Nelson & His World

Discussion on the life and times of Admiral Lord Nelson
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 Post subject: The order of sail of the Vanguard, Orion & Alexander
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:36 pm 
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Is there written, an order of sail, from the time the Vanguard, Orion & Alexander entered the Med in the May of 1798 to the dismasting of the Vanguard. :?:

There are a couple of modern depictions of the three ships at that time by Geoff Hunt and Tom Freeman but for me to justify purchasing the prints, the Alexander should be preferably behind (a non-nautical term) the Vanguard.

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 Post subject: Re: The order of sail of the Vanguard, Orion & Alexander
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:10 pm 
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Ed,

Besides the three 74’s, there were also of course other ships making up the squadron, including the frigates Emerald, Terpsichore, Caroline and Flora, and the sloop Bonne Citoyenne – ’as also several others’, Nelson wrote on the 7th May. The 50 gun Leander was also to join later.

Whether there was a laid down order of sailing is perhaps difficult to say, but the ships were at the very least supposed to keep within sight of the flagship and as a coherent whole in this foray into Mediterranean, so it seems likely. The smaller ships were frequently detached to chase and capture enemy ships and they subsequently rejoined, so if there was an order this may have been reasonably fluid. It is also difficult to pinpoint such an order even between the three 74’s, and I have found nothing on the subject in any of the books I have consulted, including James, Nicholas and Sugden.

I suspect that further study of more direct sources, such as the ship’s logs, may turn up something, and artists such as Geoff Hunt may well have researched these in their work. Thus, it may not be possible to say at this point whether the Alexander should be ’astern of’ (nautical term) the Vanguard. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: The order of sail of the Vanguard, Orion & Alexander
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:13 pm 
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Thanks for responding Kester.

I have copies of the original orders from St Vincent in the April but that was for the blockade of Cadiz and any forthcoming engagement and not for the newly-formed Squadron of Observation under Nelson.

Some month’s back I sent a message to Geoff Hunt’s agent to see whether he had an answer to my query but got no response. His picture shows the Vanguard astern of the Orion and Alexander whereas Tom Freeman’s shows the Orion and Alexander astern of the Vanguard!

I shall just have to organise another trip to Kew and Greenwich. :idea:

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 Post subject: Re: The order of sail of the Vanguard, Orion & Alexander
PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 11:27 pm 
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I think it perhaps also quite likely that Nelson at times ordered the ships to proceed without regard to the order of sailing. In which case, anything goes, and you need not hesitate in your purchase, Ed!

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 Post subject: Re: The order of sail of the Vanguard, Orion & Alexander
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:37 am 
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EMP wrote:
Some month’s back I sent a message to Geoff Hunt’s agent to see whether he had an answer to my query but got no response. His picture shows the Vanguard astern of the Orion and Alexander whereas Tom Freeman’s shows the Orion and Alexander astern of the Vanguard!

Ed,

It seems like you have carte blanche – so now I suppose it all boils down to whichever artist you prefer. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: The order of sail of the Vanguard, Orion & Alexander
PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:01 pm 
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I have decided to hold fire on these at present but go for a copy of Nicholas Pocock’s HMS Vanguard and HMS Alexander off Toulon to accompany my copies of Pocock’s HMS Alexander towing HMS Vanguard and Ivan Berryman’s graphic Burning of the L’Orient.

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 Post subject: Re: The order of sail of the Vanguard, Orion & Alexander
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:14 am 
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Ed,

Nicholas Pocock would seem a good choice, although I can find no reference to that actual painting in David Cordingly's book on the artist, in Conway's Marine Artists series. Even so, being fond of Pocock myself, I'm sure it's a fine painting.

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 Post subject: Re: The order of sail of the Vanguard, Orion & Alexander
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 2:40 pm 
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Hi Kester,
Pocock’s 13” x 19” painting of HMS Vanguard and HMS Alexander off Toulon is said to have been painted in watercolor over pencil heightened bodycolour and was sold at Sotheby’s on March 19, 2003 for £3,840.

The scene seems just prior to the Alexander taking the Vanguard in tow'

1st Art Gallery in America offer a copy albeit in oils for about £130.
Attachment:
Pocock_H.M.S.-Vanguard-And-H.M.S.-Alexander-Off-Toulon.jpg
Pocock_H.M.S.-Vanguard-And-H.M.S.-Alexander-Off-Toulon.jpg [ 46.55 KiB | Viewed 7778 times ]

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