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George Brydges Rodney
1718 - 1792

Rodney was born at Walton-on-Thames, though the family seat was originally Rodney Stoke, Somerset. In 1732 Rodney joined the Navy and rose to Post Captain some ten years later.

In 1747 he was involved in Lord Hawke’s action against the French fleet off Finisterre. Two years later he became Governor of Newfoundland. In the Seven Years’ War Rodney distinguished himself as a Junior Office. In 1765 he became Governor of Greenwich Hospital. He was appointed Admiral in 1778 and in 1780 he scored a brilliant victory over the Spanish Fleet at Cape St. Vincent.

Following the relief of Gibraltar, Rodney proceeded to the West Indies to engage the French fleet off Martinique. In the “Battle of the Saints” against the French ships, commanded by Comte de Grasse, in 1782 he adopted unexpected and irregular tactics, thus winning the battle, preventing the French from reaching Jamaica and so regaining command of the West Indies Ocean. Lord Nelson and Hardy served under Rodney’s command and 23 years later Nelson followed the same breach-of-line tactics at Trafalgar.

After all these successes Rodney was created a Peer. The family motto was an apt one for the descendants of Jane Seymour, niece of Henry VIII’s third Queen, Jane Seymour.

Non Generant Aquilae Columbas
Eagles Do Not Beget Doves

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