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Дек 21 14

A float in transit

Автор: warrior

Neither Cochrane nor his British commanders seemed sensitive to this and acted in the way to which they were accustomed. One result that was significant and alarming to the Chileans was the imposition of fierce and brutal British ideas of discipline on their crews.

A major problem was that of prize money. By the middle of 1820, Cochrane had already been paid $19,244 (that is, £3850) for enemy ships and property taken during the blockade of Callao and off Valdivia.16 But a serious disagreement arose when it emerged that prize money would only be paid inrespect of ships and property captured a float or in transit.

Lhazaar Principalities

Pay, however, was the greatest problem. Not Cochrane’s course. The Chileans knew the Vice Admiral’s reputation well enough to know that it was wise to ensure that he received his emoluments promptly. читать полностью…

Дек 19 14

Vice Admiral

Автор: warrior

His Excellency the Supreme Director, highly grati fied by that noble conquest, orders me to inform you
that he feels the most heartfelt gratitude at that signal achievement. The meritorious officers… and soldiers who, inimitation of Your Excellency, encountered such vast dangers, will be brought to the notice of the Government in orer to receive a distinctive medal in gratitude for their gallantry and in proof that Chile rewards the heroes who advocate her cause.

Skyship_by_BenWootten

In his own letters to O’Higgins, Cochrane was keen to rub in the significance of Valdivia and the lesson to be learnt writing, on 10 February, that the capture of Valdivia ‘was felt more by the enemy … than burning the ships in Callao. I hope your Excellency will approve what I have done without orders; ifso, I care little about the opinions of those who gave me the last orders with a view to prevent me doing anything.’4In other words, the cause of Chilean freedom was best advanced if he was left to do what he liked rather than what he was told! It had an ominous ring. читать полностью…

Дек 17 14

wise Zenteno

Автор: warrior

There is reason todoubt this. Inthe letters he wrote at the time, Cochrane made it clear that the failure
had nothing to do with the explosive charges, but was due to ‘the poor and hasty work of welding the tubes and cylinders of the rockets … and because some broke at the tail because the sticks had been made of knotty or imperfect wood’. In other words, the technology was in advance of its time. He was also anxious that the Chileans should not lose faith in the system, and explained that Britain had had exactly the same teething troubles when it had first used these weapons. Like wise Zenteno, replying to one of Cochrane’s compendium letters of complaint on 14 May 1820, denied completely that prisoners-of-war had been used at all, writing that the rockets were ‘constructed exclusively by the same artisans who had come to make them; and since only they were sufficiently skilled it was necessary to put the work in their hands notwithstanding the cost’.

HM Bomb Vessel Granado

Unfortunately for Mr Goldsack, it was he who became the scapegoat. Cochrane was now convinced that further attacks on Callao would be doomed to failure. The defences had been reinforced and allelement ofsurprise had been lost. читать полностью…

Дек 14 14

American ships Macedonian

Автор: warrior

Believing that the enemy should be hit hard and fast he therefore decided to stretch them to the limit. For his initial attack, he planned to take advantage of a local carnival on 23 February when the defenders would be distracted by drink and partying, to slip into Callao with O’Higgins and Lautaro flying American colours and posing as the American ships Macedonian – which had just replaced Ontario– and John Adams. Once inside Cochrane intended to board and carry off one of the Spanish frigates Venganza and Esmeralda which were anchored within the port.

Ship Sailing

Captain Shirreff had anticipated such an assault and had issued precise instructions to British merchant ships that, if an attack did take place, they were to raise national colours and move to a position at least one mile out of gunshot.

читать полностью…

Дек 12 14

Andromache and Blossom

Автор: warrior

Cochrane’s Division made good time inreaching the coasts of Peru. The voyage proceeded smoothly, the only disruption being that no sooner had Lautaro been reunited with the flotill a than Chacabuco disappeared. When the corvette eventually rejoined off Callao six weeks later, it was revealed that the delay had been caused by a mutiny that had broken out on board over pay grievances on 23 January. After four days, the officers led by Lieutenants Robinson and Morgell had managed to regain control and had taken Chacabuco into the port of Coquimbo on the Peruvian border where the ringleaders had been dealt with, and 16 of their confederates sent back in chains to Valparaiso for trial.

Sailing in Company

In the middle of February, Cochrane’s ships began to enforce the blockade of Callao, seizing the occasional Spanish prize and searching neutral vessels approaching the port. On the 15th, the lookout ship Lautaro, investigating strange sails on the horizon found them to be the British merchant vessel Alexander escorted by two ships of the South America squadron, Andromache and Blossom which had been sent by Commodore Bowles to keep an eye on the blockade and protect British ships and property in Callao valued atamillion dollars. читать полностью…

Ноя 29 14

The Final Curtain

Автор: warrior

On 28 November1822, after another argument when the Minister of Marine ordered Independencia to sea
without his authority, he resigned his commission as Vice Admiral of Chile. Two days later his reply was on its way to Correa da Camera.

‘I have this day tendered my resignation to the Government of Chile,’

he wrote,

‘and am not aware that any material delay will be necessary previous to my setting off for Rio de Janeiro … it being understood that I hold myself free to decline as well as to accept the offer made through you by His Imperial Majesty.’

He then began to prepare for the journey. читать полностью…

Ноя 27 14

Commander-in-chief of the Navy

Автор: warrior

Henry Dean also wanted to come but, avoiding the unpleasant duty of dismissing him, Cochrane left him behind in the hope that he would realise his services were no longer required. Cochrane also invited Maria Graham and her invalid cousin William Glennie to join the party. He remembered the relief he had felt when Captain Shirreff of Andromache had removed Kitty from a place of danger, and felt that he could do no less for the widow of a fellow naval officer apparently stranded so far from home. On 18 January, all was ready. There was an impromptu piece of ceremonial when Lord Cochrane’s flag as Vice Admiral of Chile was lowered forthe last time from the main mast of the Montezuma. Then, the Colonel Allen made sail and slowly slipped out of the Bay bound for Brazil.

Valdivia and Esmeralda

By the middle of 1823, the three protagonists whose efforts had been so decisive in securing the liberation of Chile and Peru had allleftthe scene oftheir triumphs and, alas, tragedies. Lord Cochrane was now First Admiral of Brazil and was about to repeat his performance in the Pacific – securing the independence of the country through a series of astonishing victories against the Portuguese; then leaving under a cloud as a result of a bitter quarrel over money and alleged poor treatment. José de San Martin was back in his native Argentine, but was about toleave fora prolonged exile in London, Paris and Boulogne, where he died a lonely, unhappy andsickly man in 1850. Bernardo O’Higgins, having been under house arrest formonths following his overthrow by Ramon Freire, was on his way to Peru to offer his services to Bolivar in the final liberation of the country from the Spanish. Alas, Bolivar saw O’Higgins as San Martin’s stooge and gave him acool reception.

O’Higgins was to spend the next 20 years of his life quietly in a ranch south of Lima before the cautious Chileans agreed to allow him to return in 1842. Tragically, O’Higgins died on the journey home and never saw Chile again. читать полностью…

Ноя 25 14

Valdivia and Esmeralda

Автор: warrior

Cochrane’s last month was spent at Quintero in the company of friends who – once again – included Miers, Stevenson and Maria Graham. There were occasional dashes toValparaiso and Santiago as Cochrane triedto wind up his affairs. He had already received $63,500 (£12,700) in prize money, and $25,330 (£5070) in pay and – disen chanted with Hoseason and anxious to end the relationship – had made arrangements for the balance of $15,466 (£3090) owing on the latter to be paid to Kitty through the Chilean Legation in London. But he was still owed money for the captures of Valdivia and Esmeralda, and for the balance on the squadron’s accounts. He was also anxious to get something on his brother’s behalf for theRising Star.

Valdivia and Esmeralda

Alas, none of these problems were settled before he leftChile and Cochrane was forced to leave others to act on his behalf. Paroissien’s friend, the Valparaiso merchant J. J. Barnard, was authorised to settle his claims on theRising Star and to sell the extra engines she had carried from England. John Miers was leftto develop the coinage initiative, and was left as sole proprietor of the beef and biscuit business in Quintero on a delayed payment to Cochrane of$25,000. Hoseason was paid off with a letter of credit on the government for $17,683 (£3767), which, according to his accounts, was what Cochrane owed him. читать полностью…

Ноя 22 14

the Supreme Director-ship

Автор: warrior

When San Martin led his army across the high passes of the Andes in 1817, the removal of Spanish forces from Peru had been the key to the liberation of South America. Five years later, the challenge was much the same. True, Peru had declared its independence, but San Martin’s hope that Spain would accept the inevitable and withdraw its troops had not been realised. Indeed, an army under Viceroy de la Serna remained intact and undefeated in the mountains of Upper Peru and in the fertile valley of the Juaja, only ten days march east of Lima. Without San Martin’s firm direction, independent Peru also began to fall apart. The bulk of the population was apathetic, the ruling class ambivalent, the army went unpaid, and the security of the country remained dependent on troops from Chile and Colombia.

tall ship

In January 1823, a Spanish attack northwards from Arica caused panic in Lima. The determined but unpleasant Riva Agüero seized power, entrusting command of the army to General Andres Santa Cruz and ofthe navy to Martin Guise, now a Peruvian Vice Admiral. When appeals for foreign assistance fell on deaf ears, Riva Agüero foolishly sent his troops to attack the Spanish forces alone. Outnumbered and outclassed,they were soundly beaten. читать полностью…

Ноя 20 14

demobilising the Chilean Navy

Автор: warrior

The disarray in Chile did Cochrane no favours. As happened in somany South American coups, the incoming governments disavowed or forgot the commitments of their predecessors. The claims Cochrane left behind him therefore got nowhere: the letters of credit given to Hoseason were not honoured; and papers relating tothe construction and costs ofthe Rising Star were lost in the upheaval. The new government flatly refused to give anything for the steamship and, with no hope of payment, in May 1824, her agent, J. J. Barnard, sold her lock, stock and barrel for $10,000. Cochrane’s own actions did not help his case either. The Auditor General, Correa de Sa, once more wrote to him in Brazil asking for the appointment of arepresentative to go through the accounts of the Peruvian campaign and to justify the $67,000 he said was owing to him. But Cochrane, who received the letter while blockading the Brazilian port of Salvador de Bahia in June 1823, flatly refused to cooperate and merely replied with a denunciation of the duplicity of the government.

tall ships

Meanwhile, the commercial ventures that Cochrane had launched with John Miers began tofalter. Their plan to produce copper coins was abandoned when the Chilean Mint objected tothe supply of currency being put in private hands. The attempt to manufacture salt beef and biscuits in Quintero failed to prosper. Severe drought in the region reduced the numbers of livestock, the price of local beef rose, and the demand for preserved meat was more than amply covered by cheaper imports from Britain and the United States.5 Then the original landowner initiated a process to reclaim possession of the estate. He eventually succeeded, though only on the payment of compensation. читать полностью…