The defeat of Oudinot at Polotzk, the junction of Begration and Barclay de Tolly with the grand Russian army under Kutusoff, and the battle of Borodino, gave a favourable turn to affairs, but not such as to dispel every apprehension, and it was determined by the Emperor Alexander to send the whole Russian fleet to winter in England. Admiral Crown was expected from Archangel with eight sail of the line, and Admiral Tait with ten, and six frigates from Cronstadt. The former having sailed from Wingo before this had been determined on, it became necessary for Sir James to delay his return. The Aquilon, which had been sent through the Belt to meet Lord Cathcart at Daleroe, and convey his lordship to Abo, where he was to have a conference with the Emperor Alexander, met with some damage and returned to Wingo.
Mr. James Saumarez, eldest son of the Admiral, who had accompanied his lordship, made a tour and visited the Swedish, Finland, and Russian capitals; he returned on board the Victory on the 9th of October, when the afflicting intelligence arrived of the sudden death of his sister, the eldest daughter of the Admiral, whose loss was deeply regretted by all who knew her excellent disposition. The shock, as may be imagined, was deeply felt by Sir James; but it will be seen by the following correspondence that his mind was supported under this severe trial, and much as his presence was required at home he regarded his duty to his country to be paramount to every other consideration, and unflinchingly remained at his post. His son (the present Lord de Saumarez) who had just finished his education for the Established Church, was indeed a great comfort to his suffering parent.