Everybody knows the intriguing story about the ill-fated 1797 voyage of
the HMS Bounty that ended in the famous mutiny. I therefore found it of
great interest that our family has a very slight connection to this
significant event in history through a very early part of our family in
Not a real connection to our family but still an interesting little snippet of family history.
The Battle of Trafalgar was fort on the 21st of October 1805 of the
southern coast of Spain at the western entrance to the strait of
Gibratar. It turned out to be one of the greatest navel battles in
history giving England the undisputed control over the high seas.
Admiral Nelson was in command of the 27 British fleet of ship up against
the 33 ships from France and Spain. The British did not lose a ship in
the battle but captured or destroyed over half on the French and Spanish
Man Who Avenged Nelson.
Mrs Edna Haller, Barnes Court, Burnley, Lancs, writes:
Being an avid reader of your page and noting that you seem to be able to answer so many questions, I am wondering if my one may fox you.
My mother always told me that her great-grandfather, or perhaps it
was her great-great, was “the man who shot Lord Nelson” at the battle of
Trafalgar, for which he received the King’s Bounty.
Can you help me stop my disbeliveers laughing?
Clear the decks for action, Edna! As you may know, Lord Nelson was shot by a sniper perched in one of the fighting tops – platforms attached to the mast – of the French ship Redoubtable with which the Victory was locked.
After the fatal shot an English midshipman cleared the French fighting tops of every one of the enemy “until not one was to be seen.”
And the midshipman was thus credited with avenging Nelson was eighteen-year-old John Polland, of Cawsand, Cornwall.
Though also wounded, he doesn’t appear to have received any special award for his action but every member of the fleet was rewarded, his share, as midshipman, being £26 6s Government grant and £10 14s prize money.
Pollard remained in the Royal Navy, being promoted Lieutenant the year after Trafalgar, retiring in 1864 with the rank of Commander.
In the meantime, in August 1828 he married Matilda Trevethan, who bore him six children. John Pollard died in 1868, aged eighty-one.
And if that doesn’t convince your disbelievers, Edna, we suggest they
make a trip to the Royal Naval Museum, Portsmouth, where it is all
recorded. And well worth the trip.
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This site was last updated 31-May-2007