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Samuel Hood

HOOD, Samuel, Viscount, British naval officer, born in Butleigh, Somersetshire, England, 12 December, 1724:; died in Bath, 27 January, 1816. He entered the navy at the age of sixteen, and became a post-captain in 1756. In 1759, when in command of the "Vestal," attached to the expedition against Quebec, he captured the French frigate "Bellona" after an action of four hours. On his return to England he was given the command of the "Africa," of sixty-four guns. From 14 November, 1768, till 13 July. 1769, he was at Boston, then occupied by British troops, as "commander-in-chief of all the men-of-war in these parts." During this time he was a member of the committee of inquiry in the affair of the "Rose" frigate, of which occasion John Adams said that "he had never taken such pains before or since in any trial as he did on this to clear the accused." In 1778 he was made a baronet, in 1780 rear-admiral of the blue, and the same year joined Rodney in the West Indies. He fought a drawn battle with De Grasse, near Chesapeake bay, 5 September, 1781, but could not prevent its blockade nor the surrender of the British army. In January. 1782, the French having invested the island of St. Christopher, Hood went to its relief, and, having lured De G rasse from the road of Basse-Terre to join battle, he slipped into the vacant anchorage, from which the French were unable to force him. The surrender of the island to the French in February, however, rendered Hood's success useless, and he in consequence retreated at once to sea. In the battle of 12 April, which resulted in the capture of De Grasse, his co-operation was warmly acknowledged by Rodney in his letter to the admiralty. When Rodney returned to England, Hood was left in chief command until the peace of 1783. He was created an Irish peer in 1782 under the title of Baron Hood of Catherington, elected to parliament in 1784, lost his seat on being made lord of the admiralty in 1788, but was re-elected in 1790. He was distinguished in the war with France in 1793, but soon afterward retired from active service, and in 1796 was appointed governor of Green, with hospital and raised to the English peerage, with the title of Viscount Hood of Whitley.

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