Cecil, Henry.


1st.ed., Hutchinson, 1965. 208 pp., port. frontis. D.j. 21 x 14cm. FINE. In the early hours of the 21st February 1814, a man in the resplendent red uniform of an aide-de-camp, stepped ashore at Dover with the startling news that the French had been defeated and Napoleon killed. The story quickly spread and reached London before the Stock Exchange opened. The price of Government securities began to rise, and a number of people sold their shares at a profit before the hoax was discovered. Among them was Lord Cochrane, later 10th Earl of Dundonald, a hero of the war against France and Spain. Cochrane and several others were accused of fraud and sent for trial under Lord Ellenborough. Cochrane was found guilty and went to prison, escaped and was recaptured, stripped of all his honours, removed from the Navy List, and spent many years in exile where he became the naval hero of several South American countries. He was eventually allowed to return home and gradually his honours and position in the Royal Navy restored. The case against him, however, has been a matter of controversy ever since. Was Cochrane guilty or innocent of the charge ? The author presents the evidence. FINE copy.

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