officers gave themselves up to the law, and were all honourably acquitted.
Lieutenant Hastings was next removed by his friend Lord Nelson to the Diamond 38, Captain Elphinstone, where he remained till the death, in 1804, of his uncle the old Leicestershire clergyman (then in right Earl of Huntingdon), on which event he procured leave of absence from the Admiralty to investigate his claim to the dormant earldom. Unhappily, however, he was prevented from prosecuting his right at that time by peculiar and discouraging circumstances; and after some enquiry respecting legal expenses, which only served to deter him, he turned once more to the tardy honours of his profession in lieu of the hereditary dignities which seemed lost to him. In the latter end of the same year he was appointed second lieutenant in the Audacious, Captain Lewford, in which ship he served in the Channel fleet till 1805. Another change then made him flag lieutenant to Admiral Douglas, in the Hibernia, where he continued until the Admiral struck his flag.
At this period his Lordship, perhaps weary of such frequent changes with but little advancement, repaired to London, and waited on Lord Moira, expecting, in view of his long