PREFACE To understand and fully appreciate the story of the life of any great character in history, it is necessary to throw oneself into the surroundings of that particular time-to see the scenery as it was there, and the other characters who were on the stage at that time and this is especially the case in the Life of Lord Anson -the Father of the British Navy, one of the greatest and most interesting characters who ever shed his influence over our country. From his training in that splendid achievement, his voyage round the world, which now reads as an almost impossible romance, he learned that indomitable supremacy over all obstacles, that thoroughness of preparation which he so carefully exercised when he went to the Admiralty, and by which all the great actions of his time were rendered possible and like all great men of action, he never talked about what he had done. To set forth the annals of the time in which the hero has existed, and to note his contact with them, is only a part of his life-the life of the man is more than his public career. It is made up of a thousand touches, multitude of lights and shades, most of which are invisible behind his official conduct. We want to know how he talked, what he thought, what was his standpoint as regards the great issues of life, what he read in his hours of ease. Anson was before all things a sailor, a man of resource, a strict disciplinarian, but at the same time a reasonable man, who knew when to throw red tape to the winds.