A great coxcomb, Sir Alexander Ball

by Patrick Marioné

Nelson disliked Alexander Ball, who was too intellectual for his liking. Till the 21th of May 1797, when Nelson's Vanguard was taken in a furious gale, dismasted, and only saved by the exertions of Captain Ball on the Orion. Afterwards they became great friends.

Alexander Ball was one of the Band of Brothers of the Nile fame, and Coleridge who was his secretary, left a biography of him in the Friend.

He was a major actor in the liberation of Malta from the French occupation. He became the first civil governor of Malta under the British rule. His memory is still revered there, a scarce feat for a colonial administrator.

The article features a scarce picture of the tomb of Sir Alexander Ball in Valetta.

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(this work was first published in 2002 in the Trafalgar Chronicle of the 1805 Club)


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