Reply To: Victory‘s boats at Trafalgar

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Tony Beales

The following is from William James, Naval History of Great Britain from… 1793… 1820, London 1827, vol IV p85:
‘All further hostility having, as well it might, ceased on board the Redoutable, Captain Hardy ordered two midshipmen, Messieurs David Ogilvie and Francis E. Collingwood, with the sergeant-major of Marines and eight or ten hands, to go on board the French ship, and (not to ‘take possession’ for, had that been deemed of any importance, a lieutenant would have been sent, but) to assist in putting out a fire which had just broken out afresh. This party, not being able to step on board for the reason already given, embarked from one of the Victory‘s stern-ports in the only remaining boat of the two that had been towing astern, and got to the Redoutable through one of her stern-ports. As a proof, too, that all hostility had then ceased on board the French ship, the Victory‘s people’s were well received. Their boat, we believe, was soon afterwards knocked to pieces by a shot. The other boat had been cut adrift by a shot just as the Victory was about to open her fire, and was afterwards picked up with her oars and tackle as complete as when, early in the forenoon, she had been lowered down from the quarter.’