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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

John Stuart 1st Marquess of Bute
30 June 1744 – 16 November 1814
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John Stuart

John Stuart 1st Marquess of Bute was the son of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute and the former Mary Wortley Montagu, a granddaughter of the 1st Duke of Kingston-upon-Hull and great-granddaughter of the 1st Earl of Sandwich. He was educated at Winchester and Oxford University, and around 1757 he began to be tutored by the later famous Scottish philosopher Adam Ferguson.

Lord Mount Stuart was Tory Member of Parliament for Bossiney from 1766 to 1776. On 2 November 1775 he announced in the House of Commons his intention to introduce a bill to establish a militia in Scotland, and during the next few months James Boswell assisted in seeking support for the bill in Scotland. In March 1776 the bill was debated, but ultimately failed to pass. In 1776 Mount Stuart was elevated to the Peerage of Great Britain in his own right as Baron Cardiff, of Cardiff Castle in the County of Glamorgan. Though this title was also used, he continued to be sometimes to be known by his courtesy title of Lord Mount Stuart. In 1779 he was sworn of the Privy Council and was sent as an envoy to the court of Turin. He was ambassador to Spain in 1783. He held the sinecure of Auditor of the imprests from 1781 until the abolition of the office in 1785, upon which he was paid £7000 compensation. He succeeded his father in the earldom in 1792. In 1794 he was created Viscount Mountjoy, in the Isle of Wight, Earl of Windsor and Marquess of Bute. Lord Bute was inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society on 12 December 1799.

Lord Bute married the Honourable Charlotte Hickman-Windsor, daughter of Herbert Hickman-Windsor, 2nd Viscount Windsor, on 12 November 1766. They had several children:

  • John Stuart, Lord Mount Stuart (25 September 1767 – 22 January 1794), whose son succeeded as 2nd Marquess
  • Lord Evelyn Stuart (1773–1842), a colonel in the army
  • Lady Charlotte Stuart (c. 1775 – 5 September 1847), married Sir William Homan, 1st Baronet
  • Lord Henry Stuart (7 June 1777 – 19 August 1809), father of Henry Villiers-Stuart, 1st Baron Stuart de Decies
  • Captain Lord William Stuart (18 November 1778 – 28 July 1814)
  • Rear-Admiral Lord George Stuart (1 March 1780 – 19 February 1841)

His first wife died on 28 January 1800. He married Frances Coutts, daughter of Thomas Coutts, on 17 September 1800. They had two children:

  • Lady Frances Stuart (d. 29 March 1859)
  • Lord Dudley Coutts Stuart (11 January 1803 – 17 November 1854)

His second wife outlived him, and died on 12 November 1832.

Caution’s Heir

Caution’s Heir is now available at all our internet retailers and also in physical form as well

The Trade Paperback version is now available for purchase here @ $15.99 (but as of this writing, it looks like Amazon has still discounted it 10%)

Caution’s Heir is also available digitally for $4.99 @ the iBookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

The image for the cover is a Cruikshank, A Game of Whist; Tom & Jerry among the ‘Swell Broad Coves.’ Tom and Jerry was a very popular series of stories at the time.

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Teaching a boor a lesson is one thing.
Winning all that the man owns is more than Lord Arthur Herrington expects. Especially when he finds that his winnings include the boor’s daughter!

The Duke of Northampshire spent fortunes in his youth. The reality of which his son, Arthur the Earl of Daventry, learns all too well when sent off to school with nothing in his pocket. Learning to fill that pocket leads him on a road to frugality and his becoming a sober man of Town. A sober but very much respected member of the Ton.

Lady Louisa Booth did not have much hope for her father, known in the country for his profligate ways. Yet when the man inherited her gallant uncle’s title and wealth, she hoped he would reform. Alas, that was not to be the case.

When she learned everything was lost, including her beloved home, she made it her purpose to ensure that Lord Arthur was not indifferent to her plight. An unmarried young woman cast adrift in society without a protector. A role that Arthur never thought to be cast as. A role he had little idea if he could rise to such occasion. Yet would Louisa find Arthur to be that one true benefactor? Would Arthur make this obligation something more? Would a game of chance lead to love?

Today, the iBookstore is added, HERE
Get for your Kindle, Here
In Trade Paperback, Here
Digitally from Smashwords, Here
For your Sony Kobo, Here
Or for your Nook, Here

From our tale:

Chapter One

St. Oswald’s church was bleak, yet beautiful all in one breath. 13th century arches that soared a tad more than twenty feet above the nave provided a sense of grandeur, permanence and gravitas. These prevailed within, while the turret-topped tower without, once visible for miles around now vied with mature trees to gain the eye of passers-by.

On sunny days stain-glass windows, paid for by a Plantagenet Baron who lived four hundred years before and now only remembered because of this gift, cast charming rainbow beams across the inner sanctum. And on grey overcast days ghostly shadows danced along the aisle.

As per the custom of parish churches the first three pews were set-aside for the gentry. On this day the second pew, behind the seat reserved for the Marquess of Hroek, who hadn’t attended since the passing of his son and heir, was Louisa Booth his niece and her companion Mrs Bottomworth.

Mrs Bottomworth was a stocky matron on the good side of fifty. Barely on the good side of fifty. But one would not say that was an unfortunate thing for she wore her years well and kept her charge free of trouble. Mrs Bottomworth’s charge was an only child, who would still have been in the schoolroom excepting the fact of the death of her mother some years earlier. This had aged the girl quickly, and made her hostess to her father’s household. The Honourable Hector Booth, third son of the previous Marquess, maintained a modest house on his income of 300 pounds. That was quite a nice sum for just the man and one daughter, with but five servants. They lived in a small, two floor house with four rooms. It should be noted that this of course left two bedchambers that were not inhabited by family members. As the Honourable Mr Booth saved his excess pounds for certain small vices that confined themselves with drink and the occasional wager on a horse, these two rooms were seldom opened.

Mrs Bottomworth had thought to make use of one of the empty rooms when she took up her position, but the Honourable Hector Booth advised and instructed her to share his daughter’s room. For the last four years this is what she had done. When two such as these shared a room, it was natural that they would either become best of friends, or resent each other entirely. Happily the former occurred as Louisa was in need of a confidant to fill the void left in her mother’s absence, and Mrs Bottomworth had a similar void as her two daughters had grown and gone on to make their own lives.

The Honourable Mr Booth took little effort in concerning himself with such matters as he was ever about his brother’s house, or ensconced in a comfortable seat at either the local tavern or the Inn. If those locations had felt he was too warm for them, he would make a circuit of what friends and acquaintances he had in the county. The Honourable Mr Booth would spend an hour or two with a neighbour discussing dogs or hunters, neither of which he could afford to keep, though he did borrow a fine mount of his brother to ride to the hunt. The Marquess took little notice, having reduced his view of the world by degrees when first his beloved younger brother who was of an age between the surviving Honourable Mr Booth had perished shortly after the Marquess’ marriage. Their brother had fallen in the tropics of a fever. Then the Marquess had lost his second child, a little girl in her infancy, his wife but a few years after, and most recently his son and heir to the wars with Napoleon.

This caused the Honourable Mr Booth to be heir to Hroek, a situation that had occurred after he had lost his own wife. With that tragedy, Mr Booth had found more time to make friends with all sorts of new bottles, though not to a degree that it was considered remarkable beyond a polite word. Mr Booth was not a drunkard. He was confronting his grief with a sociability that was acceptable in the county.

Louisa, however, was cast further adrift. No father to turn to. No uncle who had been the patriarch of the family her entire life. And certainly now no feminine examples to follow but her companion and governess, Mrs Bottomworth. That Mrs Bottomworth was an excellent choice for the task was more due to acts of the Marquess, still able to think clearly at the time she was employed, than to the Honourable Mr Booth. Mr Booth was amenable to any suggestion of his elder brother for that man controlled his purse, and as Mr Booth was consumed with grief, while the Marquess had adapted to various causes of grief prior to the final straw of his heir’s death, the Marquess of Hroek clearly saw a solution to what was a problem.

Now in her pew, where once as a young girl she had been surrounded by her cousins, parents, uncles and aunt, she sat alone except for her best of friends. Louisa was full of life in her pew, her cheeks a shade of pink that contrasted with auburn hair, which glistened as sunlight that flowed though the coloured panes of glass touched it from beneath her bonnet. Blue eyes shown over a small straight nose, her teeth were straight, though two incisors were ever so slightly bigger than one would attribute to a gallery beauty painted by Sir Thomas Lawrence.

She was four inches taller than five feet, so rather tall for a young woman, but her genes bred true, and many a girl of the aristocracy was slightly taller than those women who were of humbler origins. Her back was straight and for an observant man, of which there were some few in the county, her figure might be discussed. The wrath though of her uncle the Marquess would not wish to be bourne should it be found out that her form had become a topic amongst the young men. Noteworthy though was that she had a figure that men thought inspiring enough to tempt that wrath, and think on it. A full bosom was high on her chest, below her heart shaped face. She was lean of form, though her hips flared just enough that one could see definition in her torso. Certainly a beauty Sir Thomas’ brushes would wish the honour to meet.

The vicar Mr Spotslet had at one time in his early days in the community, discussed the Sunday sermons with the Marquess. Mr Spotslet had enjoyed long discussions of theology, philosophy, natural history and the holy writ that were then thoughtfully couched in terms to be made accessible by the parish. The lassitude that had overtaken the Marquess had caused those interviews to become shortened and infrequent and as such the sermons suffered, as many were wont to note. There had been dialogues that Mr Spotslet had engaged in with the attendees of his masses. Now he seemed to have lost his way and delivered soliloquies.

This day Mr Spotslet indulged in a speech that talked to the vices of gambling. The local sports, of which the Honourable Mr Booth was an intimate, had raced their best through the village green the previous Wednesday for but a prize of one quid, and this small bet had caused pandemonium when Mrs McCaster had fallen in the street with her washing spread everywhere and trampled by the horses. Not much further along the path, Mr Smith the grocer’s delivery for the vicar himself was dropped by the boy and turned into detritus as that too was stampeded over. A natural choice for a sermon, yet only two of the culprits were in attendance this day. The rest had managed to find reasons to avoid the Mass.

Louisa squirmed a little in her seat the moment she realised that her father had been one of the men that the sermon was speaking of. Was she not the centre of everyone’s gaze at such a time? Her father having refused to attend for some years, and her uncle unable due to his illness. She was the representative of the much reduced family. Not only was it expected that the parish would look to her as the Booth of Hroek, but with her father’s actions called to the attentions of all, it was natural that they look at her again. This time in a light that did not reflect well on her father and she knew that she had no control over that at all.

Mrs Bottomworth, who might have been lightly resting her eyes, Louisa would credit her in such a generous way, came to tensing at the mention of the incident. Louisa did not want to bring her friend to full wakefulness, but Mrs Bottomworth realised what was occurring and the direction that the sermon was taking. Louisa’s companion took her hand and patted it reassuringly.

“Perhaps a social call on Lady Walker?” Mrs Bottomworth suggested as they walked back to the house after services. The house which sat just within the estate boundaries was four hundred feet off the main bridal way that led to Hroek Castle. A small road had been cleared from the gatehouse to the house that Mr Booth now maintained, and this the two women travelled.

Louisa generally appreciated visits such as this as she had gotten older, and certainly several of the adults in the neighbourhood showed a kindly interest in her education and the development of her social manners. “I think I shall go to the castle and read to my uncle.” A task that she had done each day of the last fortnight but one.

“We have not talked, but you and the Marquess had an interview with the doctors.” Mrs Bottomworth had tried to comfort her charge after that, but Louisa had waved her hand and gone to sit quietly under a yew tree that had a grand vista of the park leading to Hroek Castle.

 “Uncle will be most lucky if he should be with us come Michaelmas.”

“That will be a sad day when we lose such a friend.” These were words of comfort. Mrs Bottomworth had been well encouraged in her charge by the Marquess but one could not say that they interacted greatly with one another. The Marquess ensured that his brother heeded the suggestions and advisements of Mrs Bottomworth as the Honourable Mr Booth left to his own devices would have kept his daughter in the nursery and would have forgotten to send a governess to provide her with instruction.

“Indeed, my uncle may not have been one of the great men of England, but he is well regarded in the county.” Often with that statement followed the next, “Warmly remembered is it when the Prince Regent came and stayed for a fortnight of sport and entertainment.” This had been many years before, and certainly before any of the tragedies beset the line of the Booths.

“Yes, I have heard it said with great earnestness. But come let us change your clothes and then we shall go up to the great house. I shall have Mallow fetch the gig so we may proceed all the more expeditiously.”

“That would be good, but we will have to use the dogcart. Father was to take the gig to see Sir Mark today, or so he said at breakfast.” Where Louisa knew he would drink the Baronet’s sherry for a couple hours before thinking to return, unless he was asked to stay for dinner.

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Fanny Imlay
14 May 1794 – 9 October 1816

Fanny Imlay was the daughter of the British feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft and the American entrepreneur Gilbert Imlay. Both had moved to France during the French Revolution, Wollstonecraft to practise the principles laid out in her seminal work A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) and Imlay to engage in speculative business ventures. The two met and fell in love. At one point during Wollstonecraft and Imlay’s relationship, the couple could meet only at a tollbooth between Paris and Neuilly, and it was there that their daughter was conceived; Fanny was therefore, in Godwin’s words, a “barrier child”. Frances “Fanny” Imlay, Wollstonecraft’s first child, was born in Le Havre on 14 May 1794, or, as the birth certificate stated, on the 25th day of Floreal in the Second Year of the Republic, and named after Fanny Blood, her mother’s closest friend. Although Imlay never married Wollstonecraft, he registered her as his wife at the American consulate to protect her once Britain and France went to war in February 1793. Most people, including Wollstonecraft’s sisters, assumed they were married—and thus, by extension, that Fanny was legitimate—and she was registered as such in France.

Initially, the couple’s life together was idyllic. Wollstonecraft playfully wrote to one friend: “My little Girl begins to suck so manfully that her father reckons saucily on her writing the second part of the R[igh]ts of Woman”. Imlay soon tired of Wollstonecraft and domestic life and left her for long periods of time. Her letters to him are full of needy expostulations, explained by most critics as the expressions of a deeply depressed woman but by some as a result of her circumstances—alone with an infant in the middle of the French Revolution.

Wollstonecraft returned to London in April 1795, seeking Imlay, but he rejected her; the next month she attempted to commit suicide, but he saved her life (it is unclear how). In a last attempt to win him back, she embarked upon a hazardous trip to Scandinavia from June to September 1795, with only her one-year-old daughter and a maid, in order to conduct some business for him. Wollstonecraft’s journey was daunting not only because she was travelling to what some considered a nearly uncivilized region during a time of war, but also because she was travelling without a male escort. When she returned to England and realized that her relationship with Imlay was over, she attempted suicide a second time. She went out on a rainy night, walked around to soak her clothes, and then jumped into the River Thames, where a stranger rescued her.

Using her diaries and letters from her journey to Scandinavia, Wollstonecraft wrote a rumination on her travels and her relationship—Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark (1796)—in which, among other things, she celebrated motherhood. Her maternal connection to her daughter prompted her to reflect on a woman’s place in the world:

You know that as a female I am particularly attached to her—I feel more than a mother’s fondness and anxiety, when I reflect on the dependent and oppressed state of her sex. I dread lest she should be forced to sacrifice her heart to her principles, or principles to her heart. With trembling hand I shall cultivate sensibility, and cherish delicacy of sentiment, lest, whilst I lend fresh blushes to the rose, I sharpen the thorns that will wound the breast I would fain guard—I dread to unfold her mind, lest it should render her unfit for the world she is to inhabit—Hapless woman! what a fate is thine!

Wollstonecraft lavished love and attention on her daughter. She began two books, drawn from her own experience, related to Fanny’s care: a parenting manual entitled “Letters on the Management of Infants” and a reading primer entitled “Lessons”. In one section of “Lessons”, she describes weaning:

When you were hungry, you began to cry, because you could not speak. You were seven months without teeth, always sucking. But after you got one, you began to gnaw a crust of bread. It was not long before another came pop. At ten months you had four pretty white teeth, and you used to bite me. Poor mamma! Still I did not cry, because I am not a child, but you hurt me very much. So I said to papa, it is time the little girl should eat. She is not naughty, yet she hurts me. I have given her a crust of bread, and I must look for some other milk.

In 1797, Wollstonecraft fell in love with and married the philosopher William Godwin (she had become pregnant with his child). Godwin grew to love Fanny during his affair with Wollstonecraft; he brought her back a mug from Josiah Wedgwood’s pottery factory with an “F” on it that delighted both mother and daughter. Wollstonecraft died in September of the same year, from complications giving birth to Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, who survived. Three-year-old Fanny, who had been scarred from smallpox, was unofficially adopted by her stepfather and given the name of Godwin. Her copy of Wollstonecraft’s only completed children’s book, Original Stories from Real Life (1788), has the initials “F. G.” written in large print in it. According to the dominant interpretation of Godwin’s diary, it was not until Fanny turned twelve that she was informed in an important conversation with Godwin that he was not her natural father.

After Wollstonecraft’s death, Godwin and Joseph Johnson, Wollstonecraft’s publisher and close friend, contacted Fanny’s father, but he was uninterested in raising his child. (Neither Wollstonecraft nor her daughter ever saw Gilbert Imlay after 1796.) Wollstonecraft’s two sisters, Eliza Bishop and Everina Wollstonecraft, Fanny’s only two living female relatives, were anxious to care for her; Godwin, disliking them, turned down their offer. Several times throughout Fanny’s childhood Wollstonecraft’s sisters asked Godwin to allow them to raise their niece and each time he refused. Godwin himself did not seem particularly ready for parenthood and he now had two small children to raise and no steady source of income. However, he was determined to care for them. During these early years of Fanny’s life, Joseph Johnson served as an “unofficial trustee” for her as he had occasionally for her mother. He even willed her £200, but Godwin owed Johnson so much money upon his death in 1809 that Johnson’s heirs demanded Godwin pay the money back as part of his arrears.

Although Godwin was fond of his children, he was, in many ways, ill-equipped to care for them. As Todd explains, he was constantly annoyed by their noise, demanding silence while he worked. However, when he took a trip to Dublin to visit Wollstonecraft’s sisters, he missed the girls immensely and wrote to them frequently.

On 21 December 1801, when Fanny was seven, Godwin married Mary Jane Clairmont, a neighbour with two children of her own: three-year-old Claire and six-year-old Charles. She had never been married and was looking, like Godwin, for financial stability. Although Clairmont was well-educated and well-travelled, most of Godwin’s friends despised her, finding her vulgar and dishonest. They were astonished that Godwin could replace Mary Wollstonecraft with her. Fanny and her half-sister Mary disliked their stepmother and complained that she preferred her own children to them. On 28 March 1803, baby William was born to the couple.

Although Godwin admired Wollstonecraft’s writings, he did not agree with her that women should receive the same education as men. Therefore, he occasionally read to Fanny and Mary from Sarah Trimmer’s Fabulous Histories (1786) and Anna Laetitia Barbauld’s Lessons for Children (1778–79), but, according to Todd, he did not take great pains with their educations and disregarded the books Wollstonecraft had written for Fanny. William St Clair, in his biography of the Godwins and the Shelleys, argues that Godwin and Wollstonecraft spoke extensively about the education they wanted for their children and that Godwin’s writings in The Enquirer reflect these discussions. He contends that after Wollstonecraft’s death Godwin wrote to a former pupil to whom she had been close, now Lady Mountcashell, asking her advice on how to raise and educate his daughters. In her biography of Mary Shelley, Miranda Seymour agrees with St Clair, arguing that “everything we know about his daughter’s [Mary's and presumably Fanny's] early years suggests that she was being taught in a way of which her mother would have approved”, pointing out that she had a governess, a tutor, a French-speaking stepmother, and a father who wrote children’s books whose drafts he read to his own first. It was the new Mrs Godwin who was primarily responsible for the education given to the girls, but she taught her own daughter more, including French. Fanny received no formal education after her stepfather’s marriage. Yet, the adult Imlay is described by C. Kegan Paul, one of Godwin’s earliest biographers, as “well educated, sprightly, clever, a good letter-writer, and an excellent domestic manager”. Fanny excelled in drawing and was taught music. Despite Godwin’s atheism, all of the children were taken to an Anglican church.

The Godwins were constantly in debt, so Godwin returned to writing to support the family. He and his wife started a Juvenile Library for which he wrote children’s books. In 1807, when Fanny was 13, they moved from the Polygon, where Godwin had lived with Wollstonecraft, to 41 Skinner Street, near Clerkenwell, in the city’s bookselling district. This took the family away from the fresh country air and into the dirty, smelly, inner streets of London. Although initially successful, the business gradually failed. The Godwins also continued to borrow more money than they could afford from generous friends such as publisher Joseph Johnson and Godwin devotee Francis Place.

As Fanny Imlay grew up, her father increasingly relied on her to placate tradespeople who demanded bills be paid and to solicit money from men such as Place. According to Todd and Seymour, Imlay believed in Godwin’s theory that great thinkers and artists should be supported by patrons and she believed Godwin to be both a great novelist and a great philosopher. Throughout her life, she wrote letters asking Place and others for money to support Godwin’s “genius” and she helped run the household so that he could work.

Godwin, never one to mince words, wrote about the differences he perceived between his two daughters:

My own daughter [Mary] is considerably superior in capacity to the one her mother had before. Fanny, the eldest, is of a quiet, modest, unshowy disposition, somewhat given to indolence, which is her greatest fault, but sober, observing, peculiarly clear and distinct in the faculty of memory, and disposed to exercise her own thoughts and follow her own judgment. Mary, my daughter, is the reverse of her in many particulars. She is singularly bold, somewhat imperious, and active of mind. Her desire for knowledge is great, and her perseverance in everything she undertakes is almost invincible. My own daughter is, I believe, very pretty; Fanny is by no means handsome, but in general prepossessing.

The intellectual world of the girls was widened by their exposure to the literary and political circles in which Godwin moved. For example, during former American vice-president Aaron Burr’s self-imposed exile from the United States after his acquittal on treason charges, he often spent time with the Godwins. He greatly admired the works of Wollstonecraft and had educated his daughter according to the precepts of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman. He was anxious to meet the daughters of the woman he revered and referred to Fanny, Mary, and Claire as “goddesses”. He spent most of his time talking with Imlay about political and educational topics. Burr was impressed by the Lancastrian teaching method and took Fanny to see a model school in 1811.

It was not Burr, but the Romantic poet and writer Percy Bysshe Shelley who had the greatest impact on Imlay and her sisters’ lives. Impressed by Godwin’s Political Justice, Shelley wrote to him and the two started corresponding. In 1812, Shelley asked if Imlay, then 18 and the daughter of one of his heroes, Mary Wollstonecraft, could come live with him, his new wife, and her sister. Having never actually met Shelley and being sceptical of his motivations (Shelley had eloped to marry his wife, Harriet), Godwin refused. When Shelley finally came to visit the Godwins, all three girls were enamoured with him, particularly Imlay. Both Shelley and Imlay were interested in discussing radical politics; for example, Shelley liked to act as if class were irrelevant, but she argued that it was significant in daily affairs.

In 1814, Shelley spent a considerable amount of time at the Godwins’ and he and Imlay may have fallen in love. Later, Claire Clairmont claimed that they had been. Imlay was sent to Wales in May of that year; Todd speculates that Godwin was trying to separate her from Shelley while Seymour hints that Mrs Godwin was trying to improve her despondent mood. Meanwhile, the Godwin household became even more uncomfortable as Godwin sank further into debt and as relations between Mary and her stepmother became increasingly hostile. Mary Godwin consoled herself with Shelley and the two started a passionate love affair. When Shelley declared to Godwin that the two were in love, Godwin exploded in anger. However, he needed the money that Shelley, as an aristocrat, could and was willing to provide. Frustrated with the entire situation, Mary Godwin, Shelley, and Claire Clairmont ran off to Europe together on 28 June 1814. Godwin hurriedly summoned Imlay home from Wales to help him handle the situation. Her stepmother wrote that Imlay’s “emotion was deep when she heard of the sad fate of the two girls; she cannot get over it”. In the middle of this disaster, one of Godwin’s protégés killed himself, and young William Godwin ran away from home and was missing for two days. When news of the girls’ escapade became public, Godwin was pilloried in the press. Life in the Godwin household became increasingly strained.

When Mary Godwin, Claire Clairmont, and Shelley returned from the Continent in September 1814, they took a house together in London, enraging Godwin still further. Imlay felt pulled between the two households: she felt loyal both to her sisters and to her father. Both despised her decision not to choose a side in the family drama. As Seymour explains, Imlay was in a difficult position: the Godwin household felt Shelley was a dangerous influence and the Shelley household ridiculed her fear of violating social conventions. Also, her aunts were considering her for a teaching position at this time, but were reluctant because of Godwin’s shocking Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1798). Seymour writes, the “few timid visits Fanny made to see Mary and [Claire] in London were acts of great courage; she got little thanks for them”. Although instructed by Godwin not to speak to Shelley and her sisters, Imlay warned them of creditors who knew of Shelley’s return (he also was in debt). Her attempts to persuade Clairmont to return to the Godwins’ convinced Shelley that she was of Godwin’s party and he began to distrust her. Imlay was also still responsible for soliciting money from Shelley in order to repay her father’s debts; despite Shelley’s essential elopement with two of his daughters, Godwin agreed to accept £1,200 from Shelley. When Mary Godwin gave birth to a daughter in February 1815, she immediately sent for Imlay, particularly as both she and the infant were ill. Godwin chastised Imlay for disobeying his orders not to see her half-sister and her misery increased. After the death of the child, Imlay paid more frequent visits to the couple.

Soon after, Clairmont became a lover of the Romantic poet Lord Byron, and Mary Godwin and Shelley had a second child on 24 January 1816, who was named William after Godwin. In February, Imlay went to visit the Shelleys, who had settled in Bishopsgate. Godwin’s debts continued to mount, and while he demanded money from Shelley, Godwin still refused to see either him or his daughter. At this time, Charles Clairmont (Imlay’s step-brother), frustrated with the tension in the Godwin household, left for France and refused to help the family any further. At around the same time, Claire Clairmont, Mary Godwin, and Shelley left for the Continent, seeking Byron. Godwin was aghast. He relied on Shelley’s money, and the stain on his family’s reputation only increased when the public learned that the group had left to join the rakish Byron.

Amidst all of this family turmoil, Imlay still found time to ponder larger social issues. The utopian socialist Robert Owen came to visit Godwin in the summer of 1816 and he and Imlay discussed the plight of the working poor in Britain. She agreed with many of Owen’s proposals, but not all of them. She decided, in the end, that his utopian scheme was too “romantic”, because it depended heavily on the goodwill of the rich to sacrifice their wealth. That same summer, George Blood—the brother of Fanny Imlay’s namesake—came to meet her for the first time and told her stories of her mother. After this meeting she wrote to Mary Godwin and Shelley: “I have determined never to live to be a disgrace to such a mother… I have found that if I will endeavour to overcome my faults I shall find being’s [sic] to love and esteem me” .

Before Mary Godwin, Clairmont, and Shelley had left for the Continent, Imlay and Mary had had a major argument and no chance to come to a reconciliation. Imlay attempted in her letters to Mary to smooth over the relationship, but her sense of loneliness and isolation in London are palpable. She wrote to Mary of “the dreadful state of mind I generally labour under & which I in vain endeavour to get rid of”. Many scholars attribute Imlay’s increasing unhappiness to Mrs Godwin’s hostility towards her. Kegan, and others, contend that Imlay was subject to the same “extreme depression to which her mother had been subject, and which marked other members of the Wollstonecraft family”. Wandering amongst the mountains of Switzerland, frustrated with her relationship with Shelley, and engrossed by the writing of Frankenstein, her sister was unsympathetic.

The group returned from the Continent, with a pregnant Clairmont, and settled in Bath (to protect her reputation, they attempted to hide the pregnancy). Imlay saw Percy twice in September 1816; according to Todd’s interpretation of Fanny’s letters, Fanny had earlier tried to solicit an invitation to join the group in Europe and she repeated these appeals when she saw Percy in London. Todd believes that Imlay begged to be allowed to stay with them because life in Godwin’s house was unbearable, with the constant financial worries and Mrs Godwin’s insistent haranguing, and that Percy refused, concerned that anyone learn about Clairmont’s condition, least of all someone he believed might inform Godwin (Shelley was being sued by his wife and was worried about his own reputation). After Percy left, Todd explains that Imlay wrote to Mary “to make clear again her longing to be rescued”.

In early October 1816, Imlay left Godwin’s house in London and committed suicide on 9 October by taking an overdose of laudanum at an inn in Swansea, Wales; she was 22. The details surrounding her death and her motivations are disputed. Most of the letters regarding the incident were destroyed or are missing. In his 1965 article “Fanny Godwin’s Suicide Re-examined”, B. R. Pollin lays out the major theories that had been put forward regarding her suicide and which continue to be used today:

  • Imlay had just learned of her illegitimate birth.
  • Mrs Godwin became more cruel to Imlay after Mary Godwin and Claire Clairmont ran off with Percy Shelley.
  • Imlay had been refused a position at her aunts’ school in Ireland.
  • Imlay was depressive, and her condition was aggravated by the state of the Godwin household.
  • Imlay was in love with Percy Shelley and distraught that Mary and he had fallen in love.

Pollin dismisses the first of these, as have most later biographers, arguing that Imlay had access to her mother’s writings and Godwin’s Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman which openly discuss the circumstances of her birth. Imlay herself even makes this distinction in letters to her half-sister Mary Godwin.

Pollin is also sceptical of the second explanation, pointing to Imlay’s letter to Mary of 3 October 1816 in which she defended her step-mother: “Mrs. Godwin would never do either of you a deliberate injury. Mamma and I are not great friends, but always alive to her virtues, I am anxious to defend her from a charge so foreign to her character.”

Pollin finds no evidence that Imlay had been refused a position at her aunts’ school, only that such a scheme may have been “in contemplation”, as Godwin later wrote, although Seymour grants this explanation some plausibility. St Clair claims that Imlay was on her way to join her maternal aunts in Ireland when she decided to commit suicide. He believes that it was to be a probationary visit, to see if she could be a teacher in their school. Godwin’s modern biographer, Richard Holmes, dismisses this story.

In his survey of the letters of the Godwins and the Shelleys, Pollin comes to the conclusion that Imlay was not depressive. She is frequently described as happy and looking toward the future and describes herself this way. The mentions of melancholia and sadness are specific and related to particular events and illness. Richard Holmes, in his biography of Percy Shelley, argues that “her agonizing and loveless suspension between the Godwin and Shelley households was clearly the root circumstance” of her suicide. Locke argues that “most probably because she could absorb no more of the miseries of Skinner Street, her father’s inability to pay his debts or write his books, her mother’s unending irritability and spitefulness”, all of which she blamed on herself, she committed suicide.

Pollin largely agrees with Todd, speculating that Imlay saw Percy Shelley in Bath and he “somehow failed her”, causing her to commit suicide. Seymour and others speculate that Shelley’s only failure was to live up to his financial promises to Godwin and it was this that helped push Imlay over the edge; she was convinced, like her father, “that the worthy have an absolute right to be supported by those who have the worth to give”. Todd, on the other hand, agrees with Pollin and speculates that Imlay went to see Mary Godwin and Shelley. Todd argues that Imlay had affection for Shelley and felt that his home was her only haven. Relying on scraps of poetry that Shelley may have written after Imlay’s death, Todd concludes that Shelley saw her in Bath and rejected her pleas because he needed to protect Claire’s reputation as well as his own at this time. Todd also notes that Imlay had worn her mother’s stays, which were embroidered with the initials “M.W.”, and the nicest clothes she owned. She had adorned herself with a Swiss gold watch sent to her from Geneva by the Shelleys and a necklace, in order to make a good impression. After Shelley rejected her, Todd concludes, Imlay decided to commit suicide.

On the night of 9 October, Imlay checked into the Mackworth Arms Inn in Swansea and instructed the chambermaid not to disturb her. The same night Mary Godwin, staying in Bath with Shelley, received a letter Imlay had mailed earlier from Bristol. Her father in London also received a letter. The alarming nature of the letters prompted both Godwin and Shelley to set out for Bristol at once (although they travelled separately). By the time they tracked her to Swansea on 11 October, they were too late. Imlay was found dead in her room on 10 October, having taken a fatal dose of laudanum.

Beggars Can’t Be Choosier

One of the our most recent Regency Romances.

Beggars has won the prestigious Romance Reviews Magazine Award for Outstanding Historical Romance:

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It is available for sale and I hope that you will take the opportunity to order your copy.

For yourself or as a gift. It is now available in a variety of formats. For $3.99 you can get this Regency Romance for your eReader. A little more as an actual physical book.

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When a fortune purchases a title, love shall never flourish, for a heart that is bought, can never be won.

The Earl of Aftlake has struggled since coming into his inheritance. Terrible decisions by his father has left him with an income of only 100 pounds a year. For a Peer, living on such a sum is near impossible. Into his life comes the charming and beautiful Katherine Chandler. She has a fortune her father made in the India trade.

Together, a title and a fortune can be a thing that can achieve great things for all of England. Together the two can start a family and restore the Aftlake fortunes. Together they form an alliance.

But a partnership of this nature is not one of love. And terms of the partnership will allow both to one day seek a love that they both deserve for all that they do. But will Brian Forbes Pangentier find the loves he desires or the love he deserves?

And Katherine, now Countess Aftlake, will she learn to appreciate the difference between happiness and wealth? Can love and the admiration of the TON combine or are the two mutually exclusive?

Purchase here:Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, Kobo, Smashwords, iBooks, & Trade Paperback

Feedback

If you have any commentary, thoughts, ideas about the book (especially if you buy it, read it and like it ;-) then we would love to hear from you.

Are you an Artist?

Now editing the final draft of another of our romance stories, we have started to lean to the idea that perhaps a professional artist might be better than our own renditions. Someone who can bring out the details and bring our stories alive.
If anyone knows of someone who would like to discuss designing a cover for RAP or the interiors (we think that a facing illustration at the start of every chapter like in the early part of the last century would be splendid), please get in contact with us.
In the immediate future we plan to launch a Kickstarter and wish to contract out the cover art and interior illustrations. Should we be funded in this project, you will be paid for your work immediately.
Our many works, one of the things we would like to see is having pen & ink or pencil illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. Can you draw like CE Brock? He did amazing work for the books and stories of Jane Austen in the early 1900s.

PastedGraphic-2013-06-23-05-01-2014-09-28-10-30.jpg

PastedGraphic1-2013-06-23-05-01-2014-09-28-10-30.jpg

Are you an Artist?

Now editing the final draft of another of our romance stories, we have started to lean to the idea that perhaps a professional artist might be better than our own renditions. Someone who can bring out the details and bring our stories alive.
If anyone knows of someone who would like to discuss designing a cover for RAP or the interiors (we think that a facing illustration at the start of every chapter like in the early part of the last century would be splendid), please get in contact with us.
In the immediate future we plan to launch a Kickstarter and wish to contract out the cover art and interior illustrations. Should we be funded in this project, you will be paid for your work immediately.
Our many works, one of the things we would like to see is having pen & ink or pencil illustrations at the beginning of each chapter. Can you draw like CE Brock? He did amazing work for the books and stories of Jane Austen in the early 1900s.

PastedGraphic-2013-06-23-05-01-2014-09-28-10-30.jpg

PastedGraphic1-2013-06-23-05-01-2014-09-28-10-30.jpg

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Thomas Cochrane 10th Earl of Dundonald
14 December 1775 – 31 October 1860

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Thomas Cochrane

Thomas Cochrane was born at Annsfield, near Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, the son of Archibald Cochrane, 9th Earl of Dundonald and Anna Gilchrist. She was the daughter of Captain James Gilchrist and Ann Roberton, the daughter of Major John Roberton, 16th Laird of Earnock.

Cochrane had six brothers. Two served with distinction in the military: William Erskine Cochrane of the 15th Dragoon Guards, who served under Sir John Moore in the Peninsular War and reached the rank of major; and Archibald Cochrane, who became a captain in the Navy.

Cochrane was descended from lines of Scottish aristocracy and military service on both sides of his family. Through his uncle Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane, the sixth son of the 8th Earl of Dundonald, Cochrane was cousin to his namesake Sir Thomas John Cochrane. Thomas Cochrane had a naval career and was appointed as Governor of Newfoundland and later Vice-Admiral of the United Kingdom. By 1793 the family fortune had been spent, and the family estate was sold to cover debts.

Cochrane spent much of his early life in Culross, Fife, where his family had an estate.

Through the influence of his uncle, Alexander Cochrane, he was listed as a member of the crew on the books of four Royal Navy ships starting when he was five years old. This common, though unlawful practice (called false muster), was a means of acquiring the years of service required for promotion, if and when he joined the Navy. His father secured him a commission in the British Army at an early age, but Cochrane preferred the Navy. He joined it in 1793 upon the outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars.

On 23 July 1793, aged 17, Cochrane joined the navy as a midshipman, spending his first months at Sheerness in a sixth-rate frigate, the 28-gun HMS Hind, commanded by his uncle, Captain Alexander Cochrane. He transferred to the 38-gun fifth rate HMS Thetis, also under his uncle’s command. While on the Thetis, he visited Norway and next served at the North America station. In 1795, he was appointed acting lieutenant. The following year, on 27 May 1796, he was commissioned lieutenant, after passing the examination. After several transfers in America and a return home, in 1798 he was assigned as 8th Lieutenant on Lord Keith’s flagship HMS Barfleur in the Mediterranean.

During his service on Barfleur, Cochrane was court-martialled for showing disrespect to Philip Beaver, the ship’s first lieutenant. The board reprimanded him for flippancy. This was the first public manifestation of a pattern of Cochrane being unable to get along with many of his superiors, subordinates, employers, and colleagues in several navies and Parliament, even those with whom he had much in common and who should have been natural allies. His behavior led to a long enmity with John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent.

In February 1800, Cochrane commanded the prize crew taking the captured French vessel Généreux to the British base at Mahón. The ship was almost lost in a storm, with Cochrane and his brother Archibald going aloft in place of crew who were mostly ill. On 28 March 1800, Cochrane, having been promoted to commander, took command of the brig sloop HMS Speedy. Later that year, a Spanish warship disguised as a merchant ship almost captured him. He escaped by flying a Danish flag and fending off a boarding by claiming his ship was plague-ridden. Chased by an enemy frigate, and knowing it would follow him in the night by any glimmer of light from the Speedy, he placed a lantern on a barrel and let it float away. The enemy frigate followed the light and Speedy escaped.

In February 1801, at Malta, Cochrane got into an argument with a French Royalist officer at a fancy dress ball. He had come dressed as a common sailor, and the Royalist mistook him for one. This argument led to Cochrane’s only duel. Cochrane wounded the French officer with a pistol shot and was unharmed.

One of his most notable exploits was the capture of the Spanish xebec frigate El Gamo, on 6 May 1801. El Gamo carried 32 guns and 319 men, compared with Speedy’s 14 guns and 54 men. Cochrane flew an American flag and approached so closely to El Gamo that its guns could not depress to fire on the Speedy’s hull. The Spanish tried to board and take over the ship. Whenever the Spanish were about to board, Cochrane pulled away briefly and fired on the concentrated boarding parties with his ship’s guns. Eventually, Cochrane boarded the Gamo, despite being outnumbered about five to one, and captured her.

In Speedy’s 13-month cruise, Cochrane captured, burned, or drove ashore 53 ships before three French ships of the line under Admiral Charles-Alexandre Linois captured him on 3 July 1801. While Cochrane was held as a prisoner, Linois often asked him for advice. In his later autobiography, Cochrane recounted how courteous and polite the French officer had been. A few days later he was exchanged for the second captain of another French ship. On 8 August 1801, he was promoted to the rank of post-captain.

After the Peace of Amiens, Cochrane attended the University of Edinburgh. Upon the resumption of war in 1803, St Vincent assigned him in October 1803 to command the sixth-rate 22-gun HMS Arab. Cochrane alleged that the vessel handled poorly, colliding with Royal Navy ships on two occasions (the Bloodhound and the Abundance), and afforded Cochrane no opportunities. In his autobiography he compared the Arab to a collier. He wrote that his first thoughts on seeing Arab being repaired at Plymouth were that she would “sail like a haystack”. Despite this, he intercepted and boarded an American merchant ship, the Chatham. This created an international incident, as Britain was not at war with the United States. The HMS Arab and her commander were assigned to protect Britain’s important whaling fleet beyond Orkney in the North Sea.

In 1804, St Vincent stood aside for the incoming new government led by William Pitt the Younger, and Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville took office. In December of that year, Cochrane was appointed to command of the new 32-gun frigate HMS Pallas. He undertook a series of notable exploits over the following eighteen months.

In August 1806, he took command of the 38-gun frigate HMS Imperieuse, formerly the Spanish frigate Medea. One of his midshipmen was Frederick Marryat, who later wrote fictionalised accounts of his adventures with Cochrane.

In Imperieuse, Cochrane raided the Mediterranean coast of France during the continuing Napoleonic Wars. In 1808 Cochrane and a Spanish guerrilla force captured the fortress of Mongat, which straddled the road between Gerona and Barcelona. This delayed General Duhesme’s French army for a month. On another raid, Cochrane copied code books from a signal station, leaving behind the originals so the French would believe them uncompromised. When Imperieuse ran short of water, she sailed up the estuary of the Rhone to replenish. When a French army marched into Catalonia and besieged Rosas, Cochrane took part in the defence of the town. He occupied and defended Fort Trinidad (Castell de la Trinitat) for a number of weeks before the fall of the city forced him to leave; Cochrane was one of the last two men to quit the fort.

While captain of Speedy, Pallas, and Imperieuse, Cochrane became arguably the most effective practitioner of coastal warfare during the period. Not only did he attack shore installations such as the Martello tower at Son Bou on Minorca, but captured enemy ships in harbour by leading his men in boats in “cutting out” operations. He was a meticulous planner of every operation, which limited casualties among his men and maximised the chances of success.

In 1809, Cochrane commanded the attack by a flotilla of fire ships on Rochefort, as part of the Battle of the Basque Roads. The attack did considerable damage, but Cochrane blamed Admiral Gambier, the fleet commander, for missing the opportunity to destroy the French fleet. Cochrane claimed that as a result of expressing his opinion publicly, the admiralty denied him the opportunity to serve afloat. But, documentation shows that he was focussed on politics at this time and, indeed, refused a number of offers of command.

In June 1806, Cochrane stood for the House of Commons on a ticket of parliamentary reform (a movement which would later bring about the Reform Acts) for the potwalloper borough of Honiton. This was exactly the kind of borough Cochrane proposed to abolish; votes were mostly sold to the highest bidder. Cochrane offered nothing and lost the election. In October 1806, he ran for Parliament in Honiton and won. Cochrane initially denied that he paid any bribes, but he revealed in a Parliamentary debate ten years later that he had paid ten guineas (£10 10s) per voter through Mr. Townshend, local headman and banker.

In May 1807, Cochrane was elected by Westminster in a more democratic election. He had campaigned for parliamentary reform, allied with such Radicals as William Cobbett, Sir Francis Burdett and Henry Hunt. His outspoken criticism of the conduct of the war and the corruption in the navy made him powerful enemies in the government. His criticism of Admiral Gambier’s conduct at the Battle of the Basque Roads was so severe that Gambier demanded a court-martial to clear his name. Cochrane made important enemies in the Admiralty during this period.

In 1810, Sir Francis Burdett, a member of parliament and political ally, had barricaded himself in his home at Piccadilly, London, resisting arrest by the House of Commons. Cochrane went to assist Burdett’s defence of the house. His approach was similar to that he used in the navy, and would have led to numerous deaths amongst the arresting officers and at least partial destruction of Burdett’s house, along with much of Piccadilly. On realising what Cochrane planned, Burdett and his allies took steps to end the siege.

Cochrane, though popular with the public, was unable to get along with his colleagues in the House of Commons, or within the government. Usually, he had little success in promoting his causes. An exception was his successful confrontation of a prize court in 1814.

His conviction in the Great Stock Exchange Fraud of 1814 (see below) resulted in Parliament’s expelling him on 5 July 1814. However, his constituents in the seat of Westminster re-elected him at the resulting by-election on 16 July. He held this seat until 1818. In 1818, Cochrane’s last speech in Parliament advocated parliamentary reform.

In 1830, Cochrane initially expressed interest but then declined. Not only had Lord Brougham’s brother decided to run for the seat, but Cochrane also thought it would look bad for him to be publicly supporting a government from which he sought pardon for his fraud conviction.

In 1831, his father died and Cochrane became the 10th Earl of Dundonald. As such, he was no longer entitled to sit in the Commons. The Scottish peerage elected representative peers to sit in the House of Lords. He was never one of them, though several of his successors were.

In 1812, Cochrane married Katherine (“Katy”) Frances Corbet Barnes, a beautiful orphan, who was about twenty years his junior. This was an elopement and a civil ceremony, due to the opposition of his wealthy uncle Basil Cochrane, who disinherited his nephew as a result. Katherine, whom Cochrane called ‘Kate’, ‘Kitty’ or ‘Mouse’ in letters to her, often accompanied her husband on his extended campaigns in South America and Greece.

Cochrane and Katherine remarried in the Anglican Church in 1818, and in the Church of Scotland in 1825. They had six children;

  • Thomas Barnes Cochrane, 11th Earl of Dundonald, m. Louisa Harriett McKinnon.
  • William Horatio Bernardo Cochrane, officer, 92nd Gordon Highlanders, m. Jacobina Frances Nicholson.
  • Elizabeth Katharine Cochrane, died close to her first birthday.
  • Katharine Elizabeth Cochrane, m. John Willis Fleming.
  • Admiral Sir Arthur Auckland Leopold Pedro Cochrane KCB
  • Captain Ernest Gray Lambton Cochrane RN m. 1. Adelaide Blackall 2. Elizabeth Frances Maria Katherine Doherty.

The confusion of multiple ceremonies led to suspicions that Cochrane’s first son, Thomas Barnes Cochrane, was illegitimate. Investigation of this delayed Thomas’s accession to the Earldom of Dundonald on his father’s death.

In February 1814, rumours of Napoleon’s death began to circulate. The claims were seemingly confirmed by a man in a red staff officer’s uniform identifying as Colonel de Bourg, aide-de-camp to Lord Cathcart and British ambassador to Russia. He arrived in Dover from France on 21 February bearing news that Napoleon had been captured and killed by Cossacks. In reaction to the news and the possibility of peace, share prices rose sharply on the Stock Exchange, particularly in a volatile government stock called Omnium which increased from 26 and a half to 32.

But, it soon became clear that the news of Napoleon’s death was a hoax. The Stock Exchange established a sub-committee to investigate, and they discovered that six men had sold substantial amounts of Omnium stock during the boom in value. The committee assumed that all six were responsible for the hoax and subsequent fraud. Cochrane had disposed of his entire £139,000 holding in Omnium – which he had only acquired a month before – and was named as one of the six conspirators, as was his uncle, Andrew Cochrane-Johnstone and his stockbroker, Richard Butt. Within days, an anonymous informant told the committee that Colonel de Bourg was an imposter; a man named Charles Random, a former periodical colourist, who used his wife’s name and passed as a Prussian aristocrat named De Berenger, and he had been seen entering Cochrane’s house on the day of the hoax.

The accused were brought to trial in the Court of King’s Bench, Guildhall on 8 June 1814. The trial was presided over by Lord Ellenborough, a High Tory and a notable enemy of the radicals. They had previously convicted and sentenced radical politicians William Cobbett and Henry Hunt to prison in politically motivated trials. The evidence against Cochrane was circumstantial (as the prosecuting counsel pointed out) and hinged on the nature of his share dealings, his contacts with those who were clearly conspirators, and the colour of uniform De Berenger had been wearing when they met in his house. Cochrane admitted he was acquainted with De Berenger and that the man had visited his home on the day of the fraud, but insisted that he had arrived wearing a green sharpshooter’s uniform Cochrane said that De Berenger had visited to request passage to the United States aboard Cochrane’s new command, the HMS Tonnant.

Although in an affidavit created before the trial, Cochrane’s servants agreed that the collar of the uniform above De Berenger’s greatcoat had been green, they admitted to Cochrane’s solicitors that they thought the rest had been red. They were not called at trial to give evidence. The prosecution summoned a key witness, hackney carriage driver William Crane, who swore that De Berenger was wearing a scarlet uniform when he delivered him to the house. Cochrane’s defence also argued that he had given standing instructions to Butt that his Omnium shares were to be sold if the price rose by 1 per cent, and he would have made double profit if he waited until it reached its peak price. All the conspirators had given identical instructions to their brokers.

On the second day of the trial, Lord Ellenborough began his summary of the evidence and drew attention to the matter of De Berenger’s uniform; he concluded that witnesses had provided damning evidence. The jury retired to deliberate and returned a verdict of guilty against all the defendants two and a half hours later. Belatedly, Cochrane’s defence team found several witnesses who were willing to testify that De Berenger had arrived wearing a green uniform, but Lord Ellenborough dismissed their evidence as inadmissible because two of the conspirators had fled the country upon hearing the guilty verdict.

On 20 June 1814, Cochrane was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, fined £1,000 and was ordered to stand in the pillory opposite the Royal Exchange for one hour. In subsequent weeks, he was dismissed from the Royal Navy by the Admiralty and expelled from Parliament following a motion in the House of Commons, which was passed by 144 votes to 44. On the orders of the Prince Regent, Cochrane was humiliated by the loss of his knighthood in a degradation ceremony at Westminster Abbey. His banner was taken down and physically kicked out of the chapel and down the steps outside. But, within a month, Cochrane was re-elected unopposed as the Member of Parliament for Westminster. Following a public outcry, his sentence to the pillory was rescinded for fears it would lead to the outbreak of a riot.

The question of Cochrane’s innocence or guilt created much debate at the time, and it has divided historians ever since. Subsequent reviews of the trial carried out by three Lord Chancellors during the course of the 19th century concluded that Cochrane should have been found not guilty on the basis of the evidence produced in court. Cochrane maintained his innocence for the rest of his life and campaigned tirelessly to restore his damaged reputation and to clear his name. He believed the trial was politically motivated and that a “higher authority than the Stock Exchange” was responsible for his prosecution. A series of petitions put forward by Cochrane protesting his innocence were ignored until 1830.

That year King George IV (the former Prince Regent) died and was succeeded by William IV. He had served in the Royal Navy and was sympathetic to Cochrane’s cause. Later that year the Tory government fell and was replaced by a Whig government in which his friend, Lord Brougham, was appointed Lord Chancellor. Following a meeting of the Privy Council in May 1832, Cochrane was granted a pardon and restored to the Navy List with a promotion to rear-admiral. Support from friends in the government, and the writings of popular naval authors such as Frederick Marryat and Maria Graham increased public sympathy for Cochrane’s situation. In May 1847, with the personal intervention of Queen Victoria, Cochrane’s knighthood was restored and he was created a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. Only in 1860 was his banner returned to Westminster Abbey; it was the day before his funeral.

In 1876, his grandson received a payment of £40,000 from the British government, based on the recommendations of a Parliamentary select committee, in compensation for Cochrane’s conviction. The committee had concluded his conviction was unjust.

Cochrane left the UK in official disgrace, but that did not end his naval career. Accompanied by Lady Cochrane and their two children, he reached Valparaíso on 28 November 1818. Chile was rapidly organising its new navy for its war of independence.

On 11 December 1818, at the request of Chilean leader Bernardo O’Higgins, Cochrane became a Chilean citizen, was appointed Vice Admiral, and took command of the Chilean Navy in Chile’s war of independence against Spain. He was the first Vice Admiral of Chile.(p37) Cochrane reorganised the Chilean navy, introducing British naval customs. He took command in the frigate O’Higgins and blockaded and raided the coasts of Peru as he had those of France and Spain. On his own initiative, he organised and led the capture of Valdivia, despite only having 300 men and two ships to deploy against seven large forts. He failed in his attempt to capture the Chiloé Archipelago for Chile.

In 1820, O’Higgins ordered him to convoy the Liberation Army of General José de San Martín to Peru, blockade the coast and support the campaign for independence. Later, forces under Cochrane’s personal command cut out and captured the frigate Esmeralda, the most powerful Spanish ship in South America. All this led to Peruvian independence, which O’Higgins considered indispensable to Chile’s independence and security. Cochrane’s victories in the Pacific were spectacular and important. The excitement was almost immediately marred by his accusations that he had been plotted against by subordinates and treated with contempt and denied adequate financial reward by his superiors. The evidence does not support these accusations, and the problem appeared to lie in Cochrane’s own suspicious and uneasy personality.

Loose words from Katy resulted in a rumour that Cochrane had made plans to free Napoleon from his exile on Saint Helena and make him ruler of a unified South American state. This could not have been true because Charles, the supposed envoy bearing the rumoured plans, had been killed two months before his reported “departure to Europe”. Cochrane left the service of the Chilean Navy on 29 November 1822.

Chilean naval vessels named after Lord Cochrane
The Chilean Navy has named five ships Cochrane or Almirante Cochrane (Admiral Cochrane) in his honour:

  • The first, Almirante Cochrane, was a famous battery ship that fought in the War of the Pacific (1879–1884).
  • The second Almirante Cochrane was a dreadnought battleship laid down in Britain in 1913. The Royal Navy acquired the unfinished ship in 1917, converting her into the carrier HMS Eagle (1918).
  • The third ship, Cochrane, was a Fletcher-class destroyer, the former USS Rooks (DD-804), commissioned into the Chilean Navy in 1962 and scrapped in 1983.
  • The fourth ship, Almirante Cochrane, was a County-class destroyer, the former HMS Antrim (D18), which the Chilean Navy acquired in 1984 and decommissioned in 2006.
  • The fifth and current ship to bear the name, Almirante Cochrane (FF-05), is a Type 23 frigate, the former HMS Norfolk (F230), which the Chilean Navy commissioned in 2006.

Brazil was fighting its own war of independence against Portugal. Excepting Montevideo (now in Uruguay but then in Cisplatina), in 1822 the southern provinces came under the control of the patriots led by the Prince Regent, later Emperor Pedro I. Portugal still controlled some important provincial capitals in the north, with major garrisons and naval bases such as Belém do Pará, Salvador da Bahia and São Luís do Maranhão.

Cochrane took command of the Brazilian Navy on 21 March 1823 and its flagship, the ‘Pedro I’. He blockaded the Portuguese in Bahia, confronted them at the Battle of 4 May, and forced them to evacuate the province in a vast convoy of ships which Cochrane’s men attacked as they crossed the Atlantic. Cochrane sailed to Maranhão (then spelled Maranham) on his own initiative and bluffed the garrison into surrender by claiming that a vast (and mythical) Brazilian fleet and army were over the horizon. He sent a subordinate, Captain John Pascoe Grenfell, to Belém do Pará to use the same bluff and extract a Portuguese surrender. As a result of Cochrane’s efforts, Brazil became totally de facto independent and free of any Portuguese troops. On Cochrane’s return to Rio de Janeiro in 1824, the Emperor Pedro I rewarded the officer by granting him the non-hereditary title of Marquess of Maranhão (Marquês do Maranhão) in the Empire of Brazil. He was also awarded an accompanying coat of arms.
As in Chile and earlier occasions, Cochrane’s joy at these successes was rapidly replaced by quarrels over pay and prize money, and an accusation that the Brazilian authorities were plotting against him.
In mid-1824, Cochrane sailed north with a squadron to assist the Brazilian army, under General Francisco Lima e Silva, to suppress a republican rebellion in the state of Pernambuco which had begun to spread to Maranhão and other northern states. The rebellion was rapidly extinguished. Cochrane proceeded to Maranhão, where he took over the administration. He demanded the payment of prize money which he claimed he was owed as a result of the recapture of the province in 1823. He absconded with public money and sacked merchant ships anchored in São Luís do Maranhão. Defying orders to return to Rio de Janeiro, Cochrane transferred to a captured Brazilian frigate, left Brazil on 10 November 1825, and returned to Britain.

Cochrane went to Greece to support its fight for independence from the Ottoman Empire, which had deployed an army raised in Egypt to suppress the Greek rebellion. Between March 1827 and December 1828, he took an active role in the campaign, but met with limited success due to the poor discipline of the Greek soldiers and seamen. One of his subordinates, Captain Hastings, attacked Ottoman forces at the Gulf of Lepanto, which indirectly led to intervention by Great Britain, France and Russia. They succeeded in destroying the Turko–Egyptian fleet at the Battle of Navarino, and the war was ended under mediation of the Great Powers.

Greece was probably the only campaign in Cochrane’s naval career in which the results of his efforts were disappointingly slight. At the end of the war, he resigned his commission and returned to Britain. For the first time since he was convicted for the Great Stock Exchange Fraud of 1814, his lively nature was brought to a standstill. Despite reports to the contrary, there is little evidence to suggest that he had a nervous breakdown.

Cochrane inherited his peerage following his father’s death on 1 July 1831, becoming the 10th Earl of Dundonald. He was restored to the Royal Navy list on 2 May 1832 as a Rear Admiral of the Blue. Cochrane’s full return to Royal Navy service was delayed by his refusal to take a command until his knighthood had been restored, which took 15 years. He continued to receive promotions in the list of flag officers, as follows:

  • Rear Admiral of the Blue on 2 May 1832
  • Rear Admiral of the White on 10 January 1837
  • Rear Admiral of the Red on 28 June 1838
  • Vice Admiral of the Blue on 23 November 1841
  • Vice Admiral of the White on 9 November 1846
  • Vice Admiral of the Red on 3 January 1848
  • Admiral of the Blue on 21 March 1851
  • Admiral of the White on 2 April 1853
  • Admiral of the Red on 8 December 1857

On 22 May 1847 Queen Victoria reinstated him as a knight in the Order of the Bath. He returned to the Royal Navy, serving as Commander-in-Chief of the North America and West Indies Station from 1848 to 1851. During the Crimean War, the government considered him for a command in the Baltic, but decided that there was too high a chance that Cochrane would risk the fleet in a daring attack. On 6 November 1854, he was appointed to the honorary office of Rear-Admiral of the United Kingdom, an office that he retained until his death.

In his final years, Cochrane wrote his autobiography in collaboration with G.B. Earp. With his health deteriorating, in 1860 he twice had to undergo painful surgery for kidney stones. He died during the second operation on 31 October 1860, in Kensington.

He was buried in Westminster Abbey, where his grave is in the central part of the nave. Each year in May representatives of the Chilean Navy hold a wreath-laying ceremony at his grave.

Convoys were guided by ships following the lamps of those ahead. In 1805, Cochrane entered a Royal Navy competition for a superior convoy lamp. Believing the judges to be biased against him, he reentered the contest under another name and won the prize.

In 1806, Cochrane had a galley made to his specifications, which he carried on board Pallas and used to attack the French coast. It had the advantage of mobility and flexibility.

In 1812, Cochrane proposed attacking the French coast using a combination of bombardment ships, explosion ships and “stink vessels” (gas warfare). A bombardment ship consisted of a strengthened old hulk filled with powder and shot and made to list one side. It was anchored at night to face the enemy behind the harbour wall. When set off, it provided saturation bombardment of the harbour, which would be closely followed by landings of troops. He put the plans forward again before and during the Crimean War. The authorities, however, decided not to pursue his plans.

In 1818, Cochrane patented, together with the engineer Marc Isambard Brunel, the tunnelling shield that Brunel and his son used in the building of the Thames Tunnel in 1825–43.

Cochrane was an early supporter of steamships. He tried to take the steamship Rising Star from Britain to Chile for use in the war of independence in the 1820s, but its construction took too long; it did not arrive until the war was ending. The Rising Star was a 410-ton vessel adapted to a revolutionary design at Brent’s Yard at the Greenland Dock at the Thames: twin funnels, retractable paddle wheels and driven by a 60-horsepower engine. Similarly, he suffered delays with construction of a steamship he had hoped to put into use in the Greek War of Independence. In the 1830s, he experimented with steam power, developing a rotary engine and a propeller. In 1851, Cochrane received a patent on powering steamships with bitumen. He was conferred with Honorary Membership of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland in 1857.

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