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Rodney George Brydges Lord

Rodney, George Brydges, Lord (1718-82), noted admiral, born at Walton-on-Thames, and son of a naval officer. He entered the navy at an early age, and in 1742 was appointed to the command of a ship, and did good service off the coast of Newfoundland, of which he was made governor in 1749. He returned home in 1753, and married the sister of the Earl of Northampton, and in 1759 became admiral of the blue. In the same year he bombarded Havre de Grace, and destroyed the stores which had been got together for the purpose of an invasion of England. About this time he made several important captures of the enemy. The record of his successes would fill some space; the most notable were the defeat of the Spaniards off Cape St. Vincent and the victory over the French fleet in 1780, for which he was thanked by the Houses of Parliament and granted £2,000 a year, and the decisive defeat of De Grasse and another French fleet in 1782, where he first introduced the practice of breaking the line of the enemy. He had been made a baronet after a long term of service in the West Indies, and at the close of his career was made a peer. He became M.P. for Saltash in 1752, and in 1768 was elected member for Northampton, but the expense was so ruinous that he was obliged to retreat to France for a time, the French trying to induce him to enter their service. He was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral.