May

16

 I found the following on a blog called Samizdata, and it reminded me of Captain Jack Aubrey, of the O'Brian Aubrey/Martin series:

A few years after Trafalgar - in which he did not take part - Thomas Cochrane, who was not a popular man with his jealous and pompous Admiralty governors, led a fire ship raid on the west coast of France.

Although the raid was a general success, several ships that could and should have been destroyed were left intact because the admiral in overall charge of the operation, Lord Gambier, was overcautious, arguably to the point of cowardice. Cochrane later made harsh comments about Gambier and the whole affair ended up in a very unpleasant court martial.

Cochrane's public career went into freefall; he was framed in a fraud case and sent to jail. He had a political career as a radical MP; and later, in an astonishing revival of his naval career, Cochrane went south to help form the Chilean navy, and played a full part in the overthrow of the old Spanish empire. He lived to a ripe and contented old age.

Victor Niederhoffer adds: 

All the exploits of Lord Cochrane are beautifully told in a little-known book, which would have been one of Getty's favorites. It is With Cochrane the Dauntless, the Exploits of Lord Cochrane in South American Waters. This book should be read to all kids, perhaps every evening. 


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