Fonds Napoleonic War - Napoleonic War Letters and Documents

Identity area

Reference code

Napoleonic War

Unique identifier

GB 275 Napoleonic War


Napoleonic War Letters and Documents


  • 1786-Dec. 1804 (Circa) (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

c. 460 items including some envelopes paper

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Admitted at St John's College 1786; BA 1790; MA 1806; chaplain of HMS Berwick, 1793-5, and of the St George (Sir Hyde Parker's flagship), 1795; private secretary and interpreter to Admiral Nelson in the Mediterranean, 1803; chaplain of HMS Victory, attending Nelson at his death and receiving his last wishes; chaplain to the Prince Regent, 1816 and when George IV.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The papers were placed by Scott into the pockets of his armchairs aboard the Victory. The chairs passed into the possession of Scott's youngest daughter, Margaret Gatty, who had the papers removed for safekeeping. The papers were presented to St John's College by R.A.A. Gatty in 1935.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Intercepted during the Napoleonic War with the capture of enemy vessels by Nelson's fleet. The letters are mostly in Spanish, though there are some in Catalan, German and Italian. While a very few items date from the 1780s and 1790s, most of the letters cover the period Sep. to Nov. 1804. There are letters from Caracas to Barcelona (Aug.-Oct. 1804), from Tripoli to Alicante and Cartagena (Oct. 1804), and from Tunis to Barcelona, Madrid and Mahón (Nov.-Dec. 1804). But the greatest part of the correspondence was sent from Palma de Mallorca, destined in particular for Barcelona and dating especially to 17-19 Nov. 1804. The letters, written by both men and women, are mostly concerned with private family matters, though there is some official correspondence with Spanish government departments. In addition to the letters, the collection includes a few Spanish documents, such as accounts, bills, receipts, legal documents, reports, and sermons. Some of the material is incomplete.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • Spanish
  • Catalan
  • German
  • Italian

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Publication note

R.A. Gatty, 'Lord Nelson's Prize Captures', Chambers's Journal, 6th ser., 7 (1904), 276-9, 355-9.

Letter from John Street to F.P. White, 17 April 1956.

Notes area


Preferred citation: St John's College Library, Napoleonic War Letters and Documents

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

30 Jul 2008




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places