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In July, 1747, he was made rear admiral of the white, and, shortly afterwards, obtained the command of a squadron, destined to intercept a large fleet of French merchantmen, bound, under a strong convoy, to the West Indies. On the 9th of August, he sailed from Plymouth, in the Devonshire, with thirteen other men-of-war; four, besides his own ship, of the fourth class, and nine of the fifth. On the 14th of October, at about eight o'clock in the morning, the French fleet was seen; and at ten, Hawke began to form the line of battle a-head, (conformably with the inconvenient, but now exploded, system then in use, of fighting squadrons of ships like regiments of infantry); but, finding that much valuable time was lost in the operation, he gave signal for his whole squadron to chase. In half an hour the foremost of his ships, the Lion and Princess Louisa, were engaged, and the action soon became general. The admiral compelled the first ship he encountered to strike; but, leaving her to be taken possession of by the frigates astern, he proceeded to assist the Eagle and Edinburgh: the Eagle, however, becoming unmanageable, fell twice on board his ship, the Devonshire, and drove her to leeward, where she was compelled to engage with two of the enemy, until the breechings of her guns broke loose. One of the French ships now directed her whole fire against the admiral's rigging, and would soon have dismasted her, had not the Tilbury come up to her relief. As soon as the breechings of her guns were repaired, she attacked and compelled another of the enemy to submit. The admiral now made a signal for the whole squadron to engage as near as possible, and placed the Devonshire alongside one of the largest of the enemy, which, about seven in the evening, struck her colours. In addition to those which thus surrendered to the Devonshire, three more of the French men-of-war were captured by the other ships of the British squadron. In his despatches, announcing the victory, Hawke stated, that he had given the enemy a complete drubbing; and the king being puzzled by the word, was referred, for an explanation of it, to the Duke of Bedford, who had, a short time before, been severely chastised at Lichfield.
Soon after his return, the admiral was made a knight companion of the Bath; and, in the December following, he became member of parliament for Portsmouth. In January, 1748, he sailed, with nine ships of the line, on a cruise, during which the Magnanime, of seventy-four guns, was captured by two of his squadron. In the following May, he became vice-admiral of the blue, and an elder brother of the Trinity-house. In 1749, he was appointed president of a court-martial on the mutineers who had sailed away with the Chesterfield, from Cape Coast Road, in Africa; and, soon after, acted as naval superintendent in establishing a colony at Nova Scotia. He next commanded a squadron at Spithead, and, on the 9th of January, 1755, became admiral of the white.
In 1756, after cruising for some time, with a small squadron, in the Bay of Biscay, he was appointed to supersede Admiral Byng, in the Mediterranean. In 1757, he commanded the naval part of the expedition against Rochfort, whence he soon returned, without having had an opportunity to distinguish himself, disgusted by the imbecility and irresolution of the military leaders. He was next employed to blockade the French ports in the Bay of Biscay; and, in 1758, succeeded, at the head of seven ships of the line and three frigates, in frustrating an attempt, making by the French, to thwart the designs of England, against her American colonies. In 1758, he held a command in the fleet under Lord Anson; but, while in the Bay of Biscay, he was attacked by a violent fever, which compelled him to return to Portsmouth. In the following year, he commanded the blockading squadron off Brest, which, being driven into Torbay by a tempest, Conflans, with the French fleet, as soon as the storm had abated, put to sea. Hawke soon followed, and, on the morning of the 20th of November, descried the enemy off Belleisle. On this occasion he told his officers that he did not intend to trouble himself by forming lines; for that "he would attack them in his old way, and make downright work with them."
As Hawke approached, Conflans retired towards the shore, for the purpose of decoying his antagonist among the
rocks and shallows, which the local knowledge of his own pilots would enable him to avoid. The British van attacked the rear of the French about half-past two o'clock in the afternoon. Hawke, in the Royal George, without returning the fire of several other ships, passed on towards the Soleil Royal, which bore Admiral Conflans' flag, in the midst of a terrific storm, and nearly surrounded by breakers. When apprized by his pilot of the danger of proceeding, he is said to have coolly replied, "You have done your duty in pointing out the difficulties; you are now to comply with my order, and lay me alongside the Soleil Royal." The captain of the Superbe, a French ship of seventy guns, as the Royal George approached the Soleil Royal, gallantly interposed his own vessel to save that of his commander. The Superbe, consequently, received a broadside, intended for the French admiral's ship, and so terrific was its effect, that, as soon as the smoke had cleared away, the tops of her masts alone were visible, and, in another moment, the sea rolled over her colours.
The Soleil Royal escaped; but of the remainder of the French fleet, two were taken, and a third, the Thesée, met with the fate of the Superbe. The French, in this engagement, behaved with chivalric bravery; and no victory, perhaps, ever redounded more to the honour of the British fleet. Hawke, on his return to England, was received with all the enthusiastic admiration he so justly merited: the house of com
mons honoured him with a vote of thanks, and the king settled a pension upon him of £2,900 per annum.
In August, 1760, Admiral Hawke sailed from Spithead, in the Royal George, to relieve Boscawen in the Bay of Biscay; and, in 1761, he commanded a large fleet, which succeeded in counteracting the attempts of France and Spain on Portugal. On his return to England, he was again elected for Portsmouth. On the 5th of November, 1765, he became vice-admiral of Great Britain, and, soon after, first lord of the admiralty; which office he resigned in the month of January, 1771; and, on the 20th of May, 1776, he was created a peer, by the title of Baron Hawke, of Pawton.
His death took place at Shepperton, in Middlesex, on the 16th of October, 1781. He married, in early life, Miss Catherine Brooke, of Burton-hall, in Yorkshire, by whom he had four children.
GEORGE, son of the Reverend Thomas Pocock, chaplain of Greenwich hospital, was born on the 6th of March, 1706, and entered the naval service in 1718, under Sir George Byng, whom he accompanied to the Mediterranean. In 1732, he became first lieutenant of the Namur; on the 31st of August, 1738, he was promoted to the rank of postcaptain; and commanded, successively, the Woolwich and the Sutherland. In 1748, being then chief officer on the
Lord Hawke appears to have been a genius in that profession, for which his daring gallantry rendered him so eminently suitable. Disregarding the cautious principles established by those who had preceded him, he originated a new mode of attack, and, by his achievements, triumphantly proved its efficiency. He was not a mere courageous man of talent, but, if it be fair to judge of his conduct by its results, a commander who, in his naval exploits, displayed great judgment, as well as an unusual degree of bravery and skill.
SIR GEORGE POCOCK.
Leeward Islands station, he blockaded Martinico; and, with his cruisers. captured nearly forty vessels belonging to a French convoy from Europe.
In 1754, he proceeded to the East Indies, as captain of the Cumberland, and second in command to Rear-admiral Watson. On the 4th of February, 1755, he was made rear-admiral of the blue; and rear of the red on the 4th of June, 1756. In the month of March, 1757, he led the attack, in the Tiger,
upon Chandernagore, and, though he received seven wounds, did not quit his deck till the end of the action, which continued for three hours. On the 16th of August following, he succeeded to the chief command in the East Indies, and became vice-admiral of the red on the 31st of January, 1758. Being reinforced by Commodore Stevens, he hoisted his flag in the Yarmouth, and put to sea with a squadron, which gave chase to seven French ships, on the 29th of April, off the coast near Negapatam. An action ensued, in which the Yarmouth was attacked by three of the enemy's vessels, and, at one time, nearly surrounded by a manœuvre of the French admiral; who, however, sheered off, on perceiving that one of his own ships was disabled, and that the Cumberland, Newcastle, and Weymouth, which had hitherto kept at a distance, were now promptly obeying the signals hoisted by Pocock for them to come to his assistance. Soon after the engagement, he caused a courtmartial to be held at Madras, on their respective captains; one of whom was sentenced to be dismissed from his ship, another to be cashiered, and the third to lose a year's rank.
On the termination of these proceedings, Admiral Pocock sailed a second time in pursuit of the French, whom he succeeded in bringing to action, on the 3rd of August; but, after a running fight of an hour, the enemy's fleet escaped, much damaged, into the road of Pondicherry, with a loss of five hundred and fifty men, killed and wounded, while that of the English was, comparatively, insignificant. Pocock now proceeded to Bombay, for the purpose of refitting; and, on the 17th of April, 1759, he sailed again in search of the French fleet, with which he came in sight on the 2nd of September. He immediately commenced a chase, but was baffled by the going down of the wind; and, correctly supposing that the enemy (whose force was now, as it had been in the two previous engagements, superior to his own) would make for Pondicherry, he proceeded thither, and came to action on the 10th. The French commander, however, after a loss of fifteen hundred men, killed and wounded, again sheered off.
In 1760, Pocock returned to England;
in 1761, he was created a knight of the Bath; and his statue was placed in the great court-room, at the East India house, by order of the company, as a testimony of the high opinion which that body entertained of his services.
Some time in 1762, he was returned to parliament for Plymouth; and, on the 5th of March, in that year, he was intrusted with the command of the naval part of an armament against Havannah. After having been reinforced at Cape Nichola, by a fleet under Sir James Douglas, he passed through the old Streights of Bahama, without a pilot, and arrived in sight of Havannah on the 5th of June. Two days after, the admiral, with a great part of his fleet, made a feint on the west of the harbour, while Commodore Keppel, with the residue, effected a landing of the troops at the opposite side. The military commander, Lord Albemarle, received all the assistance from Pocock which the latter was enabled to render him, during the siege, which appears to have been attended with great difficulty and hardships. The town and its dependencies, were, however, at length, compelled to capitulate. Nine sail of the line, and four frigates, were found in the harbour; and the plunder, in ready money, tobacco, and other articles of merchandize, is said to have amounted to nearly three millions sterling.
In 1776, Admiral Pocock was chosen an elder brother of the Trinity-house; but retired in disgust from the service, on the appointment of Sir Charles Saunders, his junior, to the office of first lord of the admiralty. He died on the 3rd of April, 1792, leaving one son and one daughter.
United to great benevolence of heart and mildness of manners, which endeared him to his private connexions, Sir George Pocock, who, though a thorough seaman, never uttered an oath, displayed astonishing bravery and much talent, as a commander. An honest zeal for the service rendered him a strict disciplinarian; but he wisely alleviated the rigour of his regulations, by cheerfully submitting to the most severe of them himself, as well in respect of diet as vigilance. When General Lally was brought prisoner to England, after the reduction of Pondicherry, immediately on his arrival, he
THIS distinguished commander entered the naval profession at an early age, and, in 1740, served, in the quality of lieutenant, on board the Centurion, one of the squadron ordered to the South Seas, under Commodore Anson. During the expedition he was made a commander, and appointed to the Trial, sloop of war, in which vessel he participated in the appalling misfortunes that attended the enterprise. Before Saunders reached the island of Juan Fernandez, he had lost nearly half of his crew; and himself, his lieutenant, and three men, were the only persons capable of working the vessel. In September, 1741, he was sent on a cruise, from Juan Fernandez, and, on the 18th, fell in with, and captured, after a long chase, a valuable merchantman, of six hundred tons burthen.
Owing to the bad condition of his sloop, the Trial, it was now determined that she should be scuttled, and Saunders removed into his prize, which being commissioned as a frigate, he was appointed to command her, on the 26th of September, 1741; from which period, he took the rank of post-captain. The Trial's Prize, which was the name given to his ship, cruised, for some time, off the island of Valparaiso, and afterwards joined the commodore, on the 22nd of November, off Nasca. Saunders assisted at the taking of Paita, and, thenceforth, served in company with Anson and the remainder of the squadron.
In 1742, the Trial's Prize being destroyed, in order to concentrate the forces, her crew were removed to the Gloucester; but this ship being afterwards disposed of in a similar manner, Saunders and his men were taken on board the Centurion. Soon after the
squadron had anchored in the road of Macao, he was sent with despatches to England. He next commanded the Sapphire; and, early in 1744, was employed in cruising off the coast of Flanders, where he captured a galliot hoy, which had on board nearly two hundred officers and men of Count Lowendahl's regiment.
After having been appointed, successively, to the Dunkirk, and a newlylaunched ship, the Gloucester, he was, in 1746, engaged in a cruise with Captain Cheap, and captured Le Fort de Nantz, a register ship from New Spain, with property on board worth more than £100,000. In the following year, he commanded the Yarmouth, of sixtyfour guns, and very highly distinguished himself under Admiral Hawke, in the action with the French squadron on the 14th of October in that year. Captain Saunders lay two hours and a half closely engaged with the Neptune, seventy-four, carrying seven hundred men, and never quitted her until she struck; although the Monarque, of seventy-four guns, which likewise yielded to the Yarmouth, lay upon the bow of the latter, and another of the enemy was upon her stern. Notwithstanding his ship was much disabled, and his crew reduced by the contest, Saunders pursued, for some time, two of the enemy, one of which was that of the French admiral, but without effect.
In April, 1750, he became member for Plymouth; and, in January, 1752, acted as commodore and commander-in-chief at Newfoundland. In April, 1754, he was constituted treasurer of Greenwich hospital; and, in the same year, through the interest of his permanent
friend, Lord Anson, he obtained his return for the borough of Heydon, in Yorkshire. In March, 1755, he was made captain of the Prince, of ninety guns; which he resigned in the following December, on being made comptroller of the navy. Shortly after, he became one of the elder brethren of the Trinity-house, and was re-elected for Heydon, having vacated his seat by accepting the comptrollership. In June, 1756, he was made rear-admiral of the blue, and hoisted his flag in the Antelope, at Gibraltar. On Hawke's return, in January, 1757, Saunders was intrusted with the chief command in the Mediterranean; and, early in 1758, he was made rear-admiral of the white.
In 1759, he hoisted his flag as viceadmiral of the blue, on board the Neptune, of ninety guns; and sailed from Spithead, as commander of the naval part of the expedition against Quebec. After having landed the troops, he is said to have displayed extraordinary skill and vigilance in towing ashore a number of fire-ships, which were let down the stream, from the town, with a view to destroy his vessels. He seconded the military, to the utmost of his power, in carrying the enterprise to a successful termination; and, on his return to this country, received the thanks of parliament for his services, and the appointment of lieutenantgeneral of the marines.
He was then despatched with a squadron to Gibraltar, as commander-inchief in the Mediterranean. In 1761, he received the insignia of the Bath,
and again obtained his return for Heydon. In 1762, he was made viceadmiral of the white; and, in 1765, a lord of the admiralty, to the head of which he was raised in the following year, and sworn in as privy-counsellor, on which occasion he resigned the comptrollership of the navy. He retired from office on the 13th of December, 1766. In May, 1768, he took his seat again for Heydon. In October, 1770, he was made admiral of the blue; and, at the general election of 1774, after making an unsuccessful attempt to procure his election for Yarmouth, he was once more returned for Heydon. He died, on the 7th of December, 1775, leaving a fortune of about £80,000. He had married the only daughter of James Back, Esq. of London, banker, on the 26th of September, 1751, but left no issue.
EDWARD BOSCAWEN, third son of the first Lord Falmouth, was born in Cornwall, on the 19th of August, 1711. He entered the navy at an early age, and was promoted to the rank of captain, on the 12th of March, 1737. In 1739, he commanded the Shoreham, of twenty guns, in which he distinguished himself, under Admiral Vernon, at the taking of Port Bello; and at Carthagena, with a small party of seamen, he resolutely attacked and stormed the fascine
Sir Charles Saunders was a very fortunate officer; having, in the course of his professional career, had many opportunities of displaying his natural gallantry and naval skill. As a public character, he appears to have been equally admired by men of all parties; while, in private life, no man could be more esteemed. He numbered, among his intimate friends, Sir George Saville, and Edmund Burke; each of whom, in announcing the admiral's death_to the house of commons, pronounced a warm and well-merited eulogium on his worth and talents. His remains were privately interred in Westminsterabbey, on the 21st of December, 1775, near the monument of General Wolfe.
battery of Baru. He was returned to parliament for Truro, in 1741, and represented that borough till the time of his death. In 1744, he commanded the Dreadnought, of sixty guns, and while cruising in the channel, captured a French frigate. He was afterwards promoted to the Royal Sovereign, guard-ship, at the Nore, and made commander-in-chief of all the armed cruisers employed by government. In 1746, he was appointed captain of the