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    Sale 7471

    Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts

    14 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 53

    [NELSON, Horatio, Viscount (1758-1805)]. Autograph letter signed by Nelson's second-in-command at Trafalgar, Cuthbert, 1st Baron Collingwood, to Captain James Nicoll Morris, Queen, 31 October 1805, 2½ pages, 4to, bifolium, docketed on integral blank (some soiling to integral blank, split at fold between leaves, minor punctures at centre fold).

    Price Realised  

    [NELSON, Horatio, Viscount (1758-1805)]. Autograph letter signed by Nelson's second-in-command at Trafalgar, Cuthbert, 1st Baron Collingwood, to Captain James Nicoll Morris, Queen, 31 October 1805, 2½ pages, 4to, bifolium, docketed on integral blank (some soiling to integral blank, split at fold between leaves, minor punctures at centre fold).

    'SUCH A BATTLE ENGLAND NEVER SAW': THE GLORY AND LOSSES OF TRAFALGAR. Writing ten days after the battle, Collingwood acknowledges receipt of Morris's casualty list [from Colossus], 'the long list enclosed -- which I lament most truly but it was on a glorious occasion they suffered, & I hope a grateful country will make to them a due recompense'; he is pleased to hear better news of Morris's wounds, and expresses his admiration for his conduct at Trafalgar, 'which has placed you amongst the most distinguished of England's defenders'. The letter continues with a heart-felt tribute to Nelson: 'My heart is sinking with grief & sorrow for our losses -- the dearest & oldest of my Navy friends I have lost in the commander in chief ... such a Battle England never saw -- so begun -- and so supported to the end -- it is an example to future times'. For himself, Collingwood is worn down by 'anxiety of mind & fatigue ... I came into this ship today -- with nothing but my secretary and my dog [Bounce]. My servant was slain'. A postscript adds news of two enemy ships which have escaped into Cadiz in the storms, and two which have been destroyed.

    Colossus was 'the sixth ship in the lee line, following Collingwood, and sustained greater damage and heavier loss of men than any other ship in the fleet. Morris himself was severely wounded in the thigh but, the bleeding being stopped by a tourniquet, remained on deck until the close of the action' (ODNB). Morris had taken on both the French Swiftsure and the Spanish Bahama for the best part of two hours, receiving the surrender of both.


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