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"Acting captain. I tell you, Horatio, never was a man more aptly named. He plays a part, and he doesn't even believe it."
Archie Kennedy, to Hornblower about Buckland[src]

Buckland was the first lieutenant of the HMS Renown. He was an ageing first lieutenant, and expected that Captain Sawyer's insanity. Unfortunately, he was caught in bed during the prisoner uprising on the Renown. Doomed by that embarassment, he never advanced further than first lieutenant.


Buckland as portrayed by Nicholas Jones .

In the short story Hornblower and the Widow McCool, Lieutenant Buckland assigned to Hornblower the responsibility of Barry McCool during his court martial and setting up punishment.

Appearing in the episodes 'Mutiny' and 'Retribution', Buckland initially seems like a capable lieutenant, showing support for the other officers and voicing his concerns about Captain James Sawyer's mental state.

As the episodes of 'Mutiny' and 'Retribution' progress, however, Buckland's incompetence becomes increasingly apparent. In 'Mutiny', when the Renown runs aground in the bay of the Spanish fort and is under fire, Buckland gains a minor head injury. He is seen sitting on the deck trying to nurse his injury, showing no effort in attempting to get the ship out of trouble, even though Captain Sawyer and the other officers are unable to command. He continues to do this even when Lieutenants William Bush, Hornblower and Kennedy return to take control.

In 'Retribution', it soon becomes clear that Buckland is unsure of himself as acting Captain. He hesitates when deciding to launch a night attack on the Spanish fort, relying on Bush to sway him. Later on, he also appears indecisive when confronted by a hostage situation involving some of his men, which results in disaster. Buckland's jealousy is made clear when he attempts to abandon Hornblower on the island, 'believing' (or more probably, hoping) him to be killed by an explosion.

During the Spanish prisoner uprising on the Renown, Buckland is caught asleep in bed, who is then tied up and gagged, having to be released after the ship has been secured by the British forces. During the trial, he is mocked by the court for this, causing him to slander Hornblower and accuse him of pushing Sawyer into the ship's hold. When he is unable to prove this, and Kennedy later admits to pushing Sawyer, Buckland bows his head in shock.

He is last seen back in a cabin on (presumably) the Renown, pouring a bottle of wine into an overflowing glass. A voice calls from outside the cabin to see if Buckland is okay, but Buckland seems to be in an overwhelming state of shock, and doesn't reply.

Nothing more is said of his fate or future throughout the series. It is possible that he remained as first lieutenant on the Renown', albeit with a damaged reputation.

Portrayals Edit

Buckland was portrayed by British actor Nicholas Jones in the Hornblower TV series.


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