Charles Mordaunt Peterborough, earl of, a British soldier, born in 1658, died in Lisbon, Oct. 25, 1735. His youth until his 17th year was passed in the frivolous and profligate amusements of the court, wearying of which he joined an expedition sent to chastise the Bar-bary corsairs of the Mediterranean. Having seen severe service at Tripoli and elsewhere, he returned to England, was married, and succeeded to his father's title of Viscount Mordaunt. In 1678-9 he again served against the Algerines, and on his return to England took his seat in the house of lords as an opponent of the court. Subsequently he showed a strong sympathy for Lord Russell and Algernon Sidney, the latter of whom, in spite of the menaces of Jeffrey, he supported to the last and accompanied to the scaffold. His pecuniary circumstances becom-. ing embarrassed in consequence of a reckless generosity, he went in 1686 to Holland, whence he returned to England with the prince of Orange. In April, 1689, he was created first commissioner of the treasury and earl of Monmouth, but retired from office in a few months with no great credit for political integrity.

After serving in the campaign of 1691 on the continent, he lived for several years on his estates; but his restless ambition and vanity, which the king's refusal to recall him to power only inflamed, prompted him in 1696 to engage in the Fenwick plot, and he was for several months a prisoner in the tower. Released by William, and finding himself an object of detestation to both whigs and tories, he again went into retirement, and in 1697 succeeded to the title of earl of Peterborough, inherited from his uncle, ' Henry Mordaunt. At this time he was reduced to poverty. The accession of Queen Anne opened the path of preferment to him, and by paying court to the duchess of Marlborough he procured the appointment of general-in-chief of the forces sent in 1705 to assist the cause of the archduke Charles of Austria, claimant of the crown of Spain. With 7,000 undisciplined troops, principally Dutch and English, he captured Barcelona, having first carried by assault the almost impregnable citadel of Montjuich, which commanded the city, and, in the face of a vastly superior force having every advantage of position,- began a remarkably successful campaign against the supporters of Philip V., the rival of Charles. He quickly overran Catalonia, Aragon, and Valencia, and parts of Murcia and Castile, outwitting and alarming his enemies by the rapidity, secrecy, and mystery of his movements, defeating thousands of men with a mere handful, and not scrupling at any artifice which would insure success or increase his numbers or prestige.

The advance in April, 1706, of an army of 20,000 men under Philip V. toward Barcelona, checked the triumphant career of Peterborough, and he hastened back to the city, into which he threw a portion of his forces, while the remainder occupied the heights surrounding the enemy's camp and cut off their supplies. After an obstinate resistance the Barcelonese were relieved by the arrival of a British fleet with supplies and reinforcements, and the besieging force retreated with precipitation, closely followed by Peterborough. Had the advice of the latter been followed at this juncture, and a rapid march made upon Madrid, the archduke might have been established upon the throne of Spain. But dissensions arose among the allied generals, and Peterborough, finding his counsels disregarded, quitted Spain in disgust, and in 1707 returned to England, where he was thanked by the house of lords for his " wonderful and amazing success." In 1710 he was employed on embassies to Vienna and other continental courts.

In 1713 he was sent to the king of Sicily, and shortly afterward was made governor of the island of Minorca. Hatred of Marlborough induced him during the last years of Queen Anne's reign to side with the tories; and on the accession of George I. and a whig administration he returned to his country seat. Throughout his life he was the intimate friend of Dryden, Swift, Pope, Gay, and other men of letters, and had a considerable reputation as a writer. He is said to have composed his own memoirs, which after his death were destroyed by his countess, the celebrated singer Anasta-sia Robinson, with whom he contracted a second marriage in 1735. Macaulay calls Peterborough " the most extraordinary character of that age, the king of Sweden not excepted; . . . .. a polite, learned, and amorous Charles the Twelfth." In person he was tall and graceful, but so attenuated that Swift compared him to a living skeleton. - See " Memoir of Charles Mordaunt, Earl of Peterborough and Monmouth, with Selections from his Correspondence," by Eliot Warburton (2 vols., 1853).