3 December 2003
NELSON, Horatio, Viscount (1758-1805). Autograph letter signed ('Nelson & Bronte') to Henry Addington (Prime Minister), 'off Toulon', 16 July 1803, one page, 4to.
Nelson sends by way of intelligence 'some letters from the French Minister to the republic of the Seven Isles, they will confirm to you how they are intriguing in the Morea ... The Corveta Arab certainly landed powder & ball for this new war which he is to give an account of to his government. The designs of Buonaparte are perfectly clear in this country and I must regret the departure of the last detachment of our Egyptian army for even that 4000 men would have given great weight in the councils either for or against us'.
Nelson was appointed commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean fleet on 16 May, and sailed to join it in the Amphion, frustrated by the uncertainty of its exact location. At the beginning of July he found it off Toulon. Meanwhile, he concentrated on obtaining an overview of his sphere of operations, convincing himself that Bonaparte had designs in the Morea with a view to causing the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, would also invade Crete and Egypt, and eventually go on to India. He sent a lengthy summary of his interpretation to Addington separately.
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