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Cadogan’s father forwarded his son’s letter to Earl Spencer, by then the Home Secretary, with the following covering letter: 1st Earl Cadgoan to Earl Spencer“I here enclose you a most melancholy letter form poor George I receive this day, and shall make no other observations on it. Except that I flatter myself, as he has been honourably acquitted of the charges brought against him, and his brought his ships crew to condign punishment, that no obstacle can now be brought forward to his preferment on that score. What I most fear for is his health in that cursed climate.”
Three of the Indefatigable’s actions were commemorated by clasps on the Naval General Service Medal in 1847. One of which was for her most famous action, the ferocious engagement, along with the Amazon frigate, of the French 74 gun ship of the line Les Droits de L’Homme.
Cadogan continued in active naval service until 1813 when he retired with honours following the capture of Zara on the Dalmatian coast, an action for which he was decorated. Cadogan was thirty and had been at sea for sixteen years since joining HMS Indefatigable in 1795. Over the course of his naval career George Cadogan experience the best and the worst of the sea service and his few surviving letters provide a glimpse of the personal cost of these events. Cadogan may never have ascended to the heights of his early mentor Captain Sir Edward Pellew but neither did he sink to the depths of the brutal Captain Hugh Pigot. His letters suggest a man of some sensibility who was moved and affected by the events that he experienced and who is ultimately revealed as a deeply human individual.