Master and Madman – The Surprising Rise and Disastrous Fall of the Hon Anthony Lockwood RN

Master and Madman - The Surprising Rise and Disastrous Fall of the Hon Anthony Lockwood RN

Master and Madman - The Surprising Rise and Disastrous Fall of the Hon Anthony Lockwood RN

Anthony Lockwood’s story is at the heart of the Georgian Navy though the man himself has never taken centre stage in its history.

His naval career – described by himself as ‘twenty five years’ incessant peregrination’ – followed a somewhat erratic course but almost exactly spanned the period of the French wars and the War of 1812.

Lockwood was commended for bravery in action against the French; was present at the Spithead Mutiny; shipwrecked and imprisoned in France; appointed master attendant of the naval yard at Bridgetown, Barbados, during the year the slave trade was abolished; and served as an hydrographer before beginning his three-year marine survey of Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy.

Against the odds he managed to finesse a treasury appointment as Surveyor General of New Brunswick and became the right hand man of the Governor, General Smyth.

Deeply ingrained in his character, however, was a democratic determination that was out of step with the authoritarian character of the Navy and the aristocratic one of New Brunswick.

His expectation of social justice verged on madness, and when he finally succumbed to lunacy it was in the defence of democracy.

The turbulence of the times inspired Lockwood to stage a one-man coup d’etat which ended with him being jailed and shipped back to London to live out his days as a pensioner and mental patient.

Truly a dramatic rise and a tragic fall.

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