Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Countdown to Trafalgar: Nelson's Private Diary September 14th - 30th 1805

Saturday Sept 14th 1805
At Six o’Clock arrived at Portsmouth and having arrainged all my business Embarked at the Bathing Machines with Mr Rose and Mr Canning at 2 got on board the Victory at St Helens who dined with me preparing for sea.

Saturday Sept 15th 1805
At day Weighed with Light air Northerly at 6 was obliged to anchor at 8 weighed all day Light breezes at sun sett off Christ church all night Light Breezes & very foggy Euryalus in Company.

Wrote Ly. Hn.
Monday Sept 16th first part Light Breezes & very foggy at noon fresh Breezes Westerly in the Evening off the Berry head 4 miles.  All night fresh Breezes Westerly.

Wrote Ly H
Tuesday Sept 17th fresh Breezes WSW at 9 abreast of Plyo. sent in Euryalus to call out the Ajax and Thunderer all night standg to the Westward Wind from SW to SSW.

Wrote Ly H
Wednesday Sept 18 first part light Breezes & heavy western swell Wind South Lay too for the Ajax and Thunderer Lizard North at noon they joined made all possible Sail all night Breezes vble from SE to SSW swell from the Westward.

Thursday Sept 19th first part fresh gales & heavy sea at noon hard gales at SW at 6 hard Rain wind at NW all night heavy sea & fresh breezes

Wrote Ly Hn
Friday Sept 20th modte Breezes WSW & heavy Sea at 9 Saw a Squadron of Ships of War at 11 passed the Squadron of Rear Adl Stirling consisting of 5 Sail of the Line and one frigate At noon Wind WSW Saw a frigate to Windward which made the private signal at 2 Spoke the Decade carrying the flag of Rear Adl Sir Richd Bickerton Capt Stuart came on board gave him orders for his farther proceeding.  Fresh gales at 3 reeft the Courses.  All night very fresh gales from the NW which came on with heavy rain at 9 oClock

Saturday Sept 21st 1805
Fresh gales all day at NNW at night wind at North & NE heavy swell.

Sunday Sept 22nd Modte Breezes at NE & heavy swell from NW at 1 o'Clock saw a Convoy of 7 Sail under a Vessel of War in the SE quarter at 6 o Clock Euryalus made the Signal that a Vessel was reconnoitering in the East quarter all night fresh gales at East to ESE.

Monday Sept 23rd Fresh gales EbS at 6 o’Clock abreast of Cape Finisterre 17 Lgs at noon modte Wr in Lat 42o: 25N all night fine weather wind Easterly.

Tuesday Sept 24th modte Breezes SE at noon in Lat 4o: 05 No: 3pm Light airs South in the Evening wind Northerly Light Breezes all night at NE and a swell from the NW

Wrote Ly H
Wednesday Sept 25th 1805
Light airs Southerly saw the Rock of Libra SSE 10 Leagues at Sunsett the Capt. of the Constance came onboard sent my letters for England by him to Lisbon and wrote to Capt Sutton & the Consul the Enemys fleet had not left Cadiz the 18th of this month therefore I yet hope they will wait my arrival.

Monday Sept 26th Light airs at NW all day Rock of Lisbon in sight to the NNE 13 or 14 Lgs.  At 4 o’Clock sent Euryalus to join Vice Adl. Collingwood with my orders to put himself under my Command considering myself as within the Limits of my Command all night Light Breezes at NW.

Friday Sept 27th 1805 at day light Cape St. Vincent SEbS by Compass 6 leagues saw a Sloop of War or Small frigate East 5 or 6 miles called her in she proved to be the Nautilus Sloop from Vice Ad. Collingwood bound to England with dispatches at noon abreast of Lagos Bay fresh Breezes NW at 1am brought too fresh Breezes NWbN.

Saturday Sept 28th 1805
Fresh Breezes at NNW at daylight bore up & made sail at 9 saw the Aetna Cruizing at noon saw nine Sail of ships of War bearing East Latde. 36: 32 N at one saw Eighteen Sail nearly Calm in the Evening joined the fleet under Vice Admiral Collingwood saw the Enemys fleet in Cadiz amounting to 35 or 36 Sail of the Line.

Sunday Sept 19th fine Weathr gave out the necessary orders for the fleet sent Euryalus to watch the Enemy with the Hydra off Cadiz.

Monday Sept 30th fine weather Wind Easterly.

From the National Archive, catalogue reference PROB 1/22

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