Nelson & His World

Pasco's Trafalgar note for sale
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Author:  tycho [ Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Pasco's Trafalgar note for sale

The note written by Lt Pasco recording that he persuaded Nelson to change 'confides' to 'expects' in the famous Trafalgar Day signal is to be auctioned on 9 November.

This is certain to be of interest to (well-off) Nelson enthusiasts. Any bets on what it might fetch?

Author:  Phil [ Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pasco's Trafalgar note for sale


I don't think Mr. Pasco - Senior Lieutenant on the Victory would be impressed by the Sun newspaper describing him as a lowly signalman!

The auction is at Bonhams on 9th November in their Fine Books & Manuscripts sale and the note is Lot 89. The guide price is £2,000-3,000. There are several other lots of Nelson letters as well as two signed by Lady Hamilton.

With the sale of the unknown Nelson sketch/portrait the day before at Charles Miller's auction, it's going to be an expensive week for somebody.


Author:  Mark Barrett [ Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pasco's Trafalgar note for sale

This would be a nice thing to own ( I wouldn't mind! :) )- as long as the purchaser does not assume that this is a unique and one-off item.

I am sure that Pasco was asked on many (certainly more than one) occasions to write an account of the part he played in the "Trafalgar signal."

Here is another example - that was exhibited at the Royal Naval Exhibition in 1891. I am pretty sure that it is not the same one that Bonhams are selling as it is dated - and the one in the Bonhams auction isn't.

Another post to follow.

Pasc.jpg [ 64.77 KiB | Viewed 12155 times ]

Author:  Mark Barrett [ Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pasco's Trafalgar note for sale

This letter was published shortly after Pasco's death in 1853. Another example but worded a bit differently from the Bonhams item.

I don't want to labour the point but hope any bidder/purchaser would be aware of this background info.

That's all. :)

Pasc2.jpg [ 158.17 KiB | Viewed 12152 times ]

Author:  tycho [ Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pasco's Trafalgar note for sale

Many thanks, Mark & Phil, for further information.

I wonder if anyone agrees with me that the earlier signal, 'Nelson confides [i.e. has faith'] that every man will do his duty' has a much more intimate and personal ring than the immortal 'England expects....'.The first is a declaration of trust by Nelson in his men - a hallmark of his leadership style, whereas 'England expects.....' is much more a command from the nation with Nelson as intermediary.

Author:  Phil [ Wed Nov 09, 2016 4:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pasco's Trafalgar note for sale

Pasco's note sold today for £2,250 inc. premium.


Author:  tycho [ Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pasco's Trafalgar note for sale

Many thanks for the update, Phil.

Do you have anything on the other Nelson/Hamilton lots? I have a letter written Emma but with the address written and signed by Nelson - I'd be curious to know what it might fetch now. Prices were high in the bicentennial year of Trafalgar but might have slipped back now.

Author:  Phil [ Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pasco's Trafalgar note for sale


A number of the Nelson letters/correspondence were estimated at £2000-3000. One sold at £2500 but other lots in that range remained unsold. Another Nelson estimated lower at £800 sold for £625. One Lady Hamilton letter with an estimate of £1500-2000 was unsold whilst a short note dated 2014 to an 'admirer' whilst she was in debtor's prison estimated at £600-800 sold for £1,187.

Unfortunately I was not able to catch the live feed from the actual auction, so I can only quote the prices given on their results screen.

I guess prices are governed to an extent by the content and circumstances surrounding the individual letter as much as when they are actually put up for sale. What is the nature of the letter you have?


Author:  tycho [ Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pasco's Trafalgar note for sale

Thanks for the info, Phil.

My 'Emma' letter is a message from Merton to Captain Sutton telling him that she is busy helping Lord Nelson 'with his long post' but he will reply to him 'on that matter' as soon as possible. She invites him to come and visit them and sends her love to Hardy.

It is clear from the date that 'the matter' she speaks of is the question of medals for those who fought at Copenhagen. Nelson insisted that St Vincent had promised medals but later reneged on it. Nelson announced to St Vincent in a letter of the same date that he was 'thunderstruck' by the news. He was dashing off letters on the subject all over the place that day, hence the 'long post'.

I like to imagine the pair of them in a high state of indignation at Merton, with Nelson furiously firing off letters and Emma no doubt egging him on.

The address panel of the letter - to Captain Sutton, HMS Amazon, Deal, is in Nelson's hand and signed by him.

Author:  Phil [ Fri Nov 11, 2016 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pasco's Trafalgar note for sale


Thanks for your reply.

I love the idea of Emma acting as Nelson's P.A. I wonder if she took shorthand?


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