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Autographs and Manuscripts



COLLINGWOOD, Cuthbert, Lord (1748-1810). Admiral; Nelson's second-in-command at Trafalgar.

Autograph Letter Signed ("Collingwood") as Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean, to Lieut. General Sir Huw Dalrymple, Commander in Chief at Gibraltar, giving detailed news of the situation in Constantinople, and receipt of a plea for an attach on the French at Naples.3 pages 4to, Ocean, 28 December 1806.

Soon after Trafalgar, Collingwood transferred to the H.M.S. Ocean and was given command of the fleet in the Mediterranean. Combining his role as commander in chief with that of an unofficial diplomat in the region, Collingwood was soon involved in attempts to persuade the Ottoman Porte to abandon its alliance with France in favour of Britain.". . . The Dispatches which the Halcyon brought down are exceedingly satisfactory to me. The influence of the french at the Porte had gained such an ascendency that there was great reason to apprehend a breach in their alliance with us and Russia - it seemed inevitable, when I sent Sir Thos. Louis with a Squadron to the Dardanelles - however the firmness of Mr. Arbuthnot & the Russian Minister has determined them - they have conceded all the points required by the Russians - and we seem to be established (at least for the present) more firmly than ever - it was said the french Minister was about to leave Constantinople - god knows what effect the late success of the french may have - and that we may have an argument of set against it - Sr. Thos. Louis goes on to Constantinople.I hear very little of what is intended by those people in Cadiz - there is a report that three of the Spanish ships are given up to the french to be Manned & officer'd by them - and that a push will be made to get out - I hope it will be soon - for I have had a long cruize - and I see no prospect of its terminating till they come. The Court of Sicily are impatient for an attack upon Naples - the Queen and the Prince of Hesse think they could recover if by a Coup de Main. I apprehend Genl. Fox [General Henry Fox, Minister to Sicily and younger brother of the politician Charles James Fox] is of a different opinion - he knows that the first Courier that brought them information of a french army approaching would be their Signal of retreat. The King, good man, is distressed that the morals of his virtuous people should be corrupted by too long intercourse with the french."Six months after this letter, Collingwood ordered a British fleet led by Admiral Duckworth through the Dardanelles in an attempt to force the situation, but to no avail. Even the news of a treaty between France and the Porte's traditional enemy, Russia, failed to secure the desired result.The Neapolitan court in exile in Sicily was, at the time, agitating for a British-led invasion to restore them to power. Both General Fox and his deputy, Sir John Moore, resisted these demands, convinced that they did not have enough military strength to ensure its success. They were contradicted in this matter by William Sidney Smith, although the latter was soon to leave Sicily to join Admiral Duckworth.A letter of exceptional content, in excellent condition.

Stock Code: AU5913