صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

Spanish ship, which was soon re-inforced by another, mounting 74 guns. The conflict between Cornewall and these vessels endured for three hours and thirty-five minutes, under unusual circumstances of resolution and bravery. So desperately did the vessels meet, that at times the yard-arms of the Marlborough and Real touched together-a closeness of action which was not for a moment removed . beyond pistol shot. Opposed by a double force, the English suffered severely ; Cornewall's legs were shot off; the main and mizen masts were soon after carried away, and, as they fell, crushed his mutilated body into pieces. In this emergency, his nephew carried on the engagement until the Real was silenced, and drew off with her companion, abandoning the Marlborough, in a condition far too distressed to pursue a victory which, though nobly gained, induced neither satisfaction to the government, nor credit to the survivors.

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

CHARLES, MARQUIS CORNWALLIS, K. G.

Against the great pier on the left entering the choir of St. Paul's Cathedral, stands a massive monument by Charles Rossi, to the memory of this eminent soldier and statesman. The statue of the Marquis, robed as a Knight of the Garter, is placed upon a truncated column, before which are personifications of the British empire, in Europe, and in Asia : the figures to the right represent the Begareth and Ganges, rivers in the East. Of these statues, that of the Marquis resembles life, and is so far good ; that of Britannia is decidedly awkward and mean; and those of the other deities are expressively striking.–But the design of all together is unnatural and insignificant. The inscription is the following:

To the Memory of
CHARLES, MARQUIS CORNWALLIS,

Governor-general of Bengal,
Who died 5th October, 1805, aged 66, at Ghazeepore, in the

province of Benares, In his progress to assume the command of the army in the field;

This monument

Is erected at the public expense,
In testimony of his high and distinguished public character;
His long and eminent services, both as a soldier and a statesman;
And the unwearied zeal with which his exertions were employed,

In the last moment of his life,
To promote the interest and honour of his country.

Charles Cornwallis, Viscount Browne, descended from a family which traces its lineage to a Sheriff of the City of London, in the 14th century, and obtained a peerage for loyalty to Charles II. in his exile-- was born on the 31st of December, 1738. After having been successively a member of Eton School, and St. John's College, Cambridge, he received a stand of colours in his eighteenth year. In 1758, he was raised to the rank of Captain, and in 1760, accompanied the Marquis of Granby in the capacity of aid-de-camp, to the German war, during which his services gradually exalted him to the Lieutenant-colonelcy of the 12th Foot. This was in 1761, and it was during the same year that he sat in the first Parliament of George III. as member for Eye, in Suffolk, a borough which had been habitually represented by his family for nearly three centuries. In 1762, the death of his father left him the inheritance of the family titles and estates, and he accordingly took his seat in the Upper House, as Earl Cornwallis. Three years after he was nominated a Lord of the Bedchamber; in 1766, he received his first regiment, the 33d Foot; and in 1768 married Jemima, the daughter of John Jones, Esq. a lady exquisitely endowed for happiness.

But it was not until the English ministry took the fatal resolution of deciding their pretensions to tax America by force of arms, that we find Earl Cornwallis placed in a situation of general interest. Upon that occasion, the 33d foot formed a portion of the troops ordered upon foreign service, and he prepared to take his place at the head of his regiment. The circumstances under which he departed, reflected particular lustre upon his public character: the Countess deprecated the step with a passionate tenderness, and when she found her entreaties unavailing, prevailed upon his uncle, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to obtain an audience with the King, and solicit for him an exemption from the perils of command. The boon was conceded by the monarch, but not accepted by the subject; the Earl embarked with his regiment, under a commendable sense of his own honour, and a soldier's duty; and immediately upon his landing, merited his full share of the distinctions which were gained at the battle of White Plains. Far different was it with his lady at home; in sorrow for his absence, and fears for his safety, she languished into a consumption, which put a period to her sufferings on the 14th of February, 1779. Out of several children, she left behind her only a son and daughter living.---Her husband remained ever after a widower.

Some notice of the political principles, by which his lordship had hitherto been actuated in his public capacity, seems here in

« السابقةمتابعة »