Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 42.djvu/41

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

in 1721 to the coast of Africa. For several months the ship was disabled by the sickness of her men. On 20 Sept. Ogle wrote from Prince's Island that he had buried fifty men and had still one hundred sick. In November he was at Cape Coast Castle, where he received intelligence of two pirates plundering on the coast. He put to sea in search of them. At Whydah ne learnt that they had lately captured ten sail, one of which, refusing to pay ransom, they had burnt, with a full cargo of negroes on board. On 5 Feb. 1721-2 he found them at anchor onder Cape Lopez. One of the ships, commanded by a fellow named Skyrm, slipped her cable in chase, mistaking the Swallow for a merchantman. When they had run out of earshot the Swallow tacked towards the pirate, and, after a sharp action, captured her. She then returned to Cape Lopez' under a French ensign, and, eager for the expected prize, the other pirate, commanded by Bartholomew Roberts [q. v.], stood out to meet her. It was a disagreeable surprise when the Swallow hoisted the English flag and ran out her lowerdeck guns. Roberts defended himself with obstinate bravery, but when he was killed the pirates surrendered. The whole number of prisoners was 262, of whom seventy-five negroes were sold. Of the rest, seventy-seven were acquitted on their trial at Cape Coast Castle; fifty-two were hanged; nineteen died before the trial; twenty, sentenced to death, were sent for seven years in the mines; the rest were sent to England to be imprisoned in the Marshalsea. Ogle's conduct in ridding the seas of this pest was highly approved, and on his return to England in April 1723 he received the honour of knightnood. He also received, as a special gift from the crown, the pirates' ships and effects, subject to the legal charges, and the payment of head-money to his officers and men; the net value of the proceeds was a little over 3,000l., and, though the officers and ship's company represented that it ought to be divided as prize-money, Ogle seems to have made good his contention that the captors of pirates were only entitled to head-money, and that the gift to him was personal, to support the expenses of his title (Captains' Letters, O. 2).

In April 1729 Ogle was appointed to the Bur£ora, one of the fleet gatnered at Spithead under the command of Sir Charles Wager [q. v.]; in 1731 he commanded the Edinburgh in the fleet, also under Wager, which went to the Mediterranean; and in 1732 he was sent out to Jamaica as commander-in-chief [see Lestock, Richard]. In June 1738 he was appointed to the Augusta, and on his promotion to be rear-admiral of the blue, 11 July 1739, he hoisted his flag in her, and, with a strong reinforcement, joined Haddock in the Mediterranean [see Haddock, Nicholas]. His stay there was short, and in the following summer he was third in command of the fleet under Sir John Norris. In the autumn he was ordered to take out a large reinforcement to Vice-admiral Vernon, whose exploit of 'taking Porto Bello with six ships' had inflamed the public with a desire for further achievement [see Vernon, Edward, 1684-1767]. When Ogle joined Vernon at Jamaica in the middle of January 1742, the fleet numbered thirty sail of the line, and, with some ten thousand soldiers, constituted by far the largest force that had ever been assembled in those seas. The attack on Cartagena in March and April was, however, a disastrous failure, and other operations attempted were equally unsuccessful. Vernon and the general were notoriouslv on bad terms, and between the navy and the army there was a bitter feeling, which showed itself in an open quarrel between Ogle and Edward Trevelvan, the governor of Jamaica. On 3 Sept. 1742 Ogle was charged before the chief justice of Jamaica with having assaulted Trevelvan on 22 July. The jury decided that Ogle had been guilty of an assault, and there the matter ended, the governor, through the attorney-general, requesting that no judgment should be given (A True and Genuine Copy of the Trial of Sir Chaloner Ogle, knt. . . . now published in order to correct the errors and supply the defects of a Thing lately published called The Trial of &c, 1748).

On 18 Oct. 1742 Vernon sailed for England, leaving the command with Ogle. The fleet was too much reduced to permit of any operations against the coasts of the enemy, who, on the other hand, had no force at sea, I and Ogle's work was limited to protecting the British and scourging the Spanish trade. The one circumstance that calls for mention is the trial of George Frye, a lieutenant of marines, for disobedience and disrespect, on 16 March 1743-4. The court-martial, of which Ogle was president, found Frye guilty, and for that, and his 'great insolence and contempt shown to the court,' sentenced him to be cashiered, rendered incapable of holding a commission in the king's service, and to be imprisoned for fifteen years. The latter part of the sentence was afterwards pronounced illegal, and Frye obtained a verdict for false imprisonment against Ogle and the several members of the court-martial [see Mayne, Perry]. Ogle was sentenced