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Our last post on George Cadogan’s naval career left him at the end of his command of the Ferret, where his discharge from the muster recorded him as “invalided” [1]. This designation was shared by an alarming number of officers  on the Jamaica and Leeward Islands stations at that period. There is a  brief conversation shown in the Hornblower series where seamen Styles, Matthews and Oldroyd discuss where they might be bound for this time. The youthful Oldroyd dreams of tropical islands but the veteran Matthews squashes the Oldroyd’s naive visions, merely commenting “tropical diseases” [2]. That kind of wary conversation was likely often repeated amongst  officers and seamen alike.  As Lord Spencer’s letter to Lord Granville  about Cadogan mentions [3], yellow fever was a common fate and especially for those worn down by  the demands of office or  by crisis, presumably because of the weakened immune systems that today would be recognised as symptomatic of stress. Although the connection was not understood in those terms by Georgian doctors, captains certainly recognised that good spirits equated to better health.  John Bryn, in his excellent detailed study of naval crime and punishment in the Caribbean in this period quotes examples of commanders putting emphasis on providing opportunities for leisure and amusement for their crews [4].

Cadogan’s  career summary in Admiralty records dates his command of the Ferret to June 7th 1807 [5] giving him a period of just over 1 year and 2 months service in her. In fact Admiralty records reveal that the Navy Board took the decision to appoint Cadogan to Post rank on March 23rd 1807 [6], at the same time recording the appointment of one Lieutenant Baker to command “the sloop now commanded in the West Indies by Captain Cadogan” [7]. The apparent inability of either the Navy Board committee or the clerk recording the minutes, to remember the Ferret’s name is no doubt in sharply ironic contrast to the way in which her name would be graven on the memories of both Cadogan and the families of the executed mutineers.

The captain’s log for the Ferret  for this period is missing and the masters log dates only to April of 1807  so it is only from the ship’s pay book and muster book  that we have the information that Cadogan was discharged as an invalid on 10 June [8]. The passage of time from March to June which lies between the decision to appoint Cadogan elsewhere and the actual date of his leaving his ship gives a good example of the typical  delay between  an Admiralty decision and the possibility of its being put into practice, when it concerned any far flung  station.  In this case the delay of three months or so is about average. While Lieutenant Baker was, no doubt, proudly going to buy his single epaulette of commander’s rank  and arranging for his passage to the West Indies, Cadogan would have been  simultaneously arranging to get home. However, there is no entry in the Admiralty record [9] of Cadogan’s request for a passage home so we cannot tell precisely how long his stay in the West Indies was. We know, however, that it was not long because on July 23rd he writes to the Admiralty from London, reminding them that he has left the Ferret on being made post rank and asking again to  be employed [10].

Appointed to the Crocodile

And so Cadogan is given his first full captain’s commission and takes command  of the Crocodile, a 22 gun post ship, after her previous commander, Captain Bettesworth, won the promotion longed for by many a newly minted post captain:  command of a fine  frigate. Bettesworth was  a cousin of Lord Bryon and it is from one of Byron’s letters that we get a sense of the excitement of that promotion.

“Next January … I am going to sea for four or five months with my cousin, Captain Bettesworth, who commands the Tartar, the finest frigate in the navy … We are going probably to the Mediterranean or to the West Indies, or to the devil; and if there is a possibility of taking me to the latter, Bettesworth will do it, for he has received four-and-twenty wounds in different places, and at this moment possesses a letter from the late Lord Nelson stating that Bettesworth is the only officer in the navy who had more wounds than himself. [11]

In fact this never took place because Bettesworth was killed in the battle of Alvoen [12]. This was to have another knock on effect, which was that he was not around to offer evidence in the court martial that Cadogan was to face something over a year later.

That particular cloud was yet to break over Cadogan’s head at this point however and it was other problems, of an apparently personal kind, which were concerning him as he prepared to take command on 11 October 1807.

The ship was fitted for foreign service by order of the Navy Board of 19th October 1807 but at the same time Cadogan was having to request leave of absence barely a week after coming on board to read his commission. Two letters survive in the ADM Captains’ Letters series from Cadogan requesting leave of absence and then requesting extended leave until the 24th October. It is perhaps a mark of his personality, as tending to the very private and formal, that he states only:

Circumstances of the most urgent nature requiring my presence in town London I have to request you will be pleased to request move my Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to grant me forty eight hours  leave of absence from my duty to transact it , and that they will be pleased to return a telegraphic message [13].

This letter and its style create  a sense of secrecy  and urgency about the “circumstances”.  The letter was no doubt written in haste. Ordinarily a reply would have reached Cadogan on the Crocodile within a day and so a demand for a telegraphic reply constitutes quite an unusual request. And as for the style, Cadogan was by habit a coherent and orderly, if always somewhat sparing, writer and  yet this example  has  two crossed out words in four lines. The second of which, admittedly, is because he has intensified the hope of the admiral’s help by amending “request” to the more urgent “move”. However the whole sentence is unbalanced: “ circumstances” would require the phrase “attend to” or “deal with” whereas Cadogan has said “transact”,  a verb more suited to his having used “business” at the opening of his sentence. This was a man in a tearing hurry for a reason we cannot presently determine. Whatever the Admiralty Board’s response to this request, whether sympathy, frustration or merely a raised eyebrow or two, both the leave and extended leave were granted.

The preparations for taking the Crocodile to sea continued. Cadogan’s orders included sailing to the Cape of Good Hope and there handing over secret dispatches to his old mentor Sir Edward Pellew [14]. Even after sailing things did not go to plan. The instructions below, laconic as ever, were given  to Admiral Montague, commander at Portsmouth, for him to pass on to Cadogan. They are from an Admiralty Board minute of November 25th.   At first sight the instructions came too late, the Crocodile had already sailed on the 19th. However they refer to the fact that the ship and her crew were again there  in port two days later.  Having lost sight of part of her convoy in rough weather Cadogan, who had returned with  a damaged merchant ship, wrote  a fairly full explanatory letter but only received an indirect and terse reply via this directive to Admiral Montague.

Direct Admiral Montague to order the Crocodile to sail and to follow her former orders [15].

That the preparations for the voyage might not be the smoothest was eventually to seem a minor irritation but that was perhaps merely a little like a warning shot across the bows. But neither literally nor metaphorically did Cadogan have opportunity or will to heave to.

Difficulties in Preparing for the First Voyage

Whatever hopes Cadogan may have had of this command going better for him than his last were destined not to be fulfilled on this particular voyage anyway. He had openly written to his father of what he had endured in the Caribbean and probably felt it was more than time he had some good fortune [16]. He was at least inheriting a  crew who had more cohesion than the rabble who had been scraped together  to crew the Ferret, which no doubt made for better day to day performance in terms of sailing skills. But they were also a crew adjusting to a new, young first–time post captain and one who tended to combine the desire for high standards with a rather stiff necked and fierce way of trying to achieve them. And he perhaps laboured under the effect of whatever “circumstances” had caused him to be sailing late after having taken that mysterious leave.

The captain had some friends aboard among the young gentlemen at least, a letter in the ADM 1/1673 series of captain’s letters from Cadogan states that two men who had been under his command in the Ferret, Edward Percival midshipman and F. Allen, rank not stated, wished to follow him to the  Crocodile although they had in the meantime been assigned to another sloop, the Pilot.  This permission was granted[17] and it is testament to the fact that Cadogan was far from universally disliked, especially since they had experienced him struggling with command on board the Ferret. Midshipman Edward Percival was to play a role in the future court martial drama too.  He was a young man of 18, born in Ireland, according to the Crocodile’s muster book [18].

There were other staffing problems besetting Cadogan in getting a full and functioning crew. A  letter from Cadogan, undated but written from the  Crocodile,  to Admiral Montague stated that one Lieutenant Boss had removed from the ship to the Bulwark, and goes on to ask with some urgency:

I have to request you will be pleased to apply to my Lords commissioners of the Admiralty for a lieutenant to be appointed immediately, the ship being ready to sail. The letter is enclosed with a forwarding one from Admiral Montague [19].

Although Cadogan’s letter is undated, that of Admiral Montague  forwarding it, is dated October 12th [20].  It is usual for such requests to be acted upon on the following day and so, given the closeness in date to Cadogan’s entry in to his command, it does seem as if it was just as he arrived to read his commission he found himself minus a capable lieutenant. There could be many reasons for a lieutenant removing into another ship, experience of working in a larger vessel, promotion to a more senior lieutenants post, following an admired captain etc. Captain Bettesworth had of course  gone to the Tartar frigate, but Lieutenant Boss  had a career to forge too and was also moving on to a larger vessel. It is possible that Cadogan and Lieutenant Boss were known to each other, or at least that they knew a good deal about one another, certainly they had one link which was  very much part of Cadogan’s  former service  in the Indefatigable.

John George Boss was a young officer who had served with Captain Bettesworth when both were junior lieutenants on board the Centaur and he had followed him into the Crocodile [21]. Their fellow lieutenant on the Centaur had been Robert Carthew Reynolds, son of Sir Edward Pellew’s friend, Robert Carthew Reynolds senior, who had been captain of the  Amazon during the Engagement with the Droits de l’Homme.  Robert junior knew  George Cadogan well as he had been a fellow midshipman under Pellew’s command on both the  Indefatigable  and the Impetueux.  Bettesworth, Boss and Reynolds had had some adventures in a daring boat action and clearly worked well together, with Reynolds the senior lieutenant of the three [22].

There was yet more chaos as a result of missteps in administration concerning the finding of a replacement for the departed Lieutenant Boss. A letter from Cadogan of the 1st November reveals that one Lieutenant Thomas Hamley had just arrived having taken passage on the Sloop Hazard  from Plymouth as ordered by the Admiralty. However there was a problem, due to the Crocodile’s imminent sailing, the Admiralty had in the meantime sent down Lieutenant Bassan “in his room” as the term was! So now Cadogan had  two lieutenants and only one position to fill! He wrote to the Admiralty and asked: what was he to do? It seems typical of the bad luck that so dogged Cadogan that even in getting  a new lieutenant he should end up with a problem, this time of superfluity! The Admiralty decision was that Mr Hamley should join the Crocodile and Mr Bassan join the Royal William [23].

Bad luck with mistimed letters and orders seems to play a part in Cadogan’s history more than once. We have seen one important example of this already our previous post about the missing order to recall Cadogan from the Caribbean, and here was another.

This time it seems that there were indeed orders for an increase to the Crocodile’s  compliment which were issued but which did not reach him as they should have done. Cadogan was supposed to have had this information in that November and could have then at least tried to obtain more men, but he had sailed already and the instruction was sent back to the Admiralty – it is not clear why this was or what happened to it next. But as long after the event as June 25th 1808 Admiral Montague, Commander in Chief at Portsmouth, writes to the Admiralty that Captain Cadogan has shown him an Admiralty letter addressed to him aboard Crocodile, dated November 1807 and which, Admiral Montague reports, arrived too late at Spithead the previous year. The Crocodile had already sailed and so the orders were sent back to the Admiralty. The Admiralty clerk’s usual instruction for reply to the Admiral’s letter of explanation is in the corner of the reverse of the sheet, and even the terse summary gives away their Lordship’s frustration at this latest slip up :

27 June This order ought to have been sent to the Crocodile – if it has not already gone to that ship, pray send it! (a duplicate of the order was sent to Captain Cadogan on Friday last).

Given George’s staffing problems, the realisation that he might much earlier have had more people to help work his ship must have been a galling one.

William Richard Badcock

It was among the young gentlemen however, that nemesis awaited Captain Cadogan.  One of  the  inherited crew of the Crocodile  was  a midshipman named William Richard Badcock, who was then aged 15 but who had been at sea since his 11th birthday[24]

An orphaned young man sent to sea very early indeed, nevertheless he was not without interest or influence on his behalf.  His grandfather and  guardian, Richard Cumberland was a celebrated journal editor and dramatist. Cumberland had a good number of friends in useful high places and was himself a very well known figure by that time of his life.  Cumberland’s  daughter, Sophia had married Richard  Badcock, a somewhat  dissolute man who had died young, as a result of his lifestyle, at least according to his father in law  who wrote that:

This young man died, a victim to excess in the prime of life before he reached the age of thirty [25].

Cumberland was left as the legal  guardian of  Badcock and his siblings, a duty he took very seriously. Cumberland’s plays were characterised by their sympathy for the marginalised and those on the edges of society and he was seen as an emotively outspoken and keenly litigious man, both of which traits are of significance to later events. His writing style is self consciously sentimental and striving, sometimes too obviously, for pathetic effect, something also relevant to the court martial clash that was to come.

Richard Cumberland painted by Romney in 1771

The writing style is evident in his autobiographical work too and nowhere more so than when he recounts the guardianship of the Badcock children,

…five children, awarded to my care by chancery, and looking up to me for the education, that is to decide upon their future destinies—My God! can I presume to hope that thou wilt give me life to execute this sacred trust, and train them in the way, poor innocents, wherein they ought to go? [26]

William Richard Badcock was one of nineteen grandchildren but his parental circumstances made him one whom Cumberland particularly wished to see established in life.

William also had an uncle at sea who was, at that time, captain of a 64, the Stately. This was Captain William Cumberland, his mother’s younger brother. William Cumberland senior was a captain of some years standing having made post in 1798 [27] and he was to be, as Captain of the Leydan,  64, part of Admiral Gambier’s fleet in the capture of the Danish navy later in 1807 [28].

William was rated midshipman  at the time Cadogan took over the Crocodile and, by Cadogan’s own account had been hopeful of transferring to the Foudroyant. [29] However Cadogan had refused his transfer on the grounds that he was short of midshipmen at that time.

The Voyage to the Cape

On  the voyage to the Cape the master’s log records a  burst of punishments  in the second  month  of being at sea, a pattern often seen both in new commands, as identified by Bryn in his study.  Pearman  describes it very well as a “dismal voyage where there were often two floggings a week”.  Nine men were punished by flogging in December with between one dozen and three dozen lashes and during that time, the relationship between Cadogan and his midshipman, though initially beginning well according to William, rapidly deteriorated.

Captain Cadogan sent for me to his cabin and there told me that he had observed the general slackness with which the midshipmen carried out their duty, that I was the only one he thought worthy of speaking to , and exhorted me to do my duty better. I told him if felt highly gratified by the distinction he gave me and should certainly do everything in my power to serve him and the officers of the Crocodile [30].

From Cadogan’s perspective, he perhaps intended to persuade a young man already marked out to him as problematic by Captain Bettesworth by getting him onside as an ally. This is what he  says in his original statement made at the time of a court of inquiry into Badcock’s allegations  [31].

Mr Badcock’s  neglect of duty ..and the complaints that were made to this effect  caused me …to remonstrate with him in the terms he has stated, upon finding there …marks of my attention to him to little or no effect…I can only refer you to those officers who have known him longer than myself for his general character, which makes me repent, from the impression Captain Bettesworth’s opinion in the first place made on me (and which in the end I found so true) I ever allowed myself to be prejudiced so much in his favour.

This sentence is another of George Cadogan’s rare incoherent moments but his later address to the court martial makes it clear that he was repenting of the decision to try to win Badcock [H4] over rather than simply go straight to the application of punishment. He writes:

I found Mr Badcock in the Crocodile  upon my arriving in the month of October 1807. I received from Captain Bettesworth an unfavourable character of him, although no third person having been present at this conversation it is out of my power to substantiate it by my evidence [32].

That captain’s remonstrance came, according to William apparently inexplicably;  Cadogan accused him of being lax in his duty and subsequently left him to the mercy of Lieutenant Devon who had him flogged.

I was seized up to one of the guns, Captain Cadogan went out of the room and told the first lieutenant that if he spared me he was injuring the service Lieutenant Devon then ordered me two dozen lashes …[33]

This downturn in the relationship worsened on the return from the Cape and in a period marked by  other clashes caused by Cadogan’s exacting style of captaincy.  The master’s log for January records on the 7th:

Captain Cadogan ordered the boatswain confined for contempt of him [34].

Having to confine the boatswain is a serious problem in any ship,  and in a small ship like the Crocodile, where, as James Henderson has pointed out in his study of smaller ships, [35] the close proximity made discipline  harder to enforce, it is an even more difficult problem. This incident also carried disturbing overtones of the breakdown of  the relationship between Cadogan and  Thomas Simpson, the mutinous boatswain of his previous command, the Ferret.

All methods of trying to bring him to his senses about the level of his behaviour seemed to lead nowhere and he remained indifferent to being disciplined, even when the captain threatened to put him ashore at St Helena, going so far as to make him sit for a short time in the boat of a privateer which was alongside them as if he were going ashore.

Things went from bad to worse . From his own statements and the remarks quoted by his grandfather later, William Badcock was at best a proud, arrogant and forthright  young man, and from the officers reactions he was also difficult, lazy and contemptuous one when corrected. George Cadogan had all the pride and almost inbuilt hauteur an  Earl’s son imbibes from the cradle, together with his own dutiful record as a midshipman and a high view of what constituted the actions of a gentleman. A clash was inevitable, and with all the power on one side could only spell a difficult time for the young midshipman. Any commander of a brig may take on a ship of the line but he would be not so much bold as foolhardy and ripe for destruction. It appears that Badcock became increasingly set on the course for destruction.

Eventually, after several punishments and demotions, Badcock was discharged from the Crocodile, crucially without the issue of a certificate from his captain stating his behaviour to have been satisfactory.  Again, in the Hornblower episode The Examination for Lieutenant  you may remember Horatio being asked for his certificates when he presents himself for his lieutenant’s examination in Gibraltar [36]. These certificates were formulaic  documents and each one read the same.  The first of the three possessed by William Badcock serves as an example,  the others follow the formula precisely:

This is to certify the principal officers and commissioners of His Majesty’s Navy that Mr William Badcock served as (gentleman volunteer in the second and third class) of H M Ship Sulphur under my command from 25th June 1803  to the date hereof during which time he behaved with diligence and sobriety and was always obedient to command.

Given under my hand on board the said ship, in the Downs, this 7th day of April 1804 [37].

The certificates may be formulaic but without them one could not get taken on by another ship, nor – crucially – could one  go forward for the examination and then apply for a lieutenant’s post. William Badcock had been at sea for almost six years and would thus have been in a  position  before too long to hope for promotion had he had a complete record of his midshipman’s years but at this stage, with only the rank of a common seaman and no certificate, his chances were slim. His discharge came at the time of his 16th birthday in June 1808 and it might have been the end of his career hopes entirely.

Badcock was fortunate that he still had one card to play – his uncle William Cumberland was by this time captain of the Stately and he accepted William with him as midshipman. William immediately began a written complaint to the Admiralty accusing  George  Cadogan and his first lieutenant, Mr Devon, of ”tyranny and cruelty” and submitted this via the usual system to the Admiralty.

Badcock’s Complaint Against Captain Cadogan

There were, in any given month, a number of complaints against officers, in fact one of the headings regularly appearing in the ADM 12 Digests of Correspondence is headed “Complaints on Officers”.   Indeed the irony is that while Captain Cumberland was submitting Badcock’s complaint on his behalf the Admiralty had been corresponding with him concerning a complaint made against him by one of his  own lieutenants.

The Admiralty took such complaints seriously, and wished to be seen to do so, even when the complaint was likely an exaggerated  or vexatious one. However to avoid the expense, and the demand on senior officers’ time of too many unnecessary courts martial the court of enquiry system was used.  By the time that Badcock’s complaint reached the admiralty the Crocodile had sailed to the  Baltic. The board  therefore ordered  Admiral Webb,  the Commander in Chief in the Baltic station, to convene a court of enquiry  with  the participation of the three most senior captains on the station.  John Bryn in an excellent study of naval crime and punishment in this period writes about the court of inquiry: of its usefulness in allowing commanders on foreign stations to act with relatively little delay in investigating complaints and describes the way in which the extra judicial status of these courts of inquiry enabled them to operate with extreme discretion, no formal minutes, etc. In the case of the investigation of Badcock’s complaint the inquiry clearly took place as a court martial was ordered on Cadogan, but the record of the comments that is, if there was one, of the court of [H7] inquiry has not survived [38].

The enquiry found there was a case to answer and so the Admiralty then ordered a court martial for Cadogan based on the assertions in Badcock’s statement. There then began what was the inevitable logistical nightmare of getting Captain Cadogan, his accuser, the witnesses for both sides  and the necessary examining officers all in the right place at the right time. Badcock himself was summoned to attend at the flagship at the Nore along with a marine who was a witness.  They were told that they would be ordered to proceed to the Baltic for a court martial which was deemed proper to be held on George Cadogan.

The usual logistical factors turned much more tragic when Badcock began to fall ill whilst attempting to make the journey asked of him.  He had managed to reach  the Namur , the flagship at the Nore, but  became so ill he was  transferred to  the hospital ship HMS Sussex  where his health deteriorated rapidly. Soon it must have become obvious that an onward journey to the Baltic would have been out of the question, though naval bureaucracy made it difficult for his family to get him shore leave initially as it seemed that the severity of his illness was not recognised [39].

Richard Cumberland managed, by a great deal of expenditure and effort, to get his grandson home, by barge and ship as he was  too ill for coach travel, and had him attended by some eminent London doctors, but nothing availed and Badcock died  a month or so later. Perhaps the most affecting statement that Cumberland wrote is this simple description, which displays none of his florid prose:

He died at 8.30 pm  on the 7th December in the 17th year of his age and the sixth of his service in the navy.

At the time of Badcock’s death Cumberland was in the middle of writing a novel: John de Lancaster [H10] and he was in fact in the process of writing the preface to the third volume. He included in book three what one reviewer called “an affecting appeal …to the feelings of the reader” [40]. This section of the novel was being written in the bleak days between William’s death and his burial and book one ended with the personal element:

Whilst I write this, my grandson, a brave youth, of six years service in the royal navy, born, as I vainly hoped, to grace my name and recompense the cares that I bestowed upon his education lies as ‘twere before me, dead and as yet unburied. Whilst I not only mourn his death but feel his wrongs, of which the world must hear, if the appeal, that he had made to justice, is cut short by his untimely death [41].

In the novel itself there is a passage which, whilst it is integral to the story the novel is telling perhaps also echoes Cumberland’s  own feelings at his grandson’s death:

The evil spirit hath not so established his authority on earth ,that men will risqué to be the friend of him who dares to be the foe of virtue. Innocence will not be violated nor justice braved and insulted with impunity. Where is there one among all the favourites of fortune to whom more happy opportunities and brighter hopes of prosperity have been vouchsafed than to that young man who is now become the  object of our aversion and contempt? What might he not have been? Alas what is he now?

I should be at a loss, said the elder Wilson to answer that question because I could not find words in the language to express his crimes, but murder in the blackest cast is one of them. Were I on his court martial I would hang him without mercy and I think I could almost find it in my heart to be present at his execution [42].

Immediately after the funeral a distraught Cumberland pursued his grandson’s case. He wrote a Memorial  which runs to  many pages but which is a considerable amplification of Badcock’s own original complaint. He asserted additionally, amongst other things, that Captain Cadogan and Lieutenant Devon were responsible for hastening, if not causing Badcock’s death. Though in fact his death occurred more than six months after he left the Crocodile and whilst he was a midshipman on his uncle’s ship, the Stately. The Admiralty saw fit to proceed with a court martial on charges relating to Cumberland’s memorial rather than Badcock’s  simpler complaint.

This was an action between much more evenly matched vessels in one sense. And so the pre court martial skirmishing began, with the original complaint already three months old, between Christmas and New Year of 1808/1809.

The Delayed Court Martial: Cadogan Under Arrest

The attempt by Badcock to pursue a case had begun in the October of 1808 and many delays were involved in the continuation after his death. The four principal witnesses from the Crocodile’s crew were not yet available because they had been left in charge of a prize she had captured in Gothenburg.  These men were two midshipmen, the purser and the captain’s clerk. In fact there were somewhere between 18 and 24 men out bringing in prizes as the Crocodile log reveals as the Baltic cruise was very successful. The log for December 6th for instance records what must have been a very satisfying day indeed:

at 4.30 made sail in chace…at 7 boarded and took possession of Danish Galliot Saint Andrew…at 8:10 made sail in chace of a sloop…at 10 hove to and took possession of the Danish sloop Restitution

at 4.10 boarded and took possession of the Danish brig Emmanuel from Longsound bound to Denmark, at 10 tacked and made sail, prizes in company.

It is not surprising that togther with the successful prize taking there was an improvement in the discipline record. What is somewhat surprising is the extent of  tht improvement, in all the time from late October to February there are only two occasions when punishment takes place and a total of only four men disciplined. This  cruise shows George Cadogan as a capable commander by any standards, and he must have felt considerable satisfaction about it. In the aftermath of Badcock’s removal from the ship the crew appears to have settled down. As once before however when the Cyane had been a successful command in the West Indies, it was not to last for Cadogan.  The log records that on December 28 they met with the Superb and that Captain Cadogan went on board her for a hour or so to receive orders and dispatches.  This may quite possibly have been the time that Cadogan learned that a court martial was to go ahead and indeed when he heard also of Badcock’s death earlier that month. One can only imagine the depressing and anxious feelings that would have come with that news.

At length all the witnesses were able to assemble and in April of 1809 the court martial went ahead.


[1]  ADM37/16045 Ferret muster book  1806-1807

[2]  In the episode The Frogs and the Lobsters [The Wrong War ] originally broadcast ITV 1999. Screenplay: Chris Ould

[3] Letter from Lord Spencer to Lord Granville .29th November 1806  Huntingdon Library STG Correspondence.Box 163( 73)

[4] Bryn, p104.

[5]  ADM 196/3 folio 372 Officers’ service records.

[6] ADM3/159 Navy board rough minutes March 1807 ( ADM 12/124  Index A-F)

[7]  Ibid.

[8]  ADM 35/ 8406 Ferret  paybook 1806- 7

[9]  ADM12 /124 Index A – G  for1807

[10]  ADM 1/1673 Letters from Captains surnames C for 1807

[11]  Letter to Elizabeth from Trinity College Cambridge , October 26th 1807, quoted in Moore.

[12]  Article in Wikipedia on George Edmund Byron Bettsworth , quoting  Edward Pelham Brenton, The History of the Royal Navy 1793-1796. London 1823

[13] ADM 1/1673 Letters from captains surname C  1807 nos 2 and 3 .

[14] ADM 3/ 162 Navy Board rough minutes 4:1   24 th November 1807

[15]  ADM3/162

[16]  George Cadogan to Charles, First Earl Cadogan,

[[[from                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 amaica October 13th, 1806 Huntingdon Library correspondence, Box 137( 29)

[17]  ADM 1/1673 Captain’s letters 1897

[18]  ADM 37/735 Crocodile  muster book 1807-8

[19] ADM 1/1112 Letters from C in C Portsmouth , nos1653 -1800 ( A 1685)

[20]  Ibid

[21]  Marshall, Vol IV part 1, p 29

[22]  Marshall vol IV part 1 p 29

[23]  ADM 1/ 1673 Letters from captains surname C  letter no 5.

[24]  Badcock’s certificate from first commander, a copy of which forms part of the Court Martial evidence in ADM1/ 5395

[25] Cumberland, Memoirs  p315

[26] Cumberland, Memoirs , p315

[27]  The Gentleman’s Magazine.  Obituary of Rear Admiral William Cumberland, 1817

[28]  Ibid

[29] Badcock’s personal statement of complaint ,posthumously reported at George’s trial,  and now in the Court martial record ADM 1/ 5395

[30]   Ibid

[31] Georges ‘statement of 19th October 1808 now part of the Court Martial  record AMD 1/5395

[32]George’s address to the court made at the time of the Court martial and preserved in the record ADM1/5395

[33]  Badcock’s statement in the court martial record as above

[34]  ADM 51/ Ferret Master’s Log January 1808.

[35]  Henderson, p

[36]  In The Examination for Lieutenant ,ITV 1998, screenplay Mike Cullen.

[37]  Certificate copy attached as evidence by the prosecution to court martial document ADM1/5385

[38]  Byrn, pp 35-7

[39]  See Richard Cumberland’ s description of Badcock’s last days in his memorial  of December 1809 preserved in the court martial record.

[40] Mudford p535

[41] Cumberland John de Lancaster,  p106

[42]  Cumberland, John de Lancaster , pp5-6