William Tooke.

A new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) online

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Online LibraryWilliam TookeA new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) → online text (page 30 of 48)
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acceffihle, to the number of 500 Spaniards, where they had
remained feveral days. At the fame time, they had got
together a great number of boats from Cadiz, and other parts,
to land 3000 men at the New Mole. Thefe, by making a
vigorous aiTauit on the fea-fide, were defigned to draw the
garrifon to defend that attack, whilft the 500 concealed men
rufhed into the town; there being alfo a plot (as was dif-
covered fome days afterwards) for delivering it up ; all which
was prevented by Sir John's feaforiabie arrival. Feb. 1705,
he received a cornmiiTion, appointing him vice-admiral of the
White; and, in March, relieved Gibraltar a fecond time.
March 6, he fet fail for that place; and, on the icth, attacked
five fhips of the French fleet coming out of the bay, of whom
two were taken, two more run afhore, and were deflroyed;
and baron Pointi died foon after of the wounds he received
in the battle. The reft of the French fleet, having intelligence
of Sir John's coming, had left the bay the day before his
arrival there. He had no fooner anchored, but he received

S 2 the

260 L E A K E.

the letter inferted below from the prince of Heffe [G]: his
highnefs alio p re Tented him with a gold cup on the occafion.
This blow {truck a panic all along the whole coaft, of which
Sir John received the following account, in a letter from Mr.
Hill, envoy to the court of Savoy: " I can tell you," fays he,
" your late fuccefs againft Mr. Pointi put all the French coaft
into a great conilernation, as if you were come to fcour the
whole mediterranean. All the fhips of war that were in the
road of Toulon were hauled into the harbour; and nothing
durit look out for fome days. ' In ihort, the effect at Gibral-
tar was, that the enemy, in a few days, entirely raifed, and
marched off, leaving only a detachment at fome diftance to
obferve the garrifon, fo that this important place was fecured
from any farther attempts of the enemy. We have hardly an
inftance, where the fea and land officers agreed together in an
expedition ; but none, where an admiral and a general have
agreed like the prince and Sir John, who facrinced all private
views andpamons to a difinterefted regard for the public good.
No difficulties, dangers, fatigues, advantages, or pundlilios,
could difunite them ; but they a6led as by a fympathy of
nature, arifingfrom a like generofity and bravery of mind. It
was this that crowned their endeavours with a glorious fuccefs,
which will be remembered (with thofe of Elliot in 1782)
while Gibraltar remains a part of the Britifh poffeffions ; and
that, it is hoped, will be as long as trade and navigation con-
tinue to flouriili[HJ.

The fame year, 1705, Sir John was engaged in the re-
duction of Barcelona; after which, being left at the head of
a fquadron in the mediterranean, he concerted an expedition
to furprize the Spanifh galleons in the bay of Cadiz; but this
proved unfuccefsful, by the management of the confederates.
In 1706, he relieved Barcelona, reduced to the laft extremity.,
and thereby occasioned the liege to be raifed by king Philip.
This was fo great a deliverance of his competitor, king
Charles, afterwards emperor of Germany, that he annually
commemorated it, by a public thankfgiving on the 26th of
May, as long as he lived. The railing of the fiege was

[s] " Sir, I expected with great confequences of it : and I in particular

impatience this good opportunity to cannot exprefs my hearty thanks and

exprefs my hearty joy for .your great obligations I lie under. I am, with

and good fuccefs at this your fecond great fmcerky and rel'pecl, &c.
appearing off this place, which, I hope, George, prince of Heffe."

bath been th firft ftroke toxvards cur [H] This important action is aitri-

relief; the enemy, fince five days, buted to lord Peterborough by Dr. Friend,

having begun to withdraw their heavy in his account of that earl's c. nduct in

cannon, being the effects only to be Spain; which is corrected by Mr.

ai'crited to your conduct and care. Boyer, in his u Life of Quetn A'ine,"

'Tis only to you the public owes, and p. 219.
will owe, fo many great and h; ; ppy


L E A K E. 261

attended with a total eclipfe of the fun, which did not a

little increafe the enemy's confternation, as if the heavens

concurred^ to defeat and lhame the deiigns of the French,

whofe monarch had afTuined the fun for his device; in

allufion to which, the reverfe of the medal, ftruck by queen

Anne on this occafion, reprefented the fun in eclipfe over the

city and harbour of Barcelona. Prefently after this fuccefs at

Barcelona, Sir John reduced the city of Carthagena, whence,

proceeding to thole of Alicant and Joyce, they both fubmitted

to hinii and he concluded the campaign of that year with the

reduction of the city and ifland of Majorca. Upon his return

home, prince George of Denmark prefented him with a

diamond-ring, of 400!. value; and he had the honour of

receiving a gratuity of loooi from the queen, as a reward for

his fervices. Upon the unfortunate death of Sir Cloudefly

Shovel, 1707, he was advanced to be admiral of the White,

and commander in chief of her majefly's fleet. In this

command he returned to the mediterranean, and, furprizing a

convoy of the enemy's corn, fent it to Barcelona, and thereby

faved that city and the confederate army from the danger of

famine, in 1708. Soon after this, convoying the new queen

of Spain to her confort, king Charles, he was prefented by her

majeily with a diamond-ring of 300!. value. From this

fervice he proc:ecled to the ifland of. Sardinia, which being

prefently reduced by him to the obedience of king Charles,

that of Minorca was foon after furrendered to the fleet and


Having brought the campaign to fo happy a conclufion,
he returned home; where, during his abfence, he had been
appointed one of the council to the lord-high-admiral, and
was likewife elected member of parliament both for Harwich
and Rochelter, for the' latter of which he made his choice.
Dec. the fame year, he was made a fecond time admiral of
the fleet. May 1709, he was conftitured rear-admiral of
Great Britain, and appointed one of the lords of the admiralty
in December. Upon the change of the miniftry in 1710,
lord Orford resigning the place of firil commiflioner of the
admiralty, Sir John Leake was appointed to fucceed him;
but he declined that poft, as too hazardous, on account of the
divifions; at that juncture. In 1710, he was chofen a fecond
time member of parliament for Rocheiter, and made admiral
of the fleet the third time in 1711, and again in 1712, when
he conducted the Englifh forces to take poiTefTion of Dunkirk.
Before the expiration of the year, the commifTion of admiral
of the fleet was given to him a fifth time. He was alfo
chofen for Rochefler a third time. Upon her majefty's
deceafe, Aug. i, 1714, his port of rear-admiral was de-

S 3 termined;

s.6z L E A P O R.

termined ; and he was fnperfeded as admiral of the fleet by
Mathsw Aylmer, efq. Nov. 5. In the univeiTal chance that
was made in every public department, upon the accemon of
George I. admiral Leake could not expecl to be excepted.
After this he lived privately; and, building a little box at
Greenwich, {pent part of his time there, retreating. fo met kries
to a country houfe he had at Beddington in Surrey. When
a young man, he had married a daughter of captain Richard
Kill of Yarmouth ; by whom he had one fon, an only child,
whofe miiconduct had given hi in a great deal of uneaiineis.
Aug. 1719, he was feized with an apoplectic dilbrder; bat it
went oft without any vifible ill-confeqiience. Upon the death
of his fon, which happened in March following, after a
lingering incurable difordcr, he discovered a more than ordi-
nary affliction ; nor was he himielf ever right well after; for
he died in his houfe at Greenwich, Aug. i, 1720, in his 65$!
year. By his will, he deviled his eit'ate to truilees for the
ufe of his fon during Lie; and, upon his death without
iffue, to captain Martyn., who married his -wile's filler, and
3iis heirs.

LEAKE (STEPHEN MARTIN, efq.), fon of captain
Martin, went through different ranks in the Heralds' Office
till he came to be Garter, lie was the fir ft perfon wao wrote
profeiTedly on our Englifh coins, two editions of his " Hif-
torical Account," of which were publifned by him with-
plates, under the title of *' Nummi Britannlci Hiftoria, Lon-
don, 1726," Svo ; the frcond, much improved, London,
1745, Svo. He printed, in i"5O, ' c The Life of Sir John
Leake, knt, Admiral of the Fleet, 8 ' &c. ; to whom he was
indebted for a confide rable eftate, which the admiral devifed
to trufrees for the ufe of his Ion for life; and, upon his
death, to captain Martin, (who married lady Leake's fitter, )
and his heirs ; by which means it came to the captain's fon,
who, in gratitude to the memory of Sir John Leakc, wrote
an accurate account of his life, of which only 50 copies
were printed, In 1766, he printed alfo 50 copies of " The
Statutes of the Order of the Cart- ^ro. He died, at his
houfe called Leake's Grcvs, at iYJiie-Eiul, Middieiex, March
24, 1773; and was buried the 31(1 in his chancel in the
pariili-church of Thorp in Kfiex, of which manor he was

LEAPOR (MARY). She v ' ni in Norihamptonfhire,'
1712, her father having been many years gardener to a:
gentleman in that county. Her education was f tillable to the
humble rank in which providence hid placed her; but her
attainments were fuperior to any thing that could have been
expected. I-.:/ unaffected liiotbiW kept her merit .concea

LEE. 263

till a period too late for her to reap any temporal emoluments
from them ; for, in the twenty-fourth year of her ag j , ihe
was ftized with the meafles, which put an end to her hfr-,
1 735. On her death-bed, ihe delivered to her father a bund e
of papers, containing a variety of original poems, which
have been fince publiihed in 2 vols. 8vo. Some of theie poems
are equal to the beft of Mrs. Rowe's, particularly, u The
Temple of Love," a dream.

LEBID, the moft ancient Arabian po^t fince the time of
Mahomet, and employed by that impoftor to anf\ver the
fatyrical compositions which were publiihed againil him,
died, as it is faid, at the prodigious age of 140 ; and his
works were ib highly eftcemed by his countrymen, that they
were iixed on the gates of the temple at Mecca.

LE BLANC (MARCEL), a Jeiuit, and one of the four-
teen fent by Lewis XIV. to Siam. He died at Mofambique,
and publiihed a " Hiftory of the Revolution of Siam," in two
vois. the laft of which contains remarks very important to

Lf-CTIUS (JAMES ', a native of Geneva, of which place
he was four times fyndic, and where he enjoyed great repu-
tation. He was a very learned and ingenious man, an ori"
nal poet, and refpectable critic. r[e published feve^al wo ks,
but that belt known is his collection, called " Poetae Grasci
Veteres," in two volumes, folio. LecYius died in lori.

LEE (NATHANIEL), an Englifh dramatic poet, was the
fon of a clergyman, and bred at Weftmintfer-fchool under
Dr. Bufby, whence he removed to Trinity-college, in Cam-
bridge, and became fcholar upon that foundation in 1668.
He proceeded B. A. the fame year; but, not iucceeding to a
fellowship, quitted the univerfitv, and came to London,
where he made an unfuccefsful attempt to become an actor,
in 1672. The part he performed was Duncan in Sir William
Davenants alteration of Macbeth. Failing in this defign, he
had recourfe to his pen for fupport; and, having a genius
for the drama, compofed a tragedy, called " Nero Emperor
of Rome," in 1675; which being well received, he pufhed
on tSie fame way, producing a new play almoit every year,
till 1 68 T. He read his pieces to the ators with an elocution,
which was fo much admired by them, that he was tempted
to try his talents for acting; but the trial foon convinced
him, that he fhould never fucceed in that character. This
mortification muft needs be very fenfibly felt, for Lee was
not only carelefs in his ceconomy, a foible incident to the
poetic race, but extravagant to that degree as to be frequently
plunged into the loweii depths of mifcryj his wit and genius
were alfo 'of the feme unlucky turn, turgid, unbridled, and

S 4 apt


264 L E G G E.

apt to break the bounds of fenfe. Thus gifted by nature
he left the reins loofe to his imagination, till at length in-
digence and poetical enthuiiafm tranfported him into madnefs;
ib that, Nov. 1684, he was taken into Bedlam, where he
continued four years under care of the phyficians. He was
discharged in April, 1688, being fo much recovered as to
be able to return to his occupation of writing for the ftage ;
and he produced two plays afterwards, ' ; The Princels of
Clew," in 1689, arid " The Maflacre of Pari?." in 1690.
However,- ilotwithftanding the profits arifing trom theie per-
formances, he was this - car reduced to fo low in ebb, that
a weekh frioend of ten f] Mling* from the theatre royal was
his chief" dependence. He was not fo clear of his phienzy
as not to fuller forae temporary relapfes ; and perhaps his
untimely end might be occasioned by one. \e died this year,
1690, as it is faid, in a drunken frclic, by night, in the
ftreet, and was interred in the parifh of St. Clement Danes,
near Temple-Bar. He is the author of eleven plays, all
acVd with applaufe, and printed as foon as flnifhed, with
dedications of moft of them to the earls of Doriet, Mulgrave,
Pembroke, the duchefies of Portfmouth and Richmond, as
hi? patron? Addifon declares, that among . our modern
Englifh poets there was none better tu.ned for tragedy than
Lee, if, inftead of favouring his impetuofity of genius, he had
retrained and kept it within proper bounds. His thoughts
are wonderfully fuired to tragedy, but frequently loft in fuck
a cloud of words, that it is hard to fee the beauty of them.
There is infinite fire in his works, but fo involved in fmoke,
that it does not appear in half its luftre. He frequently fuc-
ceeds in the pafTicnate parts of the tragedy, but more par-
ticularly where he ilackens his efforts, and eaies the "fly le of
thofe epithets and metaphors with which he fo much abounds.
His " Rival Queens" and " Theodofius'' fliil keep poffemon
of the rtage. Thefe plays excel in moving the paffions, ef-
pecially love. He is faid to be particularly a matter in that
art; and, for that reafon, has been compared to Ovid among
the ancients, and to Otway among the moderns. Dryden
prefixed a copy of commendatory verfes to the " Rival
Queens;" and Lee joined with that laureat in writing the
tragedies of the " Duke of Guile" and " CEdipus."

LEGGE (GEORGE), baron of Dartmouth, an eminent
naval commander, was the eldeft fon of colonel William
Legge, groom of the bed-chamber to king Charles I. and
brought up under the brave admiral Sir Edward Spragge.
He entered the navy at feventeen years of age, and, before
lie was twenty, his gallant behaviour recommended him fo
effectually to king Charles II. that, in 1667, he promoted


L E G G E. 265

him to the command of the Pembroke. In 1671, he was
appointed captain of the Fairfax, and the next year removed
to the Royal Catharine, in which (hip he obtained a high
reputation, by beating off the Dutch after they had boarded
her, though the fhip feemed on the point of finking; and
then finding the means of flopping her leaks, he carried her
fafe into poit. In 1673, he was made governor of Portfmouth,
mafter of the horie, and gentleman to the duke of York.
Several other pods were fucceffively conferred upon him,
and. in December, 1682, lie was created baron of Dart-
mouth. The port of Tangier having been attended with
great expence to keep the fortifications in repair, and to
maintain in it a numerous garrifbn to pretzel: it from the Moors,
who watched every opportunity of ieizing it, the king de-
termined to demoliib the fortifications, and bring the garrifon
to England; but the difficulty was to perform it without the
Moors having any fufpicion of the defi^n. Lord Dartmouth
was appointed to perform this difficult affair, and, for that
purpofe, was, in 1683, made governor of Tangier, general
of his majefty's forces in Africa, and admiral of the fleet.
At his arrival he prepared every thing necefTary for putting
his defign in execution, blew up all the fortifications, and
returned to England with the garrifon ; foon after which, the
king made him a prefent of ten thoufand pounds. When
James II. afcended the throne, his lordihip was created
mafter of the horfe, general of the ordnance, conftable of the
Tower of London, captain of an independent company of
foot, and one ot the privy- council. That monarch placed
the bigheft confidence in his friendfhip; and, on his being
thoroughly convinced that the prince of Orange intended to
land in England, he appointed him commander of the fleet;
and, had he not been prevented by the wind and other
accidents from coming up with the prince of Orange, a
bloody engagement would doubtlefs have enfued.

After the Revolution he retired from public bufinefs; but
his always exprefling a high regard for the abdicated king
rendered him fufpected of carrying on a correfpondence with
him; upon which he was committed to the Tower. While
he was there, the failors gave a proof how much he was
beloved by them. A report had for fome time prevailed,
that he was ill-ufed in the Tower, on which they aflembled
in great numbers on Tower-hill, and expreffed their refenN
ment in fuch terms, that it was thought expedient to defire
the lord Dartmouth to confer with them ; which he accor-
dingly did, and fully fatisfied them that the report had not
.the leaft foundation ; whereupon they gave a loud huzza, and



immediately difperfed* He died in the Tower, on the 25th
of October, 1691, in the forty- fourth year of his age.

Leipfic, July 4, 1646. His father, Frederic Leibnitz, was
profefibr of moral philofophy, and fecretary to that univerfity ;
but did not furvive the birth of his foil above fix years. His
mother put him under Meff. Homfchucius and Eachuchius,
to teach him Greek and Latin ; and he made fo quick a
progrefs, that, great as his mailer's hopes were, he furpafied

2m all. Returning home, where there was a well-choien
library left by his father, he read with attention the ancient
authors, and efpecially Livy. The poets aifo had a ihare
in his fits dies, particularly Virgil ; and he had himfel-f fa
good a talent for verfifying, that he is faid to have com-
pofed, in one day's time, a poem of three hundred lines
without an eliiion. He entered upon his academical fludies
at fifteen; and to that of polite literature joining philofophy
and the marhematics, he ftudied the former under James Tho-
jBallus, and the latter under John Kuhnius, at Leipfic. He
afterwards went to Jena, where he heard the lectures of
profe'fibr Bohnius upon polite learning and hiilory, and rhofe
of Falcknerius in the law. At his return to Leipfic, in i6':>3,
be maintained, under Thomafius, a thefis, ** De Principiis
Individualionis." In 1664, he was admitted matter of arts;
and, obferving the ufe of philofophy in iliuttrating the law,
he maintained feveral philofophical quefbions out of the
" Corpus Juris. " At the fame time, he applied himfelf par-
ticularly to the fludy of the Greek philofophers, and engaged
in the tafk of reconciling Plato with Ariitotle ; as he alter-
wards attempted a like reconciliation between A rift ode and
Des Cartes. He was fo intent on thefe ftudies, that he {pent
whole days in meditating in a forefl near Leipfic.

However, hi: views were chiefly fixed upon the law, which
was his principal object. He commenced bachelor in that
faculty in i66q;, and the year after fupplicatecl for his doctor's

,^ree; but \v:,s denied, .as not being of fufncient {landing.
It is true, he was then no more than twenty; but this ob-
jecHon has been thought a mere pretence to cover the true
reafcn, which, it is faid, was his rejecting the principi s
of Ariftotle and the fchoolrnen, againft the received doctrine
of that time. Relenting the affront, he went to Aliorf,
where he maintained a thefis, " De Cafibus perplexis," with
fo much reputation, that he not only obtained his doctor's
degree, but had an offer of being made profeiTor of law
extraordinary. This, however, was declined ; and he went
from Aitorf to Nuremberg, to vifit the learned in that uni-
verfity. He had heard of fome literati there, who


engaged in the purfuit of the philofopher's ftone ; and his
curiofity was railed, to be initiated into their myfteries. For
this purpofe, he drew up a letter in their jargon, extracted
out of books of chemiftry ; and, unintelligible as it \vasto
himfelf, add re {Ted it to the director of that fociety, defiring
to be admitted a member. They were fatisfied of his merit,
from the proofs given in his letter; and not only admitted
him into their laboratory, but even requefted him to accept
the fecrerarylhip, with a fUpeiuL His office was, to regiiler
their procefTes and experiments, and to extract from the books
of the beft cliemifb iuch things as might be of ufe to them
in their purfuits.

About this time, baron Boinebourg, nrft minifter of the
elector of Mentz, palling through Nuremberg, met our
virtuofo at a common entertainment ; and conceived fo great
an opinion of his parts and learning from his converfation,
that he advifed him to apply himfelf wholly to law and hiftory ;
giving him at the fame time the ftrongeft affurances, that he
would engage the elector, John Philip Schonborn, to fend '
for him to his court. Leibnitz accepted the kindnefs, pro-
miling to do his utrnoft to rencer himfelf worthy of fuch a,
patronage; and, to be more within the reach of its happy
efFe&s, he repaired to Francfort upon the Maine, and in the
neighbourhood of Mentz. In 1668, John Cafimir, king of
Poland, refigning his crown, the elector Palatine, among
others, became a competitor for that dignity; and, while
baron Boinebourg went into Poland to manage the elector's
interefts, Leibnitz wrote a treatife, to fhew, that the Po-
lonnois could not make choice of a better perfon for their
king, This piece did him great honour: the elector Palatine
was extremely pleafed with it, and invited our author to his
court. kit baron Boinebourg, refolving to provide for him
at the court of Mentz, would not lurfer him to accept this
laft off-.T from the Palatine; and prefently obtained for him
the poft of counfellor of the chamber of review to the
elector of Mentz. Baron Boinebonre had fome connexions


at the French court; and, although he had a fon at Paris,
yet that fon was not of years to be trufted with the manage-
ment of his affairs there; he therefore begged Mr. Leibnitz
to undertake that charge.

Our youne; tiatefman was charmed with this opportunity
of fhewing his gratitude to fo zealous a patron, and fet out
for Paris in 1672. He alfo propofed feveral other advantages
to himfelf in this tour, and his views were not difappointed.
He law all the literati in that metropolis, made an acquaint-
ance with the greateil part of them, and, beudes, applied
himfelf with vigour to the mathematics, in which flud, :



had not then made any conMderable progrefs. He tells us
himfelf, that he owed his advancement therein principally to
the works of Pafcai, Gregory, St. Vincent, and, above all,
to the excellent treatife of Huygens, " De Horologio ofcilla-
torio." In this courfe, having obferved the imperfection of
Pafcal's arithmetical machine, which, however, Pafcai did
not live to finiih, he invented a new one, as he called it;
the ufe of which he explained to Mr. Colbert, who was
extremely pleafed with it; and, the invention being approved
likewife by the academy of fciences, he was offered a feat there
as penfionarv n:ember. In fhort, he might have fettled very
advantageoufly at Paris, if he would have turned Roman
Catholic : but he chofe to flick to the Lutheran religion, in
which he was born. In 1673, he loll his patron, M. de
Boffjebourg; and, being at liberty by his death, took a tour
to England, where he became acquainted with Oldenburg,
fecietary, and John Collins, fellow of the Royal Society,
from whom he received feme hints of the invention of the
method of fluxions, which had been difcovered, in 1664 or
1665, bv Sir Ifaac Ne-vton [i].

While he was in England, he received an account of the
death of the elector of Mentz, by which he loft his penfion;

Online LibraryWilliam TookeA new and general biographical dictionary; containing an historical and critical account of the lives and writings of the most eminent persons in every nation; particularly the British and Irish; from the earliest accounts of time to the present period .. (Volume 9) → online text (page 30 of 48)