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Cockburn Sir George

Cockburn, Sir George, British naval officer, born in London in 1772, entered the service in 1781, and, after his promotion to post-rank in 1794, greatly distinguished himself as captain of the Meleager, 32, Minerve, 42, Phaeton, 38, Captain, 74, and Pompee, 74, in each of which he was several times engaged, and made numerous prizes. In the last-named ship he, with a commodore's broad pennant flying, captured Martinique in 1809. He next commanded a division of small craft during the operations in the Scheldt, and subsequently a small expedition fitted out for the liberation and assistance of Ferdinand VII. of Spain. After much service he was, in 1812, made a rear-admiral, and hoisted his flag in the Marlborough, 74, as commander of the squadron destined for the defence of Cadiz; but, the siege having been raised before his arrival, he was ordered to North America. He reached the Chesapeake in March, 1813. and began a desultory system of warfare, which, if it led to no great results, was exceedingly brilliant, and very harassing to the enemy. Both in the Potomac and in the Patuxent he carried everything before him. He co-operated with General Ross in the operations which led to the capture of Washington; he landed and took part in the profitless descent on Baltimore; he occupied St. Mary's; and so good a reputation did he create for himself that, upon his return to England, no one was deemed fitter than he to carry Napoleon to St. Helena, and to guard him there upon his arrival. In the Northumberland, 74, he sailed from Plymouth on August 8th, 1815, and on October 15th following he landed the Emperor upon his island prison. In the following year he was superseded and came home, and in 1819 he became a vice-admiral. From 1832 to 1836 he commanded on the North America and West India station; in 1837 he became an admiral; from 1841 to 1846 he was a Lord of the Admiralty; in 1851 he was made admiral of the fleet; in 1852 he was invested with a baronetcy; and in 1853 he died. He had been nominated a G.C.B. in 1818, elected a F.R.S. in 1820, and, with brief intermissions, he sat in Parliament for various constituencies from 1818 until nearly the close of his career. In 1827 he became a privy councillor.