The Trafalgar Way. Fraddon – 2nd post-horse change. On Monday 21st October 1805 the Royal Navy decisively defeated a combined French and Spanish fleet off Cape Trafalgar on the south west coast of Spain. This victory permanently removed the threat of invasion of England by the armies of Napoleon Bonaparte. The first official dispatches with the momentous news of the victory,and the death in action of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson,were carried on board H.M. Schooner PICKLE by her captain Lieutenant John Richards Lapenotiere. Lapenotiere landed at Falmouth on Monday 4th November 1805 and set out “express by post-chaise” for London, following what is now known as The Trafalgar Way. He took some 37 hours to cover the 271 mile journey, changing horses 21 times, one of these being early on the 5th at Honiton. His orders were to lose no time in reaching the Admiralty so, as the horses were still fresh, he pressed on through fog in Brentford and Chiswick towards Whitehall. Over the following four weeks other important messages arrived from the fleet with further details of the victory and anxiously awaited information on casualties. All the dispatches were landed at Falmouth and their couriers took the same route through Brentford and Chiswick where horses and hospitality were available from the inns to all travellers on what is now The Trafalgar Way.
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