Admiral Lord George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney (1719-1792)
A head and shoulders half-length portrait to the right in flag officers undress uniform, not wearing a wig. The lacing on the waistcoat is incorrect. This is a 19th century copy of an unknown original, perhaps of Rodney painted after 1759. Although Rodney served almost continuously from 1732 until he was promoted to admiral in 1759, it is only after that time that he had opportunities to distinguish himself. In the year of his promotion he commanded a squadron which destroyed the invasion barges at Le Havre. In 1761 he went to the West Indies as Commander-in-Chief of the Leeward Islands where he succeeded in taking Martinique, St Lucia, Grenada and St Vincent from the French. During the peaceful years of 1765-1770 Rodney was Governor of Greenwich Hospital. In 1779 he was offered the Leeward Islands station again and ordered to relieve Gibraltar on the way. In January 1780, when the fleet had almost reached Gibraltar, it intercepted a Spanish Squadron of nine ships. During this action 22 ships of the line were blown up in action and seven were captured. Gibraltar was relieved and Rodney proceeded to the West Indies with four ships of the line. For the next two years, apart from a brief respite in England for reasons of health, Rodney conducted the war against the powerful French forces until he won the great victory of the Saints which ended the French interest in the West Indies.
- Image reference: BHC2969
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
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