AUSTEN, Sir Francis William (1774-1865). Naval officer. Brother of Jane Austen.
Document Signed ('Francis William Austen'), ½-page folio (page intact), an extract from the log of HMS Canopus dated 26 December 1805. Giving brief details of wind speed and direction and of the ship's course and latitudinal position. Signed by Austen as Captain and by John Hepburn as Master.
Canopus was a prize ship, originally Le Franklin, captured by Nelson at the Battle of the Nile. It was Nelson (who had died at Trafalgar only two months prior to this document) who had arranged for Austen to command the ship. At this time the ship was in the fleet of Sir John Duckworth and was perhaps already on the way to the battle of St Domingo (6 February 1806).
Francis Austen is believed to have been the original of Captain Harville in Persuasion, 1818.
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