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the prince to attempt an escape, by breaking through the parliament fleet, in doing which, he lost three ships. Blake pursued him as far as the Tagus; but there the King of Portugal would not allow him to attack his enemy. The gallant hero was not to be easily turned aside, so he immediately captured several Portuguese vessels, and sent them home with rich treasures and much cannon, that he took in the Tagus. Before he left the spot, he destroyed the Royalist squadron, with the exception of two ships; and Prince Rupert narrowly escaped his destructive mode of attack. On returning to England, he captured a French frigate of forty


For these, his first naval exploits, he received the thanks of Parliament, and was created Warden of the Cinque Ports, with the rank of Admiral.

He next took the Scilly Islands, Guernsey, and Jersey, out of the hands of the Royalists; for this the Parliament thanked him, and made him a member of the Council of State. On the breaking out of the Dutch war, he was the High Admiral for several months; and when it was discovered that Van Tromp was standing over to the English coast with a great sail, (some say forty ships,) Blake was lying in Rye Bay with a small fleet of fifteen. He never looked at the fearful odds, but immediately sailed east, and to his great joy, discovered the enemy in the Straits of Dover. On approaching them, he fired two guns, as a signal that he requested them to pay homage to the British flag: this not being done, a smart action ensued, in which the Dutch were considerable sufferers. He afterwards contended with Ruyter and De Witt, famous Dutch commanders; and the seizures he made, and the rich spoil he secured from their homeward-bound merchantmen, earned for him great renown. He sought no ease until he had completely cleared the Channel, and then he sailed for the north coast, and there captured one hundred of their herring vessels, and also twelve ships of war sent out with them as protectors! And now, returning to the Downs, he found there a Dutch Admiral with a hostile sail, and he took him prisoner, and several ships. The English fleet was now scattered about, and Blake had only about forty ships with him, when he again discovered a fleet of eighty Dutch ships in the Channel, commanded by Van Tromp. It was contrary to his unbending spirit to decline battle, no matter the odds, and the action accordingly commenced. This, however, was one of his most unfortunate contests. Four English ships were destroyed and two seized; Blake was wounded in the thigh, and his captain and one hundred seamen were killed, and our hero found himself on a mere

wreck which was found scarcely weather proof to run him into the Thames, followed by a victorious enemy. Van Tromp, in a boastful manner might now be seen sailing about the Channel, with a broom at the mast-head of his ship, as a token that he had swept the British seaman from the waters. Blake, sorely mortified, and burning for the hour of retaliation, had the English fleet refitted; and on the 18th of February, 1653, with a sail of eighty ships, he fell in with the Dutch victor, who was just conveying a fleet of treasure ships across the Straits of Dover, and then Van Tromp experienced the vengeance of our hero; who had, as Burns says, been

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Nursing his wrath to keep it warm!"

In 1656, Admiral Blake made his celebrated blockade of Cadiz, and destroyed the whole Spanish fleet. A Captain Stayner, who commanded the Plymouth of 50 guns in this expedition, was left by Admiral Blake in the command of a small force off Cadiz, and on the 9th of September, 1655, a Spanish-Indian fleet, of eight large ships of the line, were seen approaching Cadiz; without appearing to take the slightest notice of Stayner's small squadron of hostile war frigates. However, according to the instructions of Blake, Stayner gave chase with three frigates, leaving the rest astern to watch for opportunity of attack, should any put off to sea. It was afterwards discovered that the Spaniards were entirely ignorant of the character of their pursuers; however, Captain Stayner opened a tremendous fire upon the unsuspecting vessels, and in a short time, one sunk, one was burnt up, two ran ashore and became wrecks, two he seized. But the most painful part of the history of his feat was connected with the vessel that was destroyed by fire. Dreadful as must have been the fate of the officers and seamen on board the flaming war-ship, all record of their sufferings have escaped the historian's notice, in the melancholy interest touching the death of the Marquis of Badajos, ex-Viceroy of Peru, who, together with his beloved wife, and his lovely and accomplished daughter, perished in the flaming ship! Robbed of the last hope, when the fire broke out, and blazed up among the dead that lay strewed upon the deck, the marchioness and her daughter, (said to be of surpassing beauty, and in her sixteenth year,) swooning away at the horrid, hopeless, fearful spectacle, fell down upon the crackling furious flame, and died! The marquis, hotly engaged in doing all that he could to avert the destruction of the vessel, suddenly observed them, and in the arms of one of his sons he also fell, and the four lay burning together! Two sons and three daughters survived, and were, on board the captured ship, brought to England as prisoners, and, it is said, received

great kindness at the hands of Protector Cromwell, who, however, has been highly censured by some historians for sending out a fleet before war was officially declared.

Shortly after this, the Cromwellian Parliament formally declared war against Spain; and in the spring of 1657, Blake made another attack upon the Spanish coasts, blockaded Cadiz, and burnt the shipping off Santa Cruz, beside capturing many prizes. In this expedition he was assisted by Captain Stayner, who was afterwards knighted by Cromwell. Blake's object was accomplished; he had brought the Spaniards to acknowledge the Commonwealth, and the blood-red cross of the Protectorate held empire on the high seas through Blake's indomitable spirit and unwearied exertions. And for that warlike feat, England rewarded him with a ring, valued at five hundred pounds: it is said, however, that he did not receive it, for the dauntless Admiral never landed on his native shore, but died on the St. George, as she was entering Plymouth Sound, on the 17th of August, 1656, in the fiftyninth year of his age. Protector Cromwell ordered his body to be interred with public magnificence in the Abbey of Westminister.

The Earl of Clarendon has given us the following description of him

"He was the first man that declined the old track, and made it manifest that the science might be attained in less time than was imagined; and despised those rules which had been long in practice, merely to keep ships and men out of danger; which had been held, in former times, as a point of great ability and circumspection; as if the principal art requisite in the captain of a ship had been, to be sure to come safe home again. He was the first man who brought the ships to contemn castles on shore, which had ever been thought very formidable, and were discovered by him to make a noise only, and to fright those who could be rarely hurt by them. He taught them to fight in fire, as well as upon water!"

Who has not read the spirit-stirring lines of Campbell, that breathe a dirge, in their energetic application to the memory of the hero of this biographical sketch?

"The spirits of your fathers

Shall start from every wave!

The deck it was their field of fame,

The ocean was their grave.

Where BLAKE, the boast of freedom, fought,

Your manly hearts shall glow,

As ye sweep through the deep,

While the stormy tempests blow!"

Perhaps the reader is not aware that Prince Rupert, who

had the title of Admiral in the Dutch war, after the restoration of Charles II. was, undoubtedly, for some years previous, one of the most daring buccaneers on record. When Blake attacked him in Kinsale harbour, and pursued him thence to the Tagus, under the very walls of Belim Castle, he not only collected a fortune for himself, by piracy, but the fugitive Charles II. and his brother-nay, even the queen dowager, Henrietta, and the family, were all supported by the unwritten depredations and barbarities committed by Rupert and his brother Maurice. They seized all that were unprotected, and sold their stores to the Portuguese. Heaven only knows their deeds of slaughter, for many a hapless merchant_craft that was sold in the harbour of Kinsale, or in Lisbon, to heartless purchasers, gave indelible proofs of the horrid butchery that had stained the decks, with not a survivor to tell the murderous tale!

Rupert was the son of Elizabeth, queen of Bohemia, and, consequently, cousin to Charles II. He was considered to be a man of uncommon daring; but the blot of piracy will for ever remain upon his escutcheon; nor can it be wiped away that young Charles II. and his brother rioted in the luxury of the French court during the Commonwealth, almost entirely depending upon the ill-gotten gain of the royal corsair on the high seas!

The naval commander next upon the roll of fame, at this period, is George Monk, Duke of Albemarle. He was, by birth a gentleman; descended on the father's side from an ancient and honourable family, settled from the time of Henry the III. at Potheridge, in Devonshire; and by the female line, sprung from the victorious Edward IV. He was the second son of Sir Thomas Monk, a man whose qualities and virtues deserved a better fortune, for in doing homage to royalty, and being profuse in public giftssuch as contributions for repairing fleets for the war, and other national expenses, he had almost worn out his estate. The hero of our memoir was born on the 6th of December, 1608. As he was intended by his father to wield the sword, his education was in accordance with those views.

When Charles I. visited Plymouth to inspect the naval preparations for the war, Sir Thomas Monk would fain have showed his loyalty by meeting his majesty on the occasion, along with others of the same district; but being at that very time afraid of the strong arm of the law, arising from his embarrassed circumstances, rather than place himself in a debtors' gaol, he sent his son George, a rising youth, to the sheriff at Exeter, begging to be excused the arrest until the king's visit was over, accompanying this request with a heavy

largess of gold. The officer accepted the present, and Sir Thomas made his appearance among the assembled nobility of the country. A large present, however, from one of his creditors to the unprincipled lawyer, caused him to be arrested in the face of his friends and various personages of high rank attending upon the king. George Monk, then in his seventeenth year, was so enraged at the act, that he publicly whipped the sheriff, and disabled him from even calling assistance. This circumstance led to the youth's running away, and joining the fleet, bound for Cadiz. His first voyage was served under Sir Richard Grenville, his relation. His numerous exploits were continually adding to his fame, until he reached his forty-fifth year, when he was created Admiral. His first engagement, after his elevation, was with the Dutch fleet. In that fight, one of the first broadsides killed his friend and brother officer, Admiral Deane, whose body was almost cut in two by a chain-shot, at that time a new invention, said to be introduced by the Dutch Admiral de Witt. The report of this painful affair is, that Monk covered the body with his cloak, lest the awful spectacle should check the courage of his crew; and cheering his men on to their duty, he caused the body to be removed into his own cabin. The action terminated with victory to the Admiral, who seized vast treasures and cannon, and captured many of the enemy's vessels.


After much valuable service to his country, and many batterings on "the raging main," Monk died on the 3rd of January, 1669. It is said that he was very abstemious; he rose early, and was fond of exercise. His great virtues were prudence and modesty, allied to unflinching valour. king directed his body to be removed to Somerset House, and there, for many weeks, it lay in state; and was finally taken with great pomp to its last resting-place in Henry the Seventh's chapel, in Westminster Abbey, among other—

"Brave hearts! to Britain's pride
Once so faithful and so true,

On the deck of fame that died."

There is a patriotic glow of feeling, which is not to be expressed feebly when we recount the noble deeds of valour that are stereotyped in the chronicles of the past. To pass down the biographical line of our naval heroes, may not inaptly be compared to a reflective ramble through that grove of monarch oaks that give a glory and a beauty to the ancient forest of Sherwood. They are also a two-fold type, for they have stood for ages as the sylvan pride of England, flourishing in

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