ON THIS DAY - September

1st September 1787:  To Philip Stephen on the unusual event of desertion from his ship, Boreas:  'A seaman deserted yesterday morning from duty.  I have therefore thought proper to send you a description, that their Lordships may, if they think fit, take such measures as may be necessary for apprehending him.  I have no doubt of his having gone to London'.

2nd September 1805: Nelson to Captain Henry Blackwood who had called at Merton, "I am sure you bring me news of the French and Spanish Fleets, and I think I shall yet have to beat them".

3rd September 1799:  From the Samuel and Jane transport to Captain Cockburn: 'You are hereby required and directed to proceed to Gibraltar, and put yourself under the command of Rear-Admiral Duckworth, or the senior Officer of that place.  But should it happen that you are the senior officer at that place, you will use your endeavours to succour the Garrison, and yield them every assistance in your power to procure supplies and keep the Ports on the Coast of Barbary open'.

4th September 1805:  Lady Hamilton writes to Lady Bolton, 'My dear friend I am going broken-hearted, as our dear Nelson is immediately going. It seems as though I have had a fortnight's dream, and am awoke to all the misery of this cruel separation'.

5th September 1799:  To Rear-Admiral Duckworth: 'Should the force sent down to Gibraltar be more than is necessary for guarding Cadiz, you will send me the Northumberland;  or such Ship as may be able to keep the sea during winter for the Russian Admiral has already told me his Ships cannot.  In short, for active operations, none but the English Ships are of use'.

6th September 1803: Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson writes to his solicitor for his will: ' I send you a Codicil to my Will, which you will not communicate to any person breathing; as I would wish you to open, read it, and if not drawn up properly, send me a copy, and I will execute it. It is possible that my personal estate after the disposal of the furniture at Merton, may not amount to £4,000; and sooner than this legacy, or any other, should go unpaid, I would saddle Bronté, or any other estate with legacies'.

7th September 1798:  To Sir William Hamilton on the extraordinary measures needed to keep ships at sea: 'The Culloden sails so heavy, by having a sail under her bottom in order to stop her leak, that it has coursed me to be a much longer time than I can at present spare to make passages'.

8th September 1802:  Writing from Merton to the Lord Mayor of London about Copenhagen: 'Never, till the City of London think justly of the merits of my brave companions of the second of April, can I, their commander, receive any attention from the City of London'.

9th September 1787:  To the Admiralty: 'William Pope, a seaman under my command was arrested for a debt of £21 at the suit of John Rowe, a Landlord at Gosport: other publicans, as well as this man, having declared they have taken out writs against several of the men, have a right to take them out of the Ship.  I beg their Lordships' orders whether I am to give up these men, or in what manner I am to act'.

10th September 1789: On half pay Captain Horatio Nelson asks Captain William Locker: 'Is there any idea of our being drawn into a quarrel by these commotions on the continent? I will take care to make my application in time'.

11th September 1785:  To Frances Nisbet: 'My greatest wish is to be united with you; and the foundation of all conjugal happiness, real love and esteem, is, I trust, what you believe I possess in the strongest degree towards you'.

12th September 1804:  Nelson informs the Admiralty he has appointed Mr Edward Flin of Victory to Niger.  The night before he had jumped overboard to save James Archibald: 'I must observe that Mr Flin's conduct very justly merits my approbation.  I therefore hope their Lordships' will approve of my having placed him in this invaliding vacancy'. 

13th September 1805: Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson writes in his private diary, 'At half past-ten drove from dear dear Merton where I left all which I hold dear in this world, to go to sea to serve My King and Country. May the Great  God whom I adore enable me to fulfil the expectations of my Country; and if it is His good pleasure that I should return, my  thanks will never cease being offered up to the throne of His Mercy'.

14th September 1805: On arrival at Portsmouth from Merton Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson writes in his private diary: 'At six o'clock arrived at Portsmouth, and having arranged all my business, embarked at the bathing machines with Mr Rose and Mr Canning at two; got on board the Victory at St Helens, who dined with me; preparing for sea'.

15th September 1805:  Victory proceeds in company with Euryalus, leaving Royal Sovereign, Agamemnon and Defence to join them when ready. To Captain Lechmere, Thunderer:  'Off Cape St Vincent where a Frigate will be stationed to give information where I am to be found.  In the event of not meeting said Frigate, the Ship in search of me must call off Cape Sty Mary's and Cadiz, approaching them with the utmost caution'.

16th September 1803:  To Major General Villettes: 'She [Spain] must go to war either with France or us; and all the blame is laid at our door because we will not bow to France'.

17th September 1805:  Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson writes off the Eddystone to Emma Hamilton: 'I entreat my dear Emma, that you will cheer up; and we will look forward to many happy years, and be surrounded by our children's children. God Almighty can, when he pleases remove the impediment [his marriage to Lady Nelson]'.

18th September 1794:  Captain Horatio Nelson takes the island of Capraja. To the Governor, enclosing capitulation terms: 'Had your answer [to a letter of 11th September] been a refusal to treat, our attacks by Land and Sea would have commenced, and the lives and property of innocent inhabitants, would have been sacrificed by your fruitless attempt against the superior forces attacking you'.

19th September 1794:  Nelson arrives at Genoa flying the union flag at the fore topgallant masthead.  To Fanny: 'We were in the Mole  before they saw us from the Signal house.  None of us having been here, I had the Signal up for a Pilot, which, by the Consul's account they took for a Flag of a Vice-Admiral: and although it was struck a full quarter of an hour before they saluted, which they did with fifteen guns, and I returned in equal number'.

20th September 1796:  To Don Juan de Sannova, La Vengeance, illustrating the difficulty in obtaining news:  'It is not possible to desire a Spanish Officer to do what would be considered in the smallest degree dishonourable, I am in doubt, Sir, whether it is War or Peace between the two courts.  You, Sir, say you are sure that all is Peace, and that the most perfect good understanding subsists between the two courts'.

21st September 1796:  Commodore Nelson explains to Admiral Sir John Jervis that because of Spain's neutrality he would not take the Spanish vessel La Vengeance, 'Although I own my fingers itched for it'.

22nd September 1801: On the mortally wounded Captain Edward Parker, to Dr Baird: 'Although Parker has had a bad night, yet with your nursing I have great hopes; and, let what will happened, great consolation from your abilities and affectional disposition.

23rd September 1803:  Nelson complains to His Highness the Bey of Tunis about privateering against vessels of nations at peace (British) and asks for an enquiry:  'Reports have reached me that some Vessels who call themselves French Privateers but who I can consider in no other light than as Pirates, lie under the island of Zimbra.  I understand they have, passig for a cruiser belonging to your highness, taken possession of an English Ship'.

24th September 1793: Off Leghorn Captain Horatio Nelson wrote: 'An express came that a French man-of-war, and three sail under her convoy, had anchored under Sardinia. . .  Unfit as my ship was, I had nothing left for the honour of our country but to sail, which I did two hours afterwards.  It was necessary to show them what an English man-of-war would do'.

25th September 1805: Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson off Cape St Vincent, sends Thunderer and Euralyus ahead to announce his approach. To Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, he writes, "If you are in sight of Cadiz not only may no salute take place, but also that no Colours may be hoisted, for it is well not to proclaim to the enemy every Ship which may join the Fleet".

26th September  1799:  To Spencer, assuming the French will augment Malta: 'I have certain information from Toulon, on 15th September, that five Vessels are loading salt provisions for Malta; also that two old Venetian ships were loading stores for the above destination'.

27th September 1801: Captain Edward Parker, wounded on the night of 15 August during the attack on the French flotilla at anchor of Boulogne, dies. Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson was very fond of Parker and said, "He suffered much and can suffer more". Nelson subsequently paid for Parker's memorial at Deal, which was subsequently conserved by The 1805 Club.

28th September 1805:  Concerned at alerting the enemy of his arrival at Cadiz, Nelson writes a general memorandum: 'It is my particular directions that no junior Flag Officer salutes on joining the Fleet under my Command'.

29th September 1758:  HORATIO NELSON was born at Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, England.

29th September 1804:  To Emma:  'This day, my dearest Emma, which gave me my birth, I consider as more fortunate than common days, as, by my coming into this world, it has brought me so intimately acquainted with you, who my soul holds dear.  I well know that you will keep it, and have my dear Horatia to drink my health'.

30th September 1805:  To Sir Alexander Ball in Malta:  'I got fairly into the fleet yesterday, and under all circumstances I find them as perfect as could be expected.  The Force is at present not so large as might be wished, but I will do my best with it; they will give me more when they can, and I am not come forth to find difficulties, but to remove them'.