Author Topic: Nelsons Navy.  (Read 5033 times)

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Offline stokerstan

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2020, 09:50:55 PM »
 
 Cochrane Ashore.

Offline stokerstan

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2020, 08:13:24 PM »
   Admiral Gambier, requested that a formal court martial be held to refute allegations being made against him by the popular press, and loudly expressed in Parliament by Captain Cochrane.
The court martial was never going to find in favour of a captain,when an Admirals reputation was on the line. the board hearing the case was comprised of seven Admirals. The issue was turned into an administration question. Gambier simply stated that he believed keeping the fleet safe was in the best interest of the navy, and no officer as junior as Cochran, regardless of his outstanding experience and succession should question orders. No person who was actually present at the battle was allowed to give evidence in support of Cochrans submission, that the whole French fleet could and should have been taken or sunk. and for him to raise the issue was deemed deeply disrespectful. Gambier, as Admiral of the home fleet had not been on a ship for over seventeen years, but his neither his fitness to serve or his obvious incompetence were questioned. Gambiers sword was returned to him, and soon after,parliament voted overwhelmingly to grant a vote of thanks to him with no mention Cochrane.
 The opinion of the general public and universally among serving men in the service was that Admiralty had conducted a white wash. However what Cochrane had done was to expose that a large and dangerous part of the establishment was irreparably corrupt,and he had signalled his intention to expose it further. He had made a lot of enemies in high places.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2020, 04:55:38 PM by stokerstan »

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2020, 04:23:22 PM »
 
  Cochrane, was captain of HMS  Imperieuse at the time of Aix Roads Battle, and had already performed remarkably well both at sea in her, and on two occasions when he had conducted extraordinary amphibious actions at Mongat and Port Vendres. He had further won international acclaim for a spectacular defence of Fort Trinidad, landing gunners and other members of his crew to set up defences that thwarted a French operation to take the Fort.
  It was obvious throughout the navy, and similarly acknowledged by senior officers of the army, that Cochrane with his highly trained crew, was an irreplaceable force for the allied cause.
 Britain, and the rest of Europe at this time was being beaten down at virtually every turn. The sole star being a young Wellesley, later the Duke of Wellington, who was struggling in the
Spanish peninsula, and was desperate for support that was seldom supplied. Senior officers in England had committed 40,000 men and most of the British fleet to the battle Walcheren, against
the advice of more experienced soldiers and sailors (Cochrane being one). Cochrane had offered plans for this battle which were ignored, and it proved to be the most expensive fiascos in British military history. 3000 soldiers died of disease in the swamps that they were expected to fight in. Leading the army was the Earl of Chatham( the prime ministers brother),reported to be an
appalling and inexperienced general. Wellesley was winning the bloody battle of Talavera, and getting very little praise at this time.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 09:25:20 AM by stokerstan »

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2020, 12:41:10 PM »
 When Cochrane continued to express his view on Gambiers court marshal. He was summarily told to report to his ship, and take up a position in the long standing blockade of Toulon.
He would be under the tight control of an Admiral,and his days of chasing (and catching) enemy ships would be at an end.Admiralty thinking was that he would be quietly forgotten, and the systems
that made them rich would continue. Cochrane declined the instruction, and was immediately "brought ashore", but having retained his parliamentary seat in the Commons, he had a ready made base to start a his campaign against the "Establishment.
    Cochrans campaign was waged with same fury he had shown against the French ships.He toured navy dockyards, checking for obvious corruption, he found it in vast amounts.
 Cochrane was particularly loud about the vast sums of money that was filtering out of the system, and could be traced all too easily up to very senior establishment figures. The navy was and always had been a hard life on the lower deck. Even senior captains were paid very poorly in a world where injury and death were a normal part of the job .Cochrane exposed massive amounts of money that should have been paid to injured men being diverted to senior officials, like wise widows pensions for men killed in action that had never been paid. In a famous speech made in the Commons Cochrane produced detailed accounts of sailors having served twelve or fourteen year on ships without a break, or pay, even when prize money running into millions of pounds had been won, and divided up in such a manner that an admiral thousands of miles away became millionaires without ever seeing action.Corruption was endemic through lowly dockyard clerk up to Admirals of the Fleet.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 04:02:59 PM by stokerstan »

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2020, 04:51:29 PM »
  Fraud.  For almost five years Cochrane chased the trails of corruption, he was without doubt obsessed. He likened the life of seaman to that of a slave, pointing out that the slave could hope to live
out a reasonable life time, in the navy it was unusual to live on the lower deck into advanced years.He had a small group of like minded M.Ps. and together they carried their protests round the country. Cochran often came close serious action when the group were threatened with force.On one occasion he got himself thrown into prison, and escaped with the help of sailors, and the warder turning a blind eye. On another occasion when one of the radicals was threatened with prison, Cochrane located a large barrel of gun powder in the adjacent house and nobody could say if he would have blown up the whole road, but the authorities decided not test the matter and withdrew, Cochrans friends persuaded him to move the barrel to a safer place. Cochrans campaigns were not limited to naval matters, he exposed the conditions prevalent in prisons, and the whole judicial system, its with hangings and floggings.Not everything Corchran campaigned on were popular, but he continued to be a major thorn in the side of the established order. Cochrane also upset his very wealth Uncle Basil. The uncle had decided to restore the wealth and fortune of the Dundonald dynasty
by leaving most of his lands and fortune to Thomas, providing Thomas married a rich lady.The bride to be was to be the daughter of an official at the Admiralty court who had become rich by the exact means that Thomas was fighting against. He eloped instead with a sixteen year old house maid called Katherine who had nothing they got married in Scotland.Thomas inherited nothing
Cochrane was a "Whistle Blower" and for almost five years he campaigned against establishment corruption, and financial inequality, he made many enemies, and he was without a command or a ship.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2020, 08:30:15 PM by stokerstan »

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2020, 09:17:09 PM »
Early in 1814 it seemed his naval career might be restored. England was at war with America, and Thomas was offered the chance to act as Captain aboard HMS Tonnant, one of the best ships in the fleet. Tonnant was an 80 gun vessel, and was to be the Flagship of Thomas's uncle Sir Alexander Cochrane who believed that his nephew deserved to be back in action.
 Thomas was to take command of the ship immediately, and see to the provisioning of her in preparation for an Atlantic crossing and her entering the fight.Thomas was over the moon, and whilst he was aware he had many enemies in high places,he felt he could make a new start in a new theatre of war.
 Cochrane, had not reckoned on the deep reserves of hatred that were still in place in parts of the establishment, particularly among the governing political diehards many who he had so offended.,
and subsequent events soon swept over Thomas Cochrane in a way no enemy ship had been able to do.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2020, 11:48:18 AM by stokerstan »

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2020, 05:19:06 PM »
Sir Alexander Cochrane held a dinner party to finalise his departure for America, and at the dinner Thomas was introduced to Captain De Berenger,a friend of Lord Yarmouth. Thomas Cochrane had been persuaded to invest some of his prize money into Stock on the London Stock Exchange by a Richard Butt,an astute money man and the pay clerk at Portsmouth.
  When everything seemed to be going well for Thomas, he was arrested and held under close house arrest.
 A rumour had spread round the city of London that Napoleon Bonaparte who was winning lots of battles, which caused the English Stock Market to be very depressed, had been ambushed by a party  of Cossacks,and that a French delegation was on their way to England to end the war . Thomas always claimed that he had heard the story, and had no reason to doubt it, and admitted openly,to passing on the story to friends, some of whom borrowed money to invest in the rapidly rising Stock Market prices. Within a couple of days when reliable English agents
reported that Napoleon was alive and well and eating out in Paris, the English stock market crashed.
  Lord Thomas Cochrane, was formally charged with fraudulently manipulating the Stock Exchange for gain. He was tried and found guilty and sentenced to two years imprisonment, a period in the stocks, and stripped of his Bath banner, his naval commission and debarred from his Parliamentary seat. Few people who knew him believed there was any truth in the conviction, details still available on record tend to imply that Cochrane was set up by persons in high places, when it seemed likely that Cochrane could possibly return to office from an American war ever more popular.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2020, 07:01:40 PM by stokerstan »

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2020, 02:06:47 PM »
Thomas Cochrane, and his supporters seemed never to have believed that he could be found guilty, the evidence available even when viewed  today, was so slender. It is likely that they failed to appreciate the power of the prevailing corruption both of the law, and the politics. Stripped of his honours, expelled from parliament, and possibly worst of all he was cashiered from the navy. In the space of a few weeks the international hero, with money and a comfortable home, with a wife and servants, on the verge of taking command of England's newest Flagship was locked up in a prison housing common criminals.
   Cochrane was sentenced to two years imprisonment, fined a thousand pounds, and to be pilloried in public. The general public were up in arms when the news was released, Cochrane refused to pay any fine
.A Cochrane supporter stood in the bye election for Cochrans seat, as a Cochrane representative, and won the seat by a huge majority. The court withdrew the pillory punishment, in fear of a major mob uprising. But Cochrane was imprisoned, but refused to pay any fine.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2020, 05:36:14 PM by stokerstan »

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2020, 05:46:13 PM »
 Thomas Cochrane , though still  a young man, his health had suffered, and he was only moved from the worst conditions by sustained pressure from his friends. He escaped once, having been supplied with rope by persons unknown, (but probably his wife). All ports went on alert,in the belief that he would flee the country, but it transpired he had gone home. He was rearrested when he turned up in  Parliament, and attempted to make a speech and returned to prison. Cochrane was eventually persuaded to pay the thousand pound fine, and subsequently released. July 1815.
  Cochrane's case had fallen out of public interest, Wellington had defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, and new heroes had been created, but Cochrane took up where he had left off, raising issues that caused embarrassment to the government,and even gaining votes in the Commons to block a government bill that would have given a pension rise to George III hightly unpopular son, the Duke of Cumberland.
  Thomas Cochrane continued his campaigns for over three years,, but his finances were far from secure. Prize money owed to him from his naval battles, often promised to be released to him, was constantly blocked, and he was rapidly heading to the poor house.
  His situation took a remarkable turn round in early 1817, when a messenger arrived at his house requesting to meet him, with an offer of "professional employment" in South America.Thomas accepted the job virtually without question
« Last Edit: August 14, 2020, 09:13:14 PM by stokerstan »

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2020, 10:15:05 PM »
 
 Spain in 1808, had been occupied by Napoleon,and the Spanish royal family arrested. Spain had a provisional government in exile, and it created "juntas" both in Spain and in its over seas
dominions who would rule in the name of the King whilst he remained out of power, South America with its gold and silver mines was now expected to again underpin the Spanish economy.
  By 1817 when the Spanish Royalist attempted to return power back to Spain,they found that the juntas had developed a taste for home rule, and were prepared to fight for it.
 Various battles were fought, and the local republicans made good headway in establishing freedom from the Spanish Royalist factions However a  major obstacle was the  powerful Spanish navy which excised total control of most of the Pacific Ocean. The Royalist navy were able to patrol the coasts virtually unhindered, moving men and supplies at will, and it was known that Spain was in the process of building and manning a bigger more powerful fleet specifically for their Pacific war.
  The government of the newly established Chile,sent a special envoy, one Don Jose Alvarez, to recruit experienced Royal Naval Officers to build and train a navy capable of contending with the
quite decent Spanish fleet, his first call was to the home of Cochrane, they made him an offer he could not resist.
 Thomas Cochrane with his wife and two children arrived at Valparaiso on the 28th November 1818, to be greeted by the Supreme Director General ..General O'Higgins.Bands and Bunting !!
« Last Edit: August 15, 2020, 05:03:38 AM by stokerstan »

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2020, 03:36:00 PM »
 Word soon reached the English parliament, and bill was passed prohibiting British subjects from fighting for a foreign power( difficult to explain when much of the English army and navy had been made up from men all round the globe).However it was too late to make any difference to Cochrane, he has sailed from Rye in a small fishing boat bound for Boulogne, whence he took passage to South America.He was 42 years old and had not been to sea for nine years, and it was to launch him into a career that was to prove even greater than his time in the English navy, it would seem that his fight against the French was an apprenticeship for greater fame and more surprising victories.
   Surprisingly enough, it was the rumour that Cochrane (always a complex character), had let it be know that he may well attempt to rescue Napoleon from his exile, to aid the cause of the Republics
fighting Royalist and Aristocrats  in South America. It never came to pass, Napoleon being too ill to bother when it was suggested to him. The issue however was confirmed in Cochran's               
 autobiography, written and published years later.
         Cochrane could probably have easily accomplished the rescue when he was passing on his way to Chile, but it was unlikely that Whilst Cochrane ultimately became a folk hero, Napoleon would most certainly have not been welcome.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2020, 07:15:51 PM by stokerstan »

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2020, 02:52:45 PM »
Cochrane in South America. Supreme Admiral of the Fleet
 Cochrane rounded Cape Horn and he landed at the port of Valparaiso to a huge welcome on the 28th of November 1818. A grand ball had been laid on for the now Admiral Cochrane, and the main leaders of the republican uprising were presented to him. The enormous task that he had set himself, (to drive the Spanish out of the Pacific) soon became obvious.The Spanish had fourteen first class frigates and numerous smaller craft.However, starting with a two frigates and a few guns boats he set about the task. He cut out and captured the Flag ship of the Spanish fleet, and after a couple of set backs, he got into his stride, and drove Spain out of Chile. Cochrane made a few mistakes, but given a free hand, and the opportunity to earn a great deal of money from prizes,he proved that many of the ideas he had wanted to implement into the Royal Navy were valid and effective. Experienced naval officers, and men on the lower decks proved happy to serve under his command,when  the men who won the money and the victories, got a share of the spoils and the due recognition. Cochrane was ready to return to England following the liberation of Chile, however he was asked to form and train navies for the emerging republics of Brazil, Peru,and eventually, Greece Cochrane's ability as a seaman, together with his flair for seeing and exploiting opportunities to act where others did not, produced many victories for him. But as in his life in the Royal Navy, he inevitably crossed swords with the Establishments, and it often cost him vast amounts of money and lost him friends. It seems that nothing at sea, and very little on a fighting ship caused Cochrane any real problems. Politics and Politicians were the stumbling blocks in his life.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2020, 11:31:25 AM by stokerstan »

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2020, 06:13:05 PM »
Cochran's time in Brazil, grew increasingly complicated.The Brazilians were fighting for independence from Portugal. However, as independence became a reality, it seems that fresh problems constantly arose among the administrations that took over government. Cochran's effortless control of the eastern seaboard of South America,with ,in effect only one major ship consolidated Brazilian independence. By mid June 1824, Cochrane was complaining that prize money and crews wages were not being paid as promised, and a major insurrection had broken out in
 Pernambuco,and Cochrane was asked to take overall control to sort the matter out. The Emperor himself offered Cochrane huge sums of money and full wages for the crews. Cochrane arrived on the scene of the battles, in mid August,he used his crews to establish some control, but it seems he simple got tired of the politics of the are He had moved his admirals flag into a small ship
 Piranga, and saying that he was returning to Rio,in fact set sail for England. He later said that he always intended to return to Brazil, (the Piranga was the property of the Brazilian government),
but he arrived in Spithead two weeks later, advising people he had left the employment of Brazil.
When he anchored at Spithead, he was not sure whether his status as First Admiral of Brazil would be recognised,he had been away six years, but his cannon salute was answered, although technically he was still officially an "out-law".

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2020, 08:31:07 PM »
Cochrane had been away for over six years, his achievements the stuff of legends. The problems that he had highlighted were still much the same, and for the most part his enemies much the same.
Cochrane had decided to have nothing to do with politics,but he still needed to make money! He headed up to Scotland where he was greeted as a hero. He was too popular for the government to think of taking any actions against him.
    Cochrane, liked money, and having little to do other than tour Scotland, when a large cash sum was offered to him to take on the job of sorting out the Greek navy he accepted it.. He was again warned about taking up arms for a foreign power, but he again slipped over the channel to France. The Duke of Wellington, (never a fan of Cochrans) attempted to warn Cochrane against the job. However, Cochrane was never a great fan of Wellington or Wellingtons politics, and he just ignored him.
    It was probably a mistake,and eventually Cochrane did return to England in1829. He had achieved very little. The Greeks were fighting the Turks, and the French were constantly getting involved.
Cochrane did not approve of the wide spread slaughter being carried out by both main propagandists, and a hard fight against a heavily armed slave ship,turned out  to be his last sea battle.
 The Greek problem was eventually solved by Admiral Sir Edward Codrington, who commanded a combined squadron of English, French and Russian warships that annihilated the Turkish fleet in
the battle of Navarino Bay in October 1827.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2020, 02:07:04 PM by stokerstan »

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Re: Nelsons Navy.
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2020, 08:42:41 PM »
1829 things looked up for Cochrane. King George IV died. King George did not like Cochrane, who many years before had managed to stop some members of the Royal Family getting a huge totally unearned rise in their spending money!! However King William IV had always been a fan of Thomas Cochrane, nicknamed the sailor king, he had long taken an interest in Cochrane's career, and was in total agreement of much on what he had campaigned.Same year the Wellington party lost the general election, and in 1830 when the famous Earl Grey (of tea fame) took power and began enacting the very parliamentary reforms that Cochrane had been advocating years before, to the detriment of his naval career and reputation. Cochrane lived to see many of his old enemies in the Admiralty turfed out of power. Politics still dogged Cochrane, the government privately wrote letters to him assuring him that he had their full approval, and that he should have his name completely cleared, and his naval record put right. But as in politics on most issues things never got done. Cochrane's wife Kitty,was not satisfied at all, and at a function attended by the king, Kitty told the king of her dissatisfaction at the treatment still being meted out to her husband. On the 2nd of May 1832 Cochrane was appointed rear Admiral of the fleet,and a complete pardon was issued to him by the king at St. James Palace. Cochrane however was still not happy, his Order of the Bath that was stripped from him when he went to prison, did not get reinstated until 1846, when he was seventy years old.Word had it that Queen Victoria had personally intervened in the matter, she was a huge admirer of the man, and the first vacancy that occured she had reserved for her hero.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 09:01:17 PM by stokerstan »