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DEATHS. occasionally. Suspecting that the ob this position returned our broadside, ject was to decoy us within reach of such as it was. To have fired our popsome larger vessel, we singled out one gun 4-pounders at a distance would of them and made at her, the others, have been to have thrown away the amhowever, supporting her so well that, munition; but the guns being doubly, some of our rigging being shot away, and, as I afterwards learned, trebly we made off shore to repair, the gun. shotted, and being elevated, they told boats following. Having thus got them admirably upon her main deck; the to some distance, and repaired damages, first discharge, as was subsequently we set all sail, and again ran in shore, ascertained, killing the Spanish captain in the hope of getting between them and the boatswain. My reason for and the land, so as to cut off some locking our small craft in the enemy's of their number. Perceiving our in rigging was the one upon which I tention, they all made for the port as mainly relied for victory, namely, that before, keeping up a smart fight, in from the height of the frigate out of which our foretopgallant-yard was so the water, the whole of her shot must much injured, that we had to shift it, necessarily go over our heads, whilst and were thus left astern.
our guns being elevated, would blow up mainder of the day was employed in her main deck. The Spaniards speedily repairing damages, and the gun-boats found out the disadvantage under which not venturing out again, at 9 P.M. we they were fighting, and gave the order again made off shore. Convinced that to board the Speedy. But as this order something more than ordinary had was as distinctly heard by us as by actuated the gun-boats to decoy us, them, we avoided it at the moment of just before daylight on the 6th, we execution by sheering off sufficiently to again ran in for Barcelona, when the prevent the movement, giving them a trap manifested itself in the form of a volley of musketry and a broadside large ship running under the land, and before they could recover themselves. bearing E.S.E. On hauling towards Twice was this maneuvre repeated, her, she changed her course in chace of and twice thus averted. The Spaniards us, and was shortly made out to be a finding that they were only punishing Spanish xebec frigate. As some of my themselves, gave up further attempts officers had expressed dissatisfaction at to board, and stood to their guns, not having been permitted to attack which were cutting up our rigging the frigate fallen in with on the 21st of from stem to stern, but doing little December, after her suspicions had further damage; for after the lapse of been lulled by our device of hoisting an hour the loss to the Speedy was only Danish colours, &c., I told them they two men killed and four wounded. should now have a fair fight, notwith This kind of combat, however, could standing that, by manning the two not last.
Our rigging being cut up prizes sent to Mahon, our numbers had and the Speedy's sails riddled with been reduced to fifty-four-officers and shot, I told the men that they must boys included. Orders were then given either take the frigate or be themselves to pipe all hands, and prepare for taken, in which case the Spaniards action. Accordingly we made towards would give no quarter-whilst a few the frigate, which was now coming minutes energetically employed on down under steering-sails. At 9-30 A.M., their part would decide the matter in she fired a gun, and hoisted Spanish their own favour. The doctor, Mr. colours, which the Speedy acknowledged Guthrie, who, I am happy to say, is by hoisting American colours, our ob still living to peruse this record of his ject being, as we were now exposed to gallantry, volunteered to take the helm; her full broadside, to puzzle her, till we leaving him therefore for the time both got on the other tack, when we ran up commander and crew of the Speedy, the English ensign, and immediately the order was given to board, and in a afterwards encountered her broadside few seconds every man was on the without damage. Shortly afterwards enemy's deck-a feat rendered the more she gave us another broadside, also easy as the doctor placed the Speedy without effect. My orders were, not to close alongside with admirableskill. For fire a gun till we were close to her; a moment the Spaniards seemed taken when, running under her lee, we locked by surprise, as though unwilling to our yards amongst her rigging, and in believe that so small a crew would have VOL. CII.
DEATHS. the audacity to board them; but soon forbidden to set fire to ships ashore ; 60 recovering themselves, they made a he set them on fire. The light attracted rush to the waist of the frigate, where three French line-of-battle ships. Cochthe fight was for some minutes gallantly rane, who never imagined that any. carried on. Observing the enemy's thing could take him, thought they were colours still flying, I directed one of our galleons, and gave chase. On discover. men immediately to haul them down, ing his mistake, he used his utmost when the Spanish crew, without pausing efforts to baffle his pursuers, and dared, to consider by whose orders the colours for several hours, the shot of the liners had been struck, and naturally believ as he attempted to run through them. ing it the act of their own officers, gave At length the Dessaizgot the brig within in, and we were in possession of the musket-shot, and at that distance dis. Gamo, frigate, of thirty-two heavy guns charged her whole broadside. The and 319 men, who, an hour and a half Speedy ought to have been annihilated, before, had looked upon us as a certain but she escaped without any other inif not an easy prey. “Our loss in board. jury than such as rendered it impossible ing was Lieutenant Parker, severely that she could get away, and the colours wounded in several places, one seaman were hauled down. Thus ended the killed and three wounded, which, with cruise of the Speedy, which, in thirteen those previously killed and wounded, months, had captured upwards of fifty gave a total of three seamen killed, and vessels, with 122 guns, and 534 prisonone officer and seventeen men wounded. ers. The French officers treated CochThe Gamo's loss was Captain de Torres, rane with distinguished honour. While a the boatswain, and thirteen seamen prisoner on board the Dessaix, Cochrane killed, together with forty-one wounded; was an involuntary witness of the deher casualties thus exceeding the whole feat of Sir J. Saumarez's squadron at number of officers and crew on board Algesiraz, and the capture of the Hon. the Speedy."
nibal. The officers and crews of the The victor carried his prize and his captured vessels were soon after exprisoners safely into Port Mahon. Coch- changed; Lord Cochrane was permitted rane's next remarkable exploit was the to go to Gibraltar on parole, and was attack, under Captain Pulling, of the finally exchanged for the second capKangaroo, on the fort of Oropesa, the tain of the San Antonio, taken in the armed vessels, gun-boats, and troops subsequent action of Sir J. Saumarez therein. After a long-continued action, with a French and Spanish squadron. in which both vessels expended nearly It was not until the 8th of August all their ammunition, the fort was that Lord Cochrane received the procarried, the vessels sunk, captured, or motion due not merely by merit, but destroyed. On Cochrane's return to by the rules of the service, for his Port Mahon, he was destined to a deep splendid exploit; and then he was mortification. He had not been awarded placed at the bottom of the list, below the promotion he had so nobly won. those who had received rank subsequent The Admiralty had not only refused to to the capture of El Gamo. purchase his splendid prize into the Lord Cochrane had requested promoservice, but had actually sold her to the tion for his lieutenant, Parker, who had Dey of Algiers ! and Cochrane, instead been severely wounded in boarding the of commanding the efficient vessel his Spaniard. This request was refused own valour bad won, was sent to sea altogether, on two grounds, either of again in his little tub. Nor was this which cause a blush to rise on the all. His superiors seemed afraid that perusal-first, that it was not usual he should do too much, and ordered him to promote two officers for such a ser to convoy a mail-boat to Gibraltar. Nor vice; secondly, that the small number was even this all. This luckless mis- of men killed on board the Speedy did sion was to reverse the tables-the cap not warrant the application ! turer was to become the captive. Coch Lord Cochrane's persistence in advorane had contrived to do a little busi- cating his own just claims and those of ness dehors the strict line of his duty. his officers were fatal to his prospects. He sighted some Spanish vessels, which He became an abhorrence to the Adhe chased ashore near Alicante. He miralty, and was refused further emhad been forbidden to communicate ployment. Indeed, we can well conceive with the shore, but he had not been the disturbance of the official hire
DEATHS. when an officer of the navy ventured to would drift across the Channel; she demand promotion for himself and fol. was then anchored until the tide turned. lowers, employment, and the opportu- and would then drift back. Cochrane nity of exceeding his past deeds! officially informed the Admiralty that Blind even in their generation, his re
his vessel was unfit for the service. He quests were refused. They had done was, in consequence, sent to cruise in wisely for themselves had they secured the North Sea to protect the fisheries ; their peace by sending their trouble- but on his cruising ground no ships some officer where he would have been ever fished, and there were no fisheries out of barm's way to them, and only to protect! He was, in fact, sent out pernicious to the enemy. The navy at of the way. This blank in Cochrane's that time was one vast sink of abuses; life, natural and professional, lasted and the restless and ill-used officer pro- about fourteen months, and then there bably stirred up the vile mess in a most was a favourable change. Lord St. unpleasant manner. What results to Vincent left the Admiralty, and was himself and to the nation his energy succeeded by a Scotchman, an able might have effected remain unde man, Lord Melville. The Duke of Haveloped; for, finding that he had no milton, a connection of the Cochranes, chance of employment, Cochrane re pressed his gallant countryman's claims. membered his defective education, and Lord Melville admitted the injustice with a modesty and soundness of judg- with which he had been treated, and ment that cannot be too highly appre. appointed him to a finc new frigate, the ciated, he put himself to school! He Pallas, of 38 guns; he did more,—he entered himself at the College of Edin. sent the Pallas for a month's cruise burgh, and at that institution, then off the Western Islands, expressly to ruled by professors of the highest emi. give her captain the chance of capturing nence-Dugald Stewart among them a few rich prizes to compensate his he devoted himself to intense study. wretched exile to the North Seas. CochThe progress an intellect so acute, so rane fitted his ship with the utmost judicial, aided by a will so strong, could speed ; but the seamen had been so make in a short time, cannot be mea disheartened by his barren cruise to sured. It is probable that his practical the North, that they would not join, faculties were strengthened a hundred and for the first and only time in his fold by the assimilation of that moral career Cochrane had recourse to a pressand scientific learning which study gang. Once at sea, the old enterprise offered to his apprehension.
brought back the old luck. He was This course of study was broken by working up towards his station when the rupture of the peace of Amiens in he captured a valuable ship from the 1803. Cochrane asked for a ship. Havannah to Cadiz-she was part of a Things had not much mended at the convoy; a few hours afterwards another, Admiralty. Earl St. Vincent was now still richer, was taken ; and two days at its head. He was an upright man, after, a third, the richest of all; the but he was offended at the dictatorial next day a letter-of-marque, with more manner in which Cochrane, and, still dollars. The arrival of these prizes at more, Cochrane's friends, pressed his Plymouth created an immense sensa. claims; and old foes remained. It was tion; still greater was the sensation only after a keen contest that Cochrane caused by the arrival of the Pallas was informed that he was appointed to herself, with three golden candlesticks, the Arab. Full of hope, and picturing each five feet high, surmounting the to himself a “courser of waters,” he mast-heads ! A less-esteemed part of hastened to take the command. To his the prize were some bales of Papal astonishment he was shown an old col- bulls, dispensations, &c. lier, recently purchased into the service, The dollars that resulted from the stripped to her ribs! She was com captures of ten days, launched the forpleted for the most part with old timber tunate commander on a new career. from broken-np vessels. In this dis. When the Pallas followed her prizes graceful embarcation Cochrane was sent into port, the country was on the eve to watch the Boulogne flotilla. The of a general election. Cochrane selected Speedy had belied her name, but she the immaculate borough of Honiton for could sail a little; the Arab could not his constituency. His recent cruise sail at all. With the wind abaft she had made him famous, and fame had
DEATHS. exaggerated his spoils to a fabulous his assailants, and carried off his capsum (the good electors had made no ture. In the meanwhile, a reverse game allowance for the evaporating process had been well-nigh carried on at the of the prize courts): a seaman was mouth of the river, and Her Majesty's known to scatter his money in reckless frigate Pallas had a narrow chance of profusion. Here was a catch-a hero, a being captured by French corvettes. man with money burning in his pockets, Three of these vessels suddenly apand a seaman! It must be confessed peared; but they paused on finding that that Cochrane, however vehement his their enemy was a frigate. Cochrane denunciations of Admiralty abuses, and and his forty men put a bold face on however ultra his Radicalism afterwards, the matter, and got the frigate under had at this time not the slightest idea weigh. This was enough. The French of purity of election. He was prepared bad no suspicion of the weakness of to come into Parliament by purchase, the foe, and made sail. First one was and selected Honiton as within his chased ashore, then another, then the price. But when the day of election third! Two of these, and perhaps the approached he found he had met his other, were destroyed. Shortly aftermatch. His opponent was prepared to wards, Cochrane, by a bold mancuvre, bribe higher than himself. He there ran inshore the French guard frigate fore refused to pay anything. His Minerve, of 40 guns, off the six popularity instantly waned ; and, al- Roads. A desperate action ensued, in though many voted gratis for so popular which the Minerve was aided by three a man, the majority voted for his powerful brigs; but Cochrane had opponent, and each received £5. After almost subdued his opponent, when two the election, Cochrane assembled his other French frigates came up, and the staunch few, and presented them with Pallas, which was much cut up, escaped £10 each. The deserters hung their heads with difficulty. As in the case of El with shame, and when a short revolving Gamo, Halswell, the brave lieutenant time brought about a new election, who had carried the Tapageuse, was not they returned to their colours, and promoted for that gallant service. Cochrane was elected by a large majo In August, 1806, Lord Cochrane was
ity. The electors awaited the rewards appointed to a fine frigate, the Imperieuse of virtue, but none came. Cochrane ---a name he made famous in the navy had promised nothing, and paid no -and sent for a short and active cruise thing. Soon after the Admiralty or on the French coast. Parliament was dered the Pallas to sea. The fiery dissolved very soon after his return. captain was first doomed to have his As it would have been worse than usepatience tried by convoying a fleet of less to solicit the sweet voices of the tortoise-like merchant ships to Quebec. Honiton electors after their recent On his return he was sent to the French treatment, Cochrane became a candicoast. On this cruise Cochrane per date for Westminster, in conjunction formed another of those exploits which with Sir Francis Burdett. Their watchsucceed by their defiance of probability words were--the reform of abuses, and and calculation. While off the Cor measures not men. The rival candidovan Light, at the entrance of the dates were the illustrious Sheridan, Mr. Bordeaux river, Cochrane obtained in Elliot, and Mr. Paul. Their return was formation that several corvettes were triumphant. “ Their election for Westin that stream, one of which was sta minster,” says the Annual Register for tioned as guardship. Cochrane deter the year 1807," was a complete triumph mined to cut her out. The boats of over aristocratical combination, and all the frigate, with the whole of the crew parties and factions whatever. except fortymen, were despatched The blooming virtues of Lord Cochrane, under Lieut. Halswell on this service. uniting the genius and generous ardour The corvette was found twenty miles of his family, with the most consumup the river, under protection of two mate skill in his profession, and an batteries. She was carried after a short audacious and fortunate boldness, has action, and proved to be the Tapa. classed him for years, though yet a very geuse, of 14 guns. Scarcely had the young man, among the most distinprize been secured, when two other guished heroes of the age. Nor has corvettes came to the rescue. Halswell his political courage and the purity of manned the guns of his prize, beat off his views shone forth less conspicuously,
DEATHS. whether in his harangues to the people the French armies along the coast or his speeches and conduct in Par roads so effectually, that months of liament, than his intrepidity did on precious time and many valiant lives the bosom of the ocean, or the shores were expended in constructing new of the enemy." In his place in Par roads inland. One considerable French liament Cochrane fully realized the force was so thoroughly baffled by the prophecies of the past. He showed fire of the Imperieuse from the sea, and himself as enterprising, as persevering, of the guerillas from the hills, that the and as formidable to the Ministry as he column, decimated, exhausted, and dishad done at sea to the foe. He had pirited, broke and retreated, and the brought forward two motions on sine commander, not daring to face his cures and naval abuses, when it was general, blew out his brains. The thought necessary to cut short his heroic defence of Fort Trinidad by Parliamentary career. There was but Cochrane and a party of his marines one way to silence the senator, and that long retarded the fall of the town and was by calling into action his superior castle of Rosas, and was the cause of duty as an officer. With bitter distaste great loss to the French. The serthe Ministry were compelled to send vices of Lord Cochrane on this duty their enemy to reap fresh honours and produced the greatest effect on the power. The Imperieuse was sent to campaign in the south of Spain, and cruise in the Mediterranean. The per added fresh lustre to his reputation ; fidious seizure of the Royal family of but the Ministry and the Admiralty Spain and the occupation of their coun had no praise for their energetic officer. try by the French, had suddenly convert When, after a glorious cruise of eighteen ed the Spaniards from obsequious allies months, his ship was paid off, his to deadly foes; and the English were reward was the remark that he had now engaged in liberating the nation expended more sails, stores, gunthey had just before been fighting and powder, and shot, than had been used plundering. Cochrane's duty was to by any other captain in the service." harass the French on their own coast, The immense effect produced by his and on the coast of Spain, and most single frigate in paralyzing the enemy's effectually did he perform the duty. force struck him so powerfully, that he He swept the sea of their craft; he thought that were he intrusted with cleaned out every harbour; he caught the direction of an adequate squadron innumerable gun-boats; he destroyed of small cruisers, and permitted to batteries, signal-posts, and towers; tens take possession of the French islands of thousands of soldiers stood to their in the Bay of Biscay, he could keep arms along their shores, and were ren tbe French seaboard in such a state of dered unavailable for their Emperor's alarm, that the French armies must of campaigns. On the coast of Spain he necessity stay at home to guard their relieved beleaguered towns, captured own towns. He had written to ask small fortresses, supported the Spanish permission to come home to lay his guerillas, and stopped the march of plans before the Government, when the
Government sent for him for purposes of their own.
A great plan had been The actions of Lord Cochrane submitted to them ; but though there throughout his career were
had been heads capable of conceiving a spicuously public that the volumes of bold design, none of the naval officers the Annual Register afford materials to whom it was proposed had the courfor a biography almost complete. This age to undertake its execution. A large will make it possible to compress into French fleet, secured by powerful bata few pages the history of a life crowded teries and a boom, lay blockaded in the with surprising incidents; for not only Basque Roads, and it was thought they can each heroic deed be read in these might be destroyed were proper means volumes in all its particulars, and oc launched by an unshaken hand. Lord cupying its proper place in the gene Cochrane pronounced the scheme practiral theatre of events, but the narratives, cable, and readily supplied a plan sng. being written unconscious of the future, gested by his daring spirit, assisted by present the most vivid pictures con the scientific and mechanical knowledge ceivable of the feelings and opinions of acquired by study. But he refused to the people of that day.
undertake the task. Lord Gambier,