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Letter from Horatio Nelson to Admiral, Earl of St Vincent, K.B. of 28 December 1798

Page 3 of 3

Catalogue reference: ADM 1/399 (N7)



Burn them till the last moment. I therefore, directed the Marquis de Niza to remove all the Neapolitan Ships outside the Squadron under his Command, and if it was possible, to equip some of them with Jury Masts and send them to Messina; and whenever the French advanced near Naples, or the people revolted against their legitimate Government, immediately to destroy the Ships of War, and to join me at Palermo, leaving one or two Ships to Cruise between Capri and Ischia in order to prevent the entrance of any English Ship into the Bay of Naples. On the 23rd at 7PM, the Vanguard, Sannite, and Archimedes, with about 20 Sail of Vessels left the Bay of Naples; the next day it blew harder than I ever experienced since I have been at sea. Your Lordship will believe that my anxiety was not lessened by the great charge that was with me, but not a word of uneasiness escaped the lips of any of the Royal Family. On the 25th, at 9AM, Prince Albert their Majesties’ youngest child, having eat a hearty breakfast, was taken ill, and at 7PM, died in the arms of Lady Hamilton; and here it is my duty to tell your Lordship the obligations which the whole Royal Family as well as myself are under on this trying occasion to her Ladyship. They necessarily came on board without a bed, nor could the least


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