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MOST INTERESTING ST. VINCENT LETTER REGARDING DUCKWORTH
Autograph letter signed. One page, 6-1/2 x 8-5/8 inches. Undated but after 1797 and probably circa 1811. [Deans Yard, Monday]. Signed St. Vincent. To an unnamed correspondent, concerning [evidently] the son of Sir John Thomas Duckworth, 1st Baronet (1748-1817) who was an officer of the Royal Navy. The son, likely Lieutenant Colonel George Henry Duckworth, had some confrontation, which St. Vincent wishes to explain. Plus an old engraving of John Jarvis.
John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent (1735-1823) Admiral in the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom. Jervis served throughout the latter half of the 18th century and into the 19th, and was an active commander during the Seven Years' War, American War of Independence, French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars. He is best known for his victory at the 1797 Battle of Cape Saint Vincent, from which he earned his titles, and as a patron of Horatio Nelson.
Lieutenant Colonel George Henry Duckworth (1792-1811)
Probable confrontation referred to in St. Vincent's letter...
Chamusca, Portugal, 19th January, 1811 Lieutenant Ansaldo, 1st Battalion, 48th Regiment, on the following charges, viz. 1st. For writing a most disrespectful and offensive letter on the 27th December, 1810, to his Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Duckworth, in which he charges him with having made an attack upon his honor, a charge altogether unfounded, and demanding an immediate investigation into his, Lieutenant Ansaldo's, conduct.
2nd. For persevering in the same charge against his Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Duckworth, and in the same demand of an investigation into his conduct, in a letter addressed to Lieutenant Colonel Duckworth on the 30th December, 1810.
3rd. For conduct highly unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman in addressing two more letters on the 5th of January, in which he still persists in the same charge against his Commanding Officer, although repeatedly told by Lieutenant Colonel Duckworth, particularly in pre-sence of Major General Hoghton and Colonel Inglis, on the 5th of January, that no attack had ever been made, or was intended to be made, on the honor of Lieutenant Ansaldo. To which charges the Prisoner pleaded Not Guilty.
OPINION AND SENTENCE.
The Court having maturely weighed and considered the evidences for and against the Prisoner Lieutenant Ansaldo, do find him Guilty of the charges preferred against him, and do therefore sentence him Lieutenant Ansaldo, 1st Battalion, 48th Regiment, to be suspended from rank and pay for the space of three calendar months. Which sentence has been confirmed by the Commander of the Forces.
Lieutenant Ansaldo, however, instead of quitting his corps during that period, remained with the army, and gallantly went into action by the side of his prosecutor. They both fell ; and what is still more extraordinary, the president. General Houghton, the Judge-Advocate, Captain Binning, 6th regiment, and many of the members and witnesses were also killed and were almost all of them entombed near the same spot.
Monument commemorating the death of Lieutenant Colonel George Henry Duckworth on the 16th May 1811 at the Battle of Albuera.
"Sacred to the memory of George Henry Duckworth late Lieutenant Colonel of the 48th Regiment of Foot who fell at the Battle of Albuera on the 16th of May 1811 at the head of the first battalion while encouraging his men to charge the enemy. He had not completed the 19th year of his age. On the field where he sorly fell his remains lie buried."
Colonel Duckworth was the son of Admiral John Thomas Duckworth who at the time of his son's death was serving as Governor of Newfoundland, tasked with building better relations with native American tribes and improving the colony's defences.
It was Admiral Duckworth who on moving to Topsham established the family vault at St Margaret's and on his death in 1817 was buried there with full military honours.
Good. Item #8157