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Autograph Letter Signed to Agostino MILLELIRE, (Alexander John, 1768-1840, Nelson's Chaplain and Foreign Language Secretary on Board 'Victory')
1804 - Commander of the Port at La Maddalena, Sardinia, in Italian with translation, saying that NELSON "bids me acknowledge your most valued letter of the 27th inst. . as soon as he had read it, the necessary orders were given to avoid a similar occurrence. His Excellency is most deeply grieved that given the time that has gone by since the event, it is not possible to find the culprit, he hopes that it was occasioned more by ignorance than malevolence", and asking Millelire "to convey the above to Signor Don Giuseppe Pez", 1 side folio and conjugate blank, On board 'Victory', no place but La Maddalena, 28th March (Translation) Most Illustrious and Cultivated ['Coltissimo'] Benefactor [?, '?Benefattore'], At this moment His Excellency Viscount Nelson bids me acknowledge your most valued letter of the 27th inst. and in addition to inform you that as soon as you he had read it, the necessary orders were given to avoid a similar occurrence. His Excellency is most deeply grieved that given the time that has gone by since the event, it is not possible to find the culprit, he hopes that it was occasioned more by ignorance than malevolence. I have the honour to beg You, Illustrious Sir, to convey the above to Signor Don Giuseppe Pez, and with due respect and obedience I subscribe myself, Most Illustrious Sir, Aboard the Victory, 28th March 1804, A J Scott Secretary-Interpreter To the Most Illustrious Signor Millelire. La Maddalena with its fine harbour lies off the northeast tip of Sardinia. Millelire was of a local naval family. In 1793 his younger brother Domenico famously drove off an invasion by the French, including Lieutenant of Artillery Bonaparte, by loading two cannons on to a launch and deploying them from points round the bay, finally chasing away the enemy who fled to Corsica. To Nelson in 1803, La Maddalena was the ideal base for watching the French at Toulon - 24 hours away by sea but not too close to provoke an attack. The French had overrun Victor Emmanuel I's mainland dominions and the king had retired to Sardinia. He was anxious to preserve his current neutrality, but the British were allowed to stay, officially only for food and water. Nelson arrived on the 1st November 1803. He and Millelire spoke the same language of heroism and endeavour and quickly became firm friends - typically for Nelson, after a first dinner together on board Victory. Nelson left finally to pursue the French only on 19th January 1805. When he reached Gibraltar on 20th July 1805 he had not set foot on land since 16th June 1803, including two years less ten days without leaving Victory. The Revd. A. J. Scott was likewise on friendly terms with Millelire and his family. He was invited to fishing parties and to hunt inland, welcomed by the normally reserved shepherd communities. Nelson had known Scott in the Mediterranean as a good linguist and later at Copenhagen in 1801, where he was with Sir Hyde Parker. In 1803 Scott agreed to join Nelson as chaplain on 'Victory'. By private arrangement he also managed all his foreign language correspondence. From time to time Nelson sent him to the Italian ports to mingle in society and bring back intelligence. At Trafalgar, Scott was with the wounded, but coming up for fresh air, saw Nelson being carried down. He stayed with his chief, took his last wishes, and was found still rubbing Nelson's chest to ease the pain, even after his friend had expired. Before he left La Maddalena, as a measure of gratitude to the local people, Nelson commissioned Scott to procure in silver a fine Crucifix and two Candlesticks for the parish church, still to be seen today.
      [Bookseller: Sophie Dupre ABA ILAB PADA]
Last Found On: 2017-04-03           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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