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TO EVAN NEPEAN, ESQ, ADMIRALTY.
[Original, in the Admiralty.]
Palermo, September 21st, 1799. Sir,
I was yesterday honoured with your letter of August 20th, covering to me their Lordships' directions to the particular services it would be my duty to attend to; and I beg you will assure their Lordships that I shall pay the strictest attention to all the directions pointed out, and shall endeavour to deserve the good opinion their Lordships are pleased to have of my zeal and exertions. Many of the Ships of the Line on this station, having been several years from England, are in that state that it is absolutely necessary they should return to England before the winter; therefore I shall endeavour to get those Ships to Gibraltar and off Cadiz, that they may go home the moment Ships arrive to relieve them; the worst are those mentioned in the within list.
Their Lordships will not, I hope, depend on anything at sea from the Russians, as the Admiral has notified to me that his Ships cannot keep the sea during the winter. It is therefore naturally my wish not to have a Ship but what is fit to keep at sea the whole winter, the number and force must be left to their Lordships' judgment. I can only promise that not one shall be idle. I am, &c,
P.S.—I herewith enclose the Disposition of the Squadron under my command:—
Majestic, Now at Gibraltan
San Leon, at Mahon.
Bonne Citoyenne.) •
And the Portuguese Squadron are in a wretched condition.
[Added, in Lord Nelson's own Land.]
Santa Dorothea, is in the Mediterranean, but I have no list of what Ships are left on the station. Theseus very bad.
TO EVAN NEPEAN, ESQ., ADMIRALTY.
[Original, in the Admiralty.]
Palermo, 24th September, 1799.
I herewith enclose you the copy of a letter from Sir John Acton to Sir William Hamilton, His Majesty's Minister at this Court, and have to acquaint their Lordships that His Sicilian Majesty has been graciously pleased to bestow on each of the Captains mentioned in the enclosed schedule, serving under my command, a very valuable Gold Box, set round with diamonds. In the centre of that given Commodore Troubridge was His Majesty's portrait, and to him he gave also an elegant diamond ring.
In the centre of the others was His Majesty's cipher of F.R., neatly set in diamonds, and he has been pleased to particularize the services for which they were given; and to Captain George Hope he has presented a diamond ring for embark-' ing His Majesty and the Prince Royal in his barge on the night of the evacuation of Naples, in December last . His Majesty has also presented Captain T. M. Hardy, my Captain in the Foudroyant, with an elegant Box, set round with a double row of diamonds, and his portrait in the centre, and an elegant diamond ring; and to Mr. Tyson, my Secretary, he has also presented a diamond ring of great value.
I have the honour to be, with great respect, &c,
TO ADMIRAL OUSCHAKOFF.
Palermo, 20th September, 1799.
Dear Sir, By my letters from England of August the 20lh, I find that the Combined Fleets entered the Port of Brest on the
13th of that month, and the British Fleet arrived off that harbour the same day. Being now, from these circumstances, left with the temporary command of the British Fleet in the Mediterranean, I am more at liberty to act from myself; therefore I again take the opportunity of assuring your Excellency that it is my wish and desire that we should cooperate and join most cordially together for the benefit of the common Cause, and, as is my duty, I shall be as open to you as our two Sovereigns are to each other. I shall rejoice most cordially when we can go against Malta; for I am satisfied it is not to be taken without more force against it. When the Cullodcn and Minotaur return, I shall go to Minorca for a few days, to look at its Naval protection, and to endeavour to induce the Commanding General to lend us a few troops, mortars, stores, &c, against Malta, or Civita Vecchia. I beg my sincere regards to the Chevalier Italinsky, and that you will believe mo ever your Excellency's obedient servant,
TO EAUL SPENCER, K.G.
Palermo, September 20th, 1799.
My dear Lord,
As the Courier is not yet gone, I have the opportunity of sending you the translation of a letter I received yesterday from Cardinal Albani.5 Although I dare say his Eminence has sent similar letters to England, yet I feel it right for me to send it to your Lordship. The immeasurable ambition of Austria is seen by the lowest, as well as the highest understanding.
Our dear Queen is most exceedingly angry with Gallo, for his folly at Petersburg. Her language has ever been the same as before the first war of Austria. She has a wise head and a great soul. I have also certain information from Toulon, of the 15th September, that five Vessels are loading salt
• The original letter, dated Venice, 20th August, 1799, is in the Nelson Papers. Cardinal Albani requested Lord Nelson to induce the King of England, and the other Sovereigns of Europe, especially the Emperor Francis, to obtain the release of Pope Pius the Sixth, and to restore him to his Dominions.
provisions for Malta; also that the two old Venetian ships were loading stores for the above destination. One Frigate and two Corvettes are also ready for sea. A Ship of the Line which I suppose to be the Genereux, is heaving down, and another old Ship is repairing. I shall keep an eye to that quarter—not by blocking Toulon; for, the first N. W. wind, they would get out in spite of us. I shall place Ships in the track from Toulon to Ajaccio, for on that coast I think they will go, and also off the Island of Lampedosa, stretching to Cape Bon, in Africa. I may be wrong, but I feel confident I am right; for if I cannot get troops, starving is our only hopes; but I hope General Fox6 will help me. I have not yet heard whether we have been able to get hold of Civita Vecchia. I know I am a bad hand at describing my operations;—I only beg your indulgence, that my works may speak for themselves. With every sentiment of regard, believe me, my dear Lord,
Nelson. I thank you for your intention about the St. Joseph. I wish Troubridge to have the Foudroyant, the finest two-decker in the world.
TO JOHN UDNEY, ESQ, CONSUL, LEGHORN.
Palermo, 26th September, 1799.
Sir, I have to request you will give information to the British merchants at Leghorn, and all others concerned in Ships at that place, that such of His Majesty's Ships as may touch at Leghorn, in future, will be directed to take under their protection all Trade bound down the Mediterranean, and will convoy them to Minorca, which will hereafter be the general rendezvous for all Convoys. I am, &c,
• Major General, the Honourable Henry Edward Fox, fourth son of Henry first Lord Holland, who had been appointed Commander of the Forces in Minorca, and in the Mediterranean: he died a full General in 1811.
TO CAPTAIN BALL, CHIEF OF THE ISLAND OF MALTA.
Palermo, 27th September, 1799.
My dear Ball, I sent your letter with all the arguments I could use for provisions, which I hope to get; as to any more money, I believe it will be impossible to get a farthing. General Acton tells me that he will endeavour to send to me two or three ship-loads of corn, and with them a person to go to Malta, to receive cotton in payment. I am using every effort to get troops from Minorca to assist you, and I also hope, now some Russian troops are expected at Naples, that the Fleet will come to your assistance. I need not urge the most sincere and cordial co-operation with the Russian Admiral, which also my late instructions from the Admiralty enjoin in the most positive manner. The Rear-Admiral tells me he thinks he can land 2000 men, and he has ladders, &c. No language is to be held that any of the three Powers mean to keep it; when taken the three Courts are to arrange what is to be done. I have here two 13-inch mortars, and 12,00^ shells, carcases, &c, if you, with your present force, want any. I wish you may be able to hold your intended new post, but I have my doubts; you will see that the letter from Tunis, which I know to be true, accounts for Vaubois' determined resistance. If Niza can send any Ships to Lampedosa, I have no doubt but he will get hold of them, for probably the five ready will not sail at the same time. We are all very unwell; the air of Palermo is very bad; Sir Thomas Troubridge, Baronet, gone to try if the French can be talked out of Civita Vecchia, but I expect him and the Minotaur, and Foudroyant, every moment. Inglefield writes me, he is sending the Chichester with some stores for Minorca—a part shall directly go to Malta for your disposition. May God bless your endeavours with a speedy success is the fervent wish of your obliged and affectionate friend,