Admiral Sir Philip Bowes Vere Broke. British Royal Navy officer. Hero of the Shannon vs. Chesepeake.
ALS. 1p. Broke Hall. August 13th, 1819. To "My dear Sir" [Admiral Benjamin Page].
"I am delighted to find his Royal Highness make such an excellent Lord High Admiral and beg to congratulate you most sincerely on becoming one of his flag officers as Mrs Broke does Mrs Page on your promotion. You will have to visit your Royal friend at Carlton House sooner than you expected, but you will have so many friends at Ipswich to rejoice with you in your honour that I will occupy no more of your time but with united compliments to subscribe myself yours most sincerely, P.B. Broke".
4to. Approx 9.25 x 7.5 inches. Some old glue staining and mounting traces to left edge.
Philip Broke joined the Royal Navy in 1788. He served as 3rd Lieutenant on HMS Southampton during the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1797. Thereafter he was promoted to Commander in 1799 and Captain in 1801. As Captain Philip Broke he distinguished himself in the engagement between HMS Shannon and USS Chesepeake during the war with America of 1813. As Captain of the Shannon, Philip Broke led the boarding party in which he sustained serious head injuries in the fighting on board the Chesepeake. The engagement created a sensation in both Britain and America and Broke became a national hero. He was created Baronet, made a Knight of the Bath and awarded the Naval Gold Medal (one of only 8 awarded for single ship actions between 1794 and 1816). In fiction, the novelist Patrick O'Brian featured the engagement between Shannon and Chesepeake in two of his novels, in which he portrays Philip Broke as the cousin of his protagonist, Jack Aubrey.