Cochrane, T. 1860The autobiography of a seaman London.
Volume 1. Page 150.
Thomas Cochrane when he wrote this had become tenth Earl of Dundonald.
The treatment of Lieutenant Parker is despicable.
Lord Cochrane had the unfortunate habit of speaking his mind which did not endear him to his superiors. His pressing of the cause of Parker was seen as an opportunity to slight him, the unfortunate with Parker being the sufferer.
"...I nevertheless continued to persevere, but it was not till some years afterwards that the promotion of Lieutenant Parker was obtained, with a result to that able and gallant officer which proved his ruin, and eventually death.
The circumstances under which this took place were positively diabolical. Despairing of promotion, Lieutenant Parker had retired to a little farm near Kinsale, by the cultivation of which, in addition to his half-pay, he was realising an existence for his family. From my determined perseverance on his behalf, he was at length made commander, and ordered to join the Rainbow sloop, represented to be stationed in the West Indies.
Selling off everything, even to his household furniture, he proceeded to Barbadoes, and reported himself to Sir Alexander Cochrane; but, as the vessel could not be found, Sir Alexander furnished him with a passage to look for her at the Bermudas, where he supposed she might be fitting for sea. Not finding her there, Lieutenant Parker returned to Barbadoes, when it became evident that no such vessel was on the North American station!
On ascertaining this, poor Parker returned to England a ruined man. Lord Melville, who had succeeded as First Lord expressed his surprise and regret that such a circumstance should have occurred, and promised the unhappy man that he should not only be amply compensated for the loss and expense attending his outfit and fruitless voyage to the West Indies, but he should have another command on the first opportunity. This generous intention was however counteracted, for he never received either the one or the other.
Lieutenant Parker's loss, consequent to the sale of his property, the expense attendant on settling his family, together with his outfit and voyage, amounted to upwards of 1000L. His prospects ruined, his domestic arrangements destroyed, and his pride wounded, his spirit and constitution gradually gave way, and at length overwhelmed with sorrow he sank into a premature grave, leaving a wife and four daughters to deplore the loss of their only protector.
I never could find out who had thus imposed on one of the most gallant officers in the Navy this infamous deception, concocted, doubtless, out of pure malevolence to myself. Be whom he may, I am very sorry that it is not in my power to hold up his name to the execration of posterity. It is even at the present day the duty of the Admiralty to remedy the injury inflicted on his destitute family- for he had left four daughters unprovided for, who had no opportunity to escape from indigence."