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HMS Nelson with the Fleet
HMS Nelson seen in front of a squadron of other battleships or battle-cruisers of the Royal Navy, with a Blackburn Shark Seaplane flying overhead.
How did Nelson die?
Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson (29 September 1758 - 21 October 1805) was an English sea captain and one of Britain's greatest naval heroes. Nelson commanded the British fleet during the Napoleonic Wars, fighting against the French and Spanish and securing a series of decisive naval victories.
Nelson was shot by a French sniper during the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. He was struck while pacing the quarterdeck of his ship HMS Victory with Captain Thomas Hardy, at about 1.15pm.
According to accounts of his death, the musket shot struck Nelson down through his left shoulder, with a force that threw him to his knees. It smashed two ribs and tore through his left lung, severing a major artery on the way. The bullet lodged beneath his right shoulder blade.
Nelson was carried below deck to receive medical attention but nothing could be done. He survived for three hours, long enough to hear from Hardy that the British had achieved a great victory. With Chaplain Alexander Scott, Surgeon William Beatty and Purser Walter Burke attending, Nelson gave Hardy final directions for the fleet and left affectionate messages for his lover Emma Hamilton and their child, Horatia.
Nelson died at 4.30pm on 21 October 1805. He was 47 years old.
Nelson’s death became the central event of the Battle of Trafalgar. Even at the time, it overshadowed the triumph of the great victory. Ordinary seamen broke down crying when the news spread through the fleet and when the news reached Britain, the nation went into mourning.
At the request of Nelson's father, Suckling entered the young Horatio Nelson as midshipman into the ship's books, though Nelson did not embark until a couple of months after this (it was not uncommon practise to rate sons of relatives or friends several months before they entered the ship, though Admiralty orders expressly forbade this), on 15 March 1771. Raisonnable had been in the process of commissioning at this time, in response to an expected conflict with Spain. However, the war never developed, and Raisonnable remained in the Medway as a guard ship. At this time, Suckling took command of the 74-gun HMS Triumph, and took Nelson with him.
The ship re-commissioned on 25 May 1771 under Captain Henry St. John, a mere 10 days since paying off as a guard ship, and joined the Channel Fleet. St John was succeeded by Captain Thomas Greaves on 23 January 1773, and Raisonnable paid off at Plymouth on 23 September 1775.
American Revolutionary War Edit
She was again re-commissioned on 25 February 1776 under Captain Thomas Fitzherbert, and despatched to the North American Station. In July 1778, Raisonnable formed part of Lord Howe's squadron, which was lying off Sandy Hook. The French Admiral d'Estaing was nearby with a large fleet, and the two opposing sides were only prevented from engaging in battle by the weather and sea conditions, which forced the two fleets to disperse.
Captain Henry Francis Evans took command of Raisonnable on 5 December 1778, and in May of the following year, took part in an assault on Hampton Roads, as part of Commodore Sir George Collier's squadron. On 1 June Raisonnable was in action on the Hudson River, during which two forts were captured. In August, with Collier embarked, Raisonnable sailed to Penobscot, where British forces were under heavy siege. Immediately after arriving, Collier's squadron of 7 ships engaged a rebel fleet of 41 vessels, of which 2 were captured, and the rest were either sunk or destroyed to prevent capture.
In January 1780, Raisonnable was part of Vice Admiral Mariot Arbuthnot's squadron which took part in the siege of Charleston, South Carolina, although Raisonnable, along with the 5 other third rates in the squadron, was sent back to New York before the siege began. Captain Evans left the ship on 14 May 1780.
Captain Sir Digby Dent assumed the command on 30 August, and returned the ship to England. Dent transferred to Repulse on 16 December, and Raisonnable paid off in January the following year. On 11 May 1781 she went into dock, during which time she had her bottom coppered. She was re-launched on 14 January 1782 and placed under the command of Captain Smith Child on 15 May, until 29 August when he shifted to HMS Europa.
She was commissioned again on 8 January 1782 under Captain Lord Hervey, but brought back to Chatham in August for decommissioning. Her crew were to be discharged to other vessels, but there were delays in finalising their departures and they became mutinous. Captain Hervey made an unsuccessful appeal to the crew to return to their stations, and then had the ringleaders of the mutiny arrested at gunpoint. The mutiny promptly collapsed, and Raisonnable was sailed to Sheerness Dockyard where she was placed under guard. Four mutineers were sentenced to death for their part in the uprising. 
The American war at this stage was coming to an end, and Raisonnable was no longer required by the Navy, and so was laid up in ordinary – a state in which she remained for some ten years.
French Revolutionary War Edit
When war with France broke out in 1793, Raisonnable, along with many other vessels, was brought out of ordinary, and made ready for service once more. On 31 January she was re-commissioned under Captain James, Lord Cranstoun. She joined with the Channel Fleet in April, but was back in dock, in Portsmouth this time, on 14 January 1794. She put to sea again in March, but returned to dock in Portsmouth in September so as her copper might be replaced. She once more re-joined the Channel Fleet on 1 November, and remained on active service until 14 October 1796, when she was docked at Plymouth for re-coppering. She returned to duty in January 1797, and during 1799, Captain Charles Boyles took over the command, and left the ship again, when Raisonnable returned to Chatham on 21 January 1800, for HMS Saturn. She was dry docked on 2 April for re-coppering and other repairs, and sailed again on 19 August.
Captain John Dilkes became Raisonnable ' s commanding officer on 21 January 1801, and the ship joined the North Sea Squadron. 1801 saw the creation of an alliance between Denmark, Norway, Prussia and Russia, which cut Britain off from the supplies relied upon from the Baltic. Raisonnable joined Admiral Sir Hyde Parker's fleet sent to attack the Danes at Copenhagen. On 2 April, she took part in the Battle of Copenhagen. After the battle, she was attached to a squadron under Captain George Murray in Edgar, which included one of Raisonnable ' s sister ships, HMS Agamemnon, to watch the Swedish Navy at Karlskrona. Once the situation in the Baltic was resolved, Raisonnable returned to the North Sea, before paying off.
When the Treaty of Amiens was signed in March 1802, Raisonnable was docked at Chatham in July and her copper repaired. She was on station at Sheerness once again by the end of December.
Napoleonic Wars Edit
War broke out again with France in March 1803, and Raisonnable was by this time under the command of Captain William Hotham. She joined Admiral William Cornwallis and the Channel Fleet, and participated in the blockade of Brest.
In September Hotham was replaced by Captain Robert Barton, who was himself replaced in April 1805 by Captain Josias Rowley.
In July 1805, she was with Admiral Sir Robert Calder's squadron off Ferrol, when they fell in with the combined Franco-Spanish fleet under Admiral Villeneuve, and took part in the ensuing Battle of Cape Finisterre.
Raisonnable remained on blockade duty until sailing from Cork in late 1805 with Commodore Sir Home Riggs Popham's squadron, consisting of 9 vessels, including another of Raisonnable ' s sister ships, Belliqueux, for the Cape of Good Hope. The following campaign saw British troops drive the Dutch out of Cape Town, and the subsequent peace terms handed the Cape dependencies to the British crown. In April 1806, after receiving news that the people of Buenos Aires were unhappy with Spanish rule, and would welcome the British, Popham sailed with his squadron to the Río de la Plata. Popham was replaced by Rear Admiral Murray, and following a disastrous second attempt to take Buenos Aires, Raisonnable returned to the Cape.
In 1809, Captain Rowley commanded a squadron that blockaded Mauritius (the Isle of France) and Réunion (the Isle of Bourbon). On 20 September, Rowley, commanding the squadron from HMS Nereide, succeeded in taking the town of Saint-Paul, the batteries, a 40-gun frigate Caroline, a 16-gun brig, and 2 merchantmen, as well as rescuing two ships of the East India Company (Streatham and Europe). Captain Rowley transferred to HMS Boadicea during March 1810, and Captain John Hatley took over the command, paying the ship off in Chatham at the end of July.
In November 1810, Raisonnable was hulked and converted into a receiving ship, and towed to Sheerness. In March 1815, she was finally broken up.  
HMS Raisonnable is mentioned in Patrick O'Brian's The Mauritius Command, the fourth novel in the Aubrey-Maturin series.
HMS Raisonnable is mentioned in Dewey Lambdin's Hostile Shores, the nineteenth novel in the Alan Lewrie series.
HMS Raisonnable is mentioned in Bernard Cornwell's The Fort in her role as part of the British relief fleet during the Penobscot Expedition.
Some of the action in S. Thomas Russell's novel Take, Burn or Destroy takes place on board HMS Raisonnable at the Battle of the Glorious First of June .
Admiral Lord Nelson
In 1758 a small sickly baby boy was born, son of the Rector of Burnham Thorpe in Norfolk.
No one could have envisaged that this child would, in his lifetime, become one of England’s greatest heroes.
Sent to sea aged 12, he soon found that although he loved the ships and the sea, he would suffer from terrible seasickness all his life.
Nelson was a small man, just 5ft 4in tall, of slight build and with a weak constitution. He was frequently very ill with recurrent bouts of malaria and dysentery, relics of his time in the tropics, Madras, Calcutta and Ceylon.
In 1780 he was again very ill, this time with scurvy and his life, and the lives of his shipboard companions, hung in the balance. But once again this small, apparently frail man survived!
In spite of his frail health, in 1784 he was given the command of the Boreas and was on duty in the West Indies when he met and married Frances Nisbet, a widow.
After an idle period at home in Norfolk, he was recalled and given the command of the Agamemnon in 1793.
From 1793 until his death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 he was involved in battle after battle. He suffered serious injury during these years, losing the sight in his right eye at the Battle of Calvi in Corsica and his right arm at Santa Cruz in Tenerife.
Nelson was a brilliant tactician and was often able to surprise his enemies by audacious tactics. At the Battle of the Nile in 1798 his daring and courage completely outwitted the French when he sailed his ships between the shore and the French Fleet. The French guns that faced the shore were not ready for action, as it was believed that Nelson could not possibly attack from that position! Nelson was created Baron Nelson of the Nile by a grateful country after this stunning victory.
While Nelson was in Naples in 1793 he met the lady who was to become the great love of his life, Emma, Lady Hamilton. She was a great beauty with a voluptuous figure and a rather ‘shady’ past. Eventually in 1801 Nelson abandoned his wife and lived with his ‘dearest Emma’. A daughter was born in 1801 and christened Horatia, a child whom Nelson doted on, though she was never aware who her mother was.
1801 was also the year in which Nelson destroyed the Danish Navy at the Battle of Copenhagen. During the battle he was sent a signal to break off action by the Admiral Sir Hyde Parker. Nelson reputedly put his telescope to his blind eye and said to his Flag Lieutenant, “You know Foley I have only one eye. I have a right to be blind sometimes. I really do not see the signal”.
Nelson had great courage and was a brave man as he endured intense pain when his arm was amputated without an anaesthetic. The surgeon wrote in his diary, “Nelson bore the pain without complaint, but was given opium afterwards”. After the operation Nelson suggested that the surgeon should heat his knives first, as the cold knives were more painful!
War broke out again with France in 180, and Nelson was for many months on watch in the Mediterranean. On October 20th 1805, the French and Spanish fleets put to sea and off the southern coast of Spain the Battle of Trafalgar took place. This was to be Nelson’s last and most famous victory.
Before the battle, Nelson sent his famous signal to the Fleet, “England expects that every man will do his duty”. It was at the height of the battle that Nelson was shot as he paced the deck of his ship Victory. He was easily recognisable by the marksmen on the French ships as he was wearing his full dress uniform and all his medals, and seemed impervious to the danger he was in.
He died shortly after he was taken below decks and his body was taken ashore at Rosia Bay in Gibraltar. His body was sent back to England in a barrel full of brandy which acted as a preservative during the long journey home. The injured from the battle were cared for and those who did not survive were buried in the Trafalgar Cemetery, Gibraltar their graves remain carefully tended to this day.
Nelson’s funeral in London was a tremendous occasion, the streets lined with weeping people. The funeral procession was so long that the Scots Greys who led the procession reached the doors of St. Paul’s Cathedral before the mourners at the rear had left the Admiralty. He was buried in the crypt of St. Paul’s.
In London’s Trafalgar Square can be seen the country’s memorial to the most inspiring leader the British Navy has ever had. Nelson’s column, erected in 1840, stands 170ft high and is crowned with a statue of Nelson on the top.
HMS Lady Nelson
The Lady Nelson story is one of courage and devotion, this small 60 ton brig carried out her duty, with all the vigour of a much larger sea faring vessel, in her twenty-five years of service in the colony, between 1800 and 1825
Woodcut of Lady Nelson in the Thames 1800
Two hundred years ago on 1 December 1811 the original Lady Nelson brig: (a two-masted square-rigged vessel) was again in Hobart Town, having undertaken a difficult voyage from Sydney bringing Governor Lachlan Macquarie and Mrs Elizabeth Macquarie for their first tour of Van Diemen’s Land.
Elizabeth Macquarie (Wikipedia)
This vessel already had an important Colonial career. She was built at Deptford in 1798 and her length was 16m, beam 5.33m and draught 1.8m. The Lady Nelson differed from other exploring vessels in having 3 centre-board keels. It was thought that this would steer easier, sail faster and tack and wear quicker in less room. Her three sliding centre-boards enabled her draught to be reduced when in shallow water drawing no more than six feet when her sliding keels were up.
Fanny Nelson wife of Admiral Horatio Nelson (Wikipedia)
She was named in honour of the wife of Horatio Nelson.
In January 1800 the Admiralty appointed Lieutenant James Grant to explore and survey parts of Australia. She carried provisions for 15 men for nine months and water for three months and was armed with two brass carriage-guns and given a further four guns. They called at St Lago (Cape de Verde Islands) for provisions. The vessel did not land at Rio de Janeiro and sailed to the Cape of Good Hope where two new keels were built. At Simon’s Bay, Commander Grant found HMS Porpoise, also bound for NSW. Another ship the Wellesley arrived with instructions from the Duke of Portland at the Admiralty directing Grant to sail to Sydney through Bass Strait (discovered by Bass and Flinders the year before) instead of around southern Van Diemen’s Land.
The Lady Nelson was the first known vessel to sail eastward through Bass Strait. The Lady Nelson arrived in Sydney on 16 December 1800.
Upon arrival Governor King was disappointed Grant had been unable to land on the New Holland south coast and map it, however, Grant did sight the indentation to Port Phillip Bay. A competent surveyor, Ensign Barrallier was sent by Governor King in Lady Nelson to explore and chart Bass Strait, Jarvis Bay and Western Port. Following this Grant received orders to take Colonel Paterson, the Lieutenant-Governor to Hunter River, (now Newcastle) where coal was found. When the brig returned to Sydney, Grant resigned his commission and returned to England.
The command of Lady Nelson then went to John Murray with embarkation to Norfolk Island in October 1801. Lady Nelson then returned to the Kent Group of islands in Bass Strait to finish exploration of the south coast of Western Port and the discovery of Port Phillip Bay. This included King Island.
Matthew Flinders' Investigator a 20th century drawing (Wikipedia)
Following another voyage to the Hawkesbury River in July 1802 in company of HMS Investigator (Matthew Flinders) the Lady Nelson sailed north along the coast to NSW to what is now Queensland, and did not return until 22 November 1802. Commander Murray had missed Nicholas Baudin’s French ships by four days however, the presence of the French expedition hastened the British colonisation of Van Diemen’s Land as they believed the French may lay claim to the island. Meanwhile, Murray took troops on Lady Nelson to Norfolk Island to relieve men there and on his return to Sydney was forced to resign his command due to an irregularity in his statement of servitude.
In 1803 the Lady Nelson under command of Lieutenant Curtoys and having Lieutenant John Bowen on board, the Commandant of the new settlement, in company of HMS Porpoise, set out for Van Diemen’s Land but due to foul weather both ships were unable to proceed. A whaler, the Albion (on to which Bowen transferred) replaced the Porpoise and the Lady Nelson arrived at Risdon Cove on 7/9/1803 followed by Albion five days later. On 29 September, the Lady Nelson weighed anchor and returned to Sydney on 15 October 1803. On 25 November, Captain George Curtoys was taken ill and transferred to the naval hospital at Sydney. Curtoys was succeeded by Acting Lieutenant James Symons and the Lady Nelson left Sydney on 28 November for Port Phillip and visited Port Dalrymple but had to take shelter in the Kent Group of Islands. Mr William Collins, sailing in the schooner Francis observed smoke from one of the islands and found the Lady Nelson in the cove. The leaky Francis was returned to Sydney and her party including Mr Robert Brown (botanist) transferred to the Lady Nelson at Port Dalrymple and explored the Tamar.
On 21 January 1804 she arrived at Port Phillip and Colonel Collins ordered the settlers to embark in the Lady Nelson. On 30 January in company of the Ocean the Lady Nelson set sail out of Port Phillip Bay and ten days later anchored at Risdon Cove. Colonel Collins did not think Risdon suitable and moved the settlement to Sullivan’s Cove on 20 February 1804.
The Lady Nelson left the Derwent for her return voyage to Sydney on 6 March 1804. No sooner had she anchored than Governor King dispatched her with another colony of settlers for Newcastle. The next voyage to Norfolk Island in April and May 1804 faced continuous gales, so much so, that the brig headed for New Zealand and anchored near the river Thames (Bay of Isles), where 200 Maoris surrounded her bringing potatoes and other vegetables for barter. The Lady Nelson eventually arrived at Norfolk Island on 22 June 1804 where Ensigns Piper and Anderson were embarked and they arrived back in Sydney on 9 July 1804.
The brig was overhauled and sailed again on 8 September for the Hawkesbury to collect wheat. On 14 October 1804 the Lady Nelson accompanied HMS Buffalo with Lieutenant-Governor Paterson arriving at Port Dalrymple on 21 November, with torn sails and splintered masts. The settlement was named Yorktown but soon gave place to George Town and the Lady Nelson remained until 11 January 1805 then sailed to Sydney.
Following another overhaul the Lady Nelson sailed to Jervis Bay and escorted the Estramina, belonging to the King of Spain (seized off the American coast) for Sydney. This prize, a beautiful armed schooner that was crewed by Americans and never released eventually became the property of the Government.
Between April and May 1805 the Lady Nelson was freshly painted before sailing to Norfolk Island with salt and brine. Further runs between Sydney and Port Dalrymple and return were undertaken.
In February 1806 the Lady Nelson was instructed to convey Tipahee, a New Zealand chief of the Bay of Isles from Sydney back to New Zealand. The brig was away four months and returned to Sydney via Norfolk Island. Lieutenant Symons’ logbook closes on 20 July 1806. In November Lady Nelson carried stores to Newcastle under command of William G.C. Kent.
On two embarkations, in November 1807 and February 1808 the Lady Nelson removed 34 and 51 settlers respectively from Norfolk Island to Hobart Town for settlement in Van Diemen’s Land. In January 1813 she removed the last of the Norfolk Islanders (45 settlers), this time to Port Dalrymple, Van Diemen’s Land.
Then under Governor Bligh’s rule 1807-1808 the Lady Nelson was dismantled. When Governor Macquarie arrived in 1810 he was informed by Colonel Foveaux that when Governor Bligh was deposed.
Lieutenant Governor of Northern Van Diemens Land William Patterson and Lieutenant Govenor of NSW (Wikipedia)
Colonel Paterson immediately manned the Lady Nelson with seamen who continued to use her for the services of the Government settlements.
Governor Macquarie took frequent excursions in the Lady Nelson and in October 1811 he and Mrs Macquarie embarked for Van Diemen’s Land for their extensive inspection of the Colony.
In May 1815 the Lady Nelson ran aground at Port Macquarie with the crew abandoning ship when the rudder and sternpost were swept away, but she was refloated and repaired.
By 1819 the Lady Nelson appears to have lay dismantled in Sydney Harbour and described as ‘nothing more or less than a Coal Hulk’. Governor Macquarie then ordered her to accompany Captain Phillip King in the Mermaid to explore Torres Strait and accompanied her to Port Macquarie.
On 24 August 1824 under the command of Captain Johns, the Lady Nelson departed Sydney for the last time accompanying HMS Tamar to Melville Island to form a new settlement and trading post.
In February 1825 the Lady Nelson left Port Cockburn (below Melville and Bathurst Islands) for a cargo of buffaloes from the northern islands. Her Commander was warned to avoid an island called Baba, infested with Malay pirates. It is supposed this warning went unheeded for it was there the Lady Nelson met her end.
The schooner Stedcombe was dispatched for Timor for buffaloes and instructed to search for the Lady Nelson. The Stedcombe too, never returned and it was learned she too had been captured by pirates off Timor Laut, east of Baba, where the Lady Nelson was taken.
Fourteen years later Captain Watson of the schooner Essington arrived at Port Essington with the news that a Dutch vessel had called at the island and seen an Englishman kept captive there who stated he had belonged to the Stedcombe. A plan was made to carry out a rescue from the island of Timor Laut. On 1 April 1839 at 2.30pm two canoes, one carrying the captive came alongside the Essington. The captive dressed as a native was in a miserable condition with body scars and sores.
He had forgotten most of his English but was able to state that the Stedcombe was plundered and burnt and two boys kept captive as slaves. One had since died. Joseph Forbes who survived was taken to Sydney and hospitalised and later retired to Williamstown.
A ship called the Faith called at Sydney with news that the hull of the Lady Nelson was still to be seen with her name on the stern of the island of Baba.
The Log Book of Lady Nelson by Ida Lee
The Forgotten Generation of Norfolk Island & Van Diemen’s Land by Reg Wright
Permission was granted to reproduce the Lady Nelson article that was published in the Hobart Town (1804) First Settlers Association Inc Newsletter, December 2011
The late Governor Philip Gidley King and the Lady Nelson’s Bell
The following anecdote related by the “Old Stager” may be read with interest by many persons in Sydney as well as this colony.
Governor King first arrived in the sister colony from England as second lieutenant of the Sirius frigate, under the command of Captain Hunter, who conveyed the first fleet of prison ships to Botany Bay, and lost the Sirius upon Norfolk Island. On arrival Captain Hunter (sic) was appointed first commandant at Norfolk Island, and afterwards relieved Governor Phillip as second Governor of Sydney. Lieut. King subsequently took leave of absence in England for the benefit of his health, and upon his return was appointed Governor-in-chief of New South Wales and its dependencies. He was a very eccentric man, and from his long residence amongst the prisoners of the Crown, acquired an accurate knowledge of their “slag”, was considered to be “wide-a-wake”, and “down to every move on the board”.
In the year 1803, when he was a Post Captain in the Royal Navy, he was Governor in-Chief as aforesaid and had, consequently, the ordering of all the men-of-war upon the station at Sydney. The following vessels were upon the station: – The Supply (brig), the Reliance (ship), the Buffalo (ship), and the Lady Nelson. The Governor was very corpulent, and so much afflicted with the gout that his temper was none of the best. He had caused a flagstaff to be erected in the front of Governor House, on the east side of Sydney Cove, which was attended by a midshipman, who communicated with the King’s ships in the harbour, according to a code of signals with which he was furnished. The Lady Nelson was stationed near the flagstaff, to pass the signals along to the other vessels. The Governor, whose gouty paroxysms frequently interfered with his rest, when lying uneasy on his couch, began to suspect that the discipline on board the vessel was not carried out in the strictest manner. It was a general and imperative order that all the ship’s bells should be struck regularly every half hour during the night, and the morning reports of the several officers commanding always set out that that duty had been diligently performed. This the Governor did not believe to be the case, more especially as regarded the Lady Nelson’s Bell. He was determined to play the officers a trick, and ascertain the truth.
There happened to be a man named Fitzgerald, an Irish convict in the gaol at Sydney, who was sentenced to work in heavy double irons for two years. He had been a noted bushranger, had the worst character in the settlement, and was a notorious thief. The Governor sent for this fellow at about ten o’clock one night, and told him he wanted him to do a little job of thieving. He was to swim off to the Lady Nelson, get up the cable on to the forecastle, unship the bell and bring it ashore. He was enjoined to effect this silently and cautiously, so as not to disturb the sleepy watch on deck. The job was more-over to be performed in his irons. “If you succeed,” said the Governor, “you shall have two gallons of rum (worth £20) out of the King’s store, and one iron shall be taken from your leg immediately, and if your conduct is good for six month, the other shall be struck. That will be called meritorious conduct in the thieving department in Botany Bay.” “But suppose, Your Excellency” said Fitzgerald, “I am caught in the fact?” “Don’t be afraid,” said the Governor “I will make it all right. You must not say I sent you thither if you get it, bring it to me I will give you further directions.” The bargain being thus satisfactorily concluded, Fitzgerald proceeded to fulfil his part of the contract. The Lady Nelson was lying about a cable’s length from the shore. He swam off, got up by the cable, quietly unshipped the bell, lowered it over the bow by a rope’s end as directed to do by the Governor, and returned to the shore with it, being so much exhausted however, that he was glad of the assistance of a constable whom the Governor had despatched to the water-side to render aid in the time of need. The bell was carried up in triumph to Government House, and His Excellency was much pleased to find that so grand a robbery had been committed on board one of his Majesty’s ships. The constable was order to take it to Mr John Gowen, the storekeeper, who was to lock it up until the next morning. Fitzgerald got his order for the two gallons of rum, and the gaoler was directed to take one iron off his leg according to the stipulation.
At ten o’clock next morning a signal was passed for the commander of the Lady Nelson, Lieutenant Cattoyes, to come on shore with the Morning Report. When presented, this document stated that the bell had been regularly struck. “Mr Cattoyes,” said the Governor, “you have presented a false report. The Lady Nelson’s Bell was locked up nearly all last night in the King’s store, where it now lies. I sent a thief for it, and he brought it to me safe. For this gross neglect of duty I shall order you under close arrest, and have you tried by court martial for the same.” Mr Cattoyes was kept under confinement for fourteen days, and then released with a severe admonition, and a salutary injunction that he should never forget the Lady Nelson’s Bell!
The Courier (Hobart, Tasmania: 1840 -1859), Wednesday 29 July 1857, page 3
Lady Nelson on Port Phillip Bay (Howard Timbury)
The Lady Nelson replica
1983 The Tasmanian Sail Association Ltd announced their wish to build a replica of the original vessel
1986 First cut made in the 50 ton log for the keel by the late Sir James Plimsoll, then Governor
1988 The Lady Nelson launched
1989 Commenced operations entirely by volunteers and made over $13,000 profit in three months
1990 Policy of payment introduced and ship sent to mainland to generate income – heavy losses incurred
1991-5 Period of escalating debt with vessel spending most of each year out of Tasmanian waters
1996 Attempt to sell vessel to clear debt of $250,000 thwarted by Friends of the Lady Nelson Group
June – The Lady Nelson returned to Tasmania
July – The Lady Nelson resumes Sail Training and educational cruises as a totally volunteer operation
© First Fleet Fellowship Victoria Inc 2011
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For France, whilst the army numbers were kept up by mass conscription, the French navy had no such advantage. And in addition to the problem of recruitment there were in fact three further problematic areas, namely:
– the disappearance of the Brittany crewmen. Brittany sailors had formed the core of the French navy of the Ancien Régime. With the Revolution they left en masse. Of all the navy officers in 1790, only 25% remained in 1791, the rest emigrating, occasionally even serving in the enemy navies
– poor state of repair of the French navy, lack of investment
– the catastrophic decision by the Revolutionary government to suppress the Corps d’artillerie de la marine – it was considered too elitist. At one fell swoop, the French navy was deprived of 5,400 specialist in marine artillery.
After 1801, there were slightly fewer then 70,000 French navy prisoners in British hands. The lack of manpower and investment weighed heavily!
The Battle of Trafalgar
On 21 October 1805 Nelson’s 27 battleships glided on a gentle breeze towards the 33 strong French and Spanish fleet. Victory and Royal Sovereign did indeed take a pounding as they closed with the French and for a terrifying few minutes they found themselves isolated as they ploughed into the enemy lines.
Victory suffered terribly and Nelson was mortally wounded.
La Bucentaure at Trafalgar in a painting by Auguste Mayer. Credit: Auguste Mayer / Commons.
However, within minutes giant British battleships were arriving one after the other and the enemy was terribly outgunned and their crews slaughtered.
Most of the enemy ships who escaped this onslaught fled rather than reinforce their beleaguered comrades. No fewer than 22 enemy French and Spanish were captured, not a single one of Nelson’s ships was lost.
Nelson died, below the waterline on the orlop deck, at the very moment of victory. But so great was the victory, and so dominant did it leave the Royal Navy, that he left behind a country that did not depend on a single leader of genius to retain its command of the oceans.
Lord Nelson and slavery: Nelson’s dark side
When Lord Nelson died he was hailed as Britain’s greatest seafaring hero – a reputation that survives to this day. However, a letter he wrote onboard HMS Victory reveals a different face, showing his vehement opposition to William Wilberforce’s campaign for the abolition of the slave trade. Christer Petley uncovers Nelson’s sympathy with a brutal Jamaican slave-owning elite
This competition is now closed
Published: June 8, 2020 at 9:05 am
In the summer of 1805, Horatio Nelson was pursuing the French in the Caribbean. He had been lured there as part of the complex naval cat-and-mouse game that would culminate, some four months later, at the battle of Trafalgar. On learning that the French admiral Villeneuve had crossed the Atlantic with a large fleet, Nelson took his own British fleet straight from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean. Writing from his flagship, HMS Victory, on 11 June, he confessed that he had been “in a thousand cares for Jamaica”, Britain’s most productive and valuable colony, knowing that a successful attack on the island was “a blow which Bonaparte would be happy to give us”. Nelson chased Villeneuve across the Atlantic without orders but calculated, reasonably, that the government at home could have few complaints, because defending lucrative British colonies like Jamaica was a strategic priority surpassed only by the defence of Britain itself.
While he searched unsuccessfully for a Napoleonic fleet in the Caribbean, Nelson also found time to reflect on the relationship between Britain and its precious colonies in the region. In the letter scratched out at his desk on Victory, Nelson proclaimed: “I have ever been and shall die a firm friend to our present colonial system.” He went on to explain: “I was bred, as you know, in the good old school, and taught to appreciate the value of our West India possessions and neither in the field or in the senate [House of Lords] shall their interest be infringed whilst I have an arm to fight in their defence, or a tongue to launch my voice against the damnable and cursed doctrine of Wilberforce and his hypocritical allies.”
Nelson, whose victories as a naval commander had earned him a parliamentary seat in the Lords, was suggesting here that he would use his political position to speak up against the ideas of the famous British abolitionist campaigner William Wilberforce. His fiery words might seem shocking to modern eyes. Nelson even surprised himself. “I did not intend to go so far,” he confessed, but he went on to admit that “the sentiments are full in my heart and the pen would write them”.
Nelson’s sentiments present us with an untold side to his story. This is generally recounted as a tale of patriotic heroism – of a man doing his duty to protect the nation from a Napoleonic menace. Nelson the dutiful patriot is certainly in evidence in the letter he wrote aboard the Victory in the Caribbean. But we also find a man in heartfelt solidarity with British slaveholders against the perceived menace of Wilberforce and his campaign to abolish the slave trade. This letter, documenting a crucial moment in the war against Napoleon, is therefore also a vivid piece of evidence from another struggle of no less global-historical significance: the internal battle within the British empire about whether British colonialism could, or should, continue without the transatlantic slave trade.
Nelson wrote his letter for a long-standing friend: a slaveholder named Simon Taylor, one of the wealthiest Britons of his generation. Taylor lived in Jamaica, where he owned three huge plantations and claimed ownership over more than 2,000 slaves: men, women and children forced, like countless other captives, to work and die producing huge quantities of sugar. The profits from slave-produced Caribbean sugar were staggeringly high, making fortunes for men like Taylor and flowing back into the wider British economy. This slave system was little other than a lucrative system of institutionalised manslaughter. Poor conditions for slaves meant that deaths outnumbered births, and white managers continually had to replenish their enslaved workforces from slave ships bringing new captives from Africa. By the time of the Napoleonic Wars, more than 3 million people had been taken across the Atlantic in British ships, destined for lives of slavery on New World plantations.
Taylor and Nelson had first met in 1779, while the 20-year-old Nelson was stationed as a junior naval officer in Jamaica during the American Revolutionary War. Taylor was the elder of the two, approaching middle age when they became friends. As well as making a huge personal fortune from Caribbean sugar and slavery, he had established a great deal of political influence, which extended beyond Jamaica to London. Taylor was soon to emerge as a powerful voice in the political struggle over the future of the slave trade. Unsurprisingly, he was furious about rising anti-slavery sentiment in Britain and stood bitterly opposed to Wilberforce’s campaign.
The fact that Nelson shared Taylor’s strong dislike for Wilberforce and abolitionism is a stark indication of how out of step he was with the rising humanitarian sentiments of his own times. But in this respect, Nelson was hardly unique. Other British naval officers harboured similar views. Many of them had spent long stretches – months or even years – on one of the Royal Navy’s West Indian stations, often forming strong affinities with white slaveholding colonists.
While stationed in the eastern Caribbean during the 1780s, Nelson met and married his wife, Frances, the niece of a wealthy slaveholder in the British island-colony of Nevis. The Duke of Clarence (and future King William IV) had also served with the Royal Navy in the region, and spoke up forcefully in parliament against Wilberforce and his plans for the abolition of the slave trade. So too did Admiral Lord Rodney, who before Nelson’s dramatic rise had been the most celebrated British naval commander of his age. The influence of such men helped to ensure that the early abolition campaigns of the 1780s and 1790s ended in failure. No wonder slaveholders like Simon Taylor were keen to cultivate their friendship.
For nearly two decades, Wilberforce found his calls for an end to the slave trade blocked by conservative elements in parliament. The main reason was that, for all of its obvious inhumanity, the commerce in human beings underpinned a system of Atlantic trade that had defined the 18th-century British empire.
Slave-produced colonial sugar was the nation’s most valuable import, and trading ties between Britain and its colonies were governed by laws designed to strengthen the Royal Navy. These ensured that trade between British possessions was carried on in British ships, crewed by British sailors – skilled mariners who could be pressed into the navy during wartime. In addition, import duties collected on British colonial produce helped fund a treasury whose primary objective was to raise funds for the defence of the realm, which included the high cost of maintaining the nation’s war fleet. Pro-slavery spokesmen like Simon Taylor, the Duke of Clarence and Lord Rodney wasted no opportunities to emphasise that the slave trade, colonial commerce, British greatness, and national security were all interlinked.
Abolitionists were, eventually, only able to counter this old vision of empire when they learned how to go beyond simple moral arguments against human trafficking and offer, in addition, a more pragmatic case. By the early 19th century, British abolitionists were trying to reassure conservative-minded members of parliament that ending the transatlantic trade in slaves from Africa would not damage the colonies or bring about an immediate end to slavery itself. Rather, they claimed that ending the slave trade would trigger useful reforms. Without the option of turning to the slave ships for new recruits, it would be in the slaveholders’ best interest to ensure that births outnumbered deaths on the plantations. This would require an improvement in conditions, which should also make slaves more contented, and so lessen the likelihood of a large-scale slave uprising (the prospect of which struck fear into the minds of colonial slaveholders and British politicians alike). Many abolitionists hoped that such changes could slowly prepare the way for a smooth transition to freedom at some point in the distant future.
Nelson, a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, remained unconvinced, influenced instead by the advice of his old friend Simon Taylor. Taylor believed that, despite their claims to the contrary, abolitionists were a dangerous influence. In one of his letters to Nelson, he complained that proposals to end the slave trade spelled “nothing but evil” for “unhappy colonists” in the islands of the British Caribbean, pronouncing that parliament’s decision on the matter would determine whether “the lives of all the white people” in the sugar colonies would be sacrificed. Guided by racist assumptions about the violent character of black people, Taylor presented Nelson with lurid warnings of how white slaveholders could be “butchered, massacred, and murdered” by slave uprisings inspired by misguided reformers acting “under the pretence of humanity”. Reflecting those prejudiced fantasies back to Taylor in his letter from the Victory, Nelson contemplated that the success of Wilberforce and his allies “would certainly cause the murder of all our friends and fellow-subjects in the colonies”.
Would Nelson have spoken out?
Parliament finally outlawed the slave trade in the British empire in 1807 (the abolition of slavery outright followed in the 1830s). In the Caribbean, there was none of the violent bloodshed predicted by the slaveholders and the measure was popular throughout the British Isles. Would Nelson have followed through on his proposal to speak publicly against it? He had assured Taylor that he was willing to launch his voice against the abolitionists in parliament, but he was under no obligation to act on this suggestion.
Of course, he never had to face the dilemma. By the time the abolition question was debated, Nelson was dead – killed in the brutal sea battle that ended in destructive and decisive victory for the British fleet under his command in the waters off Cape Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. Having tracked his rival to the Caribbean and back, he finally found the fight he craved, and the outcome turned him into a legend. Ever since, Nelson has been remembered primarily as a selfless patriot and military genius. A quasi-religious veneration of his memory, as a heroic warrior and self-sacrificing national hero – synonymous to many with Rule, Britannia! and a strong sense of British pride – has left little space for other assessments of his outlook or legacies.
Nelson’s private pro-slavery leanings have been almost totally ignored, but scrutinising them helps to expose an overlooked facet of the man behind the myth. It also does far more besides. Nelson, like anyone, was a complex human being, shaped by the world in which he lived. His attitudes towards slavery were moulded by close and long-standing ties between the Royal Navy and the British Caribbean. And, more broadly, his views help us to understand what abolitionists like Wilberforce had to overcome. Nelson’s sentiments were just one reflection of a more widely held ‘old-school’ defence of a profitable 18th-century British colonial system dependent on the slave trade. When Nelson wrote bitterly about the “damnable and cursed doctrine” of Wilberforce, he revealed a dislike for “meddling” humanitarians, a callous animosity towards enslaved people, and a desire to preserve the existing system – a system that, to some, seemed synonymous with British strength, and which had helped to build the navy that Nelson led into battle at Trafalgar.
Paradoxically, however, the outcome of the battle of Trafalgar in 1805 created some of the circumstances for the eventual success of British abolitionism less than two years later. Trafalgar confirmed the crushing of French and Spanish sea-power by the Royal Navy. The fact that British maritime strength was now overwhelming helped to ensure that parliament felt safe to embrace new ideas about the future of the empire. Finally, British politicians summoned the confidence to ignore the warnings of doomsayers who urged that ending the slave trade would be a disaster for the colonies and make Britain vulnerable to other maritime powers.
In the end, then, one of the unforeseen consequences of Nelson’s last victory was to provide conditions conducive to the triumph of Wilberforce and his ‘doctrine’. Nelson would almost certainly have disliked this unintended outcome of his deeds. He died content that he had done his duty, and secure in the knowledge that his fleet had won the day. But in the continuing struggle over the future of British slavery, he had backed the losing side.
Christer Petley is professor of Atlantic history at the University of Southampton
Book: White Fury: A Jamaican Slaveholder and the Age of Revolution by Christer Petley (OUP, 2018)
HMS Nelson with the Fleet - History
Royal Navy, inter-War Years
BETWEEN THE WARS: ROYAL NAVY ORGANISATION AND SHIP DEPLOYMENTS 1919-1939
by Dr Graham Watson, retired from HIstory Dept, Cardiff University
HMS York (Navy Photos, click to enlarge)
This work by Graham Watson charts the changes in the structure of the Royal Navy between 1919 and 1939. The bulk of the information was derived from successive issues of the Navy List. On this occasion he is particularly grateful to Mike Cox for providing detailed information on destroyer flotilla movements during the Abyssinian crisis 1935-1936.
As with the previous work, the distribution of destroyers was the most complex. He has kept the file down to manageable proportions by leaving out all those vessels which were discarded rapidly after the war, and by condensing ships in reserve into a series of snapshots.
As before, my grateful thanks to Graham for this valuable contribution to an often neglected part of British naval history.
|2L - flotilla second in command |
AF - Atlantic Fleet
BRNC - Britannia Royal Naval College
F - squadron flagship
FF - fleet flagship
HF - Home Fleet
L - flotilla leader
p/o - paid off
| ||[r] - reduced complements |
RF - Reserve Fleet
SMF - submarine flotilla
tdr - tender
tg - training
VARF - Vice-Admiral Reserve Fleet
WAIR - conversion to anti-aircraft escort. Meaning not known but W-class, Anti-AIR suggested
1. ROYAL NAVY FLEETS, SQUADRONS & FLOTILLAS 1919-1939
HMS Lion, battlecruiser (Photo Ships)
When the peacetime organisation of the Royal Navy became effective in the spring of 1919, the main pre-war commands, fleets and stations become the framework for the deployment of naval forces for the following twenty years. The Grand Fleet [pre-war First Fleet] became the Atlantic Fleet the pre-war Second Fleet was revived as the Home Fleet, but this fleet was dissolved after six months. The major home commands and the pre-war stations continued in being throughout the period.
The principal changes were ones of balance and size. The period between 1904 and 1914 had witnessed the gradual concentration of the principal fighting units in home waters. After the Washington Treaty of 1922 and the ending of the alliance with Japan the balance of power moved back to the Mediterranean and extra emphasis was placed on modern naval forces in the Far East.
This was seen in the movement of battleships, cruisers, destroyers and submarines in 1923-25 to Malta. The reduction in the number of battleships combined with fears about Italy and Japan meant that there were insufficient ships to cover both the Mediterranean and the Far East. As a result, the task of the Mediterranean Fleet was not only to protect British interests in that area but also to provide a force capable of movement to the Far East in an emergency. British naval power in the Far East would be asserted in the meantime by the establishment of a substantial force of the most modern submarines in the Far East.
The Royal Navy's ships and submarines were organised into squadrons and flotillas as pre-war but with one major difference - a reduction in size. The pre-1914 battle squadron was comprised of eight battleships: this was reduced to four or five from 1919. Often this strength was notional because of impact of the modernisation programme which kept ships out of action for long periods. Cruiser squadrons remained largely unchanged in terms of size, but destroyer flotillas were reduced from the pre-war and wartime norm of twenty ships to one leader and eight ships from 1921. As before submarine flotillas did not have a fixed composition. The previous use of reduced crews was less frequent and more used was made of a more formally organised Reserve Fleet-as witnessed by the establishment of the Maintenance Reserve at Rosyth from 1927.
The main operations of this period which caused disruption to the normal pattern of distribution were:
In the background but not directly impacting on the deployment of the Royal Navy were the main issues which influenced politicians, naval leaders, and historians - the various naval treaties and their impact on ship numbers and design the economic and industrial constraints on building programmes and dispute with the Royal Air Force over the command of aircraft in maritime operations.
The following notes will list the main command elements - fleets, squadrons and flotillas and then deal with the changing deployment of each type of ship and submarine.
Information on the command structure of the Royal Navy and on the distribution of warships between each command can be found in the Navy List for each year of this period. Some of the distribution lists are reprinted in the relevant annual issues of Jane's Fighting Ships.
More detailed information of particular types of warships and their service careers can be found in works by the following authors-
Battleships - R A Burt and M J Whitley
Aircraft carriers - D Hobbs
Cruisers - R Morris and M J Whitley
Destroyers - T D Manning, D Kinghorn and J English
Sloops -A Hague
There are no comparable sources for submarines or minesweepers.2. SUMMARY LISTING OF PRINCIPAL FLEETS, SQUADRONS AND FLOTILLAS
HMS Centaur, light cruiser (Photo Ships)
1st Battle Squadron, Atlantic Fleet
1st Battle Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet 11.24-
2nd Battle Squadron, Atlantic Fleet-5.21
2nd Battle Squadron, Atlantic/Home Fleet 11.24-
3rd Battle Squadron, Home Fleet 4-10.19
3rd Battle Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet 11.24- Atlantic Fleet 3.26-5.30
4th Battle Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet-11.24
1st Light Cruiser Squadron, Atlantic Fleet-11.24
1st Cruiser Squadron, Mediterranean Fleet 11.24-
2nd Light Cruiser Squadron, Home Fleet 4-10.19
2nd Light Cruiser Squadron/2nd Cruiser Squadron, Atlantic Fleet/Home 10.19-
3rd Light Cruiser Squadron/3rd Cruiser Squadron, Mediterranean
4th Light Cruiser Squadron/4th Cruiser Squadron, East Indies
5th Light Cruiser Squadron/5th Cruiser Squadron, China
6th Light Cruiser Squadron/6th Cruiser Squadron, Africa
7th Light Cruiser Squadron, South America 1921-South American Division
8th Light Cruiser Squadron/8th Cruiser Squadron, North America & West Indies
the New Zealand Division 1920-
1st Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet -4.25 [renumbered 5DF]
1st Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean 4.25- [ex 5DF]
2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet -11.24
2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean 11.24- 6.32
2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet 6 .32-8.36
2nd Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean 8.36-
3rd Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet -8.23
3rd Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean Fleet 8.23- [temp. China 1926-7]
4th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet 4-11.19
4th Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet 11.19-8.23
4th Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean 8.23-8.36
2nd Tribal Flotilla/4th Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean 9.38-
5th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet 4-10.19
5th Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet 1921-4.25 [to 1DF/Med]
5th Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet 4.25-8.39 [ex 1DF]
5th Destroyer Flotilla, for Mediterranean 8.39-
6th Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean -1921
6th Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic/Home Fleet 1921-5.39
1st Tribal Flotilla/6th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet 5.39-
7th Destroyer Flotilla, Rosyth 1919-1920
7th Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean 1921-1924
7th Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet Reserve 1925-1928
7th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet 1939-
8th Destroyer Flotilla, Mediterranean 1921-1924
8th Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet Reserve 1925-1927
8th Destroyer Flotilla, China .27-5.39 [renumbered 21DF]
8th Destroyer Flotilla, Home Fleet 5.39- [ex 6DF]
9th Destroyer Flotilla, Atlantic Fleet Reserve 1922-1925 [to 7DF]
20th Destroyer Flotilla - temporary designation for 1st DF whilst reforming 1935/36
21st Destroyer Flotilla - temporary designation for 2nd DF whilst reforming 1936
21st Destroyer Flotilla, China 5.39- [ex 8th]
1st Submarine Flotilla, Rosyth -1926
1st Submarine Flotilla, Chatham 1926-1927
1st Submarine Flotilla, Malta 1927- [ex 2SMF]
2nd Submarine Flotilla, Devonport -1924
2nd Submarine Flotilla, Malta 1924-1927 [to 1SMF]
2nd Submarine Flotilla, Devonport 1927-
2nd Submarine Flotilla, Rosyth 1939-
3rd Submarine Flotilla, Portsmouth -1922
3rd Submarine Flotilla, Devonport 1922-1927 [to 2SMF]
4th Submarine Flotilla, Hong Kong
5th Submarine Flotilla, Gosport [training & reserve flotilla]
6th Submarine Flotilla, Portland [ASW training & reserve flotilla]
3. DISTRIBUTION OF SQUADRONS & FLOTILLAS BY FLEETS AND STATIONS
HMS Acheron, destroyer (Navy Photos)
1st Battle Squadron -11.24 retitled 2nd Battle Squadron
2nd Battle Squadron -5.21 [absorbed into 1BS]
3rd Battle Squadron 3.26-5.30 [ex Mediterranean]
Battlecruiser Squadron - 9.36 [to Med] 4.39-returned to Home Fleet
Aircraft Carriers/9.31-Aircraft Carrier Squadron
1st Light Cruiser Squadron -11.24 [to Med]
2nd Light Cruiser Squadron/2nd Cruiser Squadron 1920-
1st Destroyer Flotilla 4.25-5th Destroyer Flotilla-8.39
2nd Destroyer Flotilla-11.24 [to Med]
3rd Destroyer Flotilla -8.23 [to Med]
4th Destroyer Flotilla -8.23 [to Med]
5th Destroyer Flotilla -4.25 [to Med as 1DF]
6th Destroyer Flotilla .21- 5.39-8th Destroyer Flotilla
9th Destroyer Flotilla 1922- 1925 7th Destroyer Flotilla -1928
8th Destroyer Flotilla 1925-1927 [to China]
2nd Destroyer Flotilla 6.32- 8.35-replaced by 4th Destroyer Flotilla-9.38
1st Tribal Flotilla/6th Destroyer Flotilla 5.39-
3rd Light Cruiser Squadron/3rd Cruiser Squadron
1st Cruiser Squadron 11.24-
6th Destroyer Flotilla -1921
1921-7th Destroyer Flotilla -1924
1921-8th Destroyer Flotilla -1924
8.23-3rd Destroyer Flotilla [temp det China 1926-1927]
8.23-4th Destroyer Flotilla 8.36-replaced by 2nd Destroyer Flotilla
11.24-2nd Destroyer Flotilla - 6.32 [to HF]
4.25-1st Destroyer Flotilla
8.38-2nd Tribal Flotilla/4th Destroyer Flotilla
1924-2nd Submarine Flotilla 1927-retitled 1st Submarine Flotilla
11. Originally, Trafalgar Square was the site of the Royal Stables
When it was rebuilt in the the 1830s, Trafalgar Square was supposed to be named after William IV, but the architect George Ledwell Taylor proposed naming it for Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar. Nelson’s column was erected in 1843.
Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square. It was built between 1840 and 1843 to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson’s death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Credit: Elliott Brown / Commons.