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detachment. Captain Hood, in the Africa, received orders te join it, and thus returned again to his old and approving commander.
After the definitive treaty of peace was signed at Paris in February, 1763,' and the different squadrons had returned home, Captain Hood obtained a guard-ship at Portsmouth, the Thunderer, of 74 guns. Soon after the usual period of such a command had elapsed, he succeeded Sir Charles Saunders in 176ô as treasurer of Greenwich Hospital ; whose humane and protecting spirit continues to be impartially, yet liberally supported under his auspices, and those of his distinguished brother.
On the 8th of June 1778, Admiral Keppel sailed from St. Helen's with the fleet, y in which Captain Hood commanded the Robust of 74 guns ; on the 28th they returned into port, with the French frigates Pallas and Licorne; and sailed again on Friday the 10th of June. The Brest fleet, consisting of thirty-two sail, five frigates, and five gondolas, had put to sea : the Count d'Orvilliers, lieutenant general, commander-in-chief; Count Duchaf. fault was second, and the Duke de Chartres the third in command.
After some days spent in maneuvring, on the 27th of July the action commenced off Ushant. The winds constantly in the N. W. and S. W. quarters, sometimes blowing strong, and the French fleet always to windward, going off. The French began firing upon the headmost of Vice-Admiral Sir Robert Harland's division, and the ships with him : being on different tacks, the fleets passed very near each other. Towards the close of day the enemy formed their fleet again ; which Admiral Keppel says he did not discourage, thinking they meant handsomely to try their force with him the next morning : but they took the advantage of the night to go off. Captain Hood was stationed in the line, in the blue division, as second to Sir Hugh Palliser. The Robust, on the morning of the 27th, had been ordered with other ships, by signal from the Victory, to chase to windward. During the subsequent action, she was rather severely handled by the enemy.
* Charnock. y The Victory, 100 guns, Admiral Keppel; the Queen, go guns, ViceAdmiral Harland; the Ocean, go guns, Rear-Admiral Palliser, &c. amount. ing in the whole to twenty-one sail of the line, three frigates, two armed cutters, and one fire-ship.
Though his ship was so much damaged, she was fought in so able a manner, that Captain Hood had only five men killed and seventeen wounded. Captain Hood returned with the fleet to Spithead, on the 28th of October, and did not again go to sea until he obtained his flag.
Mr. Hood having obtained the eminence be deserved, on the 26th of September 1780, 2 was appointed Rear Admiral of the White. Nor was he long before he again gave his services to his country. On the unfortunate death of that valuable officer, Rear Admiral Kempenfelt, it was highly honourable to both parties, that Admiral Hood was brought forward when Lord Keppel presided at ihe board. Having hoisted his flag on board the Queen, of 90 guns, he was appointed in 1782 a to command the second or Jarboard division of the centre squadron, in the fleet sent under the command of Lord Howe to relieve Gibraltar. On the 19th of October Lord Howe had taken the advantage of the wind to repass the straits to the westward ; which he effected, followed by the enemy. The wind changing next morning to the westward, the combined fleets, consisting of forty-five or forty six ships of the line, still retained the advantage of the wind. The British fleet being formed to leeward to receive them, they were left uninterruptedly to take the distance at which they should think fit to engage. This action, so glorious for our country, began, like that off the Nile, in the evening. The French commenced their cannonade about sun-set, on the van and rear, seeming to point their chief attack on the latter, and continued their fire along the whole line, at a considerable distance, and with little effect, until ten at night. It was returned occasionally from different ships, as the nearer approach of the enemy afforded a favourable opportunity of making any impression upon them. The enemy hauling their wind, and the British fleet keeping on all night, with full sail, the fleets separated. After the return of Lord Howe to England, Admiral Hood attended at the levee at St. James's on Monday, December 16th, and was introduced to the King by Lord Keppel. The preliminary articles of peace were
2 In 1979, Captain Hood had the command given him of the Catherine yacht. The dimensions of which were as follow : length of gun-deck, 79,1 ; of the keel, 62,3 5-8ths. Breadth, 22,4 7-8ths. Depth, 11,2. Tons, 166. Complement of men, 40. Guns, 6. She was built at Deptford in 1720..
a In 1782, Admiral Hood lost his first wife, who died in September at his seat of Crickett Lodge.
concluded on the 20th of the following month, 1783, at Versailles, both with the French and Spanish plenipotentiaries. Admiral Hood at this time was second in command at Portsmouth. The year b following he was chosen member for the borough of Bridgewater ; and, on the 7th of May 1789, was invested with the most honourable order of the Bath.
At the time of the apprehended rupture with Spain, on the 12th of May 1790, among the list of ships then commissioned appears the London of 98 guns, on board of which Admiral Hood's flag was at first hoisted. On the 41h of July he commanded the van division of Admiral Barrington's fleet in Torbay, with his flag, as Vice-Admiral of the Blue, on board the Victory, 100 guns, Captain Knight. An express, however, arriving at Portsmouth, to fit out immediately for foreign service, four sail of the line and two frigates, and for Sir Alexander Hood to take the command of them, he shifted his flag to the Royal Sovereign. They were to be joined by the Orion, of 74 guns, Captain C. Chamberlayne, off Plymouth: a detachment of this intended fleet afterwards sailed, without any flag officer, and shortly returned into port: the subsequent conduct of Spain prevented this, and other more formidable preparations, from reaching their intended destination. Sir Alexander afterwards again hoisted his flag in the London, as second to Lord Hower in the Channel, on board of which ship it was flying in 1791.
b On September 4th, 1787, Admiral Hood was advanced to be Vice-Ad. miral of the White.
c April 1st, 1790, he kissed hands on being appointed Rear Adiniral of Great Britain on the death of Viće.Admiral Darby. . Van division.
Commanders. Guns. Nien.
Edgar, 74 600
Collins, 74 600
The Hebe to repeat signals. e Marlborough, 74, Captain S. Cornish; Cumberland, 74, Captain Macbride; Ardent, 64, J. Vashon ; Lion, 64, S. Finch ; Mermaid, 32, C. Collingwood; Proserpine, 28, E. T. Smith.
f On the oth of May 1790, Earl Howe, and Admiral Barrington, kissed the King's hand on being appointed to the command of the Channel fleet.
On the 1st of February 1793, Sir Alexander Hood was advanced Vice-Admiral of the Red, and was expected to have gone out in the Royal George, as commander in chief of the squadron destined for the protection of Barbadoes and the leeward islands. During this year bis flag continued on board the Royal George, with a command under Earl Howe in the western squadron. On the 1st of June 1794, 5 and the preceding days, this gallant ship was particularly distinguished. She commenced the action on 29th of May, and during that on the ist of June, was exposed to an incessant and brisk cannonade; the terror of which must have been considerably increased by the cruel means, employed on that day by the enemy, to give an unusual degree of savage destruction to the dreadful artillery of death. Sir Alexander, during the whole of this action, displayed in frequent instances his great skill and intrepidity: the foremast, with the fore and maintop mast of the Royal George, were shot away, she had twenty men killed, and seventy-two wounded." On his return, with the other flag officers and captains of this renowned feet, he was presented with the gold chain and medal, and was afterwards raised to the Irish peerage, bearing date the 12th of August following, Baron Bridport, of Crickett St. Thomos, with remainder severally to the second and every succeeding younger son of his nephew Henry, pow Lord Hood; and afterwards to his cousin the late Captain Alexander Hood, and his younger brother the present Admiral Sir Samuel Hood, Bart. and K. B. · It was rather to be hoped than expected, that after so complete a defeat of the enemy, this distinguished servant of his country, who justly merited the station he had honourably attained, might possess an opportunity, when appointed to the chief command, of gaining additional laurels from the same power. This, however, he enjoyed in the month of June 1795. We shall give an account of this glorious action, from private letters.
" We are now lying at single anchor at Spithead (June 12th, 1795). The signal was made yesterday to prepare for sailing, and we unmoored this morning. Our fleet i consists of fourteen
g On the 12th of April 1794, Sir Alexander Hood attained the rank of Admiral of the Blue.
A Lieutenant Heigham was killed on the 29th of May. Mr. John Hughes, midshipman, shared the same fate. i i A list of this fleet, with the names of the different commanders, is inserted in the third number of Naval Anecdotes.
sail of the line, five frigates, two fire-ships, one hospital ship, and a lugger. On the 22d, at four o'clock in the morning, being in latitude 47° 4' N. and longitude 4° 16' W. Belle Isle bearing E. by N. half N. 14 leagues, the frigates made the signal for a strange feet, which we soon discovered to be the French. They were then right a-head of us, but the wind shifting in their favour, brought them on our weather bow. At six, the Admiral made the following signals to chase ; the Sans Pareille, Colossus, Valiant, Russell, Irresistible, and Orion; and at seven the signal was out for a general chase. The enemy at this critical moment had all sail set. We continued in chase all day, and the ensuing night, with very little wind, until three next morning, when, to our great joy, there sprung up a fine breeze. At four we discovered the Isle de Groias upon our lee bow; by six the Orion and Irre. sistible were well up with the Alexander, and began to engage. A short time afterwards the Queen Charlotte got up; when her gallant and since lamented commander, Sir A. S. Douglas, instantly opened a tremendous and well-directed fire on both sides. The Russell, by a quarter past six, was also pretty well up, but did not begin to fire until she got abreast of the Queen Charlotte, to windward of her, when she opened a most spirited broadside. The Russell, as she passed, engaged several ships that were together, particularly the Alexander, who was to leeward. In about a quarter of an hour, one of the ships, which the Russell had engaged, took fire on the poop, and in a short time her mizen mast went overboard, when she bore up and struck; this ship was the Formidable, of 74 guns. The Sans Pareille and Colossus had now been in action nearly twenty minutes. After the Formidable had taken fire, the smoke cleared up to leeward, and we perceived the Alexander had also struck. By this time we were got some distance into the bay: all the braces, preventer braces, and rigging of the Russell were much cut; but we wore ship, and engaged about half an hour longer, when we were obliged to haul off to repair our damages, and reeve fresh braces. When we had got our good old ship into a manageable state, which we were not able to accomplish under a quarter of an hour, we made sail to renew the engagement. The Royal George passed us, and desired we would go to leeward of her, which we did, and then hauled up to fulfil our wishes : but before we could come into action, the Royal George had got close up alongside le Tigre, and having engaged her about three minutes, she bore up and struck.