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Updated Programme of the Collingwood Society for 2014 22 June, 2014

Posted by Molly Joyful in Collingwood Society, Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, General, Online articles, Talks.
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“Now, gentlemen, let us do something today which the world may talk of hereafter.”

Wouldn’t that make an excellent slogan to be printed on a team’s kit?Why, yes, I’m looking at you, Mr. Hodgson…


Luckily,  The Collingwood Society is more successful in its endeavours than Team England, and has yet again organised a plethora of magnificent events, to which you are all duly invited. I’d say a broad variety of interests will get covered! Download your 2014 PROGRAMME here.

The event of 23 October caught my eye, for it promises to be great fun:

The 3rd Annual General Meeting of the Collingwood Society, followed by ‘Forebitters’. A ‘forebitter’ was a sailor’s song, traditionally sung for recreation in the forecastle accommodation of an evening, as opposed to the more functional shanties which accompanied the various work tasks aboard ship. The concept of allowing rank and file members a 5-minute slot on anything Collingwood-related was received with enthusiasm when mooted at the 2013 AGM, so we are embarking on our first ‘open mike’ session, so to speak! Half a dozen or so ‘turns’ – mini-lecture, song, poetry, dance, costume, who knows??! Volunteers please apply to the Secretary before the Summer recess – this may take some organising!! Free admission for Society members, £2 for others.

Volounteers, don’t delay, apply today!

And here are some gentlemen who did something the world (well, the Morpeth Herald) did talk of hereafter: at a recent meeting of the Morpeth Rotary Club, guest speaker Captain Stephen Healy, President of the Vice-Admiral Lord Collingwood Association, gave a talk to members about the admiral and his links with Morpeth.



(Did they mix up the names for the pictures, I wonder? Me thinks Captain Healy is the one on the left?)

In completely different news, and just so you can stop nagging me about it: The Admiral Collingwood Pub in Ilfracombe is now open for business. You can look at many, many pictures here. Why it was named after Collingwood – I have no idea. Looking at the toilets, Ye Olde Beetlejuice might have been more appropriate…? But good luck to them, and many happy guests!

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.


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:


Gordon has also started a 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 – 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…)


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

Release the Hounds, Collingwoodites: Thieves Steal a Lock of Admiral Collingwood’s Hair 6 April, 2013

Posted by Molly Joyful in Cuthbert Collingwood, General, Royal Navy, Vices and Virtues.
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Ladies and gentlemen, your help is urgently needed:

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle’s Mansion in Fernwood Road in Jesmond has been broken into on  1 April. Police believe that  burglars broke in through the cellar overnight between last Monday and Tuesday. The criminals stole

  • a gold Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Labour Party founder Arthur Henderson in 1934 (the medal bears the inscription “Parlimentum Norvegial A Munro Henderson” and is with a presentation scroll in a leather case)
  • a large amount of antique silverware (silver cups dating back to 1919, a set of four Victoria napkin rings embossed with a star from 1875, a William IV snuff box dating back to 1834, a George II mustard pot from 1759 and a Queen Anne silver love cup engraved with two Queen Anne coat of arms)
  • and a lock of hair from Admiral Lord Collingwood. It was kept in a circular oak box with an engraved inscription: “This box which was made out of transform of the Royal Sovereign and enclosed a lock of the hair of the late Lord Collingwood, was presented by Admiral Thomas to the Corporation of Newcastle Upon Tyne.”


These are very distinct items which are almost impossible to sell through “regular” channels (unless the criminals melt the silver down, which I really don’t hope they’ll do), and I don’t think waiting for any of these items to turn up on The Antique’s Roadshow in twenty years is the way to go. So let’s try to do a bit of detective work:

There’s not much we can do about the medal or the silverware, but if anybody, anywhere should try to sell a lock of Collingwood’s hair or inquire about its value, chances are that one of us will notice. So please, keep your eyes and ears open, and don’t hesitate to contact the police if you see somebody trying to sell any of the above-mentioned items!

Anyone with information on the burglary is asked to call Northumbria Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111.

By the way, former  Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd and technology tycoon Graham Wylie have offered £30,000 for the return of these items.


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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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.


Your turn now: How about a Collingwood Society? 12 January, 2011

Posted by Molly Joyful in Bounce, Collingwood Society, Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, General, Royal Navy, things you don't need but probably want.
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“Collingwood 2010” may be over, but interest in the life and achievements of Vice-Admiral Lord Cuthbert Collingwood has only increased. Excellent! The fewer “Colling- who?”, the better. I can promise you some interesting finds regarding our dear admiral for 2011, so please, stay tuned!

I’ve been informed that the Official Collingwood 2010 Website will stay online for the time being. Please do check back once in a while, new pictures have been added to the gallery and new reports.

And now for some really exciting news: there are talks about the formation of a Collingwood Society! I think we can all agree on a very loud “AYE!” here, but there’s something each of you can do to contribute to this cause:

Please e-mail your views and ideas regarding the formation of a Collingwood Society on this temporary address:

collingwoodsociety at yahoo.co.uk

Your mail will go to the people behind “Collingwood 2010”.

I’m absolutely in favour of a Collingwood Society (big surprise there). While Collingwood’s military achievements were outstanding and changed the course of history, I still feel that the fact that he was a decent, honourable man in a time which was neither nor is just (and to me, even more) important. Because it’s decent and honourable people we need today as role models. Because the Gods know, we got far too many of them.

So please, do write, do share your thoughts and spread the word!

Thank you.

And as I’m already thanking – thanks a ton to Nana for giving Old Cuddy a Bounce for Christmas!

As you can tell, he’s very happy about it – for his personal taste, this household has far too many cats!

Fantastic news: Max Adams’ “Collingwood – Northumberland’s Heart of Oak” as Audio Book – for free! 13 July, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Books, Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, General, Online articles, Royal Navy, things you don't need but probably want, Vices and Virtues.
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A wave of updates has swept across the Official Collingwood 2010 Website, and I hope I won’t forget to point anything of importance out in this entry.

First things first, though, because I know how many of you are truly dedicated aficionados of audio books!


And what’s more: it’s for free!

“Collingwood – Northumberland’s Heart of Oak” has been split into 12 individual parts and is available from the official website (please click the link above). And please don’t let the audio book keep you from buying the print edition! An illustrated bicentenary edition of the printed book is available from Newcastle Libraries, Tyne Bridge Publishing.

Also new on the website is an addition that I find very important, and which I’d like to recommend especially to the teachers and homeschoolers among you:


Teaching materials, lessons plans and resources for you to educate (yourself, your students or young ones) on all things Collingwood. His portrayal here on this blog is, of course, biased in favour of Collingwood. I’m not blind to his shortcomings, though, and had we ever met, it might have ended in a huge argument and broken plates… well. Here you’ll find everything for you and others to make up their own mind.

For further research, you can find all relevant (and other) information on Collingwood here:


His life, his achievements, his fights – it’s all here, with a very helpful timeline. Perfect for those who don’t want to read all the books!

And of course, always keep an eye on


where you’ll find all scheduled events. Check back regularly to see if anything’s on that you might be interested in.

Upcoming events are:

Tue 13th – Sun 18th July 2010

‘Heroes, Past and Present’ Festival: flower and music festival
(assoc. – they have adopted Collingwood as a hero past)

And an event close to all our hearts:

Sat 7th- Tue 10th August 2010

Tallships Hartlepool 2010

What else? Ah, you’ll have to wait for a little while, this year’s Trafalgar Day promises to prove some goodies for us Collingwoodies!

And I have some updates as well. I wish my days had 48 hours, then I could get more done…

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:

(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…)


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


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.

Admiral Lord Collingwood 2010: Link Collection of Celebrations, Part 3 16 March, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Family, General, Online articles, Royal Navy.
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Before we come to further online reports of the Collingwood 2010 Memorial Weekend, here’s a stunning picture of the (in)famous smoke ring during the Tynemouth salute; courtesy Captain Stephen Healy:

If that’s not the perfect 10 of smoke rings everywhere, then I don’t know what is!

Report and pictures by Jen

Although all the official part was impressive, I think one of my favourite things was standing there on the monument afterwards and hearing a man beside me telling the lady he was with about how…


He was described yesterday as one of Newcastle’s greatest sons, a Northumbrian heart of oak, a great Englishman and a saviour of the nation.

Short report and pictures by Kathy

Great picture taken by Allan

Not reports, yet still interesting:


Author Andrew Griffin has welcomed the Collingwood Festival after writing a biography on the hero.


You’ll be pleased to hear there’ll be a “Collingwood Bar” very soon!

It will have a seating and standing capacity of 200 and is scheduled to open on April 7, when a member of the Collingwood family will cut the ribbon, followed by an official opening ceremony on April 29.

Admiral Lord Collingwood 2010: Link Collection of Celebrations, Part 2 11 March, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, General, Online articles, Royal Navy.
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Still working my way through the mailbox. I’ll eventually reply to everybody, thanks for your patience.

More links are trickling in. I hope I can apply my google-fu more effectively this weekend, I’m sure there’s more. If you’ve been to any of the last weekend’s events and want to share your thoughts, impressions and/or pictures, please do so! You’re more than welcome. I’d also like to thank all the regulars here who helped me so much with their comments and links.

This video on youtube must be my new favourite:

Narration by Bounce!

(19, actually. Two dog barks might have been included to make for 21…!)

Some thoughts about and information by Nana – heart and soul of every discussion about Admiral Lord Collingwood:


The ever-lovely Jen took pictures and generously shares them with us. Please scroll down the gallery to see all pictures and also have a look at the second page:


Meanwhile, back in London…

… flowers were laid at Admiral Lord Collingwood’s tomb, which can be found in the crypt of St. Paul’s cathedral. Pictures were taken with permission of St. Paul’s and are used here with permission of the photographers.

We’d like to thank staff at St. Paul’s for their help and hope to make this a (bi-)annual event. While Admiral Lord Collingwood probably would have shaken his head about the general idea of fuss being made about him, we feel it’s very important to keep his memory and the values he stood for alive.

Tourists made a beeline for the admiral’s tomb as soon as they noticed the flowers. “London Guides” were pulled out and consulted in considerable numbers!

Also, donations to various charities have been made in honour of “Old Cuddy”.