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Lord Hawke to Admiral Geary, contains a sufficient encomium on his naval abilities to warrant us in presenting it to the reader.

“Rear-Admiral Kempenfelt is deservedly esteemed as one of the best informed officers in the service. He will be of great service to you."

Such a calamitous wreck taking place when officers and men were enjoying the domestic and social comforts of home and home's delights, is mournfully expressed in the ballad tone of Cowper's immortal lines, written for all who had a heart to feel.

"It was not in the battle,

No tempest gave the shock,
She sprang no fatal leak,
She ran upon no rock.

His sword was in its sheath,

His fingers held the pen,

When Kempen felt went down

With twice four hundred men !"

But leaving our passing notice of the melancholy loss of the Royal George with the reflective reader, we next proceed to notice a naval worthy, whose exploits follow fast upon the heels of time when the gallant Rodney won his lasting fame.

The Hon. Augustus Keppel was the second son of William, first Duke of Richmond, and was born on the 2nd of April, 1725. At the early age of thirteen, he went to sea with Commodore Anson, and as we stated several pages back, was à midshipman on board the Centurion. When that ship returned to England in 1744, Keppel was promoted to the command of a sloop-of-war. Towards the close of the same year, we find him advanced to the rank of post-captain, and appointed to the Sapphire. As commander of that vessel, on the 15th of April, 1745, he captured a large French ship with much treasure; and during the following month he seized a Spanish privateer, mounting sixteen guns. In this manner young Keppel steadily progressed, until, in September, 1754, he was appointed commodore of a squadron sent to convoy a body of troops to North America, under the command of General Braddock; he also acted in concert with that officer as long as circumstances would permit, after landing the forces he had taken out, and then returned.

In the winter of 1756 he occupied a place at the courtmartial held at Portsmouth, on the unfortunate Byng; and we have already in our account of that affair, informed the reader of Keppel's desire to be free from blame in that great man's ignominious end.

On the 19th of October, 1758, Keppel was entrusted with

the command of a squadron to attack the French settlement of Goree, on the coast of Africa. He hoisted his broad pendant on board the Torbay; and on the 24th of December following, he anchored off the island in question. He soon made it convenient to open a destructive fire on the French batteries, and poured shot and shell upon them as thick as hail, until they fled from their guns, and abandoned the fort. The governor, M. de St. Jean, surrendered, and in a comparatively short space of time, Keppel was on shore, and at the head of a body of marines took possession of the place in the name of His Britannic Majesty. And now Commodore Keppel having made all secure by manning the garrison of his new possessions, he left Goree in safe hands, and proceeded via Senegal, to arrange matters respecting some additional troops; and in March, 1759, he arrived in England to give a personal con

firmation of his victories.

His next appointment was also in the Torbay, acting under the command of Sir Edward Hawke. After cruising about the Mediterranean for some time, Hawke returned to England, and left Keppel with a small squadron in the Bay of Biscay; on which service he intercepted, and captured part of a convoy proceeding for Quebec. His principal aim was to reduce the pride of the large French privateer, the Godichon, who also had an itching for the destruction of the Torbay's rigging. Keppel, who at times had very eccentric ways of going about his destructive exploits, allowed her for a short time to play after her own French fashion, well knowing that he could in a twinkling, by one of his English broadsides, send her to the fishes. At length, his forbearance had expended itself; and he very calmly ordered his upper deck guns and a battery of small arms to be fired into her, when she instantly struck her colours, and called for quarter. The following anecdote is related of Captain Keppel, in connexion with this affair. During the chase, he received a wound in the leg, which, for the moment, was thought to be dangerous, as it laid him on the deck. The sailors instantly came to hurry him down to the cockpit, but he very composedly took his handkerchief from his pocket and bound it round the wound, saying, "Stop my lads, reach a chair; as I cannot stand I must sit;" and clapping his hand to the place, "this," added he, "may spoil my dancing, but not my stomach for fighting."

On the 21st of October, 1762, Keppel was created RearAdmiral of the Blue. In September following he sailed for Jamaica, and on his passage fell in with a fleet of twenty sail of French merchantmen, richly laden with sugar, coffee, and indigo, and protected by four frigates of war; all these he captured and carried into Port Royal harbour.

On his return to England after the peace in 1763, we find Admiral Keppel in the enjoyment of royal favour, being made one of the grooms of His Majesty's bedchamber, and appointed a Lord of the Admiralty.

In 1766 he hoisted his flag in the Catherine yacht, to convey to Rotterdam the Princess Caroline Matilda, the ill-fated bride of the King of Denmark. In 1768 he was returned member for Windsor; and in the autumn of the same year, he conveyed his sister, the Marchioness of Tavistock, to Lisbon. This lady's husband, the Marquis of Tavistock, a most amiable and accomplished nobleman, met his death by a fall from his horse as he was hunting, little more than a twelvemonth after marriage; and she gave birth to a posthumous infant, the late Lord William Russell, who died by the hand of an assassin (Corvoisier.)

On a brevet of flag officers in October, 1770, Keppel was promoted to the rank of Rear-Admiral of the Red; and, three days afterwards to that of Vice-Admiral of the Blue. Two years after this we find him in ill-health at Bath. In 1755 he had to deplore the loss of his dear friend, Admiral Sir Charles Saunders, with whom, from the time they had served together in Anson's expedition,

"When life was young, and hope was new,"

he had lived on terms of the strictest and most intimate friendship. Sir Charles, it appears, bequeathed him a legacy of £5000, with an annuity of £1200 a year, and other interests.

An affair, that even in our small work cannot be laid aside, in connection with naval promotions, occurred about this period of Keppel's memorable life. Lord Sandwich had bestowed the rank of Lieutenant-General of Marines, (vacant by the death of Keppel's friend, Admiral Saunders), on Sir Hugh Palliser, one of the junior admirals. It was also reported Lord Howe was to have the post of General of Marines on a contemplated vacancy; this called from Admiral Keppel the following remonstrance to the First Lord of the Admiralty:

"MY LORD,

"It is much credited that Admiral Forbes is to retire from the post of General of Marines, and that RearAdmiral Lord Howe is appointed his successor. I am not used to feel disgrace or affronts; but indeed, my lord, I must feel cold to my own honour, and the rank in which I stand in His Majesty's service, if I remain silent and see one of the youngest Rear-Admirals of the fleet promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General of Marines, and a few days afterwards, another Rear-Admiral made General of Marines. It is not

for me to say who should, or should not, be appointed to those honours; but I presume to say to your lordship, and through you, as the head of the sea department, that I beg leave to have it laid before the king, with my humblest submission to him; that little as I am entitled to claim merit, yet a series of long services may. Permit me to observe, that such a repetition of promotion to the junior admirals of the fleet, cannot but dispirit every senior officer, jealous of his own honour, inasmuch as it tends to manifest to the whole profession the low esteem he stands in; which, allow me to say, may at one time or another, have its bad effects. Juniors cannot complain, nor are they dishonoured when their seniors are promoted. AUGUSTUS KEPPEL."

No answer was returned to this letter: but as Keppel was already Vice-Admiral, (1776), Lord Sandwich acquainted him by a message, that the king desired to know, "whether, in case of a war with a foreign power, he would undertake the charge of the fleet ?" That matters were satisfactory on both sides, appears from this; that in 1778, when hostilities with France and Spain were on the eve of breaking out, Keppel was appointed to the command of the channel fleet.

On the 13th of June, 1778, he sailed out with a fleet of twenty-one sail of the line and three frigates. Keppel hoisted his own flag on board the Victory, 100 guns. During this ocean cruize, a misunderstanding of too voluminous a nature for our present sketch, arose between the brave Keppel and the Board of Admiralty; and in January, 1779, a court-martial sat at Portsmouth to consider the conduct of our hero. The court consisted of five flag officers and eight captains. They sat thirty days, "when," says the Gazette," having maturely and seriously considered the whole evidence, and the prisoner's defence, they declared their undivided opinion to be that the admiral had behaved himself as a judicious, brave, and experienced officer; and they, therefore, unanimously and honourably acquitted the same Admiral Augustus Keppel of every part of the charge exhibited against him.'"

The above sentence was pronounced amidst a general acclamation of joy. The ships at Spithead and the Indiamen fired salutes. Riots, in fact, followed these rejoicings. Sir Hugh Palliser (one of the officers lately under his command, and one of the party who had brought about the trial), was burnt in effigy; his house was gutted, and its contents burned in the street. The admiralty was attacked, and its gates unhinged; the windows of Lords North, Sandwich, Bute, Lisburne, and Mulgrave were destroyed. The fury of the populace in London was fearful; the Riot Act was read, and troops of the

OUR TRUE BRITISH TARS.

85

guards held the public thoroughfares. Passing over all this, the demonstration of the humblest, in their way, let us not forget to mention that the thanks of both Houses of Parliament were given to Keppel; and dinners were prepared on all sides; parties were got up throughout the country; and indeed, thousands were spent in rejoicing by people who never saw a ship or an admiral.

On the 29th of April, 1782, after being made Admiral of the White, he was created Viscount Keppel, of Elvedon, in the county of Suffolk. And now, having to contend against the many things that contribute in such a life towards a complicated infirmity, we no longer find the brave Keppel on the ocean wave; but in the autumn of 1786, he suffered severely from gout in the stomach, of which he died on the 2nd of October, in the sixty-third year of his age.

The general character of Admiral Keppel has, like that of many other public men, been variously reckoned up according to the prejudice, political or otherwise, of the writers. That he was a man who deserved well of that country he had so faithfully served, is evident from all these; and that he was popular as a commander may be inferred from the manifestations of public joy on the occasion we have recorded.

The year 1783 is generally called the last year of that war which commenced before George the Third ascended the throne. It is impossible that we can give anything like a summary of the many flying actions that are recorded of those times, nor to single out the many daring spirits that distinguished themselves among our untitled officers; who, nevertheless, did "the state some service," and contributed by their duteous conduct and unflinching courage, to maintain the character of

OUR TRUE BRITISH TARS.

Ever away on the stormy sea,

Our hearts are light, for we guard the free;
With a flowing sail in every clime

That takes no shade from the wings of Time;
Wherever we roam,

Defending altar, throne, and home!

Where the brave can only find delight,
Gliding away through the stormy night;
When dolphins play in the moonbeams clear,
Or morning wakes from an eastern tear;
Wherever we roam,
Defending altar, throne, and home!
Where the loud winds solemn concert hold,
O'er waves that are dyed like liquid gold;
Or chill'd were the north weeps frozen dew,
Come war or peace to our country true;
Wherever we roam,

Defending altar, throne, and home!—[ED.]

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