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Happy 267th Birthday, Old Cuddy! 26 September, 2015

Posted by Molly Joyful in Art, Books, Bounce, Cuthbert Collingwood, Royal Navy.
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As tempted as I was to bake a cake with 267 candles, I stuck to an excellent piece of chocolate/banana cake. And of course a glass of the (by now) traditional vanilla liquor for the toast: to our beloved Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, 1st Baron Collingwood, who was so far ahead of his times that it’s a surprise he was never painted holding a sonic screwdriver. Happy Birthday!

2015_collingwood

In related news, here’s a small article (with picture) about the replica of HMS Pickle.

Btw. in case you’ve been wondering: yes, the children’s book about Collingwood, told from his dog Bounce’s pov, has finished its planning stage and will become reality. I must say that this story would have been much easier to write if Old Cuddy had had a cat… ;-)

[auction]bounce_walk

Artwork by Amandine de Villeneuve

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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

The Collingwood Society: Last Event of 2013 15 November, 2013

Posted by Molly Joyful in Books, Collingwood Society, Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Nelson, Royal Navy, things you don't need but probably want.
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“The Trafalgar Storm”

An illustrated talk to the The Collingwood Society
Dr. Dennis Wheeler, assisted by Dr. Tony Barrow

storm

Tuesday 19th November 2013:  7.30pm
The Newcastle upon Tyne Trinity House

Free for members of the Collingwood Society, £2 admission for others.

Dr. Wheeler talks about the EU research project which assembled and analysed centuries of meteorological data from RN warships, shore observing stations and merchantmen from the likes of the East India Company and Hudson Bay Company.  He then draws on the specific entries of the vessels at Trafalgar, together with those of the Cadiz naval station and vividly paints a picture of the developing storm as seen through the eyes of those at the Battle. Dr. Barrow will add some historical (and Collingwood) context, which we are confident will then generate some fascinating floor discussions and opinions.

For contact and more information, please download the flyer for this event here.

In other news: has anybody read this book? Is it any good or not?

“The Life of Admiral Collingwood” by Geoffrey Murray (1936)

book

Admiral Collingwood’s Diary is up for Auction, and I’m up for a Rant 20 October, 2012

Posted by Molly Joyful in Art, Books, Cuthbert Collingwood, Events, Letters, Menorca, Quotes, Royal Navy, things you don't need but probably want.
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The traditional October auction over at Charles Miller Ltd. is just around the corner. There’s always a wondrous plenthora of Maritime and Scientific objects and works of art on offer, but this year, one very special object caught my eye:

A PRIVATE AUTOGRAPH JOURNAL KEPT BY ADMIRAL LORD COLLINGWOOD (1750-1810) WHILST COMMANDING THE BRITISH FLEET IN THE MEDITERRANEAN DECEMBER 1807-JUNE 1810

This diary is not only of greatest interest to paranormal researchers (having died on 7 March 1810, Collingwood must have added entries from the afterlife), but also to anybody with even a remote interest in naval history. All political and military information aside, this diary might also give us more insight into the last months of Collingwood’s life.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could read this diary? If a transcript was available? Or a book? Powerpoint Presentation? Anything?

Alas poor Yorick! I knew a collector, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy…

I don’t really mind items like this diary going to private collectors.  The state doesn’t have the money to buy all items of historic importance; taxes just barely cover the essentials like MPs’ expenses for duck houses, toilet seats, moat cleaning and kitty treats for Larry the No. 10 cat (I don’t object the latter, though). When it comes to funding, history and heritage have been hung out to dry on the governmental washing line along with the unemployed, disabled and disadvantaged, the NHS, the arts, education and science.

But I digress. My point is that private ownership of historic documents is not the problem; the attitude of some collectors is. It’s all about owning. It’s all about “me me me”. And, who would have guessed, about money. That’s the only explanation for the request of the Navy Records Society to transcribe the diary before the auction being turned down by the owner. No transcript = exclusivity = higher price. Simples!

If we’re lucky, the new owner will be willing to share this important historic document and help adding another piece to the jigsaw of our history. If not, the diary will end up in a tresor and on an inventory list. And there is not a thing you can do about it. Except, maybe, pushing for a law which makes it mandatory for historic documents to be transcribed before they can be sold off. As things are, the main sources of historical information left for future generations might soon be digital copies of “Antiques Roadtrip”. A comforting thought, indeed.

Happy Birthday, Admiral Collingwood! Here’s a Cake for you, and a Freebie for your Friends! 26 September, 2012

Posted by Molly Joyful in Art, Books, Bounce, Cuthbert Collingwood, Nelson, Royal Navy, things you don't need but probably want.
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CAKE!
FIREWORKS!
THE CONGA TWICE AROUND HIS MONUMENT IN TYNEMOUTH!

Here’s to one of Britain’s finest –
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, OLD CUDDY!

I’ve promised you a special treat in celebration of our favourite admiral’s birthday, and here it is!

You can download the story “Last Service”, an excerpt from the book “The Radiant Boy – Four Ghost Stories in the Age of Sail” by Emma Collingwood (not related) for free over at her website.

The beautiful illustrations were done by the amazing Amandine de Villeneuve.

Old Cuddy, Horatio Nelson and the Victory in one tale, who could ask for more? Have fun!

DOWNLOAD 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.

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. ;-)

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!

MAX ADAMS’ “COLLINGWOOD – NORTHUMBERLAND’s HEART OF OAK” IS NOW AVAILABLE AS AN AUDIO BOOK!

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:

EDUCATION

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:

COLLINGWOOD

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

THE DIARY

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
(assoc.)

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…

“Old Cuddly” – a marvellous Admiral Collingwood doll 17 May, 2010

Posted by Molly Joyful in Art, Cuthbert Collingwood, Letters, things you don't need but probably want.
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Apologies for the hiatus; I’m back and you can expect regular updates again. Book reviews, a review of the official festival brochure, assorted bits and pieces – be surprised!

But first I’d like to share with you a truly unique and amazing piece:

THE ADMIRAL COLLINGWOOD DOLL
(Just call him “Old Cuddly”…)

This is not a doll to play with (theoretically. Practically, Old Cuddly already won a fierce battle against a Dalek (pictures may or may not follow). It was created by British artist Teresa Thompson, who’s specialised in historical costume dolls. Considering the scale of the dolls, the details are simply amazing. Epaulettes, sword, pigtail – it’s all there. And while Teresa doesn’t portrait faces, she still caught our admiral perfectly.

Now I only need to find a 1/12 scale “Bounce”, and “Old Cudd(l)y” will be ready to set sail.

Here you can see the admiral posing in front of a fourth edition of his collected correspondence. With a bit of luck, he might share with us which parts were edited by Mr. Newnham Collingwood…

If you’d like to see more of Teresa Thompson’s work (and purchase it!), please visit her website:

COSTUME CAVALCADE

Prepare to spend a lot of time there, though – it’s a collector’s paradise!

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.