PortCities London

The state funeral of Lord Nelson, 5-9 January 1806

Street procession

The Magnificent Funeral Car Built for the sole purpose of Conveying the Remains of Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson to St Pauls Cathedral, for Interment, on Thursday the 9th of January 1806.
View full size imageThe funeral car that carried Vice Admiral Lord Viscount Nelson to St Pauls Cathedral, 9 January 1806. © NMM

Nelson's funeral car

The following day, 9 January, the coffin was placed on an ornate funeral car.

It was designed to look like HMS Victory and hung with Nelson's trophies.

Figurehead of Nelson's Funeral Carriage.
View full size imageThe figurehead of Nelson's funeral carriage. © NMM

Military escort

A huge procession made up mainly of soldiers escorted the coffin.

The only naval people taking part were:

  • Greenwich pensioners
  • Nelson's fellow officers
  • members of the Victory's crew. 



A public spectacle

Linen representation of Nelson's funeral.
View full size image Nelson's funeral procession through the streets.
Vast numbers of people lined the streets to view the procession.

Stands were built and tickets sold for some of the best seats along the route.

The procession was so long that by the time the head of the column arrived at St Paul's Cathedral the funeral car had still not left Whitehall.

Funeral Procession of the late Lord Viscount Nelson, from the Admiralty to St Paul's, London, 9th January 1806
View full size imageThe arrival of Nelson's funeral carriage for interment at St Paul's Cathedral.

Arrival at St Paul's

It was getting dark as Nelson's body arrived at the cathedral.

A special lantern, mounted with 130 individual lamps, was suspended inside the dome.