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whom she had captain Hood Walker, of the artillery, who was killed in the expedition to Ostend, 1798.
The sons were,
Second, Alexander, present Viscount Bridport, of whom in the next article.
Samuel, Viscount Hood, eldest son, was born December 12th, 1724. Of this celebrated commander I shall take the liberty of copying the memoir from the Naval Chronicle, a a work that is already sufficiently extended to comprize almost every thing that is interesting or valuable in the modern parts of naval biography; and whose compilers, intimately acquainted with every topic and all the materials connected with the subject, give a copiousness to their communications, and a weight to their opinions, which others less familiar with this branch of know. ledge cannot pretend to riyal.
Lord Hood was not originally destined for the service; it was some time before the venerable rector of Thorncombe could obtain sufficient resolution to trust two sons to the honourable yet perilous duty of the British navy. His reliance and trust in Providence at length strengthened his resolution ; but the moment must bave been painful, when he took leave of the intrepid youth ; the wind howls with peculiar horror to him whose off spring is on the waves ; the beating tempest of a winter's evening is painfully alarming to that parent, whose social hearth seems forsaken, through the absence of one that is at sea.
Commodore T. Smith, then commander in chief on the New. foundland station, who afterwards sat as president on Admiral Byng's court-martial, was the first officer with whom Mr. Samuel Hood embarked in the Romney, during the year 1740. Having distinguished himself in the situation of a midshipman, on various occasions that demanded considerable skill and intrepidity, Mr, Hood in a striking manner excited the natice and patronage of the discerning commodore ; and was accordingly promoted by him to the rank of lieutenant in October 1746, during the rebellion, when commodore Smith commanded a squadron on the coast of Scotland.
a Naval Chronicle, vol. ii. p. s. b This spirited officer was known at that time in the navy by the appel, lation of Tom of ten thousand. When a lieutenant on board the Gosport, French frigate, with whose government we were then at peace, in sailing from Plymouth, passed him without lowering her top-sails. The captain of the Gosport was on shore, and Mr. Smith, fearless of the consequences, fired into the French ship, and obliged her to shew the customary homage. Complaint was immediately made; lieutenant Smith was tried by a court-martial and broke. His conduct, however, was so acceptable to the nation at large, that on the following day he was promoted post captain, without passing through the gradation of commander. Capt. Smith was afterwards advanced to the rank of Admiral of the Blue, and died respected by every one, on the 28th of August, 1762.
It is interesting to trace the progression of distinguished cha. racters; we therefore add, that Mr. Hood was next appointed as lieutenant to the Winchelsea, of 20 guns, which in the winter of 1746 engaged, and captured, a French frigate of superior force. During the action, which was very spirited, lieutenant Hood received a severe wound. In 1748 he was removed to the Princess Louisa, then bearing admiral Watson's flag; who, with ten other captains, had been advanced for their gallant behaviour in Lord Anson's action with Monsieur de la Jonquiere's squadron. Lieutenant Hood accompanied admiral Watson to Louisbourg, and on the peace returned with him to England.
In the year 1754, Mr. Hood was promoted commander of the Jamaica sloop, then stationed at the Babama islands; and the year following joined Lord Keppel in Hampton Road, Virginia, wbo commanded the expedition in which general Braddock was defeated. A putrid, or jail fever, having raged with great violence in the fleet, under the command of admiral Boscawen at Halifax, Captain Hood, with a presence of mind that thus early was visible in his conduct, being then at South Carolina, immediately entered as many supernumeraries as he could possibly accommodate at sea, and carried them without delay to the admiral; for which seasonable supply he received the hearty thanks of that officer. In the succeeding year, 1756, baving been appointed by commodore Holmes, his captain in the Grafton, and being present in the action off Louisbourg, with a French squadron, he returned with him to England towards the close of the same year; and found, on his arrival, that he had been made Post during his absence, in July 1756.
Captain Hood received the wished-for object of naval ambition at an age, which might induce him to contemplate with zea. lous hope the highest honours of his profession. During the probationary years of service he had been under the immediate eye of officers whose character stood high in the public opinion. Few men have had the advantage of forming themselves after such models as captain Hood enjoyed. Under admiral T. Smith, he had early opportunity of daily beholding a most ingenuous character, marked with a gallantry and integrity that could not be surpassed. The name of Watson brings to our recollection every thing that could adorn the navy: being in the confidence of such a man, must have early instilled those principles into the mind of our young officer, which he afterwards so rigidly adopted as the rule of his conduct towards others. Commodore Holmes had seen a variety of service, even prior to the period at which captain Hood was under him, and had every thing in his character adapted to form an excellent officer. With these advantages, joined to an apt and ready observation, that suffered none of them to be lost, Mr. Samuel Hood passed through the first gradations of the profession, and now prepared to increase the honours of that rank to which he had been deservedly raised.
c Before the admiral reached England, upwards of 2000 seamen died of this distemper.
His first brilliant action was in the Antelope, 50 guns, to which he was appointed in April 1757.d In this ship he engaged, drove on shore, and totally destroyed, in the bay of Audierne, near Brest, a French ship of war, of 30 guns, and 450
The enemy had thirty men killed during the action, e and twenty-five wounded. The Antelope bad only three men killed, and thirteen wounded From a mistake in the naval history of that period, this action has been assigned to his brother captain Alexander Hood; but with so many others to notice of equal estimation, the mistake may perhaps be pardoned. Captain S. Hood was appointed to the command of the Vestal frigate in 1758, 32 guns, and 220 men, built at Liverpool.
Rear-admiral Holmes having, in 1759, been made third in command of the fleet destined to co-operate in the expedition against Quebec, previously sailed for New York with a convoy of sixty transports. In this squadron' was the Vestal, captain S. Hood. Early on the 21st of February, captain Hood being sent
d In January 1757, captain Hood had an order to command the Torbay, which was the first ship given him after being made Post, in the room of Lord Keppel, tnen a member of the court-martial on Admiral Byng. In the March following he commanded the Tartar.
e For the particulars of this engagement we refer our readers to p 266 of the Naval Chronicle, vol. i.
f Admiral Holmes sailed on the 14th of February with the Northumber
on the look-out, made the signal for a strange sail, and soon afterwards that it was an enemy. About two the Vestal got close alongside, and began a most spirited action, which continued without any cessation until six in the evening, when the Vestal took possession of her opponent. She proved to be the Bellona (32 guns, 220 men), commanded by the Comte de Baubonnoir, who had escaped out of Fort Royal bay, Martinico, during the night of the 16th of January, in company with the Florissant, and a frigate of her own force. They were all chased by.commodore More's squadron, and had on board dispatches for France, that the English had landed on the island.
When the Vestal's lieutenant took possession of the prize, he found more than thirty dead upon the deck; out of 220, fortytwo had been killed. The French acknowledged at last, that they had thrown about twelve overboard. The Vestal had five killed and only twenty-two wounded. The Bellona was left with only her foremast standing, without either yard or top-mast. When captain Hood brought to, all the top-masts of the Vestal fell over the side ; and her lower masts must have gone likewise, so completely was the rigging cut to pieces, had it not been for the great exertions of the captain, and his gallant ship's company; these were assisted by favourable weather, and on the 2d of March he arrived with his prize at Spithead. She was purchased by government, and added to the royal navy by the name of the Repulse.
During the remainder of the year 1759, captain Hood's ship was attached, with other frigates, to rear-admiral Rodney's fleet, sent to bombard Havre de Grace. He was afterwards employed for two years on the coast of Ireland, and the remaining three years of the war he served in the Mediterranean under Sir Cbarles Saunders. After the peace of 1763, captain Hood hoisted his broad pendant in the Romney, as commander of his Majesty's ships and vessels on the Boston station, in the year 1768. His letters to the ministry at this period, some of which have already been laid before the public, are well worthy their attention. They were printed by Mr. Almon, and were much read, as displaying marks of an original and penetrating mind. This curious naval work now only exists in the selections of political men. It strikingly described the ferment and discontent that pervaded all ranks in North America, and in the clearest manner predicted what afterwards came to pass.
land and Terrible, 74 guns; the Trident and Intrepid, of 64 ; the Medway, 60; and the following frigates-- Maidstone, Adventure, Diana, Trent, Europa, Vestal, Eurus, Boreas, and Crescent.
On the 25th of July, 1776, captain Hood was appointed to the command of the Courageux, 74 guns, which had been taken from the French; and what deserves notice, the four lieutenants serving under him in that ship have since arrived to the rank of rear-admirals.
Captain Hood was appointed to succeed (Feb. 16tb, 1778,) the late admiral Gambier as commissioner of Portsmouth dockyard; on the 20th of April following, he was created a Baronet; and in the month of September 1780, was advanced rear-admiral of the Blue. Thus, after forty years of arduous and faithful service, did this distinguished officer at length attain the professional rank, in which an ampler scope would be allowed for a display of that nautical skill and experience, which he had derived from no common sources, and had gained with no inconsiderable share of peril and fatigue.
Towards the conclusion of the American war, in the winter of 1780, rear-admiral Sir Samuel Hood first hoisted his fag on board the Barfleur, and soon sailed with a squadron to the West Indies. On the 3d of December, with all the outward-bound fleet under his convoy, he took his departure from the Eddystone, with a fine breeze from the eastward. During his continuance on this station, he added considerably to a reputation already great, as the following correct details of his principal actions will prove.
In the month of April 1781, whilst Sir George Rodney, with his own ship the Sandwich, of 90 guns, and the Triumph, of 74 guns, was at St. Eustatius, rear-admiral Hood, with seventeen sail of the line, was cruising off Fort Royal, Martinico, in the hope of intercepting Monsieur de Grasse's squadron and convoy; and thereby preventing, if possible, his junction with eight line of battle ships, and one of fifty, at Martinico and St. Domingo; wbich would give the enemy such a decided superiority in those seas, as must render the protection of our West India islands very precarious.
The course of the French feet, from Europe to Fort Royal, lay through the channel of St. Lucia, which is about ten leagues over, and separates that island from Martinico. It has been asserted, that Sir Samuel Hood made some remonstrances against the squadron being stationed in the channel of Fort Royal bay, as being continually liable to fall to leeward, and consequently of