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As a peace of some years' standing now placed Captain Vernon and many others on the half-pay list, he became a member of Parliament; and this brings us to the period of our digression, when he was advanced to the rank of ViceAdmiral of the Blue, and appointed Commander-in-chief of all His Majesty's forces in the West Indies. He hoisted his flag on board the Burford, and sailed with his fleet for Jamaica, where he arrived on the 23rd of October, 1739. On that day Great Britain declared war against Spain.

It should be mentioned that Admiral Vernon's ultimate aim in calling at Jamaica was to refit, and go forward to Porto Bello, a town belonging to the Spaniards, and from which emanated much of the annoyance that Vernon had spoken of in his place as a member of the House of Commons.

Porto Bello is so called from the beauty of its harbour. It is situated on the north-coast of the Isthmus of Darien.

The admiral proceeded, without delay, to bring his severe business to the starting point, for he had vowed before the legislature that if sent out to Porto Bello, he would speedily reduce it. There were, in the harbour of Porto Bello, two Spanish guardo costos (coast-guard vessels) of 20 guns each, and other small armed craft. But the town, which stood at the bottom of a small bay, was protected by a castle and two forts. To besiege, to scale embattled walls, to fire the strong citadel, was the work to be performed by Vernon and his little English crew.

One of the forts we have alluded to above was called Gloria Castle, and was defended by four hundred men, and in every way provided with cannon and other means of protection.

In a comparatively short space of time, he reduced the stronghold, and took several of their piratical vessels captive; and Vernon continued there for some time. On the 25th of February, 1740, however, he sailed for Carthagena, where he again distinguished himself.

In this year, the celebrated Commodore Anson began his voyage to the South Seas. He sailed out on the 18th September with five men-of-war; but of him we shall speak hereafter.

After Vernon's return home, nothing of importance occurred in his affairs until the year 1745, when he was made Admiral of the White, and appointed to command a squadron of observation in the North Sea, to observe the equipments of the French at Dunkirk and elsewhere-scattered forces, that the Admiralty and the Government looked upon as intended to form one united fleet for the invasion of England.

The grandson of James the Second, encouraged by promises of support from France, and led on by the disaffected in Scotland and in England, resolved to make an attempt to secure

the crown of his ancestors, so that the nation found itself beset with French vessels on every coast, intending to aid this minion of the Pope. There was a universal cry for the ablest commanders to be called in, and to use their skill and valour in repelling the two-fold foe.

The appointment of Admiral Vernon was received by the nation joyously. He had the confidence of a brave people.

In August, 1745, Admiral Vernon's flag was flying on board the Norwich, in which he sailed out to the Downs, to watch the movements of the French; and there he continued until January, 1746, when, from disputes that arose with the Board of Admiralty, he was ordered by the Lords Commissioners to strike his flag, which he accordingly did, and he was never afterwards employed in the public service. How this came about, has never been clearly known; "there were," says a celebrated naval historian, “faults on both sides.”

The naval adminstration at that time was feeble, and Vernon was not a man to be trifled with. The king's ear, however, was assailed with the virulence of Vernon's enemies; and after so much warfare-years of fatigue on foreign stations -valour such as few men of his day could lay claim to, and worth of unquestionable quality-to the disgrace of the Lords of the Admiralty, and the government that looked tacitly on, Vernon was struck off the list of admirals. From that time he retired into private life, seldom meddling with public matters; and on the 30th of October, 1757, he died at Nacton, in Suffolk, in the 73rd year of his age.

Many anecdotes are related of Vernon, even to this day. He was the first commander who introduced the practice of diluting the allowance of spirits served out to the seamen with water; and the celebrated term, "grog," which the mixed beverage obtained, was given by the sailors from a nickname they had for their admiral. Among other singularities, Admiral Vernon was noted for his carelessness of appearance; he despised the finery of dress, and might very frequently be seen in a tattered grograin coat—hence the nickname.

When Vernon was commander-in-chief on the Jamaica station, a bomb ketch arrived from England, commanded by a person of the name of Barnaby. According to custom, the English captain went to pay his compliments to the admiral. Now this officer, who was as remarkable for his attention to dress, as the admiral was indifferent, had equipped himself for the occasion in a suit of silk, very richly laced. When the captain was announced, Vernon, dressed in his favourite old grograin, rose from his escrutoire with much apparent hurry and pretended confusion, and running into another apartment, put on a wig of ceremony, and then, to carry his

humour out, bowing and appearing to be much embarassed, as if in the presence of a mighty potentate, he very gravely asked the nature of the important visit. The captain, with pompous strain, began to inform him that he "had the honour to command the bomb vessel just arrived from England." Vernon, for a moment, stared at him with a ludicrous gesture, and then bursting out into a fit of laughter, "Gad, sir!" said he, "I really took you for a dancing master; you'd be a spice nut to crack during a hot action, eh?" and he laughed immoderately at the dandy spectacle. To show, however, that no ill impression remained on the admiral's mind, we find that some time after this, the droll and facetious commander raised Barnaby to the rank of post-captain, and conferred upon him other marks of naval distinction which were in his gift.

It is said, that for some sarcastic remark made by Vernon respecting the imbecile Admiralty of his day, he so wounded a distinguished member of that powerful board, that no pains were spared to effect his dismissal. He was, however, one of our most talented naval commanders.

The next important personage in our onward track is the celebrated George Anson, whose "voyages " have been read by a great portion of the British public, perhaps, without a knowledge of the life of the author. He was the second and youngest son of William Anson, of Shugborough, Staffordshire, and was born in the parish of Colwick, April 23rd, 1697, but where he received his education, at what age he went to sea, in what ship, or under what captain, is not known. It is, however, certain, that he rose by his own exertions to be Admiral of the British Fleet, First Lord of the Admiralty, a Privy Councillor, and a Peer of the realm!

In 1716, when only nineteen years of age, he had passed the examinations necessary to his commission as lieutenant, and was serving on board the Hampshire, lying in the Baltic, under the command of Sir John Norris. He was made a commander in 1722, and appointed to the Weazel sloop-of-war. In 1723, he was promoted to the rank of post-captain, and then, for some years, all trace of him is lost. However, in 1739, he again took part in the Spanish war.

On the 18th of September, 1740, Commodore Anson sailed from Spithead in the Centurion. On the 28th of November, he crossed the equinoctial line; and on the 21st December, the whole fleet came to an anchor off the island of St. Catherine's. Disease was making fearful havoc in the squadron; but to enter into detail would be useless in so small a work as the one before us, and will be found in the gallant sailor's own "Voyages." The vast wealth with which he returned to England, after being away three years and nine months, is


almost incredible. One instance may be recorded here of his dealings with the Spaniards. A prize which he seized after a hard fight, and which had been in the command and care of a Spanish admiral, who was fatally wounded in the action, was valued at £313,000 sterling!

On arriving in England, the commodore was received with great rejoicings; and eight days after his arrival, was created Rear-Admiral of the Blue. The captures he brought home were of such amazing vastness that they required thirty-two waggons! The people collected in thousands, and the treasures passed along in a triumphal procession, with music and banners. In December, 1744, Anson was promoted to the Board of Admiralty, under the Duke of Bedford; and in the month of April following, he was created Admiral of the White. In 1747, he sailed out with a fleet that speedily returned with prizes of £300,000 in value! This was brought up from the ship to London, filling twenty waggons, and was deposited in the Bank of England; and the valourous captor was created Lord Anson, and Baron of Soberton, in Southampton; also Admiral of the Red. In July, 1751, he was made First Lord of the Admiralty-a post of honour he held until the 6th of June, 1762, when he died at his own residence, Moore Park, Hertfordshire. He left the bulk of his oceanearned wealth to George Adams, Esq., his sister's son. was married, but had no children.


We must again retrace our steps. A gallant action took place off Yarmouth, on the 2nd of June, 1747. The Fortune sloop-ofwar, was lying off in the roads to protect the coasting trade against the marauding French privateers; and on the day in question, Captain Jekyll discovered five of them bearing down upon him, mistaking him, it is supposed, for a merchantman. He made sail away from them to get his weathergage; and then tacked in and stood for them in the open sea. The five piratical vessels instantly discovered their error, and made sail; and the Fortune chased them with flying shots for nine hours! The largest of them, named the Charon, was captured with eighty-five men on board.

On the 9th of August in the same year, a squadron, under the command of Rear-Admiral Hawke, who hoisted his flag on the Devonshire, 66 guns, was fitted out for an attempt to destroy the fleet of French ships then assembled in the Basque Roads. The action was fought on the 14th, when, after great loss on both sides, it was discovered that the Neptune, a French ship, had struck, after losing her captain, and having her decks crowded with dead and dying. The Monarque, the Fougueux, and the Severn also struck. As night advanced, the French ships, that were able, made sail as fast as possible; and Hawke

deeming it impracticable to pursue them, collected his squadron. He had a loss of 154 killed, and 558 wounded. The French lost two 74-gun ships-one of 70, two of 64, and one of 56; and their loss of men was 800 killed and wounded. Admiral Hawke returned to Plymouth about the end of October. An official letter written by Hawke at the time, runs as follows:-" As the enemy's ships were large, except the Severn, 56 guns, they took a deal of drubbing." Being a document of national importance, the Admiral's letter was read to His Majesty George the Second; and when the reader arrived at this part of the letter, His Majesty, who had but an imperfect knowledge of the English language, stumbled at the expression, "drubbing," and begged that the Earl of Chesterfield, who was present, would explain the term. At that moment, the Duke of Bedford entered the royal closet; and his grace, having a few days before been engaged in a drubbing fracas on Lichfield race course, (an affair with which the royal ear had been made acquainted), Lord Chesterfield, with his usual wit and quickness, referred His Majesty to the Duke for an explanation of the term, upon which the sovereign expressed himself quite satisfied, and laughed heartily at the English drubbings by sea and land. The "true British sailor," now introduced to the reader, was highly esteemed for every requisite in the accomplishments that adorn the naval commander, and fit him for important services.

Edward Hawke, Esq., Barrister-at-law, of Lincoln's Inn, was married to Elizabeth, daughter of Nathaniel Bladen, also a member of Lincoln's Inn; and their only son, Edward, became; through great perseverance and other requisite abilities, the naval hero who stands enrolled upon the lists of fame, as Admiral Lord Hawke, of Towton, Yorkshire.

We have already introduced him to the reader: and shall now briefly allude to the prominent characteristics of his day and times. On the 17th of January, 1760, having returned to Plymouth after a victorious cruise, he was welcomed on shore by the acclamations of the people, and His Majesty received him at court with distinguished marks of favour: he had also a pension of two thousand pounds per annum settled on him "for his own life, and the lives of his two sons, with a continuation to the survivor of them." On the 28th of the same month, attending in his place in the House of Commons, he was addressed by the Speaker, and the thanks of the House given to him in a fervid and enthusiastic manner.

It is worthy of notice, that such is the mutability of human affairs, that during the absence of the expedition under his command, several rumours of an unfavourable kind had been

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