PELLEW, Sir Edward, Admiral, 1st Viscount Exmouth (1757-1833). A collection of approximately fifty autograph letters signed ('Edward Pellew' and 'Exmouth', some marked 'most confidential') to Edward Hawke Locker (his secretary), London, Plymouth, Caledonia off Toulon, Genoa, Gibraltar etc., 29 August 1809 - 31 July 1832, annotations and index by Locker, address leaves, seals; and letters by Lord William Bentinck, Lady Exmouth, members of the Pellew family, and others, a few printed items, blanks, tipped on guards into an album, original half morocco marbled boards (scuffed), 4to; and two letters and a document loosely inserted. Provenance: Frederick Locker (bookplate).
The letters deal largely with naval events, including the loss of the Dutton in Plymouth harbour (the subject of controversy after Lord Exmouth's death); the dispute over the Genoa Prize money from 1815-1820; letters to Locker on Exmouth's service, and announcing his death; and drafts and correspondence relating to Locker's memoir of Lord Exmouth; a few printed items; a sketch by Locker (in pencil) depicting 'Sir E. Pellew' and six others.
'We had a narrow escape ... of being robbed near Kingston, and like two Stage Heroes we pulled out our pistols and then found we had no powder' (13 September 1809). 'If a batch of Lieut[enant]s are made do ask Croker for me if Pat Skennedy can by hook or crook be shoved into a lappel[e]d coat he is you know a spirited fellow, and I should be very glad to put him in a way to get his Head cut off' (5 August 1810). 'There is no command I would not take, except such peaceable ones as Newfoundland and British Ports ... I thirst as much for honor as ever the adored Nelson did' (8 January 1816).
Sir Edward Pellew earned repeated promotions for his gallantry, from the French wars in 1793 until his famous bombardment of Algiers in 1816 when the dey refused to abolish the taking of Christian slaves. From 1817-1821 he was commander-in-chief at Plymouth.
Edward Hawke Locker (1777-1849) was the son of William Locker, Nelson's early commander and mentor. From 1804 to 1814 he was Civil Secretary to Sir Edward Pellew, and later secretary to the Greenwich Naval Hospital, where he compiled the Memoirs of Celebrated Naval Commanders, illustrated from portraits in the gallery which he established there. The present collection of letters was assembled for his memoir of Lord Exmouth in 1833. His son, Frederick Locker Lampson (1821-1895) was a bibliophile and poet.