19 October 2005
HORATIO, VISCOUNT NELSON (1758-1805)
Autograph letter signed ('Nelson') to Lieutenant Swinly, Vanguard, 20 May 1799, 'You will keep in Shore of the Squadron till our approach to Maritimo taking [care] not to suffer any ship of War to pass inside of us ... If possible you are not to be out of side [sic] of my Signal', one page, 4to (splits to folds), with an engraved portrait of Nelson, framed and glazed.
In May 1799 Nelson was in the midst of the crisis precipitated by the entry into the Mediterranean of the French Vice-Admiral Eustache Bruix with 24 ships of the line, at a moment when the British Mediterranean fleet had no comparable concentration of forces.
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