[Rt Hon. Robert Gambier Middleton, Scottish Royal Navy officer who served under Nelson as Captain of HMS Flora.] Three Letters Signed, giving instructions to his midshipman on the Flora John Hawkins, one from Gibraltar.

Rt Hon. Robert Gambier Middleton (1774-1837), Scottish Royal Navy officer who served under Nelson as Captain of HMS Flora, nephew of Admiral Lord Barham
Publication details: 
All three written from HMS Flora. ONE: ‘at Sea the 26 of June 1798’. TWO: ‘in Gibraltar Bay the 18th. July 1798’. THREE: ‘as Sea, the 28th. March 1800’.
SKU: 25507

Providing a good view of the day-to-day practicalities of Nelson's navy. Middleton was the nephew of Admiral Lord Barham. In 1795 he removed from the Lowestoffe to the Flora, serving under the Nelson off Genoa in support of the Austrian Army, and during July 1796 at the occupation of Porto Ferrajo. All three 1p, foolscap, and somewhat discoloured and worn, the first and last with chipping at head, but all with text entire. The first letter is certainly entirely in autograph, and the other two may well be also, but are written with a finer nib, apart from the signature to the second letter, which is more heavily inked. All three carry the position in Middleton’s hand at top left. ONE: 26 June 1798. Addressed ‘To / Mr. John Hawkins, Midn: hereby appointed to take Charge of the Virgine del Rosario in order to Conduct her to Gibraltar’. Docketed ‘Cape Falcon Str / distance 16 league’. Begins: ‘Whereas I am of opinion, that the Circumstances relative to the Cargo of the Polaire, named the Virgine del Rosario, under Moorish Colours, are Suspicious; - / You are hereby required and directed to take Charge of the said Vessel, and Conduct her to Gibraltar in order to procure the necessary Examination of her Paper before the Court of Admiralty there; - and in Case of her being discharged, you are to put yourself, under the direction of Lieutenant Brown, untill [sic] the Arrival of the Flora’. TWO: 18 July 1798. Docketed ‘Vessels left in my charge at Gibraltar vizt. / Der Herbst / La Mondovi / la Coscyre / Virgin del Rosario’. Directing Hawkins ‘to stay on board the Danish Brig Herbst Prize of His Majesty’s Ship under my Command, and to superintend the delivery of the Cargoes, and Stores, of the different Prizes at Gibraltar belonging to the said Ship, and on their being discharged by the Agent, you are to repair to the Ville de Paris by the first opportunity, in Order to return to the Flora’. THREE: 20 March 1800. ‘Flora Latde. 44 . 18 11 / Longde. . . . 10 : 40 10th.’ Directing him to ‘repair on board of La Corunesa Spanish Ship Privateer, and take upon you the Charge of her, & proceed with all possible dispatch for Lisbon upon your Arrival there give her in charge to Mr. Edmund Power Merchant, In case of her disposal, transport yourself with the Men under your directions on board of any of His Majesty’s Ships in the Tagus’.