PITT, William, the younger, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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Pitt sends news of Napoleon and Nelson in Egypt

PITT, William, the younger (1759-1806). Prime Minister 1783-1801 & 1804-1806.
Fine Autograph Letter Signed, as prime minister, to his mother, 1½ pages 4to with blank second leaf, Downing Street, 22 August 1798. Giving a report of his intended movements in the next few days and sending remarkable historical news.
'... The account of Bonaparte's arrival at Alexandria is I am afraid true, but it give no accurate Particulars, and leaves us in entire suspense as to Nelson.'
Evidently the news of Nelson's great victory in the Battle of the Nile had not yet reached England. Nelson had been sent to the mediterranean early in 1798, as soon as he had recovered from the loss of his right arm, to try to discover the movements and intentions of the French. After following fruitless leads he had discovered the enemy in Aboukir Bay, Alexandria, and had immediately attacked with such skill and precipitation, that the victory had been overwhelming, only two frigates from a force of thirteen warships escaping. For this enterprise Nelson was rewarded with the title of Baron Nelson of the Nile.
 Provenance: Crawford Collection (stamp of the Bibliotheca Lindesiana at the head), Spiro collection (Christie's, London, 3 December 2003).
[No: 20883]

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