1805 - Sailing of M. Villeneuve from Toulon, Sailing of Lord Nelson in chase


Next Page

Previous Page
Naval History of Great Britain - Vol III
1805 Lord Nelson and M. Villeneuve 323

Gun Ship  
80 Bucentaure Vice-Adm. P.-C.-J.-Bapt.-Silv. Villeneuve
Captain Jean-Jacques Magendie
Formidable Rear-Adm. P.-R.-M.-E. Dumanoir-le-Pelley
Captain Jean-Marie Letellier
Neptune Commod. Esprit-Tranquille Maistral
Indomptable Captain Jean-Joseph Hubert
74 Annibal Commod. Julien-Marie Cosmao-Kerjulien
Mont-Blanc Captain Guillaume-J: Noël La Villegris
Swiftsure Captain C. E. L'Hospitalier-Villemadrin
Atlas Captain Pierre-Nicolas Rolland
Intrépide Captain Léonore Deperonne
Scipion Captain Charles Berrenger
Berwick Captain Jean-Gilles Filhol-Camas
Frigates Cornélie, Hortense, Incorruptible, Rhin, Sirène, Thémis, and Uranie
Brigs Furet and Naïade

By 5 p.m. the last French ship was outside Cape Sepet ; and at 6h. 30 m. the advanced or reconnoitring division, consisting of two sail of the line and a frigate, was descried by the British frigates Active and Seahorse. On the 18th, at 9 h. 15 m., the French advanced ships, still in sight, hauled their wind to the northward, and the two British frigates did the same. At 4 p.m. the island of Polacross bore from the latter north by west five leagues, and the wind now blew a strong gale from west-north-west. At 9 h. 45 in. the Seahorse, who was to windward of her consort, saw nine sail of the French fleet in the north quarter, only three miles distant, and apparently steering south. The frigate showed a light, and immediately bore up ; on which the enemy's advanced ship threw up two rockets. The Active and Seahorse kept sight of the latter ship until 2 a.m. on the 19th ; and, by carrying a press of sail, were, at 1 h. 50m. P M., sufficiently near to their friends in Agincourt sound, to make the distant signal of the enemy's being at sea.

At 4 h. 30 m. p.m. Lord Nelson weighed with the following 11 sail of the line and two frigates:

Gun Ship  
100 Victory Vice-admiral (w.) Lord Nelson, K.B.
Rear-admiral (b.) George Murray
Captain Thomas Masterman Hardy
Royal Sovereign Rear-Admiral (r.) Sir R. H. Bickerton, Bart.
Captain John Stuart.
80 Canopus Captain John Conn
Superb Captain Richard Goodwin
Spencer Captain Hon. Robert Stopford
Swiftsure Captain Mark Robinson.
74 Belleisle Captain William Hargood
Conqueror Captain Israel Pellew.
Tigre Captain Benjamin Hallowell
Leviathan Captain Henry William Bayntun
Donegal Captain Pulteney Malcolm
Frigates Active and
Seahorse *

The fleet made sail for the passage between the island of

* Lord Nelson was continually complaining to the admiralty of the small number of frigates attached to his command.

^ back to top ^