The ship that carried the news of Nelson's victory and death.
This schooner was formerly known as Sting. She was purchased by the Admiralty early in the nineteenth century and it was renamed HMS Pickle. She was fitted out with 10 guns.
In 1803, the Pickle was attached to the Admiral Cornwallis’ Inshore Squadron and was used for the close reconnaissance of the enemy harbours during the blockade of Brest, Rochefort and L’Orient. Pickle captured a small coaster and was able to supply valuable information on enemy warships at L’Orient. On 25 March 1804, with three other British ships of the Squadron, the Pickle, commanded by Lieutenant John Lapenotiere, went to the assistance of HMS Magnificent which had struck a shoal off the Black Rocks and rescued the 650 strong crew
On October 9th 1805, the Pickle with HMS Weazle was sent to assist Captain Blackwood in the monitoring of the enemy coastline off Cadiz, and provide information for the British fleet. During this period prior to the Battle of Trafalgar, the Pickle was able to capture a Portuguese settee from Tangier which was carrying fresh meat. This cargo was used to replenish the British fleet. She also managed to sail close enough to the coast to report an exact count of enemy warships – 33 in Cadiz harbour.
During the battle, the small vessels, such as the Pickle, were kept well back from the fighting. The Pickle herself was stationed to the north-west of the weather line, where Nelson was leading HMS Victory into battle. In the latter stages of the battle, Pickle and three other vessels went to the rescue of the crew of the French ship, Achille, which was ablaze. One of the survivors picked up in the Pickle was a Frenchwoman, wife of one of the crew, found clinging to an oar.