MORDAUNT, Hon. Henry (c.1682-1710).
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Family and Education
b. c.1682, 2nd s. of Charles, 1st Earl of Monmouth and 3rd Earl of Peterborough, by his 1st w. Carey, da. of Sir Alexander Fraser, 1st Bt., of Dores, Inverness; bro. of John Mordaunt*, Ld. Mordaunt, and nephew of Hon. Harry Mordaunt*. unm.1
?Sewer, Queen’s household by 1691–4; lt. RN c.1695, capt. 1703.2
A ‘very pretty gentleman, sober and well-bred’, Mordaunt was recommended to the Malmesbury electors in 1705 by Lord Wharton (Thomas*) as ‘honest’. Though he was marked as a ‘Churchman’ in a list of this Parliament, his election was counted as a gain by Lord Sunderland (Charles, Lord Spencer*). Absent on active service at the time of the division on the Speaker, 25 Oct. 1705, he was recorded as supporting the Court over the ‘place clause’ in the regency bill on 18 Feb. 1706, and was listed as a Whig in two lists of early 1708. He was not an active Member, his naval duties too often calling him away. In March 1707 his gallantry in one exploit brought him notice. Commanding a small squadron of frigates to convoy his father from Spain to Genoa, he was attacked by a superior French force off the Italian coast and sacrificed his own ship to draw the enemy and enable Peterborough to reach his destination. He had, however, sustained a thigh injury himself as a result of cannon-fire, and was unable to accompany his father back to England, Peterborough later obtaining a pass for him to travel home separately through France. His wound proving ‘much more dangerous than was at first apprehended’, he ‘found it necessary to retire from the service till his cure should be effected’. Meanwhile, at a court martial in November 1709, he was acquitted of any charges arising from the loss of his ship, and it was declared that he had shown ‘great courage’.3
Mordaunt ‘designed to go to sea again’, but succumbed to smallpox before he could resume active duty. Having ‘languished for several days’, he died at Bath on 24 Feb. 1710 and was buried in the family vault at Turvey. An anonymous tribute described him as ‘a gentleman of singular accomplishments, and of an affable and generous disposition’.4
Ref Volumes: 1690-1715
Author: D. W. Hayton
- 1. F. S. Russell, Earl of Peterborough, ii. 91; Charnock, Biog. Navalis, iv. 274
- 2. Charnock, 274.
- 3. HMC Ormonde, n.s. viii. 191; Wilts. Arch. Mag. xlvi. 85; Bull. IHR, xxxvii. 23; Charnock, 275–7; C. Ballard, Great Earl of Peterborough, 213; Russell, 92–94; G. D. Warburton, Peterborough, ii. 105; Compleat Hist. Europe . . . 1707 (1708), 143; DNB.
- 4. Ballard, 241; Boyer, Anne Annals, ix. 406; Russell, 94; Charnock, 277; Post Boy, 23–25 Feb. 1710; G. W. F. Munby and T. Wright, Turvey and Legh Richmond, 34; Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 549.