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THE NEW YORK TUOLIC LIBRARY

971714

ASTOR, LENOXAND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

1920

THE

ASTO MONTHLY VISITOR. TIL DET HOUNDA

SEPTEMBER, 1799.

MEMOIRS

OF HIS

I Nallea copofe

ROYAL HIGHNESS THE DUKE OF YORK, FIELD MARSHAL, COMMANDER IN CHIEF

OF HIS MAJESTY'S FORCES, &c. N called

upon to record the exploiss of many a brave foldier, who has devoted his life to the service of his country. We now with to turn the attention of the reader to an officer of the first eminence in his profer. fion, whose military skill we admire, and whose uncealing activity entitles him to our approbation. His recent embarkation for the continent, in order to affist in the reduction of Holland, has engaged general notice, and raised high expectations respecting the success of that undertaking

FREDERIC Duke of YORK, the second son of. their present Majesties, was born August 16, 1763, He was first placed, at a proper age, under the tuition of the bishop of Chester, now archbishop of York-then under Dr. Richard Hurd, an accomplished classical scholar, and, at present, bishop of Worcefter. With such advantages his understanding must have been confiderably improved; and he had the opportunity of enriching his mind with stores of information.

In 1767, after the death of his great uncle, the duke of Curuberland, he was appointed Grand Master and First Knight Companion of the Bath ; but on account of his youth, was not installed till the year 1772. The order of the garter was, on the preceding year, conferred upon him.

His predilection for a military life soon displayed itself, and he accordingly received a commission in the Guards. In the year 1780 he had attained to the rank of colonel in the army. After this period he visited the. continent, and was introduced to the famous king of Prussia, who afterwards declared to Zimmerman, his physician, that he was well pleased with the interview..

In the year 1784 he returned home, having come of age, and was appointed Colonel of the Coldstream regi. ment of Guards. He was also created a peer of the realm, by the title of Duke of York and Albany, and Earl of Ulster, in the kingdom of Ireland. Nor was it long before he again visited the continent, though his ftay was short; and, upon his return, he had a hour, hold established.

His first speech in the house of lords- was at the time of the Regency, and it imparted a favourable opinion of his talents. The recovery of the King terminaled the affair of the Regency, which was likely to involve the nation in fome troublesome difcuffions.

Much about this period the famous duel occurred between his Royal Highness and Colonel Lennox, nephew to the duke of Richmond. It related to some affair at Daubigny's, where a club met ; and the business, even to this day, remains involved in a degree of obfcurity. The conteft, however, was likely to have proved of a very serious nature. They met on Wimbledon Common, and had for their seconds persons of distinction. The Duke engaged lord Rawdon, now earl of Moira ; Colonel Lennox had with him lord Winchelsea. The Duke had one of his curls either grazed or entirely shot off ; so that it may be termed an hair-breadtlı's escape !

Happily

Happily the altercation ended here, both parties de. clared themselves perfectly fatisfied. How much is it to be regretted, that the barbarous cuftom of duelling jould be endured in a country which boasts of the refinements of civilization and the blessings of religion ! This mode of terminating disputes originated in the gothic times and with Goths and Vandals should it have remained. The brave Colonel Gardener, who was killed by the rebels, at Preston Pans, September 174$, had a challenge sent him, but nobly refused it. His answer

was, " that he was afraid to fin but not to fight.” Such a glorious resolution would have happily settled many a dispute, saved the shedding of human blood, and would have continued in life many a valuable member of society.

In the year 1991 the subject of our Memoir entered into the matrimonial state. He espoused the princess Frederica Charlotta Ulrica Catharina, daughter of the lare king of Pruflia. He had seen this amiable and acy complished lady in his former traveis on the continent, and without fattery, it may be added, that the wisdom of his choice has been confirmed by the display of all those virtues which can adorn her exalted station. She is known to visit the humble cottage to alleviate the toils of the laborious peasant, and to bind up the broken heart of suffering humanity. We notice, with pleasure, these engaging traits of her character, because such di. vine exertions alone constitute true nobility. It is not the gaudy trappings of wealth, nor the boisterous bustle of power, that can command real admiration. The multitude, indeed, will gaze upon them, and be gratified with their coarse sensations. But the enlightened and upright mind delights in the more substantial acts of leffening the sphere of human misery, and of augment. ing the itock of private and public felicity,

At the commencement of the present war his Royal Highness was appointed a general in the army, and soon went over to the continent to serve under Prince de

Coburg,

A 3

Coburg, as commander of the English and Hanoverian troops. Having drove the enemy from their strong encampment at Femars, the siege of Válenciennes began-was conducted with great vigour, and ended fuccessfully. The batteries were opened on the 18th of June 1793, and on the 28th of July the city capitulated. The defence of the besieged was obstinate-an immense quantity of shells and bombs were thrown into it, and the unfortunate town was almost entirely reduced to alhes. About 1,300 men of the besiegers were among the killed and wounded ; and, of the besieged, 9,711 men laid down their arms on this memorable occasion. Valenciennes is an ancient, strong, and considerable town in the French Netherlands. The fortifications were constructed by the celebraied Vauban, and were, therefore, in high estimation. It is feated on the river Scheld, which not only divides it into two parts, but almost runs round it, making it a kind of island.

Elated with this success, the allied army divided itself, and the Duke proceeded to attack Dunkirk. But here the troops failed in accomplishing their purpose. The French gaining early intelligence, so attacked them, that it has been said had Houchard followed up his victory, the British army would have been des stroyed. The Duke himself narrowly escaped ; he literally fled for his life. Such is the various fortune of warm-to-day victorious—to-morrow at the mercy of the enemy!

In the course of the campaign the English behaved with great bravery; and his Royal Highness observing that the Austrians neglected their wounded enemies, remonstrated with them, so as to procure an amendment of their situation. How highly commendatory are such traits in those elevated Gituations !

At the close of the year the Duke visited England, and early in the ensuing spring returned to the continent. But after a variety of maneuvres with respect to him and the enemy, he relinquished his command, and

chose

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