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Peterborough Charles

Peterborough, Charles Mordatjnt, Earl of (1658 7-1735), was the son of the first Viscount Mordaunt, whom he succeeded in 1675. Between 1674 and 1680 he took part in several naval expeditions to the Mediterranean. On his return he attached himself to the Whigs, and he afterwards resisted the early aggressions of James II. with so much boldness that he was forced to withdraw to Holland. After the Revolution, in which he took a prominent part, his services were rewarded with the title of Earl of Monmouth and the office of First Commissioner of the Treasury, which he held for a year. His failure to ruin his opponents by means of Sir John Fenwick's confessions (1697) was followed by his temporary withdrawal from public life. In the same year he succeeded his uncle as Earl of Peterborough. In 1705 he was sent to Spain as sole commander of the land forces and commander of the fleet in conjunction with Sir Cloudesley Shovel. His extraordinary feats in this campaign have made his name renowned in' history. A night attack on the fortress of Montjuich on the south side of Barcelona resulted in the capture of the citadel (September 17), which was followed four weeks later by that of the town itself. Catalonia acknowledged the Archduke Charles, and Peterborough pressed forward into Valencia, receiving the submission of town after town as he advanced. Meanwhile the Archduke had been surrounded at Barcelona, the Duke of Anjou and Marshal Tess6 investing the city by land, whilst the Count of Toulouse blockaded it by sea. He was only saved by the audacity of Peterborough, who, putting out to sea in an open boat in search of the English fleet which he believed to be approaching, returned on its flag-ship in time to force both Tesse and Toulouse to retire. The conduct of the Archduke, who persistently disregarded his advice, neglecting several opportunities of marching at once on Madrid, as well as his own jealousy of his fellow-commander Galway, led to his retirement from the war in 1707. On his return to England he joined the Tories, by whom he was sent on several diplomatic missions; but henceforward he is remembered chiefly as one of the brilliant literary circle which included among its members Swift, Atterbury, and Pope.