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Narrative of Services in the Liberation of Chili, Peru and Brazil, from Spanish and Portuguese Domination
Chapter I


INVITATION TO TAKE COMMAND OF CHILIAN NAVY--ARRIVAL AT VALPARAISO--FIRST EXPEDITION TO PERU--ATTACK ON SPANISH SHIPPING AT CALLAO--DEPARTURE FOR HUACHO--CAPTURE OF SPANISH CONVOYS OF MONEY--PAITA TAKEN--RETURN TO VALPARAISO TO REORGANIZE THE SQUADRON--OFFER TO GIVE UP MY SHARE OF PRIZEMONEY TO THE REPUBLIC--THIS OFFER DECLINED BY THE SUPREME DIRECTOR--POPULAR CONGRATULATIONS--ATTEMPT ON LADY COCHRANE'S LIFE.

In the year 1817, Don Jose Alvarez, accredited agent of the government of Chili--as yet unacknowledged by European powers--applied to me to undertake the organization of a naval force in that country, capable of contending against the Spaniards; who, notwithstanding the successful revolt of the Chilenos by land, still maintained their predominance on the waters of the Pacific.

Having at that time no professional employment, in consequence of my unjust expulsion from the British naval service, by the machinations of the powerful political party which I had offended--and finding that Chili was making great efforts to create a navy, in furtherance of which object a war steamer had been placed on the stocks in London--I accepted the invitation, engaging to superintend her building and equipment, and to take her to Valparaiso when completed.

Meanwhile, Alvarez received orders from his Government, that, if his proposals had been accepted, no time must be lost in my departure, as the position of Chili was critical, the Spaniards threatening Valparaiso by sea, and being still in possession of the continent from Conception to Chiloe, where they were organizing the savage Indian tribes to carry desolation into the newly emancipated provinces. Reliable information had also been received, that the Court of Madrid was making strenuous efforts to recover its lost possessions by a powerful reinforcement to its Pacific squadron, against which the Chileno ships of war, in their present state, were not in a condition to contend.

Alvarez therefore begged me not to wait for the steamer, the completion and equipment of which he would hasten, but at once to sail for Chili in the Rose merchantman, then on the eve of departure. Knowing that the whole of Peru was in the hands of the Spaniards, and that they were also in possession of Valdivia, the strongest fortified harbour to the southward--from both of which there would be considerable difficulty in dislodging them after the arrival of the anticipated reinforcements--I embarked without delay; and on the 28th of November, 1818, landed at Valparaiso, accompanied by Lady Cochrane and our two children.

Our reception, both from the authorities and the people, was enthusiastic, the Supreme Director, General O'Higgins, coming from the seat of Government, Santiago, to welcome us. This excellent man was the son of an Irish gentleman of distinction in the Spanish service, who had occupied the important position of Viceroy of Peru. The son had, however, joined the patriots, and whilst second in command had not long before inflicted a signal defeat upon the Spaniards in the interior; in reward for which service the gratitude of the nation had elevated him to the Supreme Directorate.

A variety of fetes was given at Valparaiso in honour of our arrival, these being prolonged for so many days as to amount to a waste of time. The same scenes were, however, re-enacted at the distant capital, whither the Supreme Director insisted on taking us, till I had to remind His Excellency that our purpose was rather fighting than feasting. Nevertheless, the reception we had met impressed me with so high a sense of Chilian hospitality, that, heartbroken as I had been by the infamous persecution which had driven me from the British navy, I decided upon Chili as my future home; this decision, however, being only an exemplification of the proverb "L'homme propose--Dieu dispose."

The Chilian squadron had just returned from a successful cruise, the gallant Admiral Blanco Encalada, who commanded it, having captured a noble Spanish 50-gun frigate, the Maria Isabel, in the bay of Talcahuano.

The squadron consisted of the recently captured Spanish frigate, now named the O'Higgins, in honour of the Supreme Director; the San Martin, 56 guns, formerly the Cumberland Indiaman, which had been bought into the service; the Lautaro, 44 guns, also a purchased Indiaman; the Galvarino, 18 guns, recently the British sloop of war Hecate; the Chacabuco, 20 guns; and the Aracauno, 16 guns; a force which, though deficient in organization and equipment, was very creditable to the energy of a newly emancipated people.

A few days after my arrival a commission was issued, conferring upon me the title of "Vice-Admiral of Chili, Admiral and Commander in Chief of the Naval Forces of the Republic." Admiral Blanco, with patriotic liberality, relinquishing his position in my favour, though, from his recent achievement, justly entitled to retain it; paying me also the additional compliment of personally announcing to the ships' companies the change which had been effected.

My advent was regarded by the captains of the squadron with great jealousy, the more so, as I had brought with me from England officers upon whom I could place implicit reliance. It so happened that two of the Chilian commanders, Captains Guise and Spry, had shortly before arrived from England with the Hecate, which had been sold out of the British navy, and bought by them on speculation. The Buenos Ayrean Government having declined to purchase her, they had brought her on to Chili, where the Government took her and received her former owners into its service. These officers, together with Captain Worcester, a North American, got up a cabal, the object of which was to bring about a divided command between myself and Admiral Blanco, or, as they expressed it--"two commodores and no Cochrane." Finding that Admiral Blanco would not listen to this, they persuaded one or two of the inferior ministers--whose jealousy it was not difficult to excite--that it was dangerous and discreditable to a republican Government to allow a nobleman and a foreigner to command its navy, and still more so, to allow him to retain his title; the object being to place Admiral Blanco in the chief command, with myself as his second--by which arrangement, as he had not been accustomed to manage British seamen, they expected to control him as they pleased. Admiral Blanco, however, insisted on reversing our positions, offering his services as second in command, in which arrangement I gladly acquiesced. This insignificant squabble would not be worth narrating, but for its bearing on subsequent events; as well as enabling me to confer a pleasing testimony to the patriotic disinterestedness of Admiral Blanco, who is still one of the brightest ornaments of the Republic which he so eminently aided to establish.

On the 22nd of December my flag was hoisted on board the O'Higgins, after which the greatest despatch was used to get the squadron ready for sea. Anxious to avoid delay, on the 16th of January I sailed with four ships only, the O'Higgins, San Martin, Lautaro, and Chacabuco; leaving Admiral Blanco to follow with the Gaharino, Aracauno, and Puyrredon. A mutiny having broken out on board the Chacabuco, it became necessary to enter Coquimbo, where the leading mutineers were landed, tried, and punished.

I shall here narrate an incident which occurred on our departure. Lady Cochrane, with her children, had returned from Santiago to Valparaiso, to take leave of me on embarkation. She had just gone ashore, and the last gun had been fired to summon all hands on board, when, hearing a loud hurrah near the house where she resided, she went to the window, and saw our little boy--now Lord Cochrane, but then scarcely more than five years old--mounted on the shoulders of my flag-lieutenant, waving his tiny cap over the heads of the people, and crying out with all his might, "Viva la patria!" the mob being in a frenzied state of excitement.

The child had slipped out of Lady Cochrane's house with the officer, insisting on being carried to his father; with which request the lieutenant, nothing loth, complied. To the horror of Lady Cochrane, she saw her boy hurried down to the beach amidst the shouts of the multitude, and, before she could interfere, placed in a boat and rowed off to the flag-ship, which was at the time under weigh, so that he could not be sent ashore again; there being no alternative but to take him with us, though without clothes--which were afterwards made for him by the sailors--and with no other attendance save that which their rough but kindly natures could administer.

On our way along the coast we received information that the Antonio was about to sail from Callao for Cadiz, with a considerable amount of treasure, so that, in the hope of intercepting her, we cruized just out of sight of the port till the 21st of February. As she did not make her appearance, preparations were made to put in execution a plan which had been formed to attack the Spanish shipping during the Carnival, when, in the height of that festival, less vigilance than ordinary might reasonably be expected. We had previously ascertained that the naval force in the harbour consisted of the frigates Esmeralda and Venganza, a corvette, three brigs of war, a schooner, twenty-eight gun-boats, and six heavily-armed merchantmen; the whole being moored close in under the batteries, which mounted upwards of 160 guns, whilst the aggregate force of the shipping was 350 guns, as appeared from an official account of their armament.

A direct attack with our small force seemed, therefore, a thing not at present to be attempted; but in its place I had formed the design to cut out the frigates during the carnival, which terminated on the 23rd. Knowing that two North American ships of war were daily expected at Callao, it was arranged to take in the O'Higgins and Lautaro, under American colours, leaving the San Martin out of sight behind San Lorenzo, and if the ruse were successful, to make a feint of sending a boat ashore with despatches, and in the meantime suddenly to dash at the frigates, and cut them out. Unfortunately, one of those thick fogs, so common on the Peruvian coast, arose, in which the Lautaro parted company, and did not rejoin the flag-ship for four days afterwards, when the carnival being at an end, our plan was rendered abortive.

The fog, which in the climate of Peru often continues for a considerable length of time, lasted till the 29th, when hearing heavy firing, and imagining that one of the ships was engaged with the enemy, I stood with the flag-ship into the bay; the other ships, imagining the same thing, also steered in the direction of the firing, when the fog clearing for a moment, we discovered each other, as well as a strange sail near us; which, when taken possession of by the flag-ship, proved to be a Spanish gun-boat, with a lieutenant and twenty men, who, on being made prisoners, informed us that the firing was a salute in honour of the Viceroy, who had that morning been on a visit of inspection to the batteries and shipping, and was then on board the brig of war Pezuela, which we saw crowding sail in the direction of the batteries.

The fog again coming on, suggested to me the possibility of a direct attack, which, if not altogether successful, would give the Spaniards such an idea of our determination of purpose, as would inspire them with respect for the Chilian squadron, and might induce their ships to refrain from the protection of their commerce; in which case a blockade would prevent the necessity of separating our small force in chase of them, should they evince a desire of getting to sea.

Accordingly, still maintaining our disguise under American colours, the O'Higgins and Lautaro stood towards the batteries, narrowly escaping going ashore in the fog. The Viceroy having no doubt witnessed the capture of the gun-boat, had, however, provided for our reception, the garrison being at their guns, and the crews of the ships of war at their quarters. Notwithstanding the great odds, I determined to persist in an attack, as our withdrawing without firing a shot, would produce an effect upon the minds of the Spaniards the reverse of that intended; having sufficient experience in war to know that moral effect, even if the result of a degree of temerity, will not unfrequently supply the place of superior force.

The wind falling light, I did not venture on laying the flag-ship and the Lautaro alongside the Spanish frigates, as at first intended, but anchored with springs on our cables, abreast of the shipping, which was arranged in a half-moon of two lines, the rear rank being judiciously disposed so as to cover the intervals of the ships in the front line. A dead calm succeeding, we were for two hours exposed to a heavy fire from the batteries, in addition to that from the two frigates, the brigs Pezuela and Maypeu, and seven or eight gun-boats; nevertheless, the northern angle of one of the principal forts was silenced by our fire.

A breeze springing up, we weighed anchor, standing to and fro in front of the batteries, and returning their fire; when Captain Guise, who commanded the Lautaro, being severely wounded, that ship sheered off, and never again came within range. As from want of wind, or doubt of the result, neither the San Martin nor Chacabuco had ever got within fire, the flag-ship was thus left alone to continue the action; but as this, from want of co-operation on the part of the other ships, was useless, I was reluctantly compelled to relinquish the attack, and withdrew to the island of San Lorenzo, about three miles distant from the forts; the Spaniards, though nearly quadruple our numbers, exclusive of their gun-boats, not venturing to follow us.

The annexed was the Spanish naval force present: Frigates.--Esmeralda, 44 guns; Venganza, 42 guns; Sebastiana, 28 guns.

Brigs.--Maypeu, 18 guns; Pezuela, 22 guns; Potrilla, 18 guns; and one, name unknown, 18 guns.

Schooner, name unknown, one long 24, and 20 culverins.

Armed Merchantmen.--Resolution, 36 guns; Cleopatra, 28 guns; La Focha, 20 guns; Guarmey, 18 guns; Fernando, 26 guns; San Antonio, 18 guns.

Total, fourteen vessels, of which ten were ready for sea; and twenty-seven gun-boats.

In this action my little boy had a narrow escape. As the story has been told by several Chilian writers somewhat incorrectly, I will recapitulate the circumstances.

When the firing commenced, I had placed the boy in my after-cabin, locking the door upon him; but not liking the restriction, he contrived to get through the quarter gallery window, and joined me on deck, refusing to go down again. As I could not attend to him, he was permitted to remain, and, in a miniature midshipman's uniform, which the seamen had made for him, was busying himself in handing powder to the gunners.

Whilst thus employed, a round shot took off the head of a marine close to him, scattering the unlucky man's brains in his face. Instantly recovering his self-possession, to my great relief, for believing him killed, I was spell-bound with agony, he ran up to me exclaiming, "I am not hurt, papa: the shot did not touch me; Jack says, the ball is not made that can kill mamma's boy." I ordered him to be carried below; but, resisting with all his might, he was permitted to remain on deck during the action.

Our loss in this affair was trifling, considering that we were under the fire of more than two hundred guns; but the ships were so placed that the enemy's frigates lay between us and the fortress, so that the shot of the latter only told upon our rigging, which was considerably damaged.

The action having been commenced in a fog, the Spaniards imagined that all the Chilian vessels were engaged, and were not a little surprised, as it again cleared, to find that their own frigate, the quondam Maria Isabella, was their only opponent. So much were they dispirited by this discovery, that as soon as possible after the close of the contest, their ships of war were dismantled, the top masts and spars being formed into a double boom across the anchorage so as to prevent approach. The Spaniards were also previously unaware of my being in command of the Chilian squadron, but on becoming acquainted with this fact, bestowed upon me the not very complimentary title of "El Diablo," by which I was afterwards known amongst them. The title might have been rendered more appropriate, had my efforts been better seconded by the other vessels.

On the following day, having repaired damages, the flag-ship and Lautaro again went in and commenced a destructive fire upon the Spanish gun-boats, the neutral vessels in the harbour removing out of the line of shot. As the gun-boats withdrew to a position closer under the batteries, where we could make little impression upon them without getting severely punished by the fire of the fortress, we contented ourselves with the demonstration made.

On the 2nd of March, I despatched Capt. Foster with the gun-boat captured from the Spaniards, and the launches of the O'Higgins and Lautaro--to take possession of the island of San Lorenzo, when an unworthy instance of Spanish cruelty presented itself in the spectacle of thirty-seven Chilian soldiers taken prisoners eight years before. The unhappy men had ever since been forced to work in chains under the supervision of a military guard--now prisoners in turn; their sleeping place during the whole of this period being a filthy shed, in which they were every night chained by one leg to an iron bar. The joy of the poor fellows at their deliverance, after all hope had fled, can scarcely be conceived.

From the liberated patriots and the Spanish prisoners, I learned that in Lima there were a number of Chilian officers and seamen taken on board the Maypeu, whose condition was even more deplorable than their own, the fetters on their legs having worn their ancles to the bone, whilst their commander, by a refinement of cruelty, had for more than a year been lying under sentence of death as a rebel. Upon this, I sent a flag of truce to the viceroy, Don Joaquim de la Pezuela, requesting him to permit the prisoners to return to their families, in exchange for the Spanish prisoners on board the squadron, and others in Chili--where there were great numbers, who were comparatively well treated. The Viceroy denied the charge of ill-treatment--asserted his right, if he thought proper, to regard his prisoners as pirates; retorting that after the battle of Maypeu, General San Martin had treated the Spanish Commissioner as a spy, and had repeatedly threatened him with death. The exchange of prisoners was uncourteously refused, the Viceroy concluding his reply with an expression of surprise that a British nobleman should command the maritime forces of a Government "unacknowledged by all the Powers of the globe." To this latter observation, I considered it incumbent upon me to reply that "a British nobleman was a free man, and therefore had a right to adopt any country which was endeavouring to re-establish the rights of aggrieved humanity; and that I had hence adopted the cause of Chili, with the same freedom of judgment that I had previously exercised when refusing the offer of an Admiral's rank in Spain, made to me not long before, by the Spanish Ambassador in London;" this offer having been made by the Duke de San Carlos, in the name of Ferdinand the Seventh.

Our means being clearly inadequate to any decisive attack on the Spanish ships of war, I resolved to try the effect of an explosion vessel, and accordingly established a laboratory on the island of San Lorenzo, under the superintendence of Major Miller, the Commandant of Marines. Whilst engaged in this duty, that able and gallant officer was so severely burned by an accidental explosion, as to render his further services on this occasion unavailable.

On the 22nd of March--our preparations being completed--we again stood towards the batteries, the flag-ship going close in under the combined fire of the forts and shipping, in order to divert the attention of the enemy from the explosion vessel, which was set adrift in the direction of the frigates, but, unfortunately, when within musket shot of them, she was struck by a round shot and foundered, causing complete failure in our object. The San Martin and the Lautaro keeping far astern, there was no alternative but to withdraw from further attack, leaving the explosion vessel to her fate.

As other attempts, with our want of means, would answer no better purpose than useless demonstration, and as the ships were now destitute of water and provisions, we were obliged to fall back upon Huacho, leaving the Chacabuco to watch the movements of the enemy.

The inhabitants of Huacho, who were well disposed to co-operate in any effort for the emancipation of Peru, afforded us every assistance in provisioning and watering the ships, for which the commandant, Cevallos, shot two influential persons who had been foremost in aiding us, and severely punished others; at the same time seizing our water casks, and sending me an insolent letter of defiance, on which a party of seamen and marines was landed and put the garrison to flight; the officer commanding the party however withdrew from pursuit at hearing salutes fired on the arrival of Admiral Blanco with the Galvarino and Puyrredon, mistaking this for an engagement with a newly-arrived enemy. The whole of the Government property found in the Spanish custom-house was captured.

The people of Huacho having volunteered information that a quantity of specie belonging to the Philippine Company had been placed for safety on board a vessel in the river Barranca, she was forthwith overhauled, and the treasure transferred to the flag-ship.

Leaving Admiral Blanco at Huacho with the San Martin and Puyrredon, on the 4th of April we sailed for Supe, with the O'Higgins and Galvarino, having previously ascertained that a sum of money destined for the payment of Spanish troops was on its way from Lima to Guambucho; on the following day a party of marines being landed at Patavilca, captured the treasure, amounting to 70,000 dollars, together with a quantity of military stores. On the 7th, having received further information that the Philippine Company had placed other treasure on board the French brig, Gazelle, at Guambucho, we sailed for that place, and, on the 10th, the seamen of the O'Higgins examined her, and brought off an additional sum of 60,000 dollars.

The secret of our obtaining possession of these and other convoys of Spanish money along the coast, was, that I paid the inhabitants highly for information relative to their transmission, and was thus enabled to seize the treasure even in the interior of the country. As the Chilian Ministry subsequently refused to allow me "secret service money," these, disbursements were actually made at my own expense.

It was also my object to make friends of the Peruvian people, by adopting towards them a conciliatory course, and by strict care that none but Spanish property should be taken, whilst their own was in all cases respected. Confidence was thus inspired, and the universal dissatisfaction with Spanish colonial rule speedily became changed into an earnest desire to be freed from it. Had it not been for this good understanding with the inhabitants, I should scarcely have ventured to detach marines and seamen for operations at a distance into the country, as was subsequently the case; the people giving me the most reliable information of every movement of the enemy.

On the 13th, we arrived at Paita, where the Spaniards had established a garrison. A party of marines and seamen was again landed, on which the enemy fled from the fort, and a quantity of brass ordnance, spirits, and military stores, was captured.

Contrary to strict orders, some marines stole a number of valuable church ornaments, but on the complaint of the authorities I caused them to be restored, punishing the offenders, and at the same time presenting the priests with a thousand dollars to repair the damage done in their churches; this act, though far from conciliating the priests--who dreaded Chilian success--adding greatly to our popularity amongst the inhabitants, which was my object in bestowing the amount. Our thus refraining from plunder was almost beyond the comprehension of a people who had bitter experience of Spanish rapacity, whilst the undisciplined Chilenos, who formed the greater portion of the squadron, as little comprehended why their plundering propensities should be restrained.

On the 5th of May, I proceeded with the flag-ship alone to reconnoitre Callao, having learned that the Chacabuco and Puyrredon had been chased off the port by the Spanish frigates. Finding that these were again moored under shelter of the batteries, we returned to Supe, convinced that our previous visit to Callao had proved sufficient to deter them from putting to sea for the protection of their own coasts; this, indeed, forming my chief reason for having persisted in attacks which, with our small force, could answer no other purpose; but this alone was an advantage gained, as it enabled us to communicate freely with the inhabitants on the coast, and to ascertain their sentiments, which--from our forbearance, no less than command of the sea--were almost uniformly in favour of co-operation with Chili for their emancipation.

Both at Lima and on the coast, the best effect was produced by the circulation of the following proclamation:--

"Compatriots! The repeated echoes of liberty in South America have been heard with pleasure in every part of enlightened Europe, more especially in Great Britain, where I, unable to resist the desire of joining in such a cause, determined to take part in it. The Republic of Chili has confided to me the command of her naval forces. To these must the dominion of the Pacific be consigned. By their co-operation must your chains be broken. Doubt not but that the day is at hand on which, with the annihilation of despotism and your now degraded condition, you will rise to the rank of a free nation, to which your geographical position and the course of events naturally call you."

"But it is your duty to co-operate in preparing for this success, and to remove obstacles, under the assurance that you will receive the most efficacious assistance from the government of Chili, and your true friend, COCHRANE."

This proclamation was accompanied by another from the Chilian government, declaratory of the sincerity of its intentions, so that these combined caused us to be everywhere received as liberators.

On the 8th, we returned to Supe, and having learned that a Spanish force was in the vicinity, a detachment of marines and seamen was, after dark, pushed through a heavy surf, and landed, in the hope of taking them by surprise. But the enemy was on the alert, and on the following morning our little party fell into an ambuscade, which would have proved serious, had not Major Miller, who commanded the marines, promptly formed his men, who, attacking in turn, soon put the enemy to flight at the point of the bayonet, capturing their colours, and the greater portion of their arms. On the 13th, a detachment of Spanish troops arrived from Lima under Major Camba, who, notwithstanding his superiority of numbers, did not venture to attack our small party, which withdrew to the ships with a number of cattle taken from the Spaniards; Camba writing to the Viceroy so effective a description of his having "driven the enemy into the sea," that he was immediately promoted.

Not to enter into further details of our visits to other parts of the coast, where similar captures of provisions and military stores, &c. were effected--it being my practice to compel the Spaniards to supply all the wants of the squadron, nothing being ever taken from the natives without payment,--I resolved--as our means were clearly incommensurate with our main object--to return to Valparaiso, for the purpose of organizing a more effective force, and on the 16th of June reached that port, where we found Admiral Blanco with the San Martin and Chacabuco, he having been obliged to raise the blockade of Callao for want of provisions; a step with which the Government was highly displeased, though with more reason to blame its own negligence or want of foresight in not providing them. Admiral Blanco was nevertheless put under arrest, but a court of inquiry being held, he was honourably acquitted.

The objects of the first expedition had been fully accomplished, viz. to reconnoitre, with a view to future operations, when the squadron should be rendered efficient; but more especially to ascertain the inclinations of the Peruvians with regard to their desire for emancipation--a point of the first importance to Chili, as being obliged to be constantly on the alert for her own newly-acquired liberties, so long as the Spaniards were in undisturbed possession of Peru. To the accomplishment of these objects had been superadded the restriction of the Spanish naval force to the shelter of the forts, the defeat of their military forces wherever encountered, and the capture of no inconsiderable amount of treasure.

It had, however, become evident to me that the passive system of defence which the Spaniards adopted in Callao, would render it a difficult matter to get at them without more effective means than the guns of the ships, which were greatly inferior in number to those of the enemy's fortress and shipping combined, whilst their experience in the use of artillery was greater than that of our crews. The Supreme Director having paid a visit to the squadron--on the 21st of June I addressed to him a letter, stating my apprehension that the finances of the Government might be limited, and that I would gladly give up to the exigencies of the Republic the whole of my share of prize-money taken during our recent cruize, provided it were applied to the manufacture of rockets. This offer was declined, with a compliment from the Supreme Director, on the advantage already gained, by compelling the Spaniards ignominiously to shut "themselves up in their port, in spite of their numerical superiority."

Complimentary addresses from the Chilian people were also presented to me in profusion, and a public panegyric was pronounced at the National Institute of the capital, upon the service rendered; but as this was only a recapitulation of what has been already narrated--conveyed in flowery rhetorical phrases--in the use of which the Occidentals are almost as expert, and often as exaggerated, as are the Orientals--I shall refrain from giving it. Suffice it to say, that the people were not a little delighted with the plain facts, that whereas only a few months before theirs had been the blockaded port, they were now able to beard the enemy in his stronghold, till then believed--both by Spaniards and Chilians--to be inviolable; and that, with only four ships on our part, the Spanish Viceroy had been shut up in his capital, and his convoys, both by sea and land, intercepted, whilst his ships of war did not venture to emerge from their shelter under the batteries of Callao.

The manufacture of rockets was now carried on in earnest, under the superintendence of Mr. Goldsack, an eminent engineer, who had been engaged in England for the purpose. From a mistaken notion of parsimony, the labour of constructing and filling them was allotted to a number of Spanish prisoners, with what result will appear in the sequel.

In these and other preparations two months were consumed, in the course of which another vessel--an American built corvette--was added to the squadron, and named by the Supreme Director the Independencia.

During my absence Lady Cochrane chiefly resided at Valparaiso, where she diligently employed herself in promoting objects essential to the welfare of the squadron; after a time removing to a delightful country house at Quillota, where her life was endangered by a ruffian in the interest of the Spanish faction.

This man, having gained admission to her private apartment, threatened her with instant death if she would not divulge the secret orders which had been given to me. On her declaring firmly that she would not divulge anything, a struggle took place for a paper which she picked off a table; and before her attendants could come to her assistance she received a severe cut from a stiletto. The assassin was seized, condemned, and ordered for execution, without the last offices of the Catholic religion.

In the dead of the night preceding the day fixed for his execution, Lady Cochrane was awoke by loud lamentations beneath her window. On sending to ascertain the cause, the wretched wife of the criminal was found imploring her Ladyship's intercession that her husband should not be deprived of the benefits of confession and absolution. Forgiving the atrocity of the act, Lady Cochrane, on the following morning used all her influence with the authorities, not for this alone, but to save the man's life, and at length wrung from them a reluctant consent to commute his punishment to banishment for life.


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