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‘A, fredome is a noble thing…’ John Barbour’s famous words from The Brus resound across the centuries, and the ideal of freedom born in this period became engrained in the Scottish psyche, affecting everyone brought up as a Scot. Over four centuries later, Robert Burns still testified to the emotive power resonating from those days…’The story of Wallace poured a Scottish prejudice in my veins which will boil along there till the flood gates of life shut in eternal rest” I am convinced that in the great period of European nationalism of the late 18th and 19th centuries, it was this Scottish heritage that galvanised people like James Boswell to adopt the cause of Corsica, George Gordon, Lord Byron to die for the liberation of Greece and Lord Cochrane to fight for freedom in South America.

Without a particle of romance in my composition my life has been one of the most romantic on record

Admiral Cochrane

He was called Le Loup de Mer - the Sea Wolf by his admirer Napoleon, and El Diablo - the Devil by his enemy General Pezuela, the Spanish viceroy of Peru. To the colonial and Portugal, he was regarded as an unprincipled and dangerous mercenary, yet he rejected a far more lucrative commission from Spain itself. In his day he was regarded by the British establishment as a dangerous Radical, but his exploits as a serial liberator in South America and Greece thrilled everyone thirled to the concept of freedom. A contemporary who wittnessed his exploits in Chile, Maria Graham wrote…”…he is doing honour to his native land, by supporting that cause which used to be hers, and in after-ages his name will be among those of the household gods of the Chilenos”.

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issue 46 is now available to download. C’est la gemme !