Thomas Cochrane

December 14 was born Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl Dandonald Marquis of Maranhao (1775 — 1860) — British admiral and politician, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. A prototype of the literary character of Captain Jack Aubrey and Hornblower.

In 1793, he joined the Royal Navy 28-gun frigate HMS Hind under Captain Alexander Cochrane. In 1795, he was appointed acting lieutenant in the 38-gun frigate HMS Thetis. After serving in the United States, Lord Cochrane in 1798, he returned home and was appointed lieutenant in the eighth flagship 98-gun HMS Barfleur, under the flag of Commander in Chief in the Mediterranean Admiral Lord Keith. In 1799 he was assigned command of the prize by the French battleship Généreux. The ship caught in a storm and was only saved by the actions of the Cochrane and his brother.

Thomas Cochrane

In May 1800 Cochrane was promoted to the rank of Commander and appointed commander of the 14-gun sloop HMS Speedy. Commanding them in the Mediterranean, he took more than 50 enemy ships. A year later, he boarded the Spanish 32-shove. frigate, El Gamo. July 21, 1801 the brig was intercepted by a French squadron of three ships of the line Rear Admiral Lin and after a fierce resistance captured. Returning from captivity after the Peace of Amiens Cochran used the free time for education, attending lectures at the University of Edinburgh. In 1803, war resumed, and Cochrane was given command of the 22-gun sloop HMS Arab to the order to protect the fishing vessels in the Orkney Islands. Former French privateer, armed not by UK standards it was too slow for the exuberant nature of his captain (later in his memoirs Cochrane contemptuously dubbed him «my collier»). Nevertheless, even with such a clumsy ship Cochrane managed to capture the American merchant ship Chatham, thus creating completely undesirable complications for the British government. As a result, it moved away from sin captain of the 32-gun frigate HMS Pallas and sent to the west coast of France.

Commanding a series of 32-gun HMS Pallas and the 38-gun HMS Imperieuse, he held a series of distinguished by its audacity and success of operations: the capture of «merchants», landing on the coast, attack warships in the river mouths, attack the coastal forts and signal stations. The French appreciated his work appreciated by giving the nickname «Sea Wolf» (French le loup des mers.); English as navy him reputation as a strong and lucky captain. In April 1809 a team of Cochrane detachment fire-night attacked the French squadron in the Basque raid, near Rochefort. The attack failed, but if not reluctance of fleet commander Admiral Gambier help, the consequences could be for the French, and all disastrous. Behind this success Cochrane was awarded the Order of the Bath. However, Cochrane requested the court-martial of the Gambia for failure to provide support. Court although he admitted lack of support, but the actions of Admiral justified as a whole, as a result of the stubborn captain bought this lot of enemies, which is reflected in its promotion.

Not having received the command, Cochrane entered politics, being elected to Parliament from Westminster. Here he joined the opposition and began sarcastically criticized as his former colleagues and the policy of Lord Castlereagh. Words alone are not limited to Cochrane — in 1810 he organized and headed the defense of the house of his political ally Francis Burdett, located in Piccadilly (the latter must have been arrested by order of the House of Commons). Measures taken by the Cochrane proved so effective that for taking home the government would have to make a real assault, destroying the half of the street and suffering heavy losses. Fortunately, common sense took the upper hand and Burdett prefer to negotiate. In 1814, against the Cochrane was charged with fraud on the stock exchange, and in spite of his claims of innocence, he was expelled from the House of Commons, and the list of naval officers. In 1818, Cochrane has accepted the invitation of Chilean President Bernardo O’Higgins take the post of commander of the Chilean Navy. In August the brig Rose and his wife Lady Catherine, and two children he sent to Valparaiso. Passing by St. Helena, Cochrane tried to see Napoleon, to offer him the post of emperor of South America. On its coast guard would not let. Later, from Chile, he secretly sent an emissary to the island, but by this time Napoleon was already terminally ill. Читать далее

Buccaneer Commanders LAURENS CORNELIS BOUDEWIJN DE GRAAF (c. 1651-1702)

As a teenager, de Graaf spent three years serving as a sailor in the Spanish Navy before deserting in the West Indies. By the mid—1670s, he had reached Hispaniola, where he joined the buccaneers and pirates who operated in Samana Bay in the north-east of the island, beginning a career that lasted 19 years, from 1676 to 1695.

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Although technically under Spanish control during the late 17th century, the region was a lawless area beyond the reach of the colonial authorities. J acques Pouan~ay, the governor of Saint Domingue, recorded de Graaf’s rise to power, saying he captured a small bark, then a ship, then a bigger one and so on until he commanded the 28—gun privateering vessel Tlgre, a ship he captured from the Spanish Navy in late 1679. By this time, de Graaf was the acknowledged leader of the Samana Bay buccaneers, who raided shipping throughout the waters of Hispaniola and the Leeward Islands. In July 1682, he captured the Francesca in the Mona Passage off Puerto Rico, a 3o—gun warship that was carrying the annual pay for the Havana garrison. This achievement brought de Graaf instant notoriety, and he was asked to join an expedition raised by another Dutch buccaneer, Nikolaas van Hoorn. Читать далее

Buccaneer Commanders MICHEL DE GRAMMONT ‘LE CHEVALIER’ (c. I6S0-86)

De Grammont arrived in the Caribbean during the mid—1670S, a Parisian serving in the French Navy. Presumably he was paid off, as by 1675 he was a buccaneer captain with his own vessel, yet he clearly remained on the right side of the authorities as he was given letters of marque. This situation changed when he illegally captured a Dutch vessel and chose to remain in Saint Domingue to avoid the repercussions. War between France and Holland relieved any legal threat to de Grammont, who participated in an expedition against the Dutch island of Curasao in 1678. The joint buccaneer and French naval force was commanded by the Comte d’Estrees, who ran most of his fleet aground on the Islas de Aves as he approached Cura~ao from the east. The fleet withdrew to Saint Domingue, but the buccaneer contingent elected to stay and raid the Spanish coast of Venezuela, after looting what they could from the French wrecks. The charismatic de Grammont was duly elected their leader, and he decided to repeat L’Olonnais’s achievement and enter the Lake of Maracaibo. In June 1678, he captured the San Carlos bar fortification guarding the entrance to the lake by landing guns from his ships and forming a siege battery. The Spaniards were battered into submission, and de Grammont’s six ships, 13 pinnaces and 700 men were loose inside the lagoon. His main ships remained at the mouth of the lagoon to guard the entrance, while he led the rest to Maracaibo. The long.-suffering town was looted, followed by Gibraltar on the south-east side of the lagoon, the same towns that had suffered from the attentions ofL’Olonnais. He then marched inland, and in September he captured the town of Trujillo, even though it was defended by 350 militia and a gun battery.

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Buccaneer Commanders: JEAN DAVID NAU, ‘L’OLONNAIS’ (c. I63S-68)

‘The man from Olonne’, the Frenchman Jean Nau, arrived in the Caribbean in the 1650S as an indentured servant, but by 1660 he had joined the buccaneers in Saint Domingue (now Haiti), the French — run western portion of Hispaniola. His buccaneering career lasted seven years, beginning in 1662 when he participated in several attacks on Spanish shipping and was given a prize vessel by the French buccaneer governor of Tortuga. He cruised off Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula, and at some stage he was shipwrecked off Campeche. The buccaneers were massacred by the local militia as they came ashore, but L’Olonnais escaped by feigning death.

In an attack on a town in Cuba, he held the town to ransom, then captured and killed the crew of a ship sent to its relief. One man was spared to tell the governor of Havana that L’Olonnais was responsible. By 1667, England and Holland were at war, and the French buccaneers sought to exploit the conflict as France had allied itself with the Dutch. During the spring of 1667, L’Olonnais planned an expedition to cruise the Caribbean looking for a suitable English target to attack. Nau’s growing reputation ensured that men signed on for his next expedition, and he sailed from Tortuga with over 600 men in eight ships. While cruising in the Antilles, news reached him that France was now at war with Spain, giving him an even better opportunity to profit from Europe’s conflicts. In July, the buccaneers set sail for Lake Maracaibo in modern Venezuela. Читать далее

Buccaneer Commanders: HENRY MORGAN (c. I63S-88)

Although his early life is obscure, Morgan, a Welshman, arrived in Jamaica in the wake of the Cromwellian invasion in 1655. From 1658 until 1672, he was one of the most formidable buccaneers in the Caribbean. He accompanied Myngs on some of his expeditions, and in 1662 was named as the commander of a privateering vessel. In 1664, he sailed with a group of other buccaneer captains harassing Spanish shipping and towns along the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula and even marched inland to sack the regional capital of Villahermosa. The same surprise attack overland was repeated the following yea»r when Morgan and others crossed Central America to attack the town of Grenada (near the modem Nicaraguan capital of Managua).

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Morgan made enough money to buy a plantation when he returned to Jamaica, and married his cousin. He also became friends with the governor, Sir Thomas Modyford. Читать далее

Buccaneer Commanders: CHRISTOPHER MYNGS (I620-66)

In February 1658, the 52—gun Cromwellian warship Marston Moor dropped anchor off Port Royal, and her captain Christopher Myngs became commander of the squadron charged with the defence ofJamaica. He had been there before, having served as deputy to the previous commander for 18 months from January 1656.
He already had some experience of raids on Spanish settlements, and he used this to form a new strategy for the defence ofJamaica. For nine years, from 1656 to 1665, Myngs would pioneer the use of buccaneers to thwart an invasion by leading pre,empnve raids on Spanish ports that could be used to launch an attack on Jamaica.

In 1658, he repulsed a small Spanish invasion with a combination of Commonwealth troops and buccaneers. He then sailed to the northern coast of South America, where for the next two years he attacked Spanish ports from Cumana to Santa Marta, capturing a substantial haul of booty and sending the Spanish into a panic. These raids demonstrated that buccaneers were vital to his strategy of an aggressive defence, and the role of the buccaneer in the defence of Jamaica was established. Myngs led these raids in his frigate Marston Moor accompanied by two or three smaller buccaneer vessels, and ostensibly he operated under the authority of the Commonwealth government. His biggest haul came in mid’1659, when he captured Coro, a small port in modern Venezuela. A large cargo of Spanish silver was captured in the harbour, the plunder valued at over a quarter of a million English pounds. Contrary to orders, Myngs split the haul with his buccaneers and crew before the treasure was brought back to Jamaica. The governor of Jamaica accused Myngs of embezzlement, describing him as ‘unhinged and out of tune’. Myngs was ordered home in the Marston Moor to stand trial. Fortunately for him, the restoration of the monarchy paralysed the government and the case was dropped. Myngs gained the support of Charles 11, and he returned to Jamaica in command of the 40′gun royal warship Centurion in August 1662. Читать далее

FIGHTING AT SEA

The first buccaneers took to the sea as a sideline, augmenting the money they made as hunters on Hispaniola by attacking passing Spanish shipping. The tactics’ used were noted by Exquemelin and others, the earliest being in reference to the French buccaneer Pierre le Grand. These early buccaneers used small pinnaces or even piraguas, exploiting their small size to avoid detection. If spotted, it was hoped the Spaniards would think the buccaneer craft was a harmless fishing boat. Once within range, marksmen would fire at the helmsman or anyone seen above deck, preventing the Spaniards from handling their ship or raising more sails to get away. If more than one craft was involved, one would sail to the stern of the Spanish ship and immobilize its rudder. They then swarmed aboard.

The buccaneers

By the 165os, buccaneers were seamen rather than hunters with canoes, and their method of attack altered. Larger ships, such as sloops and brigantines, were available in Port Royal, most vessels being captured Spanish ships. Читать далее