To keep myself occupied during the approaching winter, with weather that might preclude much Morgan activity, I decided to build myself another ship of 'Nelson's' navy.
The model of 'HM Schooner Pickle' is starting to take shape and will ultimately have a place on the top of our bookcase alongside 'HM Yacht Chatham', the vessel that carried Nelson's body up the River Thames on its final journey to the city of London.
Forever associated with Admiral Nelson's final and most historic victory, the Battle of Trafalgar 1805, Pickle was chosen to carry the news of Nelson's victory and death back to England.
Commanded by Lieutenant John Richards Lapenotiere, Pickle was not directly involved in the battle but was kept busy rescuing both friend and foe from a watery death. By 6pm the muster list showed a total of 160 prisoners taken on board, the majority of these coming from the burning French Achille. Given the size of Pickle and the fact that she only had a crew of just 40 it is remarkable that they were not only able to rescue so many but that they then prevented prisoners from escaping.
After the battle, with Collingwood now in command, every ship including Pickle, was required to maintain the blockade of Cadiz.
Pickle was probably the only ship that Collingwood could spare given his current circumstances. This is also backed up by his letter to the First Lord of the Admiralty which states:-
'dispatches containing the account of the Action of the 21st Inst, and detailing the proceedings of the fleet to the 24th will be delivered to you by Lieut. Lapenotiere, commanding the schooner Pickle......having no means of speedier, or safer Conveyance with me at present'
At noon the same day, Pickle departed for England battling for the next 7 days through stormy seas. On October 31st four of their 12 pounder carronades were thrown overboard and then on November 2nd the weather changed to the other extreme and with no wind, the sweeps were employed just to keep the ship heading towards England.
On the 4th November they finally reached Falmouth where Lapenotiere was landed in Pickle's boat. From this point he set off on his now famous post chaise using at least 21 changes of horses to travel more than 270 miles in 37 hours. It cost £46.19s.1d, more than six months wages for a Lieutenant.
Lapenotiere finally reached the Admiralty at around 1am on the 6th November and announced to William Marsden, First Secretary of the Admiralty,
"Sir, we have gained a great victory, but we have lost Lord Nelson"
On the 28th July 1808, Pickle was finally lost, while again carrying dispatches, under the command of Lieutenant Moses Cannadey. During her approach to Cadiz she was grounded off Cape Santa Maria on the Chipiona Shoal. She sank quickly but all her crew were saved.