19 October 2005
HORATIO, VISCOUNT NELSON (1758-1805)
Document signed ('Nelson & Bronte') and addressed to Rear Admiral Thomas Graves, St George off Rostock, 30 May 1801, commanding him to proceed with six ships listed in the margin (Defiance, Agamemnon, Amazon, Pylades, Eling and Hasty) to Kiöge Bay for repositioning in anticipation of Nelson's arrival, one page, 4to, integral blank (docketed, light staining, hinge strengthened).
Three weeks previously Nelson had been appointed commander-in-chief in succession to Sir Hyde Parker following the victory at Copenhagen in April 1801. Thomas Graves (c.1747-1814) had fought on the Defiance at the battle, for which he received the thanks of parliament and the appointment of KCB. Graves 'faced some criticism for taking his fleet to Quiberon Bay to water in January 1805, thereby allowing Missiessy's Rochefort squadron to slip out and beginning the chain of events that led to the battle of Trafalgar' (DNB).
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