The Trafalgar Way. Truro – first 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. The first such change was made at Truro that afternoon at a cost of one pound two shillings and sixpence. Lapenotiere delivered his despatches to the Admiralty at 1a.m. on Wednesday 6th November. The news was at once passed to the Prime Minister and the King and special editions of newspapers were published later the same day to inform the nation.
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