Wednesday, November 28

HMS Zealous and Capt Hood


 HMS Zealous

a 74-gun third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built by Barnard of Deptford and launched on 25 June 1785.

She served in a number of battles of the French Revolutionary Wars and the Napoleonic Wars, notably the Battle of the Nile, where she engaged the French ship Guerrier, helping to force her surrender. She was later cruising off Cadiz in 1801. She missed out on the Battle of Trafalgar, having been dispatched to Gibraltar for resupply, and later assigned to convoy duty in the Mediterranean.
Capt. Hood

In 1797 Hood was given command of the 74-gun ship of the line Zealous, in which he was present at Admiral Horatio Nelson's unsuccessful attack on Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Captain Hood conducted the negotiations which relieved the squadron from the consequences of its failure.

Capt. Hood is later put in command of the HMS Venerable

The Doctor joined the Zealous as ship’s surgeon in 1798, a year after Hood became her captain.

Engraved by Ridley, Holl & Blood from an Original Miniature in the possession of Lady Hood. 
Enlarge and read it for yourself.

Whilst cleaning out a desk drawer a few days ago, I discover'd the old letter of introduction writ for me by the hand of my captain aboard the Zealous. Along with it was the medal for my service at the Battle of the Nile, for which my friends are always desirous to have an antic-dote.

I can tell you, it was all shouting, everyone was shouting, and smoke and fire and blood, so much blood. I remember Cutty staggered down into the cockpit when the noise above decks had ceased. He was covered from waist to foot in blood... "You are undone!" says I.

Cutty was not his jovial self that day, instead soberly says, "Tis not my blood I wear Doctor."

The Zealous was fortunate in that she and her crew did not receive the number of casualties of the other ships of the British force.

It is a gruesome tale and not one I wish to recall.

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