[J Manx Museum vol III #45 pp68 1935]

A New Note on Lieut. Quilliam.

AGNES HERBERT, the author of 'The Isle of Man ' {a second edition of which has just been issued by John Lane the Bodley Head}, has kindly sent the enclosed :-" I am reading everything I can about Nelson, in order thoroughly to understand what is undoubtedly the finest character of ay land, and in the course of studying the fine ' Dispatches and Letters of Vice-Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson,' with notes by Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, G.C.M.G., I came, in the seventh volume, to an interesting footnote relating to Quilliam. You will understand when ' Prepare for Battle' was hoisted, Nelson retired to his cabin and, on his knees, wrote that prayer which, from the simple beauty of its composition and from its indication of his sentiments at such t incipient, will, like his immortal Signal, be remembered as long as the English language may endure."

P. 140, Vol. 7. -- Note by the Editor. Captain John Pasco, though Senior Lieutenant, acted as Signal Lieutenant of the Victory. About 11 a.m. of the 21st of Oct., Lieutenant Pasco had to make a report to Lord Nelson, and inteo,led, at the same time, to have represented to hint that he considered himself very unfortunate, on so glorious an occasion, to be doing duty in an inferior station instead of that to which his seniority entitled him. "On entering the cabin," says Captain Pasco, " I discovered his Lordship on his knees writing. He was then penning that beautiful prayer. I waited until lie rose and communicated what I had to report, but could not at such moment disturb his mind with any grievance of mine."

Captain Pasco considers that but for this delicacy on his part he should have been directed to assume his position as First Lieutenant, and thereby have been made a Post Captain instead of a Commander for the Battle, as Lieutenant Quilliam, his junior in rank, who acted as First Lieutenant of the Victory, was posted in December, 1805, together with the two Lieutenants who commanded the Ajax and the Thunderer, in the absence of their Captains.

Mr Quilliam's ' good fortune," according to Marshall (Naval Biography, Vol. 11, p. 963), "produced much mortification to those of Nelson's followers who were senior to himself, and whom the, hero had ordered to perform the duties of Junior Lieutenants, for no other reason than that of avoiding a constant succession of executive officers - the whole of them being before Mr. Quilliam on his Lordship's list for promotion."

Lieutenant Pasco, as Signal Lieutenant, took from Lord Nelson the immortal signal, which originally was "England confides." Pasco suggested "expects" as being easier to make, as there was a code word for "expects" and none for "confides."

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