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[+] HONOURING OUR PATRON, SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL, VICTOR OF THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING PEOPLES

[+] HONOURING OUR QUEEN, ELIZABETH THE SECOND, ON THE 80TH YEAR OF HER BIRTH (1926 - 2006)

[+] 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)

Monday, October 03, 2005
Putte ye quille to actione

COUNTDOWN TO TRAFALGAR (BOT minus 18 days)
On this day 200 yrs ago:

Nelson spent countless hours in the evening and through the wee hours of the morning writing--with his one arm--dispatches to the Admiralty, sending orders and personal memos to his subordinate commanders, as well as composing letters for home. After one night of such writing, he woke up suffering spasms in his back and presumably his Deputy Commander, Vice-Admiral Collingwood, thought of offering the services of his good doctor, one of the best in the fleet:

TO VICE-ADMIRAL COLLINGWOOD.

Victory, October 3rd, 1805.

My dear Coll., If you have any particular attachment to your Surgeon in the Dreadnought, he must of course go with you; but if you found him in the Ship, perhaps his removal is a matter of indifference. Dr. Felix, of the Royal Sovereign, I removed from the Belleisle to that Ship, and I suppose he is coming out in her. I only mention the circumstance if the removal is indifferent to you, for I cannot be very particularly interested about Dr; Felix. He was the oldest Surgeon in the Fleet, and of good character. Pray is the order for the sending home the senior Subaltern of the Marines given out; If not, I shall give a General Memorandum. The Cutter, I suppose, is gone to Gibraltar. Endymion's bowsprit was so bad that nothing could be done with it at sea.

Most faithfully yours, NELSON AND BRONTE.


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TO VICE-ADMIRAL COLLINGWOOD.

Victory, October 3rd, 1805.

My dear Coll.,

I have not the smallest wish about Dr. Felix, beyond what I told you: it is very reasonable and proper that your Surgeon should go with you. You will see what I have said about the Marine Officers; and I will endeavour so to act respecting them that, not to offend the Admiralty, we may not be left without proper Marine Officers. I shall expect you with much pleasure to-morrow morning; being ever, my dear Coll.,

Your attached friend, NELSON AND BRONTE.

Eurydice is gone under Cape St.Mary's.


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TO UNKNOWN

Victory, off Cadiz, October 3rd, 1805.

The reception I met with on joining the Fleet caused the sweetest sensation of my life. The Officers who came on board to welcome my return, forgot my rank as Commander-in-Chief in the enthusiasm with which they greeted me. As soon as these emotions were past, I laid before them the Plan [2] I had previously arranged for attacking the Enemy; and it was not only my pleasure to find it generally approved, but clearly perceived and understood. The Enemy are still in Port, but something must be immediately done to provoke or lure them to a Battle. My duty to my Country demands it, and the hopes centered in me, I hope in God, will be realised in less than a fortnight expect to hear from me, or of me, for who can foresee the fate of Battle ? Put up your prayers for my success, and may God protect all my friends!

I am, &c., NELSON AND BRONTE.


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TO VISCOUNT STRANGFORD, LISBON.

Victory, October 3rd, 1805

My Lord,

I have the honour to inform you that I have taken the command of His Majesty's Fleet in the Mediterranean station; and I am very sorry that I must begin my correspondence by a complaint against the conduct of the Portuguese Government at Lagos. They say, at least by their conduct, that, by their secret treaty with Spain, they are to throw every obstacle in the way of our remaining in their Ports, or on their Coasts, by refusing us water and refreshments; but in such a manner as is disgraceful to the Portuguese Government which offers, or the British Government which allows. Great Britain can have nothing to do with their infamous or degrading treaties: she looks to her treaty being fulfilled in the most liberal manner.

I shall state my complaint of the circumstances which generally happen at Lagos. A Ship of War goes there for water and refreshments, which, by treaty, she has a right to: from her communications she seems placed under the direction of the Consul of one of our Enemies, and very improper language is held by our Enemies to the British Officers and Seamen, and inducements held out to them to desert. The Enemy's Consul then directs that only so many cabbages, or bullocks, or sheep, shall go on board—and, at his will and pleasure, so much water: and it has been carried so far, that a Captain, whose Ship was complete with water, giving his proper water to wash the linen, on sending ashore for more, was threatened by the Portuguese sentry to be fired upon, if they presumed to attempt to take a drop. To this degradation no Nation can submit. Now, what I demand is, that our Officers and Men, whilst in the Neutral Port, shall be under the protection of the Neutral Flag, and not be permitted to be insulted by the interference, either secret or open, of our Enemies; and that every Ship which goes into Lagos, or other Ports, shall have such refreshments as are reasonable. And, as to water, I never before heard that any limited quantity was allowed, much less that if a dirty shirt was washed, any French or Spanish Consul should be allowed to say, ' You English shall either wear a dirty shirt, or go without water to drink ;' and that a sentinel of a Neutral Power should presume to threaten to fire, if an Ally presumed to take water! I shall send a Ship or Ships to take in water at Lagos. They shall wash, or let it run overboard, if they please; and I rely that the Portuguese Government will direct that our Enemies shall not insult our people, much less dictate to the Portuguese Governor for his treatment of us However degraded the Portuguese may allow themselves to become, it is hardly fair that they should expect us to be insulted by our Enemies on their Neutral ground; for if, by words, or any other mode of warfare, they do permit it, I shall certainly retaliate. I should get warm was I to go any farther, therefore I shall leave the business in much better hands—those of your Lordship; only repeating, that all we want is, that when our Ships go to Lagos, we may not be allowed to be insulted by our Enemies (unless we have permission to retaliate); that we shall take either one ton, or one thousand tons of water, as we please, and be allowed the free use of the markets, as by friendship we had a most unquestionable right to expect; and that the Portuguese Governor may be called to a most severe account for his conduct, in allowing a sentinel to threaten to fire on an English boat going for water, or any other purpose, to the shore of friendly Powers.

I have the honour to be, &c., NELSON AND BRONTE

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