These pages contain my
transcriptions of the private diaries in the Nelson Papers at the British
Library, which covers the period at which Nelson was in command of the
Mediterranean Fleet during what would become the Trafalgar Campaign. To
make it more interesting and put them in a fuller context, I've tried to
cross-reference to relating letters and have included notes.
During this time, Nelson is sitting
near Sardinia. He is Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet, and
watching the French fleet in Toulon while gathering intelligence about what the
French might be up to. This is basically the beginning of two years
building up to the Battle of Trafalgar.
The final diary, September - October 1805, is in the
National Archive, however it has also been published.
Spelling errors (though
there aren't many) and dodgy
punctuation (or lack of it!) are Nelson's own. Gaps in the text marked with a [?] denote
words that aren't clear. I've also put notes next
to the entries, mainly of details that I felt the need to research for myself in
order to understand half of what Nelson was on about. There is also a sort
of glossary at the bottom of the page. Some of this might seem obvious to
anyone with any knowledge of the navy of that time, but it wasn't to me!
The British Library
Board have very kindly granted me permission to transcribe the diaries kept
Copyright Vicki Singleton