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sioned; but the influence of the Court was too strong, and the conduct of his Royal Highness was saved from the mortification of so marked a disapprobation. To divert the public from this partiality, the Earl was sent on an embassy to Madrid, in order to try and negociate a peace between the contending monarchs of Spain and Portugal; and the objects of the mission, though far. from speedily attained, were, when completed, mainly attributed to his address and abilities. After a residence of thirteen months on the continent he succeeded in adjusting the affairs committed to his charge to the satisfaetion of all parties concerned, and upon his return to England, in December 1668, was received with the most flattering demonstrations of royal favour, 'in which the Duke of York honourably concurred. He was appointed to the Presidency of a board instituted for the government of our colonies in America, and the West Indies, by which the commerce of the mother country was greatly enriched, and the pride and power of the nation considerably encreased.
Upon the death of Monk, Duke of Albemarle, the Earl of Sandwich was left without any competitor in the confidence of his country, and the affections of the fleet, and most considerately does he appear to have deserved the favour. The generous seamen are reported to have looked up to him with the warm veneration due to a father, while the officers regarded him with respectful attachment as a discriminating and impartial patron. Through these pretensions he was quickly gifted with the emphatic surname of the sailors' friend; for never would he countenance any preferment, but upon the score of service, and the proof of merit, while he always reprobated those appointments, too frequent at all times, in which the interest of the court, and the influence of a title, give the only recommendations to notice.
Such was the estimation in which the Earl of Sandwich was held, when, to the surprise of the nation, and the grief of his friends, Charles again abetted the policy of France, and, in 1672, commenced a second course of hostilities against the Dutch. The English fleet put to sea in the beginning of May, having the Duke of York again Lord High Admiral, and the Earl of Sandwich, as second in command, Admiral of the Blue. On the 28th of the same month, while anchored off Southwold, they were unexpectedly gratified by the appearance of the Dutch
fleet, and immediately slipping their cables, put to sea in order of battle. This was not long delayed, and, after the first shot, was inaintained with a vigour and perseverance but seldom equalled and never surpassed. . The enemy had no theme to boast in but the noble spirit with which they acquired partial advantages and momentary success, for in the result their loss was signal, and their destruction utter. The fate of Sandwich, however, deserves particular record, for it was in itself almost sufficiently grand to be styled a victory. He hoisted his flag on board the Royal James, mounting 100 guns, and carrying 800
In this vessel he led the van, and commenced the action with a furious attack upon the squadron commanded by Admiral Von Ghent. Some confusion occurred in his division almost at the onset, and so ill was he supported, that in a short time he was almost completely surrounded by the enemy. But the adversity of his situation only served to redouble the desperation of the conflict, and deepen the fatality of its consequences. He beat off from his sides no less than seven vessels, among which was the flag-ship of the Dutch Admiral, who fell during the engagement, when the Great Holland, of 60 guns, supported by three fire-ships, drew close upon him, and attempted to board. Though dreadfully shattered, and greatly reduced by previous exertions, Sandwich and his crew met the fresh assault with unabated devotion. He sunk the three fire-ships, and forced the man of war to retire disabled, when at length a fourth fire-ship approached, and by a more successful effort set the Royal James in flames. Hope to save her there now remained none; his crew was lessened to a comparatively scanty number, and he had but one acting officer. In this extremity he begged of the suryivors to lower the boats, and make for land, at the same time declaring that he felt it his duty to remain the last man on board the ship. But the crew, with that intrepid disdain which has immortalised the character of the British sailor, positively refused to stir before their admiral, and this generous emulation of heroism was continued until the Royal James blew and all on board nobly perished together. The English, however, were decidedly triumphant, though their success was dearly purchased by a profuse sacrifice of men: no less than ten captains were slain during the action, and almost every vessel was riddled
with shot. Never was there an engagement marked by a more extraordinary display of obstinate bravery, or a prouder instance given of the invincible superiority of the English fleet.
About a fortnight after the engagement, a body was discovered floating among the ketches in Harwich harbour, which was soon recognised by the order on his coat to be the Earl of Sandwich. He died therefore in the 77th year of his age. It was immediately conveyed on shore, and embalmed; while the governor transmitted the George on his bosom to the King at Whitehall, and desired to learn his Majesty's pleasure. An opinion naturally prevailed, that the general merits of the deceased, and the unexampled brilliancy of the last act of his life, entitled his remains to the rites of a funeral, which should indicate the high quality of his achievements. A public interment was consequently decreed, and every circumstance of pomp was resorted to which could indicate the respect which the country felt for the memorable loss it had sustained. Removed to Deptford on board of his Majesty's yacht, the body was solemnly lowered into a sumptuous barge, and conveyed up the river to Whitehall, attended by a long train of decorated boats, filled with the King's household, the nobility, public ministers, and the resident officers of the army and navy. Arrived at the confines of the city, the Lord Mayor and Companies, of London joined the procession, in their state barges, with numerous bands playing melancholy music. As the mournful little fleet advanced up the river, every Aag upon its surface was respectfully lowered, and every gun along its banks discharged. Those at the Tower and at Whitehall stairs fired minute salutes until the body was landed at Westminster Bridge, whence the order of advance to the Abbey Church was marshalled on foot with imposing magnificence. Ten earls supported the pall, and every nobleman, dignitary, and person of quality in London, took his place, according to precedence, in the retinue of public mourning. The Earl's body was interred beside the coffin of the Duke of Albemarle, in a private vault, in the beautiful Chapel of Henry the VII., and his memory received every tribute which an admiring sovereign and his people could bestow,
one-there has been no monument erected to give a description of his actions, or record the particulars of his fall; and the stranger searches in vain for a stone or a letter to
indicate the narrow precincts of his grave. This neglect is to be lamented, and but ill accords with the enthusiastic gratitude with which inferior services have been commemorated, even within the venerable confines of the same walls.
In various other writings, however, we find an adequate summary of the talents, virtues, and deserts of the Earl of Sandwich ; and from these shall be supplied the deficiency just complained of, through the insertion of the following panegyrics in prose and
“He was a man adorned with all the virtues of Alcibiades, and untainted by any of his vices ; of high birth, capable of any business ; full of wisdom; a great commander by land as well as by sea; learned and eloquent; affable, liberal, and magnificent.
Adorn'd with titles, but from virtue great;
Reader! if English, stop the falling tear,