Richard Ryan.

Biographia Hibernica : a biographical dictionary of the worthies of Ireland, from the earliest period to the present time online

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account, for saying, on the debate on the bill for prohibit-
ing the importation of Irish cattle, that none were against
it but such as had Irish estates or Irish under standingg^
Lord Butler challenged him, and they were to have met
the next day^ lo Chelsea Fields; but in his stead, about
three hours after the time, came an officer with a guard,
to secure him, and the duke would have shared the same
fate, had be not fortunately kept oat of the way. The
pext morning his grace complained to the house of lords,
of a breach pf privilege, which produced a fresh dispute
with the Earl of Arlington. As soon as the king was
informed of this complaint, he gave orders that the Earl
of Ossory should be released, who, on the instant of his
liberation, went direct to the bouse of lords to make his
defence, which, however, did not prevent his being sent to
ibe Tower; and the Duke of Buckingham was committed
to the custody of the usher of the black rod, but in two
di^s they were both released.

, In October 1670, he was sent to Holland, to brii^ over
the Prince of Orange. At the close of the same year,
perceiving the Duke of Buckingham standing by tbe king,
be went boldly up to him, and spoke as follows: — " My

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lordi I know welt that yoa are at the bottom of this
atlempl of Bk>od's apon my father, and if be comes to a
violeiit end by any means, I shaU oonsider you as th^
assassiD, and shall pistol yoa, though yoQ stood behind the
king's obair, and 1 tell it yon in his majesty's presence,
that yon may be sure I shall keep my word." In \G7^ he
had the command of the Resotutioa, a third-rate man of
war, and was second in command of the smalt squadron
under Sir Robert Holmes, which attacked the Dutch
Smyrna fleet, in the month of March in that year. On this
ocoaston he displayed his usual gallantry, and was, in
consequence, honoured with the highest encomiums.
From the Resolution he was advanced to the Victory, and,
on the 28th May, 1673, was in the action off SouthwoM
Bay^ where he displayed, in an eminent degree, both skill
and courage, and as one of the seconds of the Duke
of York (who is admitted by all parties, to have behaved
most gallantly), he aocompanied him through all his dan*^
gers, when deserted by the French, and attacked by the
united squadrous of De Ruyter and Banckert.

On the 30th of September he was elected knight of the
garter, and in the November following, he went as envoy-
extraordinary to France, with compliments of condolence
on the death of the Duke of Anjou. Early in the month
of May l673, he was promoted to the rank of rear^-admiral
of the bhie squadron, by the special appointment of
Charles II. who, thinking it necessary to make some
apology to the rest of the service, for raising so young an
officer to so high a post, declared he did it in consequence of
the high esteem be entertained of the many signal services
performed by the earl on many occasions, as well in hisf
conduct during the preceding summer, as at other times.
He served in this station during the two engagements that
took place between Prince Rupert and the Dutch, on the
£dth of May and the 4th of June. Having hoisted his flag
on board the St. Michael, be was very soon afterwards pro»
moted to be vice-admiral of the fed ; and it was to the gal-*
lantry of the Earl of Ossory, that the " Royal Prince*' was

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indebted for her preservatioa*, after she was so completely
disabled, so as to compel Sir Edward Spragge, whose ffag
was on board her, to quit her and go on board the
St. George, shattered as she was. He, however, contrived
to bring her off in tow at night, and then joined Prince
Rupert's squadron. Upon this his lordship was promoted
to the rank of rear-admiral of the red, and on the 10th of
September, he displayed the union flag, as commander-in*
chief of the whole fleet in the absence of Prince Rupert,
by the king's special command. With' this honourable
appointment his naval services closed ; peace taking place
with the United 'Provinces soon after.

His lordship had equally the confidence of the Duke of
York and of the king ; and this in their private as well as
public concerns, as appears from his being the only noble-
man trusted with the secret of the duke's first marriage,
and the person who actually gave Mrs. Anne Hyde away.
In 1674 he was sent to Flanders, to accelerate the marriage
of the Lady Mary to the Prince of Orange. And in
1675 he was made one of the lords commissioners of the

It is curious to observe, with what magic the different
interests of political states convert the most inveterate
enemies of yesterday, into the most strenuous supporters
on the morrow. The earl, who so lately, in alliance with
the French, had exerted his talents and bravery in oppo*
sition to the United Provinces, now assumed a military
command in their defence, and fought against his former
colleagues. He was appointed general-in-chief of bis
majesty's forces in the service of his Highness the Prince
of Orange, and the states of the United Provinces ; and
upon the appearance of a battle, had the post of honour
given him, with a command of six thousand men. In the

* ^Thd great aim of the Dutch admbral was to siok or take the Royal
Priace, but the Earl qf Oisory and Sir John Kepthome, together with
Spragge himself, so eflTectaally protected the disabled vessel, that none of the
d/s fira-ships coald come near her, though this was oAeo attempted.*^


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oommeDcement of the year 1678, he took upon himself the
command of the British subjects in the pay of the Sutes,
and at the dose of the war was continued in his command
with extraordinary marks of honour from the Stares-
general. In the progress of the campaign that followed,
be greatly distinguished himself, especially at the battle of
Mons, fought on theSrd of August, wherein he commanded
the English troops, and by his skill and courage, contri-
buted so much to the retreat Marshal Luxemburg was
obliged to mak^ that the States of Holland, the governor
of the Low Countries, and even his catholic majesty him-
self thought fit, in a letter under his hand, to acknowledge
the great services he performed in that action*.

He returned to Engtan(},«n the 13th of September, 1678,
but did not long live to enjoy the high reputation he had
gained in his new occupation. He was attacked by a
violent fever in the month of July 1680, which, after a
few days illness, put a period to his existence on the 30th
of the same month, in the forty-sixth year of his age, and
on the following evening (fearful of infection) his body
was deposited in Westminster Abbey.

His eminent loyalty and forward zeal on all occasions,
to serve his country and his sovereign, was evinced by a
long series of brave and perilous services, which, as diey
rendered him both honoured and esteemed when living,
caused him, when dead, to be both pitied and lamented.

Hot were his talents less in the senate than on the ocean,
or in the field. His speech, addressed to the Earl of
Shaftesbury, in vindication of his father, the Duke of
Onnonde, possessed so much vigour of language, and was
so energetically delivered, that it even confounded that

• Extract qfa Utter Jrom St. Demi, dated August 16, N, S.

^ The Earl of Otsory, with the regiments of the k'mg of Rngland't
fobfects niuler his command, was engaged in the attack on tlie side of
Castleham, in which, as well the officers as common soldiers, in emulation of
liis lordship's example, who always charged with them, behaved themselves
with the greatest courage and bravery."

In a letter from the Hague, written on the same occasion, is the following
cipretfioo, ^Tbe Earl of Ossory and his troops did wonders."

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intrepid orator, add was so oniversally admired, that it
was transinitted toHollaad, aod there traQsIated into Dutch,
upon which the Prince of Orange* as a mark of his high
esteem for the Earl of Ossory, wrote his lordship a com*
mendatory letter.

His generosity was like his talents — almost hoondless,
bat at the same time exerted to noble purposes, and on
proper occasions. When he was commander-in*chief of
the English brigade, and had the naming of the officers of
akx regiments, be evinced his diBinterestedness io pr^erring
none but men of merit, and, at the same time, directed his
secretary (Mr. Ellis) to take nothing for their commissions;
and as he was, by this arrangement, deprived of a con-
siderable perquisite, his lordship liberally gave him the
deficiency from bis own parse.

A judicious and elegant character is given of him by
Granger, who informs us, that when his father, the Duke
of Ormonde, was informed of his death, he is reported,
amongst other things, to have said, '^ That he would not
exchange his dead son for any living son in Christendom."

He was, at the time of his decease, lieutenant-general
of his majesty's forces in Ireland, lord chamberlain to the
queen, one of the lords of his majesty's most honourable
privy council io the kingdoms of England and Ireland^
one of the lords of his majesty's bed-chamber, and knight
of the most noble order of the garter*

DuKB OF Ormonde. This illustrious soldier, who united
distinguished bravery with consummate skill, was de-
scended from the renowned family of Ormonde; in which
talent seemed as hereditary as titles and estates. He was
born in the eastle of Dublin, on the ^th of April, 1665 ;
and at the age of ten years was sent to France, where he
remained but a short time, returning again to Ireland ;
from whence he was sent to England, and placed in Christ
church college, Oxford, where he continued until the

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death of hh faitiet. At the age of seveote^ he married
the dittighter of Lord Hyde, afterwards £arl of Roobesier*
Iq 1664 he was present at the siege of Laxembiurgby which
commeoced on the 28th of April; and was terfluoated,
by die surrender of the town, on the 7th of Jnoe follow-
jog. The year following death deprrved him of hi$ lady*
Shortly after which he was appointed lord of the bed^
dumber; and served ^' in the tented field" against the
Duke of Moomoath io the west. A treaty of marriage,
which had formerfy been entered npoo, was now revired
and happily coodadfid, between him and Xiady Mary So^
merset, daughter to the Duke of Beaufort.

On the 28th of November, l688, be was elected a knight
cormpaiiion of the garter, and was installed on the 5th of
April following, in St. George's Chapel, Wmdsor, by the
Duke of Grafton and the Earl of Roobester. About the
same period he was elected cbaooellor of the university of
Oxford, in the room of his grandfather, and was installed
at his own house in St. James's square. On the 17th
of December, 1688, be attended King James to Salis-
bury, near which place he had fixed the rendezvous of fats
army ; but, on the king's return, he joined the Prince of
Orange at Sherbourne Castle, and entered Salisbury witb
him. From which city the Duke of Ormonde, with a party
of the prince's troops, went to Oxford, and caused bis
declaration to be publicly read in that university. After
King William and Queen Mary were proclaimed, and the
privy council chosen, the Duke of Ormonde was made
one of the lords of the bedchamber, and attended King
William to Ireland. He was present at the battle of the
Boyne ; after which he was sent with niae troops of horse
to preserve the tranquillity of Dublin. Thither he was fol-
lowed by the king ; and, on his removing westward, was sent
by his majesty from Carlow, with a party of horse, to take
possession of Kilkenny, and to protect the inhabitants
of the adjacent parts from the depredations of the enemy.
Here he gave a splendid entertainment to his majesty, at

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the castle belonging to his grace^ which the Count Lau*
zun had generously protected from plunder^ so that he
not only found his furniture uninjured, but even his cellars
well stored with wine.

After the campaign was over, his grace, having been
named one of the privy council for Ireland, returned to
England in January 169 i* He attended his majesty to'
Holland ; and, at the Hague, where there ^as a meeting
of the confederates, during which period his grace was
remarkable for his magnificence and splendid hospitality.
King James, intending to invade England, sent over a
declaration, in which he set forth his right; inviting all
his subjects to join him on his landing, and promising a
free pardon to all but the persons therein excepted by
name, among whom was the Duke of Ormonde. The
duke, however, was in no great danger of falling a victim
to the resentment of the exiled monarch, his hopes being
entirely blasted by the destruction of the French fleet off
Cape Barfleut*, and at La Hogue.

A better fortune, however, attended the French arms in
Flanders, in 1693, at the battle of Landen ; where Luxem-
burgh, by a skilful manoeuvre, forced the camp of King
W^iiliam, a position esteemed inaccessible. His majesty,
during the whole of the day, behaved with uncommon
gallantry, charging the enemy several timesr at the head of
his troops. The Duke of Ormonde likewise displayed
distinguished courage during the sanguinary conflict,
making a desperate charge at the head of one of Lumley's
squadrons; in which his horse was shot under him, and
himself wounded ; when a soldier was on the point of
killing him, but one of the French king's guards, seeing
on his finger a rich diamond ring, concluded him to be a
person of distinction, and rescued him from the impend-
ing danger. After the battle he was carried to Namure,
where great care being taken of him, he was soon out of
danger. Here, with his usual generosity, he distributed
among the poor prisoners of the allied troops, who were

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Gonfioed Id the town^ a cbnaiderable sum of money. Hd

tbortij after eiichang^ icir the D^ke c^ Berwiqki iwihQ

L taken prisoner by JBr^^er' CbqrbhiU.

In 1694; Charles Boiler, Esq. his grace's brother, was

created a baron of Englandy and Earl of Arran in Ireland^

Oa the 3rd of April, 1695> be embarked at Graven? nd
with the king; and ^as at the taking of Namure, Wit^er^ he
commanded the second troop of guards, and provideptially
escaped un wounded, he being often exposed to the de-
structive fire of the besieged, and many b^ing killed around

In 1695 his majesty, in his progress, designing to make
a visit to the university of Oxford, his grace sat out to
receive. and compliment bim as .chancellor, and, after the
uanal ceremonies had been gone through of presenting
bis majesty with a large English Bible, a Common
Prayer Book, the plates of the university, and a pair of
gold fringed glpves, a sumptuous entertainment, and a
choice concert of music was provided ^ regale his
ma^sty, as they expected he would do the university the
honour to dine with them. But Boyer relates, that the
Dukeof Ormonde having communioated to his majesty,
an* anonymous letter, addressed to his grace, and dropped
in the street the day before, wherein information was
given of a pretended design to poison the king at an
entertainment, bis majesty, without reflecting on the
groundlessness of a report which was undoubtedly raised
by his enemies, resolved neither to eat nor drink; and
immediately took bis departure for Windsor, declaring, as
a reason for his short stay, and his not going, to see the
colleges, that ^' this was a visit of kindness, not of curio*
sity, having before seen the university."

King William died on the 8th of March, 1702; and
was succeeded by Queen Anne, who, shortly after her acces-
sion, declared the Duke of Ormonde commander-in-chief
of all the land forces to be employed on board the fleet.

It is necessary, however, to state, that, prior to King
William's death, a scheme bad been concerted to besiege

VOL. 1. u

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Cadiz by sea and land* This plan was now pot in eze^
cution; and the Duke of Ormonde, with an immense force,
sailed with Admiral Sir George Rook, on the intended
expedition, on the first of July; and on the 8th of the
same month were obliged to put into Torbay, on account
of contrary winds; but on the same day month the whole
fleet made the rock of Lisbon ; and, after having held
several councils of war, the Duke gave orders for landing
the ti;oop8 on the 15th ultimo, which orders were strictly
obeyed; and every battalion acting with great bravery,
they drove the Spaniards before them in all directions.
Upon landing his grace gave the strictest orders, upon
pain of death, that the inhabitants should in no ways be
plundered ; and then marched the army against Port St.
Mary; but these orders were very ill obeyed, for both
the soldiers and sailors, being both thirsty and fatigued,
got to the wine cellars, where they drank plentifully, and
immediately both commenced plundering, nor was it in
the power of their officers to prevent them. Aften^^ards
his grace went to Vigo, where he took and burnt several
of the enemy's ships, and brought away an immense
booty ; the galleons that were then in the harbour, being
very richly laden. He sailed with Sir George Rook, on
the )9th October, for England; leaving behind him Sir
Cloudesley Shovel, with about twenty ships, to watch the
station. On the 7th of November following he arrived in
the Downs, and the same day landed at Deal. He arrived
in London the next morning, -where he was received with
great and deserved marks of favour by her majesty, and
with the loud acclamations of the populace. On the 14th
of the same month the queen commanded a public thanks-
giving for the late victories, and announced her intention
of attending divine worship in St. Paul's Cathedral for
that purpose on the 15th of December.

In 1703 his grace was appointed lord-lieutenant of Ire-
land, and on the 20th of May left London for Chester to
embark for that station; where, after having filled the
high station to which he was appointed to the satisfaction

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of all parties, be returned to England in March 1704; but
went back again to Ireland on the loth of November foU
lowing. He arrived a second time in England in the year
1705; and in 1708 was sworn a privy counsellor of the
two united kingdoms, England and Scotland. On the
1st of October, 17 1 1, his grace was once more made lord*
lieutenant of Ireland ; and landed at Dunlany on the Srd
of July following, and proceeded to Dublin, where be was
received with unbounded acclamations.

The Duke of Marlborough*s conduct having displeased
the queen^ her majesty removed him from all his employ-
ments, and nominated the Duke of Ormonde, in January
1712, commander-in-chief of her majesty's forces ; and, in
February, he received his commission of captain^general,
and was made colonel of the first regiment of foot guards.
On the 9th of April he proceeded from London to Flanders^
and arrived on the 6th of May at the city of Tournay,
where he was hospitably entertained by the Earl of Albe-
marle, and Prince Eugene of Savoy. On the 25rd, after
having viewed the fortifications of Douay, he reviewed
the right wing of the first line of his army ; and, after the
review, entertained the Prince Eugene and the general
officers of both armies at dinner. Upon a second review
of the army, between Douay and Marchiennes, it was
found to consist of two hundred and ninety-five squadrons
and one hundred and forty-three battalions, amounting in
the whole to 122,250 effective men. With these forces,
the generals marched towards the enemy ; but the Duke
of Ormonde declared to Prince Eugene, that the queen,
having a prospect that the negociations of peace would
prove successful, had given him orders not to act offen-
sively against the enemy, but that his orders did not
extend to a siege; whereupon the confederates set down
before Quesnoy. On the 24th of June, the Duke of
Ormonde, pursuant to the orders he had received from
court, sent to Prince Eugene, and the deputies of the
States attending the army, to desire a conference with
ibem the oe;(t day; wherein he acquainted them, that

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fige BUTLER.

he had received orders Trom ber majesty to publish^ wUhiR
ihree days^ a ibspension of arms for two months^ bet^e^
bis army aiifd the Preoch, and to send a detacbinent to
take posseeeion of Dunkirk^ which place the King of
France would put into the bands of the English, as a
security for the performance of his promises. He like-
wise proposed, that the tike suspension of arms should be
published in the confederate army. He suspended for
some days, when the allies not^ agreeing to the suspension,
he marched oflF with the British troops; of which the
allies soon felt the fatal eiSTects. Their army, commanded
by the Earl of Albemarle, being completely routed by
Marshal Villars ; and other advantages obtained by the

On the £5th of June, the duke sent a trumpet to Marshri
Villars, to acquaint him that he had received a cop^ of the ^
preliminaries, signed by the Marquis de Torcy.

The campaign having terminated, and both the French
and confederate armies going now into winter quarters,
the duke thought his stay in the country was no longer
necessary, and therefore made a request to the queen, that
he might have leave to return to England. Accordingly,
on 2 1st October, Lord Bolingbroke sent him word that the
queen permitted his coming home as soon as he should
think fit; in consequence of which, the duke set sail and
landed therein on the 1st of November ; and waited on the
queen, at Windsor, on the 4th, and was niost graciously

On the 10th June, 1713, the Duke of Ormonde joined
in commission with the lord chancellor and lord steward
of her majesty's household, declared and notified the royal
assent to several acts of parliament.

On King George the First's accession to the throne, his
majesty sent Lord Townshend, his uew secretary of state
(having before his arrival removed Lord Bolingbroke) to
inform his grace that he had no longer occasion for his ser-
vices, but would be glad to see him at court. His grace was
also left out of the new privy council ; but named for that

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of Irebmd^ The piurty, Tvhicli bad lately been kept iinder,
hsving now, in a great measarey engrossed the king, to
wbom they bad long before his accession made tbeir coart,
were resolved to lay the axe to the root> and to put it out
of the power of their opposers, ever, for the future, to
break m upon their poftsessioa of tbe royal fiivoor; in
consequence of which the duke was impeached of high
treason by Mr. secretary Stanhope. Sdverat spoke in be-
half of, his. grace, aoioog whom was Sir Joseph JekylU
Tbe chike, however, did not think it advisable to attempt
weathering a storm whioh he saw levelled all before it,
but wkhdoew privately from his house at Richmond to
France; prior to which, by authentic ads, he resigned the
ehonoellarsbip of Oxfocd and the higfakstewardship of
Westminster ; to both which dignities his brother, the Earl
ef ilrran, was elecled.

. His grace has been censured for thus quitting England ;
bot he knew too well who were bis persecutors. He was
tboro«ghIy acquainted both with their principles and views ;
and was too wise to trust bis head, not to their mercy,
hut to their disposal. As soon as it was publicly known
that the duke bad withdrawn himself, on the 5th of Augast^
articles of impeachment were read against him in the house
of commons; and, shortly after, a bill was brought in td
summon him to surrender by the 10th of September, and
Oft defiiult thereof to attaint him of high treason ; which
passed both houses, and received tbe royal assent. The
Duke, having neglected to obey this summons, the house
of lords ordered the earl marshal to erdse his name out of
tbe list of peers. His arms also were erased; and his
achievements, as knight of the garter, wert taken down
from St. George^s chapel at Windsor. The commons of
Ireland also brought in a bill to attaint bim; and offered a
reward of 10,000/. for his bead. Inventories were taken
of aU his personal estate; and both that and his real,
vested in the crown.

His grace, stripped of all support, and in a foreign
country^ was under the necessity of entering some service

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for subsistence. He was not long in FraDCe, (wh^re he

Online LibraryRichard RyanBiographia Hibernica : a biographical dictionary of the worthies of Ireland, from the earliest period to the present time → online text (page 25 of 42)