Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 08.djvu/88
fleet before any declaration of war had been issued—an action which deeply offended Ormonde, and which he himself afterwards accounted the one blot upon his life (Evelyn, 12 March 1672, 26 July 1680). In April he was promoted to the command of the second-rate the Victory, upon which he fought the sanguinary action with the Dutch in Southwold Bay on 28 May. After the action, in which he further increased his reputation for courage, he caused the sick and wounded seamen in the Southwark Hospital to be visited and relieved at his own cost. It is stated (Biog. Brit.) that shortly before this he had lost about 8,000l. at cards, and that from this difficulty he was relieved by the king without the knowledge of the court. On 30 Sept. Charles bestowed the garter upon him, and he was installed at Windsor on 25 Oct. He was next employed, in November, as envoy extraordinary to carry formal condolences to Louis on the death of the Duke of Anjou. Every honour was shown him while at the French court, and the most enticing offers, both of place and money, were made him to induce him to take service with Louis, which he refused on the ground that he was already serving in the Dutch war. Upon his taking leave he was presented with a jewel of the value of 2,000l. On 26 March 1673, along with Evelyn, Ossory was sworn a younger brother of the Trinity House (Evelyn, 26 March 1673). In May 1673 he accepted the command of the first-rate St. Michael, and was made rear-admiral of the blue on the 17th. In the great battle which was fought on 11 Aug., Admiral Spragge, who commanded, being slain and his ship disabled, Ossory defended her from capture during the day, and at night brought her safely off. No one was left alive upon his quarter-deck but himself, his page, and Captain Narborough (Hist. MSS. Comm. 6th Rep. 719 b note). After this action he was made rear-admiral of the red, and in September commanded in chief during Rupert's absence, while the fleet was lying at the Nore, receiving henceforward, according to custom, a pension of 250l. a year. Towards the close of the year Ossory received intelligence that the harbour of Helvoetsluys, where, when in Holland, he had noticed the prizes taken by the Dutch at Chatham, and which he was now informed was filled with the Dutch navy, was very insufficiently guarded. He at once made a design for attacking it, and having secured a plan of the harbour, and having obtained the king's orders to sail with ten frigates and 2,000 soldiers, was on the eve of setting out when, from causes never known, the expedition was countermanded. Charles showed continued confidence by choosing him in November 1674 to propose to Orange the marriage with James's daughter Mary. On 31 May, Trinity Monday, 1675, he was elected master of the Trinity House, Evelyn again being present (ib. 8th Rep. 255 a). In July 1680 there was a painting of him in the Trinity House, but it was distrained, along with other property, for hearth-money, which the corporation refused to pay, on 29 Sept. 1682 (ib. 257 a, 258 b). In August he was appointed one of the commissioners of the admiralty. Apparently his affairs were at this time somewhat embarrassed, for on 22 Dec. 1675 he is mentioned as petitioning the king for a pension of 2,000l. a year out of the 30,000l. reserved by him from the new farm of the revenue of Ireland (ib. 4th Rep. 248). On 18 Nov. 1676 he was made lord chamberlain to the queen. In June 1677 the Prince of Orange, when sending over Bentinck to continue the marriage negotiations, advised him to go, in the first place, to Ossory and Ormonde. Ossory now obtained permission to make a campaign with Orange, and joined him before Charleroi; and upon the raising of the siege, a battle with Luxembourg being imminent, he had the post of honour with the command of 6,000 men conferred upon him (ib. 5th Rep. 187). He returned to England that year, for at the beginning of December we find him and his second, Captain Mackarly, worsted in a duel with Mr. Buckley and Mr. Gerard (ib. 7th Rep. 469 a).
In February 1678 he again went to Holland, where he had been appointed general, by the prince's patent, of the British forces in the pay of the States. In that capacity he was present at the battle of Mons, and distinguished himself greatly, his own life being saved only by the fact that two shots which struck him were stopped by his armour. He returned to England in September 1678 with many testimonies to his reputation. He was desirous, however, of having his commission of general confirmed by the States, and in March 1680 sent to demand this, which, after much difficulty, he obtained through Orange's personal influence.
Upon his return in 1678 Ossory had been nominated to command the fleet intended to put down the pirates of Algiers; his demands for men and ships, however, were greater than the treasury would grant, and Narborough went in his stead.
Ossory had an active share in the early stages of the popish terror. It is stated, indeed, that on 11 Nov. 1678 he discovered 100,000 fireballs and grenades in Somerset House (ib. 471 b), which was, of course, merely an idle tale. In December he appears to