The Trafalgar Way
Dorchester - 11th 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 to England 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 The Trafalgar Way. He took some 37 hours to cover the 271 mile journey, changing horses 21 times. The 11th such change was made at Dorchester on the morning of 5th November at a cost of two pounds fourteen shillings and sixpence.
Lapenotiere delivered his dispatches to the Admiralty at 1 a.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.
Antelope Walk, Dorchester, United Kingdom