Sunday, 14 October 2012

Countdown to Trafalgar: Nelson's Private Diary October 1st to 7th 1805

Tuesday Oct 1st fine Wt. Adl Louis’ Squadron joined with Thunderer & Endymion with sprung masts.  Sent Aetna to cruize under Cape St. Marys Pickle joined from Plymouth.

Wrote Ly. Hn.
Wednesday Oct 2nd
Fine Wt: westerly sent Thunderer to Gibr. Sarda. Palermo & Naples.  Sent Canopus, Tigre, Spencer Queen, Zealous to Gibr & Tetuan for water & provn.  Sent the Nimble to England all night fine weather.

Thursday Oct 3rd 1805
Fine Weather.  Sent Eurydice to Cruize under Cape St. Marys

Friday Oct 4th
Fine Weather Wind Easterly several Ships of War in sight to the Southward which proved to be Adml. Louis’ Squadron.

Saturday Oct 5th
Fine weather, Bittern joined with 2 transports from Gibr, laying too clearing transports.

Sunday Oct 6th
Mode. Breezes ESE clearing transports in the night fresh breezes Easterly.

Wrote Ly. H.
Monday Oct 7th 1805
Fresh Breezes & a hasty sea joined the Amphion with a transport from Lisbon Naid & Niger with transports from Gibraltr. Sent the Bittern to Lisbon with the Gibr. Mail at noon mode. Breezes & a swell from the Eastward all night fresh Gales Easterly.

From  The National Archive, Catalogue reference PROB 1/22

'Adl. Louis': Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Louis.  As a Captain, he had been one of Nelson's 'Band of Brothers' at the Battle of the Nile in 1798.

'Gibr.' - Gibraltar.  Sometimes Nelson used this to mean Gibraltar the place, sometimes Gibraltar the ship.
'provn.' - provisions
'Sarda.' - Sardinia

Queen: a 98-gun ship
Canopus, Tigre: 80-gun ships
Thunderer, Spencer: 74-gun ships
Zealous: a 64-gun ship
Amphion, Endymion, Eurydice, Naiad, Niger: Frigates.
Aetna: a bomb vessel.
Bittern: a sloop.
Nimble,Pickle: cutters.

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