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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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6 comments

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. ;-)

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So – what did Collingwood look like? 10 February, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Art, Books, Cuthbert Collingwood, Family, Lady Sarah, Letters, Trivia.
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8 comments

It’s not unrealistic to assume that some of the artists in the 18th century were flattering their customers. The absence of a smile, a clenched jaw and determined glare on a painting can be expressions of determination and a firm character or the artist’s attempt at hiding loss of teeth due to scurvy. Caveat visor.

But really, who could blame artist or customer; the wish to leave a positive image of oneself to future generations is timeless. If you’ve ever seen a picture of Madonna before and after photoshop-treatment, you know that photography can’t be trusted, either.

So, what about Admiral Lord Collingwood? Are we seeing his real face on the portraits?

I think it’s safe to say that the portraits of Admiral Lord Collingwood are more accurate than many others. While not without vanity (and really, who is!), he certainly wasn’t the man to insist on the “big hair” treatment. We know that he sent a portrait painted by Giuseppe Sorcevani to his wife Sarah, who hadn’t seen him for five years and was not pleased with the sight, to say the least. (Had she lived today, she’d probably posted a “OMGWTF” lolcat macro to her blog…)

Collingwood, who thought the artist was pretty much spot on with his portrayal, sent a snarky note to his dearly beloved:

I am sorry to find my picture was not an agreeable surprise (…) you expected to find me a smooth-skinned, clear-complexioned gentleman, such as I was when I left home, dressed in the newest taste, and like the fine people who live gay lives ashore. Alas! it is far otherwise with me (…) The painter represented me as I am, not as I once was. It is time and toil that have worked the change, and not his want of skill.
(ibid pp. 204-205)

We have to thank Captain Abraham Crawford for the following description of Collingwood. His memoirs are available for online reading here.

(…) At the time I write of, Lord Collingwood was between fifty and sixty, thin and spare in person, which was then slightly bent, and in height about five feet ten inches. His head was small, with a pale, smooth round face, the features of which would pass without notice, were it not for the eyes, which were blue, clear, and penetrating; and the mouth, the lips of which were thin and compressed, indicating firmness and decision of character. He wore his hair powdered, and tied in a queue, in the style of officers of his age at that time ; and his clothes were squared and fashioned after the strictest rules of the good old sea school, To his very ample coat, which had a stiff, standup collar, were appended broad and very long skirts—the deep flaps of his single-breasted white waistcoat, descending far below his middle, covered a portion of his thighs; and blue knee-breeches, with white stockings, and buckles to his shoes, completed his attire.

“Reminiscences of a Naval Officer, during the Late War” (1851) by Captain Abraham Crawford.
(Very special thanks to ShipRat for sending in this quote)

As this blog here is Very Serious Business, we went about the question of Collingwood’s looks with a strictly scientific approach. Means: we ran his portrait through the Facial Beauty Analyser. You’ll be pleased to hear that Admiral Lord Collingwood scored a stunning 8.94 points out of 10. That’s 0.01 point MORE than Orlando Bloom, and 0.29 points more than James D’Arcy.

Which proves – nothing. But it’s more fun than shovelling snow.