The Bayntun Fundraising Dinner

                                      Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
                                                                 Saturday, 5 July 2008


On 29th September 1805 Admiral Lord Nelson celebrated his 47th birthday with a dinner with his captains aboard his flagship HMS Victory.   Afterwards he shared with them his exciting battle plans - "The Nelson Touch".


Among those present was Henry Bayntun, the captain of the 74 gun HMS Leviathan.    One of the 'Band of Brothers', he served with Nelson in the Mediterranean in 1804 and joined 'the great chase' of the Combined Fleet to the West Indies and back in the summer of 1805.


Bayntun died in 1840 and his grave in Weston, near Bath, is one of those the Club identified as being at risk and in need of conservation.   More than £3,000 is needed to carry out the works, which will also complete the Trafalgar Captains Memorial Project.   Consequently the Club is holding a special fundraising dinner at the Royal Naval Museum on Saturday, 5th July 2008.


By kind permission of the Director of the Museum, Dr Colin White, we have been granted the very rare privilege of dining in the Museum's splendid McCarthy Gallery, named after our late President, Mrs Lily McCarthy CBE, with its stunning views of HMS Victory.   The gallery houses the Museum's superb Nelson collection, including many remarkable artefacts, not least the wonderful commemorative collection donated by Mrs McCarthy.   But one of the gallery's chief treasures is the original dining table, around which Nelson and Bayntun sat on that memorable evening in September 1805, and this will be broughtout as a special centrepiece for our dinner.   Also on display from a private collection will be Bayntun's Trafalgar sword and magnificent miniatures of him and his wife.


The evening, which will be hosted by Colin White, will begin with a champagne reception in the adjoining Sailing Navy Gallery, followed by a full three course dinner.   Afterwards, Dr White will give a short talk about Henry Bayntun and the famous dinner party, using the famous table as his 'visual aid' !     A private sponsor has already offered to pay for the hire of the room and the Museum's administrative costs - so all the profits from the evening will go towards paying for the restoration of Bayntun's tomb.


Since the gallery holds only 40 people it will be an exclusive occasion and early booking is essential.    Application should be made to Barry Coombs, Hon. Events Secretary, initially by e-mail - barrycoombs@teamfrith.com or telephone - 01453 822546 and then once accepted confirmed with a cheque for £150 per person payable to 'The 1805 Club Events'.      Please send to Barry Coombs, 'Eastville', Pearcroft Road, Stonehouse, Glos GL10 2JY.     This fund-raising dinner is an open event, and therefore not restricted to members of The 1805 Club.