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to the effect of what he said. It was the conversation of a shrewd sagacious man of the world, who delivered his observations on the subject under discussion with an apparent candour, which contrasted singularly with the knowing tone and look of the speaker. His mode of taking an argument to pieces and reconstructing it in his own way, astonished his hearers, who recognised the apparent fidelity of the copy, and yet felt at a loss how he had himself failed to perceive, during the preceding speech, what seemed now so palpably absurd. Although, as we have observed, his manner was colloquial, the correctness of his language was remarkable ; and his rapidity was as remarkable as his correctness. It was some time after perceiving that he never hesitated for a word, that it was acknowledged that no word but the right one ever came at his command; he was indeed “a well of English undefiled.” His reasoning and his wit were equally unostentatious, and equally perfect. It has been said, that his knowledge was limited; but we believe he differed from his contemporaries not so much in knowledge, as in an indisposition to parade any knowledge in which he was not a perfect master. He was a man, who, in the discussion of the greatest affairs of the greatest nation, was always listened to with delight, except by those whose weakness or hollowness he exposed.
Of Mr. Tierney's private character, an eminent individual, a friend of thirty years' standing, has recorded his opinion, that “it caused him to be truly beloved by his family, and endeared him to a most numerous circle of friends and associates. No one ever possessed more of those amiable qualities which equally adorn and enliven society. His wit was ready and most playful, -never sarcastic, or tinged with that degree of spleen so often conspicuous in those who, like him, had passed a long and successful career of political life, embittered with disappointments. His conversation and habits, even in early life, never partook of that degree of levity too often shown when religious or moral subjects are discussed; and, in his latter days, he afforded to such persons as were
best known to him, considerable proofs that in every thought and act his mind was influenced by careful obedience to, and the truest sense of, perfect Christian faith and exemplary piety.”
In addition to the records of parliament, the materials for this little memoir have been derived from various respectable publications, and other sources of information.
SIR GEORGE MONTAGU,
ADMIRAL OF THE RED; AND A KNIGHT GRAND CROSS OF THE
MOST HONOURABLE MILITARY ORDER OF THE BATH.
THE gallant subject of this memoir was descended from Drago de Montacute, who came over to England with Wiliam the Conqueror in 1066, and was the common ancestor of the Dukes of Montagu and Manchester, and the Earls of Sandwich and Halifax.*
The father of Sir George was the late Admiral John Montagu, who served his country with zeal and fidelity for sixty-three years; commanded the squadron employed on the coast of North America previous to the colonial war; was afterwards appointed Governor of Newfoundland; and held the chief command at Portsmouth subsequently to the peace of 1783. He married Sophia, daughter of James Wroughton, Esquire.
Sir George Montagu, their eldest son, was born December 12. 1750. In 1763, he went to the Royal Naval Academy at Portsmouth; and thence was received into the Preston of 50 guns, bearing the flag of Rear Admiral William Parry, and commanded by Captain (afterwards Lord) Gardner; in which ship he proceeded to the Jamaica station, where he continued upwards of three years; and returned to England with the latter officer in the Levant frigate, in 1770.
* Edward Montagu, the first Earl of Sandwich, and a K. G., held the chief command of the English navy, and had the address as well as the honour, of bringing the whole fleet to submit to King Charles II., who, in consideration of that important service, was pleased to create him Baron Montagu, Viscount Hinchinbrooke, and Earl of Sandwich : he was Lord High Admiral of England, and was killed in the great battle with the Dutch fleet off Southwold Bay, May 28, 1672. Sir George Montagu's immediate ancestor was the Hon. James Montagu, of Lackam, in Wiltshire, third son of Henry, first Earl of Manchester.
Soon after his arrival, Mr. Montagu was made a Lieutenant, and appointed to the Marlborough, of 74 guns; from which ship he removed into the Captain, another third-rate, bearing the flag of his father, then a Kear Admiral, with whom he went to America, where he obtained the rank of Commander in the Kingfisher sloop of war; and from that vessel was promoted to the command of the Fowey, of 20 guns. His post commission bore date April 15. 1773.
At the commencement of the contest with our transatlantic colonies, Captain Montagu was employed in the arduous service of blockading the ports of Marblehead and Salem, on which station he continued during a whole winter, and had the good fortune to capture the Washington, a brig of 16 guns, the first vessel of war sent to sea by the American States. Her crew, 70 in number, were sent to England as rebels; but instead of being hanged, as they no doubt expected, they were there well clothed, and set at liberty.
Captain Montagu was subsequently intrusted, by ViceAdmiral Shuldham, with the difficult and important duty of covering the retreat and embarkation of the army under Sir William Howe, at the evacuation of Boston. The enemy having thrown up strong works, commanding the town and harbour, the Vice-Admiral dropped down to Nantasket Road with the line-of-battle ships, leaving the whole arrangement and execution of this service to Captain Montagu, who received the thanks of the General in a very flattering manner, through his brother, Lord Howe, when he assumed the chief command on the coast of America.
We next find our officer serving in the river Chesapeake, where he rescued Lord Dunmore and family, and also prevented Governor Eden of Maryland, from falling into the hands of the enemy. The Fowey was subsequently stationed by Lord Howe as the advanced ship at the siege of New
York; soon after the reduction of which place, Captain Montagu returned to England in a very ill state of health.
In 1779, the Romney, of 50 guns, which ship, bearing his father's flag at Newfoundland, he had commanded for a period of two years, being ordered to receive the broad pendant of Commodore Johnstone, Captain Montagu was appointed to the Pearl frigate, and hurried to sea, on a pressing and important service, before his crew could be either watched or quartered, with only ten men who had ever been in a ship of war before. On the 14th of September, about four weeks after his departure from port, he fell in with, and after a gallant action of two hours, which“ stamped his name with a eulogy far beyond any thing that even a partial pen could say,” captured the Santa Monica, a Spanish frigate of 32 guns, 900 tons, and 280 men, 38 of whom were slain, and 45 wounded. The Pearl mounted the same number of her opponent, but was only 700 tons burden, and had a very small proportion of seamen among her crew, which consisted of 220, officers, men, and boys. Her loss on this occasion was 12 killed and 19 wounded.
Towards the latter end of the same year Captain Montagu sailed with Sir George B. Rodney to the relief of Gibraltar, and was consequently present at the capture of the Caracca convoy, with which he returned to England, in company with the Africa, 64. Some time after this event, he was ordered to America, with intelligence of a French squadron, with troops on board, being about to sail from France, for the purpose of making an attack upon New York. The fleet on that scation, under Vice-Admiral Arbuthnot, having proceeded with Sir Henry Clinton's army to besiege Charlestown, in South Carolina, Captain Montagu on his arrival found himself senior officer at New York, and the security of that place necessarily dependent on his exertions. From thence he went on a cruise off Bermuda; and, on the 30th of September, captured l’Esperance, a French frigate of the same tonnage as his former prize, with a valuable cargo, from St. Domingo bound to Bordeaux, mounting 32 guns, and having on board