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peter nicholl
28-11-2004, 9:38 PM
|help|The only ship I can find that both took part at Trafalgar and was built at Sheerness was HMS Polyphemus. Does anyone know of any others that fit both criteria?
Peter

peter nicholl
11-02-2005, 7:57 PM
I do have some further questions and hope someone may have the answers.

I have a reference that after the battle HMS Victory was so disabled that she had to be taken under tow. Although when she finally arrived at Gibraltar it was HMS Neptune that had her in tow, my reference says that initially it was the Polyphemus that took her in tow. However, the post-battle storms were so bad that it seems that the tow parted. Can anyone confirm?

Although the Polyphemus was under the command of Captain Robert Redmill he was taken ill during the battle and the First Lieutenant took command. Does anyone have a name for the First Lieutenant?

Any help gratefully received.
Peter

Geoffers
11-02-2005, 11:17 PM
I have a reference that after the battle HMS Victory was so disabled that she had to be taken under tow. Although when she finally arrived at Gibraltar it was HMS Neptune that had her in tow, my reference says that initially it was the Polyphemus that took her in tow. However, the post-battle storms were so bad that it seems that the tow parted. Can anyone confirm?
The Neptune certainly arrived at Gib on the 28th, towing Victory. I can't find any reference to Polyphemus taking Victory under tow before or during the great storm. However, I'm still browsing through my books and may come up with something, I'll let you know if I do.

Geoffers

peter nicholl
12-02-2005, 6:59 PM
Thanks Geoffers
My source is on the "Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos" website and purports to come from a letter from Hardy of the Victory. I have found it refered to on another website, but as it's word for word I only count it as a single, unconfirmed source. The NMM, Greewhich have a letter written by Henry Blackburn, an Ordinary Seaman on the Polyphemus, a few days after the Battle, so I'm trying to find out if that says anything. If you should come across anything, I'll be much obliged.
Regards
Peter

Peggy
13-02-2005, 2:27 AM
Hi Peter,

Nothing in the couple of books I have. But just to muddy the waters, there's a website with the claim that she was towed by HMS Euryalus, and with a picture of a sculpture of this event.

Peggy
(who once held Nelson's medicine chest during a visit to Burnham Thorpe) :)

Jeremy
15-02-2005, 10:29 PM
Peter

I can confirm that HMS Polyphemus was the only ship built at Sheerness which was at Trafalgar (and Copenhagen). I can also confirm that she towed the Victory part of the way to Gibraltar but the tow line was released due to the severity of the storm. I have many books which give account of this including the following:

The Campaign of Trafalgar - published by Chatham Pictorial Histories - p166 and 179

England Expects by Dudley Pope p340/1

The Battle of Trafalgar - Geoffrey Bennett - p226

You also ask who the first Lieutenant was on HMS Polyphemus at Trafalgar according to the Trafalgar Roll the Lieutenant's name was George Moubray (incidentally the Trafalgar Roll also mentions HMS Polyphemus role in towing the Victory on p248) this page also confirms that George Moubray was promoted to commander immediately after Trafalgar - owing to the serious illness of the captain (Redmill).

I hope this is helpful

regards

Jeremy

peter nicholl
16-02-2005, 10:43 AM
Many Thanks All Round
I think that I can put this one to bed thanks to you. I was well pleased with the news about George Moubray. As luck would have it I visited a large used-book store yesterday and came away with a copy of Carola Oman's "Nelson", which again refers to Victory being "taken in tow by the old Polyphemus". Also, I looked at the UK National Archives site and found a copy of the London Gazette with a transcript of Collingwood's dispatch and that is possibly where the Euryalus comes in. Collingwood's ship during the battle was the "Royal Sovereign", but she was so badly damaged that Collingwood transferred his Flag to the Euryalus, which then "towed the Royal Sovereign out to Seaward".
Thanks again
Peter

CJ & PM Stone
03-11-2005, 7:53 AM
Thanks Geoffers
My source is on the "Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos" website and purports to come from a letter from Hardy of the Victory. I have found it refered to on another website, but as it's word for word I only count it as a single, unconfirmed source. The NMM, Greewhich have a letter written by Henry Blackburn, an Ordinary Seaman on the Polyphemus, a few days after the Battle, so I'm trying to find out if that says anything. If you should come across anything, I'll be much obliged.
Regards
Peter

Peter - I have come across these references to the HMS "Polyphemus" and Captain Robert Redmill at Trafalgar and as we have spent 5 months in England this year researching on this as well as attending the 200th Anniversary Events I would like to share some of our findings. My wife Patricia is a Redmill from of a branch of the family of Captain Robert Redmill and we have spent 15 years trying to build a picture of the life of Captain Robert which is quite difficult after a time lapse of 200 years..

Yes the National Maritime Museum has the copy of the Henry Blackburn letter written to his mother just after the battle on 21st October 2005 and it available for viewing.

A Transcription follows:

Letter from Seaman Henry Blackburn, of HMS Polyphemus, to his Mother after the battle of Trafalgar.

Transcribed from the original preserved document – Reference Number AGC/B/19 –Manuscript SWW, at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England, 12th October 2005.


“Polyphemus”, Gibraltar Bay, November 1805.

Honorable Mother,

This comes with my dutiful respects to you hoping you are in good health as I am at present. Thank God for it and for his goodness to spare me to see the 21st of October over and to help us in fighting against our enemies that day when they were so superior in number to us both in men and ships, but we may wellAPeter - I have come across these references to the HMS "Polyphemus" and Captain Robert Redmill at Trafalgar and as we have spent 5 months in England this year researching on this as well as attending the 200th Anniversary Events I would like to share some of our findings. My wife Patricia is a Redmill from of a branch of the family of Captain Robert Redmill and we have spent 15 years trying to build a picture of the life of Captain Robert which is quite difficult after a time lapse of 200 years..

Yes the National Maritime Museum has the copy of the Henry Blackburn letter written to his mother just after the battle on 21st October 2005 and it available for viewing.

A Transcription follows:

Letter from Seaman Henry Blackburn, of HMS Polyphemus, to his Mother after the battle of Trafalgar.

Transcribed from the original preserved document – Reference Number AGC/B/19 –Manuscript SWW, at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, England, 12th October 2005.


“Polyphemus”, Gibraltar Bay, November 1805.

Honorable Mother,

This comes with my dutiful respects to you hoping you are in good health as I am at present. Thank God for it and for his goodness to spare me to see the 21st of October over and to help us in fighting against our enemies that day when they were so superior in number to us both in men and ships, but we may well say the Lord was on our side when rose up against us to destroy us, for if the Lord had not been on our side they would have swallowed us up, the combined fleet of France and Spain came out of Cadiz on the 20th of October and see them to leeward of us on the 21st October at break of day consisting of 33 Sail of the Line, 5 frigates and 2 Brigs, formed in a line in the starboard tack, and at 6 bore up, and made all the sail we could, and sent the enemies fleet in a confused state on the starboard tack. The Victory Lord Nelson made the Telegraph Signal to prepare for battle and hope every English man would behave with his usual heroism and exert every means to destroy the enemies of their country. Lord Nelson’s wish was told our ships Company and was returned by the Dreadnought, then on our Starboard beam. Observed the Royal Sovereign break the enemies line in the centre and place himself alongside of a Spanish 3 Decker receiving at the same, a heavy fire from members of the enemies line. The Victory, Tonnant and Bellisle also standing on to break the enemies line also we were about the eighth ship in action in the same line was about an hour after the Royal Sovereign fired the first shot – the ship engaged were the French Berwick and Spanish Argonaut – we bore up to take off the firey edge from the Bellisle which was totally dismasted by the Archille and others and would have certainly have gone down had we not say the Lord was on our side when rose up against us to destroy us, for if the Lord had not been on our side they would have swallowed us up, the combined fleet of France and Spain came out of Cadiz on the 20th of October and see them to leeward of us on the 21st October at break of day consisting of 33 Sail of the Line, 5 frigates and 2 Brigs, formed in a line in the starboard tack, and at 6 bore up, and made all the sail we could, and sent the enemies fleet in a confused state on the starboard tack. The Victory Lord Nelson made the Telegraph Signal to prepare for battle and hope every English man would behave with his usual heroism and exert every means to destroy the enemies of their country. Lord Nelson’s wish was told our ships Company and was returned by the Dreadnought, then on our Starboard beam. Observed the Royal Sovereign break the enemies line in the centre and place himself alongside of a Spanish 3 Decker receiving at the same, a heavy fire from members of the enemies line. The Victory, Tonnant and Bellisle also standing on to break the enemies line also we were about the eighth ship in action in the same line was about an hour after the Royal Sovereign fired the first shot – the ship engaged were the French Berwick and Spanish Argonaut – we bore up to take off the firey edge from the Bellisle which was totally dismasted by the Archille and others and would have certainly have gone down had we not gone to her assistance. We lay alongside of the Achille until we dismasted her and set her of fire and about six she blew up with a great explosion about 2 hundred men lived. Beside giving and receiving shot from many others, for they were all around us, but before dark I had the pleasure to see most of them strike and the rest to run away. There arose such a terrible storm that night and we, all being in such a crippled condition, we could do nothing with them but burn and destroy them, and the rest were wrecked on shore. If the weather had been fine we would have taken and destroyed the whole.

Give my love to my brothers and sisters and all inquiring friends so no more from your dutifull son ….. Henry Blackburn”

We also have transcripts of the Ships Log, the Master's Log and the Captain's Log for that time and if you or anyone else is interested I could copy out some details.

The Polyphemus did take the Victory in tow for some days but had to cut her free when she threatened to ride over the Polyphemus in the storm. However Polyphemus did keep company with the Victory for several days and following discussion with Neptune and orders from Collingwood, Neptune then towed Victory to Gibraltar
Polyphemus assisted towing another ship. It was a busy time for Polyphemus after the big storm.

We do have dates and times if anyone is interested in further discussion%0 gone to her assistance. We lay alongside of the Achille until we dismasted her and set her of fire and about six she blew up with a great explosion about 2 hundred men lived. Beside giving and receiving shot from many others, for they were all around us, but before dark I had the pleasure to see most of them strike and the rest to run away. There arose such a terrible storm that night and we, all being in such a crippled condition, we could do nothing with them but burn and destroy them, and the rest were wrecked on shore. If the weather had been fine we would have taken and destroyed the whole.

Give my love to my brothers and sisters and all inquiring friends so no more from your dutifull son ….. Henry Blackburn”

We also have transcripts of the Ships Log, the Master's Log and the Captain's Log for that time and if you or anyone else is interested I could copy out some details.

The Polyphemus did take the Victory in tow for some days but had to cut her free when she threatened to ride over the Polyphemus in the storm. However Polyphemus did keep company with the Victory for several days and following discussion with Neptune and orders from Collingwood, Neptune then towed Victory to Gibraltar
Polyphemus assisted towing another ship. It was a busy time for Polyphemus after the big storm.

We do have dates and times if anyone is interested in further discussion

Regards - Colin Stone. Lakes Entrance, Australia

peter nicholl
05-11-2005, 10:32 AM
Hi Colin

Thanks for your post, in fact I've moved on a bit from my original post. The NMM sent me a copy of Henry's letter and I now have a copy of Carola Oman's book "Nelson" which mentions Polyphemus. My interest in the Polyphemus stems from ancestors who must of helped build her at Sheerness. It must be extra special to have a far more direct link to Trafalgar. I've written up a bit about the Polyphemus on my web site under Trafalgar, it's not much but you are welcome to look.

Peter

http://homepages.tesco.net/~pandin/

Tattershaw
18-10-2008, 4:29 PM
Hi Colin

I was interested to hear that your wife is related to Captain Robert Redmill.
My maternal grandmother was a Redmill, and I was told that it had been proved we were related to him, but the lady who is supposed to have done the research has long since departed this life, and hence the knowlege lost.

Any information regarding his family would be of great interest to me.

Thank you.

Sheila

col&pat
02-12-2008, 8:26 AM
Hi Sheila,
I have just come across your posting. Yes we have considerable information about Captain Redmill and the Redmill family. Patricia and I are currently involved in an in-depth study of the Redmill family and would be pleased to include your connection and share information. I include our email address for private messages and look forward from hearing from you.

Regards Colin & Patricia. [EMAIL="cjpmstone@bigpond.com"]

col&pat
15-03-2010, 11:28 PM
Hi Shelia,
I have just come across your forum post again and hope we may make contact. Yes my wife Patricia (nee Redmill) is related to Captain Robert as a descendant from his fathers brother John Redmill. We have spent many years of interesting research which has included four trips to England from Australia on the family history trail.
Captain Robert Redmill had no direct descendants as his only son from his marriage to Susanna Douglas in London 1791, died in shortly after his birth. Robert was the son of Lawrence and Mary Redmill of Stamford, Lincolnshire, and was their only child to survive to adulthood.
If you would supply details of your maternal grandmother, name and date of birth, we could see where she links in as we have access to a considerable database of Redmills from around the world.

Kind Regards, Colin -- email -- cjpmstone (at)bigpond.com

Tattershaw
29-03-2010, 10:41 PM
Hello Colin and Patricia

Thank you for contacting me again.

I have traced the family back to a John Redmill who had a son Rowland born about 1825 in Laxton Northampton. Rowland married Sarah Houps from Hampshire.

Their 6th child Henry James was my Great Grandfather.

Is it possible we are talking about the same John Redmill, as there seem to be only about 10 miles between the two places?

I have tried to email you, but they don't apear to be reaching you.

My address is sheila_tattershaw AT hotmail DOT com

Regards

Sheila

guydemoubray
22-03-2011, 4:50 PM
I have just discovered this, perhaps many years too late. George Moubray was my great-great-grandfather. I have a painting left by him of Polyphemus with Victory in tow. If you are still interestede send me an email:
guy DOT demoubray AT buxlow DOT com
and I will email you a photo of the painting
Guy de Moubray

peter nicholl
28-03-2011, 4:09 PM
I have just discovered this, perhaps many years too late. George Moubray was my great-great-grandfather. I have a painting left by him of Polyphemus with Victory in tow. If you are still interestede send me an email:
guy DOT demoubray AT buxlow DOT com
and I will email you a photo of the painting
Guy de Moubray
Yes please, I'll e-mail you.
Thanks
Peter