Osborne, Peregrine (DNB00)

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OSBORNE, PEREGRINE, second Duke of Leeds (1668–1729), born in 1658, vice-admiral, third son of Thomas Osborne, first duke of Leeds [q. v.], was on 6 Dec. 1674 created Viscount Osborne of Dunblane in the peerage of Scotland, and in 1689, on his father being made Marquis of Carmarthen, he became by courtesy Earl of Danby. On 9 March 1689-90 he was summoned to parliament as Baron Osborne of Kiveton. He was said to have served for some time on board a king's ship as a volunteer, probably also as a lieutenant, but there is no record of any such service. His first known connection with the navy is his appointment on 31 Dec. 1690 as colonel of the first regiment of marines, and two days later, 2 Jan. 1690-1, as captain of the Sutffolk, a 70-gun ship. From her he was transferred after a few weeks to the Resolution, which he commanded in the fleet under Russell during the summer. Early in 1692 he was appointed to the 90-gun ship Windsor Castle, in which he took part in the battle of Barfleur. Early in 1693 he fought a duel with a Captain Thomas Stringer, late of the first regiment of marines (Luttrell, Relation of State Affairs, iii. 3). The duel had no results, and did not even settle the quarrel; for more than a year later, 6 April 1694, the king sent an order to Danby to give his word and honour not to pursue it further under pain of being secured till further orders (Home Office Records, Secretary's Letter-Book 1691-9, f. 166). In 1693 he commanded the 100-gun ship Royal William, till, on the death of Sir John Ashby [q. v.] on 12 July, he was promoted to the rank of rear-admiral.

On 4 May 1694, his father being created Duke of Leeds, he became by courtesy Marquis of Carmarthen. He was at the time serving as rear-admiral of the blue squadron in the fleet under John, third lord Berkeley, and, as the junior, was placed in command of the squadron detached to cover the landing in Camaret Bay, which was attempted on 8 June. A preliminary investigation had shown him that the strength of the defences had been much underestimated, and, on his suggestion, the covering force had been largely increased, Carmarthen hoisting his flag, for the occasion, on board the Monck, a 60-gun ship. The batteries and entrenchments, however, proved still more formidable than even he had judged; one of his ships was sunk, and the others sustained severe damage, while the attempt to land was repulsed with great loss. In the following year Carmarthen was again appointed rear-admiral of the blue squadron under Berkeley; but in the summer, while Berkeley was bombarding St. Malo or Dunkirk, he was detached to cruise in the soundings for the protection of the homeward trade. By a grave error in judgment he mistook a number of merchant ships in the distance for the Brest fleet, and, conceiving that his force was insufficient, drew back to Milford in time to allow the West Indian trade and five very valuable East Indiamen to fall into the hands of the French (Burnet, Hist. of his Own Time, Oxf. edit. iv. 278). The outcry against his Conduct was loud and angry, and the government affair to have thought it unadvisable to employ him again. His remaining service was mainly in connection with his regiment of marines. He was involved in another duel, on 7 June 1698, with one Captain Nash, in which he was severely wounded, and a month later he was still ill of his wounds, 'they being forced to be opened' (Luttrell, iv. 889, 399). On 23 March 1701-2 he was promoted to be vice-admiral of the white, but does not appear to have had any further service afloat. By the death of his father on 26 July 1712 he became Duke of Leeds, and was lord-lieutenant of the East Hiding of Yorkshire till the death of queen Anne, when he retired from public life. He died on 25 June 1729. By his wife Bridget, only daughter of Sir Thomas Hyde of North Mimms, Hertfordshire, to whom he was married in 1682 under somewhat romantic circumstances (Catalogue of the Morrmm MSS. iii. 132), he had two daughters and two sons, the elder of whom died of small-pox in 1711; the younger, Peregrine Hyde, succeeded as third duke.

[Charnock's Biogr. Nav. ii. 396; Edye's Hist. of the Royal Marine Forces, vol. i.; Collins's Peerage, 1768, i. 242: Burchett's Transactions at Sea; Lediard's Naval History; Doyle's Baronage.]

J. K. L.