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American Revolutionary War-dated ALS as Master of the Ordnance, praising an injured naval officer who "in so short a time revives the Recollection of what English Seamen were". From the name of the captured enemy vessel, we can infer the hero praised herein: Captain (later Admiral) John Jervis.
Autograph Letter signed: "Richmond.ge:", 2 pages, (front and verso), 7x8¾. Whitehall [London], 1782 May 5. To "My Dear Sir", in full: "I am infinitely obliged to you for taking, I fear I must say, the Pains to write to me. I hope to be soon at Portsmouth & shall be happy to avail myself of the Information you tell me the Store Keeper of the Powder Magazine at Portsmouth can give me as to the manner of making & preserving Gun Powder. You will I trust believe me when I assure you of the particular Pleasure I feel in the first success of our new administration being owing to you. Your Conduct is making such a Prize with such little loss, & in so short a Time, revives the Recollection of what English Seamen were; and I do think the Merit of your Discipline which saved so many Lives, & insured Success, is infinitely greater than if for want of it you had by Dint of Perseverance & Loss of Lives with Difficulty succeeded. I hear from Lord Keppel that you have sent me excuses for taking out the guns of the Pegase. I know your Regularity, but believe me I will excuse your taking out the guns of as many Prives as ever you please. But My Dear Sir I do not feel easy about this wound of yours; for you want no Marks of Honor at the Expense of Pain or Danger. Pray take care of yourself & above all be quiet, for otherwise you will defeat your own Purpose of getting soon ready for Service, it is by giving it quite up for the Present that you will soonest be well. Adieu My Dear Sir. I am ever with the most sincere Esteem & Regard your most obedient & faithful humble Servant". CHARLES LENNOX (1735-1806), the Third Duke of Richmond, was known as the Earl of March before inheriting the ducal title in 1750. During the Seven Years War, as a colonel commanding the 33rd Regiment of Foot, he fought in the Raid on Cherbourg and in the Battle of Minden (1759), a great British victory. In 1765, he became Ambassador to France, and joined the Privy Council the same year. In debates leading up to the American Revolution, he showed great sympathy for the colonists, even advocating withdrawal of British troops. He also advocated concessions to Ireland, and parliamentary reforms to include universal male suffrage. After joining the government of Prime Minister William Pitt, however, he became much more conservative, repudiating his earlier calls for reform. In 1782, he was made a Field Marshal and Master of the Ordnance. In that capacity he wrote this letter, which must have been addressed to Captain (later Admiral) John Jervis. On April 21, 1782, Jarvis as captain of the HMS Foudroyant, fought and captured the 74-gun ship of the line Pégase, the lead French warship of its class. For this he was honored as a Knight of the Bath. The exploits of Jervis, dating back to the Seven Years War, culminated in his great victory over the French fleet in the Battle of Cape St Vincent (1797), and he served with distinction as an admiral through the long wars with France to 1815. After retiring from public service, the Duke of Richmond built the famed Goodwood race course, and became a major patron of the arts. Normal mailing folds. Toned. Edges slightly worn. Ink smudges in "faithful." Otherwise, fine condition.

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Born in Goodwood House, West Sussex, England, United Kingdom

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