Collingwood 2010 Festival


“Now, gentlemen, let us do something today which the world may talk of hereafter.” (1805 prior to the Battle of Trafalgar.)

Vice-Admiral Lord Cuthbert Collingwood, was Born in Newcastle, September 26, 1750 and died on March 7, 1810. Next week marks the 200th anniversary of his death, the date being marked by a remembrance festival involving the ceremonial firing of the cannons which now lie at the foot of Collingwood’s monument overlooking the Tyne at Tynemouth, and which were last fired at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Now let’s not dismiss too lightly this guy’s not insubstantial part in our history. He went to sea aged 13. Aged 24 he sailed to Boston, with Admiral Sam Graves, where he fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill. 3 years later he first met Nelson when they served together on HMS Lowestoffe. He spent 3 years in the West Indies, with Nelson, under his own command, protecting British trade routes from the Americans.

After a period back home in his beloved Morpeth, Collingwood married in 1791. Such was Collingwood’s commitment to the Royal Navy’s that he planted acorns at every opportunity to boost future stocks of timber for British ships. He returned to sea in 1793 blockading the assembled French and Spanish forces in the Mediterranean. In 1803 when hostilities with the French resumed, he left home never to return.

As Vice Admiral, second in command to Nelson, aboard the Royal Sovereign he fired the first shot at Trafalgar, in 1805 and when Nelson was mortally wounded he took over command of the entire British fleet resulting in victory over the combined forces attempted invasion of Britain. Had the Royal Navy lost the battle, Napoleon with his 115,000 troops based at Boulogne, would have swept across the channel and invaded England.

After Trafalgar, despite his repeated requests to be relieved of his command and return to his home and family, due to failing health. Collingwood was posted to the Mediterranean, as a strategic, political and diplomatic figure head for Britain.
He died of cancer, at sea, on the 7th March 1810 aboard the HMS Ville de Paris, ironically heading back to Britain after being away for seven years.

More information about the Collingwood2010 festival here.

By Dave on February 23, 2010

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  1. Legend

    Comment by Jim — March 9, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

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