ON THIS DAY - June
1st June 1794: THE GLORIOUS FIRST OF JUNE - Lord Howe, Queen Charlotte, defeats the French Brest fleet under Rear Admiral Villa-Joyeuse, Montagne, off Ushant in the first truly oceanic battle.
1784: Nelson's frigate Boreas experiencing difficulty to her anchorage, solicits help from Resource. From her log: 'At noon out boats and towed the ship. Shortened sail. Made the signal with a gun for assistance. Came on board a boat from the Resource. At 4pm came to in Funchal Roads.'
2nd June 1788: 'The actions of all officers, however brilliant, are wonderfully obscured by serving at a distance, for the capture of a privateer makes more noise taken in the channel, than the frigate or even ship of the line, afar off' Captain Nelson to Prince William, on cruising with the home squadron.
4th June 1805: 'There is not a doubt in any of the admirals' minds, but that Tobago and Trinidada are the Enemy's objects.'' Vice Admiral Nelson William Marsden, Secretary to the Navy, from Carlisle Bay, Barbados.
5th June 1796: Captain Nelson to Admiral Sir John Jervis, 'they are, Sir, as fine, healthy-looking men as I ever saw, the oldest of one hundred and fifty-two is thirty four years of age. I think, till we have an opportunity of sending them to General Beaulieu, they would add strength to our Ships, five Ships, thirty each'.
6th June 1804: 'What a capricious Nation those French must be! However, I think, it must, in any way, be advantageous to England. There ends, for a century, all Republics.' Vice Admiral Nelson to Emma Hamilton reporting that Victory's log had recorded a salute at Toulon for the declaration of Emperor.
7th June 1779: 'I suppose before this you have heard of the fate of the poor Glasgow. Indeed it was a shocking sight. She anchored at half past three, and at six was in flames, owing to the steward attempting to steal rum out of the after-hold.' Nelson to Captain Locker, from Badger brig, off St Anne's. The Glasgow was lost by fire when a cask of rum ignited.
8th June 1795: 'Then came accounts of Lord Hood's resignation. Oh miserable Board of Admiralty! They have forced the first officer in our service away from his command. The late Board may have lost a few merchant vessels by their neglect; this Board has risked a whole fleet of men-of-war'. Captain Nelson's reaction to Lord Samuel Hood being ordered to strike his flag on 2 May 1795.
9th June 1801: The blessing of peace, must first shed its benign rays over us and under the present Ruler of France I see but little prospect of that happy event. Buonaparte's power exists by war, and as France must in time be tired of it, I think his life will be cut short.' Vice Admiral Nelson to merchant businessman Hercules Ross on being asked to be godfather to Ross's son.
10th June 1805: 'I have been, and shall die, a firm friend of our present Colonial system. I was bred, as you know, in the good old school, and taught to appreciate the value of our West India possessions; and neither in the field, nor in the senate, shall their just rights be infringed, whilst I have an arm to fight in their defence, or a tongue to launch my voice.' Vice Admiral Nelson to Simon Taylor in Jamaica.
11th June 1798: 'You may be assured that I will fight them the moment I can reach their fleet, be they at anchor or under sail.' Rear Admiral Nelson to Lord St Vincent, acknowledging his orders to pursue the French Toulon fleet. Nelson annihilated this fleet at the Battle of the Nile on 1 August 1798. It was at anchor.
12th June 1794: Nelson is wounded in the right eye during the siege of Calvi and can only determine darkness from light. He wrote, 'At daylight on the 12th, the Enemy opened fire from the town and San Francesco, which, in an extraordinary manner, seldom missed our battery; and at seven o'clock, I much bruised in the face and eyes by sand from works struck by the shot.'
13th June 1796: 'You will see, my dear Fanny, by the date of this letter, that I have at last left poor old Agamemnon. Whether it is right or wrong, time must determine.' Captain Nelson to his wife Francis. The Agamemnon has been described as his favourite ship.
14th June 1803: Vice Admiral Nelson to His Highness the Capitan Pacha, 'The restless ambition of the Person who, for the misfortune of mankind, still rules in the Government in France, has called me forth from my repose once more to arms.'
15th June 1797: "Success attend Admiral Nelson! God bless Captain Miller! We thank them for the officers they have placed over us, We are happy and comfortable, and will shed every drop of blood in our veins to support them, and the Name of Theseus shall be immortalised as high as the Captain's ship's company." A note found on the quarterdeck of Theseus.
16th June 1805: Nelson believes that Admirals Villeneuve and Gravina have gone east. 'If we meet them we shall find them not less than eighteen. I rather think twenty, sail of the line, and therefore do not be surprised if I should not fall on them immediately; we won't part without a battle'.
18th June 1795: Nelson is off Minorca: 'The French say they will fight us again, provide we are not more than two or three ships superior; I can hardly believe they are such fools; pray God they may.'
19th June 1799: 'All their trust is in Lord Nelson certainly, and the safety of both Kingdoms.' Sir John Acton to Sir William Hamilton on Nelson's request to go to Naples.
20th June 1796: Nelson writes to his brother, 'Opportunities have been frequently offered me, and I have never lost one of distinguishing myself, not only a gallant man, but as having a head; for, of the numerous plans I have laid, not one has failed, nor of opinions given,has one been in the event wrong. It is this latter which has perhaps established my character more than the others'.
21st June 1802: Nelson refuses an invitation to the City of London because the usual appreciation has been refused to those who fought under him at the Battle of Copenhagen on 2 April 1801: 'I should feel much mortified when I reflected on the noble support I that day received, at any honour which could separate me from them, for I am bold to say, that they deserve every honour and favour which a gratified country can bestow'.
23rd June 1796: 'Pray God it be true.' Nelson's reaction on hearing that the King of Sardinia and France has signed a treaty and that General Beaulieu and the peasants have killed 15,000 Frenchmen.
24th June 1790: 'My not being appointed to a ship is so very mortifying, that I cannot find words to express what I feel on the occasion.' An exasperated Nelson 'on the beach'.
26th June 1800: Nelson's barge crew aboard Foudroyant write: 'It is with extreme grief that we find you are about to leave us. We have been along with you in every engagement Your Lordship has been in, both by Sea and Land; and most humbly beg of your Lordship to permit us to go to England, as your Boat's crew, in any Ship or Vessel, or in any way that may seem most pleasing to your Lordship.'
27th June 1794: Nelson on the subject of prize money: 'I hope those who are to get so much money will make proper use of it. Had I attended less than I have done to the service of my country, I might have made some too; however, I trust my name will stand on record when the money-makers will be forgot.'
28th June 1803: 'Nelson writes to Henry Addington, 'I consider Malta as a most important outwork to India, that it will ever give us great influence in the Levant, and indeed all the southern parts of Italy. In this view I hope we shall never give it up.'
30th June1797: 'Unless we can be united at home much good cannot be expected - let it be War of the Nation, and what signify France, Holland, and Spain. . . We in the advance are night and day prepared for battle; our friends in England need not fear the event.' Nelson.