DOCUMENT BOLDLY SIGNED 'NELSON & BRONTE' ON THE VICTORY
(Horatio, Viscount, 1758-1805, Admiral)
Fine Document Signed 'Nelson & Bronte',
certifying that "His Britannic Majesty's Fleet under my Command is in perfect health and liberal pratique", given under "my hand on board His Majesty's Ship Victory at Sea", 1 side 4to., 27th December
'Pratique' is the licence or certificate of a clean bill of health, granted, if necessary, after a period of quarantine.
At this time Nelson was based at La Maddalena with its fine harbour at the northeast tip of Sardinia. It was, he said, the ideal place to watch the French fleet at Toulon, twenty-four hours away by sail, but not too close to provoke attack, and to patrol the neighbouring waters. Nelson had arrived on 1st November 1803. He left finally only on 19th January 1805 to pursue the French, first looking as far east as Alexandria, then chasing them to the West Indies. When he reached Gibraltar on 20th July 1805 he had not set foot on land for two years less ten days.