• Valuable Manuscripts and Print auction at Christies

    Sale 7760

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    24 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 20

    NELSON, Horatio, Viscount Nelson (1758-1805). Document signed ('Nelson'), Foudroyant, Naples Bay, 22 July 1799, orders addressed to Rear Admiral John Thomas Duckworth, instructing him to proceed to Mahon (Minorca) with the ships Powerful, Majestic and Vanguard and the corvette Swallow, and to take command of any other naval vessels he finds there, 'leaving it entirely to your well known abilities and Judgement to Act with them in the best manner for the protection of that Island and the good of His Majesty's Service', one page, folio, docketed on verso.

    Price Realised  

    NELSON, Horatio, Viscount Nelson (1758-1805). Document signed ('Nelson'), Foudroyant, Naples Bay, 22 July 1799, orders addressed to Rear Admiral John Thomas Duckworth, instructing him to proceed to Mahon (Minorca) with the ships Powerful, Majestic and Vanguard and the corvette Swallow, and to take command of any other naval vessels he finds there, 'leaving it entirely to your well known abilities and Judgement to Act with them in the best manner for the protection of that Island and the good of His Majesty's Service', one page, folio, docketed on verso.

    NELSON DISOBEYING ORDERS: in July 1799, in the anxious period after the bloody suppression of the 'Parthenopaean Republic' in Naples, Nelson was ordered three times by his commander-in-chief, Lord Keith, to send all available forces to the defence of Minorca. He at first flatly refused, on the grounds that Naples was more important, and only at the third time of asking sent, as recorded in the present document, Duckworth with the limited force of three ships and a corvette. His behaviour was to earn him a formal rebuke from the Admiralty: 'No other officer would have got off so lightly' (ODNB).


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