AT SEA WITH NELSON : BEING THE LIFE OF WILLIAM MARK, A PURSER WHO SERVED UNDER ADMIRAL LORD NELSON.

Mark-Wardlaw, Captain William Penrose.


£75.00




1st ed., 1929. Xii + 244 pp., frontis (port.) , a facsimile letter (4 pp.,) + 11 other plates. Blue cloth ; gilt ; edges uncut; 23 x 15cm. Binding lightly marked & worn ; some foxing ; o/w V.G. With the bookplate of the late Ron Fiske, Nelsonian and Norfolk bibliophile (1938-2018). The autobiography of William Mark (c.1782-1849), written in 1846 and published for the first time in 1929 with a preface by his great-grandson. William Mark left his native Berwick-upon-Tweed for London at the age of eleven, and shortly afterwards joined the Royal Navy as a seaman. He describes the horrors of life on board the receiving ship off the Tower of London before joining the BOREAS off the Nore where his clerical skills were in demand. His first sea-going experience was in the frigate HYDRA in 1801 as Captain’s Clerk. William Mark served as Assistant Secretary to Sir Richard Bickerton, C-in-C Mediterranean, and in 1803 transferred to the frigate AMPHION which carried Lord Nelson out to the Mediterranean to take over that command. He later served under Nelson in the VICTORY but was in the HALCYON at the time of Trafalgar – the ship being unable to join battle owing to contrary winds. This and his subsequent naval career are described in this first-hand account of Nelson’s fleet. He ended his days as H.M. Consul at Malaga where he died and was buried in the British cemetery there.


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