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deprive me of life, behave like men, and fight it out while the ship can swim!"

Of this ill-starred expedition, which gave evident proof of Admiral Benbow's indomitable spirit, even when death stared him in the face, and at the same time exhibited the unmanly cowardice of those captains of vessels who should have stood by him in the hour of battle, like soldiers presenting one strong column in defiance of the enemy. Mr. Allen, the naval historian, writes as follows:-" At 2h p.m. the sea breeze set and the French formed a line, and made sail on their way. Still Benbow's sternmost ships made no effort to join in pursuit of the enemy, and the Breda and Ruby were suffered by their pusillanimous consorts to engage without their making even an attempt at supporting them! The Admiral, the Ruby, and Falmouth, distantly, attacked the enemy's sternmost ships, but without making any visible impression on them; yet Benbow continued to follow, under every disadvantage, until the 24th. At 2h a.m., on that day, owing to a change of wind, the Breda (Benbow's ship) was enabled to pass within hail of the sternmost French ship, and a smart action ensued. Benbow, in person, boarded the French ship three times, receiving a severe wound in the face, and another in the arm; and shortly afterwards the gallant admiral had his right leg shattered by a chain-shot, and was carried below, but he insisted on being again taken upon deck; and his commands being obeyed, he remained there, and continued, while lying in his cradle, to give directions respecting the action. The ship to which the Breda was opposed, was in a short time reduced to a mere wreck, having lost her foretopmast, mainyard, and mizenmast, and her hull was completely riddled with shot; but soon after daylight, Benbow observed the French ships bearing down to the assistance of the ship he was engaging, and at the same time had the mortification to witness the ships of his squadron actually bearing up and running away to leeward, as if in despite of his signal, then flying for close action. The French ships, observing the incomprehensible or dastardly conduct of Benbow's captains, became emboldened, and immediately steered for the Breda, opening so smart a fire, that they shot away her maintopsail yard, damaging her considerably. They then sent fresh hands on board the Breda's late opponent, and taking her in tow, made sail away without any attempt being made by the ships before mentioned to prevent it. Benbow, still determined to follow the enemy, communicated with the captains of his squadron, and ordered them to keep their stations in the line, and behave like men; but the gallant admiral found himself obliged to give up the pursuit, and to proceed with the


squadron to Jamaica." "Captains Wade and Kirby, on the 16th of April, 1703, met the just reward of their cowardice or disaffection (for their conduct was never fully explained) at Plymouth, in pursuance of the sentences of the court martial, being shot on board the Bristol."

After his leg was amputated at Jamaica, when he was writhing with pain, his regret that he had been so basely mixed up with the cowardice of his captains, never allowed Benbow a moment's ease, and fever ensuing, he died on the 4th of November, 1702. It is quite uncertain, but it is generally understood, that his body was brought home, and buried at the church of St. Nicholas, Deptford. It is to be regretted, however, that no suitable monument to his memory has hitherto been raised by that country he served so faithfully and honourably.

Sir Ralph Delavel, a fellow seaman and naval commander with the last-named hero, was the son of a north-country gentleman of private worth, and not altogether unknown at court.

Perhaps the gallantry for which Delavel was most renowned was exhibited off Cape La Hogue, when he had the honour to serve under the command of Admiral Russel, before alluded to. On that occasion three fire-ships having been fitted out for their destructive purposes, Delavel embarked and led the van, when he destroyed two large French ships; and after firing upon a third for some time, he leaped on board and captured her. He immediately discovered that not one efficient seaman remained upon her; and after removing the wounded to his own ship, and hurling the dead into the sea, he set fire to the vessel, having thus, without any material loss to the British, destroyed three formidable French three-deckers.

The subject of our present notice was Vice-Admiral of the Red, and joint commander of the fleet. He distinguished himself on several occasions, but had the misfortune to suffer severely from false friends; and for some years before his death, which took place January, 1707, he lived in comparative retirement. By royal command, he was buried with great solemnity and warlike pomp in Westminster Abbey.

Another contemporary of Benbow's was Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovel. He was born about 1650, of parents in moderate circumstances; but whether they suffered a shock in their business, or from what other cause it came about, we are not informed, but young Cloudesley Shovel was apprenticed to the humble trade of a shoemaker. As the boy had no mind for such a confining labour, and at the same time there being a fleet fitting out by Sir John Narborough, he betook himself to sea, in the capacity of a cabin-boy.

Young Cloudesley soon won the esteem of his captain by the



progress he made in navigation; and as those were times when naval merit could look for immediate reward, he soon met with preferment on arriving at manhood. It was during the time that Narborough was sent to the Dey of Tripoli, that the gallantry of Shovel was reported to the Admiralty, and his first promotion was the command of the Sapphire man-of-war. The conduct of Lieutenant Shovel at Tripoli, which led the way to his first step upon the ladder of fame, may be considered of importance, and for the reader's gratification we will briefly relate it. About the middle of January, 1676, a squadron was despatched under the command of Sir John Narborough to check the audacity of the bold pirates who scattered dismay through the merchant service, trading to ports that brought them upon the ocean track of "Tripoli's water-dragons." Standing off, Narborough ordered Lieutenant Shovel to go on shore and demand an audience of the Dey. That order was promptly obeyed. Twice did the gallant young officer press for an interview; but as his beardless youth had been represented to the Dey, he sternly refused to negotiate. It was then suggested to the admiral by Lieutenant Shovel, that it was quite practicable to burn the enemy's shipping. This bold enterprize was carried out on the 4th of March, Shovel having the entire arrangement. He came down upon the enemy in the darkness of midnight, seized the guard-ships, and instantly set on fire the pirate fleet, without sacrificing the life of one British seaman; and when the conflagration ceased, he cannonaded the town, and together with Sir John Narborough, burnt up or seized immense timber stores; and having thus quelled the haughty pride of the Dey, that piratical chief was compelled into present obedience. This was the opening page in the recorded daring of this aspiring youth; and already, to experienced observers, the perspective discovered the future admiral.

He was knighted by King William for his bravery when commanding the Edgar off Bantry Bay; and in 1690, the king delivered to him with his own hands his commission of RearAdmiral of the Blue. What a dignity for one who had been a poor shoemaker's apprentice! Sir Cloudesley Shovel died on his homeward voyage, during a storm,

"When winds were rude in Biscay's sleepless bay."

His body was thrown ashore on the island of Scilly, where some fishermen took him up, and having stolen a valuable emerald ring from his finger, stripped and buried him. The ring, however, was seen by an English sailor, one Paxton, and the fellows were made to confess what they had done with the

body. It was found in the sands by the ocean shore, and brought home to England, where, with great ceremony, it was a second time interred, in Westminster Abbey; and where the facts we have just stated are narrated in his monumental inscription.

Admiral Rooke, another distinguished naval commander of the same period, was born of wealthy parents, and was, indeed, the scion of an ancient Kentish family. The bravery of Rooke was principally distinguished in baffling the attempts made by the French to convey troops and ammunition to the Highlands for the service of the Pretender James. For this service, William III. knighted him, May, 1692; and the following year he was appointed to the command of the Mediterranean squadron, when he displayed great bravery in many flying fights. He had not yet, however, the opportunity of evincing his gallantry in any general action, except the one already noticed in our sketch of Admiral Russel; but he nobly distinguished himself in the following memorable engagement:On the 21st of July, 1704, when the combined English and Dutch fleets were anchored in Gibraltar Bay, Sir George Rooke immediately conveyed on shore, to the northwards, where the isthmus joins the rock to the main land, about 18,000 marines; he then sent a summons to the governor for the surrender of the fortress. The answer returned not being satisfactory, the combined fleet opened their destructive and united fires upon the castled heights of the famous rock. After some hours of hot work a landing was effected; the Spaniards at that instant sprung a mine; and, lamentable to relate, whole companies of marines, officers and men, were blown into the unnumbered atoms that compose eternity! However, the survivors still proceeded on their victorious errand; and on a second summons being sent to the governor, the garrison capitulated; and from that day, July 24th, 1704, and the third year of Queen Anne's reign, that impregnable rock, and maritime key to the Mediterranean, has been in the possession of the British nation.

Few men were held in higher esteem by his sovereign and the British people than Vice-Admiral Sir George Rooke. "To hereditary honours he added reputation, founded on personal merit, and repaid the credit derived to him from his ancestors by the glory reflected from his own actions. Yet so modest withal, that he coveted titles as little as wealth; and after a life spent in noble achievements, went to his grave with a moderate fortune, though he had long held such employments as enabled others to raise princely estates." He died on the 24th of January, 1708, in the fifty-eighth year of his age.

It will be known to most readers, that after Anne's acces

sion to the throne, the office of Lord High Admiral was conferred, as a mark of respect, upon her royal consort, George, Prince of Denmark. This took place in 1702, and George Churchill, brother to the Duke of Marlborough, the royal favourite, was appointed Admiral of the Blue. Churchill was the second son of Sir Winston Churchill, Knt.; was born in 1652, and entered into sea service in early life, having the command of a man-of-war before he was thirty-a thing very unusual in those days. He was the intimate friend of George, the prince consort, and when that amiable and esteemed prince sat at the Admiralty, he looked upon Churchill for every movement. His Royal Highness died on the 28th of October, 1708, and from that period Admiral Churchill retired into private life. His early years were spent in a manner becoming a British seaman in those days-not in silken ease at home, but on the ocean before the enemy, wherever they raised the hostile flag. He died at Windsor on the 8th of May, 1710, in the 58th year of his age, and his remains rest in the south aisle of Westminster Abbey, where an elegant Latin inscription tells its mournful story to passing generations.

We now enter on a period, in connection with which the PAST seems to have been spreading a sail-cloth of durable material for naval exploits. The accession of George I. to the throne of these realms found the royal navy as follows:

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His majesty George I. arrived from Holland on the 18th of September, 1714, made his public entry on the 20th, and directly took into his own hands the reins of government; in doing which, his instant alterations in the places of naval officers created much disputation among such parties. However, in the month of November following, Matthew Aylmer was declared Lord High Admiral, and Commander-in-chief of His Majesty's fleet, and Sir Charles Wager Rear-Admiral of

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