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[+] HONOURING OUR KING, SAINT EDWARD THE CONFESSOR, ON THE 1000TH YEAR OF HIS BIRTH (1005 - 2005)

[+] HONOURING OUR HERO, LORD NELSON, ON THE BICENTENNIAL OF THE BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR (1805 - 2005)

[+] HONOURING OUR SONS, THE QUEEN'S COMMONWEALTH SOLDIERS KILLED IN THE 'WAR ON TERROR'

[+] HONOURING OUR VETS ON THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE VICTORIA CROSS (1856 - 2006)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005
God Bless you, Blackwood. I shall never see you again.

COUNTDOWN TO TRAFALGAR (BOT minus 17 days)
On this day, 200 years ago:

Note to readers: These two letters are to two of Nelson's captains. Captain Duff, commanding officer of the Mars, was killed right around the time that Nelson was shot at Trafalgar - a canon ball took his head clean off, and there on the deck of his ship his body laid for the four hour duration of the battle. His men had only time to cover it with the Union Flag. Captain Blackwood is probably only second in fame to Captain Hardy, and was just as personally close, even though he and his ship were ordered to remain outside the battle. Nelson ordered him alongside about four hours prior to the battle as they were sailing into action, where Nelson asked him to be a witness to his last will and testament. Upon leaving the Victory to board his own ship, Blackwood received a last farewell from his Commander-in-Chief: "God bless you, Blackwood. I shall never see you again".

TO CAPTAIN DUFF, H.M. SHIP MARS.

' 4th October, 1805.

As the Enemy's Fleets may be hourly expected to put to sea from Cadiz, I have to desire that you will keep, with the Mars, Defence, and Colossus, from three to four leagues between the Fleet and Cadiz, in order that I may get the information from the Frigates stationed off that Port, as expeditiously as possible. Distant Signals to be used, when Flags, from the state of the weather, may not readily be distinguished in their colours. If the Enemy be out, or coming out, fire guns by day or night, in order to draw my attention. In thick weather, the Ships are to close within signal of the Victory: one of the Ships to be placed to windward, or rather to the Eastward of the other two, to extend the distance of seeing; and I have desired Captain Blackwood to throw a Frigate to the Westward of Cadiz, for the purpose of an easy and early communication. I am, &c., NELSON AND BRONTE.


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TO CAPTAIN THE HON. HENRY BLACKWOOD, H. M. SHIP EURAYLUS.

Victory, October 4th, 1805, Cadiz, East 17 leagues.

My dear Sir,

I have received from Rear-Admiral Louis, your information respecting the intended movements of the Enemy, which strengthens my conviction that you estimate, as I do, the importance of not letting these rogues escape us without a fair fight, which I pant for by day, and dream of by night. I am momentarily expecting the Phœbe, Sirius, Naiad, and Niger, from Gibraltar; two of them shall be with you directly as I get hold of them; and if you meet them, and there is any way of sending information and their dispatches from Gibraltar, keep Naiad and Phœbe. Juno is a fixture between Cape Spartel and Gibraltar; Mars, Colossus, and Defence, will be stationed four leagues East from the Fleet, and one of them advanced to the East towards Cadiz, and as near as possible in the latitude. The Fleet will be from sixteen to eighteen leagues West of Cadiz; therefore, if you throw a Frigate West from you, most probably, in fine weather, we shall communicate daily. In fresh breezes Easterly, I shall work up for Cadiz, never getting to the Northward of it and in the event of hearing they are standing out of Cadiz, I shall carry a press of sail to the Southward towards Cape Spartel and Arrache, so that you will always know where to find me. I am writing out regular instructions for the Frigates under your orders, but I am confident you will not let these gentry slip through our fingers, and then we shall give a good account of them, although they may be very superior in numbers. The Royal Sovereign and Defiance were to sail after the 24th. Belleisle, too, is ordered here. I send you two papers; I stole them for you.—Ever, my dear Blackwood, most faithfully your friend,

NELSON AND BRONTE.



Today's Dispatches to the Admiralty


TO WILLIAM MARSDEN, ESQ., ADMIRALTY.

Victory, off Cadiz, 4th October, 1805.

Sir,

I have received your letter of the 16th ult., together with the inclosure therein mentioned from Mr. Huskisson, Secretary to the Treasury, relative to the specie on board the Ships named in the margin, being landed on their arrival in. Port, and delivered to the Collector of Customs. In answer thereto, I beg you will be pleased to submit to the Lords Commissioners, that as those Ships are not likely soon to return to England, and having understood at the Treasury that an order would shortly be sent out to land it in this Country, where specie was particularly wanted for various services, whether it would be proper that it should be landed at Gibraltar under the directions of the Vice-Admiralty Court or otherwise, as may be judged fit, or sent to England by the first opportunity. You will therefore be good enough to acquaint me with their Lordships' further direction on this subject as early as possible.

I am, Sir, &c., NELSON AND BRONTE.


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TO WILLIAM MARSDEN, ESQ., ADMIRALTY.

Victory, off Cadiz, 4th October, 1805.

Sir,

In answer to your letter of the 16th ult. respecting my having given orders to the Ant Cutter, I must request that you will be so good as acquaint the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, that her name was on the list of Vessels to be under my command, which I received from Lord Barham's Secretary, a copy of which my Secretary took in the Admiralty, and left the original with Mr. Thomson's Clerk, to be delivered to me on my return to the Admiralty, and I presume her name will be found on the said list, as I omitted to call for it from Mr. Thomson. I am, Sir, &c., NELSON AND BRONTE.


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TO WILLIAM MARSDEN, ESQ., ADMIRALTY.

Victory, off Cadiz, 4th October, 1805.

Sir,

I have this day received your letter of the 18th ult., acquainting me that the money which was intended to be sent out in the Renommée and Melpomené is ordered to be divided amongst the Ships named in the margin, and signifying to me their Lordships' direction to cause it to be forwarded to the place of its destination. In answer thereto you will please to acquaint the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that due attention shall be paid to their instructions on this subject, and that the money on board the two Ships of the Line shall be sent to Malta as soon as a Frigate can be spared for that service. At present there are only three, instead of eight Frigates with the Fleet, the others not having joined.

I am, Sir, &c., NELSON AND BRONTE.


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TO WILLIAM MARSDEN, ESQ., ADMIRALTY.

'Victory, off Cadiz, 4th October, 1805.

Sir,

By the Entreprenante Cutter, which joined the Fleet this day from Portsmouth, I have received your letter of the 16th ult., acquainting me that a detachment of Royal Marine Artillery was to be sent out to the Mediterranean by the first opportunity, to serve on board the Thunder Bomb, in room of the detachment of Royal Artillery; and you will be pleased to acquaint the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty that I shall give the necessary directions for the Royal Marine Artillery being embarked on board the Thunder Bomb on their arrival, and that her detachment of Royal Artillery is already landed at Gibraltar; and I have to beg that a detachment of Royal Marine Artillery may likewise be sent out to the Ætna Bomb as early as possible.

I am, Sir, &c., NELSON AND BRONTE.

P.S.—I have taken the Entreprenante under my command, agreeably to their Lordships' order of the 16th ult.

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