SIR GEORGE ROOKE (1650-1709), English naval commander, was born near Canterbury in 1650. Entering the navy as a volunteer, he served in the Dutch Wars and became postcaptain in 1673. After the Revolution of 1688, he commanded 1 The bird, however, does not inhabit Iceland, and the language to which the name belongs would perhaps be more correctly termed Old Teutonic. From this word is said to come the French Freux. There are many local German names of the same origin, such as Rooke, Rouch, Ruch and others, but the bird is generally known in Germany as the Saat-Krdhe, i.e. seed-(=corn-)crow.
2 This is the more noteworthy as the district in which he was born and educated is almost the only part of Italy in which the rook breeds. Shelley also very truly speaks of the ” legioned rooks " to which he stood listening " mid the mountains Euganean." XXIII. 23 2 t022lb 3t032„ 24 „ II „ i „ I 2 „ the squadron which raised the siege of Londonderry in 1689. He became rear-admiral in 1690, and fought at the battle of Beachy Head. In May of 1692 he served under Russell at the battle of Barfleur, and he greatly distinguished himself in a night attack on the French fleet at La Hogue, when he succeeded in burning six of their ships. Shortly afterwards he received the honour of knighthood and a reward of r000. In 1693 he commanded the Smyrna convoy, which was scattered and partly taken by the French admiral Tourville near Lagos Bay. Till the peace of Nymwegen(1697), he continued to serve in the Channel and Mediterranean. In 1702 he commanded the expedition against Cadiz, and on the passage home destroyed the Plate fleet in Vigo. With Sir Cloudesley Shovel he took part in the capture of Gibraltar on the 21st of July 1704. On the 13th of August of the same year he attacked the French fleet off Malaga, the battle being drawn. On account of the dissatisfaction expressed indirectly at the result of the contest, he retired from the service in February 1705. He died on the 24th of January 1709.
Rooke's Journal for 1700-2 has been printed by the Navy Record Society.
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