Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald

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The Earl of Dundonald
Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald.jpg
Engraving of Lord Dundonald, based on a painting by James Ramsay (1866)
Nickname(s)Le Loup des Mers
Born14 December 1775
Annsfield, near Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died31 October 1860(1860-10-31) (aged 84)
Kensington, Middlesex, England
AllegianceUnion flag 1606 (Kings Colors).svg  Kingdom of Great Britain
Flag of Chile.svg  Republic of Chile
Flag of Empire of Brazil (1822-1870).svg  Empire of Brazil
Flag of Greece (1822-1978).svg  Kingdom of Greece
Service/branchNaval Ensign of Great Britain (1707-1800).svg  Royal Navy
Flag of Chile.svg  Chilean Navy
Naval Jack of Brazil.svg Imperial Navy
Naval Ensign of Greece (1833-1858).svg Royal Greek Navy
Years of service1793–1860
Rank Admiral
Commands held North America and West Indies Station
Battles/wars Napoleonic Wars
Chilean War of Independence
Peruvian War of Independence
Brazilian War of Independence
Greek War of Independence
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Order of the Merit of Chile
Order of the Southern Cross

Admiral Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald, Marquess of Maranhão, GCB, ODM, OSC [1] (14 December 1775 – 31 October 1860), styled Lord Cochrane between 1778 and 1831, [2] [3] was a British naval flag officer of the Royal Navy, mercenary and radical politician. He was a daring and successful captain of the Napoleonic Wars, leading Napoleon to nickname him Le Loup des Mers ('The Sea Wolf'). He was successful in virtually all his naval actions.

Order of the Bath series of awards of an order of chivalry of the United Kingdom

The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate medieval ceremony for appointing a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as "Knights of the Bath". George I "erected the Knights of the Bath into a regular Military Order". He did not revive the Order of the Bath, since it had never previously existed as an Order, in the sense of a body of knights who were governed by a set of statutes and whose numbers were replenished when vacancies occurred.

Order of the Southern Cross Brazilian order of chivalry

The National Order of the Southern Cross is a Brazilian order of chivalry founded by Emperor Pedro I on 1 December 1822. This order was intended to commemorate the independence of Brazil and the coronation of Pedro I. The name derives from the geographical position of the country, under the constellation of the Southern Cross and also in memory of the name – Terra de Santa Cruz – given to Brazil at the time of European discovery.

A flag officer is a commissioned officer in a nation's armed forces senior enough to be entitled to fly a flag to mark the position from which the officer exercises command.

Contents

He was dismissed from the Royal Navy in 1814 following a controversial conviction for fraud on the Stock Exchange. He helped organise and lead the rebel navies of Chile and Brazil during their respective successful wars of independence through the 1820s. While in charge of the Chilean Navy, Cochrane also contributed to Peruvian Independence through the Freedom Expedition of Perú. He was also asked to help the Greek Navy but was prevented by events from having much impact.

Royal Navy Maritime warfare branch of the United Kingdoms military

The Royal Navy (RN) is the United Kingdom's naval warfare force. Although warships were used by the English kings from the early medieval period, the first major maritime engagements were fought in the Hundred Years War against the Kingdom of France. The modern Royal Navy traces its origins to the early 16th century; the oldest of the UK's armed services, it is known as the Senior Service.

London Stock Exchange Stock exchange in the City of London

London Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in the City of London, England. As of April 2018, London Stock Exchange had a market capitalisation of US$4.59 trillion. It was founded in 1571, making it one of the oldest exchanges in the world. Its current premises are situated in Paternoster Square close to St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London. It is part of London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG).

Chilean Navy maritime warfare branch of Chiles military

The Chilean Navy is the naval force of Chile.

In 1832, he was pardoned by the Crown and reinstated in the Royal Navy with the rank of Rear Admiral of the Blue. After several more promotions, he died in 1860 with the rank of Admiral of the Red, and the honorary title of Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom.

A pardon is a government decision to allow a person to be absolved of guilt for an alleged crime or other legal offense, as if the act never occurred. The pardon may be granted before or after conviction for the crime, depending on the laws of the jurisdiction.

The Crown is the state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonwealth realms and their sub-divisions. Legally ill-defined, the term has different meanings depending on context. It is used to designate the monarch in either a personal capacity, as Head of the Commonwealth, or as the king or queen of his or her realms. It can also refer to the rule of law; however, in common parlance 'The Crown' refers to the functions of government and the civil service.

Admiral (Royal Navy) senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom

Admiral is a senior rank of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom, which equates to the NATO rank code OF-9, outranked only by the rank of admiral of the fleet. Royal Navy officers holding the ranks of rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral of the fleet are sometimes considered generically to be admirals. The rank of admiral is currently the highest rank to which a serving officer in the Royal Navy can be promoted, admiral of the fleet being in abeyance except for honorary promotions of retired officers and members of the Royal Family.

His life and exploits inspired the naval fiction of 19th- and 20th-century novelists, particularly the figures of C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower and Patrick O'Brian's protagonist Jack Aubrey.

C. S. Forester British novelist

Cecil Louis Troughton Smith, known by his pen name Cecil Scott "C. S." Forester, was an English novelist known for writing tales of naval warfare, such as the 12-book Horatio Hornblower series depicting a Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic wars. The Hornblower novels A Ship of the Line and Flying Colours were jointly awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction in 1938. His other works include The African Queen.

Horatio Hornblower is a fictional Napoleonic Wars-era Royal Navy officer who is the protagonist of a series of novels by C. S. Forester. He was later the subject of films, radio and television programmes, and C. Northcote Parkinson elaborated a definitive biography

Patrick OBrian English novelist

Patrick O'Brian, CBE, born Richard Patrick Russ, was an English novelist and translator, best known for his Aubrey–Maturin series of sea novels set in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, and centred on the friendship of the English naval captain Jack Aubrey and the Irish–Catalan physician Stephen Maturin. The 20-novel series, the first of which is Master and Commander, is known for its well-researched and highly detailed portrayal of early 19th-century life, as well as its authentic and evocative language. A partially finished 21st novel in the series was published posthumously containing facing pages of handwriting and typescript.

Family

Cochrane's father, The 9th Earl of Dundonald (1748-1831). 9thEarlOfDundonald.jpg
Cochrane's father, The 9th Earl of Dundonald (1748-1831).

Thomas Cochrane was born at Annsfield, near Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, the son of Archibald, Lord Cochrane (1748-1831), who later became, in October 1778, The 9th Earl of Dundonald, and his wife, Anna Gilchrist. She was the daughter of Captain James Gilchrist and Ann Roberton, the daughter of Major John Roberton, 16th Laird of Earnock. [4]

Hamilton, South Lanarkshire town in South Lanarkshire, Scotland

Hamilton is a town in South Lanarkshire, in the central Lowlands of Scotland. It serves as the main administrative centre of the South Lanarkshire council area. It sits 12 miles (19 km) south-east of Glasgow, 35 miles (56 km) south-west of Edinburgh and 74 miles (120 km) north of Carlisle. It is situated on the south bank of the River Clyde at its confluence with the Avon Water. Hamilton is the county town of the historic county of Lanarkshire.

South Lanarkshire Council area of Scotland

South Lanarkshire is one of 32 unitary authorities of Scotland. It borders the south-east of the City of Glasgow and contains some of Greater Glasgow's suburbs. It also contains many towns and villages. It also shares borders with Dumfries and Galloway, East Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, the Scottish Borders and West Lothian. It includes part of the historic county of Lanarkshire.

Scotland Country in Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Sharing a border with England to the southeast, Scotland is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and the North Channel to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, situated on the northern third of the island of Great Britain, Scotland has over 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

Thomas, Lord Cochrane, as he himself became in October 1778, had six brothers. Two served with distinction in the military: William Erskine Cochrane of the 15th Dragoon Guards, who served under Sir John Moore in the Peninsular War and reached the rank of major; and Archibald Cochrane, who became a captain in the Navy.

Dragoon Guards was the designation used to refer to certain heavy cavalry regiments in the British Army from the 18th century onwards. While the Prussian and Russian armies of the same period included dragoon regiments among their respective Imperial Guards, different titles were applied to these units.

John Moore (British Army officer) British soldier and general

Lieutenant-General Sir John Moore, was a British Army general, also known as Moore of Corunna. He is best known for his military training reforms and for his death at the Battle of Corunna, in which he repulsed a French army under Marshal Soult during the Peninsular War. After the war General Sarrazin wrote a French history of the battle, which nonetheless may have been written in light of subsequent events, stating that "Whatever Buonaparte may assert, Soult was most certainly repulsed at Corunna; and the British gained a defensive victory, though dearly purchased with the loss of their brave general Moore, who was alike distinguished for his private virtues, and his military talents."

Peninsular War War by Spain, Portugal and the United Kingdom against the French Empire (1807–1814)

The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was a military conflict between Napoleon's empire and Bourbon Spain, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when the French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, and escalated in 1808 when France turned on Spain, previously its ally. The war on the peninsula lasted until the Sixth Coalition defeated Napoleon in 1814, and is regarded as one of the first wars of national liberation, significant for the emergence of large-scale guerrilla warfare.

Lord Cochrane was descended from lines of Scottish aristocracy and military service on both sides of his family. Through his uncle, Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, the sixth son of The 8th Earl of Dundonald, Cochrane was cousin to his namesake, Admiral of the Fleet Sir Thomas John Cochrane (1789-1872). Sir Thomas J. Cochrane also had a naval career [5] and was appointed as Governor of Newfoundland and later Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom. By 1793 the family fortune had been spent, and the family estate was sold to cover debts. [6]

Early life

Lord Cochrane spent much of his early life in Culross, Fife, where his family had an estate.

Through the influence of his uncle Alexander Cochrane, he was listed as a member of the crew on the books of four Royal Navy ships starting when he was five years old. [7] This common (though unlawful) practice called false muster was a means of acquiring the years of service required for promotion, if and when he joined the Navy. His father secured him a commission in the British Army at an early age, but Cochrane preferred the Navy. He joined it in 1793 upon the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars. [8]

Service in the Royal Navy

Engraving dated 1827 portraying Cochrane. French ships can be seen burning in the background. Portrait of Lord Cochrane (4671399).jpg
Engraving dated 1827 portraying Cochrane. French ships can be seen burning in the background.

On 23 July 1793, aged 17, Cochrane joined the navy as a midshipman, spending his first months at Sheerness in the 28-gun sixth-rate frigate HMS Hind commanded by his uncle Captain Alexander Cochrane. [8] He transferred to the 38-gun fifth rate HMS Thetis, also under his uncle's command. While aboard Thetis, he visited Norway and next served at the North America station. [9] In 1795, he was appointed acting lieutenant. The following year on 27 May 1796, he was commissioned lieutenant after passing the examination. [9] After several transfers in North America and a return home in 1798, he was assigned as 8th Lieutenant on Lord Keith's flagship HMS Barfleur in the Mediterranean. [10]

During his service on Barfleur, Cochrane was court-martialled for showing disrespect to Philip Beaver, the ship's first lieutenant. The board reprimanded him for flippancy. This was the first public manifestation of a pattern of Cochrane being unable to get along with many of his superiors, subordinates, employers, and colleagues in several navies and Parliament, even those with whom he had much in common and who should have been natural allies. His behaviour led to a long enmity with Admiral of the Fleet The 1st Earl of St Vincent.

In February 1800, Cochrane commanded the prize crew taking the captured French vessel Généreux to the British base at Mahón. The ship was almost lost in a storm, with Cochrane and his brother Archibald going aloft in place of crew who were mostly ill. Cochrane was promoted to commander and took command of the brig sloop HMS Speedy on 28 March 1800. Later that year, a Spanish warship disguised as a merchant ship almost captured him. He escaped by flying a Danish flag and fending off a boarding by claiming that his ship was plague-ridden. On another occasion, he was being chased by an enemy frigate and knew that it would follow him in the night by any glimmer of light from Speedy, so he placed a lantern on a barrel and let it float away. The enemy frigate followed the light and Speedy escaped.

In February 1801 at Malta, Cochrane got into an argument with a French Royalist officer at a fancy dress ball. He had come dressed as a common sailor, and the Royalist mistook him for one. This argument led to Cochrane's only duel.[ citation needed ] Cochrane wounded the French officer with a pistol shot and was himself unharmed.

The Action and Capture of the Spanish Xebeque Frigate El Gamo, Clarkson Frederick Stanfield Capture of the El Gamo.jpg
The Action and Capture of the Spanish Xebeque Frigate El Gamo, Clarkson Frederick Stanfield

One of his most notable exploits was the capture of the Spanish xebec frigate El Gamo on 6 May 1801. El Gamo carried 32 guns and 319 men, compared with Speedy's 14 guns and 54 men. [11] [12] Cochrane flew an American flag and approached so closely to El Gamo that her guns could not depress to fire on Speedy's hull. The Spanish tried to board and take over the ship but, whenever they were about to board, Cochrane pulled away briefly and fired on the concentrated boarding parties with his ship's guns. Eventually, Cochrane boarded El Gamo and captured her, despite being outnumbered about five to one.

In Speedy's 13-month cruise, Cochrane captured, burned, or drove ashore 53 ships before three French ships of the line under Admiral Charles-Alexandre Linois captured him on 3 July 1801. While Cochrane was held as a prisoner, Linois often asked him for advice. In his autobiography, Cochrane recounted how courteous and polite the French officer had been. A few days later, he was exchanged for the second captain of another French ship. On 8 August 1801, he was promoted to the rank of post-captain.

After the Peace of Amiens, Cochrane attended the University of Edinburgh. Upon the resumption of war in 1803, St Vincent assigned him in October 1803 to command the sixth-rate 22-gun HMS Arab. Cochrane alleged that the vessel handled poorly, colliding with Royal Navy ships on two occasions (Bloodhound and Abundance). In his autobiography, he compared Arab to a collier. He wrote that his first thoughts on seeing Arab being repaired at Plymouth were that she would "sail like a haystack." [13] Despite this, he intercepted and boarded the American merchant ship Chatham. This created an international incident, as Britain was not at war with the United States. Arab and her commander were assigned to protect Britain's important whaling fleet beyond Orkney in the North Sea.

In 1804, Lord St Vincent stood aside for the incoming new government led by William Pitt the Younger, and The 1st Viscount Melville took office. In December of that year, Cochrane was appointed to command of the new 32-gun frigate HMS Pallas. He undertook a series of notable exploits over the following eighteen months.

In August 1806, he took command of the 38-gun frigate HMS Imperieuse, formerly the Spanish frigate Medea. One of his midshipmen was Frederick Marryat, who later wrote fictionalised accounts of his adventures with Cochrane.

In Imperieuse, Cochrane raided the Mediterranean coast of France during the continuing Napoleonic Wars. In 1808, Cochrane and a Spanish guerrilla force captured the fortress of Mongat, which straddled the road between Gerona and Barcelona. This delayed General Duhesme's French army for a month. On another raid, Cochrane copied code books from a signal station, leaving behind the originals so that the French would believe them uncompromised. When Imperieuse ran short of water, she sailed up the estuary of the Rhone to replenish. A French army marched into Catalonia and besieged Rosas, and Cochrane took part in the defence of the town. He occupied and defended Fort Trinidad (Castell de la Trinitat) for a number of weeks before the fall of the city forced him to leave; Cochrane was one of the last two men to quit the fort.

While captain of Speedy, Pallas, and Imperieuse, Cochrane became an effective practitioner of coastal warfare during the period. He attacked shore installations such as the Martello tower at Son Bou on Menorca, and he captured enemy ships in harbour by leading his men in boats in "cutting out" operations. He was a meticulous planner of every operation, which limited casualties among his men and maximised the chances of success.

In 1809, Cochrane commanded the attack by a flotilla of fire ships on Rochefort, as part of the Battle of the Basque Roads. The attack did considerable damage, but Cochrane blamed fleet commander Admiral Gambier for missing the opportunity to destroy the French fleet, accusations that resulted in the Court-martial of James, Lord Gambier. Cochrane claimed that, as a result of expressing his opinion publicly, the admiralty denied him the opportunity to serve afloat. But documentation shows that he was focussed on politics at this time and, indeed, refused a number of offers of command. [14]

Political career

In June 1806, Lord Cochrane stood for the House of Commons on a ticket of parliamentary reform (a movement which later brought about the Reform Acts) for the potwalloper borough of Honiton. This was exactly the kind of borough which Cochrane proposed to abolish; votes were mostly sold to the highest bidder. Cochrane offered nothing and lost the election. In October 1806, he ran for Parliament in Honiton and won. Cochrane initially denied that he paid any bribes, but he revealed in a Parliamentary debate ten years later that he had paid ten guineas (£10 10s) per voter through Mr. Townshend, local headman and banker.

Portrait of Lord Cochrane in 1807 by Peter Edward Stroehling Lord Cochrane 1807.jpg
Portrait of Lord Cochrane in 1807 by Peter Edward Stroehling

In May 1807, Cochrane was elected by Westminster in a more democratic election. He had campaigned for parliamentary reform, allied with such Radicals as William Cobbett, Sir Francis Burdett, and Henry Hunt. His outspoken criticism of the conduct of the war and the corruption in the navy made him powerful enemies in the government. His criticism of Admiral Gambier's conduct at the Battle of the Basque Roads was so severe that Gambier demanded a court-martial to clear his name. Cochrane made important enemies in the Admiralty during this period.

In 1810, Sir Francis Burdett, a member of parliament and political ally, had barricaded himself in his home at Piccadilly, London, resisting arrest by the House of Commons. Cochrane went to assist Burdett's defence of the house. His approach was similar to what he used in the navy and would have led to numerous deaths amongst the arresting officers and at least partial destruction of Burdett's house, along with much of Piccadilly. On realising what Cochrane planned, Burdett and his allies took steps to end the siege.

Cochrane was popular with the public but was unable to get along with his colleagues in the House of Commons or within the government. He usually had little success in promoting his causes. An exception was his successful confrontation of a prize court in 1814.

His conviction in the Great Stock Exchange Fraud of 1814 resulted in Parliament expelling him on 5 July 1814. However, his constituents in the seat of Westminster re-elected him at the resulting by-election on 16 July. [15] He held this seat until 1818. In 1818, Cochrane's last speech in Parliament advocated parliamentary reform.

In 1830, Cochrane initially expressed interest in running for Parliament but then declined. Lord Brougham's brother had decided to run for the seat, and Cochrane also thought that it would look bad for him to be publicly supporting a government from which he sought pardon for his fraud conviction.

In 1831, his father died and Cochrane became the 10th Earl of Dundonald. As such, he was no longer entitled to sit in the Commons.

Marriage and children

In 1812, Cochrane married Katherine ("Katy") Frances Corbet Barnes, a beautiful orphan who was about twenty years his junior. They met through Cochrane's cousin Nathaniel Day Cochrane. [16] This was an elopement and a civil ceremony, due to the opposition of his wealthy uncle Basil Cochrane, who disinherited his nephew as a result. Cochrane called Katherine "Kate," "Kitty," or "Mouse" in letters to her; she often accompanied her husband on his extended campaigns in South America and Greece.

Cochrane and Katherine remarried in the Anglican Church in 1818, and in the Church of Scotland in 1825. They had six children;

The confusion of multiple ceremonies led to suspicions that Cochrane's first son Thomas Barnes Cochrane was illegitimate. Investigation of this delayed Thomas's accession to the Earldom of Dundonald on his father's death.

Great Stock Exchange Fraud

In February 1814, rumours began to circulate of Napoleon's death. The claims were seemingly confirmed by a man in a red staff officer's uniform identified as Colonel de Bourg, aide-de-camp to Lord Cathcart and British ambassador to Russia. He arrived in Dover from France on 21 February bearing news that Napoleon had been captured and killed by Cossacks. [18] Share prices rose sharply on the Stock Exchange in reaction to the news and the possibility of peace, particularly in a volatile government stock called Omnium which increased from 26 12 to 32. [18] However, it soon became clear that the news of Napoleon's death was a hoax. The Stock Exchange established a sub-committee to investigate, and they discovered that six men had sold substantial amounts of Omnium stock during the boom in value. The committee assumed that all six were responsible for the hoax and subsequent fraud. Cochrane had disposed of his entire £139,000 holding in Omnium (equivalent to £9,550,000in 2018) – which he had only acquired a month before – and was named as one of the six conspirators, as was his uncle Andrew Cochrane-Johnstone and his stockbroker Richard Butt. [18] Within days, an anonymous informant told the committee that Colonel de Bourg was an imposter; he was a Prussian aristocrat named Charles Random de Berenger. He had also been seen entering Cochrane's house on the day of the hoax. [19]

A caricature created in 1815 titled Things as they have been. Things as they now are. The left side of the image depicts Cochrane as a heroic naval officer. The right side depicts him as a disgraced civilian imprisoned within the walls of the King's Bench Prison. Cochrane Stock Exchange.jpg
A caricature created in 1815 titled Things as they have been. Things as they now are. The left side of the image depicts Cochrane as a heroic naval officer. The right side depicts him as a disgraced civilian imprisoned within the walls of the King's Bench Prison.

The accused were brought to trial in the Court of King's Bench, Guildhall on 8 June 1814. The trial was presided over by Lord Ellenborough, a High Tory and a notable enemy of the radicals, who had previously convicted and sentenced to prison radical politicians William Cobbett and Henry Hunt in politically motivated trials. [20] The evidence against Cochrane was circumstantial and hinged on the nature of his share dealings, his contacts with the conspirators, and the colour of uniform which De Berenger had been wearing when they met in his house. [21] Cochrane admitted that he was acquainted with De Berenger and that the man had visited his home on the day of the fraud, but insisted that he had arrived wearing a green sharpshooter's uniform rather than the red uniform worn by the person who claimed to be de Bourg. Cochrane said that De Berenger had visited to request passage to the United States aboard Cochrane's new command HMS Tonnant. Cochrane's servants agreed, in an affidavit created before the trial, that the collar of the uniform above De Berenger's greatcoat had been green. However, they admitted to Cochrane's solicitors that they thought the rest had been red. They were not called at trial to give evidence. [22] The prosecution summoned as key witness hackney carriage driver William Crane, who swore that De Berenger was wearing a scarlet uniform when he delivered him to the house. [23] Cochrane's defence also argued that he had given standing instructions to Butt that his Omnium shares were to be sold if the price rose by 1 per cent, and he would have made double profit if he waited until it reached its peak price. [24]

On the second day of the trial, Lord Ellenborough began his summary of the evidence and drew attention to the matter of De Berenger's uniform; he concluded that witnesses had provided damning evidence. [25] The jury retired to deliberate and returned a verdict of guilty against all the defendants two and a half hours later. Belatedly, Cochrane's defence team found several witnesses who were willing to testify that De Berenger had arrived wearing a green uniform, but Lord Ellenborough dismissed their evidence as inadmissible because two of the conspirators had fled the country upon hearing the guilty verdict. [25] On 20 June 1814, Cochrane was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, fined £1,000, and ordered to stand in the pillory opposite the Royal Exchange for one hour. In subsequent weeks, he was dismissed from the Royal Navy by the Admiralty and expelled from Parliament following a motion in the House of Commons which was passed by 144 votes to 44. [25] On the orders of the Prince Regent, Cochrane was humiliated by the loss of his appointment Knight of the Order of the Bath in a degradation ceremony at Westminster Abbey. His banner was taken down and physically kicked out of the chapel and down the outside steps. [25] But, within a month, Cochrane was re-elected unopposed as the Member of Parliament for Westminster. Following a public outcry, his sentence to the pillory was rescinded for fears that it would lead to the outbreak of a riot. [26] [27]

The question of Cochrane's innocence or guilt created much debate at the time, and it has divided historians ever since. [28] Subsequent reviews of the trial carried out by three Lord Chancellors during the course of the 19th century concluded that Cochrane should have been found not guilty on the basis of the evidence produced in court. [29] Cochrane maintained his innocence for the rest of his life and campaigned tirelessly to restore his damaged reputation and to clear his name. He believed that the trial was politically motivated and that a "higher authority than the Stock Exchange" was responsible for his prosecution. [27] A series of petitions put forward by Cochrane protesting his innocence were ignored until 1830. That year, King George IV (the former Prince Regent) died and was succeeded by William IV. He had served in the Royal Navy and was sympathetic to Cochrane's cause. [30] Later that year, the Tory government fell and was replaced by a Whig government in which his friend Lord Brougham was appointed Lord Chancellor. [30] Following a meeting of the Privy Council in May 1832, Cochrane was granted a pardon and restored to the Navy List with a promotion to rear-admiral. [31] [32] Support from friends in the government and the writings of popular naval authors such as Frederick Marryat and Maria Graham increased public sympathy for Cochrane's situation. Cochrane's knighthood was restored in May 1847 with the personal intervention of Queen Victoria, and he was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. [33] [34] [35] Only in 1860 was his banner returned to Westminster Abbey; it was the day before his funeral. [32]

In 1876, his grandson received a payment of £40,000 from the British government (equivalent to £3,700,000in 2018), based on the recommendations of a Parliamentary select committee, in compensation for Cochrane's conviction. The committee had concluded that his conviction was unjust. [36]

Service with other navies

Chilean Navy

Painting of the First Chilean Navy Squadron commanded by Cochrane Zarpe de la Primera Escuadra Nacional.jpg
Painting of the First Chilean Navy Squadron commanded by Cochrane

Lord Cochrane left the UK in official disgrace, but that did not end his naval career. Accompanied by Lady Cochrane and their two children, he reached Valparaíso on 28 November 1818. Chile was rapidly organising its new navy for its war of independence.

Cochrane became a Chilean citizen (unrecognized state), on 11 December 1818 at the request of Chilean leader Bernardo O'Higgins. He was appointed Vice Admiral and took command of the Chilean Navy in Chile's war of independence against Spain. He was the first Vice Admiral of Chile. [37] (p37) Cochrane reorganised the Chilean navy with British commanders, introducing British naval customs and, formally, English-speaking govern in their warships. He took command in the frigate O'Higgins and blockaded and raided the coasts of Peru, as he had those of France and Spain. On his own initiative, he organised and led the capture of Valdivia, despite only having 300 men and two ships to deploy against seven large forts. He failed in his attempt to capture the Chiloé Archipelago for Chile.

A painting of the Capture of Valdivia in the Chilean naval and maritime museum Tomadevaldivia.JPG
A painting of the Capture of Valdivia in the Chilean naval and maritime museum

In 1820, O'Higgins ordered him to convoy the Liberation Army of General José de San Martín to Peru, blockade the coast, and support the campaign for independence. Later, forces under Cochrane's personal command cut out and captured the frigate Esmeralda, the most powerful Spanish ship in South America. All this led to Peruvian independence, which O'Higgins considered indispensable to Chile's security. Cochrane's victories in the Pacific were spectacular and important. The excitement was almost immediately marred by his accusations that he had been plotted against by subordinates and treated with contempt and denied adequate financial reward by his superiors. The evidence does not support these accusations, and the problem appeared to lie in Cochrane's own suspicious and uneasy personality. [38]

Loose words from his wife Katy resulted in a rumour that Cochrane had made plans to free Napoleon from his exile on Saint Helena and make him ruler of a unified South American state. This could not have been true because Charles,[ clarification needed ] the supposed envoy bearing the rumoured plans, had been killed two months before his reported "departure to Europe". [39] Cochrane left the service of the Chilean Navy on 29 November 1822.

Chilean naval vessels named after Lord Cochrane

The Chilean Navy has named five ships Cochrane or Almirante Cochrane (Admiral Cochrane) in his honour:

Imperial Brazilian Navy

Brazil was fighting its own war of independence against Portugal. In 1822, the southern provinces (except Montevideo, now in Uruguay) came under the control of the patriots led by the Prince Regent, later Emperor Pedro I. Portugal still controlled some important provincial capitals in the north, with major garrisons and naval bases such as Belém do Pará, Salvador da Bahia, and São Luís do Maranhão.

Lord Cochrane took command of the Imperial Brazilian Navy on 21 March 1823 and its flagship Pedro I. He blockaded the Portuguese in Bahia, confronted them at the Battle of 4 May, and forced them to evacuate the province in a vast convoy of ships which Cochrane's men attacked as they crossed the Atlantic. Cochrane sailed to Maranhão (then spelled Maranham) on his own initiative and bluffed the garrison into surrender by claiming that a vast (and mythical) Brazilian fleet and army were over the horizon. He sent subordinate Captain John Pascoe Grenfell to Belém do Pará to use the same bluff and extract a Portuguese surrender. As a result of Cochrane's efforts, Brazil became totally de facto independent and free of any Portuguese troops. On Cochrane's return to Rio de Janeiro in 1824, Emperor Pedro I rewarded the officer by granting him the non-hereditary title of Marquess of Maranhão (Marquês do Maranhão) in the Empire of Brazil. He was also awarded an accompanying coat of arms.

As in Chile and earlier occasions, Cochrane's joy at these successes was rapidly replaced by quarrels over pay and prize money, and an accusation that the Brazilian authorities were plotting against him. [40]

In mid-1824, Cochrane sailed north with a squadron to assist the Brazilian army under General Francisco Lima e Silva in suppressing a republican rebellion in the state of Pernambuco which had begun to spread to Maranhão and other northern states. The rebellion was rapidly extinguished. Cochrane proceeded to Maranhão, where he took over the administration. He demanded the payment of prize money which he claimed he was owed as a result of the recapture of the province in 1823. [41] He absconded with public money and sacked merchant ships anchored in São Luís do Maranhão. [42] Defying orders to return to Rio de Janeiro, Cochrane transferred to a captured Brazilian frigate, left Brazil on 10 November 1825, and returned to Britain.

Greek Navy

Cochrane went to Greece to support its fight for independence from the Ottoman Empire, which had deployed an army raised in Egypt to suppress the Greek rebellion. He took an active role in the campaign between March 1827 and December 1828, but met with limited success. His subordinate Captain Hastings attacked Ottoman forces at the Gulf of Lepanto, which indirectly led to intervention by Great Britain, France, and Russia. They succeeded in destroying the Turko–Egyptian fleet at the Battle of Navarino, and the war was ended under mediation of the Great Powers. He resigned his commission at the end of the war and returned to Britain.

Return to Royal Navy

Lord Dundonald's residence while Commander-in-Chief, North America Station (1848-1851) Admiralty House Halifax.jpg
Lord Dundonald's residence while Commander-in-Chief, North America Station (1848–1851)

Lord Cochrane inherited his peerage following his father's death on 1 July 1831, becoming The 10th Earl of Dundonald. He was restored to the Royal Navy list on 2 May 1832 as a Rear Admiral of the Blue. The full return of Lord Dundonald, as he was now, to Royal Navy service was delayed by his refusal to take a command until his knighthood had been restored, which took 15 years. He continued to receive promotions in the list of flag officers, as follows:

On 22 May 1847, Queen Victoria reappointed him Knight of the Order of the Bath. He returned to the Royal Navy, serving as Commander-in-Chief of the North America and West Indies Station from 1848 to 1851. During the Crimean War, the government considered him for a command in the Baltic, but decided that there was too high a chance that Lord Dundonald would risk the fleet in a daring attack. On 6 November 1854, he was appointed to the honorary office of Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom, an office that he retained until his death.

In his final years, Lord Dundonald wrote his autobiography in collaboration with G.B. Earp. He twice had to undergo painful surgery for kidney stones in 1860 with his health deteriorating. He died during the second operation on 31 October 1860 in Kensington. [43]

Dundonald was buried in Westminster Abbey where his grave is in the central part of the nave. Each year in May, representatives of the Chilean Navy hold a wreath-laying ceremony at his grave. [44]

Innovations in technology

Convoys were guided by ships following the lamps of those ahead. In 1805, Lord Cochrane entered a Royal Navy competition for a superior convoy lamp. He believed that the judges were biased against him, so he re-entered the contest under another name and won the prize. [45]

In 1806, Cochrane had a galley made to his specifications which he carried on board Pallas and used to attack the French coast. It had the advantage of mobility and flexibility. [46]

In 1812, Lord Cochrane proposed attacking the French coast using a combination of bombardment ships, explosion ships, and "stink vessels" (gas warfare). A bombardment ship consisted of a strengthened old hulk filled with powder and shot and made to list to one side. It was anchored at night to face the enemy behind the harbour wall. When set off, it provided saturation bombardment of the harbour, which would be closely followed by landings of troops. He put the plans forward again before and during the Crimean War. The authorities, however, decided not to pursue his plans. [47] [48]

In 1818, Cochrane patented the tunnelling shield, together with engineer Marc Isambard Brunel, which Brunel and his son used in building the Thames Tunnel in 1825–43.

Cochrane was an early supporter of steamships. He tried to take the steamship Rising Star from Britain to Chile for use in the war of independence in the 1820s, but its construction took too long; it did not arrive until the war was ending. Rising Star was a 410-ton vessel adapted to a new design at Brent's Yard at the Greenland Dock at the Thames: twin funnels, a retractable paddle wheel, and driven by a 60-horsepower engine. [37] (p33) Similarly, he suffered delays with construction of a steamship which he had hoped to put into use in the Greek War of Independence. In the 1830s, Lord Dundonald, as he now was, experimented with steam power, developing a rotary engine and a propeller. In 1851, Lord Dundonald received a patent on powering steamships with bitumen. [49] He was conferred with Honorary Membership in the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland in 1857. [50]

Burial and memorial

Lord Dundonald was interred in Westminster Abbey in the floor of the nave directly before the choir. His epitaph, written by Sir Lyon Playfair, reads:

'Here rests in his 85th year Thomas Cochrane Tenth Earl of Dundonald of Paisley and of Ochiltree in the Peerage of Scotland Marquess of Marenham in the Empire of Brazil GCB and Admiral of the Fleet who by his confidence and genius his science and extraordinary daring inspired by his heroic exertion in the cause of freedom and his splended services alike to his own country, Greece, Brazil, Chile and Peru achieved a name illustrious throughout the world for courage, patriotism and chivalry. Born Dec 14 1775. Died Oct 31 1860' [51]

Ancestry

[52] [53] [54] [55]

Arms

Literary references

Influence on naval fiction

His career inspired a number of writers of nautical fiction. The first was Captain Frederick Marryat, who had served under him as a midshipman and published his first novel in 1829. In the 20th century, the figures and careers of Horatio Hornblower in the novels by C. S. Forester and of Jack Aubrey in the Aubrey–Maturin series of novels by Patrick O'Brian were in part modelled on his exploits. [58]

Appearance in fiction

Poetry

See also

Notes

  1. "Lorde Cochrane, o turbulento Marquês do Maranhão" (PDF). Revista Navigator. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  2. The heir-apparent to an earldom uses the Earl's next-highest title as a courtesy title; see Earl for details.
  3. Even after he had inherited the title of Earl of Dundonald in 1831, he was often still referred to as Lord Cochrane.
  4. Cordingley, p.10.
  5. Cordingley, p.20.
  6. Cordingley, p.19 & p.21.
  7. Cordingley, p.25.
  8. 1 2 Cordingley, p.21.
  9. 1 2 Cordingley, pp.22–24.
  10. Cordingley, pp.28–29.
  11. Cordingly p.58.
  12. "No. 15393". The London Gazette . 8 January 1801. p. 949.
  13. Cochrane Britannia's Sea Wolf, Thomas, p. 82
  14. Vale, Brian, The Audacious Admiral Cochrane, Conway, 2004, p. 63-72
  15. "Leigh Rayment's peerage page".
  16. The London Review of Politics, Society, Literature, Art, & Science, Volume 6, 20 June 1863, p. 652
  17. http://townsley.info/webtrees/individual.php?pid=I43442&ged=tree2
  18. 1 2 3 Vale (2004) p.74.
  19. Cordingly p.241.
  20. Cordingly p.243.
  21. Vale (2004) p.78.
  22. Dale, Richard, Napoleon is Dead: Lord Cochrane and the Great Stock Exchange Scandal, Sutton 2006
  23. Cordingly p.244.
  24. Vale (2004) p.77.
  25. 1 2 3 4 Cordingly p.250.
  26. Vale p.81.
  27. 1 2 Cordingly p.251.
  28. Cordingly pp.251–252.
  29. Cordingly p.352.
  30. 1 2 Cordingly p.334.
  31. "No. 18934". The London Gazette . 8 May 1832. p. 1017.
  32. 1 2 Cordingly p.335.
  33. Vale (2008) pp.193–194.
  34. Cordingly pp.343–344.
  35. "No. 20736". The London Gazette . 25 May 1847. p. 1870.
  36. Thomas, Donald (1997). Cochrane: Britannia's sea wolf. Naval Institute Press. p. [ page needed ]. ISBN   978-1-55750-808-9.
  37. 1 2 Brian Vale, Cochrane in the Pacific, I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd, 2008, ISBN   978-1-84511-446-6
  38. Vale, Brian, 'Cochrane in the Pacific', I. B. Tauris 2008
  39. Vale, Brian, 'Cochrane in the Pacific', I. B. Tauris 2008, page 205
  40. Vale, Brian. Independence or Death! British Sailors and Brazilian Independence, I. B. Tauris, 1996
  41. Vale, 1996
  42. Gomes, Laurentino. "1822". Nova Fronteira, São Paulo, 2010
  43. Vale, Brian (2008). Cochrane in the Pacific: Fortune and Freedom in Spanish America. I. B. Tauris. ISBN   1-84511-446-9.
  44. "Thomas Cochrane", Westminster Abbey
  45. Cordingly p.337
  46. Gardner p. 108
  47. Cordingly p. 337
  48. Grimble pp. 384–417
  49. Cordingly p.346
  50. "IESIS Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland". iesis.org.
  51. "National Maritime Museum Memorials Listing".
  52. "Person Page". thepeerage.com.
  53. "Dundonald, Earl of (S, 1669)". cracroftspeerage.co.uk.
  54. loretta (2 March 2013). "Pedigree of the Roberton Family". SlideServe.
  55. Historical and genealogical memoirs of the House of Hamilton
  56. The Scots peerage: founded on Wood's ed. of Sir Robert Douglas's Peerage of Scotland; containing an historical and genealogical account of the nobility of that kingdom; p. 368; by Paul, James Balfour, Sir, 1846-1931; Edinburgh: D. Douglas; Not in copyright
  57. "VASCONCELOS, Jaime Smith & VASCONCELOS, Rodolfo Smith. Archivo Nobiliarchico Brasileiro. Lausanne, 1918". Link.library.utoronto.ca. 1 January 1995. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  58. King, Dean, 2000, Patrick O'Brian: A Life Revealed, p. 193, Henry Holt & Co, New York ISBN   0-8050-5976-8
  59. Bernard Cornwell, Sharpe's Devil: Chile 1820 (Sharpe's Adventures) ISBN   0-06-093229-5
  60. S.M. Stirling, The Domination (Omnibus edition of first 3 works) ISBN   0-671-57794-8

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References

Further reading

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Richard Bateman-Robson
Augustus Cavendish Bradshaw
Member of Parliament for Honiton
18061807
With: Augustus Cavendish Bradshaw
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Hamilton, Bt
Augustus Cavendish Bradshaw
Preceded by
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Sir Samuel Hood, Bt
Member of Parliament for Westminster
18071818
With: Sir Francis Burdett, Bt
Succeeded by
Sir Francis Burdett, Bt
Sir Samuel Romilly
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Francis Austen
Commander-in-Chief,
North America and West Indies Station

1848–1851
Succeeded by
Sir George Seymour
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir William Hall Gage
Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom
1854–1860
Succeeded by
Sir Graham Eden Hamond, Bt
Peerage of Scotland
Preceded by
Archibald Cochrane
Earl of Dundonald
1831–1860
Succeeded by
Thomas Barnes Cochrane
Titles of nobility of the Brazilian Empire
New title Marquess of Maranhão
1824–1860
Extinct