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Howe Richard Howe

Howe, Richard Howe, first Earl, was second son of Scrope, second Viscount Howe, and was born in 1726. At the age of fourteen he left Eton to accompany Commodore Anson to the South Seas, but participated only in the first half of that celebrated voyage. In 1743 he shared in the attack on La Guaira, and in 1745 was made commander and in 1746 captain. He took part in the expedition to Basque Roads in 1757, was commodore on the coast of Brittany in 1758, and fought at the battle of Quiberon Bay in 1759. From 1765 he was Treasurer of the Navy, and in 1770 reached flag-rank, and was made commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean. Promotion to vice-admiral followed in 1775, and in the following year Howe went as commander-in-chief to the North American station, where he remained for two years. As admiral and commander-in-chief in the Channel in 1785, he relieved Gibraltar, and in 1783 became First Lord of the Admiralty. At the expiration of his term in that capacity, having previously succeeded to the family title, he was created Earl Howe. In 1792 the was made vice-admiral of England, and, upon the outbreak of war in 1793, returned to the Channel, flying the Union at the main by special order. After some preliminary skirmishing in 1794, he brought to action the French fleet off Ushant, and on "the Glorious First of June" defeated it. King George visited the Earl upon his arrival at Spithead, and presented the victor with a sword worth £3,150, a gold chain and a medal. Other honours were showered upon Howe, who, however, owing to growing ill-health, had to resign his command in the Channel in 1795 and that of the Western Squadron in 1797. In 1796 he was made Admiral of the Fleet and General of Marines, and in 1797 he received the Garter. He died in 1799.