Reply To: Did Admiral Villeneuve attend Nelson’s funeral?

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#2783
Anonymous

    I am currently researching the life and career of Capitaine-de-vaisseau Jean-Jacques Etienne Lucas, the commander of the Redoutable, 74, at Trafalgar. Lucas was a paroled prisoner-of-war at Reading from November 1805 until April 1806, when he, Villeneuve, Magendie and Infernet, commander of l’Intrepide at Trafalgar, were released on parole and sent to France (from Plymouth, 17 April 1806) before their official exchange was arranged.
    It is stated in some naval histories that Lucas also attended Nelson’s funeral but I can find no record of this in the lists of attendees, although that in itself does not mean he – or Villeneuve or Magendie – were not there.
    I have recently accessed the French paroled officers’ records at The National Archives (TNA) at Kew, in the context of checking Lucas’ physical description, which was unusual, and which I have now found to be incorrect in the few British histories which mention him.
    The relevant files for this period (under the Transport Board) are :
    TNA ADM 103/496, Passports for French prisoners-of-war released or exchanged, listed in the catalogue as 1800-1815
    TNA ADM 103/598 General Entry-book of French Prisoners of War, on parole at Reading, 1805-1813

    Unfortunately, the first set above runs from 1810, and the correct volume is not clear from the TNA online catalogue, so I need to return to Kew to identify and access the volume for passports 1803-1806; these should list all passports issued for approved travel further than 1 mile from the edge of the town in which an officer was based. Villeneuve, Magendie, Lucas and Infernet and their suite of officers and servants were all housed in Henry Addington’s family home, Grove House, in Sonning-on-Thames.
    It may be of use to know that the second set, ADM 103/598, includes details such as age, stature, distinguishing marks and wounds, colour of eyes and hair.
    I hope this is of interest but perhaps other Members may have greater knowledge for Dr Pelling’s research.

    [Editor’s note : there appears to be a fault in TNA’s online catalogue descriptions for ADM 103/496, Passports for French prisoners-of-war released or exchanged, listed in the catalogue as 1800-1815. On calling up the manuscript registers for this set from ADM 103 / 496 through to / 501 there appear to be no entries from the period 1801 -1810. Lower numbered sets relate to prisoners from other countries or British prisoners in France.
    ADM 103 / 485 is shown as being ‘French prisoners in England 1804-1810’ but there is some doubt as to what this deals with and needs physical examination. TNA are now aware of this anomaly.