TOWNSHEND, Thomas, 1st Viscount Sydney. 15096



Autograph Letter Signed ‘T.Townshend’, addressed “My dear Lord” [Earl Temple, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland until 1783, later Marquess of Buckingham], sending the account he has received “relative to Gibraltar”, in other words the relief of the Siege, saying he awaits the news of a successful naval engagement. 2 pp. 9 x 7 inches, remains of guard along one edge, a few minor blemishes, but generally in good condition, annotation to first page. Whitehall, 29 October 1782. Thomas Townshend, 1st Viscount Sydney (1733-1800) was brought him back into office by Rockingham as a Lord of the Treasury on 12 July 1765. He became secretary of state for the home office in July 1782, after a few months as secretary at war under Rockingham. In those days the home department included responsibility for the colonies. He is famous for his support of the plans for a convict settlement in New South Wales. On 26 January 1788 Arthur Philip named Sydney in New South Wales in his honour. In September 1782 a large fleet left Spithead under Richard Howe, arriving off Cape St Vincent on 9 October. The following evening a gale blew up, scattering the Spanish and French fleet. This allowed Howe to sail unopposed into Gibraltar. A total of 34 ships of the line escorted 31 transport ships which delivered supplies, food, and ammunition. The fleet also brought the 25th, 59th, and 97th regiments of foot bringing the total number of the garrison to over 7,000. Townshend comments on the news he has received: “I have no doubt of the Authenticity of the favorable part of it… We may expect an Account of a Naval Engagement. If we are successfull, I think we may pronounce Ld Howe’s Campaign of 1782 to be one of the greatest Naval ones that ever was known. Indeed I shall be at a Loss for one to compare with it … P.S. It is owing to an accident that this Account was not sent you by last night’s Post.”