Saturday, 11 August 2012

Nelson's Private Diary, September 1803

Sept 1st 1803
All the forenoon very hard gales in the afternoon smoother water being under St Sebastians.  All night strong gales.

Friday Sept 2nd
All the forenoon strong breezes & a swell as we got under the Cape St Sebastians the wind came to the westward.  At night it came to the north.  Strong gales all night.

Saturday Sept 3rd
... at noon calm.  Bellisle in sight SW.  Carmelion frigate in sight.
[?] the Adams Comd'r Morris. 

Sunday 4th
Fresh gales all day.

Monday 5th
The Superb joined with the Transport from Roses.  Strong gales all day.  More Modt in the evening.  All night hard swells.

Tuesday Sept 6th
Sent the Raven to look into Toulon.  Bellisle to Barcelona.

Wednesday Sept 7th
Modt. winds Easterly.

Thursday Sept 8th
Cleared the Transport with Wine and sent two tons of casks for Water, also the Renown to [?] hers at Roses.

Friday Sept 9th
Fine weather steering for Cape [?] Sent the Canopus to Toulon.

Saturday Sept 10th
The Raven joined but the Capt. who spoke the Foudroyant allowed her to stand to the So.ward.  Fine weather.  Phoebe joined from Malta. 

Sunday Sept 11th
Fine with Wind Westerly.  The Canopus joined, some of the French ships came out of Toulon when she was in sight but returned again.

Monday Sept 12th 1803
Strong gales at [?] away to the SE in the evening modt.  The Bellisle examined Toulon the Enemy as before.  The night calm.

Tuesday Sept 13th
First part light breezes Easterly.  The Narcissus & Active joined.  Sent the Active to Barcelona and Bellisle to look into Toulon.

Wednesday Sept 14th
Strong breezes Easterly.  Sent the Narcissus to Mahon for news.  The Phoebe to look into Marseilles.  The Foudroyants store ship arrived.

f.11
Thursday Sept 15th 1803
Sent the Phoebe to Examine the situation of the Corvettes in [?].




Friday Light air Southerly.


Saturday Sept 17th: Fresh Breezes all day at South & thick weather standing to the WSW.  Sent the Superb to Examine Toulon sound every 1 hours from 55 to 50.  When we got NE of Cape Creux Calm all night.  Carmelion in sight.


Sunday Sept 18th
Light & hazy all day in the Evening a heavy storm & thunder Lightning & Rain Wind at NNW fresh breezes all night.


Monday Sept 19th
Fresh breezes at NNW.  The Belleisle join'd, Renown from Roses Narcissus from Minorca, Superb from looking into Toulon - the French fleet ready for Sea.  Calm all night.


Tuesday Sept 20th
Light Breezes & very hazy Southerly.


f.12
Wednesday Sept 21st
In the morning fine Breezes at NW [..?] In the afternoon Active join'd from Barcelona.  At night strong breezes Sea getting up Struck Top gant. masts to and prepared for a gale.


Thursday Sept 22nd
At daylight strong gales bore away to the SW.  All day blowing very hard & a heavy sea in the Evening more modte. brought too for the night.


Friday Sept 23rd
Fine wt. the sea subsiding Wind NW. standing to the NE.  Sent the Narcissus to Tunis & Foudroyant to Malta.


Saturday Sept 24
Seahorse joined from Malta.  Sent Raven to Barcelona & Canopus to Madalena.  Fresh breezes beating up for Cape Sicii.


Sunday Sept 25th
Fresh Breezes Easterly.


Monday Sept 26th
Fresh Breezes Easterly.  At noon saw Cape Sicie.


(wrote Lady H)
Tuesday Sept 27th
The Agincourt joined as did the Halcyon & Carmelion.  The Agincourt on Tuesday Sept 20th chased five French frigates into Calvi.  Sent the Agincourt to Gibraltar and Carmelion to Roses.  Fine Weather Wind Easterly.


f.13
Wednesday Sept 28th
Sent the Active & Phoebe to look after the French frigates chased by the Agincourt.  Fine wt. Wind Easterly.


Thursday Sept 29th
Wind Easterly Sent the Seahorse to look into Toulon.  All the afternoon very strong breezes all night hard gales at ESE.  Sent the Halcyon to Gibraltar.


Friday Sept 30th
All the first part till noon very hard gales at ESE.  After 3pm more modte.  Saw Cape Creux 12 or 13 leagues.  All night modte.  Wind SSE and a very heavy sea.

From the British Library, Additional Manuscript 34,966

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Notes:
Active: 38-gun 5th rate, Capt. Richard Mowbray. 

Adams Comd'r Morris: The Adams was an American 28-gun frigate blockading Tripoli, commanded by Commodore Richard Morris, and was saluted by Nelson.   
Agincourt: 64-gun 3rd rate, Capt. Charles Marsh Schomberg. 
Bellisle: Nelson slightly misspelt Belleisle, a 74-gun 3rd rate, Capt. John Whitby.
Canopus: 80-gun 2nd rate, Rear-Admiral George Campbell and Captain John Conn.
Cape Sicii: Cape Sici√©, near Toulon. 
Cape St Sebastians: In Spanish, Cabo de San Sebastian - it is south of the Bay of Roses, and north-east of Barcelona. 
Carmelion: Nelson misspelt Cameleon, a 16-gun brig.
modt. / modte.: abbreviations of moderate. 
Foudroyant: Not quite sure here.  The only Foudroyant I can find reference to was in Plymouth at this time.  If anyone can enlighten me, please do! 
Halcyon: 16-gun brig sloop.
'Lady H' - Lady Emma Hamilton, Nelson's mistress.  Occasionally Nelson apparently marked when he wrote to her, which is quite cute really.
Narcissus: 32-gun 5th rate frigate, Capt. Ross Donnelly.
Phoebe: 36-gun 5 rate frigate, Capt. Thomas Capel.  
Raven - An 18-gun brig.
Renown: 74-gun 3rd rate, Capt. John Chambers White. 
Roses/Bay of Roses: A bay not far to the north-east of Barcelona in Spain. 
Seahorse: 38-gun frigate, Sir Courtnay Boyle
Superb: 74-gun 3rd rate, Capt Richard Goodwin Keats.







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