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a celebrated English admiral, was born August 1599, at Bridgewater,

, a celebrated English admiral, was born August 1599, at Bridgewater, in Somersetshire, where he was educated at the grammar-school. He went from, thence to Oxford, and was entered at St. Alban’s hall, but removed to Wadham college, and in 1617 took the degree of B. A. In 1623 he wrote a copy of verses on the death of Camden, and soon after left the university. He was tinctured pretty early with republican principles and disliking that severity with which Laud, then bishop of Bath and Wells, pressed uniformity in his diocese, he began to fall into the puritanical opinions. The natural bluntness and sincerity of his disposition led him to speak freely upon all occasions, insomuch that, his sentiments being generally known, the puritan party got him elected member for Bridgewater in 1640. When the civil war broke out, he declared for the parliament. In 1643 he was at Bristol, under the command of col. Fiennes, who intrusted him with a little fort on the line and, when prince Rupert attacked Bristol, and the governor had agreed to surrender it upon, articles, Blake nevertheless for some time held out his fort, and killed several of the king’s forces: which exasperated prince Rupert to such a degree, that he talked of hanging him, had not some friends interposed, and excused him on account of his want of experience in war. He served afterwards in Somersetshire, under the command of Popham, governor of Lyme; and, being much beloved in those parts, he had such good intelligence there, that in conjunction with sir Robert Pye, he surprised Taunton for the parliament. In 1644 he was appointed governor of this place, w; ich was of the utmost importance, being the only garrison the parliament had in the west. The works about it were not strong, nor was the garrison numerous; yet, by his strict discipline, and kind behaviour to the townsmen, he found means to keep the place, though not properly furnished with supplies, and sometimes besieged, and even blocked up by the king’s forces. At length Goring made a breach, and actually took part of the town; while Blake still held out the other part and the castle, till relief came. For this service the parliament ordered the garrison a bounty of 2000l. and the governor a present of 500l. When the parliament had voted that no farther addresses should be made to the king, Blake joined in an address from the borough of Taunton, expressing their gratefulness for this step taken by the house of commons. However, when the king came to be tried, Blake disapproved of that measure, as illegal; and was frequently heard to say, he would as freely venture his life to save the king’s, as ever he did to serve the parliament. But this is thought to have been chiefly owing to the humanity of his temper; since after the death of the king he entered into all the measures of the republican party, and, next to Cromwell, was the ablest officer the parliament had.

a celebrated English admiral, the second son of William earl of

, a celebrated English admiral, the second son of William earl of Albemarle, was born April 2, 1725. He entered the sea-service while he was young, accompanied commodore Anson round the world, and by the zeal which he manifested in his profession, was raised to the first honours which it had to bestow. The most important occurrence in his life took place in 1778, when he had the command of the channel fleet, to which he had been appointed at the personal and urgent solicitation of the king, and which he readily accepted, though he could not help observing, that “his forty years’ services were not marked by any favour from the crown, except that of its confidence in the time of danger.” On the 12th of July he fell in with the French fleet, under count d'Orvilliers, off Ushant: an engagement ensued, which, though partial, was very warm while it lasted. It was necessary to take a short time to repair the damages: which being done, the admiral made proper signals for the van and rear division to take their respective stations. This order was obeyed with great alacrity by sir Robert Harland of the van, but admiral sir Hugh Palliser of the rear took no notice of the signal, and refused to join his commander, till night prevented a renewal of the battle. The French, taking advantage of the darkness, escaped to their own. coast. Admiral Keppel, willing to excuse sir Hugh Palliser, at least to screen him from public resentment, wrote home such a letter as seemed even to imply great impropriety of behaviour in the commander himself. The conduct, however, of the rear-admiral was attacked in the public papers: he demanded of his commander a formal disavowal of the charges brought against him, which Keppel indignantly refused. He immediately exhibited articles of accusation against the commander-in-chief, for misconduct and neglect of duty, although he had a second time sailed with him, and had never uttered a syllable to his prejudice. The lords of the admiralty instantly fixed a day for the trial of admiral Keppel, who was most honourfcbly acquitted, and received the thanks of both houses of parliament for his services. Palliser was next tried, and escaped with a censure only, but the resentment of the public was so great, that he was obliged to resign several offices which he held under government, and to vacate his seat in parliament. The acquittal of Keppel was celebrated with the most magnificent illuminations, and other marks of rejoicing which had never been known at that time in this country; and the houses of lord Sandwich, first lord of the admiralty, and sir Hugh Palliser, were with difficulty saved from destruction; the windows and much of the furniture being demolished by the fury of the populace. In 1782, admiral Keppel was raised to a peerage, with the titles of viscount Keppel baron Elden: he was afterwards, at two different periods, appointed first lord of the admiralty. He died Oct. 3, 1786, unmarried, and of course his titles became extinct He was a thorough seaman, and a man of great integrity and humanity.