Splendid mezzotint of the swashbuckling admiral.
George Brydges Rodney, 1st Baron Rodney, KB (bap. 13 February 1718 — 24 May 1792) was a British naval officer. He is best known for his commands in the American War of Independence, particularly his victory over the French at the Battle of the Saintes in 1782. It is often claimed that he was the commander to have pioneered the tactic of "breaking the line”.
To some Rodney was a controversial figure, accused of an obsession with prize money and nepotism. This was brought to a head in the wake of his taking of Sint Eustatius for which he was heavily criticised in Britain. Orders for his recall had been sent when Rodney won a decisive victory at the Battle of the Saintes in April 1782, ending the French threat to Jamaica. On his return to Britain, Rodney was made a peer and was awarded an annual pension of £2,000. He lived in retirement until his death in 1792.
The use of Rodney as a first name originates with the admiral. It became a popular name for boys at the end of the eighteenth century. -