NELSON, Horatio, Viscount, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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Nelson in the month of Trafalgar

NELSON, Horatio, Viscount (1758-1805). Vice-admiral.
Autograph Letter Signed ['Nelson & Bronte'] to Captain [(Sir) William] Hoste (1780-1828), 1 page 4to with integral blank leaf, on board the Victory (off Cadiz), 9 October 1805. Instructing him to move his command to the Amphion.
A good letter, written within a fortnight of the Battle of Trafalgar, to a protégé who had served with him from the age of thirteen or fourteen. Hoste was not himself involved in the battle, as Oxford DNB explains: 'In November 1804 Hoste was appointed to the Eurydice, in which he cruised on the coast of Africa as far as Goree, and, returning to Portsmouth, took out a convoy to Malta. In September 1805 Nelson summoned him to the fleet off Cadiz, where, after a typically aggressive action in which he captured four merchant vessels and a privateer from a coastal convoy, his patron moved him (13 October) into the Amphion (36 guns), "one of the finest and most desirable ships on the station" (Hoste, 1.249). Having been dispatched on a diplomatic mission to Algiers, he only learned of Trafalgar and the death of his patron on his return to Gibraltar on 9 November. "Not to have been in it", he wrote to his father, "is enough to make one mad; but to have lost such a friend besides is really sufficient to almost overwhelm me" (Hoste, 1.251). ...'
'The Amphion will be vacant this day and you shall have her. Bolton shall have Eurydice, take no men, You will take Suttons furniture which is not much but very neat, and Bolton will take yours. Join me directly and be ready to charge.'
Not in The Dispatches and Letters, ed. Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas.
[No: 21654]

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