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No. XXII.-VOL. IV.]
for SEPTEMBER, 1805.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE RIGHT with armed men, into our citadel, and
HON. JOHN EARL OF ST. VINCENT, putting us, like the Trojans of old, to ADMIRAL OF THE WHITE SQUADRON, ihe sword, or carrying us away cap &c. &c. WITH A PORTRAIT.
tive. THE nobleman, whose memoirs It has been both said and sung, that
form this article of our uniscellany, our state pilot “ has weathered the is a highly proper subject for co-tempo- storm.” Woe to the governors of our rary biography. To display the worth isle if they think so! ñ oe to the peoand talents of a man who has so con- ple of it under such an infatuation. spicuously served his country, cannot We have read, however, of boisterous be thought in the smallest degree to par- winds being bottled up or confined in take of adulation. It is easy for such a caverns, and of their bursting forth to character to know what posterity will the great danger of those who lea: t exway of him. There is nothing doubtful pected the explosion. We have, it is in his conduct : it is for no display of but too shrewdly feared, a navigation words—for no promises made, and still still to make through straits as dangeunperformed, that we extol him. Ora- rous as the Cyclades were to Æneas ; tors have their admirers, and those who and cool heads and strong hands are inmake declarations are not without their dispensibly necessary to guide us over believers : it is, however, upon deeds the shallows, and thirough the deeps of alone that we would erect a statue to the voyage. To adopt, then, less of the memory of one who has deserved metaphor, and inore of plain reasoning: well of his country. His escutcheon is we are engaged in an arduous and exfully emblazoned with zealous and he- pensive war: we want at once force and roic acts, and to adopt his own motto, it economy to resist the power of the is thus". That the sons of Britain enemy, and wear out his rage. ' Such may be sure of an enrolment among the as Lord St. Vincent, therefore, are the great men which its soil has given birth men to whom we should direct our
eyes for the supply of that skill, and His sovereign, or with equal pro- that prudence, which united, bid fairest priety, the senate, bas taken care that for bringing the tempest-tost bark of something more than posthumous re- England 19 a safe and proud anchorward shali await him: a pension, there- age. fore, as well as an earldom and barony, John Jervis, now Lord St. Vincent, has been conferred on him. lo all ages, is the descendant of a very respectable, and in all countries, this laudable prac- and truly, ancient family in Staffordtice has been adopted in some shape or shire, which is traced from James Jer. other ; for whether it were with coro- vis, of Chatkill, in the above-nained pets of gold, or with wreaths of oak- county, so long ago as the time of leaves, still it was a mark of public ap- Henry VIII. This James had one of probation and esteein, and it equally his sons settled at Ollerton, in Shropa ennobled the possessor in the eyes of his shire, the ancestor of that branch of fellow-cuizens.
which our hero is the fruit. His elder Perhaps the legislature can in no in. brother was a short time since living at stance better display its patriotism and Meaford, in the county of Stafiord. discernment, than in looking stedfastly. Their mother was Elizabeth, daughter for occasions to reward this class of of George Parker, esq. of Palk-hall, in the worthies, on whoin it may be said the parish of Caverswale, Stafford, and salvation of England in a great measure sister to Sir Thomas Parker, Chief depends. On them ought we chiefly to baron of the Exchequer. On the 5th confide for preventing our implacable of June, 1753, our hero, then (aprain foe introduc ng his wouden horse, filled Jervis, espoused his cousin Miss Mariha, Vol. IV.
daughter to the above-named Sir Tho- tinued in the Gosport till the end of the mas Parker, by whom he has no issue. war, a period but little distinguished by His father, Swynfen Jervis, esq. was à the nature of the maritime service perbarrister at law, and sometime counsel formed. Having remained some time to the board of admirally, and auditor of on the home station, the capiain was Greenwich hospital.
ordered to the Mediterranean : return. The son of whom we are speaking ing thence after the ratification of the was, at one time, designed by his pa- treaty of peace, his ship was paid off, renis for the father's piotession; but and hcheid no coinmand from that time the cffices held by thaipurent, naturally til the year 17 , when he was again introducing his son to gen tenen cor- ordered to his mediterranean station, in nected with nauiical attairs, it is no the Alarm frigate, of 32 guns. In Auwonder that he contracted a penchant gust, the next year, he entertained the for à sailor's life. His first service at Duke de Chablais, brother to the king sca was on board the Gloucester, of 50 of Sardinia, on board his ship, at Villaguns, sent on the Jamaica station with Franca, who felt himself so gratified and the broad pendant of the Hon. George pleased at the notice and respect that Townshend. His entrance as a niid- had been paid to him by this officer of shipma
man was about the end of the year the King of Great Britain, that he made 1748, a year, as well as several others presents, such as became his rank, to which followed it, of profound peace; every officer and seaman on board. His and on the 19th of February, 1755, hé Royal Highness had heard of Captain was raised to the rank of lieutenant, in Jervis's adroitness in preserving the which capacity he had shortly after the Alarm from destruction after she had good fortune to serve under that excel- parted her cables and was bulged on the lent officer Sir Charles Saunders. He rocks of Meroielles, and was no doubt accompanied this able commander in agreeably surprised to find the most pothe expedition sent against Quebec at lished behaviour not incompatible with the commencement of the seven years the sincerity and frankness of a British war. This was a service, calculated by sailor. its difficulties and disappointments, to A short time after Captain Jervis retry the spirits and courage of a young turned again to England, in 1774, he
He acquitted himself so much was promoted to the Foudroyant, an to the satisfaction of the commander, 84 gun ship, originally belonging to the that he was at no great distance of time French, but taken from then by the appointed to the Porcupine sloop; and Monmouth, 64, in 1754. It has this appointment was in due course of always been an object of desire, and time confirmed by the admiralty.- often of great interest, to obtain the About two years previously to his being command of a captured French ship; made a commander, he was, upon the for it is allowed by all Europe that the indisposition of Sir John Strachan, sent naval architecture of that nation is eqnal, as acting captain on board that officer's if not superior, to any in the world. ship, the Experiment, a post ship. This The Foudroyant, then, being reckoned occurred under Sir Charles Saunders, one of the finest two-decked ships in who, in 1760, proceeded as second in our navy, it must necessarily follow coniman i on the Mediterranean station, that the captain's services were rated and a fortunate promotion it turned out peculiarly high, to have the command to be; for falling in with a xebec under of her conferred upon him. With so Moorish colours, though her crew were marked, so distinguished a preference suspected to be chiefly French, he had of this officer, it may seem extraordian ipportunity to display his skill and nary that he should be sent in the intrepidity: Captain Jervis, after his Poudroyant to a station apparently bereturn to England, was directed to take low his merit, rank, and standing, viz. the command of the Unicorn, vil the to cruise as he did for so long a time in 13th of October, 170€, when he was the Bay of Biscay. But the contest with promoted to tie rank of post-captain by our American colonies was commenced, commission, and given the command of and the number of frigates and sloops the Gospori, of 10 guns. He was at it had been thought expedient to emthe re-taking of St. John's, Newfound- ploy in watching their coasts, obliged lind, from the French, and conveyed Lord Sandwich, then first lord of the the trade home from Virginia. He con- admiralty, to employ ships of the line
in the ignoble office of cruisers. This the Foudroyant, got into her own stawas with the view of preventing all in- tion between three and four o'clock, tercourse the revolted colonies might and never left it till four the next mornbe desirous of keeping up with the ing: she was closely engaged a great French, with whoin they were tam- part of the time, and though she was pering, and from whom they hoped, considerably disabled in her rigging, had ere loag, lo receive that succour which but five men killed, and eighteen woundwas in the end afforded them by those ed. He continued attached to the home insidious rivals.
or channel fleet under the successive It is a circumstance deserving notice, commanders, Sir Charles Hardy, Admithat during two years vigilant duty in rals Geary and Darby. this tempestuous and much-frequented In April, 1782, the ministry had in. bay, Captain Jervis made but one cap- telligence that a French armament, conture, and that of little value; as if in sisting of four or five ships of war, and dignant fortune took that way to ex, several transports, were ready for sea press her dissatisfaction at the employ- at Brest, and destined for the East Ininent of so valuable a ship and officer in dies. A suitable squadron was ordered a service fitter for a sloop, with a master out on the occasion, under the comand communder. Admiral Keppel was mand of Vice-admiral Barrington, in now appointed to the command of the the design of intercepting them : the Channel fleet, and the Foudroyant was success of that measure was greatly ow. ordered to join it. The merit of Captain ing to the activity and judgment of the Jervis was not unknown to that veteran, captain. In the admiral's letter to the who chose him for one of his captains; secretary of the board, he speaks of his and in this situation he had an oppor- conduci in the handsomest way : he tunity of cultivating a friendship which says, “ At the close of the evening, he steadily manifested on the extraor- seven of our ships had got a good disdinary trial which Sir Hugh Palliser was tance a-head of me, the Foudroyant, the occasion of insựituting against him. Captain Jervis, the foremost ; and in The evidence he gave on that trial was the night, coming to blow strong, greatly noticed, by the whole court and with hazy weather, after having lost auditory, for its impartiality and display sight of his companions, at fortyof nautical science. ' Upon the question seven minutes after twelve, he brought being puț to him, at the instance of the the Pegase, of 74 guns, and 700 men, accused, whether from his station, being to a close action, which continued three nearest the admiral during the pursuit quarters of an hour, when the Foudroy, of the enemy, and after the action, ant having laid her on board on the larwhich gave him an opportunity of ob- board quarter, the Frenchman struck.
Serving his conduct, and of seeing ob- My pen is not equal to the praise that jects in the same point of view with is due to the good conduct, bravery, hum, he saw or knew of any part of and discipline of Captain Jervis, hỉs such conduct in which the admiral officers and seamen, on this occasion : negligently performed his duty on the let his own modest narrative, which 27 or 28th of July. He said I herewith inclose, speak for itself.”—
I feel myself bound to answer that The following is his narrative : question, believing it to be consonant “ Near sun-set on the 20th, I was to the general practice of sea courts- near enough to discover that the enemy martial. I cannot boast of a long ac- consisted of three or four ships of war, quaintance with Adiniral Keppel-I iwo of them at least of the fine, with never had the honour of serving under seventeen or eighteen sail under their. him before ; but I am happy in this convoy, and that the latter dispersed by opportunity to declare to this court, signal. At half past nine, l'observed and to the world, that during the whole the smallest of the ships of war to speak time the English fleet was in sight of with the headmost, and then bear away. the French feet, he displayed the -At a quarter past ten, the sternmost greatest Duval skill and abiliy, as well line of battle ship perceiving we came as the boldest enterprize, upon the 27th up with her very fast, bore up also. of July : which, with the promptitude I pursued, and it forty-seven ininutes of Sir Robert Harland, will be subjects after twelve, broughi hér to close action, of my adiuration and iinitation as long which continued three quarters of an as I live." Caztain Jervis's own ship, hour, when having laid her on board