21 November 2012
NELSON, Horatio, Viscount (1758-1805). Autograph letter signed ('Nelson & Bronte') to Rear Admiral [Sir Alexander Inglis] Cochrane, Victory, 4 June 1805, 3 pages, 4to, bifolium, dockets (minor damp-staining). Provenance: Phillips, 24 October 1985, lot 468.
THE MID-POINT OF THE PURSUIT OF VILLENEUVE BEFORE TRAFALGAR: Nelson writes to Cochrane, commander of the Leeward Islands station, that 'We have been a long time working up and I fear that all the troops will not get on board this evening', giving instructions about the transport of Sir William Myers (commander of British Forces in the West Indies); 'With respect to your frigates leave a line of what number you think are necessary to Cruize to Windward of Barbadoes to Cover our expected Convoys and desire the others to Join us, in short direct them as you would if I was not here'; the letter continues with further detailed instructions regarding the Jason and other vessels, concluding 'If you still think of sending the Sloop to England this night my dispatches are ready'.
Nelson had reached Barbados on 4 June, and left the next day, pursuing mistaken intelligence that the French were attacking Trinidad, while Villeneuve in fact lay to his north.
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