ADMIRAL WILLIAM CARNEGIE Autograph Letter Signed
Admiral William Carnegie, 7th Earl of Northesk. British officer of the Royal Navy, Fought at the Battle of Trafalgar and the Battle of Martinique. Buried alongside Nelson and Collingwood in St Paul's Cathedral.
ALS. 4pp. London. 24th June 1812. To "Sir".
"I was very sorry to find the letter, containing the explanation of the chart, amongst my papers a few days ago, which, by some accident, I had neglected to forward. It cannot, however, be of the least consequence, as the subject is so fully understood by you. The paintings by Mr. Powell [?] I am glad to mention to you, have, with the assistance of the references on the chart, convinced the Lords of the Admiralty, that my statement on Lord Gambier's trial was correct. The notes never had been read by any of the Board, for the reasons that are obvious to you. Your 'Rape of the Table' has afforded great amusement in the Mediterranean. I met Jephson, the judge of the Admiralty Court of Gibraltar, a few days ago. He is delighted with the manner in which you have handled the subject. Jephson is an honest enough fellow. Believe me, your much obliged and obed.t ser.t Northesk. P.s. Having been out of town these three days past I did not get your poem until my return this morning."
Together with Admiral Carnegie's red wax seal and small reproduction of his portrait on card.
Bifolium 4to. Paper watermarked "J. Whattman 1808". Approx 24 x 19 cms. Mounting traces to edge of verso of last leaf, else fine.
A fascinating letter referring to the trial of Admiral Gambier and other matters. The letter is written to the author of "The Rape of the Table: or Ten Honest Lawyers: A Poem. Comprising a Faithful Report of Some Extraordinary Proceedings in a Certain Court of Vice-Admiralty. By a Gentleman Well Acquainted with the Different Members of the Court". This was published anonymously in Dublin in 1811 and is a satirical attack on the Admiralty Court in connection with what appears to have been an altercation with Admiral Cochrane over a Table of Fees, during which the Court ordered Cochrane's arrest. The poem may, however, be an allegorical squib regarding the part played by Gambier and Cochrane in the Battle of the Basque Roads. Cochrane's criticism of Gambier was one of the causes that led to Gambier's trial and Cochrane made many important enemies in the navy as a result. The identity of the author of "The Rape of the Table" is, so far as we can establish unknown, but it can be assumed from the content of this letter that he was probably a high ranking officer in the navy.