1805 Context

Why is the Battle of Trafalgar seen as significant in world history, and why was the news contained in Collingwood's Dispatch so urgent and critical? This article takes a brief look at the context for these events. What was Napoleon up to, what led to the battle and what was life like for British people at the time?
Learn More

The Battle of Trafalgar

Nelson has been looking for the French fleet and now, sailing on HMS Victory along with his small fleet of 27 ships of the line, he discovers them in Cadiz harbour. At midday on 21st October 1805, the first shots are fired as Nelson and Collingwood's two columns of warships bear down on the enemy ...
Learn More

Lapenotiere's Journey

A great storm follows the Battle of Trafalgar. Finally, after five days, Vice Admiral Collingwood orders Lieutenant Lapenotiere to take HMS Pickle back to England to deliver his Dispatches to the Admiralty in London. He is to travel using every exertion, that a moment's time may not be lost in their delivery.
Learn More

John Richards Lapenotiere

All evidence indicates that John Richards Lapenotiere was an unpretentious, dedicated career officer and a family man. His delivery of Collingwood's Trafalgar Dispatch afforded him a moment of glory. But how did he come to be at Trafalgar in command of the Pickle, and what became of him after his now-famous journey?
Learn More

John Sykes

Another messenger travelled to London with the news. Who is Commander John Sykes, why did he make the journey and what became of him?
Learn More

The Race

Lapenotiere was not the only messenger hurrying to deliver news to The Admiralty. Another naval officer was hot on his heels... Just how did Captain John Sykes become involved, what motivated him to continue the journey to London, and how did Lapenotiere arrive at The Admiralty just minutes before his fellow officer?
Learn More

Post-chaise Travel

What is a post-chaise? How does this relate to the postal system today? And who were the postboys? Read on to find out just how well-established Britain's system of post-carriages was by 1805, and how familiar Lapenotiere and other messengers would have been with using them.
Learn More

History of The Pickle

At one time, during the early 1800s, there were, rather confusingly, TWO ships named Pickle on the Navy's books. So how did HMS Pickle (the second) come to be part of the action at Trafalgar and afterwards? And what became of her?
Learn More

The Trafalgar Way 2005

We remember the events of 2005 when The Trafalgar Way was inaugurated with the re-enactment of Lapenotiere's journey and the delivery of The New Trafalgar Dispatch over six weeks of summer celebration from Cornwall to London.
Learn More
Egham before 1817

Way back when

Our collection of blog articles relating to the history of the period and the Trafalgar Way. What was life like in towns along Lapenotiere's route in King George's England? What other information do we have about Lapenotiere, his peers and the events of the time? Contributions from readers are welcome.
Read our history blog
Laura - Victory

Nelson, Trafalgar and Me

Some people feel a special connection with HMS Victory, have become experts on Nelson or are personally related to participants at Trafalgar. Here are their stories.
Read their stories

2005 memories

Were you there? For so many people, both organisers and onlookers, the re-enactment of Lapenotiere's journey and The New Trafalgar Dispatch have generated happy recollections of the summer of 2005. We're gathering your memories for posterity.
Remember 2005