The Life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald, G.C.B., Admiral of the Red, Rear-Admiral of the Fleet, Etc., Etc.
Thomas Cochrane, Earl of Dundonald

Part 5 out of 6

NOTABAS.--A Moreot Archonte, considered the most ancient of the noble
families in the Morea; is a well-meaning old blockhead; has a son, a
good-looking youth, who commanded the Government forces against the
captains in 1824; is said to be an egregious coward.

LONDOS.--A Moreot Archonte; was much flattered by the Government, but
afterwards leagued against them. He is a drunkard, and a man of no
consideration but for his wealth.[A]

[Footnote A: Lord Byron used to describe an evening passed in the
company of Londos at Vostitza, when both were young men. After supper
Londos, who had the face and figure of a chimpanzee, sprang upon
a table, and commenced singing through his nose Rhiga's "Hymn to
Liberty." A new cadi, passing near the house, inquired the cause of
the discordant hubbub. A native Mussulman replied, "It is only the
young primate Londos, who is drunk, and is singing hymns to the new
franaghia of the Greeks, whom they call 'Eleftheria.'"--Finlay, vol.
ii., p. 35.]

ZAIMES.--A Moreot Archonte; said to possess considerable talent, and
he exercises a very considerable influence. His brother was formerly a
deputy in England.

SISSINES.--A Moreot Archonte; was formerly a doctor at Patras; has
risen into wealth and consequence since the Revolution; has great
talent, and is a great rogue.

SOTIRES XARALAMBI.--A Moreot Archonte of influence. I do not know his

SPELIOTOPOLOS.--A Moreot Archonte, whose name would never have
been heard by a foreigner, if he had not been made a member of the
executive body; a stupid old man, possessing little influence of any

KOLETTES.--A Romeliot; was formerly doctor to Ali Pasha; possesses
some talent; has held various situations in the ministry; is detested,
yet I know not why. I never could ascertain any act of his that
merited the dislike he has inspired a large party with. I fancy 'tis
alone attributable to jealousy--the peculiar feature of the Greek
character. It must nevertheless be acknowledged that he has sometimes
made himself ridiculous by assuming the sword, for which profession
he is totally incapacitated by want of courage. He is, however, poor,
although in employment since the commencement of the Revolution.

THIKOUPES.--An Archonte of Missolonghi; of some importance from the
English education he has received from Lord Guildford; a worthy man,
possessed of instruction, but, I think, not genius. He has married
Mavrocordatos's sister.

II. Phanaeiots.

[DEMETRIUS] HYPSILANTES.--Is of a Phanariot family; was a Russian
officer; although young, is bald and feeble. His appearance and voice
are much against him. He does not so much want talent as ferocity. He
possesses personal courage and probity, and may be said to be the only
honest man that has figured upon the stage of the Revolution. He does
not favour, but has never openly opposed, the party of the captains.
He felt he had not the power to do it with success, and therefore
showed his good sense in refraining. The Archontes, fearing the
influence he might acquire would destroy theirs, have uniformly
opposed him, secretly and openly; and they hate one another so
cordially now that it is impossible they should ever unite.

MAVROCORDATOS.--Of a Phanariot family; came forward under the auspices
of Hypsilantes, and then tried to supplant him; and to do this he made
himself the tool of the Hydriots, who, as soon as they had obtained
all power in their hands, endeavoured to kick down the stepping-stool
by which they had mounted. Perceiving this, he entered into
negotiations with the captains, and frightened the Hydriots into an
acknowledgment of some power for himself. He possesses quickness and
intrigue; but I doubt if he has solid talent, and it is reported that
he is particularly careful not to court danger.

III. Captains or Land-Chieftains.

KOLOKOTRONES.--A captain of the Morea, and the most powerful one in
all Greece. He owes this partly to the numerous ramifications of his
family, partly to his reputation as a hereditary robber, and also
to the wealth he has amassed in his vocation. He is a fine,
decided-looking man, and knows perfectly all the localities of the
country for carrying on mountain warfare, and he knows also, better
than any other, how to manage the Greek mountaineers. He is, however,
entirely ignorant of any other species of warfare, and is not
sufficiently civilized to look forward for any other advantage to
himself or his country than that of possessing the mountains and
keeping the Turks at bay. He proposed destroying all the fortresses
except Nauplia. 'Twas an error of Mavrocordatos to have made this man
an open enemy to himself and to organization. Had he been allowed to
have profited by order, he would have espoused it. At present he may
be considered irreconcilably opposed to order and the Hydriot party.

NIKETAS.--There are two of this name; but the only one that merits
notice is the Moreot captain, a relation of Kolokrotones. He is
as ignorant and dirty as the rest of his brethren, but bears the
reputation of being disinterested and courageous. He is always poor.
All the chieftains are good bottle-men; but this one excels them so
much that 'tis confidently asserted he drinks three bottles of rum per

STAIKOS.--A Moreot captain who took part early with the Hydriot party
from jealousy of Kolokotrones. When that party gained the ascendency,
not finding himself sufficiently rewarded, he joined the captains.

MOMGINOS.--A Mainot chieftain, a rival of Petro-Bey; is
undistinguished, except by his colossal stature and ferocious

GOURA.--A Romeliot captain; was a soldier of Odysseus, and employed
by him in various assassinations, and thus he rose to preferment and
supplanted his protector, and at length assassinated him. This man
possesses courage and extreme ferocity, but is remarkably ignorant.
In the hands of a similar master, he would have been a perfect Tristan
l'Hermite. To supplant Odysseus, he was obliged to range himself with
the Hydriot party.

CONSTANTINE BOTZARES.--A Suliot captain; nephew to the celebrated
Makrys, who, from all accounts, was a phenomenon among the captains.
This man bears a good character.

KARAISKAKES, RANGO, KALTZAS, ZAVELLA, &c. &c.--Romeliot captains; all
more or less opposed to order, according as they see it suits their
immediate interest.

That estimate of the Greek heroes--in the main wonderfully
accurate--was certainly not encouraging to Lord Cochrane. He
determined, however, to go on with the work he had entered upon, and
in doing his duty to the Greeks, to try to bring into healthy play the
real patriotism that was being perverted by such unworthy leaders.

Great benefit was conferred upon the Greeks by his entering into their
service from its very beginning, in spite of the obstacles which were
thrown in his way at starting, and which materially damaged all his
subsequent work on their behalf. No sooner was it known that he was
coming to aid them with his unsurpassed bravery and his unrivalled
genius than they took heart and held out against the Turkish and
Egyptian foes to whom they had just before been inclined to yield.
And his enlistment in their cause had another effect, of which they
themselves were ignorant. The mere announcement that he intended to
fight and win for them, as he had fought and won for Chili, for Peru,
and for Brazil, while it caused both England and France to do their
utmost in hindering him from achieving an end which was more thorough
than they desired, forced both England and France to shake off the
listlessness with which they had regarded the contest during nearly
five years, and initiate the temporizing action by which Greece was
prevented from becoming as great and independent a state as it might
have been, yet by which a smaller independence was secured for it.
Hardly had Lord Cochrane consented to serve as admiral of the Greeks
than the Duke of Wellington was despatched, in the beginning of 1826,
on a mission to Russia, which issued in the protocol of April, 1826,
and the treaty of July, 1827--both having for their avowed object the
pacification of Greece--and in the battle of Navarino, by which that
pacification was secured.

The Duke of Wellington passed through Brussels, on his way to
St. Petersburg, in March, 1826. Halting there, he informed the
hotel-keeper that he could see no one _except Lord Cochrane_, which
was as distinct an intimation that he desired an interview as,
in accordance with the rules of etiquette, he could make. The
hotel-keeper, however, was too dull to take the hint. He did not
acquaint Lord Cochrane of the indirect message intended for him
until the Duke of Wellington had proceeded on his journey. Thus was
prevented a meeting between one of England's greatest soldiers and one
of her greatest sailors, which could not but have been very memorable
in itself, and which might have been far more memorable in its
political consequences.

The meeting was hindered, and, without listening either to the
personal courtesies or to the diplomatic arguments of the Duke of
Wellington, Lord Cochrane continued his preparations for active
service in Greek waters. The details of these preparations and their
practical execution, as has been shown, he was forced to leave in
other and less competent hands, and their actual supervision was still
impossible to him. Gradually the irritating and wasteful obstacles for
which Mr. Galloway was chiefly responsible induced him to resolve upon
following the advice tendered in December by Mr. Hobhouse and Captain
Hastings--that is, to go to Greece with a small portion only of
the naval armament for which he had stipulated, and which his most
cautious friends deemed necessary to his enterprise. To this he was
driven, not only by a desire to do something worthy of his great name,
and something really helpful to the cause which he had espoused,
but also by the knowledge that the tedious delays that arose were
squandering all the money with which he had counted upon rendering his
work efficient when he could get to Greece.

Of this he received frequent and clear intimation from all his
friends in London, though from none so emphatically as from the Greek
deputies, Orlando and Luriottis, who, being themselves grievously to
blame for their peculations and their bad management, threw all the
blame upon Mr. Galloway and the other defaulters. Finding that the
proceeds of the second Greek loan were being rapidly exhausted by
their own and others' wrong-doing, they were even audacious enough to
propose to Lord Cochrane that, not abandoning his Greek engagement,
but rather continuing it under conditions involving much greater risk
and anxiety than had been anticipated, he should return the 37,000_l._
which had been handed over to Sir Francis Burdett on his account, and
take as sole security for his ultimate recompense the two frigates
half built in America, acknowledged to be of so little value that no
purchaser could be found for them. "Our only desire." they said,
"is to rescue the millions of souls that are praying with a thousand
supplications that they may not fall victims to the despair which is
only averted by the hope of your lordship's arrival."

To that preposterous request Lord Cochrane made a very temperate
answer. "I have perused your letter of the 18th," he wrote on the 28th
of February, "with the utmost attention, and have since considered its
contents with the most anxious desire to promote the objects you have
in view in all ways in my power. But I have not been able to convince
myself that, under existing circumstances, there is any means by which
Greece can be so readily saved as by steady perseverance in equipping
the steam-vessels, which are so admirably calculated to cut off the
enemies' communication with Alexandria and Constantinople, and for
towing fire-vessels and explosion-vessels by night into ports and
places where the hostile squadrons anchor on the shores of Greece.
With steam-vessels constructed for such purposes, and a few gunboats
carrying heavy cannon, I have no doubt but that the Morea might in a
few weeks be cleared of the enemy's naval force. I wish I could give
you, without writing a volume, a clear view of the numerous reasons,
derived from thirty-five years' experience, which induce me to prefer
a force that can move in all directions in the obscurity of night
through narrow channels, in shoal water, and with silence and
celerity, over a naval armament of the usual kind, though of far
superior force. You would then perceive with what efficacy the counsel
of Demosthenes to your countrymen might be carried into effect by
desultory attacks on the enemy; and, in fact, you would perceive that
steam-vessels, whenever they shall be brought into war for hostile
purposes, will prove the most formidable means that ever has been
employed in naval warfare. Indeed, it is my opinion that twenty-four
vessels moved by steam (such as the largest constructed for
your service) could commence at St. Petersburg, and finish at
Constantinople, the destruction of every ship of war in the European
ports. I therefore hold that you ought to strain every nerve to get
the steam-vessels equipped. For on these, next to the valour of
the Greeks themselves, depends the fate of Greece, and not on large
unwieldy ships, immovable in calms, and ill-calculated for nocturnal
operations on the shores of the Morea and adjacent islands. Having
thus repeated to you my opinions, I have only to add that, if
you judge you can follow a better course, I release you from the
engagement you entered into with me, and I am ready to return you the
37,000_l._ on your receiving as part thereof 72,500 Greek scrip, at
the price I gave for it on the day following my engagement (under the
faith of the stipulations then entered into), as a further stimulus
to my exertion, by casting my property, as well as my life, into the
scale with Greece. This release I am ready to make at once; but I
cannot consent to accept as security, for the fruits of seven years'
toil, vessels manned by Americans, whose pay and provisions I see no
adequate or regular means of providing. But should the 150,000_l._
placed at the disposal of the Committee not prove sufficient for the
objects _I have required_, I will advance the 37,000_l._ for the pay
and provisions necessary for the steamboats on the security of the
boats themselves. Thus you have the option of releasing me from
the service, or of continuing my engagement, although I shall lose
severely by my temporary acceptance of your offer."

In that letter Lord Cochrane conceded more than ought to have been
expected of him. In a supplementary letter written on the same day
he added: "I again assure you that I am ready to do whatever is
reasonable for the interest of Greece; but it cannot be expected that
for such interest I ought to sacrifice totally those of my family
and myself, as would be the case were I to give up both the means I
possess to obtain justice in South America and my indemnification, on
so slender a security as that offered to me. Believe me, I should have
tendered the 37,000_l._, without reference to the Greek scrip I
had purchased, had it not been evident to me that, under such
circumstances, the security of your public funds would be dependent
on chances which I cannot foresee, and over which I should have no

Thus temperately rebuked, the Greek deputies did not urge their
proposal any further. They only wrote to promise all possible
expedition in completing the steam-vessels. Lord Cochrane, however,
voluntarily acceded to one of their wishes. Hearing that the largest
of the steamers, the _Perseverance_, was nearly ready for sea, and
that Mr. Galloway had again solemnly pledged himself to complete the
others in a short time, he determined not to wait for the whole force,
but to start at once for the Mediterranean. It had been all along
decided that the _Perseverance_ should be placed under Captain
Hastings's command; and it was now arranged that he should take her to
Greece as soon as she was ready, and that Lord Cochrane should follow
in a schooner, the _Unicorn_, of 158 tons. It was not intended, of
course, that with that boat alone he should go all the way to Greece;
but it was considered--perhaps not very wisely--that if he were
actually on his way to Greece, the completion of the other five
steamships would be proceeded with more rapidly; and he agreed that,
as soon as he was joined in the Mediterranean by the first two of
these, the _Enterprise_ and the _Irresistible_, he would hasten on
to the Archipelago, and there make the best of the small force at his
disposal. Not only was it supposed that Mr. Galloway and the other
agents would thus be induced to more vigorous action: it was also
deemed that the effect of this step upon the Hellenic nation would
be very beneficial. "As soon as the Greek Government know that your
lordship is on your way to Greece," wrote the London deputies on the
13th of April, "their courage will be animated, and their confidence
renewed. We may with truth assert that your lordship is regarded by
all classes of our countrymen as a Messiah, who is to come to their
deliverance; and, from the enthusiasm which will prevail amongst the
people, we may venture to predict that your lordship's valour and
success at sea will give energy and victory to their arms on land."

With the new arrangements necessitated by this change of plans the
last two or three weeks of April and the first of May were occupied.
Lord Cochrane put to sea on the 8th of May. "As a Greek citizen," one
of the deputies in London, Andreas Luriottis, had written on the
17th of April, "I cannot refrain from expressing my sincere gratitude
towards your lordship for the resolution which you have taken to
depart almost immediately for Greece. This generous determination, at
a moment when my country is really in want of every assistance, cannot
be regarded with indifference by my countrymen, who already look upon
your lordship as a Messiah. Your talents and intrepidity cannot allow
us for a moment to doubt of success. My countrymen will afford you
every assistance, and confer on you all the powers necessary for your
undertaking; although your lordship must be aware that Greece, after
five years' struggle, cannot be expected to present a very favourable
aspect to a stranger. Your lordship will, however, find men full of
devotion and courage--men who have founded, their best hopes on you,
and from whom, under such a leader, everything may be expected. Your
lordship's previous exploits encourage me to hope that Greece will not
be less successful than the Brazils, since the materials she offers
for cultivation are superior. With patience and perseverance in the
outset, all difficulties will soon vanish, and the course will be
direct and unimpeded. The resources of Greece are not to be despised,
and, if successful, she will find ample means to reward those who will
have devoted themselves to her service and to the cause of liberty."




Lord Cochrane, having passed from Brussels to Flushing, sailed thence
in the _Unicorn_ on the 8th of May, 1826. Before proceeding to the
Mediterranean, he determined, in spite of the personal risk he would
thus be subjected to through the Foreign Enlistment Act, to see for
himself in what state were the preparations for his enterprise in
Greece. He accordingly landed at Weymouth, and hurrying up to London,
spent the greater part of Sunday, the 16th of May, in Mr. Galloway's
building yard at Greenwich.

He found that the _Perseverance_ was apparently completed, though
waiting for some finishing touches to be put to her boilers. "The two
other vessels," he said, "were filled with pieces of the high-pressure
engines, all unfixed, and scattered about in the engine-room and on
deck. The boilers were in the small boats, and occupied nearly one
half of their length, Mr. Galloway having, through inattention or
otherwise, caused them to be made of the same dimensions as the
boilers for the great vessels, which, by the by, had been improperly
increased from sixteen feet, the length determined on, to twenty-three
feet." The inspection was unsatisfactory; but Mr. Galloway pledged
himself on his honour that the _Perseverance_ should start in a day or
two, that the _Enterprise_ and the _Irresistible_ should be completed
and sent to sea within a fortnight, and that the other three vessels
should be out of hand in less than a month.

Trusting to that promise, or at any rate hoping that it might be
fulfilled, and after a parting interview with Sir Francis Burdett, Mr.
Ellice, and other friends, Lord Cochrane left London on Monday, and
joined the _Unicorn_, at Dartford, on the 20th of May. It had
been arranged that he should wait in British waters for the first
instalment of his little fleet, at any rate. With that object he
called at Falmouth, and, receiving no satisfactory information there,
went to make a longer halt in Bantry Bay. At length, hearing that the
_Perseverance_ had actually started, with Captain Hastings for its
commander, and that the other two large vessels were on the point of
leaving the Thames, he left the coast of Ireland on the 12th of June.

He vainly hoped that the vessels would promptly join him in the
Mediterranean, and that within four or five weeks' time he should
be at work in Greek waters. The journey, however, was to last nine
months. The mismanagement and the wilful delays of Mr. Galloway and
the other contractors and agents continued as before. The urgent
need of Greece was unsatisfied; the funds collected for promoting her
deliverance were wantonly perverted; and the looked-for deliverer was
doomed to nearly a year of further inactivity--hateful to him at all
times, but now a special source of annoyance, as it involved not
only idleness to himself, but also serious injury to the cause he had

He passed Oporto on the 18th, Lisbon on the 20th, and Gibraltar on the
26th of June. He was off Algiers on the 3rd of July, and on the 12th
he anchored in the harbour of Messina. There, and in the adjoining
waters, he waited nearly three months, in daily expectation of
the arrival of his vessels, Messina having been the appointed
meeting-place. No vessels came, but instead only dismal and
procrastinating letters. "We deeply lament," wrote Messrs. J. and S.
Ricardo, the contractors for the Greek loan, in one of them, dated the
9th of September, "that, after all the exertions which have been used,
we have not yet been able to despatch the two large steam-vessels.
Everything has been ready for some time; but Mr. Galloway's failure
in the engines will now occasion a much longer detention. We leave to
your brother, who writes by the same opportunity, to explain fully to
your lordship how all this has arisen, and what measures it has been
considered expedient to adopt. In the whole of this unfortunate affair
we have endeavoured to follow your wishes; and our conduct towards Mr.
Galloway, who has much to answer for, has been chiefly directed by
his representations." "Galloway is the evil genius that pursues us
everywhere," wrote the same correspondents on the 25th of September;
"his presumption is only equalled by his incompetency. Whatever he has
to do with is miserably deficient. We do not think his misconduct has
been intentional; but it has proved most fatal to the interests of
Greece, and of those engaged in her behalf. On your lordship it has
pressed peculiarly hard; and most sincerely do we lament that an
undertaking, which promised so fairly in the commencement should
hitherto have proved unavailing, and that your power of assisting
this unhappy country should have been rendered nugatory by the want of
means to put it in effect."

Those letters, and others written before and after, did not reach Lord
Cochrane till the end of October. In the meanwhile, finding that the
expected vessels did not arrive at Messina, and that in that place it
was impossible even for him to receive accurate information as to the
progress of affairs in London, he called at Malta about the middle
of September, and thence proceeded to Marseilles, as a convenient
halting-place, in which he had better chance of hearing how matters
were proceeding, and from which he could easily go to meet the vessels
when, if ever, they were ready to join him. He reached Marseilles
on the 12th of October, and on the same day he forwarded a letter
to Messrs. Ricardo. "I wrote to you a few days ago," he said, "from
Malta, and, as the packet sailed with a fair wind, you will receive
that letter very shortly. You will thereby perceive the distressing
suspense in which I have been held, and the inconvenience to which
I have been exposed, by remaining on board this small vessel for a
period of five months, during all the heat of a Mediterranean summer,
without exercise or recreation. This situation has been rendered
the more unpleasant, as I have had no means to inform myself, except
through the public papers, relative to the concern in which we are now
engaged. My patience, however, is now worn out, and I have come here
to learn whether I am to expect the steam-vessels or not,--whether
the scandalous blunders of Mr. Galloway are to be remedied by
those concerned, or if an ill-timed parsimony is to doom Greece to
inevitable destruction; for such will be the consequence, if Ibrahim's
resources are not cut up before the period at which it is usual for
him to commence operations. You know my opinions so well, that it is
unnecessary to repeat them to you. I shall, however, add, that
the intelligence and plans I have obtained since my arrival in the
Mediterranean confirm these opinions, and enable me to predict, with
as much certainty as I ever could do on any enterprise, that if the
vessels and the means to pay six months' expenses are forwarded, there
shall not be a Turkish or Egyptian ship in the Archipelago at the
termination of the winter. It may have been expected that I should
immediately proceed to Greece in this vessel. I might have done so at
an earlier period of my life, before I had proved by experience that
advice is thrown away upon persons in the situation and circumstances
in which the Greek rulers and their people are unfortunately placed.
Having made up my mind on this subject, I must entreat you to let me
know by the earliest possible means what I am to expect in regard to
the steamships. I see by the 'Globe' of the 2nd of last month that the
holders of Greek stock were to have a meeting. I conclude they came
to some resolution, and this resolution I want to know. I wish I could
give them my eyes to see with--they would then pursue a course which
would secure their interests. This, however, is impossible; therefore
they must, like the Greeks, be left to follow their own notions.
I have, however, no objections to your stating to these gentlemen,
either publicly or privately, that I pledge my reputation to free
Greece if they will, by the smallest additional sacrifice that may be
required, put the stipulated force at my disposal."[A]

[Footnote A: This letter, like some others of this nature, is partly
written in cypher, the key to which is lost. Its concluding sentences,
therefore, are not given.]

At Marseilles, Lord Cochrane received information, disheartening
enough, though more encouraging than was justified by the real state
of affairs, with reference to his intended fleet. On the 14th of
October he wrote to explain his position, as he himself understood it,
to the Greek Government. "By the most fortunate accident," he said, "I
have met Mr. Hobhouse here, who, from his correspondence with Messrs.
Ricardo and others in London, enables me to state to you that the two
large steamboats will be completed on the 28th day of this month, and
that they will proceed on the following day for the _rendezvous_ which
I had assigned to them previous to my departure. You may, therefore,
count on their being in Greece about the 14th of next month. The
American frigate is said to be completed and on her way, and I feel a
confident hope that I shall be able here to add a very efficient ship
of war to the before-mentioned vessels.[A] It is probable," he added,
"that many idle reports will be circulated here and through the public
prints, because, under existing circumstances, I find it necessary to
appear now as a person travelling about for private amusement. I can
assure you, however, that the hundred and sixty days which I have
already spent in this small vessel, without ever having my foot on
shore till the day before yesterday, has been a sacrifice which I
should not have made for any other cause than that in which I
am engaged; but I considered it essential to conceal the real
insignificance of my situation and allow rumours to circulate of
squadrons collecting in various parts, judging that the effect would
be to embarrass the operations of the enemy."

[Footnote A: It should here be explained that the building and fitting
out of the two frigates contracted for in New York, at a cost of
150,000_l._, having been assigned to persons whose mismanagement was
as scandalous as that which perplexed the Greek cause in London, one
of them had been sold, and with the proceeds and some other funds the
other had been completed and fitted out, more than 200,000_l._ having
been spent upon her. She reached Greece at the end of 1826, there to
be known as the _Hellas_.]

That concealment had to be maintained, and the wearisome delays
continued, for three months more. All the promises of Mr. Galloway and
all the efforts, real or pretended, of the Greek deputies in London,
were vain. The completion of the steam-vessels was retarded on all
sorts of pretexts, and when each little portion of the work was said
to be done, it was found to be so badly executed that it had to be
cancelled and the whole thing done afresh. In this way all the residue
of the loan of 1825 was exhausted, and all for worse than nothing.

Lord Cochrane would never have been able to proceed to Greece at all,
had the Greek deputies, Orlando and Luriottis, who had contracted for
his employment, been his only supporters. Fortunately, however, he had
other and worthier coadjutors. The Greek Committee in Paris did
much on his behalf, and yet more was done by the Philhellenes of
Switzerland, with Chevalier Eynard at their head, of whom one zealous
member, Dr. L.A. Gosse, of Geneva, "well-informed, very zealous, full
of genuine enthusiasm for the cause of humanity, and an excellent
physician," as M. Eynard described him, was about to go in person
to Greece, as administrator of the funds collected by the Swiss
Committee. Lord Cochrane's disconsolate arrival at Marseilles, and the
miserable failure of the plans for his enterprise, had not been known
to M. Eynard and his friends a week, before they set themselves to
remedy the mischief as far as lay in their power. As a first and
chief movement they proposed to buy a French corvette, then lying
in Marseilles Harbour, and fit her out as a stout auxiliary to Lord
Cochrane's little force expected from London and New York. Lord
Cochrane, being consulted on the scheme, eagerly acceded to it in a
letter written on the 25th of October. "As I have yet no certainty,"
he said, "that the person employed to fit the machinery of the
steam-vessels will now perform his task better than he has heretofore
done, I recommend purchasing the corvette, provided that she can be
purchased for the sum of 200,000 francs, and, if funds are wanting, I
personally am willing to advance enough to provision the corvette,
and am ready to proceed in that or any fit vessel. But I am quite
resolved, without a moral certainty of something following me, not
to ruin and disgrace the cause by presenting myself in Greece in a
schooner of two carronades of the smallest calibre."

The corvette was bought and equipped; but in this several weeks
were employed. In the interval, for a week or two after the 8th of
December, Lord Cochrane went to Geneva, there to be the guest of
Chevalier Eynard, to be introduced to Dr. Gosse, and to become
personally acquainted with many other Philhellenes.

Neither Lord Cochrane nor his friends could quite abandon hope of the
ultimate completion of the London steam-vessels. They felt, too,
that with nothing but the new vessel, the American frigate, and the
_Perseverance_, Lord Cochrane would have very poor provision for his
undertaking. "I have this moment received a letter from his lordship,"
wrote M. Eynard to Mr. Hobhouse on the 12th of January, 1827, "wherein
he appears rather disappointed with respect to the scantiness of the
forces and the means placed at his disposal. He informs me that he has
no officers, few sailors; and that, in case the steamers should
not arrive, he will not feel qualified to encounter the Turkish and
Egyptian naval forces, as well as the Algerines, who of all are the
best manned. 'I therefore shall not be able to undertake anything
of moment,' continues his lordship. 'Thus to stake my character and
existence would be a mere Quixotic act. I will put to sea, however,
but still with a heavy heart; yet not until I have with me all
requisites, and my stores and ammunition be embarked likewise.'
Discouragement appears throughout his lordship's letter."

The discouragement is not to be wondered at. It is hardly necessary,
however, to give further illustration of it, or of the troubles
incident to this long waiting-time. Enough has been said to show Lord
Cochrane's position in relation to this deplorable state of affairs,
and to exonerate him from all blame in the matter. That he should have
been blamed at all is only part of the wanton injustice that attended
him nearly all through his life. He had consented, in the autumn
of 1825, to enter the service of the Greeks, on the distinct
understanding that six English-built steamships should be placed at
his disposal, and to facilitate the arrangements he did and bore
far more than could have been expected of him. For the delays and
disasters that befel those arrangements he was in no way responsible:
he was only thereby a very great sufferer. But his sufferings would
have been greater, and he would have been really at fault, had he
consented to go to Greece without any sort of provision, as a few
rash friends and many eager enemies desired him to do, and afterwards
blamed him for not doing.

As it was, he greatly increased his difficulties by at last proceeding
to Greece with the miserable equipment provided for him. In his little
schooner, the _Unicorn_, he left Marseilles on the 14th of February,
1827, and proceeded to St. Tropezy, where the French corvette, the
_Sauveur_, was being fitted out under the direction of Captain Thomas,
a brave and energetic officer. Thence he set sail, with the two
vessels, on the 23rd of February. He reached Poros, and entered
upon his service in Greek waters, on the 19th of March. "He had been
wandering about the Mediterranean in a fine English yacht, purchased
for him out of the proceeds of the loan, in order to accelerate his
arrival in Greece, ever since the month of June, 1826," says the
ablest historian of the Greek Revolution.[A] The preceding paragraphs
will show how much truth is contained in that sarcastic sentence.

[Footnote A: Finlay, vol. ii., p. 137.]




During the one-and-twenty weary months that elapsed between Lord
Cochrane's acceptance of service in the Greek War of Independence and
his actual participation in the work, the Revolution passed through a
new and disastrous stage. In the summer of 1825, when the invitation
was sent to him, the disorganisation of the Greeks and the superior
strength of the Turks, and yet more of their Egyptian and Arabian
allies under Ibrahim Pasha, were threatening to undo all that had been
achieved in the previous years. One bold stand had begun to be made,
in which, throughout nearly a whole year, the Greeks fought with
unsurpassed heroism, and then the whole struggle for liberty fell into
the lawless and disordered condition which already had prevailed in
many districts, and which was then to become universal and to offer
obstacles too great even for Lord Cochrane's genius to overcome in
his efforts to revive genuine patriotism and to render thoroughly
successful the cause that he had espoused.

The last great stand was at Missolonghi. Built on the edge of a marshy
plain, bounded on the north by the high hills of Zygos and protected
on the south by shallow lagoons at the mouth of the Gulf of Lepanto,
and chiefly tenanted by hardy fishermen, this town had been the first
in Western Greece to take part in the Revolution. Here in June, 1821,
nearly all the Moslem residents had been slaughtered, the wealthiest
and most serviceable only being spared to become the slaves of their
Christian masters. In the last two months of 1822 the Ottomans
had made a desperate attempt to win back the stronghold; but its
inhabitants, led by Mavrocordatos, who had lately come to join in the
work of regeneration, had resolutely beaten off the invaders and taken
revenge upon the few Turks still resident among them. "The wife of one
of the Turkish inhabitants of Missolonghi," said an English visitor
in 1824, "imploring my pity, begged me to allow her to remain under
my roof, in order to shelter her from the brutality and cruelty of the
Greeks. They had murdered all her relations. A little girl, nine years
old, remained to be the only companion of her misery."[A] Missolonghi
continued to be one of the chief strongholds of independence in
continental Greece; and, the revolutionists being forced into it by
the Turks, who scoured the districts north and east of it in 1824 and
1825, it became in the latter year the main object of attack and the
scene of most desperate resistance. Here were concentrated the chief
energies of the Greek warriors and of their Moslem antagonists, and
here was exhibited the last and most heroic effort of the patriots,
unaided by foreign champions of note, in their long and hard-fought
battle for freedom.

[Footnote A: Millingen, "Memoirs on the Affairs of Greece," p. 99.]

Reshid Pasha, the ablest of the Turkish generals, having advanced into
the neighbourhood of Missolonghi towards the end of April, began to
besiege it in good earnest, at the head of an army of some seven
or eight thousand picked followers, on the 7th of May. While he was
forming his entrenchments and erecting his batteries, the townsmen,
augmented by a number of fierce Suliots and others, were strengthening
their defences. They increased their ramparts, and organised a
garrison of four thousand soldiers and armed peasants, with a thousand
citizens and boatmen as auxiliaries. At first the tide of fortune was
with them. The Turks had to defend themselves as best they could from
numerous sorties, well-planned and well-executed, in May and June; and
fresh courage came to the Greeks with the intelligence that Admiral
Miaoulis was on his way to the port, with as powerful a fleet as he
could muster. While he was being expected, however, on the 10th of
July, the Turkish Capitan Pasha of Greece arrived with fifty-five
vessels. Miaoulis, with forty Greek sail, made his appearance on the
2nd of August. Thus the naval and military forces of both sides were
brought into formidable opposition.

At first the Greeks triumphed on the sea. In the night of the 3rd of
August, Miaoulis, finding that Missolonghi was being greatly troubled
by the blockade established by the Turks, cleverly placed himself to
windward of the enemy's line, and at daybreak on the 4th he dispersed
the squadron nearest the shore. At noon the whole Turkish force came
against him. He met them bravely, but being able to do no more
than hold his own by the ordinary method of warfare, he sent three
fireships against them in the afternoon. The Turks did not wait to be
injured by them. They fled at once, going all the way to Alexandria
in search of safety. Miaoulis then lost no time in seconding his first
exploit by another. A detachment of the army of Eastern Greece, under
the brave generals Karaiskakes and Zavellas, having been sent to
harass Reshid Pasha's operations, the admiral assisted them in a
successful piece of strategy. The Turks were, on the 6th of August,
attacked simultaneously by the ships and by the outlying battalion
of Greeks, while fifteen hundred of the garrison rushed out upon the
invaders. Four Turkish batteries were seized, and a great number of
their defenders were killed and captured; the remainder, after tough
fighting during three hours and a half, being driven so far back that
much of the besieging work had to be done over again.

Miaoulis then went in search of the Ottoman fleet, leaving the
townsmen, who were enabled, by the raising of the blockade, to receive
fresh supplies of food, ammunition, and men, to continue their
defence with a good heart. Reshid Pasha vigorously restored his siege
operations, but, attempting to force his way into the town on the 21st
of September, was again seriously repulsed. The Turks were allowed,
and even tempted, to advance to a point which had been skilfully
undermined by the besieged. The mine was then fired, and a great
number of Moslems were blown into the air, while their comrades,
fleeing in disorder, were further injured by a storm of shot from the
ramparts. A similar device was resorted to, with like success, on the
13th of October. Reshid had to retire to a safe distance and
there build winter quarters for his diminished and starving army.
Karaiskakes and Zavellas entered Missolonghi without hindrance, there
to concert measures which, had they been promptly adopted, might have
utterly destroyed the besieging force.

They delayed their plans too long. The Capitan Pasha having in August
fled in a cowardly way to Alexandria, there effected a junction with
the Egyptians, and returned to the neighbourhood of Missolonghi in
the middle of November with a huge fleet of a hundred and thirty-five
vessels, well supplied with troops and provisions. These he landed at
Patras on the 18th, just in time to be free from any annoyance that
might have been occasioned by Miaoulis, who returned to Missolonghi
on the 28th with a fleet of only thirty-three sail. He had vainly
attacked a part of the Moslem force on its way, and now, after landing
some stores at Missolonghi, made several vain attempts to overcome a
force four times as strong as his own. He soon retired, intending to
return as promptly as he could collect a large fleet and bring with
him further supplies of the provisions of which the Missolonghites
were beginning to be in need.

The need was greater even than he imagined. Not only had the Capitan
Pasha brought temporary assistance, in men and food, to the besieging
force. Yet greater assistance soon came in the shape of an Egyptian
army, led by Ibrahim Pasha himself. An overwhelming power was
thus organized during the last weeks of 1825, and the defenders of
Missolonghi were left to succumb to it, almost unaided. Their previous
successes had induced the Greeks of other districts to believe that
they could continue their defence alone, and almost the only relief
obtained by them was from the Zantiots, who had all along been zealous
in the despatch of money and provisions, and from Miaoulis and the
small fleet and equipment that he was able to collect from the islands
of the Archipelago. Miaoulis returned in January, 1826, and did much
injury to the Turkish and Egyptian vessels. But he could offer no
hindrance to the action of the Turks and Egyptians upon land. The
rainy months of December and January, in which no important attack
could be entered upon, were spent by Ibrahim and his companions in
preparation for future work. The invaders were now well provided
with every requisite. The besieged were in want of nearly everything.
"Invested for ten months," says the contemporary historian,
"frequently on the verge of starvation, thinned by fatigue, watching,
and wounds, they had already buried fifteen hundred soldiers. The
town was in ruins, and they lived amongst the mire and water of their
ditches, exposed to the inclemency of a rigorous season, without shoes
and in tattered clothing. As far as their vision stretched over the
waves they beheld only Turkish flags. The plain was studded with
Mussulman tents and standards; and the gradual appearance of new
batteries more skilfully disposed, the field days of the Arabs, and
the noise of saws and hammers, gave fearful warning. Yet these gallant
Acarnanians, Etolians, and Epirots never flinched for an instant."[A]

[Footnote A: Gordon, vol. ii., p. 253.]

On the 13th of January, Ibrahim Pasha sent to say that he was willing
to treat with them for an honourable surrender if they would convey
their terms by deputies who could speak Albanian, Turkish, and French.
"We are illiterate, and do not understand so many languages," was
their blunt reply; "pashas we do not recognize; but we know how to
handle the sword and gun."[A]

[Footnote A: Ibid.]

Sword and gun were handled with desperate prowess during February and
March and the early part of April. In April, offers of capitulation
were renewed by Ibrahim, and more disinterested attempts to avert
the worst calamity were made by Sir Frederick Adam, the Lord High
Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. Both proposals were stoutly
rejected. The Missolonghiotes declared that they would defend their
town to the last, and trust only in God and in their own strong arms.
But on the 1st of April the last scanty distribution of public rations
was exhausted. For three weeks the inhabitants subsisted upon nothing
but cats, rats, hides, seaweed, and whatever other refuse and vermin
they could collect. At length, on the 22nd of April, finding it
impossible to hold out for a day longer, they resolved to evacuate the
town in a body, and, cutting their way through the enemy, to try to
join Karaiskakes and his small force, who, hiding among the mountain
fastnesses, were vainly seeking for some way of assisting them, and to
whom they now despatched a message, asking them to advance and help to
clear a passage for their flight.

After sunset four bridges of planks were secretly laid over the outer
ditch of Missolonghi, and the inhabitants were ordered to prepare to
leave in two hours. Many--about two thousand--lost heart at last; some
betaking themselves to the powder stores, there, when all hope was
over, to end their lives by easier death than the enemy might allow
them; others, crouching in corners of their homesteads, deeming it
better to be murdered there than in the open country. The rest obeyed
the orders of the generals. All the women dressed themselves as men,
with swords or daggers at their waists. Every child who could hold a
weapon had one placed in his hand. There was bitter leave-taking, and
desperate words of encouragement passed from one to another, as the
patriots were marshalled in the order of their departure;--three
thousand fighting men to open a passage and four thousand women and
children to follow;--the whole being divided into three separate
parties. At length all was ready, and the first party silently passed
out of the town and advanced to the bridges. To their amazement,
they no sooner appeared than they were met by volley after volley of
Turkish fire. A traitor had revealed their plan, and every measure had
been taken for their destruction. Some rushed on in despite; others
hurried back, to fall into confusion, which it was hard indeed to
overcome. They felt, however, that this deadly chance was their only
chance of life, and they pressed on through the fire, and the swords
of their foes, and by the sheer heroism of despair forced a passage
to the mountains. Karaiskakes's aid--apparently through no fault of
his--was only obtained when the worst dangers had been surmounted or
succumbed to. Of the nine thousand persons who were in Missolonghi on
the day of the evacuation, four thousand were killed in the town or on
the way out of it. Only thirteen hundred men and two hundred women and
children lived to reach Salona after more than a week of wandering and
hiding among the mountains.

The long siege of Missolonghi illustrates all the best and some of
the worst features of the Greek Revolution. In it there was patriotism
worthy, in its bursts of splendour, of the nation that claimed descent
from the heroes of Plataea and Thermopylae. But the patriotism was
often fitful in its working, and oftener wholly wanting. The Greeks
could not shake off the pernicious influences that sprang, almost
necessarily, from their long centuries of thraldom. Heroism was
closely linked with treachery and meanness. The worthiest and most
disinterested energy was intimately associated with ignorance as to
the right methods of action, and with wilful action in wrong ways. The
elements of weakness that had been apparent from the first were more
and more developed as the painful struggle reached its termination.
It seems as if, in spite of Reshid Pasha and Ibrahim and their
fierce armies, it would have been easy for Missolonghi and its
brave defenders to have been saved. But rival ambitions and
paltry jealousies divided the leaders of the Revolution. They were
quarrelling while the power that each one coveted for himself was,
step by step, being wrested from them all; and when they tried to do
well their want of discipline often rendered their efforts of small
avail. No adequate attempt was made to relieve Missolonghi by land,
and the brave conduct of Miaoulis on the sea was almost neutralized
by the disorganization of his crews and the selfish policy of the
islanders who sent him out.

"With respect to the Greek army," wrote General Ponsonby to the Duke
of Wellington, from Corfu, on the 15th of June, "it is, generally
speaking, a mob; and a chief can only calculate upon keeping it
together as long as he has provisions to give it or the prospect of
plunder without danger. There is nothing to oppose the Egyptian
army but a mob kept together by the small sums sent by the different
committees in foreign countries. The Greeks have a great horror of
the bayonet, which, however, they have never seen near, except at
Missolonghi. The Suliots, who chiefly formed the garrison of that
place, are fine men, and certainly fought with great courage. Much
has been said of naval actions, but there is no truth in any of the
accounts. The Greeks are better sailors than the Turks, but no action
has been fought since the beginning of the war, if it is understood by
action that there is risk and loss on both sides. The Greeks, however,
have done wonders with their fleet. They have destroyed many large
ships, and, in the month of February last, with twenty-three brigs,
they out-manoeuvred the Turkish fleet of sixty sail, and threw
provisions into Missolonghi. This, though done by seamanship, and not
fighting, was called a great battle and a great victory. I was
within two miles of the fleets, and the cannonade for six hours was
tremendous; but when I spoke to Miaoulis the following morning he told
me he had not lost a man in his fleet."[A]

[Footnote A: "Despatches of the Duke of Wellington," vol. iii., p.

During the summer and winter following the fall of Missolonghi a
series of small disasters, the aggregate of which was by no means
small, befel the Greeks. It was the opinion of all parties, and
admitted even by jealous rivals, that the tottering cause of
independence was only sustained by the constant and eager expectation
of the arrival of the powerful fleet which was supposed to be on its
way to the Archipelago, under the able leadership of Lord Cochrane,
the world-famous champion of Chilian and Brazilian freedom.

His approach was hardly more a cause of hope to the Greeks than a
subject of fear to the Turks. No sooner was it publicly known that he
had espoused the cause of the insurgents than angry complaints were
made by the Turkish Government to the British ministry, and Mr.
Canning, then Foreign Secretary, had more than once to avow that the
authorities in England knew nothing of his movements, and had done all
that the law rendered possible to restrain him. He had also to promise
that everything legal should be done to keep him in check on his
arrival in Greek waters. "We have heard," he wrote in August to his
cousin, Mr. Stratford Canning, afterwards Lord Stratford de Redcliffe,
the ambassador at Constantinople, "that Lord Cochrane is gone to
the Mediterranean; whether it be really so, we know not." He then
proceeded to define the bearing of English and international law
in the existing circumstances. "Lord Cochrane may enter the Greek
service, and continue therein. He may even, as a Greek commander,
institute (as he did in Brazil) blockades which British officers will
respect, and exercise the belligerent rights of search on British
merchant-ships, without exposing himself to any other penalty than
that which the law will inflict upon him if ever hereafter he shall
again bring himself within its reach, and be duly convicted of the
offence for the punishment of which that law was enacted. If, indeed,
he should do any of such things without a commission he would become a
pirate, and liable to the summary justice to which, without reference
to the municipal laws of his country, he would, as an enemy of the
human race, be liable; and liable just as much from the officers of
any other country as of his own."[A]

[Footnote A: "Despatches of the Duke of Wellington," vol. iii., pp.
357, 358.]

While that correspondence was going on, Lord Cochrane, as we have
seen, was battling with a long series of delays, as irksome to himself
as they were unfortunate to the Greeks. It was not till the 14th of
September, about eight months after the time fixed for the arrival of
his whole fleet, that the first instalment of it, the _Perseverance_,
which he had sent on as soon as it was completed, with Captain Abney
Hastings as its commander, entered the harbour of Nauplia. On the 26th
of October, Captain Hastings wrote a letter, giving curious evidence
of the estimate formed by him of the Greek character. It was left
at Nauplia and addressed to "the commander of the first American
or English vessel that arrives in Greece to join the Greeks." "An
apprenticeship in Greece tolerably long," he wrote, "has taught me the
risks to which anybody newly arrived, and possessed of some place and
power, is exposed. They know me, and they also know that I know them;
yet they have not ceased, and never will cease, intriguing to get this
vessel out of my hands and into their own, which would be
tantamount to ruining her. Knowing all this, I take the liberty
of leaving this letter, to be delivered to the first officer
that arrives in Greece in the command of a vessel, to caution
him not to receive on board his vessel any Greek captain. They
will endeavour, under various pretences, to introduce themselves on
board, and when once they have got a footing, they will gradually
encroach until they feel themselves strong enough to turn out the
original commander. The presence of such men can only be attended with
inconvenience, for, if you are obliged to take a certain number of
Greek sailors, these captains will render subordination among them
impossible by their own irregularity and bad example. If you want
seamen, take some from Hydra, Spetzas, Kranidi, or Poros. The Psarians
may be trusted in very small numbers. Take a few men from one, a few
from another island, and thus you will be best enabled to establish
some kind of discipline. Take a good number of marines. Choose them
from the peasantry and foreign Greeks, and you may make something of
them. You must see, sir, that, in this my advice to the first officer
arriving in command of a vessel, I can have no interest any further
than inasmuch as I wish well to the Greek cause, and therefore do not
wish to see a force that can be of great service rendered ineffective
by falling into the hands of people totally incapable and unwilling to
adopt a single right measure. In Greece there cannot be any military
operations except such as are carried on by foreigners in their

That letter was written after Captain Hastings had endured a month's
annoyance from the trouble brought upon him by the Hydriot officers
and seamen who tried to oust him from the command of his fine vessel,
whose name was now changed from the _Perseverance_ to the _Karteria_.
Unfortunately, his letter, left at Nauplia, did not reach the captain
of the next reinforcement, the American frigate, which arrived at
Egina on the 8th of December. "She was one of the finest ships in the
world," we are told, "carrying sixty-four guns--long 32-pounders on
the main, and 42-pound carronades on the upper deck--and was filled
with flour, ammunition, medicines, and marine stores for eighteen
months' consumption. The Greeks contemplated her with delight, but,
upon the departure of the American officers and seamen who navigated
her out, they discovered that she would be more embarrassing than
useful to them. To manage vessels of such a size was beyond their
capacity, and the mutual jealousy of the islanders suggested to the
Government the absurd notion of putting the frigate into commission,
Hydra, Spetzas, and the Psarian community being desired to send quotas
of men. This plan was now found to be impracticable. Repeated fights
occurred on board. The ship was twice in danger of being wrecked at
Egina, and at Poros she actually drifted ashore, luckily on soft mud.
She was finally given up to Miaoulis, with a Hydriot crew of his own

[Footnote A: Gordon, vol. ii., p. 326.]

This frigate, christened the _Hellas_, came too late to be of much
service to Admiral Miaoulis, before the arrival of Lord Cochrane. In
the previous summer and autumn, however, he had been harassing and
keeping at bay the Turkish and Egyptian fleets--work in which Hastings
was in time to assist him.

Andreas Miaoulis, one of the least obtrusive, was almost the worthiest
of all the Greek patriots. During five years he had never ceased to do
the best that it was possible for him to do with the bad materials
at his disposal. When the Greek Revolution was at its height, he
had contributed largely to its success; and in the ensuing years
of disaster upon land, he had maintained its dignity on the sea by
offering bold resistance to the great naval power of the combined
Turkish and Egyptian fleets. No better proof of his patriotism could
be given than in the zeal with which he surrendered to Lord Cochrane
the leadership of the fleet which had devolved upon him for so long
and been so ably conducted by him. "I received four days ago," he
wrote from Poros on the 23rd of February, 1827, "your amiable
letter of the 19th of last month, and my great satisfaction at the
announcement of your approaching arrival in Greece is joined with a
special pleasure at the honour you do me in associating me with your
important operations. I shall be happy, my admiral, if, in serving
you, I can do my duty. I await you with impatience."

Just a month before that, on the 23rd of January, a like letter
of congratulation was addressed to Lord Cochrane from Egina by the
Governing Commission of Greece. "The intelligence of your speedy
coming to Greece," they said, "has awakened the liveliest joy and
satisfaction, and has already begun to rekindle in the hearts of
the Greeks that enthusiasm which is the most powerful weapon and the
surest support of a nation that has devoted itself to the recovery of
its most sacred rights. The Government of Greece is waiting with
the utmost impatience for the most zealous defender of the nation's
liberty. It hopes to see you in its midst as soon as possible after
your arrival at Hydra, and then to make you acquainted with the actual
state of Greece, and to furnish you with all the means in its power
for the achievement of the grand results proposed by your lordship."
The letter was signed by Andreas Zaimes, as President of
the Commission, and by seven of its members, among whom were
Mavromichales, or Petro-Bey, who, with Zaimes and two others,
represented the Morea, Spiridion Trikoupes, the deputy for Roumelia,
Zamados from Hydra, Monarchides from Psara, and Demetrakopoulos from
the islands of the Egean Sea.

By the same body was issued, on the 21st of February, a preliminary
commission, intended to protect him in case of any opposition being
raised to his progress by the authorities of other nations. "The
Governing Commission of Greece," it was written, "makes known that
Admiral Lord Cochrane is recognised as being in the service of Greece,
and accordingly has the permission of the Government to hoist the
Greek flag on all the vessels that are under his command. He has
power, also, to fight the enemies of Greece to the utmost of his
power. Therefore the officers of neutral powers, being informed of
this, are implored, not only to offer no opposition to his movements,
but also, if necessary, to supply him with any assistance he may
require, seeing that it is our custom to do the same to all friendly
nations." Armed with this document, and provided with the necessary
means by the Philhellenes of England, France, and Switzerland, Lord
Cochrane proceeded from Marseilles to Greece.



(Page 22.)

The following "Resume of the Services of the late Earl of Dundonald,
none of which have been Requited or Officially Recognized," was
written by his son, one of the authors of the present work, and
printed for private circulation in 1861.

1. The destruction of three heavily-armed French corvettes, near the
mouth of the Garonne, the crew of Lord Cochrane's frigate, _Pallas_,
being at the time, with the exception of forty men, engaged in cutting
out the _Tapageuse_, lying under the protection of two batteries
thirty miles up the river, in which operation they were also
successful, four ships of war being thus captured or destroyed in a
single day. For these services Lord Cochrane obtained nothing but
his share of the _Tapageuse_, sold by auction for a trifling sum,
the Government refusing to purchase her as a ship of war, though of
admirable build and construction. Contrary to the usual rule, no ship
ever taken by Lord Cochrane, throughout his whole career, was ever
allowed to be bought into the navy. For the corvettes, which Lord
Cochrane destroyed with so small a crew, he never received reward or
thanks, the alleged reason being, that, having become wrecks, they
were not in existence, and therefore could not have value attached
to them. This decision of the Admiralty was contrary to custom, as
admitted to the present day. In the late Russian war a gunboat of the
enemy having been driven on shore and wrecked, compensation is said to
have been awarded to the officers and crew of the British vessel
which drove her on shore. The importance of wrecking a gunboat, in
comparison with the destruction of three fast-sailing ships, which
were picking up our merchantmen, in all directions, needs no comment.

2. Lord Cochrane's services on the coast of Catalonia, of which Lord
Collingwood, then commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean, testified
of his lordship to the Admiralty that by his energy and foresight
he had, with a single frigate, stopped a French army from occupying
Eastern Spain. The services by which this was effected were as
follows:--Preventing the reinforcement of the French garrison in
Barcelona, by harassing the newly-arrived troops in their march along
the coast, and organising and assisting the Spanish militia to oppose
their progress, Lord Cochrane himself capturing one of their forts on
shore, and taking the garrison prisoners.

On the approach of a powerful French _corps d'armee_ towards
Barcelona, Lord Cochrane blew up the roads along the coast, and taught
the Spanish peasantry how to do so inland. By blowing up the cliff
roads, near Mongat, Lord Cochrane interposed an insurmountable
obstacle between the army and its artillery, capturing and throwing
into the sea a considerable number of field-pieces, so that the
operations of the French were rendered nugatory. For these services,
Lord Cochrane, notwithstanding the strong representations of Lord
Collingwood to the Board of Admiralty, neither received thanks nor
reward of any kind; notwithstanding that whilst so engaged, and that
voluntarily, in successfully accomplishing the work of an army, he
patriotically gave up all chances of prize money, though easily to be
obtained by cruising after the enemy's vessels. In place of this, he
neither searched for nor captured a single prize, whilst engaged
in harassing the French army on shore, devoting his whole energies
towards the enterprise which he considered most conducive to the
interests of his country.

3. Having effected his object, Lord Cochrane sailed for the Gulf
of Lyons, with the intention of cutting off the enemy's shore
communications. This he accomplished by destroying their signal
stations, telegraphs, and shore batteries along nearly the whole
coast, navigating his frigate with perfect safety throughout this
proverbially perilous part of the Mediterranean. In order further
to paralyse the enemy's movements, Lord Cochrane made a practice
of burning paper near the demolished stations, so as to deceive the
French into the belief that he had burned their signal books; he
rightly judging that from this circumstance they might not deem it
necessary to alter their code of signals. The ruse succeeded, and,
transmitting the signal books to Lord Collingwood, then watching the
enemy's preparations in Toulon, the commander-in-chief was thus
fully apprised, by the enemy's signals, not only of all their naval
movements, but also of the position and movements of all British
ships of war on the French coast. Lord Cochrane's single frigate
thus performed the work of many vessels of observation, and Lord
Collingwood testified of him to the Admiralty that "his resources
seemed to have no end." Notwithstanding this testimony from his
commander-in-chief, Lord Cochrane neither received reward nor thanks
for the service rendered.

4. On his return to the Spanish coast, Lord Cochrane found the French
besieging Rosas, the Spaniards maintaining possession of the citadel,
whilst Fort Trinidad had just been evacuated by the British officer
who had been co-operating with the Spaniards in the larger fortress.
Lord Cochrane, believing that if Fort Trinidad were held till
reinforcements arrived, the French must be compelled to raise the
siege of Rosas, persuaded the Spanish Governor not to surrender, as he
was about to do, on its evacuation by the British officer aforesaid,
and threw himself into the fort with a detachment from the seamen
and marines of the _Imperieuse_, with which frigate he maintained
uninterrupted communication, in spite of the enemy, who, on
ascertaining it to be Lord Cochrane who was keeping them at bay,
redoubled their efforts to capture the fort, the gallant defence of
which is amongst the most remarkable events of naval warfare. Lord
Cochrane held Fort Trinidad till, the Spaniards surrendering the
citadel, he would not allow his men to run further risk in their
behalf, and withdrew the seamen and marines in safety. For this
remarkable exploit Lord Cochrane, though himself severely wounded,
neither received reward nor thanks, except from Lord Collingwood,
who again, without effect, warmly applauded his gallantry to the

5. Immediately on his arrival at Plymouth, on leave of absence in
consequence of ill health from his extraordinary exertions, Lord
Cochrane was immediately summoned by the Admiralty to Whitehall,
and asked for a plan whereby the French fleet in Basque Roads, then
threatening our West India possessions, might be destroyed at one
blow; this extraordinary request from a junior captain, after the most
experienced officers in the navy had pronounced its impracticability,
forcibly proving the very high opinion entertained by the Admiralty
of Lord Cochrane's skill and resources. He gave in a plan, and was
ordered to execute it, which order he reluctantly obeyed, having done
all in his power to decline an invidious command, for fear of arousing
the jealousy of officers to whom he was junior in the service. What
followed is matter of history, and needs not to be recapitulated.
Yet for the destruction of that powerful armament he neither received
reward nor thanks from the Admiralty, though rewarded by his sovereign
with the highest order of the Bath, a distinction which marked his
Majesty's sense of the important service rendered.

Nine years afterwards head money was awarded to the whole fleet,
of which only the vessels directed by Lord Cochrane and a few sent
afterwards, when too late for effective measures, took part in the
action. The alleged reason of this award was that the _Calcutta_, one
of the ships driven ashore by Lord Cochrane, did not surrender to him,
but to ships sent to his assistance. This was not true, though after
protracted deliberation so ruled by the Admiralty Court, and officers
now living and present in the action have recently come forward to
testify to the ship being in Lord Cochrane's possession before the
arrival of the ships which subsequently came to his assistance. A
small sum was therefore only awarded to him as a junior captain, in
common with those who had been spectators only, and this he declined
to receive. Such was his recompense for a service to the high merit of
which Napoleon himself afterwards testified in the warmest manner; and
it may be mentioned as a further testimony that a French Court Martial
shot Captain Lafont, the commander of the _Calcutta_, because he
surrendered to a vessel of inferior power, viz., Lord Cochrane's
frigate, the _Imperieuse_ of forty-four guns, the _Calcutta_ carrying
sixty guns.[A]

[Footnote A: Captain Lafont was shot on board the _Ocean_, on
September 9, 1809, _for surrendering the Calcutta to a ship of
inferior force_, thus proving that she surrendered to Lord Cochrane
alone, though Sir William Scott ruled in opposition to the facts
adopted by the French Court Martial, which condemned Captain Lafont
to death for the act. The surrender to Lord Cochrane alone is further
proved by the additional fact, that the captains of the _Ville de
Varsovie_ and _Aquilon_, which _did_ surrender to the other ships in
conjunction with Lord Cochrane's frigate, were not even accused, much
less punished for so doing.]

The exploits of Lord Cochrane in the _Speedy_ and _Pallas_ are too
well known in naval history to require recapitulation, and of these
it may be said that the numerous prizes captured by these vessels
constituted their own reward. It may here be mentioned in confirmation
of what has previously been said, that the _Gamo_, a magnificent
xebeque frigate of thirty-two guns, was not allowed to be bought into
the navy, but was sold for a small sum to one of the piratical Barbary
States, notwithstanding that Lord Cochrane had said that if he
were allowed to have her in place of the _Speedy_, then in a very
dilapidated condition, he would sweep the Mediterranean of the enemy's
cruisers and privateers. His capacity so to do may be judged from what
he effected with the _Speedy_, mounting only fourteen 4-pounders.

With regard to the services previously enumerated, the case is
different, notwithstanding their national importance in comparison
with his minor acts, which may be classed as brilliant exploits only.
But that no reward should have been conferred for doing effectively
the work of an army, and that without the cost of a shilling to the
nation beyond the ordinary expenditure of a small frigate, necessary
to be disbursed whether she performed any effective service or not,
is a neglect which, unless repaired in the persons of his successors,
will for ever remain a blot on the British Government. Still more so
will the worse neglect of not having in any way rewarded him for the
destruction of the French fleet in Basque Roads, for though only four
ships were destroyed at the moment, the whole fleet of the enemy was
so damaged by having been driven on shore from terror of the explosive
vessel, fired with Lord Cochrane's own hand, that it eventually became
a wreck; and thus our West India commerce, then the most important
branch of national export and import, was in a month after Lord
Cochrane's arrival from the Mediterranean relieved from the panic
which paralysed it, and restored to its wonted security;--a service
which can only be estimated by the gloom and panic which had
previously pervaded the whole country.

Were reference made to the pension list, and note taken of the
pensions granted to other officers and their successors for services
which in point of national importance do not admit of comparison with
those of Lord Cochrane, the present generation would be surprised at
the national ingratitude manifested towards one, who, in his great
exploits, had so patriotically sacrificed every consideration
of private interest to his country's service. His cruise in the
_Imperieuse_, which has no parallel in naval history, procured for
Lord Cochrane nothing whatever but shattered health from the
incessant anxiety and exertion he had undergone in the profitless but
high-minded course he adopted to thwart the French in their attempts
to establish a permanent footing in Eastern Spain. His exploits in
Basque Roads procured him nothing but absolute ruin; for, from his
refusal as a Member of Parliament to acquiesce in a vote of thanks to
Lord Gambier, even though the same thanks were promised to himself,
may be dated that active political persecution which commenced by
depriving him of further naval employment and did not cease till it
had accomplished his utter ruin, even to striking his name out of the
_Navy List_.

The animosity of this political partisanship towards one who had
effected so much for his country is an anomaly even in political
history. That amended representation of the people in Parliament, for
which he strove up to 1818, had only fourteen years afterwards become
the law of the land, and the boast of some who had persecuted Lord
Cochrane for no offence beyond having been amongst the first to give
expression to the popular will subsequently adopted by themselves.

The efforts of Lord Cochrane in favour of reforming the abuses of the
Navy and of Greenwich Hospital, which at that time brought upon him
the wrath of the Administration, are at this moment seriously engaging
the attention of parliament, as being of paramount national necessity.
The doctrine then openly laid down, that no naval officer in
parliament had a right to interfere with naval administration, has
long been abrogated, and many of the brightest ornaments of the navy
are now amongst the foremost to denounce naval abuses in the House of
Commons. It is, in fact, to them that the country now looks for
that vigilance which shall preserve the navy in a proper state of
efficiency. Yet for these very things was Lord Cochrane persecuted,
though modern Governments, which have been liberal enough to acquiesce
in popular reforms, of which he was the early advocate, have not been
liberal enough to make him amends for the wrongs he suffered as one of
the indefatigable originators of their now-cherished measures. Still
less have they deemed it inconsistent with the honour of this great
country to refrain from rewarding him in the ordinary manner for his
most important services, rendered when others shrank from them, as was
the case at Basque Roads, where his plans, declined by his seniors in
the service, were successfully executed by himself under the greatest
possible discouragement and disadvantage.

But the injustice manifested towards the late Earl of Dundonald did
not end here. Driven from the service of his own country, and without
fortune, he was compelled by his necessities to embark in the service
of foreign states. With his own hand, directed by his own genius,
which had to supply the place of adequate naval force, he liberated
Chili, Peru, and Brazil from thraldom, consolidating the rebellious
provinces of the latter empire on so permanent a basis, that its
internal peace has never again been disturbed. Yet not one of these
states has to this day satisfied the stipulated and indisputable
arrangements by which he was induced to espouse their cause; the
reason of their breach of contract being distinctly traceable to the
course pursued towards Lord Dundonald in England. Seeing that the
British Government paid no attention to the yet more important claims
he had upon its gratitude, the South American States believed that
they might with impunity disregard their own stipulations, and the
dictates of national honour; the chief of one of them having had the
audacity to tell Lord Cochrane that he would find no sympathy in the
British Government.

Three of the most distinguished officers in the British service, Sir
Thomas Hastings, Sir John Burgoyne, and Colonel Colquhoun, have felt
it their duty, when officially reporting on the efficacy of Lord
Dundonald's war plans, to give him the highest credit for having kept
his secret "_under peculiarly trying circumstances_," and from
pure love of his native country. The "trying circumstances" were
these,--that he had been driven from the service of that country by
the machinations of a political faction, which, in the conscientious
performance of his parliamentary duties, he had offended. Even this
injury, which blasted his whole life and prospects, did not detract
one _iota_ from the love of country, which to the day of his death
was with him a passion; his acute mind well knowing how to draw the
distinction between his country and those who were sacrificing its
best interests to their love of power, if not to less worthy purposes.
Never was praise more honourably given, than in the Ordnance Report
of the above-named distinguished officers, and never was it more nobly

Another "peculiarly trying circumstance" alluded to by those officers,
was that, when compelled by actual pecuniary necessity, in consequence
of the deprivation of his rank and pay, and the demands of increasing
family, to accept service under a foreign state as his only means of
subsistence, he lay before the castles of Callao, into which had been
removed for security the whole wealth of the rich capital of Peru,
including bullion and plate, estimated at upwards of a million
sterling, he preserved his war secret, though strongly urged to put
it in execution. Had he listened to the temptation, in six hours
the whole of that wealth must have been in his possession. For not
listening to it, he incurred the enmity of his employers, who urged
that they were entitled to all his professional skill and knowledge,
as a part of his bargain with them; and his non-compliance with their
wishes is doubtless amongst the chief reasons why they have not, to
this day, satisfied their own offered stipulations for his services.
Yet, at the very moment when he was displaying this self-sacrificing
patriotism, lest his country might suffer from his secret being
divulged, the Government of Great Britain had, at the suggestion of
the Spanish Government, passed a "Foreign Enlistment Act," with the
express intention of enveloping him in its meshes.[A]

[Footnote A: On Lord Cochrane's return from Brazil, having occasion
to go before the Attorney-General, on the subject of a patent, that
learned functionary rudely asked him, "_Whether he was not afraid to
appear in his presence?_" Lord Cochrane's reply was, "_No, nor in
the presence of any man living_." Evidence exists that the
Attorney-General asked the Ministry if he should prosecute Lord
Cochrane under the Foreign Enlistment Act, the reply being in the


(Page 23.)

As a striking instance of Lord Cochrane's method of exposing naval
abuses, part of a speech delivered by him in the House of Commons, on
the 11th of May, 1809, is here copied from his "Autobiography," vol.
ii. pp. 142-144.

An admiral, worn out in the service, is superannuated at
410_l._. a year, a captain at 210_l._., a clerk of the ticket office
retires on 700_l._. a year! The widow of Admiral Sir Andrew
Mitchell has one third of the allowance given to the widow of
a Commissioner of the Navy.

I will give the House another instance. Four daughters of the
gallant Captain Courtenay have 12l. 10s. each, the daughter of
Admiral Sir Andrew Mitchell has 25l., two daughters of Admiral
Epworth have 25l. each, the daughter of Admiral Keppel 24l.,
the daughter of Captain Mann, who was killed in action, 25l.,
four children of Admiral Moriarty 25l. each. That is--thirteen
daughters of admirals and captains, several of whose fathers
fell in the service of their country, receive from the
gratitude of the nation a sum less than Dame Mary Saxton, the
widow of a commissioner.

The pension list is not formed on any comparative rank or
merit, length of service, or other rational principle, but
appears to me to be dependent on parliamentary influence
alone. Lieutenant Ellison, who lost his arm, is allowed 91l.
5s., Captain Johnstone, who lost his arm, has only 45l.
12s. 6d., Lieutenant Arden, who lost his arm, has 9l.
5s., Lieutenant Campbell, who lost his leg, 40_l._., and poor
Lieutenant Chambers, who lost both his legs, has only 80_l._.,
whilst Sir A.S. Hamond retires on 1500_l._. per annum. The brave
Sir Samuel Hood, who lost his arm, has only 500_l._., whilst the
late Secretary of the Admiralty retires, in full health, on a
pension of 1500_l._. per annum.

To speak less in detail, 32 flag officers, 22 captains, 50
lieutenants, 180 masters, 36 surgeons, 23 pursers, 91 boatswains, 97
gunners, 202 carpenters, and 41 cooks, in all 774 persons, cost the
country 4028l. less than the nett proceeds of the sinecures of Lords
Arden (20,358_l._), Camden (20,536_l._), and Buckingham (20,693_l._).

All the superannuated admirals, captains, and lieutenants put
together, have but 1012l. more than Earl Camden's sinecure alone! All
that is paid to the wounded officers of the whole British navy, and
to the wives and children of those dead or killed in action, do
not amount by 214l. to as much as Lord Arden's sinecure alone, viz.
20,358_l._. What is paid to the mutilated officers themselves is but half
as much.

Is this justice? Is this the treatment which the officers of the
navy deserve at the hands of those who call themselves his Majesty's
Government? Does the country know of this injustice? Will this too be
defended? If I express myself with warmth I trust in the indulgence
of the House. I cannot suppress my feelings. Should 31 commissioners,
commissioners' wives, and clerks have 3899l. more amongst them than
all the wounded officers of the navy of England?

I find upon examination that the Wellesleys receive from the public
34,729_l._, a sum equal to 426 pairs of lieutenants' legs, calculated at
the rate of allowance of Lieutenant Chambers's legs. Calculating
for the pension of Captain Johnstone's arm, viz. 45l., Lord Arden's
sinecure is equal to the value of 1022 captains' arms. The Marquis
of Buckingham's sinecure alone will maintain the whole ordinary
establishment of the victualling department at Chatham, Dover,
Gibraltar, Sheerness, Downs, Heligoland, Cork, Malta, Mediterranean,
Cape of Good Hope, Rio de Janeiro, and leave 5460_l._ in the Treasury.
Two of these comfortable sinecures would victual the officers and men
serving in all the ships in ordinary in Great Britain, viz. 117 sail
of the line, 105 frigates, 27 sloops, and 50 hulks. Three of them
would maintain the dockyard establishments at Portsmouth and Plymouth.
The addition of a few more would amount to as much as the whole
ordinary establishments of the royal dockyards at Chatham, Woolwich,
Deptford, and Sheerness; whilst the sinecures and offices executed
wholly by deputy would more than maintain the ordinary establishment
of all the royal dockyards in the kingdom.

Even Mr. Ponsonby, who lately made so pathetic an appeal to the good
sense of the people of England against those whom he was pleased to
term demagogues, actually receives, for having been thirteen months in
office, a sum equal to nine admirals who have spent their lives in
the service of their country; three times as much as all the pensions
given to all the daughters and children of all the admirals,
captains, lieutenants, and other officers who have died in indigent
circumstances, or who have been killed in the service.


(Page 258.)

The following letter, too long to be quoted in the body of the work,
but too important to be omitted, was addressed by Lord Cochrane to
the Brazilian Secretary of State. It gives memorable evidence of
the treatment to which he was subjected by the Portuguese faction in

Rio de Janeiro, May 3rd, 1824.


I have received the honour of your excellency's reply to my letter
of the 30th of March, and as I am thereby taught that the subjects on
which I wrote are not now considered so intimately connected with your
excellency's department as they were by your immediate predecessor,
nor even so far relevant as to justify a direct communication to your
excellency, I should feel it my duty to avoid troubling you farther
on those subjects, were it not that you at the same time have freely
expressed such opinions with respect to my conduct and motives as
justice to myself requires me to controvert and refute.

With regard to your excellency's assurance that it has ever been
the intention of his Imperial Majesty and Council to act favourably
towards me, I can in return assure your excellency that I have never
doubted the just and benign intention of his Imperial Majesty himself,
neither have I doubted that a part of his Privy Council has thought
well of my services; and if I have imagined that a majority has been
prejudiced against me, I have formed that conclusion merely from the
effects which I have seen and experienced, and not from any undue
prepossession against particular individuals, whether Brazilian or
Portuguese. But when your excellency adds that those transactions
between the late minister and myself, which, owing to their having
been conducted verbally, have been ill-understood, have invariably
been decided in a manner favourable to me, I confess myself at a loss
to understand your excellency's meaning, not having any recollection
of such favourable decisions, and therefore not feeling myself
competent either to admit or deny unless in the first place your
excellency shall be pleased to descend to particulars. I do indeed
recollect that the late ministers, professing to have the authority of
his Imperial Majesty, and which, from the personal countenance I
have experienced from that august personage, I am sure they did not
clandestinely assume, proffered to me the command of the imperial
squadron, with every privilege, emolument, and advantage which
I possessed in the command of the navy of Chili; and this, your
excellency is desired to observe, was not a verbal transaction, but
a written one, and therefore not liable to any of those
misunderstandings to which verbal transactions, as your excellency
observes, are naturally subject. Now, in Chili my commission was that
of commander-in-chief of the squadron, without limitation as to time
or any other restriction. My command, of course, was only to cease by
my own voluntary resignation, or by sentence of court-martial, or by
death, or other uncontrollable event. And accordingly the appointment
which I accepted in the service of his Imperial Majesty, and in virtue
of which I sailed in command of the expedition to Bahia, was that of
commander-in-chief of the whole squadron, without limitation as to
time or otherwise; and this, too, your excellency will be pleased
to observe, was not a verbal transaction, but a solemn engagement
in writing, bearing date the 26th day of March, 1823, and now in my
possession. I had also the assurance in writing of the Minister of
Marine, that the formalities of engrossment and registration of
such appointment were only deferred from want of time, and should be
executed immediately after my return.

And now I most respectfully put it home to your excellency whether
these engagements have or have not been fully confirmed and complied
with under the present administration. I ask your excellency whether
the patent which I received, bearing date the 25th November, 1823,
did not contain a clause of limitation by which I might at any time be
dismissed from the service under any pretence or without any pretence
whatever--without even the form of a hearing in my own defence. Then
again I ask your excellency whether my office as commander-in-chief of
the squadron was not reduced for a period of three months--as appears
by every official communication of the Minister of Marine to me during
that period--to the command only of the vessels of war anchored
in this port?[A] and further on this subject I ask your excellency
whether after my repeated remonstrances against this injurious
limitation of my stipulated authority, it was not pretended by the
decree published in the Gazette of the 28th February, that I was then
for the first time, as a mark of special favour, elevated to the rank
of commander-in-chief of the squadron, and that too during the period
only of the existing war: although nothing less than the chief command
had been offered to me at the first, without any restriction as to
time, and although it was only in that capacity I had consented to
enter into the service, and under a written appointment as such I had
then been in the service nearly twelve months. And then I ask your
excellency whether the limitation introduced into the patent of the
25th of November last, in violation of the original agreement, and
confirmed and defined by the decree published on the 28th of February
following; to which may be added the communication which I received
from your excellency, excluding me from taking the oath, and becoming
a party to the constitution, the 149th article of which provides for
the protection of officers until lawfully deprived by sentence of
court-martial; I say that I respectfully ask your excellency whether
these proceedings were not well adapted for the purpose of casting me
off with the utmost facility at the earliest moment that convenience
might dictate; either with or without the admission of those claims
for the future to which past services are usually considered entitled,
as might best suit the inclination of those with whom my dismissal
might originate. And is it not most probable that their inclination
would run counter to those claims, especially when it is considered
that my letter of the 6th of March to the Minister of Marine, in which
I made the inquiry whether my right to half-pay would be recognized
on the termination of the war, has never been answered, although my
application for a reply has been repeated?[B] If then the explicit
engagements in writing between the late minister of his Imperial
Majesty and myself have, as I have shown, been set aside by the
present ministry and council, and other arrangements far less
favourable to me, and destructive of the lawful security of my present
and future rights, have without my consent been substituted in their
stead, where, I entreat your excellency, am I to look for those
favourable constructions of "ill-understood verbal transactions,"
which your excellency requires me to accept as a proof that the
intentions of the present ministry and council, in respect to me, have
ever been of the most favourable and obliging nature?

[Footnote A: This was resorted to, in order to prevent Lord Cochrane
from stationing the cruisers to annoy the enemy, to deprive him of
any interest in future captures, and prevent his opposition to the
unlawful restoration of enemy's property.]

[Footnote B: An answer was at last given, a few days before Lord
Cochrane's assistance was called for to put down the revolution
at Pernambuco; and _half_ of the originally-granted _half-pay_ was
decreed when he should return, after the termination of hostilities,
to his native country.]

I would beg permission, too, to inquire how it happened that
portarias[A] from the Minister of Marine, charging me unjustly from
time to time with neglecting to obey the command of his Imperial
Majesty, were constantly made public, while my answers in refutation
were always suppressed. And why, when I remonstrated against this
injustice, was I answered that the same course should be persisted
in, and that I had no alternative but to acquiesce, or to descend to
a newspaper controversy by publishing my exculpations myself? Is it
possible not to perceive that the _ex parte_ publication of
these accusatory portarias was intended to lower me in the public
estimation, and to prepare the way for the exercise of that power of
summary dismissal which was so unfairly acquired by the means above

[Footnote A: Official communications.]

On the subject of the prizes your excellency is pleased to state: "Les
difficultes survenues dans le jugement des prizes ont eu des motifs si
connus et positifs qu'il est assez doloureux de les voir attribuir a
la mauvaise volonte du Conseil de S.M.I." To this I reply that I know
of no just cause for the delay which has arisen in the decision of the
prizes, and consequently I have a right to impute blame for that delay
to those who have the power to cause it or remove it. If the majority
of the voices in council had been for a prompt condemnation to the
captors of the prizes taken from the Portuguese nation, is
it possible that individuals of that nation would be suffered
to continue to be the judges of those prizes after an experience
of many months has demonstrated either their determination
to do nothing, or nothing favourable to the captors? The
repugnance of Portuguese judges to condemn property captured from
their fellow-countrymen, as a reward to those who have engaged in
hostilities against Portugal, is natural enough, and is the only
well-known and positive cause of the delay with which I am acquainted;
but it is not such a cause for delay as ought to have been permitted
to operate by the ministers and council of his Imperial Majesty, who
are bound in honour and duty to act with fidelity towards those who
have been engaged as auxiliaries in the attainment and maintenance of
the independence of the empire. I did, however, inform your excellency
that I had heard it stated that another difficulty had arisen in the
apprehension that this Government might be under the necessity of
eventually restoring the prizes to the original Portuguese owners as
a condition of peace. But this, your excellency assures me, proves
nothing but that I am a listener to "rapporteurs," whom I ought
to drive from my presence. Unfortunately, however, for this bold
explanation of your excellency, the individual whom I heard make the
observation was no other than his excellency the present Minister of
Marine, Francisco Villala Barboza. If your excellency considers that
gentleman in the light of a "rapporteur," or talebearer, it is not for
me to object; but the imputation of being a listener to or encourager
of talebearers, so rashly advanced by your excellency against me,
is without foundation in truth. It may be necessary for ministers
of state to have their eavesdroppers and informers, but mine is a
straightforward course, which needs no such precautions. And if there
be any who volunteer information or advice, I can appreciate the value
of it, and the motives of those who offer it. Those who know me much
better than your excellency does, will admit that I am in the habit of
thinking for myself, and not apt to act on the suggestions of others,
especially if officiously tendered.

As to the successive appointment and removal of incompetent auditors
of marine, for which your excellency gives credit to the council,
I can only say that the benefit of such repeated changes is by no
means apparent. And to revert again to the difficulty of decision, for
which your excellency intimates there is sufficient cause, I beg leave
to ask your excellency what just reason can exist for not condemning
these prizes to the captors. Can it be denied that the orders
under which I sailed for the blockade of Bahia authorized me to act
hostilely against the ships and property of the crown and subjects of
Portugal? Can it be denied that war was regularly declared between
the two nations? Was it not even promulgated under the sanction of his
Imperial Majesty in a document giving to privateers certain privileges
which it is admitted were possessed by the ships of war in the making
and sale of captures? And yet did not the Prize Tribunal (consisting
chiefly, as I before observed, of Portuguese), on the return of the
squadron, eight months afterwards, pretend to be ignorant whether his
Imperial Majesty was at war or at peace with the kingdom of Portugal?
And did they not under that pretence avoid proceeding to adjudication?
Was not this pretence a false one, or is it one of those well-founded
causes of difficulty to which your excellency alludes? Can it be
denied that the squadron sailed and acted in the full expectation,
grounded on the assurance and engagements of the Government, that all
captures made under the flag of the enemy, whether ships of war or
merchant vessels, were to be prize to the captors? and yet when
the prize judges were at length under the necessity of commencing
proceedings, did they not endeavour to set aside the claims of the
captors by the monstrous pretence that they had no interest in their
captures when made within the distance of two leagues from the shore?
Will your excellency contend that this was a good and sufficient
reason? Was it founded in common sense, or on any rational precedent,
or indeed any precedent whatever? Was it either honest to the squadron
or faithful to the country? Was it not calculated to prevent the
squadron from ever again assailing an invading enemy, or again
expelling him from the shores of the empire? Then, in the next place,
did not these most extraordinary judges pretend that at least all
vessels taken in ports and harbours should be condemned as droits to
the crown, and not as prize to the captors? Was not this another most
pernicious attempt to deprive the imperial squadron not only of its
reward for the past but of any adequate motive for the risk of
future enterprise? And in effect, were not these successive pretences
calculated to operate as invitations to invasions? Did they not tend
to encourage the enemy to resume his occupation of the port of Bahia,
and generally to renew his aggressions against the independence of
the empire on her shores and in her ports without the probability
of resistance by the squadrons of his Imperial Majesty? And have not
these same judges actually condemned almost every prize as a droit
to the crown, thereby doing as much as in them lay to defraud the
squadron and to damp its zeal and destroy its energies? Nay, have
not the auditors of marine actually issued decrees pronouncing the
captures made at Maranhao to have been illegal, alleging that they
were seized under the Brazilian flag, although in truth the flag
of the enemy was flying at the time both in the forts and ships;
declaring me a violator of the law of nations and law of the land;
accusing me of having been guilty of an insult to the Emperor and
the empire, and decreeing costs and damages against me under these
infamous pretences? Can your excellency perceive either justice or
decency in these decrees? Do they in any degree breathe the spirit of
gratitude for the union of so important a province to the empire, or
are they at all in accordance with the distinguished approbation which
his Imperial Majesty himself has evinced of my services at Maranhao?

Can it be unknown to your excellency that the late ministers, acting
doubtless under the sanction of his Imperial Majesty, and assuredly
under the guidance of common sense, held out that the value of ships
of war taken from the enemy was to be the reward of the enterprise of
the captors? And yet are we not now told that a law exists decreeing
all captured men-of-war to the crown, and so rendering the engagements
of the late ministers illegal and nugatory? Can anything be more
contrary to justice, to good faith, to common sense, or to sound
policy? Was it ever expected by any government employing foreign
seamen in a war in which they can have no personal rights at stake,
that those seamen will incur the risk of attacking a superior, or even
an equal, force, without prospect of other reward than their ordinary
pay? Is it not notorious that even in England it is found essential,
or at least highly advantageous, to reward the officers and seamen,
though fighting their own battles, not only with the full value of
captured vessels of war, but even with additional premiums; and was
it ever doubted that such liberal policy has mainly contributed to the
surpassing magnitude of the naval power of that little island, and her
consequent greatness as a nation?

Can your excellency deny that the delay, the neglect, and the conduct
generally of the prize judges, have been the cause of an immense
diminution in the value of the captures? Have not the consequences
been a wanton and shameful waste of property by decay and plunder?
Can your excellency really believe in the existence of a good and
sufficient motive for consigning such property to destruction, rather
than at once awarding it to the captors in recompense for their
services to the empire? Is it not true that all control over the sales
and cargoes of the vessels, most of which are without invoices, have
been taken from the captors and their agents and placed in the hands
of individuals over whom they have no authority or influence, and from
whom they can have no security of receiving a just account? And can
it be doubted that the gracious intentions of his Imperial Majesty, as
announced by himself, of rewarding the captors with the value of
the prizes, are in the utmost danger of being defeated by such

Since the 12th day of February, when his Imperial Majesty was
graciously pleased to signify his pleasure in his own handwriting that
the prizes, though condemned to the crown, should be paid for to
the captors, and that valuators should be appointed to estimate the
amount, is it not true that nothing whatever, up to the date of my
former letter to your excellency, had been done by his ministers
and council in furtherance of such his gracious intentions? On the
contrary, is it not notorious that, since the announcement of the
imperial intention, numerous vessels and cargoes have been arbitrarily
disposed of by authority of the auditors of marine, by being delivered
to pretended owners and others without legal adjudication, and even
without the decency of acquainting the captors or their agents that
the property had been so transferred? And has not the whole cost
of litigation, watching and guarding the vessels and cargoes, been
entirely at the expense of the captors, notwithstanding the disposal
of the property and the receipt of the proceeds by the agents of
Government and others?

So little hope of justice has been presented by the proceedings of the
Prize Tribunal, that it has appeared quite useless to label the stores
found in the naval and military arsenals of Maranhao, or the 66,000
dollars in the chests of the Treasury and Custom House, with double
that sum in bills, all of which was left for the use of the province,
or permitted to be disbursed to satisfy the clamorous troops of Ceara
and Pianhy. Has any remuneration been offered to the navy for these
sacrifices, of which ministers were duly informed by my official
despatches? or has any recompense been awarded for the Portuguese brig
and schooner of war, both completely stored and equipped, which were
surrendered at Maranhao, and which have ever since been employed in
the naval service? To a proportion of all this I should have been
entitled in Chili, as well as in the English service; and why, I ask,
must I here be contented to be deprived of every hope of these the
fruits of my labours? In addition to the prize vessels delivered to
claimants without trial, have not the ministers appropriated others
_to the uses of the state without valuation or recompense_?[A]

[Footnote A: This conduct was afterwards more flagrantly exemplified
on the arrival of the new and noble prize frigate _Imperatrice_, the
equipment whereof had cost the captors 12,000 milreas, which sum has
never been returned.]

In short, is it not true that though more than a year has elapsed
since the sailing of the imperial squadron under my command, and
nearly half a year since its return, after succeeding in expelling the
naval and military forces of the enemy from Bahia, and liberating the
northern provinces, and uniting them to the empire; I say is it not
true that not one shilling of prize money has yet been distributed
to the squadron, and that no prospect is even now apparent of any
distribution being speedily made? Is it not true that the only
substantial reward of the officers and seamen of the squadron for the
important services they have rendered has hitherto been nothing
more than their mere pittance of ordinary pay; and even that in
many instances vexatiously delayed and miserably curtailed? And with
respect to myself individually, is it not notorious that I necessarily
consume my whole pay in my current expenses; that my official rank
cannot be upheld with less, and that it is wholly inadequate to the
due support of the dignity of those high honours which his Imperial
Majesty has been graciously pleased to confer?

Under all these circumstances, it is in vain that I endeavour to
make that discovery which your excellency assures me requires only
a moment's reflection: "Au reste" (your excellency says), "que V'e.
Ex'ce. reflechisse un moment, celle trouvera que le Gouvernement de
S.M.I. simplement et uniquement pour faire plaisir a V'e. Ex'ce. a
s'est attire une enorme responsabilite dans les engagemens pris
avec V'e. Ex'ce." It is not one moment only nor one hour that I have
reflected on these words, but without making the promised discovery,
or any probable guess at your excellency's meaning. I would therefore
entreat your excellency to tell me what it is that the Government
has engaged to do. All that I know is they have engaged to pay me a
certain sum per annum as commander-in-chief of the squadron; and this
engagement, I admit, they have so far fulfilled. But the amount is
little more than is received by the commander-in-chief of an English
squadron; and is it not found in that service, and in every regular
or established naval service, that for one officer qualified for any
considerable command there are probably ten that are not qualified;
though all have necessarily been reared and paid at the national
expense? Whereas, in this case, so far from your having been at the
expense of money in order to procure a few that are effective, you
obtained at once, without any previous cost whatever, the services
of myself and the officers that accompanied me, all of whom were
experienced and efficient. Now, the united amount of the salaries you
are engaged to pay to myself and the officers whom I brought with
me does not exceed 25,000 dollars a year. To speak of this as an
"enormous responsibility" as an empire, requires more than a "moment's
reflection" to be clearly understood. The Government did, however,
engage to pay to myself and my brother officers and seamen the value
of our captures from the enemy, pursuant to the practice of all
maritime belligerents, but this engagement has not hitherto been
fulfilled. If, however, your excellency admits the responsibility of
the Government to fulfil this engagement also, I am still equally at
a loss to conceive in what sense that responsibility can be considered
enormous, inasmuch as these prizes were not the property of the state,
nor of individuals belonging to this nation, but were the property of
Portugal, with whom this nation was and is engaged in lawful war.
The payment, therefore, of the value of these prizes to the captors,
supposing even the full value to be paid, does not in effect take
one penny out of the national treasury, or out of the pocket of any
Brazilian. If it be false--and your excellency appears to scout the
idea--that any danger exists of having to pay twice for these prizes;
if there really is no danger of being compelled to purchase peace
with a defeated enemy by restoring them their forfeited property--it
follows that the responsibility of the Government in fulfilling its
engagement with the captors is so far from being enormous, that it is
literally nothing. How the fulfilment of a lawful engagement by the
simple act of paying over to the squadron the value of its prizes
taken in time of war from the foreign enemies of the state (such
payment occasioning no expense, and no loss to the state itself) can
be attended with an enormous responsibility, I am utterly unable to
comprehend. So far as the engagements of the Government with me,
or with the captors in general of the Portuguese prizes, are of
a pecuniary nature, they appear to me to lay no great weight of
responsibility on the herculean shoulders of this vast empire. And it
is only in a pecuniary sense that I can conceive it to be possible for
your excellency to have thought of complaining of the responsibility
attending the fulfilment of the engagements of the Government with me.

It is no less difficult to comprehend how this supposed enormous
responsibility has been incurred, "simplement et uniquement pour faire
plaisir" to me; and it is still more difficult to comprehend how it
happens that your excellency, "after all that you have heard and seen"
(apres ce que j'ai entendu et vu), should be at a loss to know in what
manner I am to be contented (je ne saurais pas dequelle maniere on
puisse vous contenter). If, indeed, your excellency imagines that I
ought to be contented with honorary distinctions alone, however highly
I may prize them as the free gift of his Imperial Majesty; if
your excellency is of opinion that I ought with "remercimens et
satisfaction" to put up with those honours in lieu of those stipulated
substantial rewards, which even those very honours render more
necessary; if your excellency thinks that I ought, like the dog in the
fable, to resign the substance for a grasp at the shadow; if this is
all that your excellency knows on the subject of giving me content, it
is then very true that your excellency does not know in what manner it
is to be done. But if, "after all that your excellency has heard and
seen," you would be pleased to render yourself conversant with those
written engagements under which I was induced to enter into the
service, all that your excellency and the rest of the ministers and
council of his Imperial Majesty would then have to do in order
to content me to the full, would be to desist from evading the
performance of those engagements, and to cause them at once to
be fully and honourably fulfilled. And I do believe that my
"Correspondance Officielle une fais rendue publique, en faira foi;"
for I am not conscious that I have ever called on the Government to
incur one farthing of expense on my account beyond the fulfilment of
their written engagements, which were the same as those which I had
with Chili, which were formed precisely on the practice of England.
There was, indeed, a verbal and conditional engagement with the late
ministers that certain losses which I might incur in consequence of
leaving the service of Chili should be made good;[A] and the question
as to the obligation of fulfilling that engagement I submitted (in
my letter of the 6th of March to the Minister of Marine) to the
consideration of their successors. It will be fortunate for me if this
should prove to be one of those "ill-understood verbal transactions"
which your excellency assures me the present ministers and council
always decide in my favour. I shall not in that case be backward to
receive the benefit of the decision with "thanks and satisfaction;"
but I am willing to resign it rather than it should add an
overwhelming weight to that "enormous responsibility" which your
excellency complains has already been incurred with a view to
my contentment. I repeat that I have never asked for more than I
possessed in Chili, or than any officer of the same rank is entitled
to in England; though British officers have heretofore received in the
service of Portugal double the amount of their English pay; and though
the burning climate of Brazil is injurious to health, while those
of Chili and Portugal are salubrious. Your excellency, therefore, is
perfectly welcome to publish the whole of my official correspondence,
because instead of proving, as your excellency asserts, the great
difficulty of contenting me, it would go far to prove the much greater
difficulty of inducing those with whom I have to do to take any one
step for that purpose.

[Footnote A: As the Brazilian Government had obtained possession of a
new corvette, named the _Maria de Gloria_, which cost the Government
of Chili 90,000 dollars, without reimbursing to that State one single
farthing; and by the said act had deprived Lord Cochrane of the
benefit he would have derived, as commander-in-chief, from the
services of that ship in the Pacific, the non-fulfilment of this
engagement seems the more unjust.]

I confess, however, that in order to content me effectually it is
necessary to fulfil not only all written engagements with myself
individually, but generally with all the officers and seamen with
whom, while I hold the command, I consider myself identified; and the
more particularly because, in my own firm reliance on the good faith
of the Government, I did in some sort become responsible for that good
faith to my brother officers and seamen. But with whom, I put it to
your excellency, has good faith been kept? Is it not notorious that
previous to the departure of the expedition to Bahia, declarations
were made to the seamen in writing by the late Minister of Marine,
through my medium, and in printed proclamations, that their dues
should be paid with all possible regularity, and all their arrears
discharged immediately on their return? And is not your excellency
aware that specific contracts were entered into by the accredited
agent of his Imperial Majesty in England, with a number of officers
and seamen, who, in consequence, were induced to quit their native
country and enter into the employ of his Imperial Majesty? Can it be
denied that these declarations and contracts, written and printed,
were known to, and are actually in the possession of the ministers, or
in the hands of the officers of the pay department, and yet is it not
true that they were neglected to be fulfilled for a period of upwards
of three months after the return of the _Pedro Primiero_; and was
not the tardy fulfilment which at length took place procured by my
incessant representations and remonstrances?

Permit me also to ask whether the good effects of prompt payment
were not illustrated on the arrival of the frigates _Nitherohy_ and
_Caroline_, which happened just at the period I had succeeded in
procuring payment to be made. Was it not in consequence of immediate
payment that the greater part of the English crew of the _Nitherohy_
remained quietly on board, and are now actually engaged on an
important service to his Imperial Majesty? And, on the other hand, is
it not equally true that the English seamen of the _Pedro Primiero_
were so disheartened and disgusted with the long delay which in their
case had occurred, and the manifest bad faith which had been evinced,
that by far the greater part of them actually abandoned the ship?
And generally, is it not true that the violations of promise, the
obstructions of justice, and the arbitrary acts of severity, have
produced dissatisfaction and irritation in the minds of the officers
and seamen, and done infinite prejudice to the service of his Imperial
Majesty and to the interests and prospects of the empire?

Can it be denied that the treatment to which the officers are exposed
is in the highest degree cruel and unjust? Have they not in many
instances been confined in a fortress or prison-ship without being
told who is their accuser or what is the accusation? And are they not
kept for many months at a time in that cruel state of suspense
and restraint without the means or opportunity of justification or
defence? Have not some of them while incarcerated in the fortress of
the Island of Cobras been deprived of their pay for a great length of
time, and even denied the provisions necessary for their subsistence?
And if, after all, they are brought to trial, are not their judges
composed of the natives of a nation with whom they are at war? Is it
possible that English, or other foreign officers in the service,
can be satisfied with such a system? Can your excellency entertain a
doubt, that open accusation, prompt trial, unsuspected justice, and
speedy punishment, if merited, are essential to the good government of
a naval service? Nay, is it possible that your excellency should not
know that the system of government in the naval service of Portugal is
the most wretched in the world, and consequently the last that ought
to have been adopted for the naval service of Brazil?

And here I would respectfully ask your excellency whether you know of
any one thing recommended by me for the benefit of the naval service
being complied with? Have the laws been revised to adapt them to the
better government of the service? Has a corps of marine artillery
been formed and taught their duty? Have young gentlemen intended for
officers been sent on board to learn their profession? Have young men
been enlisted and sent on board to be bred up as seamen? Or has
any encouragement been given to the employment of Brazilians in the
commerce of the coast?[A]

[Footnote A: It was the policy of Portugal to navigate the
coasting-trade of Brazil by slaves; and that of Spain to allow none
but Indians to exercise the trade of fishermen on the shores of their
South American colonies.]

With regard to those difficulties, delays, and other impediments of
which I have complained as existing in the arsenal and other offices,
and which your excellency supposes me to have represented as being
caused, or at least tolerated, by the minister, and which you are
pleased to characterise as "tout a fait imaginaires, et n'ayant


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