COLLINGWOOD, Cuthbert, Baron, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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'I wish we could provoke Bonaparte to hoist his flag'

COLLINGWOOD, Cuthbert, Baron (1748-1810). Vice-admiral.
Fine Autograph Letter Signed to [Henry] Reay, 3 pages 4to, closely written, Queen, 4 April 1806. Lamenting the loss of a friend, promising to do all in his power to help Mr Richard, complaining that letters are not reaching him, and describing the recent success of Duckworth and his own restlessness.
'The subject nearest to my heart at this moment is the death of my dear & truly lamented friend of Chirton [North shields, where Collingwood inherited the manor house this year]. I had a sincere regard & respect for him - which he also entertained for me - and though we must all die soon this reflection does not preveent the anguish which is caused ...
For the subject of your letter Mr Richard I knew him very well - his father was mate of my watch when I was Lieutenant more than 30 years since. ...
My wife tells me that several letters have been written to me from my friends and townsmen of Newcastle, of congratulation to me - from the Mayor, from Sir Mathew Ridley & the Trinity house, and I am quite provoked that not one of them has come to me ... you know me dear Sir how difficult it is to answer a letter before you receive it. ...
Though the deed was not done by myself in person, I think you will be highly gratified at the success of Sr Jas. Duckworth - one of my admirals whom I detached from hence in quest of the Enemy. I knew him an officer of skill & perseverance and he has justified my opinion fully - those frenchmen my dear Reay must be content to fight on shore. I wish we could provoke Bonaparte to hoist his flag - and try some of his Grand Manoevres at sea. I do not wish a happier day than to get along side of his Majesteux. ...'
'Ten days after Trafalgar, Collingwood transferred from Euryalus to the Queen (90 guns)-to be reunited with his devoted dog, Bounce-and in April 1806 to the Ocean (98 guns). His flagship took him to wherever at the time was the most danger from the French or he could best assist an ally. For his first nineteen months this meant blockading Cadiz or Cartagena.' [C.H.H. Owen in Oxford DNB].
The engagement to which Collingwood refers does not appear to have been the celebrated victory of John (later Sir John) Duckworth on 6 February 1806. The name 'Sr Jas. Duckworth' is quite clear.
[No: 21698]

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