HISTORY: THE INTERNET IS an amazing research tool. But it is also unpredictable! A search for one thing can lead to unexpected discoveries.
Whilst researching something recently (it escapes me what I was looking for!) I chanced on an an article in the Los Angeles News of Today about the History of Portsmouth. It is a very long article by web standards, but buried in it was the biography of Admiral Lord George Anson who was the MP for Hedon from 1744 – 1747.
Anson achieved fame by sailing around the world on a four year voyage starting in 1740. His mission was to harrass the Spanish during the War of Jenkin’s Ear as Commander of the 60-gun HMS Centurian. He was very successful at this with his raids against the Spanish netting £500,000 worth of booty – that’s £250 million in today’s money!
Following his parliamentary and naval careers, which could easily have provided the background for many of the Hornblower stories, Anson was promoted to Vice Admiral.
He became First Lord of the Admiralty from 1751 – 1756, and again from June 1757 until his death in 1762.
Anson is also noted as being largely responsible for the transfer of the Marines from Army to Navy authority.
So there we go… Los Angeles, Portsmouth to a Hedon MP all in one internet breath!
George Anson, 1st Baron Anson – on Wikipedia
George Anson, 1st Baron Anson – on ThePeerage.Com