Letter from Nelson, dated 26 December 1793, to Philip Stephens, Secretary of the Admiralty
Page 2 of 2
Catalogue reference: ADM 1/2224 (N20)
the place the White Colors were still flying in the Town and at fort Le Malque that soon after He left the harbour an Amazing fire broke out and a great explosion which he supposed was the Ships filled with powder blowing up & the Arsenal on fire, that it being Calm He return’d to the Harbour in his boat & saw the Arsenal and the whole French fleet in flames with part of the Town, and that they were all destroy’d except the Commerce De Marseilles 130 guns, Le Pompee 74 & Le Pearle frigate that the disaffect’d in the Town had begun to plunder & to commit every excess of Riot, the whole Neapolitan fleet are said to have been at Sea going to Port Especia this Account is confirm’d by the Arrival of two other Vessels with families from Toulon, I have the greatest pleasure in saying that Lord Hood was said to be perfectly well.
I have the honor to be your Most Obedient Servant
Dec[embe]r 27th 6 o Clock PM nothing is received official from Lord Hood. four Sail is arrived with Wounded Soldiers & Sailors from the Hospital, all agree in the Main Point but differ in the telling-.
[Le Puissance] 74& Le [Notteaus] frigate are saved.