Collingwood: The man who saved the nation
AUTHOR Andrew Griffin has welcomed the Collingwood Festival after writing a biography on the hero.
His book, Cuthbert Collingwood: The Northumbrian Who Saved the Nation, has been re-printed and charts both the personal and professional life of the Admiral.
It tells how Collingwood left the Tyne as a cabin boy at the age of 12 and did not return home for 26 years, by which time he was a celebrated Captain.
In 1791 he married Sarah Blackett, daughter of the Mayor of Newcastle, and the couple moved to Morpeth.
Collingwood was ashore for two years and Sarah gave birth to two daughters, Sarah and Mary Patricia, before he was called away for almost a decade.
When he returned to Morpeth he assumed he had retired and liked nothing more than laying out his garden in an area now occupied by St Robert's First School.
He created a walkway beside the River Wansbeck, known as his quarter-deck, with a summer house, 'poop deck', at the end.
It was vandalised and demolished in the 1970s and the area is now overgrown, but it is still possible to see Collingwood's boundary wall behind his house and the remains of the deck.
There are also some information panels showing what the original garden features would have looked like.
When hostilities resumed with the French in 1803, Collingwood was called back into service and was promoted to Vice-Admiral in 1804.
In 1805 he joined his close friend Horatio Nelson in the Battle of Trafalgar and when Nelson was fatally wounded, it was Collingwood who led the fleet to victory.
The Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger and King George III persuaded the aging admiral to remain as Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Navy.
After years of arduous duty he was given permission to return home and left Menorca in March 1810, but he died just seven days out of port.
The biography is published by Robson Print of Hexham, priced 8.99.
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Weather for Morpeth
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 3 C to 14 C
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Wind direction: North west