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was compelled to be a passive spectator of the catastrophe. 'Military men,' says Burnet, assured me that if it had not been for that misfortune, Villars' attempt might have turned fatally on himself, and to the ruin of his whole army.' These details are important as modifying the commonly received impression of the affair, which is thus stated by Earl Stanhope.
'Lord Albemarle, taken by surprise on the afternoon of the 24th of July, was put to the rout. The French Chief slew or scattered the greater part of the force at Denain and took prisoners no less than 3000; amongst these Albemarle and the Princes of Anhalt and Nassau-Siegen. To add to the poignancy of their defeat, it had for one of its witnesses Eugene himself, who was approaching rapidly on the other bank of the Scheldt, but was stopped short by the redoubt of the Denain bridge which the French had seized.' *
It does not appear when Albemarle obtained his release, but we find that Prince Eugene passed the greater part of the following winter with him at the Hague. On the death of Queen Anne, he was sent by the States-General to congratulate her successor on his accession to the English throne, and the new monarch, and his son the Duke of Gloucester, afterwards George II., passed the first night of their journey to England with Lord Albemarle, at his house at the Voorst. In 1717 he was nominated by the nobles of Holland to compliment Peter the Great on his arrival in that country, and attended him to Amsterdam.' He died the following year, and was succeeded by his son, William Anne, born June 5th, 1702, to whom Queen Anne stood godmother in person. On the strength of this tie an application was made in his behalf, when in his fourth year, for a Captain's commission in the army, which was refused.
However he had not very long to wait for his promotion, for at the age of fifteen he was appointed to a company in the First Regiment of Foot Guards, which gave him the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the army, a grade which his biographer and the present bearer of his title did not reach until he was on the wrong side of forty.'
He became a Major-General in 1741, and served in that capacity at Dettingen, where he had a horse shot under him, and behaved with great gallantry. He commanded the first line (including the brigade of Guards), at Fontenoy; and his descendant claims for him the honour, if it be one, of being the principal interlocutor in the traditional interchange of courtesies.
The barrier passed, the English and French brigades of Guards found themselves confronted with each other at a distance of thirty
*History of England, comprising the Reign of Queen Anne until the Peace at Utrecht-1701-1713.' By Earl Stanhope. Page 535.
yards. A pause ensued of sufficient duration to enable Lord Charles Hay to make some chaffing observations to Count d'Aubeterre, and to bring to the front the Duc de Biron, General of the French Household Division, and holding a corresponding rank to that of Lord Albemarle. Then is said to have occurred that strange colloquy between the English and French Commanders. Lord Albemarle, taking off his hat, calls out, "Messieurs les Gardes Françaises, tirez," whereupon the French General, not to be outdone in politeness, answers, "Messieurs les Gardes Anglaises, tirez-vous les premiers; nous riposterons."
Suspecting the story to be a myth, Lord Albemarle suggests that it arose from the practice in the French army of receiving the enemy's fire before firing-a practice that cost them dear on this occasion--and he urges that, if the invitation was given at all, no officer of inferior rank would have ventured to enter upon such a dialogue in the immediate presence of the French and English Generals of division.' He does not seem to be aware that the story has definitively taken its place amongst the 'Mock Pearls of History' since the production of a letter (first printed by Mr. Carlyle), from Lord Charles Hay to his brother, Lord Tweedale, written shortly after the battle, in which he says
It was our regiment that attacked the French Guards, and when we came within twenty or thirty paces of them, I advanced before our regiment, and hoped they would stand until we came up to them, and not swim the Scheldt as they did the Mayn at Dettingen. Upon which I immediately turned about to our regiment, speeched them, and made them huzzah -I hope with a will. An officer (d'Auteroche) came out of the ranks, and tried to make his men huzzah: however, there were not above three or four in their brigade that did.'
This, it must be owned, puts a different complexion upon the matter by converting a chivalrous interchange of courtesy into something like chaff.'
The battle of Fontenoy was fought on the 30th of April, 1745 ; that of Culloden on the 16th of April, 1745. Lord Albemarle and his son, Lord Bury, filled the same relative positions in each; Lord Albemarle commanding the front line of the infantry and Lord Bury acting as aide-de-camp to the Duke of Cumberland. On the morning of the 16th, Lord Bury had a narrow escape from a Highlander who had got within the English lines, under the pretence of asking quarter, for the purpose of killing the Duke. Mistaking the aide-de-camp, who happened to pass in a showy uniform, for the Commander-in-Chief, he suddenly seized one of the soldiers' muskets and discharged it at Lord Bury, happily without effect, 'receiving the next moment with perfect indifference, and as a matter of course, the shot with which his own existence was immediately terminated by another
soldier. When the two armies were drawn up and confronting each other in order of battle, Lord Bury was sent forward to reconnoitre something that looked like a battery, and advanced to within one hundred yards of the rebels, when they opened fire upon him, and this was the beginning of the battle. He was selected to carry the news of the victory to the King, who immediately ordered him a thousand pounds.
On the Duke's departure for London (July 18th), Lord Albemarle succeeded him as Commander-in-Chief in Scotland. The intervening three months between the victory and the departure, were employed by the royal boy,' as Mr. Carlyle terms him, in a manner that has left an indelible stigma on his name. 'Great intercession,' writes Walpole, 'is made for the two Earls (Kilmarnock and Cromarty). The King is much inclined to some mercy, but the Duke, who was not so much of a Cæsar after a victory as in gaining it, is for the utmost severity. It was lately proposed to present him with the freedom of some Company: one of the Aldermen said aloud, "Then let it be of the Butchers."" Yet he rather fell behind than outran the popular call for blood. The nation had been terribly frightened, and no passion is more prone to cruelty than fear. Amongst Lord Albemarle's correspondents was the notorious General Hawley, who writes from London, August 16th, 1746
'His Majesty looks very sour, and only asked me if I had been at the bathe. What was in his head I don't know; but they plague him to death for pardons for all those rascalls. This total defeat in Italy has put him a little into humour again. I wish you not only out of camp, but out of the country, which I wish on fire, and nothing but the blood of the natives to quenche it. I am purely ill with them all. They say every act of rapine, cruelty, and murder that the Duke ordered was by my advice. My answer is, that I never offered to give him any advice, but if he had asked it, I would have advised ten times more. The citty are in a flame upon Cromarty's being pardoned.'
Colonel the Hon. George Howard, Governor of Carlisle Castle, writes thus to Lord Albemarle from Carlisle, Sept. 11th, 1746 :
"MY LORD,-The Judges came back here last Monday; the tryals are begun, and will be very tedious. The Scotch lawyers, who are come here as Rebell Council, are playing all the game already, even so far as to try to suborn the king's evidence.
"We have erected a fine new gallows, which will hold fifteen at a time. God send it may be made a proper use of."'
On the 10th of January, 1747, Hawley writes to announce that
Chambers' History of the Rebellion,' p. 247. 'William Augustus Duke of Cumberland; being a Sketch of his Military Life and Character, &c., &c.' By A. N. Campbell-Maclachlan, M.A., &c., &c. Page 104.
Lord Albemarle is to be of the Flanders staff, under the Duke of Cumberland, and, referring to the despatch of Hamilton's Scotch regiment to Ireland, he adds
"Hamilton's affair has made rare work here. There's a certain Duke (Newcastle) takes all sorts of pains to tell everybody there's nothing in it, and it has been wrong represented. His Majesty flames. The Duke swears, and the Scotch dare not speak. I am glad you are quitt of them. Give 'em your curse at parting from the highest to the lowest.""" Another of this gallant officer's epistles throws light on the military arrangements as well as the military orthography of the period. He was in command of the Life Guards:
"I have moved my camp, and have pitched fronting Grosvenor Park gate. You muste remember a single chattau that fronts the gate, where the Duke has been twice by seven o'clock about his dragoons cloathing, horses, &c. He is so full of them, I thinke he has forgott the Guards; however, I am reducing the size of my men and horses; I have sold him 12 of my men above six foot highe for six guineas a man, with their own consent tho'. I am trying to recruit the Horse Guards with my tall horses, and then I'm sure you'll laughe, but pray keep that a secret. Crawfurd's troop does bite if they can find the money, and I hope Charley (Lord Cadogan) and Tyrawley will bite too. Dell (Lord Delawarr) won't, tho' they are all crowded with pipers and blind ones."
Two officers under Lord Albemarle's command, Ensign Campbell and Lieutenant Ferguson, quarrelled, and Campbell knocked Ferguson down. In reference to the ensuing courtmartial the Secretary for War (Henry Fox) writes to Lord Albemarle, November 27, 1746:
'Mr. Ferguson is justly acquitted of the charge against him; but his complaining to a court-martial instead of resenting in another manner the usage he had received from Campbell, it must be supposed will necessarily prevent the officers of his regiment from rolling with him. H. M. particularly asked if they had not their swords on when this happened, and bids me tell your Lordship that as an officer, not as king, it is his opinion that if Campbell is pardon'd, a hint should be given to Ferguson that he must fight him or be broke.'
George II. gave the strongest sanction to duelling which could well be given by royal example, when he challenged his brother-in-law, Frederic William of Prussia, to a hostile meeting, which was with difficulty prevented.*
The crowning event of the campaign of 1747 was the battle of Laufeld, in which the Duke of Cumberland was defeated by
* It has been made a question whether this formal challenge was actually sent, but terms of defiance were interchanged, and the names of the proposed seconds were made known.-Lord Hervey's Memoirs,' vol. i. p. 127. Carlyle's History of Frederic the Great,' vol. ii. ch. 7.
Marshal Saxe. The British infantry, commanded by Albemarle, bore the brunt, and, as at Fontenoy, were left unsupported by their allies. The Duke, who had no one quality of a general besides courage, was also out-generalled as before. Walpole, in his satirical way, has hit the truth :-'We would fight when the French did not intend. We gave them, or did not take advantage of the situation. What part of our army was engaged did wonders, for the Dutch ran away, and we had contrived to post the Austrians in such a way that they could not assist us.'
In 1748 Albemarle was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the British forces serving in the Low Countries, and being senior in rank to nearly all the allied Generals, he came not infrequently in the temporary command of all the whole confederate army.' This alternation of command was not uncommon. At the commencement of the campaign of Blenheim, Marlborough and the Margrave of Baden commanded on alternate days; but the inconvenience and risk were obvious, and we cannot blame Prince William of Orange, the newly-elected Stadtholder, for putting an end to such a state of things, by raising a Dutch officer to the full rank of general, although this promotion gave so much umbrage to Lord Albemarle as to induce him to tender his resignation. Matters were still in suspense when hostile operations were suspended, and peace was formally proclaimed in the autumn.
In 1749 he was made a Knight of the Garter, and appointed Ambassador to Paris, where he remained in that capacity till his death. His munificent mode of living is described by Walpole: Everybody goes to Paris. Lord Albemarle keeps an immense table there, with sixteen people in his kitchen. His aides-de-camp invite everybody; but he seldom graces the banquet himself.' It would seem that his hospitality was confined to his countrymen, for Lord Chesterfield, assuming that his son was less anxious to partake of it on that account, writes, Jan. 14, 1750:
'However, I would have you show no shyness to Lord Albemarle, but go to him, and dine with him oftener it may be than you may wish, for the sake of hearing him speak well of you when he returns. He is a good deal in fashion here, and his puffing you (to use an awkward expression) before your return here, will be of great use to you afterwards.'
Lord Albemarle is one of the examples which Lord Chesterfield was constantly impressing on his son of the paramount importance of the graces:
'Between you and me (for this must go no further) what do you think has made our friend Lord Albemarle Colonel of a regiment of Guards, Governor of Virginia, Groom of the Stole, and ambassador to