November 30, 2019|Reports

“Admiral Thomas Cochrane” – Mike Hollis

Complete with pigtail, naval uniform and sword, fifty five Wickham history society members and visitors heard from local historian ‘Master and Commander‘ Mike Hollis on the astonishing life and exploits of Admiral Thomas Cochrane.

‘Master and Commander’ Mike Hollis

Cochrane lived in Titchfield for part of his naval career but was rarely there, serving in the navies of Britain, Chile, Peru, Brazil and Greece. Called “Le Loup des Mer”, or the “Sea Wolf”, by Napoleon he was the inspiration for the Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey novels.

He was undefeated in all his naval engagements, capturing a Spanish treasure ship, defeating a ship more than twice the size of his own, harassing French ships and ports and helping secure the independence of Chile, Peru and Brazil in a series of naval engagements. He was also a scientist and engineer, patenting a tunnelling machine with Brunel and supporting the early development of steamships.

Although loved by the public, Cochrane managed to fall out with everyone around him and was controversially convicted and imprisoned for a Stock Exchange fraud. He was eventually pardoned and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

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