Autograph Letter Signed ('P. C. Durham') to one of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, regarding his capture, with HMS Venerable, of two French warships, in a memorable action.

Sir Philip Charles Durham [ Admiral Sir Philip Charles Calderwood Henderson Durham ] (1763-1845), Royal Navy admiral
Publication details: 
'Venerable [ i.e. on board SS Venerable ] April 25th. [ 1814 ]'
SKU: 19771

3pp., 4to. Bifolium. In good condition, on lightly aged paper. Docketed: '25 April 1814 | R. Ad. Durham.' For the context of this letter see Durham's entry in the Oxford DNB. In December 1813 he had been sent out as commander-in-chief of the Leeward Islands station, with his flag in the Venerable. On the outward voyage, in a notable action, he had captured two large French frigates, Alcmène and Iphigénie, on 16 and 20 January 1814. The action resulted in the award in 1847, to any surviving claimants, of the Naval General Service Medal with clasp 'Venerable 16 Jany. 1814'. Durham begins by stating tha the has received the letter in which the recipient is 'pleased to say the Board [i. e. the Board of Admiralty] feels satisfaction at our late Success', and asks him 'to look at the Boards reply No 10 to my Public letter'. He thanks him for his 'assurance of the Confirmation of Captain Luke and a few of the Midshipmen'. Regarding the 'Frigates' he writes that 'They have been filled out without any expense just as they were take[n], the same Guns Stores &c &c'. Regarding the Alcmène Durham states that he has 'taken the liberty of 'naming Dunira in Compliment to your Lordships and the favourable residence of my much lamented Patron' (the ship was renamed Immortalité within the year). The letter concludes: 'The Convoy about to sail for England will be the largest and most valuable that ever left this Country they are well protected'.