Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 32.djvu/324

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Leake
Leake
318

relating to the Lord Torrington, Camd. Soc., p. 81). On 1 June he was reappointed to the Association, but in July was moved to the Exeter, and sent out as governor and commander-in-chief at Newfoundland, where, before the end of October, he completely broke up and ruined the French fishery, destroying the fishing-boats and stages, and capturing upwards of thirty of their ships. He returned to England in November, and on 10 Dec. was promoted to be rear-admiral of the blue. On 1 March 1702–3 he was advanced to be vice-admiral of the blue, and in the summer, with his flag in the Prince George, he followed Sir Clowdisley Shovell q. v.] to the Mediterranean, returning to England and anchoring in the Downs just before the great storm of 27 Nov. 1703, when, of all the ships in the Downs, the Prince George was the only one that rode out the gale.

In February 1703–4 Leake was knighted, and a few days afterwards he sailed for Lisbon with a large convoy of transports. At Lisbon he joined Sir George Rooke, with whom he continued during the year, taking part in the reduction of Gibraltar on 23 July, and the battle of Malaga on 13 Aug. On the return of the fleet to Gibraltar, Leake, having shifted his flag to the Nottingham, was left in command of a small squadron for its protection. He was at Lisbon refitting when he had news that Gibraltar was attacked by the French under M. de Pointis. He put to sea at once, but after relieving and strengthening the garrison, he went back to Lisbon for stores and provisions, and coming again into Gibraltar Bay on 25 Oct., surprised there an enemy's squadron of three frigates and five smaller vessels, which he captured or destroyed. Then having intelligence that the French fleet was on the point of returning in force, and being apprehensive for the safety of a fleet of transports destined for Gibraltar, he put to sea in order to convoy it in; but learning that it had got safely to Gibraltar, he went on to Lisbon. He was there reinforced by Sir Thomas Dilkes [q. v.], and by a number of Dutch and Portuguese ships, so that in March 1704–5 he put to sea with a fleet of thirty-five sail of the line. Coming into Gibraltar Bay on the 10th, he found there five French ships of the line, which were all captured or destroyed (Troude, i. 256–7). The rest of the French fleet, which had been blown out to sea, had taken shelter in Malaga Roads, but hearing of the presence of the English in such force, they shipped their cables and made the best of their way to Toulon. Leake had meanwhile gone to Malaga in quest of them, and did not get back to Gibraltar till the 31st. Five days afterwards the enemy raised the siege, in commemoration of which the Prince of Hesse presented Leake with a gold cup. Leake then returned to Lisbon, where in June he was joined by the fleet from England under Shovell and the Earl of Peterborough. He again hoisted his flag on board the Prince George, and as second in command took part in the operations leading up to the capture of Barcelona. After which Shovell, with the greater part of the fleet, returned to England, leaving the command with Leake, who arrived at Lisbon on 16 Jan. 1705–6.

He sailed thence on 27 Feb. to attack the galeons at Cadiz fitting for the West Indies. These had, however, been warned of his intention, and had sailed on the 25th. It appears that he then cruised to the westward for three weeks (Burchett, p. 690); but on 22 March he received an order from the Earl of Peterborough—who held a commission as commander-in-chief jointly with Sir Clowdisley Shovell [see Mordaunt, Charles, third Earl of Peterborough]—to bring the fleet at once off Valencia, and there land such troops, stores, and money as he might have for the army. Of troops and stores he had at that time none, and the money he had already sent; but against an easterly wind he made the best of his way to Gibraltar, where he arrived on 30 March. There he was joined by Commodore Price with several ships of tne line, English and Dutch, and a considerable number of transports. But he also received letters from the Archduke Charles, the titular king of Spain, desiring him to hasten to Barcelona, then besieged by a French army, supported by the fleet from Toulon under the Count of Toulouse.

The easterly wind prevented his sailing till 13 April, and meantime he received another letter from Peterborough, dated 18 March, repeating the order for him to come to Valencia, and a third from King Charles, dated 20 March, reiterating the wish that he should make the best of his way to Barcelona. In a council of war it was decided that the king's business was the more pressing, and that they ought to take the troops to Barcelona. On 18 April the fleet was off Altea, where Leake received further orders from Peterborough, dated 27 March, to land the troops at Valencia. A few hours later another letter, dated 7 April, ordered that only part of the troops should be landed at Valencia, and that the rest should be put on shore at Tortosa, or at any rate not nearer Barcelona. A council of war again resolved in favour of the king; but as they had no