Cochrane’s naval career was chequered. In 1800, in command of HMS Speedy, he took over fifty ships in only fifteen months. He was captured by the French, exchanged and promoted. A clash between Cochrane and his superior, Lord Gambier, led to partial failure of a mission in the Mediterranean for which Cochrane was held, unfairly, to blame. He was a vigorous campaigner in and out of parliament against naval abuses but his career seemed in ruins when he was imprisoned and expelled from the House of Commons on the charge of stock exchange fraud. With his naval career in Britain at an end, Cochrane commanded the navies of Chile, Brazil and lastly Greece. He inherited his earldom in 1831 and became Rear Admiral of the United Kingdom in 1854.