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Sale 38 Lot 1197

(1758 - 1805) British naval officer whose brilliant tactics made the British fleet victorious in battles against the French at the Nile and Trafalgar where he was mortally wounded by a sniper. Fascinating content A.L.S. "Nelson" as Duke of Bronte and Rear Admiral, 4pp., 4to, Port Mahon, Oct.14, 1799 to Rear-Admiral Sir John Thomas Duckworth, 1st Baronet. Nelson pens this letter to his friend and colleague to tie-up loose business of the Mediterranean Fleet a year after the Battle of the Nile. In part: "... I send you the Bellerophon [HMS, gained glory during the Battle of the Nile, and captained by Henry D'Esterre Darby], who Darby says, and I truly believe, is in exceeding good order to fit to stand fair winter's service. The Thalia also goes with him. I wish I could say anything in her praise, inside or out. You will receive an order for holding a Court-Martial on the Lieutenant of Marines. Perhaps you will be able to make something of Captain Nisbet; he has by his conduct almost broke my heart...The [HMS] Powerful I cannot think of sending home, when so many others are on this station in such a bad state - viz., Alexander, Lion, and Audacious, Culloden, and etc... Sir James St. Clair has begged me not to send away the Dover, as troops will either move to Malta, if General Fox approves the measure, or, what I am more afraid of, that two regiments will be ordered to England...". Of the issues weighing on Nelson's mind, of particular interest is that of Captain Josiah Nisbet's conduct as an officer, as Nisbit was Nelson's stepson by his 1787 marriage to Frances Nisbet. Nelson gave Nisbet command of the Thalia, but John Jervis, Earl of St. Vincent and Nelson's nemesis, complained of Nisbit's performance, forcing Nelson to remove him. This letter was apparently published in The Dispatches and Letters of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson, edited by Harris Nicholas, originally published by Colburn, London 1845. Light folds, else fine.
Estimate $ 2,000-3,000

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