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master-gunner of England, was born at Harwich, in 1629, and being bred

, master-gunner of England, was born at Harwich, in 1629, and being bred to the sea-service, distinguished himself by his skill and bravery in many actions. At the restoration he was made master-gunner of the Princess, a frigate of fifty guns; and in the first Dutch war exhibited his skill and bravery in two very extraordinary actions, in one against fifteen sail of Dutch men of war, and another in 1667, against two Danish ships in the Baltic, in which, the principal officers being killed, the command devolved on him, though only master-gunner. In 1669 he was promoted to be gunner of the Royal Prince, a first-rate man of war. In 1673 he was engaged with his two sons Henry and John, against Van Trump. His ship was the Royal Prince, a first-rate man of war, all the masts of which were shot away, four hundred of her men killed or disabled, and most of her upper tier of guns dismounted. Whilst she was thus a wreck, a large Dutch ship of war came down upon her, with two fire-ships, meaning to burn or carry her off. Captain, afterwards sir George Rooke, thinking her condition hopeless, ordered the men to save their lives, and strike the colours. Mr. Leake, hearing this, ordered the lieutenant off the quarter-deck, and took the command upon himself, saying, “the Royal Prince shall never be given up while I am alive to defend her.” The chief- gunner’s gallantry communicated itself to all around the crew returned with spirit to their guns, and, under the direction of Mr. Leake and his two sons, compelled the Dutchman to sheer off, and sunk both the fireships. Leake afterwards brought the Royal Prince safe to Chatham; but the joy of his victory was damped by the loss of his son Henry, who was killed by his side. He was afterwards made master-gunner of England, and storekeeper of the ordnance at Woolwich. He had a particular genius for every thing which related to the management of artillery, and was the first who contrived to fire otf a mortar by the blast of a piece, which has been used ever since. He was also very skilful in the composition of fire-works, which he often and successfully exhibited for the amusement of the king, and his brother, the duke of York. He died in 1686, leaving a son, who is the subject of our next article.