Several interesting anecdotes.
By William Beatty, M.D.
Surgeon to the Victory in the Battle of Trafalgar, and now Physician to the Fleet under the Command of the Earl of St. Vincent, K.B. &c. &c. &c.
Printed By T. Davison, White-Friars;
For T. Cadell and W. Davies, in the Strand.
TO THE PUBLIC.
The Surgeon of the late illustrious Lord Nelson feels himself called upon, from the responsible situation which he held on the eventful day of the 21st of October 1805, to lay before the British Nation the following Narrative. It contains an account of the most interesting incidents which occurred on board the Victory. (Lord NELSON’s flag-ship) from the time of her sailing from England, in the month of September, till the day of battle inclusively; with a detail of the particulars of his LORDSHIP’S Death, the mode adopted for preserving his revered Remains during the subsequent long passage of the Victory to England, and the condition of the Body when it was deposited in Greenwich Hospital. This short statement of facts is deemed a small but necessary tribute of respect to the memory of the departed Hero, as well as a professional document which the Public had a right to expect from the man who had the melancholy honour of being his principal medical attendant on that occasion: and is presumed to be not unappropriately concluded by observations on the state of his LORDSHIP’S health for some time previous to his fall; with his habits of life, and other circumstances, strongly proving that few men had a greater prospect of attaining longevity, on which account his premature death is the more to be deplored by his Country.
It was originally intended that this Narrative should be published in the life of Lord Nelson, undertaken by the Rev. J.S. Clarke and J. M’ARTHUR, Esq. and it will still form a part of that Work; but from the length of time which must necessarily elapse before so extensive and magnificent a Publication can be completed, the Author has been induced to print it in a separate form.
Lord Nelson sailed from St. Helen’s in the Victory, with the Euryalus frigate, on the morning of the 15th of September 1805, to take the command of the British Fleet cruizing before Cadiz. On the 18th he appeared off Plymouth; where he was joined by his Majesty’s ships Thunderer and Ajax, with which he proceeded for his destined station. On the 20th he communicated by private signal with the squadron under the command of Rear-Admiral Stirling, which passed within a few miles of the Victory; and the same day at noon, spoke his Majesty’s ship Le Decade, having on board Rear-Admiral Sir Richard Bickerton, who, was on his return to England for the recovery of his health.