UNIQUE ADMIRAL LORD HORATIO NELSON ARCHIVE - 10 NELSON & NELSON RELATED LETTERS
INCLUDES A BEAUTIFUL AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED BY NELSON




FROM THE BERRYHILL & STURGEON
 
NAPOLEONIC & PENINSULAR WAR ARCHIVES

ADMIRAL LORD HORATIO NELSON ARCHIVE
INCLUDING AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED MARCH 16TH, 1802

 A UNIQUE ARCHIVE OF NELSON SIGNED AND NELSON-RELATED SIGNED LETTERS -  10 INDIVIDUAL SIGNED LETTERS FROM 1793 TO 1812

THESE DOCUMENTS ARE COVERED BY OUR WRITTEN, SIGNED, AND SEALED, LIFETIME GUARANTEE OF AUTHENTICITY

PRÉCIS

(1) A handsome December 1793 signed letter (LS) by Admiral Lord Samuel Hood aboard the HMS Victory (Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar) in Toulon Roads during its fall to a young artillery commander named Napoleon.
(2) An exquisite March 1802 Autograph Letter Signed (ALS) by Britain’s most famous naval commander, Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, just before he left England to assume command of the HMS Victory. Handwritten and signed by Nelson.
(3) An insightful July 1804 Autograph Letter Signed (ALS) by Captain John Stuart, Flag Captain of the HMS Royal Sovereign (Lord Collingwood’s flagship at Trafalgar) wherein Captain Stuart recounts his meeting with Nelson on the deck of the Royal Sovereign during the Toulon blockade.
(4) A second personal insightful December 1804 Autograph Letter Signed (ALS) by Captain John Stuart, Flag Captain of the HMS Royal Sovereign, wherein Captain Stuart recounts the fleet's view of Nelson's masterful conduct of the fleet having "gained him the hearts of all under his command".
(5) An eyewitness account April 1805 Autograph Letter Signed (ALS) by a young Royal Artillery Lt. Edward Michell at Gibraltar (who would later be a General in the Syrian war against Ibrahim Pasha) in which he describes watching the French fleet, having escaped from Toulon, tricked Nelson towards Egypt, and passing before them through the Gut at Gibraltar to the open sea.
(6) A delightful July 1805 Autograph Letter Signed (ALS) by diplomat Richard Gardiner wherein he discusses England’s political dysfunction, the Secretary of War's indiscretions, the Lord Melville scandal, and then plots "The Chase" down to the latest "best" reports of latitude and longitude of the respective fleets, which had recently arrived aboard Nelson's dispatch packet the HMS Curieux.
(7) An intriguing November 1805 Autograph Letter Signed (ALS) by the Earl of Buckinghamshire (Lord Hobart), who was then the aforementioned Secretary of War & the Colonies, reporting on political/diplomatic advice and the receipt of Lord Collingwood’s report of Trafalgar in England.
(8) An eventful November 1805 Autograph Letter Signed (ALS) by John Ramsay with the British diplomatic corps in Olmütz, Moravia, on the eve of Austerlitz, reporting on the receipt of the news of Nelson and a detailed reference to Sir Richard Strachan’s defeat of the remaining French escapees of Trafalgar in the Battle of Cape Ortegal on November 4th 1805, the final chapter of Trafalgar.
(9) A short but noteworthy March 1810 Autograph Letter Signed (ALS) by Admiral Berkeley (C-in-C Lisbon Station) to Britain’s Minister in Lisbon, notifying him of the death of Lord Collingwood and his body being sent home. Admiral Berkeley was Captain Thomas Masterman Hardy's father-in-law.
(10) The archive concludes with a February 1812 Lisbon Peninsular War Date Autograph Letter Signed (ALS) by Thomas Masterman Hardy. an essential holding in any Nelson Collection.


A UNIQUE NELSON RELATED ARCHIVE
See Images and Complete Transcriptions Below

Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson Archive

 

 Letter #1
 14 December 1793
 Dateline: HMS Victory at Toulon Roads

Admiral Lord Hood aboard the HMS Victory days before the Fall of Toulon while Napoleon Bonaparte Assumes Command of the Siege Artillery. Hood was Nelson's icon. Nice opening letter tying Hood, Victory, Napoleon, Toulon and Nelson

 Letter #2
 16 March 1802
 Dateline: Merton Surrey, England

Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson pens a beautiful handwritten autograph letter signed (ALS) on behalf of one of his Captains from the Battle of the Nile shortly before he leaves England to take command of the HMS Victory

 Letter #3
 28 June 1804
 Dateline: HMS Royal Sovereign - Toulon Blockade

HMS Royal Sovereign Flag Captain John Stuart describes Nelson after meeting him on board as "a plain matter of fact Man without who always speaks his mind & acts as he thinks with directness and decision"

 Letter #4
 22 December 1804
 Dateline: HMS Royal Sovereign off Cape Sebastian

HMS Royal Sovereign Flag Captain John Stuart observes that Nelson is well loved and respected. "The masterly manner he has conducted the Fleet ... has gained him the hearts of all under his Command"

 Letter #5
 19 April 1805
 Dateline: Gibraltar - The French are Out!

Lieutenant, later General, Edward Michell of the Royal Artillery writes of the French escape from Toulon, their evasion of Nelson and their own helplessness watching the French Fleet sail through the Gut to open sea.

 Letter #6
 27 July 1805
 Dateline: Thoby Priory - Nelson's Chase

Diplomat Richard Gardiner, back home in Thoby Priory, tracks Nelson's Latitude and Longitude during the Great Chase of Villeneuve's Fleet. All of England was on tenterhooks as the HMS Curieux arrived with news of Villeneuve's Fleet.

 Letter #7
 27 November 1805
 Dateline: Rockhampton - News of Trafalgar

The 4th Earl of Buckinghamshire, Lord Hobart & Secretary for War and the Colonies acknowledges Lord Collingwood's official report on Trafalgar."How can we ever sufficiently mark our Gratitude for, & Admiration of, the Glorious Services of Lord Nelson?"

 Letter #8
 28 November 1805
 Dateline: Olmütz - Aftermath of Trafalgar

British Diplomat John Ramsey writes from Olmütz in Moravia, on the Eve of Austerlitz, noting Nelson's Death and the Battle of Cape Ortegal wherein Sir Richard Strachan's Squadron defeated the fleeing French ships of Trafalgar.

 Letter #9
 March 1810
 Dateline: Lisbon The Death of Lord Collingwood

Lisbon Station Commander-in-Chief, and Hardy's father-in-law, Admiral Berkeley reports on the death of Lord Collingwood who was Nelson's 2nd in Command aboard the HMS Royal Sovereign at Trafalgar

 Letter #10
 21 February 1812
 Dateline: Lisbon Station Royal Navy Command

War-date Autograph Letter Signed (ALS) by Thomas Masterman Hardy while serving under his father-in-law, Admiral Berkeley during the Peninsular War. One of the critical central Autographs for Nelson & Trafalgar

 

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER #1


Victory, Toulon Road, 14th Decem[ber]. 1793


Sir,
     I have received your letter by the Nemesis which is about to return to Tunis with the Stores for the Bey which the Experiment private ship of War was furnished with by His Excellency’s
Order, which I hope and trust will put him in a perfect good humour with the English - with respect to the Duquesne it is not worth while to trouble yourself any further about her. She cannot, I imagine, remain long at Tunis, and will probably be met with at Sea. I do not see that Commodore Linzee’s Stay at Tunis can any longer be of use. I have therefore ordered him to come away, leaving one Ship of the Line and a Frigate, to Cruize off Cape Carthage or thereabouts - The Affairs of France are become desperate in the extreme and I understand there has been a rising of the People at Paris, in order to destroy the Convention, which has probably been effected, as no tidings of any sort has been received from thence in this quarter for some time past. St. Malo is said to be taken, and Honfleur and Havre to be besieged - I have sent a Vessel with wine for Commodore Linzee’s Squadron, and I shall be glad you will put as much Flour on board as she can bring, for which you will give Bills on the Commissioners of the Victualling at thirty days’ sight, which the Commodore will certify to be drawn by my Order.


I am, Sir,
Your most obedient humble Servant


                                          
                    Hood

(Major) Perkins Magra Esq
  (Consul at Tunis)
[NB later Equerry to Duke of Sussex died Feb 9, 1826]

Document Specifications:  An extremely fine letter signed by Admiral Lord Samuel Hood, aboard the HMS "Victory", later Nelson's Flagship at Trafalgar, and dated 14th December 1793. Folded letter measures 13" tall x 8" wide (330mm x 204mm). On single sheet of batonne laid paper watermarked "B B. with seated Britannica in Circle under Crown". Single sheet bi-folded to form four pages with writing on on both sides of page 1 and 2. Pages 3 and 4 are blank but with minor mounting indicia on back of 4. Small piece missing bottom page 1 not affecting writing. A scarce and relevant letter concerning Nelson's most admired Admiral and his most famous ship.
Notes:
A beautiful document bright and fresh and a wonderful beginning to any Nelson Collection. The Dateline is HMS Victory, Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar the still present in Portsmouth today, and Toulon Road, the place so many ships and Admirals would spend time containing. But this is dated December 14th 1793 and in many ways marks a beginning of the Napoleonic Era. It was here, at Toulon, that a young Napoleon Bonaparte arrived as an Artillery Captain in September and by December 22 1793 was a Brigadier General. The British evacuated Toulon - burning all ships and stores left behind - on December 17th, the town fell on the 20th. This letter is the nexus between Hood, Napoleon, the Victory and Nelson.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER #2

Merton Surrey
March 16th 1802


Madam

When I was in the Mediterranean, your relation Captain Burn often told me that if I would speak to you what I knew of him and his character, that it would probably be of great use to him. And as I am not likely to have that opportunity, I take the liberty of writing to assure you that although Captain Burn may have been unfortunate, yet that my knowledge of him for 7 years induces me to say that I never knew any irregularity in his conduct. On the contrary, he always conducted himself so much like a gentleman and a man of character that I was always glad to render him any little services in my power and to receive him at my table. His loyalty on every occasion at Genoa I am well assured of. I sincerely hope that this attestation will induce you to render Captain Burn every kind attention which he deserves, and which will much please Madam


   
Your Most Obedient Servant
    Nelson & Bronte


   
Mrs. Lambton

Document Specifications:  This letter in the main is in extremely fine condition with several folds. It measures 7¼" wide by 8¾" tall (185mm x 228mm). Paper is batonne laid with watermark "C Wilmot/1798". Single sheet is bi-folded forming four pages, writing is on both sides of page 1 and 2. Pages 3 and 4 are blank but contain crease reinforcements and mounting indicia. None affecting written letter. Partial crease separation between pages 1/2 and 3/4. High quality letters handwritten and signed by Nelson are rare in the market place. A lovely piece from Nelson's time at Merton Place in Surrey, where he lived during the Peace of Amiens with Lady Hamilton and her husband, Lord Hamilton, in the most famous ménage a trois of the age.
Notes:
An exquisite and fresh Autograph Letter Signed (ALS) by Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson shortly before he left England to take command of the Mediterranean Fleet and his flagship the HMS Victory. He would not set foot in England for another two years as he maintained the Toulon Blockade. He writes on behalf of one of his famous captains to the Lambton family who wanted his bona fides. Always looking out for his men, Nelson delivered the goods.
     I
n March 1795, the French fleet headed for Corsica with a plan to invade it. Nelson and the British fleet immediately put to sea to intercept them. On March 14, in the Battle of Genoa, the French were defeated and abandoned their invasion strategy. For this service and others, in 1799 Nelson was given the title of Duke of Bronte by the King of Genoa, and thereafter he added that title to his signature. Among the British officers with Nelson at Genoa was John Burn, who was promoted to Commander in 1799. Two years later, Burn was Captain of the HMS Blonde (32 guns), and as one of Nelson’s legendary captains, was stationed with him in the Mediterranean. In March 1801, the British determined to oust Napoleon’s forces from Egypt and sent an army of 5,000 to accomplish it. With the French army well entrenched, the British landing proved difficult. Nelson dispatched the HMS Blonde and a few other ships to the area, and in the Battle of Abukir they succeeded. The French were dislodged and retreated; soon they would be ejected from Egypt altogether. In March 1802, Burn was awarded a Gold Medal in recognition of his services. He was still serving as one of Nelson’s captains in 1803, when Nelson wrote the Admiralty about his hope for a better ship, “Captain Burn, who Sir Richard speaks very highly of, has requested of me to mention him to you, in hopes you will give him a good Sloop."
     The Lambton family of Lambton Castle, County Durham, England, had a personal fortune that derived largely from coal mining on their lands. In the early 19th century, this mining would earn them the enormous amount of £80,000 annually, and Lord Durham would have 2,400 miners in his employ. Lambton’s were elected to the House of Commons for Durham. The Burn family intermarried into the Lambton's, and Captain Burn stood to inherit a substantial sum of money if his Lambton relatives considered him worthy. But some problem had arisen which he feared reflected on his character. He spoke of this to Lord Nelson, suggesting that a word from the hero would prove more than useful.
It did.
    
As for Nelson, in 1801, with the Napoleonic Wars in a stalemate and peace talks on, he returned to England. Separated from his wife Fanny, he sought and found a home where he and Lady Hamilton could entertain friends. Acting on his behalf, she purchased Merton Place for the sum of £9000. He arrived there in October 1801 and would spend much time there until the renewed war called him away in 1803. He was there when he determined to do a service and commend Captain Burn to his relatives, always true to those who had been loyal to him. An exquisite letter in Nelson's full and flowing script.

[With thanks to the Royal Naval Museum and the National Maritime Museum at Greenwich for their research assistance]

    

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER #3



Royal Sovereign
June 28th 1804



My Dear Charles,
    
I have indeed made my hay (as you observe) while the Sun shone     & I pray heaven that your talents may in spite of any other consideration have the weight they deserve & place you in situations which they demand.
     I hope nothing particularly unpleasant has happened to you (as you seem to allude to in your Letter) more than being disagreeable situated on the Eve of all these changes.
     Lord Nelson delivered me your Letter himself, to that I suppose you are engaged in some correspondence with him. From what I know of his character I believe I may state him to be a plain matter of fact Man without who always speaks his mind & acts as he thinks with directness and decision - the remainder of his character I have stated to you before.
     The Enemy's Fleet are in a state of readiness - and dayly keep a line of Battle Ship and a Frigate under way in the Entrance of the Harbour so that no single Frigate dare approach while Our Fleet is absent. We have a Squadron of Frigates at Anchor in Hyères Bay but the French do not think their certain destruction an object sufficient to induce their Fleet to move there.


                           Adieu in pace my dearest Brother
                              believe me with the sincerest   affection
                                   Your Friend & Brother

                                     John Stuart

Document Specifications:  A very fine handwritten letter signed by Flag Captain John James Stuart, RN aboard the HMS "Royal Sovereign", later Admiral Collingwood's Flagship, and dated June 28th 1804. Folded letter measures 9" tall x 7¼" wide (227mm x 185mm). On single sheet of batonne laid paper watermarked "W. Phipps". Single sheet bi-folded to form four pages with writing on each page. Small stains related to bleed through of wax seal (not present). A scarce and meaningful letter concerning Britain's Greatest Admiral and confirming that he was "a plain matter of fact Man without who always speaks his mind & acts as he thinks with directness and decision.".
Notes:
A wonderful Nelson letter as Captain Stuart meets Nelson on the deck of the HMS Royal Sovereign and receives from him a letter from his brother Charles Stuart, later Sir Charles Stuart, His Britannic Majesty's Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary in Lisbon. Their father was General Sir Charles Stuart, who had been a friend of Nelson's and was with him at Calvi in 1794 where he lost his eye and supported him in Messina in 1798. Nelson described General Stuart as someone who "by his abilities would make a bad army into a good one" (Dispatches and Letters, 3.226). Clearly Nelson knew the measure of a Stuart.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER #4




Royal Sovereign
Off Cape of Sebastian
Dec.  22nd 1804




     My Dear Charles,
     We still continue much in the same place & with the same hopes as when I last wrote to you by way of Malta. Several Spanish vessels have been taken by the Fleet which will give me sufficient at least to reimburse a year's expenses. Sir John Orde has arrived with a Squadron off Cadiz - we are as yet uncertain whether he will supersede Lord Nelson in the whole Command or remain there separately. It is the unanimous wish of the Whole Fleet that the latter may remain here. The masterly manner he has conducted the Fleet and the attention he has shown to unpatronized merit when ever it has been conspicuous has gained him the hearts of all under his Command.
     The War at present seems dull - That's unprofitable in the extreme. We have waited with patience for about 18 months for the Toulon Fleet & perhaps may have to wait as much longer. I am well contented to remain while the war lasts but shall be happy when an end is put to it that an Englishman need not be ashamed to own.
   I have not heard from you here since your arrival at your new post but am in daily expectation of a line.


                          
Believe my dear Charles, I

                         
 remain your dear friend
                            & Affectionate Brother
                                     John Stuart

Document Specifications:  A very fine handwritten letter signed by Flag Captain John James Stuart, RN aboard the HMS "Royal Sovereign", later Admiral Collingwood's Flagship, and dated December 22nd 1804. Folded letter measures 9" tall x 7¼" wide (227mm x 185mm). On single sheet of batonne laid paper watermarked "A. BLACKWELL/G JONES - 1804". One sheet bi-folded to form four pages all with writing as shown. Several slits resulting in some edge tears possibly from a disinfection procedure. The letter  has a vinegar-like toning and there was the end of the yellow fever epidemic still ongoing in Gibraltar through which this letter would possibly have passed, although there was also disinfection of such letters back in England (see Michell Gibraltar Letter). A scarce and meaningful letter concerning Britain's Greatest Admiral and confirming that: "the attention he has shown to unpatronized merit when ever it has been conspicuous has gained him the hearts of all under his Command." .
Notes:
Letter was sent to his brother Sir Charles Stuart, His Britannic Majesty's Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary in Lisbon. Their father was General Sir Charles Stuart, who had been a friend of Nelson's and was with him at Calvi in 1794 where he lost his eye and supported him in Messina in 1798. Nelson described General Stuart as someone who "by his abilities would make a bad army into a good one" (Dispatches and Letters, 3.226). Clearly Nelson knew the measure of a Stuart.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER #5



Gibraltar April 19
th 1805



My Dear Maria,


    
   I had begun a letter, which I intended to send you by the Convoy that sailed on the 8th Inst. But the wind becoming suddenly favourable, I had not time to finish it. -
        In the beginning of the month I had received a letter from my Mother together with one from William, (the first since my arrival, and indeed since last November when we were at Portsmouth). You may judge of the pleasure I received from these two letters, after so long an interval of silence, but it was not a little diminished, when I found you had written sometime previous to my Mother & consequently that your letter must have miscarried. I wrote by the last Convoy to My Mother, John & William, directing to the first at Gloucester. – John has, I hope, got promotion before this time, as we received accounts some time since of a new Battalion being about to be raised.
        Everyone here is anxious for the arrival of the next mails, expecting to hear some news from England. The Toulon Fleet / as you will have heard. long ago / has managed to elude the vigilance of Lord Nelson, and on the 9th of this month passed through the Gut. It consisted of 11 sail of the line & 8 or 9 frigates or smaller vessels. We have since heard they have formed a junction with the Squadron at Cadiz, and. that Sir John Orde is obliged to retire. The general opinion is that their destination is Ireland, as they were known to have troops on board & have been seen steering that course. You can imagine how provoking it was to see so large an Enemy's fleet pass by without any Nelson pursuing them. He is supposed to have gone on to Egypt in search of them, as by making it public that Genl. Regnier was to have a principal command in the expedition, and by artfully sailing towards that Quarter when they got out of Harbour some time ago. They had induced him to believe that was their object. However someone will, I trust, be able to cope with this formidable force, although his Lordship will much regret the loss of the glory he would have acquired from an action with it.
        The Communication between Lisbon & Gibraltar is so very irregular, the Mails being sent by Ships of War which touch there and are going on to Gibraltar or the Mediterranean, and which does not often occur/ that I fear? We shall remain sometime in the dark as to the state of affairs in England. Be that as it may, not being given to croaking I shall continue under no apprehensions as to Ireland, or from the operations, of this combined force, whatever they may be.
        My dear Sister, do not forget amidst the cares of housekeeping Etc., Etc., the art, (which you once understood so well) of being a good correspondent. – I did not till lately know the value of a letter, or at least I did not know it could afford so much gratification; since this discovery I have certainly given my correspondents no reason to complain of my neglect; and this attention probably proceeds more from the selfish wish of experiencing more frequently that gratification than from the vain one of affording it to my friends. Some Langport news would now be very interesting since a few months cannot pass there without some events worthy of attention. – Bye the bye I suppose your fair cousins will soon be led to the Hymeneal Altar, or in other words Messrs. Elswood & Estlin be put in possession of all terrestrial happiness. – I do not despair of getting your last letter, as some mail has been certainly left behind, a proof of which is that duplicates to dispatches have arrived here and the dispatches themselves have not been received: as no packet has been taken, some mistake must have occurred which will probably be rectified. Give my love to Mr S[tuckey], Aunt Betsy, the Chamber’s and the Chudtonians? & all friends and believe me


                    Your ever affectionate Brother
                             E. T. Michell [then a 1st Lieutenant]

PS:
April 29
th – The wind has not been favourable till now and I shall send this on board now, it is more than probable, the ship will not sail for some time.

Document Specifications:  A fine handwritten ALS letter signed by Edward Thomas Michell as a Lieutenant of the Royal Artillery, in Gibraltar and dated April 19th 1805. Folded letter measures 8⅞" tall x 7⅜" wide (270mm x 188mm). On one sheet of batonne laid paper, watermark crown over crest. One sheet bi-folded to form four pages all with writing as shown. Letter has disinfection staining by vinegar and a "Portsmouth Ship Letter" Cancel on integral address panel. Letter was sent to his sister Maria who was the wife of George Stuckey, whose bank, after the Bank of England, at one point had the largest circulation of currency notes.
Notes:
A personal eyewitness account of the French Fleets escape from Toulon, Villeneuve's successful feint towards Egypt which did in fact fool Nelson, and then their escape through the Gut (the Straits of Gibraltar) to combine with the Spanish Fleet at Cadiz, the result of which was Admiral Orde's removal from that command (see Stuart Letter #4 re Orde). Young Lt. Michell (no there is no "t") of the Royal Artillery went on to become a Brigadier General, Royal Artillery, and fought Ibrahim Pasha in the Syrian war of 1840-41 where he died, a monument was erected to him him Jaffa (Tel Aviv) and is still there. His Brother was General Sir John Michell, K.C.B., Royal Artillery and his nephew was Maj General John Edward Michell. C.B, all immortalized in Three Distinguished Gunners (The Michells) by J.A. Browne   

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER #6



Thoby
27 July 1805




My Dear Sir,

     When I look at the Date of your last letter, I am almost ashamed to resume our Correspondence - and yet I assure you, that it has no less proceeded from Indolence than from my Unwillingness to speak to you of my Affairs – notwithstanding the obliging Encouragement such you give me – or to take up your Time, with perusing my political Speculations – and Conjectures – However that I may not appear ungrateful for your kind attention to me. I will venture to prate – and that perhaps with as much Pretension to Probabilities – as thou who daily infest – and if you please – infect our public Offices. As you regularly receive the Papers, it is unnecessary for me to touch on the Debates in Parliament – or to speak of the Close of this tumultuous – and unhappy Session. It appears to me that the End of Justice, might [equally] have been obtained, by referring to various Reports and Charges, to a Committee, which like a grand Jury would have found or rejected, the Bill, and the Law would, if requisite, have taken its course either by Impeachment or civil Prosecution, as Parliament should have decided. Instead of which temperate Course, Lord Melville, has been prejudged – and punished, and Party has indulged its Violence to an Excess, which renders doubtful the Disinterestedness of their Motives – and which by solely occupying the Time and Thoughts of the Executive Government, has been injurious to the Cause of the Country both in Respect to its foreign and domestic Relations – While Mr Pitt has been solely occupied, with the attack of the opposition in the House – and Schism in the Cabinet, Buonaparte has been making new and important Acquisitions in Italy, all of which might possibly have been prevented had, as you properly observe in your letter, certain measures, which at the time were suggested, been attended to. It was self-evident. The weakness of the French in Point of effective numbers, the fact of the Defection occasioned by the Compte of Moreau, the Disappointment of many in not being included in, or promoted in the Consequence of the Creation of the Marshall’s of the Empire, and lastly the aversion – and Repugnance of the Italians to the Yoke of the French. But the Measures, tho’ suggested by one, who from his Situation ought to have been attended to – and by another who was desirous of obtaining and affording the best Intelligence, which the rambling Nature of his appointment admitted of – did not come from Men, who by Intrigue and Self Sufficiency command a kind of blind Respect from our Cabinet. Had it come from one of our Charlatans in Politicks, or had some ignorant Parish Priest, made his way to this Country it would have been greedily swallowed – The Object of Buonaparte, every Day becomes more evident. The Invasion is his [Tail] to the Whale. He is bent on cutting off this Country from all Connection - Political - and if possible commercial - with the Continent. Consequently he will by Force or Intrigue possess himself of all Italy, including even Venice – and the Austrian Dominions in Istria and Dalmatia, [Trieste], etc. and rather than not have them he will risqué a War [NB – six months later following Austerlitz, this all occurred]. Indeed it is here generally believed, and Letters have been received from Mr Arbuthnot, still at Trieste, and from others, giving it as their opinion, that the War is inevitable. What Mr [Novizilzoff] is about, you know better than us.
     There certainly is a Negotiation on Foot, between Mr Pitt and the Grenvilles, including as I am told, some of the old opposition – the Difficulties to which are less on Mr Pitt, than on the other side, who do not choose to have it considered as a Favour to be re-admitted to the Cabinet, but on the contrary, that the obligation should be reciprocal. Some Accession of parliamentary strength Mr Pitt must have therefore it is presumable that matters will be accommodated during the Recess – Of my own affairs – all I can tell you is that the Accounts are again to go before the Auditor for Re-Examination, the Result of which I am very indifferent about, and shall be altogether to the whole Business, were it not for the Trouble it occasions – I will not be tedious – the Secretary at War [Lord Hobart] by attending to the malicious advice of certain Persons about him has behaved harshly – and partially – but as Men who cut under the Influence of Papers, usually injure themselves – he has contrived, by agitating the Question and by referring to the Auditor, Accounts which never should have gone out of his own office – to make The Secretary’s of War public Accountants and to make his office amenable – to the control of the Auditors – I am ashamed to ask you to continue writing to me. Tho’ I hope you will.
     Mrs. Gardiner desires her best compliments

I remain
My dear Sir
Very sincerely yours
             R[ichard] G[ardiner]

[PS] London 28
th – The received accounts yesterday of Lord Nelson by the way of Lisbon. It appears that on the 19th June his Lordship was in Lat. 27. Long. 60 having Intimation of and following the Track of the combined Fleets, who on the 20th June were left by the Curieux in Lat. 33 Long. 58. – We have lost some Merchantmen at Antigua.

Document Specifications:  A very fine handwritten ALS letter signed by Richard Gardiner as a member of the Diplomatic Corps, in Thoby Priory, England and dated 27th July 1805. Folded letter measures 9¼" tall x 7½" wide (237mm x 190mm). On one sheet of thick batonne laid paper, watermark crown over fleur-de-lis crest. One sheet bi-folded to form four pages all with writing as shown. Letter has some toning and oxidation on the front page. Letter was sent to Charles Stuart, then a Secretary to the Diplomatic Legation in St. Petersburg. Son of Nelson's friend and compatriot, General Charles Stuart, Charles went on to become Sir Charles Stuart K.C.B. and later Lord Rothesay. He was during the Peninsular war the most important diplomat on the Iberian Peninsula as His Britannic Majesty's Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary, a close confidant of Wellington.   
Notes:
Richard Gardiner started life in the British Diplomatic Corps along with Charles Stuart, however, his posting in Vienna was coincidental with the release of a scandalous pamphlet which embarrassed the British. Needing a straw man, Gardiner, as the lowest on the totem pole, was selected and "called to accounts". This was a procedure where the official Auditor would examine the public as well as secret accounts of a diplomatic post. Necessarily there were always questionable unexplained expenditures (often paying informants and "expediting" customs, trade and travel visas via emoluments and gratuities). Gardiner makes some astute political and strategic observations - accurately anticipating Napoleon's Continental Embargo against England. Another part of his letter complains about the Secretary of War, Lord Hobart, the Earl of Buckinghamshire, who was also coincidently Stuart's cousin! Gardiner was eventually "let go" from the Corps and continued to express his grief and outrage for many years. His letter does document the arrival of Nelson's HMS Curieux.
Naval Note: On 7 July 1805 , HMS Curieux arrived in Plymouth with dispatches from Lord Nelson. On her way, she spotted Admiral Villeneuve's Franco-Spanish squadron on its way back to Europe from the West Indies and alerted the Admiralty. Rear-Admiral Sir Robert Calder, with 15 ships of the line, intercepted Villeneuve on 22 July, but the subsequent Battle of Cape Finisterre was indecisive, with the British only capturing two enemy ships.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER #7


Rockhampton Nov'r 27th – 1805

My Dear Charles,

       I received a letter from you when I was at Norton, the date of which I forget, and since my return here yours of the 13th ulto – Your Mother had apprized me of the Correspondence with Lord Mulgrave to which you refer, tho’ not being on the spot when it took place I was not in the Counsels – My opinion however upon it I must confess differs extremely from yours, & I cannot help most sincerely regretting that you should have written not merely for the purpose of disclaiming all knowledge of it, but of the Principle upon which it is founded – Why is your advancement in the Diplomatic Line a ??? upon which you you could not think of humbling the Secretary of State? After such a declaration you must not be surprised to find yourself ???? amongst the very lowest & ???? of the Corps, to be dealt with exactly as it may suit the convenience or caprice of the head of the Foreign Department. Depend upon it my Dear Charles, that if you had reasons which made you think it advisable to intimate to Lord Mulgrave that you was well aware of your Mother’s application to him, you ought to have accompanied such a communication by an assertion of those claims to Promotion which you ??? have established –

    
I have no doubt that Lord Granville Gower would have supported them by a representation of your exertions since you have been with him, & if I rightly recollect the instance of the paper you gave to Lord Harrowby in Augt 1804, the Principle of leading the Court of Vienna into a Confederacy against France by means of a Negotiation through the Russian Government will be found so fully stated as to justify you expecting? Some merit for your Recognizance upon that subject – altho’ it may not be admitted that it was your suggestion that was acted upon.  The Nothing? That’s not complaining of the appointment of your Juniors to superior situations could never be looked upon as a deviation from your Duty, and you have a right to state them to government, and indeed, unless you are “perfectly contented to serve at St. Petersburgh” possibly for the next ten years you must take some vigorous step to lift yourself from the footing upon which you are now placed by your letter to Lord Mulgrave -
        ??? of the excessive difficulty, circumstances as they          are, of ??? without the hazard of giving offence or of depreciating your post pretensions, my advice to you is to wait Lord Cathcart’s arrival, & then ask for a short leave of absence on account of your Private affairs – the time that must elapse before your leave can be sent to you, will be sufficient for you to put Lord Cathcart completely au courant, and when you are at home you will shape your conduct as you may judge best – Nothing but the interest I take in your welfare would have enticed me to express myself with so little reserve, but I am so thoroughly persuaded that your presence in England is indispensably necessary with a view to a right understanding of your situation in the Diplomatic ??? that let the inconvenience be what it may I should recommend your submitting to it.  We are all anxiety for news from the Continent, where I will not say a great game has been ??? away, because possibly a Packet may have arrived with more favourable intelligence than we have any reason to expect – En attendant however we have the most satisfactory Report from Lord Collingwood – the substance of which is in the enclosed note from Sir Andrew Hammond –
       What a magnificent account! And how can we ever sufficiently mark our Gratitude for,& Admiration of, the Glorious Services of Lord Nelson?
        The King’s health I understand from the best authority is good, but his sight nearly gone - & not the least likely to Improve – Lady B. desires to be remembered to you.

                                                   Yours Affectionately
                                                       Buckinghamshire

Document Specifications:  An extremely fine handwritten ALS letter signed by the Earl of Buckinghamshire as Secretary of War and the Colonies, in Rockhampton, England and dated 27th November 1805. Folded letter measures 9" tall x 7⅜" wide (230mm x 187mm). On two sheets of thick batonne laid paper, watermark crown over oval crest "IE". Two sheets bi-folded to form eight pages all with writing as shown. Letter is in extremely fine condition. Letter was sent to Charles Stuart, then a Secretary to the Diplomatic Legation in St. Petersburg. Son of Nelson's friend and compatriot, General Charles Stuart, Charles went on to become Sir Charles Stuart G.C.B. and later Lord Rothesay. He was, during the Peninsular War, the most important diplomat on the Iberian Peninsula as His Britannic Majesty's Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary, a close confidant of Wellington. Lord Hobart (Buckinghamshire) was Stuart's cousin. 
Notes:
Lord Hobart was at this time Secretary for War and the Colonies in the Cabinet (Hobart Australia is named for him). Much of the letter concerns his lecturing the young Charles Stuart about his attempt to use his mother (daughter of Lord Vere Bertie) and wife of General Charles Stuart, son of the Earl of Bute, to advance his position in the Diplomatic Corps by approaching Lord Mulgrave. This backfired dreadfully and Lord Hobart is counseling Charles on how to improve his situation.  But at the close of the letter, Buckinghamshire does comment that they (the Cabinet) had received Lord Collingwood's report on Trafalgar and closes by saying "What a magnificent account! And how can we ever sufficiently mark our Gratitude for,& Admiration of, the Glorious Services of Lord Nelson?"    

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER #8

Olmütz, November 28th – [1805]

My Dear Stuart,

       I wish every Day and every hour of every day that I was with you partly because I like to be with you and partly because I wish to sing to you the song which begins, forte:

          “I am little foolish fluttering thing;
          “Within ah Within
          “Wouldst thou wing thy airy flight,”

      Sir - What could [have made] you go off with the Baggage & the Cyphers, the Pots, Pans & Tea things? Since you went we have had the Whole Army here, Blue Devils & Grey, Black Devils & Blue, & we have had much ?? and some amusement. – If even It was permis [permitted] to feel pleasure in the misfortunes of others, It is to us the present Instance, & I own I feel [&] derive some little satisfaction from learning that you have a bad dirty room, Not Brass wardrobe is but OK supplies, and that you suffer as much as us by the desertion which has deprived us of your Company – You see I think so much of it that I even neither think nor want about anything else.
      Of the Victory off Cadiz You are already informed I know and of Lord Nelson’s death, but you have not heard of Sir Richard Strachan’s battle of which the account arrived last night in the ? Gazette of the 11th – with three Ships of the Line he met Four of the Enemy/French? – he attacked them immediately & the conflict was very severe – Before the End of the action however he was joined by another ship & the business concluded by the surrender of the whole French Squadron, or in their words, of the Four French Ships of the Line which have turned out to be part of the Combined Fleet what were endeavouring to make their escape. –
      I wish both Ponsonby & you Joy –
      The Russians have marched forward in the hope of becoming the Hounds instead of the Hare – I hope & trust they will succeed and the more so as I think tomorrow of making a little trip to them and paying them direct – [Tonight] the Real Question [will] be between ? and ? somewhere & I suppose at London – They now feel strong & are grown spunky –
      Pray remember me to Ponsonby, & come back to us as soon as you can & Believe me in the meantime

 My Dear Stuart your Servant
                              John Ramsay



PS
I send this by Estafette [mounted courier] which Michel Kaslin? has just informed me He is going to send to his brother

Document Specifications:  A very fine handwritten ALS letter signed by John Ramsay as a member of the British Diplomatic delegation (having retreated from Vienna), in Olmütz, Moravia and dated 28th November [1805]. Folded letter measures 7" tall x 4¼" wide (175mm x 118mm). On one sheet of wove unwatermarked paper. One sheet bi-folded to form four pages all with writing as shown. Letter was sent to Charles Stuart, then a Secretary to the Diplomatic Legation in St. Petersburg (having just recently having been re-assigned from Vienna). Son of Nelson's friend and compatriot, General Charles Stuart, Charles went on to become Sir Charles Stuart G.C.B. and later Lord Rothesay. He was, during the Peninsular War, the most important diplomat on the Iberian Peninsula as His Britannic Majesty's Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary, a close confidant of Wellington. Ramsay, Gardiner and Stuart had al been junior diplomats in Vienna. 
Notes:
A very full letter from John Ramsay who first chides Stuart for taking the Cyphers (British diplomatic codes) and leaving a mess, but then reports on the Russians passing through to face Napoleon just to their south at Austerlitz. Napoleon had already taken Vienna - prompting the evacuation of the Diplomatic Corps there to Olmütz. Several days later, Napoleon's crushing defeat of at Austerlitz brought an end to the 3rd Coalition and his primacy in Europe. What is interesting is that news of Nelson's death and Trafalgar had finally reached eastern Europe, but that Sir Richard Strachan's defeat of the rump French Fleet at the Battle of Cape Ortegal signaled the final chapter in the Trafalgar naval engagements.    

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER #9



[Lisbon Station Naval Command
Circa April 1, 1810]

My Dear Sir,

    
Do you hold to your Intention of detaining the Packet until the Afternoon and at What time do you think it probable your dispatches will be ready, as I will have the necessary preparations to send them. Lord Collingwood is Dead, and his Body on its way home, of which Admiral Purvis has desired me to give Notice.

  
  Sincerely yours,.
                                     G[eorge] Berkeley

[Sent to His Excellency, the Right Honorable Charles Stuart
His Britannic Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in Lisbon]

Document Specifications:  A fine handwritten ALS letter signed by George Cranfield Berkeley as Admiral aboard the HMS Barfleur, in Lisbon Harbor and dated 21st February 1812. Single letter sheet measures 3" tall x 8" wide (78mm x 200mm). On one quarter sheet of batonne laid paper, no watermark. Writing on one side of single sheet as shown Other side has simple address. Berkeley's signed war date letters are not common in the market. Letter was sent to Sir Charles Stuart, His Britannic Majesty's Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary in Lisbon; his father, General Sir Charles Stuart, had been a close friend of Nelson's.
Notes:
Admiral John Child Purvis was Commander in Chief of the Cadiz Station. Admiral Lord Collingwood departed Mahon on 3 March 1810 having finally gotten permission to be relieved of the Mediterranean Command. He died enroute to England aboard the “City of Paris” on 7 March 1810. They would naturally have called at Gibraltar and Cadiz where mail packets regularly went to Lisbon, thus informing Admiral Berkeley. Berkeley was notorious for writing his personal notes and memorandum on torn strips of stationary and then folding them into very small wads. Sheet folds reflect this, small tear bottom to right of signature.

TRANSCRIPTION LETTER #10



Lisbon February 21
st 1812



My Dear Sir,



    
     I beg to inform you that a Boy named Jose has belonged to the Barfleur for nearly two years as a Servant to Lieutenant Geddes during which time he has Deserted three times but your Excellency might assure Miss Lacerda that he shall not be punished but I cannot Discharge him from His Majesty’s Service as he Voluntarily entered into it. I remain
.

                           My Dear Sir

                                    
 Yours very sincerely
                           
T[homas] M[asterman] Hardy

[Sent to Sir Charles Stuart, HM Britannic Minister in Lisbon]

Document Specifications:  An extremely fine handwritten ALS letter signed by Thomas Masterman Hardy as Flag Captain of the HMS Barfleur, in Lisbon Harbor and dated 21st February 1812. Single letter sheet measures 7" tall x 4½" wide (177mm x 115mm). On one half sheet of batonne laid paper, partial watermark "IKE". Writing on both sides of single sheet as shown. Hardy's signed war date letters are not common in the market. Letter was sent to Sir Charles Stuart, His Britannic Majesty's Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary in Lisbon. His father, General Sir Charles Stuart, had been a close friend of Nelson's.
Notes:
Hardy married Elizabeth Berkeley while serving in the North American Station after Trafalgar. His father-in-law was Admiral George Cranfield Berkeley, Commander-in-Chief of the Station. He following Berkeley to the Lisbon Station and became his flag captain aboard the HMS Barfleur. An essential autograph for any serious Nelson Collection.

Offered by Berryhill & Sturgeon, Ltd.
Member: APS, BNAPS, CCNY, ICSC, DMSC, SPHS

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