1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Boscawen, Edward
BOSCAWEN, EDWARD (1711-1761), British admiral, was born on the 19th of August 1711. He was the third son of Hugh, 1st Viscount Falmouth. He early entered the navy, and in 1739 distinguished himself at the taking of Porto Bello. At the siege of Cartagena, in March 1741, at the head of a party of seamen, he took a battery of fifteen 24-pounders, while exposed to the fire of another fort. On his return to England in the following year he married, and entered parliament as member for Truro. In 1744 he captured the French frigate “Médée,” commanded by M. de Hocquart, the first ship taken in the war. In May 1747 he signalized himself in the engagement off Cape Finisterre, and was wounded in the shoulder with a musket-ball. Hocquart again became his prisoner, and the French ships, ten in number, were taken. On the 15th of July he was made rear-admiral and commander-in-chief of the expedition to the East Indies. On the 29th of July 1748 he arrived off Fort St David’s, and soon after laid siege to Pondicherry; but the sickness of his men and the approach of the monsoons led to the raising of the siege. Soon afterwards he received news of the peace, and Madras was delivered up to him by the French. In April 1750 he arrived in England, and was the next year made one of the lords of the Admiralty, and chosen an elder brother of the Trinity House. In February 1755 he was appointed vice-admiral, and in April he intercepted the French squadron bound to North America, and took the “Alcide” and “Lys” of sixty-four guns each. Hocquart became his prisoner for the third time, and Boscawen returned to Spithead with his prizes and 1500 prisoners. For this exploit, he received the thanks of parliament. In 1758 he was appointed admiral of the blue and commander-in-chief of the expedition to Cape Breton, when, in conjunction with General Amherst, he took the fortress of Louisburg, and the island of Cape Breton—services for which he again received the thanks of the House of Commons. In 1759, being appointed to command in the Mediterranean, he pursued the French fleet, commanded by M. de la Clue, and after a sharp engagement in Lagos Bay took three large ships and burnt two, returning to Spithead with his prizes and 2000 prisoners. The victory defeated the proposed concentration of the French fleet in Brest to cover an invasion of England. In December 1760 he was appointed general of the marines, with a salary of £3000 per annum, and was also sworn a member of the privy council. He died at his seat near Guildford on the 10th of January 1761.