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Letter from Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, HMS OCEAN, off Syracuse, to Captain John Handfield, HM sloop DELIGHT.


Object connections:

Collection Archive
Gallery locationNot on display

Record details:

Biographical details Written from Syracuse, the letter is addressed to Captain Philip Handfield, of the sloop DELIGHT, who was operating off the coast of Calabria and Messina. Collingwood instructed Handfield to lend a hand to the garrison at Scylla, (on the mainland side of the straits of Messina) who he believed were about to be attacked. Research shows that Handfield actually died on the same day the letter was written. Ironically, it appears that Handfield anticipated Collingwood’s orders and though he never received them, died attempting to carry them out. He was killed trying to recapture 4 Sicilian gunboats, recently taken by the French.
Description Collingwood commands Handfield to assist the garrison at Scylla (Calabria/ modern Italy) to resist an expected French attack. Collingwood remarks ‘the station is one that I attach great importance to, and at this moment it is of the utmost consequence.’
Date made 1808-01-31

Finding Reference AGC/C/20
Catalogue section Manuscript documents acquired singly by the Museum
Creator Collingwood, Cuthbert
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials paper;
Extent 1 letter: 314 mm x 200 mm
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