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The naval chaplain Cooper Willyams (1762-1816), who was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and took holy orders in 1784, published this account of the West Indies campaign in 1796. The son of a navy commander, Willyams was also a self-taught artist and topographer, and in 1802 published his eyewitness account of the battle of the Nile, also reissued in this series. The campaign against the French in the Caribbean was notable for the large numbers of combatants on both sides who succumbed to yellow fever. Using his own notes and the accounts of other eyewitnesses, Willyams describes the arrival of the fleet, commanded by Sir Charles Grey and Sir John Jervis (later Earl St Vincent, for whom Willyams acted as chaplain), in Barbados; the actions undertaken against the French to secure the islands of Martinique, St Lucia, and Guadeloupe; and the subsequent recapture of the latter by the French.
This book is an eye-witness account of the Battle of the Nile in 1798, Nelson's greatest triumph, written and illustrated by the Royal Navy chaplain Rev. Cooper Willyams. Educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Willyams took holy orders in 1784. The son of a navy commander and formerly chaplain to Admiral St. Vincent, Willyams was a veteran of several campaigns, having accompanied the expedition to the West Indies which ended in a British defeat of the French in 1794. The Battle of the Nile is considered by historians to have been Nelson's most complete victory and Willyams' account to be the most authentic. Willyams was a self-taught artist, and the work contains 43 plate-engravings of sketches he produced of the battle. It was published in London in 1802, soon after the battle. A German edition was published the following year.