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And there it went, Old Cuddy’s Diary… 31 October, 2012

Posted by Molly Joyful in Cuthbert Collingwood, Letters, things you don't need but probably want.
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Today HMS Joyful Molly, with Ms. Emma Collingwood at the helm, set sail to join the Battle of Ye Olde Auctionhouse. We were determined to free Old Cuddy’s diary and carry it to safety (the National Maritime Museum or some other place where the public would have had access).

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It was a fierce battle; we fought tooth, nail, sarcasm and comfy pillows, but alas… alas, the other ship had more cannons than our little Amazonian bum boat, and so we were outbid. Curse and botheration!

We’d hoped to share happier news with you today. We really tried our best, but you can’t win every battle. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that the new owner will be generous enough to share the content of Admiral Collingwood’s diary.

We’d like to thank the financier of this expedition, Lady Hannah Bampfylde-Treegarden-Collingwood, who donated her collection of French thimbles and three packs of butterscotch mints to the cause. Consider yourself firmly hugged!

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1. lornamcampbell - 31 October, 2012

Damnation and botheration indeed. You did your best ma’am. Hats off to you.

Lady Hannah Bampfylde-Treegarden-Collingwood? Dare I ask if the good lady is any relation to the nefarious Bampfylde Moore Carew?!

Molly Joyful - 1 November, 2012

Indeed she is, a cousin three times removed! A woman of great spirit and courage, not to be trifled with!

(I knew you’d get the reference! :D)

2. ShipRat - 3 November, 2012

Lady Hannah? Not the dauntless bluestocking wife of Wilberforce Fartinblow Bampfylde-Treegarden-Collingwood? She always did have a thing for impossible odds!

Collingwood did remark that after Trafalgar he started hearing from some new kindred he’d never had before…

As for the diary, let’s hope it’s Au revoir and not Adieu!

3. ShipRat - 8 November, 2012

Want to be further tantalized?

The Letter-Bag of Lady Elizabeth Spencer-Stanhope v. I

…In a diary [9] in which, during the last years of his life, he entered memoranda, ostensibly from which to compile his dispatches, there is conveyed more eloquently than by any laboured insistence the ceaseless fret of his guardianship and the impracticability which he experienced of sifting the truth or falsehood of the information on which his line of conduct was dependent. Incessantly do its pages recall, with elaborate care, the details of reported engagements and of reported manoeuvres of the enemy, supplied from some apparently unimpeachable source, and incessantly are such memoranda revoked emphatically by a later entry. Once, after retailing minutely the details of an assault undertaken by the Portuguese and Spaniards against the French—which he was informed had continued for six days and during which about 8000 of the former and 6000 of the latter had been killed—and subsequent to which all the inhabitants of Elvas had been put to the sword by the French—he appends with pardonable irritation—”Not a word of this true—the whole a fabrication for the amusement of country gentlemen and ladies.” Meanwhile he was confronted by the knowledge that those who were most ready to criticise his decisions, had least comprehension of the difficulties with which he had to contend.

[9] Kindly lent to the author by Alfred Brewis, Esq., of Newcastle-on- Tyne.

4. ShipRat - 8 November, 2012

I should have said, “tantalized and envious.” Mrs. Stirling (editor) had but to ask, and she was loaned the diary. Those were the days!


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