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Letter in the third person in the hand of his chaplain and foreign language secretary Alexander John SCOTT, (Horatio, Viscount, 1758-1805, Admiral)]
1804 - (1768-1840), to Agostino MILLELIRE, Commander of the Port at La Maddalena, Sardinia, in Italian with translation, saying "His Excellency is infinitely grateful . for his kindness, in sending yesterday the freshly made riscotti", also requesting him "to ensure that the enclosed parcel [not present] reaches the Commander of the first man-of-war of His Britannic Majesty that shall appear in these waters", 1 side folio and conjugate blank, on board Victory, [La Maddalena], 15th February (Transcription) S[ua] E[ccelenza] ringrazia infinitamente Il Commandante Millalire per la sua bontà, mandando gli ieri, di riscotti freschi, e prega il Commandante di far capitare l'inchiuso piego al Commandante del primo bastimento di guerra di S[ua] M[aestà] Britannica che si presentarà in questi mari. abordo La Victoria Febbraro. ai 15. 1804 (Translation) His Excellency is infinitely grateful to Comandante Millelire for his kindness, in sending yesterday the freshly baked cookies, and requests the Comandante to ensure that the enclosed parcel reaches the Commander of the first man-of-war of His Britannic Majesty that shall appear in these waters. On board Victory 15th February 1804. 'Riscotti', a rare word, may be little decorative cakes for a festival. 14th February 1804 was the first day of Lent, while 13th February, Shrove Tuesday, was more of a day for celebration. 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. There Scott learnt Danish and some Russian, and was employed to draw up the treaty arrangements that followed. When Parker was recalled, Scott explained to Nelson that this was when Parker "stood most in need of his company", but in 1803 agreed to joined 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.
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Last Found On: 2017-04-03           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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