The sheltered waters of Agincourt Sound in the Maddalena Archipelago on the southern flank of the Strait of Bonifacio provided a strategic base for Nelson’s Mediterranean fleet. Navigable exits to west and east enabled him to respond instantly to news that Admiral Villeneuve’s force had left Toulon. The sound was named for HMS Agincourt, commanded by Captain George Frederick Ryves, who was sent to examine it as part of a programme of hydrographic intelligence gathering during the Peace of Amiens. This article discusses Ryves’ contribution together with evidence of earlier initiative by RN personnel in surveying the area.
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