George Rooke

(1650—1709) naval officer

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Admiral. One of the most successful naval commanders of his day, promoted admiral in 1690, Rooke was linked, through two of his three marriages, with the prominent Tory earl of Nottingham, William III's secretary of state (north) and de facto navy minister 1689–94. Rooke was at Bantry Bay (1689), Beachy Head (1690), and La Hogue (May/June 1692), where he distinguished himself and gained his knighthood. A year later he commanded the ill‐fated 300‐ship Smyrna convoy, but escaped blame for this débâcle. An MP for Portsmouth 1698–1708, Rooke held a command with the Dutch at the Copenhagen Sound in 1700 which called for prudent diplomacy between Denmark and Sweden. In 1702 he burnt a Franco‐Spanish fleet at Vigo, and in August 1704 commanded at the capture of Gibraltar.

Subjects: British History.

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