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Admiral Collingwood: Of Flowers and DNA 18 April, 2014

Posted by Molly Joyful in Books, Cuthbert Collingwood, Family, General, Trivia.
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Just in time for the Easter holidays, I bring you a very mixed bag of interesting Collingwood titbits. And news coming from the Collingwood Society, but they get their own post.

First we have one which might be of special interest to the many admirers of Horatio Hornblower who read this blog. Your knowledge is needed!

A gentleman called Paul has contacted me with a question regarding Collingwood and flowers. He’s working on a project about flowers and their role in human culture. While reading “From Hornblower and the Atropos by C.S. Forester. The Companion Book club, London, 1954. (Originally published by Michael Joseph Ltd.) pp 137-8” he came across the following part:

Collingwood shook hands with him in the great cabin below. …

“Please sit down captain. Harkness, a glass of Madeira for Captain Hornblower. …”

It was an upholstered chair in which Hornblower sat; under his feet was a thick carpet; there were a couple of pictures in gilt frames on the bulkheads; silver lamps hung by silver chains   from the deck-beams. Looking round him while Collingwood eagerly skimmed through his letters, Hornblower thought of all this being hurriedly bundled away when the
Ocean cleared for action. But what held his attention most were two long boxes against the great stern windows. They were filled with earth and were planted with flowers – hyacinths and daffodils, blooming and lovely.

The scent of the hyacinths reached Hornblower’s nostrils where he sat. There was something fantastically charming about them here at sea.

“I’ve been successful with my bulbs this year,” said Collingwood, putting his letters in his pocket and following Hornblower’s glance. He walked over and tilted up a daffodil bloom with sensitive fingers, looking down into its open face.

“They are beautiful, aren’t they? Soon the daffodils will be flowering in England – some time, perhaps, I’ll see them again. Meanwhile these help to keep me contented. It is three years since I last set foot  on land.”

So Paul’s obvious question was: did the real Collingwood have flower boxes in the great cabin?

“Not that I know of”, was my reply; as much as I love the idea, I can’t really imagine that Collingwood would have had anything in the great cabin which could have slowed down or hindered preparations for battle. But maybe you guys know more than I do? Can you shed some light on this?

The possibly fictional flower boxes aside: do you know any other Age of Sail related tales which could help Paul with his work? If so, please do share here, or if you’d rather mail him personally, drop me a line, and I’ll put you in touch.

quarterdeck

Next I’d like to share some links with you which might be of special interest for those of you interested in genealogy and the various Collingwoodses who have contacted me through the years. They are an international lot! You can find them from Germany to Australia, and there’s even one in Japan! One of them, Gordon Collingwood, is a serious genealogist, and he has painstakingly pieced together over 50 separate branches of the Collingwood family tree, including the ancestors of Old Cuddy. You can visit his website here, but please note that you will need a user account to watch the content:

COLLINGWOOD ANCESTRY

Gordon has also started a DNA project:

COLLINGWOOD DNA PROJECT

He writes that his own DNA had been matched to another living Collingwood who has traced his family back to 1630 in Newcastle upon Tyne. So they both have Geordie roots! Feel free to contact him if you are a Collingwood (or related to a Collingwood) and would like to learn more.

paul_collingwood

Paul Collingwood – a chip off the old oak block?

(You won’t be surprised at all that Emma Collingwood’s DNA identified her as a direct descentant of Hieronymus Carl Friedrich Baron von Münchhausen…)

munchhausen

Münchhausen c. 1740 as a Cuirassier in Riga, by G. Bruckner

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To that Noble Fellow Collingwood 7 March, 2014

Posted by Molly Joyful in Bounce, Cuthbert Collingwood, Family, Nelson, Online articles, Royal Navy.
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204 years ago today, Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood died off Port Mahon, on board of HMS Ville de Paris. Here’s what the “Annals of the Wars of the 19th Century. Vol. III” had to say on the matter. I find the comparison of Nelson and Collingwood to Saul and Jonathan most intriguing…!

collingwood_obituary_extract

You can read an extensive extract by clicking on the picture below.

collingwood_obituary

Today’s picture can be shared with you thanks to the generosity of our dearest Volgivagant; who of us would not have loved to sail on the good ship “Collingwood” – with a figurehead like this?

collingwood_figurehead collingwood_figurehead_draw

In honour of our dear admiral – and his beloved Bounce! – we’ve made a donation to rescue four dogs from Romania, who are already on their way to new, loving homes.

The Collingwood Society: General Meeting 2013 17 October, 2013

Posted by Molly Joyful in Art, Bounce, Collingwood Society, Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Family, Nelson, Royal Navy, Talks, things you don't need but probably want.
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The Collingwood Society are hosting their General Meeting 2013 on

cuddy_icon
Thursday 24 October 2013:  7.00pm
The Newcastle upon Tyne Trinity House
followed by
“Growing up with the Admiral”
a talk by Angus Collingwood-Cameron

sea_dog

Ok, it’s not Angus Collingwood-Cameron, but it’s a cute girl and there’s Bounce, so this is not a completely unrelated picture. So nyah!

Also quickly approaching is Trafalgar Day; please download the Collingwood Society’s programme here.

Talking about Trafalgar: have you seen this fantabuloustastic figurehead of Old Cuddy yet?!

figurehead

A decidedly Fürst-Metternich-looking Old Cuddy can be yours for a measly $20,880…
(Picture: Jim Cerny)

More nautical gems can be found here; I’m particularly fond of the Emperor penguin.

 

History experts, I need your help: is this Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood’s watch? 18 March, 2012

Posted by Molly Joyful in Art, Cuthbert Collingwood, Family, General, Royal Navy.
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19 comments

Edited on 22th March, new pictures and information added!

Dear Collingwoodites, here’s a puzzle for you to solve!

Bingham Cuthbert (!) Charles Schreiber gave the following watch to his granddaughter Virginia on her 18th birthday. The watch, so the family story goes, was presented to Old Cuddy by the British Government after the Battle of Trafalgar. Mr. Schreiber was estranged from his father at a young age and grew up in Canada.

Needless to say, this is a very exciting find if the watch can really be tracked down to Collingwood. And that’s what I need your help for, dear history buffs and experts! I can’t remember Collingwood mentioning a watch in his journal or letters, which doesn’t have to mean that he didn’t get one. Let’s look at the note coming with the watch first.

“Admiral Collingwood’s watch a gift from the British government after the Battle of Trafalgar 1796”

That’s confusing, as the battle obviously took place in 1805. It’s not very likely it was a different battle, either – the Battle of Cape St. Vincent was a year later. However, that year might not be about the battle, but about the year the watch was manufactured:

“A.R. Keating 1796-1815 Production Strand- Serial #5834”

My knowledge about watches is very, very limited. So I hope there will be readers who can help me out with the following questions, and maybe tell Virginia more about her watch:

  • Can anybody tell me something about the maker of the watch?
  • Was this really Collingwood’s watch?
  • Did he mention it anywhere in his journals or letters?
  • Do you know how it came into the possession of Mr. Schreiber?

Edited on 22th March: new information and pictures!

Virginia’s grandfather was born in Parry Sound,Ontario, Canada, on 8/15/1906. Virginia was born in the mid-sixties.

Virginia has also sent additional pictures:

Thanks so much for your help. Any information will be greatly appreciated.

FOLLOW THE RESEARCH DISCUSSION HERE!

Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood: Wisdom will never go out of Fashion 7 March, 2012

Posted by Molly Joyful in Books, Cuthbert Collingwood, Family, Letters, Quotes, Royal Navy, things you don't need but probably want, Trivia, Vices and Virtues.
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Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, 1st Baron Collingwood, died on 7th March, 1810 at the age of 61. Unfortunately, we couldn’t visit St. Paul’s Cathedral today as I’ve just started a new job, but be assured that “Old Cuddy” wasn’t deprieved of his annual gift of flowers. A very lovely flowerbox with red roses and berries, not unlike the one from last year, was placed on his tomb.

So rather than paying my respects in person, I’ll do so in writing. I won’t talk about naval battle strategies or politics, though. When asked why I took such an interest in some old admiral who died a gazillion of years ago, I usually say: “People with common sense never go out of fashion.” Collingwood was born in 1748, but had a more modern approach to many things and better understanding of human nature than a good number of people nowadays.

On 17 April, 1809, Collingwood wrote a letter to his daughters while aboard his ship, the Ville de Paris, anchored off Minorca. I dare say that we’d all live in a much better world if some of the advice he gave his girls was headed today. Actually, I petition for his pieces of advice to be printed on a 4x20ft banner and put up in the Houses of Parliament. I suggest neon pink vinyl, so that really nobody can miss it.

The education of a lady, and indeed of a gentleman too, may be divided into three parts; all of great importance to their happiness, but in different degrees.

The first part ist the cultivation of the mind, that they may have a knowledge of right and wrong, and acquire a habit of doing acts of virtue and honour. By reading history, you will perceive the high estimation in wihch the memories of good and virtuous people are held; the contempt and disgust which are affixed to the base, whatever may have been their rank in life.

The second part of education is to acquire a competent knowledge how to manage your affairs, whatever they may happen to be; to know how to direct the economy of your house; and to keep exact accounts of every thing which concerns you. Whoever cannot do this must be dependent on somebody else, and those who are dependent on another cannot be perfectly at their ease. (…)

The third part is, perhaps, no less in value than the others. It is how to practise those manners and that address which will recommend you to the respect of strangers. Boldness and forwardness are exceedingly disgusting, and such people are generally more disliked the more they are known; but, at the same time, shyness and bashfulness, and the shrinking from conversation with those with whom you ought to associate, are repulsive and unbecoming.

This quote was taken from the excellent book “The Five Hundred  Best English Letters”, selected and edited by The First Earl of Birkenhead, first published in 1931. I’d like to thank Esteven for the many hours of enjoyment I spent reading it.

Event: Record office lecture on Collingwood by Dr. Tony Barrow 8 April, 2011

Posted by Molly Joyful in Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Family, Royal Navy, Talks.
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On Friday, April 15 at 7.30pm, Dr. Tony Barrow will hold a lecture on

“Collingwood’s Northumbrians”

in the Parish Centre of Berwick.

Dr. Barrow will speak on the men from Tyneside and Northumberland who had social and family connections with Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood and how the latter supported them (or otherwise) in their naval careers.

Great subject, everyone is welcome,  admission is free and refreshments are available – so what are you waiting for?

Not-so-old Cuddy

( Source )

Letter by Collingwood up for auction: “Etc. etc. etc., Collingwood” 16 October, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Books, Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Family, Lady Sarah, Letters, Quotes, Royal Navy, things you don't need but probably want, Trivia, Vices and Virtues.
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If you should have a spare £ 1’000.00 in your piggy bank (plus £ 2.20 for postage), you have the chance to become the owner of a letter Cuthbert Collingwood sent to Captain Hoste in HMS Amphion “by Hind”, reporting the presence of a French frigate at Palma, and ordering him to attack if the enemy ship “is found to be in a situation where she is assailable”. The letter was written “off Toulon, 4 May 1808”.

CLICK HERE TO HAVE A LOOK AT THE AUCTION

Letter from Vice Admiral Lord Collingwood to Captain William Hoste, 1808

As most of us very likely don’t have that amount of money to spend on letters, I recommend you purchase

THE OFFICIAL FESTIVAL BROCHURE

instead. It contains articles, never-before seen pictures and commentaries.

The price is £5.00 + £0.60 p&p in the UK, £5.00 + £2.00 p&p in the rest of Europe and £5.00 + £3.35 p&p if ordered from elsewhere in the world. Credit card orders may be placed by telephone 0191 – 2650040 (from overseas +44 191 2650040) or send an email directly to the publisher, Powdene Publicity, on info @ powdene.com – thanks!

This is a must-have item for all Collingwoodites!

From the written word to music: has anybody attended the event with The New Scorpion Band in Collingwood’s honour on the 9th October? I haven’t found any reviews so far; Ylla was there and commented on it, but if anybody else should have been there, please yell and let us know what it was like.

UPCOMING EVENTS

21st October is coming closer, and the good people of North Tyneside Council have organised

Toast the Admiral!

At 1200 midday on 21st October 1805, the opening salvo was fired in the Battle of Trafalgar as Vice-Admiral Collingwood’s Royal Sovereign came within range of the French ship Fougeaux. At 12.00 midday on this year’s Trafalgar Day, we will “raise a glass” to Collingwood’s memory at the monument in Tynemouth. This forms the last public event of the Collingwood 2010 Festival and everyone who is a follower of Collingwood and the Festival is welcome to attend.

Proceedings will start at 11.30am and the toast will be at 12.00 noon.

For more information, please consult the Official Collingwood 2010 Website.

“This forms the last public event of the 2010 Festival” – what about the future?

My health has unfortunately forced me these last months to cut back drastically on my time spent in front of a computer, TV set or anything else that’s flickering and blinking. So, until very recently, I’ve planned to stop updating this blog on Trafalgar Day and leave it up as a part of the 2010 celebrations; an archive, so to speak.

And then I thought: there are 8089230582395238 blogs in honour of Lady Gaga, but only one exclusively dedicated to Old Cuddy (to my knowledge, maybe there are 8709089080 others out there I haven’t found yet), get over yourself, woman!

So I’m very happy to tell you that not only “Old Cuddy” will stay, it will also be updated whenever I come across  something interesting and Collingwood-related.

Furthermore, I can confirm that laying flowers in front of Lord Collingwood’s grave at St. Paul’s Cathedral will become a yearly event.

Our dear regular reader ShipRat has posted a lovely excerpt recently from the correspondence between Collingwood and his wife, which I just have to share:

Queen, off Carthagena, Dec. 20, 1805.

“… The editors of the Naval Chronicle have written to me for the history of my life and progress, for which they are pleased to say the world is very impatient. Now this rather embarrasses me, for I never could bear the trumpeter of his own praise. So, to get rid of it as well as I can, I have employed _____ to write a history for me. For my birth and parentage he has selected two or three chapters of Bamfylde Moore Carew*: for my service in the ‘West Indies and on the Spanish main, he has good assistance in the History of the Buccaneers; and for my shipwreck he has copied a great deal out of Robinson Crusoe: all which, with a few anecdotes from the Lives of the Admirals, a little distorted, will make, I am inclined to think, a very respectable piece of biography.”

*i.e., “The Life and Adventures of Bampfylde Moore Carew, the noted Devonshire stroller and dogstealer”  (1745) a.k.a. “The Accomplished Vagabond”

He didn’t like to trumpet his own praise, but I think he can live with one wee blog. ;-)

Event: Collingwood Workshop with Max Adams, Tony Barrow and John Sadler 20 April, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Books, Bounce, Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Family, General, Letters, Royal Navy, Talks.
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I haven’t decided yet what to do on 1st May: wearing red and marching on the street, or wearing white and dancing around the May Pole (knowing myself, I’ll probably end up sitting under a tree, reading a book). But there’s a third option this year:

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ADMIRAL COLLINGWOOD
(Please scroll down the page for schedule and more information)

Saturday, 1st May, and Sunday, 2nd May, 2010, at the Newcastle Arts Centre and the Newcastle upon Tyne Trinity House.

A two-day workshop at the North-East Centre for Lifelong Learning, tutored by acknowledged experts Max Adams, Tony Barrow and John Sadler, celebrating the bicentenary of Collingwood’s death on March 7th 1810

The workshop costs £ 55.00 (£ 35.00 if you’re a NECLL member), which includes lunch and refreshments. I dare say this will be money well spent; several interesting talks, a look at Admiral Collingwood’s letters, muster books and a rare look around Trinity House. Plus “re-enactments of actions” (tempting as it may be: please stay away from the cannons and don’t blow anything up!)

This exciting event is brought to you by the Collingwood 2010 Festival.

Don’t forget the auction! Collingwood’s washstand has to go! 23 March, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Art, Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Family, General, Nelson, Royal Navy, things you don't need but probably want.
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And for at least £ 36’000 – not a penny less! (The experts expect it to fetch £ 6’000 – £ 8’000, though…)

THE ‘NELSON TOUCH’ ARRIVES AT BONHAMS MARINE SALE

A remarkable variety of Nelson-related memorabilia, including a rare George III mourning ring, a collection of Baltic service dinner plates, and a silver urn given by Lady Emma Hamilton to her chemist, is being sold as part of The Marine Sale at Bonhams on 24th March 2010.

Of main interest to us here is of course

AN EARLY 19TH CENTURY COLONIAL TEAK GENTLEMAN’S BOW FRONT CAMPAIGN DRESSING COMMODE, VICE ADMIRAL COLLINGWOOD

You can see the complete catalogue for the auction here. And the catalogue is pretty much the only item I could afford!

Please also see the previous post on this auction.

Collingwood 2010 Event: “Collingwood and Nelson: a Unique Friendship” 16 March, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Books, Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Family, Letters, Nelson, Royal Navy, Talks.
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Talk alert!

“COLLINGWOOD AND NELSON: A UNIQUE FRIENDSHIP”
An illustrated talk by Max Adams

Monday, 22nd March – the ‘Lit and Phil’, Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SE, 6pm

Max Adams is the author of “Admiral Collingwood: Nelson’s Own Hero”. His biography of Old Cuddy is not the first or only one ever written, but it’s the one I’d recommend to those who sit in front of the screen and wonder who the heck we’re all talking about here.

Of course there is a lot of information on Collingwood’s achievements in the Battle of Trafalgar and his friendship with Horatio Nelson, but first and foremost, it’s not a book on Collingwood the admiral, but on Cuthbert Collingwood the man. Max Adams did a brilliant job – he had me sort of sobbing by the end of chapter one, and that, dear friends, takes a lot.

There’s also a TV documentary on Collingwood presented by Max Adams, dating back to 2005. Like most interesting documentaries, it’s not available on DVD. If you should get the chance to catch it somewhere on TV, please do so. It’s a very loving tribute to Collingwood.

"And now for something completely different..."