Nelson & His World

Discussion on the life and times of Admiral Lord Nelson
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 Post subject: Lord Nelson, HMS Victory and Sardinia – A Forgotten Episode?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:31 pm 
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I found this interesting article today and thought that N&HW was the ideal place to post it.

http://www.bl.uk/eblj/2007articles/pdf/ ... e22007.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Lord Nelson, HMS Victory and Sardinia – A Forgotten Episode?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 8:18 am 
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What an interesting piece! Many thanks for posting.

I was aware of Nelson's gift to the islanders, and of his letter to them; but the additional detail here makes interesting reading. Nelson's preferences in wine and gin were also something new. He was a frugal drinker but like many so, was quite particular about what he drank.

I note also his mention that the islanders might 'pray to the Santa Madonna' - this is a very Catholic sentiment, coming from a staunch member of the Church of England; further evidence, if it was needed, of Nelson's religious tolerance.

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 Post subject: Re: Lord Nelson, HMS Victory and Sardinia – A Forgotten Episode?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:35 am 
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I agree, an interesting article. However, I think the author makes a few assumptions.

To begin with, it would seem as though he is surprised that Nelson is religious, even though this was quite normal for the Georgian period. He also makes no mention of the fact that Nelson's father was a rector, which would surely make his faith even more important to him, and perhaps over and above that of others. It would seem quite natural then, that he should have sensibilities towards the islanders' religion, albeit that it was catholic. I think Nelson had regard for all faiths, and this would have presented no problems to him.

As to the amount and type of wine and spirits taken abord Victory, I rather get the impression that the author believes that most of it was for Nelson's personal consumption whereas, as you say Anna, he was most fastidious when it came to food and drink. I also believe that the bulk of the alcohol was intended for others at Nelson's table, since he liked to entertain, and with him drinking only a moderate amount. The 'others' may have included any civilians that were met with, but I surmise that most of it was intended for the officers of the fleet, when summoned to the flagship, which was quite frequent. Nelson probably also knew that they might be at sea for some time and that anything could happen, which would preclude entering any port to replenish. I was a bit surpised that the author makes no mention of the dash to the West Indies and back, in the wake of Villeneuve, and which took place between the Victory's weighing anchor from Maddelena in the January of 1805, and Trafalgar some nine months later in October! Admittedly at the time Nelson didn't know this was going to occur, but presumably he knew that something would. Before the Scouts adopted the motto 'Be Prepared', I think Nelson was in the habit of using it!

Appear, I note that the article was written for some journal, but do you know which, and have you any more information about the author?

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 Post subject: Re: Lord Nelson, HMS Victory and Sardinia – A Forgotten Episode?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:07 am 
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I can only find the following reference - if that is any help.

http://earlymodernengland.com/2012/08/l ... y-england/


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 Post subject: Re: Lord Nelson, HMS Victory and Sardinia – A Forgotten Episode?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:22 am 
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Only a little, but thanks! :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Lord Nelson, HMS Victory and Sardinia – A Forgotten Episode?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:42 am 
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I did a little further digging and I find that Denis Reidy is the treasurer at the British Library - Italian Section.
I have listed his contact details.


Denis Reidy, (Treasurer)
The British Library,
Italian Section,
96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB
+442 (0)7 412 7573
http://www.bl.uk/
denis.reidy@bl.uk


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 Post subject: Re: Lord Nelson, HMS Victory and Sardinia – A Forgotten Episode?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 4:25 pm 
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Thank you for that. It's always nice to know what connections an author might have if any. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Lord Nelson, HMS Victory and Sardinia – A Forgotten Episode?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:36 pm 
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Why would the wine not be for the ship's company? Once the beer from England was finished they were issued with wine instead - 1 pint per day per man.

(Please excuse my brevity - using a phone to post)

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 Post subject: Re: Lord Nelson, HMS Victory and Sardinia – A Forgotten Episode?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 8:12 am 
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Tony,

Yes, of course, and I think you probably have more information about that. The eight pipes taken on board in the January, I think around 840 gallons in today's measurement, would also be substantial amount.

I don't know what the rum situation would have been at that stage, but the crew would also have had that, if there were supplies left.

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