|dc.description.abstract||In the late 18th century and the first two decades
of the 19th, Spanish seapower in the Pacific
was in a state of decline, though it remained strong
enough to contribute to the overthrow of the first
attempt of the Chileans to liberate their colony from
Spain, in 1814. By the time of the second, successful,
emancipation of Chile in 1817, the patriots had
realised the need for seapower. In that year they
took into their service Lord Cochrane, a noted British
naval officer then unemployed.
Lord Cochrane arrived in Chile at the end of
1818. The squadron at that time is described. With
this squadron Lord Cochrane made his first cruise, a
reconnaissance in force of the royalist-held Peruvian
coast during which Callao was attacked without success.
Arising from this reconnaissance, the physical environment
of the Mar del Sur is reviewed, together
with the state of navigational knowledge.
The intention of Lord Cochrane's second cruise,
which began in September 1819, was to stage a major
attack on Callao. This object was not achieved because
of the' squadron's inadequate means and the viceroy's
defensive measures, so in December 1819 Lord Cochrane
sailed to Valdivia, a fortified city in the south of
Chile still in Spanish hands, and captured it by
assault in February 1820. There has been same debate
about his intentions when he sailed for Valdivia.
By early 1820 some of the basic social characteristics
of the Chilean navy had emerged and these are
examined, firstly from the point of view of the manning
of the ships and secondly from the point of view of
the problems of discipline and morale that arose. At the same time, the system of naval administration should be examined as its defects and malfunctioning
had serious effects on the operating of the squadron,
and its efficiency.
This data forms the background to the squadron's
participation in the liberation of Peru. Initially
it played a significant role, firstly by shipping the
expedition to Peru and secondly by boarding and taking
out of Callao harbour the principal Spanish warship
there. These successes were in 1820; in 1821 the
squadron's role became less important as the relations
between Lord Cochrane and San Martin, the commander-in-chief, deteriorated as a result of the refusal or
inability of the latter to pay the squadron. In September
1821 Lord Cochrane seized the Peruvian public
funds, allegedly to indemnify the expenses of the
squadron, and left Peru.
His last cruise, from October 1821 to May 1822,
had the object of hunting down the remaining Spanish
warships in the Pacific. This cruise here receives its
first full account. The cruise completed, though not
as successfully as he had hoped, Lord Cochrane returned
to Chile. His brief remaining stay in that country was
disturbed by difficulties in paying off the ships, disputes
with San Martin, and the deteriorating political
position of the government. When he received an invitation
in November 1822 to take command of the
Brazilian navy he accepted, resigned from the Chilean
service, and left the country at the beginning of 1823.
The dissertation is supplemented by the inventory
of the papers in the Dundonald collection which relate
to the period of Lord Cochrane's service with Chile.
These amount to 2286 items.||en_US