[NELSON] -- COLLINGWOOD, Cuthbert (Vice-Admiral, 1750-1810). Document signed, the General Order to the fleet after Trafalgar, addressed to 'Rear Admiral the Earl of Northesk and the Respective Captains and Commanders', Euryalus, 22 October 1805, paying tribute to Nelson, 'the Commander in Chief who fell in the action of the 21st, in the arms of Victory, covered with glory, whose memory will be ever dear to the British Navy and the British Nation, whose zeal for the honour of his King and the Interests of his Country will be ever held up as a shining example for a British Seaman', continuing by acknowledging the 'valour and skill which was displayed by every Officer every Seaman and Marine in the Battle with the enemy where every individual appeared a hero', and expressing his sincere and hearty thanks for their conduct in the action, and their zeal in bringing out the captured ships after their surrender, from their perilous situation 'among the shoals of Trafalgar and in boisterous weather', 2 pages, folio, addressed on integral leaf to 'W.H. Bayntun Esqre Captain of H.M. Ship Leviathan', with annotation by Bayntun.
Collingwood assumed command of the fleet at Trafalgar on Nelson's death. Copies of this General Order signed by him were sent to the commanders and captains of each of the 27 gunships and other vessels present, and it was published in London on 6 November 1805. Henry William Bayntun (1766-1840), the recipient of the present copy, after taking part in the pursuit of the French fleet to the West Indies and back, had been appointed to command the 74-gun Leviathan, and joined Nelson in the blockade of Toulon. At Trafalgar Nelson sent orders for the Leviathan to precede the Victory into action, but the order reached Bayntun only at 11.30, too late for him to reach the position ahead of the Victory which was already taking fire when the Leviathan was abreast of the Conqueror. The Leviathan engaged the Spanish gunship, the San Augustino, whose captain was killed in the action. At Nelson's funeral Bayntun carried the guidon in the water procession from Greenwich.