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VERSES on the PEACE.
CATIATE of blood, with battles tir'd
The pow'r of war withdraws his train," That late, with savage fury fir'd, . Bade slaughter drench the mourning plain. .
For MOND A Y, February 17, 1783.
MEMOIRS of LORD RODNEY. I ORD Rodney is descended from a family of long standing, L at Stoke Rodney, in the county of Somerset, the heiress of which married Sir Thomas Brydges, of Keynlham, which occafioned the admiral's receiving the additional christian name of Brydges. Being destined to a sea-life, he early entered into the royal navy, and, after going through the several subordinate ftations, on the oth day of November, 1742, received the commisfion of a captain.
In September, 1744, he was promoted to the command of the Ludlow Caftle, a ship of 40 guns ; and, in 1747, sailed in the Lagle, of 60 guns, under the command of the brave lord Hawke; when, by his valour and conduct, he contributed to the signal and important victory obtained on the 14th of October that year. The share he had in that engagement, may be collected from the following passage in the letter of his commander to the admiralty : “ In passing on to the first ship we could get bear, we received many fires at a distance, 'till we came close to the Severne, of 50 guns, whom we soon filenced, and left to be taken up by the frigates a-stern. Then perceiving the Eagle and Elizabeth, who had lost her fore-top-mast, engaged, we kept our wind arcpre as possible, in order to assist them. This attempt of our wey frustrated by the Eagle's falling twice on board us, having had her wheel shot to pieces, and all the men at it killed, and all her braces and bow-lines gone." You, I. 7.
One cause of captain Rodney's ship suffering so much, arose from the misconduct of captain Fox, of the Kent, who was tried and broke on the 2117 of December, in the same year." The evidences against this cowardly officer were, the late admirals Watson, Cotes, Saunders, and Sir George Rodney; the laticr of whom declared, that he was left between two fires, when captain Fox might easily have come to his assistance, but did not. This was the lalt action of consequence which happened before the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.
In the month of May, 1749, he was appointed governor of Newfoundland; and on the ad of February, 1753, married lady Jane Compton, second daughter of the Hon. Charles Compton, and sister to the earl of Northampton. This lady died on the 28th of Januáry, 1757.
In -May, that year, he commanded the Dublin, of 74 guns. Soon after, he was appointed rear-admiral ; and in July, 1759, was detached with a fleet of ships and bombs to annoy che enemy at Havre-de-Grace. This commission he executed with spirit and success. On the 3d, he anchored in the Great Road of Havre ; where, having made a proper disposition, the bombs proceeded to place themselves in the narrow channel of the river leading to Harfleur, it being the most proper, indeed the only place to do execution from. At seven in the evening, two of the bombs were stationed, as were all the rest early the next morning, from which cime they continued to bombard for 52 hours, without intermiffior., and with such effect, that the town was several times in flames, and the magazine of stores for their flat bottomed boats burnt with great fury for upwards of fix hours, notwithstanding the efforts of several hundred men to extinguish it. In this attack, the explofion of the shells over, turned many of the flat bottomed boats; and the consternation of the town was so great, that the inhabitants fled into the coun.
Little damage was done to the feet during the execution of this enterprize ; after the performance of which, Sir George returned to England, where he continued but a short time to refit, and then went back to his station before Havre-de-Grace, and remained there during the rest of that year, and part of the following. In that time, it was his good fortune totally to destroy all the preparations which the enemy had made for an invasion of England. .
After the services performed on the Frencia part, the admiral had the honour to be chosen by that excat judge of active merit, the then Mr. Pitt, to take the command of a squadron, which was ordered to be sent to the West-Indies for the reduc.
tion of Martinico. He sailed from Spithead the 18th of Oc. tober, 1761, with the Marlborough, Modeste, Vanguard, Nottingham, and Syren, large ships; the Grenada, Thunderer, and Bafilik bombs, and the Fly floop of war; and arrived at Barbadoes on the 22d of November alone, having parted com. pany with the rest of his squadron in a hard gale of wind, after he had left the Channel. He was joined by all his ships on the gth of December, and by the troops from Belleille on the 14th, and those under general Monckton, from North America, on the 24th. He then staid a few days to refresh the men, and make the rtceffary difpofitions for the enterprize,
On the 7th of January, 1762, the feet arrived off Martinico. On the 8th he anchored at St. Ann's Bay, and having filenced the enemy's forts, and destroyed some of their batteries, he landed the arms on the 16th. The fiege immediately commenced, and was carried on with so much bravery, fpirit, and perseverance, that a capitulation took place on the 7th of February, and the British colours were immediately hoisted all over the island. In taking of this important place, the army were materially afsted by their brethren of the navy į and that harmony subfifted between them, which is absolutely nacellary to ensure success in any attempt of the like arduous nature.
Immediately on the surrender of Martinico, the admiral and general determined to follow the blow they had truck : á detachment was therefore made from the army and navy, which forced St. Lucia and the rest of the islands to surrender at difçretion. An ignominious peace soon afterwards ensued, and the greater part of these important conquests, dearly bought by the blood of numbers of our brave countrymen, were returned to the enemy, who were again left to re-establish their broken ftrength, and to prepare, by new schemes of perfidy, to undermine the power which, by a foolish lenity, once more put arms into hands which they were sure would be turned against them. felves.
On the 21st of January, 1764, Sir George was raised to the dignity of a baronet of Great Britain ; and on the 3d of December, 1765, was appointed master of the royal hospital at Greenwich, in the room of admiral Townsend. He had, in the parliament which met at the accession of his present Majesty, been chosen member for Penryn, in Cornwall; and in 1768, engaged in a conteft at Northampton, which was attended with more expence, and igore ruinous consequences, than any elec. tion that ever häbbcona. This town had the misforture to be fatuated near the leats of three peers, the earls of Hallifax, Northampton, and Spencer; who not agreeing who should be
the members, set up each a candidate : Sir George Osborne, by the earl of Hallifax, Sir George Brydges Rodney, by the earl of Northampton ; and Mr. Howe, by earl Spencer : but the two former were supposed to join in the same interest. After the exertion of almoit every effort, legal or illegal, the squandering away immense sums of money, and embroiling the town and neighbourhood in the most rancorous, inveterate, and lasting quarrels, the two first mentioned earls obtained the return in favour of those candidates they espoused. A petition was immediately presented to the House of Commons, and Mr. Howe's right appeared so evident, that before the matter came to be heard at the bar, it was agreed that the two baronets could not be allowed to fit for Northampton in that parliament. Their counsel therefore agreed to toss up which of them should be the fitting member, and the lot fell on Șir George Brydges Rodney. To sum up the consequences of this contest in a few words, the earls of Hallifax and Northampton embarrassed their circumstances in such a manner, that the first remained poor and dir. tressed during the rest of his life : the earl of Northampton was under the necesity of banishing himself, and died abroad ; and our admiral became so far involved, that he also was obliged to leave England, and in the end was some time confined in a French prison. . On a promotion of admirals in the year 1770, Sir George was appointed, on the 24th of October, vice-admiral of the red, and on the 28th of the same month, vice-admiral of the white. In August, 1771, he became rear-admiral of Great Britain, and soon after was obliged to resign his post at Greenwich hospital. The pressure of the demands on him was now found too great to allow him to continue within the reach of his creditors with safety, He therefore went to France, where he contracted fresh debts, and, in consequence of them, lost his liberty. In this distress, after having solicited and been refused employment at home, he was assailed by the French ministry with large offers to take the direction of the fleet of that nation, and become their port-admiral. This proposal was rejected, and every appearance seemed to declare that our brave countryman would be doomed to remain cooped up in a foreign gaol, while his fervices were wanted against the common enemy. At this juncture the duke de Noailles, with a degree of generosity and spirit which do honour to the nobility of France, sent Sir George money sufficient to release him from captivity, and he was enabled once more to return to England. The scát master of human nature has well observed, that time on