Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/116

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486


SIR WILLIAM LOCKHA11T.


energetic temper at the interruptions thrown in his way. Alluding to the car- dinal's conduct about the dispute which then divided France, he says " So soon as I have the opportunity of being at court, I shall endeavour to inform myself as fully as shall be possible for me, of what hath passed in this particular ; and if I find that the differences betwixt the cardinal and the prince are in any good way of accommodatione, I shall then persuade myself, that the cardinal (whatever pretences he hath had to the contrary,) intends a peace with Spayne in good earnest, and hath got over the greatest rub that was in his way : for in his discourses on that businesse, I found that the restoration of the prince stuck .more with him than either the re-delivery of towns, or the leaving of his allye the Portugal, to the Spanyard's mercy." 7 And, probably under the irritation of delay, he wrote to secretary Thurloe in June, saying, " I beg leave to dis- charge my conscience, by letting you know, that I am verie much convinced, that his highnesse affairs here doe infinitelie suffer by mismanagement. They doe requyre the addresse of a hande muche more happie than myne ; and there- fore shall humbly beg, that you may be pleased to lett his highnesse knowe how much it concerns his interest heare that some other person be employed, whose parts and experience may be more suitable to this trust than myne are." 8 But Lockhart did not either give up his commission in discontent, or submit to be dallied with. Towards the termination of the year, he says in his despatches, " The audience my last told you I demanded and was promised, halh been defered till this evening, notwithstanding my endeavours to the contrary : and though it lasted from six o'clock at night till ten, yet I cannot say I had much satisfaction in it, for Mons. De Lion was with his eminence all the tyme, and by his presence necessitated my sylence in some particulars, that, if I had had the honour to entertain the cardinal by himself I durst have ventured upon. How- soever, finding several particulars formerly agreed upon, questioned, and others absolutely denyed, I was guiltie of the rudenesse to tell his eminence (hat I did not understand such proceedure in businesse, and was astonished to meet so un- expected changes." 9 From remonstrances the ambassador proceeded to threats. It was the determination of the English that Mardyke and Dunkirk should be taken and left in their hands ; and in the commencement of the year 1657, "Lockhart," says Clarendon, "made such lively instances with the car- dinal, and complaints of their breach of faith, and some menaces that his mas- ter knew where to find a more punctual friend, that as soon as they had taken Montmedy and St Venant, the army marched into Flanders : and though the season of the year was too far spent to engage in a siege before Dunkirk, they sat down before Mardyke, which was looked upon as the most difficult part of the work ; which being reduced would facilitate the other very much ; and that fort they took, and delivered it into the hands of Reynolds, with an obligation ' that they would besiege Dunkirk the next year, and make it their first at- tempt'" 10

Lockhart's contest for the interests of Britain did not terminate after the capture of Mardyke : he accused the French of purposely leaving the town un- defended, that the British might be compelled to raze the fortifications, and gain no advantage from their captures, while they weakened the enemies of France. He urged Turenne to proceed immediately to the siege of Dunkirk, then but ill defended, offering for the service 5000 veterans and 2000 recruits ; but he had to wait until June, 1658, ere the design was put in practice. At this celebrated siege Lockhart commanded the British foot, with which he charged and routed those of Spain. " As to the siege of Dunkirk," says lord

7 Thurloe, v. 441. 8 Thurloe, v. 120. 9 Thudoe, v. 574.

w History, vii. 212