Mennes, Sir John,

a celebrated seaman, traveller, and poet, the third son of Andrew Mennes, esq. of Sandwich in Kent, was born there March 1, 159S. He was educated at Corpus Christ! college, Oxford, where he distinguished himself by his literary acquirements; and afterwards became a great traveller, and well skilled in naval architecture. In the reign of James I. he had a place in the Navy-office, and by Charles i. was appointed its comptroller. In the subsequent troubles he took an active part, both military and naval, in favour of his royal master: and being a vice-admiral, in 1641 was knighted at Dover. In 1642, he commanded the Rainbow: but was afterwards displaced from his services at sea for his loyalty, and was implicated in the Kentish insurrection in favour of the king in 1648. After the Restoration he was made governor of Dover-castle, and chief comptroller of the navy, which he retained till his death. In 1661 he was appointed commander of the Henry, and received a commission to act as vice-admiral and commander in chief of his majesty’s fleet in the North Seas. He died Feb. 18, 1670-1, at the Navy-office in Seething-lane, London, with the character of an honest, stout, generous, and religious man, whose company had always been delightful to | the ingenious and witty. He was buried in the church of St. Olave, Hart-street, where a monument and inscription were erected over his grave, and are there still. Wood says he was the author of a poem entitled “Epsom Wells,” and several other poems scattered in other men’s works. What can with most certainty be attributed to him are contained in a volume entitled “Musarum Deliciae, or the Muses Recreation,” second edit. 1656, 12mo. The celebrated scoffing ballad on sir John Suckling, “Sir John got him an ambling nag,” &c. was written by Mennes. The poems in this volume are the joint compositions of sir John Mennes and Dr. James Smith. 1


Ath, Ox. vol. II. -Censura Literaria, vol. IV. Ellis’s Specimens.