Captain George Duff

Born 1764
Died in command of H M S Mars 21st October 1805


To his wife


May 10[, 1805]

I sent away my journal yesterday to my dearest Sophia: we were afterwards joined by my old friend Cooke, in the Bellerophon, who brought me out some ducks and fowls; and Bayliss, in the Windsor Castle, who brought me some vegetables, &c.  Sir John   Orde and his squadron parted from us last night, I suppose for England.    
 I have taken a prize today! about two o'clock a cask went close to us, and as I could easily get into my station again, I sent after it, when at last we got it on board with a good deal of trouble.  It proved I think to be a hogshead of claret; which from the state of, and the number of barnacles upon, the cask, must have been at least several years in the water.  The wine is quite sound, and I hope when settled will turn out well.  I wish it was in Castle Street [their home in Edinburgh] such as it is; of course it is very thick at present, but a little time will let us know what our prize is.  

May 11[, 1805]

The Admiral about six o'clock this evening made our signal; the Ramilles, the Tonnant, Bellerophoin, Illustrious, Minotaur, and Colossus; to close to Admiral Collingwood, and put ourselves under his orders.  Before sunset Admiral Collingwood bore up, and made the signal for his division to rendezvous in Cawsand Bay.   

Plymouth Dock, May 13[, 1805]

We came in here yesterday, but, as I was almost the rear ship, too late for the post.   It is now nearly past time again, and I have not been off my legs since six o'clock; so that I have only time to say I am pefectly well, and the general opinion is, that we are going to the Mediterranean, as Lord Nelson will be obliged to follow, or has already followed the ships from Cadiz.     


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Updated at  19:01 on 12 March 2008