Rodney, George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron

Rodney, George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron, 1719–92, British admiral. He served with distinction in the Seven Years War (1757–63), his most notable achievement being the capture (1762) of Martinique in the West Indies. Pressed by debts, he lived in France from 1775 to 1778. In 1778 he was recalled, made an admiral, and dispatched again to the West Indies. On the way he defeated (1780) a Spanish fleet off Cape St. Vincent, thus relieving Gibraltar, and became a national hero. In 1781 he captured St. Eustatius in the West Indies and confiscated large quantities of goods belonging to British merchants illegally trading with the American revolutionary forces. He was hounded with lawsuits for the rest of his life by the outraged merchants. Because of ill health, he resigned (1781) his command to Samuel Hood, but he returned to the West Indies in 1782 and won a resounding victory over the French fleet of Admiral de Grasse off Dominica. He was rewarded with a peerage.

See G. B. Mundy, The Life and Correspondence of the late Admiral Lord Rodney (1973); biographies by D. Macintyre (1962) and D. Spinney (1969).

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