Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

He fecls from Judah's land

ADDRESS TO AN EGYPTIAN MUMMY:
The dreaded INFANT's hand!
The rays of Bethlehem blind his dusky eyn;

The success of the ancient Egyptians in preserving their dead by Nor all the gods beside

the operation of embalming, was surprisingly great. For a proof Longer dare abide,

of this we have only to turn to the fact of our viewing at this day,

the bodies of persons who lived three thousand years since. This Not Typhon huge ending in snaky twine, Our Babe to show his Godhead true,

ingenious people applied the powers of art to the purposes of their

religion, and did all they could to keep the human frame entire Can in the swaddling bands control the damned crew.

after death, fondly thinking that if it proved a fit dwelling, its Milton's Hymn on the Nativity. former inhabitant, the soul, would return at some distant period,

and animate it afresh, even upon earth. The following Address to It now remains, in illustration of the print, to add but the recent opening of the Mummy of Horsiest, son of NASPI

a Mummy was written a few years ago, and attributed to Mr. Roscoe; the quaint description of it given by Verstegan. HIRIEIGORI, a Theban, having called public attention to the subject,

the lines may be thought, by many of our readers, more than commonly interesting.

And thou hast walked about, (how strange a story!)

In Thebes's streets three thousand years ago ;
When the Memnonium was in all its glory,

And time had not begun to overthrow
Those temples, palaces, and piles stupendous,
Of which the very ruins are tremendous.
Speak! for thou long enough hast acted dummy,

Thou hast a tongue, come, let us hear its tune;
Thou'rt standing on thy legs, above ground Mummy!

Revisiting the glimpses of the moon;
Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures,
But with thy bones, and flesh, and limbs, and features,
Tell us, for doubtless thou canst recollect,

To whom should we assign the Sphinx's fame;
Was Cheops or Cephrenes architect,

Of either pyramid that bears his name?
Is Pompey's Pillar really a misnomer?
Had Thebes a hundred gates, as sung by Homer?
Perhaps thou wert a mason, and forbidden

By oath, to tell the mysteries of thy trade.
Then say what secret melody was hidden

In Memmon's statue which at sun-rise played ?
Perhaps thou wert a priest, and hast been dealing,
In human blood and horrors past revealing.
Perchance that very hand, now pinioned flat,

Has hob-a-nobbed with Pharaoh, glass to glass;
Or dropped a half-penny in Homer's hat,

Or dofted thine own to let Queen Dido pass,
Or held, by Solomon's own invitation,
A torch at the great temple's dedication,
I need not ask thee if that hand, when armed,

Has any Roman soldier mauled or knuckled,
For thou wert dead and buried, and embalmed,

Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled !
Antiquity appears to have begun,
Long after thy primeval race was run.
Thou couldst develop, if that withered tongue

Might tell us what those sightless orbs have seen,
How the world looked when it was fresh and young

And the great Deluge still had left it green,
Or was it then so old, that History's pages
Contained no record of its early ages ?
Still silent, incommunicative elf?

Art sworn to secrecy? then keep thy vows;

But pr’ythee tell us something of thyself, This great reputed god, being of more estimation than Reveal the secrets of thy prison-house; many of the rest of like sort, though of as little worth

Since in the world of spirits thou hast slumbered,

What thou hast seen, what strange adventures numbered ? as any of the meanest of that rabble, was majestically

Since first thy form was in this box extended, placed in a very large and spacious hall, and there sat, as

We have, above-ground, seen some strange mutations; if he had reposed himself upon a covered bed. On his The Roman empire has begun and ended, head he wore a crown of gold, and round about, and above New worlds have risen, we have lost old nations, the same, were set twelve bright, burnished, golden stars: And countless kings have into dust been humbled, and in his right hand, he held a kingly sceptre.

While not a fragment of thy flesh has crumbled.

Didst thou not hear the pother o'er thy head, He was, of the seduced pagans, believed to be of most When the great Persian conqueror, Cambyses, marvellous power; yea, and that there were no people Marched armies o'er thy tomb with thund'ring tread, throughout the whole world, that were not subjected unto

O'erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis, him, and did not owe him divine honour and service. That

And shook the pyramids with fear and wonder,

When the gigantic Memmon fell asunder? there was no puissance comparable to his. That in the

If the tomb's secrets may not be confessed, air, he governed the winds and the clouds; and, being

The nature of thy private life unfold: displeased, did cause lightning, thunder, and tempests, A heart has throbbed beneath that leathern breast, with excessive rain, hail, and all ill weather. But, being And tears adown that dusty cheek have rolled, well pleased by the adoration, sacrifice, and service of

Have children climbod those knees, and kissed that face? his supplicants, he then bestowed upon them most fair

What was thy name and station, age and race? and seasonable weather, and caused corn abundantly

Statue of flesh-Immortal of the dead!

Imperishable type of evanescence! to grow, as also, all sorts of fruits, &c., and kept away

Posthumous man, who quitt'st thy narrow bed, from them the plague, and all other evil and infectious And standest undecayed within our presence, diseases.

Thou wilt hear pothing till the Judgment morning,

When the great Trump shall thrill thee with its warning. Of the weekly day which was dedicated unto his peculiar

Why should this worthless tegument endure, service, we yet retain the name of THURSDAY, the which If its undying guest be lost for ever? the Danes and Swedians do yet call Thorsday; in the O let us keep the soul embalmed and pure Netherlands it is called Dundersdagh, that is, Thun

In living virtue, that, when both must sever,

Although corruption may ur frame consume, TER'S-DAY, whereby it may appear, that they anciently Th' immortal spirit in the skies may bloom ! intended the day of the god of thunder; and in -some of our old Saxon books, I find it to have been written

LONDON: Thunres-deag. So it seemeth, that the name of THOR, JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND. or THUR, was abbreviated of THUNRE, which we now write PUBLISHED SN WEEKLY NUMBERS, PRICE ONE PEXXY, AND IX MONTHLY PARTA

PRICE SIXPENCE, AND THUNDER.

Sold by all Booksellers ava Newsvenders in the Kingdors,

[graphic]

THOR.

THE

[graphic]

MITTEE

No 106.

SUPPLEMENT,

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION,

APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEI)GE.

SOME ACCOUNT OF THE ROYAL NAVY OF GREAT BRITAIN.

[graphic]

SHIPS OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.-1066.

EVERY THING that can tend to illustrate the history of the to have been prophetic. At the period of the invasion of Royal Navy, must always be regarded with feelings of Britain by the Roman general, Julius Cæsar, fifty-two the highest interest by Britons. Associated with the most years before the commencement of the Christian era, the brilliant passages of our annals, the essential protection of Britons, or Cymry, certainly possessed a naval force ; and, our mercantile enterprise and national prosperity, and in an engagement which took place between the Roman rendered illustrious by the names and deathless examples fleet and that of the Veneti and their allies, the Britons, of a Nelson, a Collingwood, or a Blake, it is difficult to the vessels of the latter are said to have been so firmly reflect on the “ wooden walls“ of our country, without a constructed, that the beaks of the Roman ships could with glow of enthusiasm, or burst of patriotic feeling. It cannot, difficulty make any impression on them. These vessels therefore, be either an uninteresting, or an uninstructive were built of oaken planks; their sails were made of task, to trace the rise and progress of the British Navy, skins, and their anchors were attached to iron chains or from the slender “coracles' of the aboriginal inhabitants cables. The barks, however, which were generally used of these islands, to the magnificent structures which float, by the Britons, were constructed of osier twigs, covered with by the aid of science, in majesty on the deep; and it has skins, and resembled, in construction, the fragile fishingbeen our object, as far as could be effected within the limits boats, or coracles, still used on the rivers of Wales. assigned to us in this paper, to concentrate, in a chrono The Saxons, who settled in Britain about the middle of logical narrative, the most important events which have the fifth century, and who had been previously renowned distinguished the Naval HISTORY OF ENGLAND.

for their piracies at sea, seem to have been impressed with The subject may properly be divided into three periods. the necessity of keeping up a formidable marine. Their In the first we shall embrace the period between the inva- vessels, we are told by Aneurin, a Welsh bard, “ were sion of Britain by the Romans, and the commencement of single-masted, carrying one square sail. They had curved the reign of Henry the Eighth; the second will end with bottoms, and their prows and poops were adorned with the the death of George the Second; and the third will com- heads and tails of monsters." prehend what may justly be termed the “golden era" of King Alfred, who ascended the throne in 872, has

geneBritish naval history ; viz., from the accession of George the rally been considered as the founder of our maritime power. Third to the present time.

At that time England was overrun by the Danes, and

Alfred, with the wisdom and sagacity which distinguished SECTION I. (B.C. 52, to A.D. 1509.)

all his actions, speedily perceived that the most effectual The inhabitants of the British isles appear, at an early method of ridding his country of its foes, was by crippling period, to have possessed some acquaintance with maritime their power at sea. He commanded his first fleet in person, affairs. We learn from the Welsh Triads, that the ancient was extremely successful in his naval engagements, and is name of Britain was Clas Merddin, the “ Sea-defended said to have suggested a variety of improvements in the green-spot," an appellation (as has been well remarked by structure, as well as to have greatly increased the size of his one of the most eminent of our writers,) which may seem vessels, some of the largest of which carried at least sixty oars. VOL, IV.

106

After the death of Alfred, the naval power of England | portant of these, and to the latter may probably be attri seems to have lain dormant until the invasion of Williambuted the discovery of the New World. Considerable the Conqueror, in 1066. It is true that, in the tenth difference of opinion has existed amongst naval authors, as century, we read of the vast fleets possessed by King to the period when cannon were first used in naval warfare; Edgar, but, like the other naval armaments of the early Charnock, generally no mean authority in such matters, ages, they must chiefly have been composed of small boats. affirms that they were not introduced until the reign of In 1066 William sailed for the coast of England, with a Henry the Seventh ; but there is conclusive authority for fleet of nearly 900 vessels, (of the nature of which the stating that they were employed for this purpose so early as engraving in the preceding page presents an illustration,) and the thirteenth century, in a sea-engagement between the landing near Pevensey, in Sussex, with an army computed king of Tunis and the Moorish king of Seville. They at 60,000 men, gained, in a few days, the battle of Hastings, were also used by the Venetians at sea about the year which led to the rapid subjugation of the whole kingdom. 1380; and Froissart speaks of cannon having been used The Normans had always manifested considerable regard in the Flemish fleet, which was taken off Cadsand, in 1387, to the sea, and the position in which the Conqueror was by the English, under the command of the Earl of Arundel. placed after gaining the English throne, rendered a strict The guns were not then, as now, pointed through embraattention to the improvement and extension of the navy a sures, or port-holes, but were mounted so as to fire from matter not only of prudence but of necessity. To contri- the top-side, or gun-wale, of the vessel. bute to this result, he gave exclusive privileges to certain The engraving at page 77 represents the style of shiptowns on the coast, which were called the Cinque Ports. ping which prevailed during the principal part of the

Richard the First, who bore so distinguished a part in the fifteenth century. The poop and forecastle seem to have Crusades, fitted out large fleets, one of which he conducted been extremely bulky, and disproportionate in their eleva from Sicily to the shores of the Holy Land, capturing in tion. Some of the sails were splendidly adorned with his progress a large ship of the Saracens, defended by 1300 armorial bearings; and we recognise, near the summit of men. His successor, John, appears to have devoted con the main-mast, the “round top," where the pilots were siderable attention to the improvement of the navy; He stationed, a term which is yet used in the navy, though asserted the exclusive right of the English nation to the do- applied to a part which occupies a very different position minion of the seas, and in the year 1214 issued a mandate on the mast. to his chief admiral, ordering him“ to arrest, seize, and make Henry the Seventh, on gaining the throne in 1485, put the prizes of all ships whatever found therein.“

navy, which had been greatly neglected, into a respectable Of the description of vessels generally employed in the condition. In 1488, a large ship called the Great Harry, following reign, some idea may be formed from the following which may be properly termed the first ship of the British account of an action with the French, who “ with eighty navy, was built at a cost of 14,0001. It had three masts, and stout ships," threatened a descent on the Kentish coast. was accidentally destroyed by fire at Woolwich, in 1553. This squadron being observed by Hubert de Burgh, Gover We have now brought down our notices to the reign nor of Dover Castle, he put to sea with forty English of Henry the Eighth, who may be designated the vessels, and having got to windward of the enemy, and run founder of the Royal Nayy. Strictly speaking, before down many of their smaller craft, attacked the others with this period there was no national establishment. In time quick-lime,“ which blinded them so effectually, that all of war, the requisite number of vessels, many of which their ships were either taken or sunk."

can hardly be considered in any other light than as mere The engraving in page 76 represents the class of ressels transports, were furnished by different sea-ports. The used for the transport of troops and horses to the Mediter- Cinque-ports, and their dependencies, (Dover, Hastings, ranean during the Crusades. The ship on shore was Sandwich, Rye, Winchelsea, Hythe and Romney,) on adapted for the latter purpose ; the opening, or as it was condition of certain privileges, were bound by their tenure, styled the “ port,” (whence the term port-hole,) was caulked to furnish the king with fifty-seven (and sometimes a up after the horses had all been shipped, and was under much greater number of) ships, each containing twentywater when the vessel floated. Ships of war seem then to one men and a boy, for fifteen days, once in every year, have been provided with at least one tower, which was free of all charge ; but in case of their being detained for called the “castle of the ship."

longer service, they were paid and victualled by the king; In the reign of Edward the First, the first English the master of a vessel receiving six-pence, and the seamen admiral was appointed, Roger de Leybourn, Admirallus three-pence a day each. maris regis, A.D. 1297. The reign of Edward the Third, (1327-77,) was greatly distinguished for successes at sea and

SECTION II. (1509–1760). on land, as well as for the advancement of the commercial | The recent discovery of the vast continent of America, prosperity of the country. The most interesting events in gave an extraordinary impulse to maritime affairs, about this reign, when England began to assume a high rank as a the period of the accession of Henry the Eighth. That naval power, are the battle of Sluys, on the coast of Flan- monarch_settled by his own prerogative the constitution ders, and the siege of Calais. The English fleet off Sluys, of the Royal Navy; he founded the dock-yards of which was commanded by the king in person, perceiving, Woolwich, Deptford, and Portsmouth; he made laws saith the old chronicler, “on their approach, that the French for the planting and preservation of timber; he estaships were linked together with chains, and that it was im- blished the “fraternitie," or corporation of the Trinity possible for them to break their line of battle, retired a little, House, for the improvement of navigation and the proand stood back to sea. The French, deceived by this feint, | tection of commerce; he instituted an Admiralty and a broke their order and pursued the English, who they thought Navy Office, under the direction of commissioners; infled before them." The English then engaged, and, after a creased the salaries of the officers and seamen, and placed battle which lasted thirteen hours, defeated their opponents the naval service, for the first time, on a distinct footing. with immense loss. Thirty thousand French were slain, In 1512, considerable advantages were gained by a tleet “ of whom numbers, through fear, jumped off their own which was fitted out against the French, under Sir Edward craft into the sea, and were miserably drowned : 200 great Howard, the Lord High Admiral, whose vessel, the ships were taken, in one of which only there were 400 dead Regent of 1000 tons, which took fire during the action, is bodies.” This account is evidently greatly exaggerated. said to have had a crew of 700 men

All the vessels of The armament which was fitted out against Calais in 1347, 200 tons and upwards, in this fleet, were first called "ships was the largest which had yet quitted England, consisting royal.” The pay of the admiral at this time, was 10s. a of 738 vessels, navigated by 14,956 seamen; twenty ships day; the captains were allowed is. 6d.; and “ every only, however, of this number, belonged to the Royal soldier, mariner and gunner, had 58. a month for his navy. During the siege, which lasted eleven months, the wages, and 55. for his diet," in addition to certain allowallowance “to a marinere for his diet by the daye was ižid." ances called dead shares, granted to the fleet. In the reign of Edward the Third the bowsprit seems first In 1515, the Harry Grace de Dieu, of 1000 tons, the to have been used.

first double-decked ship ever built in this country, was From this period, with the exception of the short, but launched at. Erith, on the Thames. This vessel mounted glorious, reign of, Henry the Fifth, until the latter end of seventy-two pieces of cannon, of almost all the various the fifteenth century, there is nothing of interest in our sizes then in use; and it was not until the middle of the naval annals. Nautical knowledge, however, was gradually following century, that guns of the same calibre were extending, and a variety of inventions and improvements placed on the same deck-an important improvement. were introduced into the marine. The use of cannon at Her regular establishment consisted of 349 soldiers, 301 sea, and the invention of the compass were the most im- , mariners, and 50 gunners, making altogether, 700 men,

:

The imposing number of guns carried by the Harry, cables, and by it we resist the malice of the greatest winds and other ships at this period, however, seems to have that can blow. We have also raised our second decks." been for little else than show; for it is mentioned by The “navy estimates," at this period, were about £80,000. an old writer, as a remarkable circumstance, that in an In the earlier part of the troublous reign of Charles the action between a British and French fleet, off St. Helen's, First, various important expeditions were fitted out against in 1545,“ 300 cannon-shot were fired on both sides." the French and Spaniards. This unfortunate monarch, in

Henry the Eighth, was the last English monarch that despite of the difficulties which beset his career, almost hired foreign ships in time of war; for with all his ex from the commencement of his reign, greatly improved ertions, the British fleet was often partly composed of and extended the naval power of the country. Many ships Hambro', Lubec, Dantzic, Genoese, or Venetian auxi- of a large class were constructed, amongst which the liaries. In order to remedy this, as far as it was possible, Sovereign of the Seas," a magnificent vessel, built by an act was passed to encourage British merchants to build Peter Pett, under the direction of. Phineas Pett, at Woolships for their own service, fit for men-of-war, enacting, wich, in 1635-7, is the most celebrated. that such ships should be exempted from certain duties, This ship, of which we give an engraving, (p. 89,) was the and that when required for the nation, their owners should largest hitherto built in England; her model was considered receive 12s. per ton per month, for their use. In 1546, the excellent; and she was in nearly all the celebrated actions first regular list of the navy was published, from which with the Dutch in the seventeenth century. From a we learn, that it then consisted of “20 shippes, 15 Gal. description written by Thomas Heywood, we learn that she leasses, 10 Pynnaces, and 13 Roo Barges," admeasuring was gorgeously decorated with carved-work:-" she was 12,455 tons, and navigated by 8546 seamen. The expense (he says) in length, by the keel, 128 feet; her main breadth, of maintaining the navy in 1549, was under 17,0001. 48 feet; in length, from the fore-end of the beak-head, to

Queen Elizabeth, seems to have been deeply impressed the after-end of the stern, 232 feet; in height, from the with the truth of her father's maxim, that " whosoever bottom of her keel, to the top of her lanthorn, 76 feet ; commands the sea, commands the trade of the world; and bore ten lanthorns, the biggest of which would hold ten perthat whosoever commands the trade, commands the riches sons upright; had three flush-decks, a forecastle, half-deck, of the world, and, consequently, the world itself." She and round-house. She hath eleven anchors, one of which so greatly encouraged the prosperity of the marine, that is 4400 lbs. weight, and is of the burden of 1637 tons." she justly acquired the distinguished title of “Restorer She was pierced for 132 guns, amongst which were what of naval power, and Sovereign of the northern seas.' were called fourteen “murdering-pieces." The Sovereign The most interesting event in this reign, is the defeat of the Seas was cut down afterwards, with great advantage and dispersion of the invincible Spanish Armada*; it to her sailing qualities; she was nearly rebuilt in 1684, consisted of 130 ships, of an aggregate burden of 57,868 when her name was changed to the Royal Sovereign; but tons, carrying 2,630 pieces of cannon, 19,295 soldiers, and was destroyed by fire at Chatham, in January, 1696, having navigated by 10,538 mariners and slaves ; besides which, been sixty years in service*. there was an immense fleet of smaller vessels, loaded with The direction of the navy was finally wrested from the stores, and with 'arms, which it was intended to distribute king in 1642. Six years afterwards, Prince Rupert carried to those by whom the Spaniards hoped to be joined on away twenty-five ships, none of which ever returned ; and their arrival in England. At this period, the Queen had such was the reduced state of the navy at the commencethirty-four ships in an efficient state, besides eight others ment of Cromwell's usurped government, that he had only in dock. The former were of an aggregate burden of fourteen two-decked vessels. Extraordinary exertions 12,590 tons, and navigated by 6,279 men; the weight of were, however, made; in the following year, the Parliament metal is not accurately known, but it is supposed, that the recovered their supremacy at sea; Blake and other dislargest vessel carried about sixty guns. By the aid, how tinguished officers were appointed, and in 1654, the fleet ever, of merchant-vessels, the Queen was enabled to bring was increased to 150 sail, manned by 20,000 seamen, whose about 140 ships into service. The English fleet, com- pay was then raised from 198. to 245. per month. manded by Charles Lord Howard, of Effingham, assisted În 1649, the Constant Warwick, the first frigate, acby Sir Francis Drake, Sir John Hawkins, and other illus- cording to Pepys, which had ever been built in England, trious navai heroes, put out from Plymouth, and after was launched; but Mr. James, in his Naval History, is of harassing the Spaniards in their passage up the Channel, opinion that the Southampton, 32, built in 1757, was the joined another squadron off Calais, where they came first vessel answering to the modern description of a frigate, to an engagement with the enemy, in which he suffered as she carried her guns on a single whole-deck, a quartersuch great loss, that the Spanish Admiral endeavoured deck, and a forecastle. to retreat to Spain, without attempting to effect any of the In 1652, a war broke out with Holland, which lasted objects of the expedition. But this design was not, per- until April, 1654. During this contest, many severe and mitted by Providence, for a series of violent storms com memorable actions took place between the English and pletely broke up and dispersed the remainder of this Dutch fleets, under the command of Admirals Blake and mighty armament, a great portion of which was wrecked Van Tromp, which gave rise to some of the most interon the coasts of the British isles; and more than 20,000 esting passages in our naval history, men are said to have perished, from the effects of war and In 1655, the important Island of Jamaica was annexed the elements. During the remainder of her reign, Eliza- to the British dominions. Two years afterwards, Blake beth greatly harassed the Spaniards at sea.

executed the most brilliant naval exploit which has, Gunpowder, which had previously been imported from perhaps, ever been recorded: the destruction of the Spanish abroad, at a great expense, was now first manufactured West India Flota in the harbour of Santa Cruz, "an in this country.

action so miraculous," says Clarendon, “that all men who The reign of James the First, was one of the most knew the place, wondered how any sober men, with what inglorious in our naval annals; but the encouragement courage soever endowed, would ever have undertaken it; which had been given to the marine during the preceding and they could hardly persuade themselves to believe what reign, greatly fanned the flame of naval enterprise and dis- they had done! Whilst the Spaniards comforted themselves covery. Great improvements were also made in the con with the belief that they were devils, and not men, who struction of ships; James the First wisely patronized Phineas had destroyed them in that manner.' At the death of Pett, who has been styled “the most able and scientific ship- Cromwell, in 1658, the navy consisted of 157 vessels, wright that this country has ever boasted of;" he reduced maintained at an annual charge of £400,000. Naval estithe cumbrous top-works which had previously disfigured our mates were first laid before Parliament at this period. vessels; strengthened them with cross-beams, and mate The reign of Charles the Second was fruitfu in naval rially increased their length. In allusion to this subject, glory. Mr. Pepys remarks, that that monarch“ possessed Sir Walter Raleigh remarks in his Discourse on the Inven a transcendent mastery in all maritime knowledge;" he tion of Shipping, “In my own time the shape of our paid great attention to the welfare of the navy, and English ships hath been greatly bettered. It is not long appointed his brother, the Duke of York, (James the since the striking of the top-mast hath been devised; Second,) Lord High Admiral, shortly after the Restoration together with the chain-pump. We have lately added the in 1660. There were two wars with Holland during this bonnet and drabbler (sails.) To the courses we have reign; the first continued from February, 1665 until 1668; devised studding-sails, top-gallant-sails, sprit-sails, and

The first division of the British Navy into rates, was made by top-sails. The weighing of anchors by the capstan is also new. We have fallen into consideration of the length of command of Charles the First, in 1626. These rates were, as now,

sıx in number, each consisting of two classes, to which different See Saturday Magazine, Vol. III., p. 92,

complements of men were assigned.

106-2

[graphic][subsumed]

SHIPPING OF THE REIGN OF HENRY II1.-1269. and the last, which broke out in 1671, was not concluded and Spanish ships of the line alone having been either until 1674. The victory off Lowestoffe, on the 2nd of captured or destroyed. June, 1665, by the English fleet, under the command of the In 1744, all prizes taken by His Majesty's ships were, by Lord High Admiral, was the most splendid which had royal proclamation, declared to be henceforth the property hitherto taken place. The relative loss of the combatants of the captors, a measure equally to be commended on the appears almost incredible ;-upwards of fifty Dutch ships, score of its wisdom and its justice. The year 1747 is and 6000 men were destroyed, whilst the English only lost memorable for the victories gained respectively by Lord one vessel, the Charity, of 46 guns, and 590 men killed and Anson and Admiral Hawke over the French. Our loss wounded. The jealousy of the Dutch at the rapidly-increas- during this war only consisted of one seventy-gun ship, ing commerce and naval power of England, was not dimi- and a few vessels of a small class. nished by the result of these contests, which, however, nearly Another war broke out with France in 1735. During exhausted the resources of both countries.

the few intervening years of peace, considerable attention James the Second, who had, whilst Lord High Admiral, had been paid to the navy; many new vessels were built, gained considerable reputation as a naval commander, made and improvements made in naval architecture; in January, extraordinary efforts, during his short and disturbed reign, 1756, it consisted of 320 vessels of the various classes. for the restoration of the marine, which, during the latter Two brilliant victories were gained over the enemy in 1759, years of Charles the Second, had fallen greatly to decay. by Admiral Boscawen and Sir Edward Hawke; many

At the period of the Revolution, in 1688, the French had prizes were made, and such was the rapid increase of the attained a very high rank as a naval power. Louis the navy, that, at the king's decease in 1760, it consisted of Fourteenth, then in the noon-tide of his prosperity, em- 412 ships, 127 of which were of the line. braced the cause of the dethroned monarch, and a war, We now enter upon the reign of George the Third, a which lasted eight years, broke out between the two period in every respect the most interesting and important countries in 1689. During this period, such was the in our naval annals. vigorous administration of William the Third, that the navy was increased more than one-half, both in numbers

SECTION III. (1760—1833.) and in tonnage; and, at the conclusion of the war, in 1697, the French had received indisputable proofs of the supe- Few princes ever ascended a throne under happier auspices riority of the English at sea, amongst which the memo than George the Third. The naval superiority of the rable action off Cape la Hogue, in 1692, may be adduced country had been placed, by a series of glorious successes, as an instance. In 1691 Plymouth Dock-yard was esta- beyond all dispute; and its commerce and internal prospeblished.

rity were increasing in an extraordinary degree. In 1696 that most princely of institutions, Greenwich In January, 1762, England declared war against Spain; Hospital, was founded." The pay of flag-officers, command nowever, lasted only for a short period, a general peace ers, lieutenants, masters, and surgeons, was nearly doubled, being concluded at Paris in February, 1763, between and the naval estimates were increased to 2,000,0001. during France, Spain, Great Britain, and Portugal. The enemy's this reign.

loss during this war (1755-63), was very heavy; 111 resShortly after the accession of Anne, a war broke out with sels, (93 French and 18 Spanish,) including 42 line-ofFrance and Spain, in the course of which fifty-two French battle ships, being taken and destroyed, whilst our own ships, carrying 3092 guns, were captured.

loss only consisted of nine vessels, the largest of which But little attention appears to have been paid to the navy was of fifty guns, a fact almost incredible. Fifty sail of in the reign of George the First; during the war with the line, and ninety-four smaller vessels, were built during Spain, however, (1718-20,) a splendid victory was gained this war, most of which were constructed in merchants off Sicily, by Sir George Byng, afterwards Lord Torrington. yards. In the following year (1764) Parliament granted

George the Second entered into another war with Spain 10,0001. to Mr. Harrison for his time-piece for discovering in 1739, in consequence of which the sizes of the various the longitude. classes of our ships of war were considerably increased. The Aurora frigate, on board which the celebrated FalFrance joined in the contest against Britain in 1744, but at coner, author of the Shipwreck, served as purser, was lost its conclusion in 1748, the naval strength of the country, in 1771; she is supposed to have foundered at sea, but her so far from being weakened, was greatly advanced; the fate remains a mystery. enemy's loss, however, was very great; thirty-five French The disastrous contest between Great Britain and her

« PoprzedniaDalej »