Cockburn, Sir George

Cockburn, Sir George [Baronet] (1772-1853) British Admiral: George Cockburn was born in London, England, on April 22, 1772. He joined the British Navy at the age of nine, serving in East India, Britain and the Mediterranean. By 1795, he had become a post-captain. In 1809, the House of Commons thanked him for his services commanding the naval forces in the maneuvers that led to Britain acquiring Martinique, a French colony in the Caribbean. In 1811, he was sent on a mission to reconcile Spain with her American colonies, which proved unsuccessful. In 1812, Cockburn became a rear admiral, and was a major figure in the War of 1812. He sent expeditions from Lynn Haven Bay to various locations, causing a great deal of property and other damage. In 1814, he took part in the capture and destruction of Washington, D.C., defeating the small American force stationed to defend the city. After his involvement in the War of 1812, Cockburn returned to Europe. In 1815, he took Napoleon to St. Helena, where the Corsican emperor was exiled. Cockburn served as a member of Parliament several times; and was Lord of the Admiralty, and Admiral of the Fleet in 1851. In 1852, he inherited the title of baron from his brother. Cockburn died on August 19, 1853.