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Captain George Grey RN letter to his wife Mary during the blockade of the Spanish fleet 1805

My very dearest dear Mary,

The wind is strong to the Eastward which has prevented our making much progress, since I wrote my hasty letter yesterday to go by way of Lagos & as we have not heard anything about the Spaniards except that they were seen four days ago about ten leagues from Cadiz I am more strengthened in my opinion about their not having any intentions to meet us & would they are prevented getting in by this wind, that we shall have no battle. I begin this my own Mary to be ready for a conveyance merely to show you that my mind is totally taken up about Mary our dearest little girl, & to tell you that I love you most unalterably, most faithfully, mostAffectionately, & most Fervently God bless you my own most dearly beloved Mary & grant you & our dearest littleAngel every possible earthly blessing. Adieu for today & believe me your most faithfully Affectionate & very Truly & Sincerely Attached Husband

George Grey


February 12th


My Dearest Mary

We have not made much way during this last twenty four hours, nor have we heard anything about them, which is a clear proof they are not looking for us, they hold out at Cadiz, That they are gone to Brest if so we shall soon be after them & I of course soon be blest by your presence, but I cannot think them so foolish as to trust their Fleet there, nor will I believe it till know it for certain. the wind is considerably gone down & I think we must before twelve tomorrow hear something of them from the ships we have detached for intelligence, it will be singular enough should we meet them on the 14th, on the 10th when first we arrived off Cape St Vincent we made the signal to prepare for Battle, which was the exact day twelvemonth it was first made last year before we saw them & as nearly as possible the same place with the wind on the same point, this we say augurs well for us, but I really do not expect to meet them. Indeed my Mary I can think of nothing but you, & would give anything it was de termined that I might let you know, for I will know how much anxiety you will have after the receipt of my letter from Lisbon, & you may rely on my writing as soon as possible & by every possible conveyance & you must always without loss of time inform my dearest Mother who I am sure will likewise be all anxiety. I dreamed of you all last night & thought I was with you at Barham playing with little Molkin till you scolded & said I should spoil her. I was quite sorry when I woked & found it was only a dream. I must not write too much at a time for fear of exhausting my ideas therefore for the present I shall send you twenty kisses for yourself & Millions for little Molkin all of which you know my Mary I am to repay & hope you keep count. God bless you my own love & believe me yours ever & only, your most Faithfully Affectionate Husband George Grey


February 13 off Cape St. Mairis


We are now my dearest Mary within twenty leagues of Cadiz & if the wind is fair & the Spanish fleet not gone in, we shall most probably see something of them either in the night or tomorrow at will be very extraordinary should we have a Battle tomorrow & if we do I trust that it prove as propitious as the last. Perhaps my Mary this may be the last time I shall ever write, the idea is too painful to dwell upon but I do not feel as if anything would happen to me if it should my dearest Mary, you must

remember that it is an act of theAlmighty & take care of yourself for the sake of our dearest little Molkin & be assured my most dearly beloved Mary that my last thought was of

you and her & the greatest respect I have is in thinking of what you will suffer & leaving you without ever having experienced theAffection of a Father but I have the greatest comfort in all my Brothers. At present I return my most unfeigned thanks to God for having hitherto preserved me through all the danger I have had to encounter & always put my trust in him. I sent you a box by the last convoy which I hope you will get particularly should any accident befall me. Nothing yet about the Spanish Fleet. God bless you my own most dearly beloved Mary & shower down every possible blessing on both you & our dearest littleAngel & believe me unalterably your ever most Faithfully Affectionate Husband – George Grey

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