Leake (1656-1720) was one of the most prominent flag officers of King William and Queen Anne’ s wars. He played a leading part in the relief of Londonderry in 1689, fought at Bantry Bay, Beachy Head, La Hogue and Malaga, twice relieved Gibraltar, captured Cartagena, Alicante, Ibiza, Majorca, Minorca, and Sardinia, was five times Admiral of the Fleet, and in the end declined to be First Lord of the Admiralty.
This life was written by the admiral’s nephew Stephen Martin-Leake, Garter King of Arms, whose life of his father (Vol 5) was originally appended to it.
There is a brief account of the career of his father, Captain Richard Leake. Then Leake’s account of the Battle of Bantry Bay, the trial of the Earl of Torrington and the Battle of La Hogue. He gained post rank and the first part of the volume concludes with the state of the navy during King William’s reign.
Leake was Commodore of the squadron to Newfoundland and then became Vice Admiral of the Blue in the Mediterranean campaign of 1703. The volume finishes with a description of his activity at Lisbon where ‘Sir John received orders to stop the galleons in Cadiz which he attempts to do but is prevented by the sinister practices of the Portuguese’.