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far from laying any blame on you, will applaud and reward your great zeal for the service of the Common Cause against the French villains. I shall be proud at all times to bear my testimony of your great worth as an Officer, and of your real goodness of heart as a man, and believe me, Sir, ever your affectionate friend, Bronte Nelson,
TO HIS EXCELLENCY J. SPEXCEH SMITH, ESQ.
[From a Facsimile in Orme's " Graphic .Memoirs of Lord Nelson," and LetterBook.]
Palermo, October OOth, 1799. My dear Sir,
The arrival of Lord Elgin will necessarily draw my official communication to his Lordship, but be assured that I shall ever entertain the warmest regard for all your kind and flattering, and interesting letters; and, from my heart, I most sincerely thank you. Being now the Commanding Officer of the Mediterranean Fleet, your brother has already experienced, and will continue so to do, every mark of my affectionate regard, both as an Officer and a friend. Lord St. Vincent did not give Sidney the disposal of poor WilmotV vacancy, the first act of my command, without having had an opportunity of making one Captain. I gave your brother the disposal of poor dear Miller's7 vacancy, and have promoted all his young men, as he desired, besides authorizing him to declare that all vacancies in his Squadron should be given to those serving with him. You know me not, if you ever believed me capable of wishing to hurt Sidney's feelings for a moment. I feel too much myself on such occasions, and I cannot want to crop any man's laurels: the world has been over-bountiful to me. I rejoice with you that our dear friend Cooke8 is likely to recover. No one knows his worth to his Country more than myself. Whenever an opportunity may offer, I shall have much pleasure in making your personal acquaintance, and in assuring you how much I feel myself your obliged,
• Captain Wilniot, of the Alliance. This gallant officer, one of " the best anil bravest," was killed by a rifleman, as he was mounting a howitzer on the breach at Acre, on the 8th of April, 1799. Vide Sir Sidney Smith's dispatch, of the 2nd of May, 1799, in the " London Gazette."
'Captain Miller, of the Theseus. Tide vol. ii. p. 465.
■ Vide vol. i. p. 409.
TO HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY THE EMPEROR OF RUSSIA.
Palermo, October 31st, 1790. Sire,
As Grand Master of the Order of Malta, I presume to detail to your Majesty what has been done to prevent the French from re-possessing themselves of the Island, blockading them closely in La Valetta, and what means are now pursuing to force them to surrender.
On the 2nd of September 1798, the inhabitants of Malta rose against the French robbers, who, having taken all the money in the Island, levied contributions; and Vaubois, as a last act of villany, said, as baptism was of no use, he had sent for all the Church plate. On the 9th, I received a letter from the Deputies of the Island, praying assistance to drive the French from La Valetta. I immediately directed the Marquis de Niza, with four Sail of the Line, to support the Islanders. At this time, the crippled Ships from Egypt were passing near it, and 2000 stand of arms, complete, with all the musket-ball cartridges, were landed from them, and 200 barrels of powder. On the 24th of October, I relieved the Marquis from the station, and took the Island of Gozo—a measure absolutely necessary, in order to form the complete blockade of La Valetta, the garrison of which, at this time, was composed of 7000 French, including the seamen, and some few Maltese; the Inhabitants in the Town, about 30,000; the Maltese in arms, volunteers, never exceeded 3000. I entrusted the blockade to Captain Alexander John Ball, of the Alexander, 74, an Officer not only of the greatest merit, but of the most conciliating manners. From that period to this time, it has fell to my lot to arrange for the feeding of 60,000 people, the population of Malta and Gozo, the arming the peasantry, and, the most difficult task, that of keeping up harmony between the Deputies of the Island. Hunger, fatigue, and corruption appeared several times in the Island, and amongst the Deputies. The situation of Italy, in particular this Kingdom, oftentimes reduced me to the greatest difficulties where to find food. Their Sicilian Majesties, at different times, have given more, I believe, than £40,000 in money and corn. The blockade has, in the expense of keeping the Ships destined alone for this service, [cost] full £ 180,000 sterling. It has pleased God hitherto to bless our endeavours to prevent supplies getting to the French except one Frigate and two small Vessels, with a small portion of salt provisions.
Your Majesty will have the goodness to observe, that, until it was known that you were elected Grand Master, and that the Order was to be restored in Malta, I never allowed an idea to go abroad that Great Britain had any wish to keep it. I therefore directed his Sicilian Majesty's nag to be hoisted, as, I am told, had the Order not been restored, that he is the legitimate Sovereign of the Island. Never less than 500 men have been landed from the Squadron, which, although with the volunteers, not sufficient to commence a siege, have yet kept posts and battery not more than 400 yards from the works. The quarrels of the Nobles, and misconduct of the Chiefe, rendered it absolutely necessary that some proper person should be placed at the head of the Island. His Sicilian Majesty, therefore, by the united request of the whole Island, named Captain Ball for their Chief Director, and he will hold it till your Majesty, as Grand Master, appoints a person to the Office. Now the French are nearly expelled from Italy by the valour and skill of your Generals and Army, all my thoughts are turned towards the placing the Grand Master and the Order of Malta in security in La Valetta, for which purpose, I have just been at Minorca, and arranged with the English General a force of 2500 British troops, cannon, bombs, &c, &c, for the siege. I have wrote to your Majesty's Admiral, and his Sicilian Majesty joins cordially in the good work of endeavouring to drive the French from Malta. The laborious task of keeping the Maltese quiet in Malta, through difficulties which your Majesty will perfectly understand, has been principally brought about—[imperfect.']
TO EVAN NEPEAN, ADMIRALTY.
-Original, in the Admiralty. The Perseus Bomb sailed ou the 1st of November, and (the Foudroyaut being still absent) Lord Nelson's flag was transferred to the Samuel and .lane transport.]
Perseus Bomh, Palermo, 1st November, 1709. Sir, I herewith enclose you, for the information of their Lordships, a copy of Sir Sidney Smith's letter to me of the 22nd August, detailing the defeat of the first division of the Ottoman Army at Aboukir, under Mustapha Pacha Seraskier, with a copy of the probable causes of that defeat, as sent to me. I also, from Sir Sidney's representation of his want of Gunboats to act against the Enemy, have given him an order to purchase four into the Service, which have been employed for some time on the Coast and at Acre (a copy of which is also enclosed) which I hope their Lordships will approve. I have
the honour to be, &c,
TO CAPTAIN HENRY COMPTON, H.M. BOMB-VESSEL PERSEUS.
You are hereby required and directed to proceed in the Bomb-vessel under your command, through the Faro of Messina, to the Island of Corfu, and as his Sicilian Majesty has requested a passage to Catania for a Signor GrafFer, his wife, and family, you will receive them on board, and victual them at whole allowance during their stay; and having landed them at Catania, you will proceed on your route to Corfu, delivering the letter you will receive herewith to Spiridion Foresti, Esq., his Majesty's Consul there, and having waited a reasonable time for his answers, you will return and join me at this place. But should Mr. Foresti request you to call at Zante on your return, to settle any matters at that Island, you will comply with his wish.
TO SIR ISAAC HEARD, GARTER KING OF ARMS. [Autograph, in the possession of James Pulman, Esq., Richmond Herald.]
Palermo, November 1st, 1799.
My dear Sir,
I am not certain that I answered your kind congratulatory letter on my elevation to the Peerage—if not, I beg your pardon, and probably deferred it at the moment, in expectation of receiving the plan of the Arms you sent to Lord Grenville, but which has never reached me. I should be much obliged to you for them, but now I suppose the Ducal Arms of Bronte must have a place. If His Majesty approves of my taking the Title of Bronte, I must have your opinion how I am to sign my name. At present I describe myself 'Lord Nelson, Duke of Bronte in Sicily.' As the Pelises given to me and Sir Sidney Smith are novel, I must beg you will turn in your mind how I am to wear it when I first go to the Kmg; and, as the Aigrette is directed to be worn, where am I to put it? In my hat, having only one arm, is impossible, as I must have my hand at liberty; therefore, I think, on my outward garment. I shall have much pleasure in putting myself into your management, for, believe me, dear Sir, your most obliged servant,
I have just received the Imperial Order of the Crescent from the Grand Signior,9 a diamond Star; in the centre, the Crescent and a small Star.
• The following Letters from Mr. Spencer Smith, the British Minister at Constantinople, dated on the 8th and 9th of September, 1799, show the history of the institution of the Order of the Crescent, which was afterwards conferred on many British and other European Officers:
"Your Lordship will find the Vizir's dispatch accompanied by a translation carefully done under my eye; also, by an answer to a letter from Vice Admiral Lord Keith upon a part of the same subject; and last, though not least, by a rich diamond ornament, which, as a mark of unprecedented distinction, and attention to our usages, has been adapted to the form and purposes of a Badge of Knighthood; and as such I comprehend your Lordship is expected to employ it. I have suggested that it may be entitled the Order of the Crescent."
"Constantinople, 9th September, 1799.
"Cramped as I am for the time necessary even to obey the Sultan's command by means of the annexed dispatches, I cannot let this communication pass without addressing my very cordial congratulations upon the occasion.
"It is, indeed, matter of flattering recollection to me, after having it fall to my lot VOL. rv. G