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Lloyd, and during the remainder of the war he was employed in the arduous but monotonous duty of watching Brest.
The Admiral rejoined his family and friends on the peace taking place, but was not long to enjoy repose, for the renewal of hostilities recalled him; and after commanding in the Downs, he was appointed to a division of the North Sea fleet, under Lord Keith, with his flag hoisted on board the Defence, 74. The blockade of the Texel was now managed with success, on a system at once economical of anxiety and labour. The ports of Holland admit of the ingress and egress of large ships only during the spring tides; two days before which, Thornborough's squadron regularly took its station off the Texel, and remained as many days after the full and change of the moon, so that the Dutch lost all the advantages of the high tides, their heavy ships being effectually detained within their harbours.
In April, 1804, the Atalante, a Dutch brig of war, was gallantly cut out of Vlie Passage by the boats of the Scorpion and Beaver, after being bravely defended. Her Commander, A. Von Karpe, who refused quarter, being slain, was buried by Captain Hardinge, the conqueror, with every honour he could bestow, even to hauling down the English colours, hoisting Dutch, and liberating the prisoners during the interment. This incident afforded the Admiral an opportunity of displaying that generous humanity for which he was ever remarkable, and gave a proper finish to the honourable affair. After recommending Captains Hardinge and Pelly, and Lieutenant Bluett, for promotion, he sent a flag of truce to Kilkert, the Batavian Admiral, with the purser and pilot of the Atalante, and the deceased Captain's servant, with the whole of his late master's private property, in order that it might be delivered to his relations.
Early in 1805 Admiral Thornborough assumed the important station of Captain of the Channel fleet, under Lord Gardner. In June he was promoted to the rank of ViceAdmiral, hoisted his flag in the Kent, and was nominated to command a squadron of fast-sailing line-of-battle ships, destined to reinforce Lord Nelson, but which, from the battle of Trafalgar occurring, did not take place. In the following year he commanded in the Pertuis d'Antioche, with his flag on board the Prince of Wales, of 98 guns, and maintained the blockade of Rochefort, until he was relieved by Sir Samuel Hood. In February, 1807, he removed into the Royal Sovereign, of 100 guns, and proceeded to the Mediterranean, where he remained executing various services until the end of 1809. In October of the next year he was appointed Commander-in-Chief on the Irish station, where he continued until he attained the rank of Admiral, in December, 1813. He afterwards held the office of Commander-in-Chief at Portsmouth, from 1815 till May 1818, and with that appointment closed his public services, though he was subsequently raised to the commission of Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom.
On the extension of the Order of the Bath, in January, 1815, Admiral Thornborough was made a Knight Commander, and in January, 1825, raised to a Grand Cross. He was twice married, and died a widower, on the 3d of April, 1834, at his seat, Bishopsteignton Lodge, in Devonshire, at the age of 80. By his first wife, who died at Exeter in 1801, he had several children, of whom one, Edward Le Cras Thornborough, is now a Captain in the Royal Navy.
Abridged from a Memoir in the United Service Journal.
THE RIGHT HON.
WILLIAM WYNDHAM GRENVILLE,
BARON GRENVILLE, OF WOTTON-UNDER-BERNEWOOD, COUNTY
BUCKS; A PRIVY COUNCILLOR IN GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND; AUDITOR OF THE EXCHEQUER; CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD; HIGH STEWARD OF BRISTOL ; AN ELDER BROTHER OF THE TRINITY HOUSE;
OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM; A GOVERNOR OF
THE CHARTER HOUSE, D.C.L. AND F. S. A.; UNCLE TO THE
DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
This distinguished statesman was born on the 25th of October, 1759, the third son of the Right Hon. George Grenville, Prime Minister of England in 1763–1765, and of Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Wyndham, Bart. by Lady Catherine Seymour, and sister to Charles first Earl of Egremont.
He received his early education at Eton, where he was concerned in the grand rebellion under Foster, when all the boys left the school, threw their books into the Thames, and marched to Salt Hill. He was, however, persuaded by his father to return for a few weeks; and then removed to Christ Church, Oxford, where in 1779 he gained the Chancellor's prize for a composition in Latin verse, the subject being Vis Electrica. He took the degree of B.A.; and then entered one of the inns of court, with the view of qualifying for the bar. His attention, however, was quickly diverted to the business of politics. In Feb. 1782 he was returned to Parliament on a vacancy for Buckingham; and in Sept. following, when his brother Earl Temple (the late Marquis of Buckingham) was for the first time sent to Ireland as Lord Lieutenant, Mr. W. Grenville accompanied him as Private Secretary, and he was sworn a Privy Councillor of that kingdom. The period of Earl Temple's vice-reign terminated in the June of the following year; in December following Mr. Grenville accepted office at home, being appointed to succeed Mr. Burke as Paymaster of the Army. His active senatorial career now commenced, and his industry and acquirements, added to strong natural talents, soon made him of consequence in the House of Commons. He was the able coadjutor of the youthful minister, his cousin-german, who was only a few months his senior; firm to his post, and in full possession of all his faculties. If he wanted the brilliant eloquence of his relation, he possessed more minuteness of knowledge and accuracy of detail. The routine of office was almost hereditary in him. He seemed to have imbibed all the ideas and habits of his father, even though he was a child at the death of that persevering statesman.
At the general election of 1784 he was chosen one of the county members for Buckinghamshire, after one of the most vigorous contests ever known. He was re-elected in 1790, but before the close of that year had been removed to the House of Lords.
He had not completed his thirtieth year when he was chosen to preside over the House of Commons, being elected speaker Jan. 5. 1789, on the death of the Rt. Hon. Charles Wolfran Cornwall.
Before four months, however, had elapsed, he was summoned from that station to the still more responsible if not more arduous one, of Secretary of State of the Home Department. He was moved to the House of Lords by a patent of peerage dated Nov. 25. 1790, and thenceforward became the representative and echo of Mr. Pitt in the Upper House. In the following May he exchanged the seals of Home Secretary for those of the Foreign Department: the latter he retained until the resignation of Mr. Pitt, in Feb. 1801. In 1791 he was appointed ranger of St. James's and Hyde
Parks; which post he exchanged in 1795 for the lucrative office of Auditor of the Exchequer. He filled the important situation of Foreign Secretary, during one of the most arduous and gloomy periods of our history, with industry, talent, and skill. It was a function for which his natural and acquired powers were in many respects well suited. He was skilled in the detail of the politics of Europe : he had studied deeply the law of nations; he was acquainted with modern languages; he could endure fatigue; and had not an avocation or a pleasure to interrupt his attention. He loved business as his father did; it was not merely the result of his ambition, but his amusement; the flowers of imagination, or the gaieties of society, never seduced him astray. There was nothing to dissipate his ideas, and he brought his mind to bear on the subjects before him with its full force.
One of the most important duties required of him was to maintain a stern and undaunted bearing towards the French Directory. In his correspondence with M. Chauvelin, who had been Ambassador in London previously to the death of Louis, and claimed to be still recognised in that capacity, the letters of Lord Grenville were couched in a severity of retort rarely equalled in diplomatic discussion. Of their tone the following, dated the 24th of January, and ordering M. Chauvelin's immediate departure from the realm, will afford a specimen :
“ I am charged to notify to you, Sir, that the character with which you had been invested at this court, and the functions of which have been so long suspended, being now entirely terminated by the fatal death of his Most Christian Majesty, you have no longer any public character here.
“ The King can no longer, after such an event, permit your residence here. His Majesty has thought fit to order, that you should retire from this kingdom within the term of eight days; and I herewith transmit to you a copy of the order, which his Majesty, in his privy council, has given to this effect.