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 Thomas Cochrane Biographies list - simultaneous reading 
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Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:57 am
Posts: 114
Location: London England
I think your last para scenario is probably correct. Linois probably went out of his way to catch Speedy, then returned to his formed position and destination.

With Gibraltar as his destination, and approaching the Rock from the east, Speedy can't have been 10 miles west of Tarifa (which would have meant that he had overshot Gibraltar). TC says Gibraltar was in sight to the east at dawn on 3rd which places him to the west of the Rock, probably due south of the present Marbella!

I can't think of any other source for James except the CM Report, which as Don pointed out is not entirely clear.

Brian Vale

Thu May 01, 2008 10:52 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:34 am
Posts: 1471
Location: Virginia, USA
I promised Brian Vale that I would revisit my earlier post of 11 March, 2008 (above) concerning the "errors" I found in his book "The Audacious Admiral" of which some were not errors at all. I have been a little tardy in making this post due to a health issue (better now) but my correspondence with Brian revealed some interesting details regarding the data and certain editorial decisions made by a biographer. I think that such editorial decisions were the most interesting to me. For that I am grateful to Brian.

I have structured this post so that Brian can address any further comments specifically to each point (other than the ones I gleamed from his other posts and our emails). Using other biographers' works to proof a biography is filled with perils as I have learned. At the time of my original post Brian was not a member here but, notwithstanding that, by not saying what I thought was wrong in my original post, I made it impossible for Brian, or anyone else, to challenge my comments. Another lesson learned! So here goes....

timoneer wrote:
Vale begins his book with "Our hero was born on 1 December 1775..."
All other sources say he was born on 14 December 1775 rather than the 1st. Brian posted here "the typo in my book which must have deleted the '4' in TC's dob."

timoneer wrote:
TC’s age at the time of his mother's death is wrong.
The book said that he was nine at the time but when she died on 15 November 1784, I calculated that he was eight. Brian emailed me that "...TC was 8 yrs, 11 months, 1 day. I rounded up to "9".

timoneer wrote:
His new step-mother's name is wrong.
The book said that his new step-mother was Isabella Mayne and my research into the other biographies (and the Internet) said that her name was Isabella Raymond. Brian wrote me "On 12 April 1788, TC's father married a rich widow called Mrs Isabella Mayne worth, it was said £50,000! True, her maiden name was Isabella Raymond and that it was in this name that the special license to marry Dundonald was issued; but since the 'rich widow' aspect of her background was important and her maiden name was not - I chose to describe her by her name as a widow."

timoneer wrote:
The date that his Uncle Alexander first puts TC's name on a false muster is wrong.
The book said the year was 1780 and that he was five years old. The other sources I had said TC's uncle starting putting his name on a false muster in 1781. Brian has posted here that "The Muster Book for 'Vesuvius' from Mar 1779 to May 1781 is missing from the National Archives. Direct evidence is therefore lacking. However Dundonald family papers in the NA of Scotland say that TC was mustered (falsely of course) as a Captain's Servant on the bomb vessel from 6 Dec 1780 to 28 May 1781. In the Muster Rolls of 'Sophie' and 'Caroline' the (alleged) arrival and departure of TC always coincides with that of his uncle. It is a fair assumption therefore that Alexander's dates as captain of 'Vesuvius' are the same." I accept Brian's comment and have corrected my personal summary of TC's life.

timoneer wrote:
The date TC reports to the "Hind" is wrong.
The book is correct that TC arrived on 29 July 1793. I mistakenly confused the day that TC arrived at the port which was the 28th which was used by other biographers. TC actually was rowed to the "Hind" on the date Brian used.

Don Campbell
"Whoever is strongest at sea, make him your friend."
Corcyraeans to the Athenians, 433 BC

Tue May 20, 2008 9:28 am

Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:25 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Boston
Post Cochrane and the Speedy, the true story
It has been a few years, but I just came across some information relevant to this past discussion and thought I would share it with those interested.

William James account:
> 'On the 1st of July the French ships, then working against a
> strong west-north-west wind, were seen from Gibraltar; where
> the only British vessel of war at anchor was the 14-gun polacre-
> sloop Calpe, Captain the Honourable George Heneage Lawrence
> Dundas. On the 2nd M. Linois captured a small British brig
> employed as a packet to Minorca ; and on the 3rd, when more
> than two thirds through the Straits, the French admiral was so
> fortunate as to capture, but not until she had resorted to every
> manoeuvre to escape which her skilful commander could devise,
> the 14-gun brig-sloop Speedy, Captain Lord Cochrane. Learning
> now that Cadiz was blockaded by a superior force, rear-
> admiral Linois, with his squadron and prizes, bore up for Alge-
> ziras. On the 4th, at about 10A.M., he rounded Cabrita point in
> sight of the Calpe at her anchorage, and at 5 P.M. came to with
> his ships in front of the town of Algeziras, still in full view of the
> British at the rock.'

Coincidentally, the first American squadron deployed to the
Mediterranean arrived at Gibraltar at this time. I came across
this extract from the journal of Captain Bainbridge, commanding USS Essex:

Wednesday, 1 July 1801
At 7 am fell in with three french sail of the line, two Eighty four
guns & one seventy four
- The Admiral [Linois] sent his boat on board the Commodore [Dale].
At 8 AM spoke the Commodore, he ordered me to lead into Port & Anchor.
At 1/2 past 9 came to anchor in the Bay of GIbraltar in 15 fathoms
water & with the following marks,
Europa point S 16º E
New Mole N 30º E
Cabaretti Point W 20º S
South signal tower E 46º S
Algeziras W 25º N

This confirms the James account; Linois and his squadron were just
outside the Bay of Gibraltar on the morning of July 1, struggling west
through the Strait against a contrary wind.

Two days later at dawn, Linois comes upon Cochrane and the Speedy,
cruising well west of Gibraltar in neglect of his orders to escort the
packet from Minorca. After the capture, Linois turns back to Algeciras,
arriving the next day and setting the scene for the battle with Saumarez coming down from Cadiz.

Don Seltzer

Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:52 pm
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