Page images

all the force I can for Malta. I beg that your Royal Highness will believe me, with the truest attachment, your faithful servant,



[Original, in the Record Office, in the Tower.]

Port Mahon, 17th October, 1799. Gentlemen, I earnestly beg to recommend to your notice, as a fit person for your interesting yourselves with the Admiralty for promotion, Lieutenant Philip Lamb,o your Resident Agent at this port. Mr. Lamb has been employed under my eye for more than a year, and I say that a more able, sober, and zealous Officer, does not exist in any service. His situation with me has been on many and trying occasions. Believe me, Gentlemen, with great respect, &c.,



[Letter-Book. Lord Nelson sailed from Mahon in the Foudroyant on the 18th, and arrived at Palermo on the 22nd of October.]

Palermo, October 24th, 1799. My dear Marquis, I earnestly desire that your Excellency will not think of quitting Malta till I have a proper force to relieve you. We shall soon have an Army against it, and I am yet in hopes that you will be there, with the Ships of Her Most Faithful Majesty, when it surrenders. You was the first at the blockade, and I hope will be at its surrender. Your Excellency's conduct has gained you the love and esteem of Governor Ball, all the British officers and men, and the whole Maltese people ; and give me leave to add the name of Nelson as one of your warmest admirers, as an Officer and a friend. I write to Ball on the subject of land operations; he will show

Notwithstanding this strong testimony to his merits, Mr. Lamb was not pro. moted until April 1802, and he died, a Commander, in 1837.

you the letter, for I cannot write two letters on the same subject. Sir William and Lady Hamilton desire their warmest regards; and believe me ever your obliged and affectionate friend,




Palermo, October 24th, 1799. My dear Lord, On my return here two days past from the westward, last from Mahon, (where I had been on information of an Enemy's Squadron having been seen on the Coast of Portugal, now gone into Ferrol, and allowed our outward-bound Convoy to pass unmolested; ten days after they returned to Port.) I received your kind and friendly letter of August 31st, which gave equal pleasure to Sir William, Lady Hamilton, and myself. We are the real Tria juncta in uno.

Yesterday, your whole letter was read to the Queen. I am charged to say everything which is grateful and thankful, on Her Majesty's behalf. But I know I need not say much, as she intends, I believe, to write you herself. We all have the most affectionate regard for your public and private character, and I should do injustice to my friends, was I to attempt to say my regard exceeded theirs. My conduct, as yours, is to go straight and upright. Such is, thank God, the present plan of Great Britain !-at least, as far as I know; for if I thought otherwise, I am afraid I should not be so faithful a servant to my Country as I know I am at present. As I shall send you my letters to Mr. Nepean and Lord Spencer, they will speak for themselves; therefore, I will only say, believe I am the. same Nelson as you knew Captain of the Agamemnon; and more than ever your attached and faithful friend,



[Letter Book.]

Palermo, October 24th, 1799. My dear Sir, • When I arrived here yesterday from Mahon, (having been down the Mediterranean to look out for a French and Spanish Squadron which had been on the Coast of Portugal, but returned to Ferrol,) I received all your letters by the Turkish corvette, which is arrived at Messina. The details you have given me, although unsuccessful at Aboukir, will, by all military men, ever reflect upon you and your brave companions the highest honour; and I beg you will tell all those whose conduct you have so highly approved, that their merits (even of the lowest) will be duly appreciated by us, and for which reason I have given all the promotion, and shall continue to do it, if they deserve it, amongst them. All the arrangements for your young men are filled up as you desired, and, my dear Sir, you shall ever find, that although I am jealous of having a particle of my honour abridged, yet that no Commanding officer will be so ready to do everything you can wish. We have but little here of stores; but I have stripped the Foudroyant of everything. At Mahon there is nothing; but your demands, with a bare proportion for the Theseus, go to-morrow for Gibraltar; and although I am pretty sure you will not receive half what your Ships want, I shall urge Inglefield to send you everything he can.

You will have heard, probably, that Lord St. Vincent still retains the Mediterranean command, and that I amn, by order, acting till his return-therefore, I have not the power of giving Commissions, or anything more than Acting orders. As to getting Neapolitan Gun-boats to you, there are many reasons against it. In the first, they have none for such a voyage : this is enough ; but, was not this sufficient, it would be a thing impossible. I believe we are as bad a set to deal with, for real service, as your Turks. Mr. Harding has sent me word he does not choose to return to Egypt, for which he is a fool. Your brother will, of course, tell you all our good news from Holland and Germany, and I hope the King of Prussia has joined the Coalition. May peace, with a Monarchy in France,

be soon given to us. I have just got a report that appears to have some foundation, that Buonaparte has passed Corsica in a Bombard, steering for France.' No Crusader ever returned with more humility-contrast his going in L'Orient, &c. &c. Again, be assured, that I place the greatest confidence in all you do; and no Commanding officer shall ever have more attention to all your wants and wishes, than will your, &c.

NELSON. Should it so happen, after all which I can do, that Mr. Penny still wishes to give up the Tigre-if you have any young man that you wish provided for in that line, send him to me, and I will give him a good Sloop to begin, and advance a Purser of a smaller Ship than yours to the Tigre.



Palermo, 24th October, 1799." My dear Sir, I am just returned from Minorca, having found that the Enemy's Squadron have put into Ferrol, and allowed our valuable Convoy to pass unmolested. Malta, my dear Sir, is in my thoughts, sleeping and waking. I have talked fully to Sir John Acton on the subject, and his Excellency will write to you fully upon it. The object is dear to my Royal Master, and, of course, it is my duty (for it] to be so to me—in particular, as it will be pleasing to the Grand Master, the faithful Ally of my Sovereign. Could I order British troops from Minorca, they should have been at Malta, ready to co-operate most cordially with the Russian troops; but, alas, they are under the orders of General Fox, who is not yet arrived from England. General Sir James St. Clair, the present Commanding Officer, has prepared 1500 excellent troops, besides the garrison of Messina, with stores of every description, should General Fox approve of the plan we have made ; but they will not move without knowing when, and how many Russian troops will be there to co-operate with them. No time should be lost. The

"Buonaparte arrived at Toulon from Egypt early in October, on board La Muiron, of 28 guns, bearing the Flag of Rear-Admiral Ganteanme.


Portuguese Squadron is ordered home, and I have no Ships to relieve them at present. I wish I could be with you and the Admiral for a few minutes to fix all matters. Believe me, there is not a thing that the Admiral could propose, that I would not meet him half-way. The honour and glory of the Emperor Paul is as dear to me, both from my duty and inclination, as that of my own Sovereign; and I am sure that we shall disoblige our Royal Masters, if we do not as cordially unite together for the destruction of the French villains, as they are happily doing in the North Seas, both at sea and on shore.. I beg the Admiral will consider this letter as jointly wrote to him and you, as it is more pleasant to me for your upright and honourable heart to interpret for me than a stranger. Our news from Egypt has not been pleasant; but I trust will be of no consequence beyond the moment. With my sincerest regards to Admiral Ouschakoff and Admiral Kartzow, believe me, with the sincerest regard and esteem, your obliged and faithful friend,




Foudroyant, Palermo, 25th October, 1799. Sir, I have received your letter of the 7th July last, addressed to the Earl St. Vincent, complaining that the provisions under your charge, as Purser of Le Tigre, have been repeatedly thrown overboard without survey, and some collusively expended by the Master's interference, to cover his neglect, and that large quantities of necessaries have been sent out of the Ship, which you think ought not to have been at your expense, and, in consequence thereof, the necessary money is vastly inadequate to supply the Ship, and requesting to be superseded, as there was no likelihood of these complaints being investigated at an early period; and also your letter of the 1st September, addressed to Lord Keith, requesting to be superseded as Purser of the Tigre, having affairs to transact in England, which require your personal attendance;

« PreviousContinue »