Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 04.djvu/38

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Beauclerk
Beauclerk
34

the Proserpine, of 42 guns and 348 men, after a brilliant and well-managed action, in which the Dryad lost only 2 killed and 7 wounded, whilst the loss of the Proserpine amounted to 30 killed and 45 wounded (James's Naval History (ed. 1860), i. 304, 369). He captured also several of the enemy's privateers, and in 1800 was appointed to the Fortunée, 40 guns, employed in the Channel and in attendance on the king at Weymouth. During the next ten years he commanded different ships—the Majestic, Saturn, and Royal Oak, all 74's—in the Channel, and in 1810 had charge of the debarkation of Lord Chatham's army at Walcheren, and continued, during the operations on that coast, as second in command under Sir Richard Strachan. On 1 Aug. 1811 he became a rear-admiral, but during that and the two following years he continued in the North Sea, stretching in 1813 as far as the North Cape in command of a small squadron on the look-out for the American Commodore Rogers, who was reported to be in that locality. In the following year he commanded in Basque Roads, and conducted the negotiations for the local suspension of hostilities. In August 1819 he was advanced to be a vice-admiral, and from 1824 to 1827 commanded in chief at Lisbon and on the coast of Portugal. He became a full admiral on 22 July 1830, and ended his active service as commander-in-chief at Plymouth, 1836–9. Croker, writing to Lord Hertford, describes a ludicrous scene which took place on New Year's eve 1833, at the Brighton Pavilion, when the king (William IV) danced a country dance with Lord Amelius as his partner. ‘I am told,’ says Croker, ‘by one who saw it, that the sight of the king and the old admiral going down the middle hand-in-hand was the most royally extravagant farce that ever was seen’ (Croker Papers, 1884, ii. 200). Beauclerk was a fellow of the Royal Society, was made K.C.B. on 2 Jan. 1815, G.C.H. on 29 March 1831, G.C.B. on 4 Aug. 1835, and principal naval aide-de-camp on 4 Aug. 1839. He died on 10 Dec. 1846. His portrait, bequeathed by himself, is in the Painted Hall at Greenwich.

[Marshall's Royal Nav. Biog. ii. (vol. i., part ii.), 484; O'Byrne's Dict. of Nav. Biog.; Gent. Mag. Feb. 1847, p. 201.]

J. K. L.

BEAUCLERK, Lord AUBREY (1710?–1741), captain in the royal navy, was the eighth son of Charles, first duke of St. Albans. After some previous service he was made post-captain on 1 April 1731, and appointed to the Ludlow Castle, which ship he commanded on the Leeward Islands station for about eighteen months. Through the years 1734-5 he commanded the Gafland in the Mediterranean, and in 1737-9 the Dolphin on the same station. He returned home in January 1739-40, and was almost immediately appointed to the Weymouth of 60 guns, from which, in the course of the summer, he was transferred to the Prince Frederick of 70 guns, one of the fleet which sailed for the West Indies with Sir Chaloner Ogle on 26 Oct. 1740. On the afternoon of one of the first days in January 1740-1, as the fleet was off the west end of Hispaniola, four large ships were sighted. The admiral signalled the Prince Frederick and five other ships of the line to chase. Towards dusk the strangers hoisted French colours, but did not shorten sail, and they were not overtaken till nearly ten o'clock. The Prince Frederick was the headmost ship, and Lord Aubrey hailed the ship he came up with, desiring her to heave to. As she neither did so nor answered his hail, he fired a shot across her bows; she replied with a broadside, and as the other ships came up a smart interchange of firing took place, after which they lay by till daylight. Their nationality was then apparent; they were really French ships, and the two squadrons parted with mutual apologies. The affair passed as a mistake, and probably was so on the part of the English. The fleet, under Sir Chaloner Ogle, arrived at Jamaica on 7 Jan. and joined Vice-admiral Vernon, under whose command it proceeded to Cartagena on the Spanish main. There, in the attack on the Boca Chica, Lord Aubrey was slain on 22 March 1740-1. A handsome monument to his memory was erected in Westminster Abbey, and a pension of 200l. per annum was conferred on his widow, which she enjoyed till her death on 30 Oct. 1755.

[Charnock's Biog. Nav. iv. 221; Beatson's Naval and Military Memoirs, i. 69; Oflicial Letters, &c. in the Public Record Office.]

J. K. L.


BEAUCLERK, CHARLES (1670–1726), first Duke of St. Albans, son of Charles II by Nell Gwynn, was born at his mother's house in Lincoln's Inn Fields on 8 May 1670. It is said that one day when the king was with Nell Gwynn she called to the child, 'Come hither, you little bastard, and speak to your father.' 'Nay, Nelly,' said the king, 'do not give the child such a name.' 'Your majesty,' she answered, 'has given me no other name by which I may call him.' Upon this the king gave him the name of Beauclerk, and created him Earl of Burford (Granger, iii. 211; Ellis Correspodence, i. 209 n.) The story can scarcely