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be thought to yield to the threats of his enemies what he had denied to the prayers of his friends. * So far as his refusal proceeded from conscience, his firmness deserves credit ; but, in the situation to which he was reduced, never was pride more misplaced.
The English Church may justly admire and extol the firmness of bis attachment to Episcopacy; but ought the Scots, who were as conscientiously attached to Presbytery and the Covenant as he was attached to Bishops—ought they to have espoused his cause against the English Presbyterians, who had the same worship and maintained the same cause with themselves ? That it was not from fear of consequences that they abstained from taking his part, appears not only from the offers they made him at Newcastle; but from their subsequent conduct, after he had fallen into the hands of the sectarian army, in undertaking their Quixotic expedition into England to free him from captivity. But, if they were not to engage with him on the terms he chose to grant, were they to carry him into Scotland, where they had no secure means of keeping him under restraint till he complied with the desires of his people? Were they to connive at his escape into some foreign country, from which he might return with an army of mercenaries to the destruction of his kingdoms ? What remained but to deliver his person into the hands of his English Parliament? This was the advice of Holles, Stapylton, and other Presbyterian members,f who saw no other way of putting an end to the civil war and of getting rid of that victorious army, which, after triumphing over its enemies, had become formidable to its masters. Nor was Charles himself much averse to his removal from the Scots to the custody of his English subjects, when once convinced that there was no chance of his escape by sea from Newcastle, and that he had nothing to expect from the Scots, unless he took their Covenant. « The question
is now,' he observes, in a confidential letter to Lords Jermyn and Colepepper, 'whether I shall be in Scotland or in England. • To me the case is very difficult; for I think to be better used * in England, though I have more friends in Scotland (I mean of Parliament men.')
The events that followed--the seizure of his person by Joyce - his negotiation with the army-his flight from Hampton Court -his imprisonment in the Isle of Wight-the second civil war, that led to his trial and execution-were events which none could foresee ; and for which none of the actors at that period can be deemed responsible.
# Thurloe State Papers, I. 85-87. † Baillie's Letters, II. 257. # Clarendon State Papers, II. 329.
Art. V. The Life of George Lord Anson, Admiral of the Fleet,
Vice-Admiral of Great Britain, and First Lord Commissioner of the Admiralty, previous to, and during, the Seven Years' War. By Sir John BARROW, Bart., F.R.S. 8vo. London : 1839.
he following passage describes so fully the reasons for under
taking a Life of Lord Anson, that we cannot do better than transcribe it from the author's preface, as a prelude to this article :-“ The life of Lord Anson, though wholly spent in the • civil and military services of the navy, is certainly less gene• rally known than that of such an officer ought to be, who, by character and conduct, worked his way to the very top of his
profession, to the head of the naval administration, and to a * peeraye; and to whom was intrusted the principal direction of . the fleets of Great Britain, during the two French and Spanish 'wars which occurred in the reign of George II. Every body • has heard of, and multitudes have read," Anson's Voyage “ round the World;" many are acquainted with the fact of his having been, for a long time, First Lord of the Adiniralty; and
many in the profession may also know that he fought a great " action, took six ships of war, and defeated two important expeditions ; but it may be doubted whether the great majority of readers, even those in the naval service, know much more about
him than these few particulars. The recollection of his late • Majesty even (than whom few were better read in naval history, or better acquainted with the characters of naval officers, or whose memory was more retentive), failed him on one remarkable occasion with regard to Anson, the omission of whose name, in the eulogy he bestowed on other officers, drew from • him an expression of regret, and at the same time of the high • opinion he entertained of Anson.'
Such being the true state of the case, we have often looked anxiously for a Life of Anson; particularly as we knew that, amongst officers of the navy, this blank in their professional literature was much lamented. We have even heard it suggested that it was a positive duty incumbent on some of our naval authors to undertake the task ; but we are now very glad that none of these officers were of this opinion ; for sure we are it could not possibly have been so well executed by their hands. This opinion does not spring from any doubt of the capacity of such authors, or of their zeal in such a cause; but solely from our having learned from this work, what we knew but indistinctly before, that many of the most important of the services which Lord Anson rendered to his country, lay almost entirely out of the field of view of naval men. We allude to his civil adminis
tration of the Navy at the Admiralty Board; of the details of which, though naval men are made to feel the effects, they cannot, except in very rare instances, be fully aware ; nor would any extent of industry or of research enable them to acquire this knowledge.
Accordingly, we conceive that no person but one personally acquainted with all the forms of office, and having at his constant command the whole of the records of the Admiralty, and who should also, from circumstances, have rendered himself a professional man, in every sense of the word but the name, could have undertaken to write the Life of Anson as it ought to be written; and therefore we consider it a piece of good fortune, both to the service and to the country, that the task has fallen into its present hands.
We have already had occasion, in a former notice of one of Sir John Barrow's biographical works,* to indicate the important position which this author occupies in this class of writers; and to show in what particulars that position distinguishes him from others, and how his own sagacity and skill have enabled him to profit by a singular combination of advantages.
Well known as Sir John Barrow is to the world as a successful man of letters, he is not less favourably known both to the public and to the naval service, as an active and efficient promoter of the scientific interests of the navy. For nearly half a century he has been engaged in official life, mixing intimately with men of all parties and stations, professional and otherwise_living in close habits with all the scientific and literary persons of the age-and enjoying all these advantages at the very headquarters of information, with the utmost facilities of reference to persons and papers, in every department of the state. These advantages, being seconded by great industry, sharpened by a life of business, and quickened into use by a singular keenness of observation and undeviating cheerfulness of temper and facility of access, have placed Sir John Barrow in a position to sift out the details of such a life as that of Anson, and to do justice to it, in the best sense of the word.
We do not mean that spurious sort of justice, which, in the lax morality of most biographers, looks with a single eye to the honour and glory of their hero; and, as some one observes, “un
hooks one of the scales of the balance, to get rid of the trouble* some weight of truth in the other'-we speak of that honest and manly description of personal history which, while it certainly desires to enhance the credit of the person whose life is related, neither directly nor indirectly lauds him at the expense of
* See No. CXXXVI, p. 320.
truth and fair dealing. Sir John Barrow has far too great a regard for his own reputation, and too much love for the service, to seek to elevate any man at the cost of the interests alluded to. And this we can more readily understand, when we remember that the two departments of the public service in which Lord Anson was most distinguished, viz.—the Admiralty, and Voyages of discovery
-are the very branches with which his biographer has had the most extensive personal acquaintance. He is therefore probably the best judge extant of the greater portion of Lord Anson’s life; and though there may possibly be more competent scrutinizers of his purely technical services afloat, we question if it would be easy to point out any one who, with the requisite degree of nautical knowledge, should unite the requisite power not only of correct expression, but the still more rare faculty of rendering his explanations intelligible. Sir John, we should say, has quite enough of nautical knowledge to comprehend the merits of Lord Anson's seamanship and navigation; and he has vastly more general knowledge of state matters, and of the routine of office, than any other naval biographer. He has, moreover, the invaluable power of being able to arrange, condense, and generalize all this knowledge in such a way that, when the story is told by him, it becomes almost as clear to the uninitiated, as it is to a professional man. He thus acts the part of an interpreter to the public, who are willing, from internal and other evidence, to rely upon his familiarity with the various languages in which so complicated a narrative, as the naval and official life of Anson, necessarily requires to be written,
Some people may possibly smile at our speaking of the life of a seaman being a complicated one; but, even in Anson's days, and still more in ours, a naval man is so often called
upon variety of duties, of an extra professional nature, that if he be possessed of abilities and habits of resource—if the station he is on be far from home—and if the times he lives in be critical, the scope of his public employments has no limit whatsoever. It includes at one time, all the sinuosities of diplomacy, as well as the more direct and obvious walks of business, which all the world are parties to, and can judge of-at another, it embraces the most extensive military combinations—at a third, it requires the incurring the heaviest weight of official responsibility, without the power of appeal, and yet under the necessity of coming to an immediate decision. Every one knows what a load of extra labour fell to the share of Lord Collingwood in the Mediterranean ; but the public are not, perhaps, aware that for many years the whole of the diplomatic and consulate duties of South America (with the single exception of Brasil), were entrusted to the naval commander-in-chief, Sir Thomas Hardy, formerly Nelson's captain.
To do full justice to the character of an officer, therefore, who, like Anson, was at one time afloat, in charge of a long and arduous voyage—at another, filling a high station in the executive administration of the country—and again commanding fleets and engaging the enemy-only to return to the chief naval authority on shore—it becomes highly important that the narrator of his life should be capable, as we remarked above, of acting as an interpreter between him and the public; in order that the innumerable technical mysteries, and other difficulties which beset the reader's path, but form the marrow of the whole story, should be made quite plain to persons who, though highly interested in the topics discussed, cannot possibly understand their proper bearings, unless elucidated by a hand rendered familiar by long use with such explanations.
We have taken some pains to point out the merits of our author as a nautical biographer, from feeling that his book will not only prove more interesting when these circumstances are taken into account, but that it will be more extensively useful, both ashore and afloat; for Sir John by no means adheres servilely to the mere story of Anson's life, but interweaves with it a multitude of other matters, some of a historical, others of a professional, and many of an official and political nature ; and, as all of these bear more or less directly upon the main subject of his narrative, his reader will be very well pleased to take the extra amusement and instruction thus incidentally afforded him. In fact, it would scarcely be possible to form a correct estimate of the merits of Anson's actions, were it not for the key which multifarious and collateral, but by no means irrelevant, disquisitions furnish out. Anson, for example, makes a request to the Admiralty for the promotion of an officer, and because it is refused, he flings up his commission (p. 99). Here is an insulated, and no doubt very curious fact; but one in which unprofessional readers could see little, except that there was some loss of temper on one side, and apparently a great degree of official harshness on the other. But Sir John, with his means of information of a documentary kind, gives us a private letter from the secretary of the Admiralty of the day, and, aided by his acquaintance with the rules of the Board, tells us what is the custom in such cases; and thus the whole matter is made clear and useful. Again, it happened that, upon one occasion, Parliament interfered with the executive administration of the fleet, and succeeded in bringing a number of officers to a court-martial; a transaction in which Anson, as one of the Lords of the Admiralty, was obliged to take a part (p. 125). This, nakedly stated, is a mere historical incident, indicative of the despotic power of
VOL, LXIX, NO, CXXXIX.