صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

your

extraordinary to the court of France, with compliments of condoleance to that king upon the death of Louis Francis, of France, duke of Anjou. He was highly caressed in that court, and treated, in some respects, as a prince of the blood. The king pressed him to take a command in his army, and bid him ask what appointments he pleased ; adding, • & j'en feray au dela. I will do even more. I know,” said he, “ you are born to a great eftate ; yet, while

father lives, you are in the condition of a cadet."

His lordfhip excusing himself, the king sent Monsieur de Louvois the next day to his lodgings; who told him the king was pleased to bestow a command upon him ; and desired him to ak what command he would have ; and, that, in asking, he might be as bold as a lion. His lordship returned him a compliment in answer: upon which he said, “Come, my lord, I see you are modest, let me speak for you; will twenty thousand piftoles for an equipage, and ten thoufand pistoles a year do? If not, say what

you will have, and chuse what command you please." The earl ftill declined the offer, saying he was already engaged in the seaservice of his own prince in the war against the Dutch. At his parting from the court of France he was presented with a jewel of two :housand pounds value.

In May, 1673, the king gave him the command of the St. Michael, a first-rate

fhip, and made him rear-admiral of the blue squadron, for that great sea-fight against the Dutch which happened shortly after. Sir Edward Spragge commanded in chief that squadron in the engagement, being on board the Prince; but that thip being disabled in the fight, with Van Trump, and Spragge himself Nain, as he was going in his boat on board another ship, his lordthip lay to defend the Prince from being fired, or taken, by the enemy; and, towards night, brought her off in tow, and joined prince Rupert's squadron.

He was then made rear-admiral of the red Squadron, and, towards the close of that summer's expedition, in September, he was sent to the Buoy in the Nore to command the fleet there lying, in chief ; and to wear the fag of union on his main-top-maft-head. This was attended with a pension of two hundred and fifty pounds settled upon him, as having had that command and privilege, it being a usual establishment, given of course, or by the king's courtesy, to all who have had the honour of the flag.

It was at the latter end of the same year, that he formed a design upon Helvoetsluys, where, when he was laft in Holland, he had seen, with indignation, the Royal Charles, taken by the Dutch at Chatham, lain up, with all the Maes Squadron, as; in a fecure harbour,

G6

Being

Being desirous, from that time, of an op portunity to revenge the disgrace that this nation suffered at Chatham, by returning another of the like nature upon Holland, he received advice from a correspondent in that country, that this place, where twenty two of the largest Dutch men of war were lain up, close by one another, and, which, for its great importance, used to be well guarded, was then left with only a small garrison of two companies of foot'; and, that the barteries, at the entrance of the port, were in no good condition.

His lordship thereupon fent Monsieur St. Paul, his gentleman of the horse, who, tho' a Frenchman, spoke very good Dutch, and, having married a Dutch woman of the Hague, had acquaintance in that town, and the country about it, to take an exact account of the place, and to bring him a plan.

St. Paul executed his commission with much industry, exactness, and great hazard of life; and, when he brought the account of it to White-hall, his majesty was so pleased with it, that he promised him a considerable reward for his pains, though he never had it. The execution of the design appearing very feasible, the earl obtained the king's orders and instructions to go, with ten frigates and two thousand land-men, to make a descent at Helvoetsluys, and to destroy the Royal Charles and such other thips as he found there.

Every thing was ready; but, on the fame night he was to take his leave, he received the king's countermand, which gave him great vexation. Sir John Narborough, who was to command next his lord ship, in this expedition, knew the coasts of Holland, and the port of Helvoetsluys, perfectly well, and was to discharge the part of chief-pilot in the action,

When the king made difficulties in the matter, Sir John told him, He would under. take, at the peril of his head, to carry in the ships at half food ; and the earl undertook to tell his majefty, That he would fire the Dutch fhips with a halfpenny candle, or he should place his head upon Westminster. hall, by Cromwell's, for the greatest traitor that ever breathed,

It was, in truth, the easiness of executing so great an enterprize, that caused it to be thwarted by a very great man, who was jealous of the glory that would thence redound to the earl of Offory. Mr. Ellis was afterwards upon the place with his lordship, who found the plan St. Paul had brought him very exact, and the thing as easy to have been executed as he had before imagined.

In November, 1674, the earl was sent into Holland about the match between the prince of Orange and the lady Mary, daughter to the duke of York. On the eighteenth of November, 1676, he was made lord cham

berlain

berlain to the queen, Don Francisco de Melo, the Portuguese ambassador, who was also her chamberlain, being displaced on a complaint of the bishop of London for licensing popish books.

The prince of Orange sending over M. Bentick to England, recommended him by letter to the earl of Osory, and to his father, to affift him in proposing the match with the lady Mary; but thefe noblemen advised him to apply to the earl of Danby, then lord-treafurer, left he should oppose it if moved by any other. The affair fucceeded, and the prince had leave to come over at the end of the campaign.

In February following, the earl of Offory ..went into Holland, to enter upon the command of general of the king of Great Britain's subjects in the pay of the states. It was in the campaign of that year, and at the conclusion of the war, that the memorable battle of Mons was fought, in which the famous marshal of Luxemburgh was forced to retreat, and the earl of Oxfory gained so much glory. The states of Holland, the duke of VillaHarman, governor of the Low-Countries, and the king of Spain himself, in a letter under his own hand, acknowledged the great services he had performed in the campaign.

In April, 1678, he was restored to the privy-council, of which the earl of Shaftrbury was made president, and was soon after

designed

« السابقةمتابعة »