|Horatio Nelson (1758–1805)|
|A naval hero|
|Rear Admiral Sir Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) © NMM|
He became the most popular British hero of his time. His victories were the brightest point in long years of war with France, and caught the public imagination.
The government helped create a Nelson legend, portraying him as a model of duty and devotion to the country, and ignoring his failures.
Nelson remains famous to this day, and his message to the fleet at Trafalgar - urging every man to do his duty - is still well known.
|Nelson's funeral procession on the Thames. © NMM|
His coffin lay in state in the Painted Hall at Greenwich Hospital before a grand procession up the Thames.
Huge crowds attended five days of ceremonies, showing the widespread affection in which the dead hero was held.
|Lady Hamilton (as a Bacchante) © NMM|
Nelson’s bloodstained stockings and breeches from the Battle of Trafalgar are on permanent display at the National Maritime Museum.
He is commemorated by Nelson’s Column, one of London’s most famous landmarks. It was planned in 1838 and finished 11 years later. It stands in Trafalgar Square, named after Nelson’s greatest triumph.
|1758||Born in Norfolk, the son of a country parson.|
|1771||Joined the navy aged 12 as a captain’s servant.|
|1777||He passes an examination to become a lieutenant.|
|1779||Receives promotion to post captain.|
|1787||Marries Frances Nisbet.|
|1793||Takes command of HMS 'Agamemnon'.|
|1797||After the Battle of St Vincent, Nelson is created Knight of the Bath and promoted to Rear Admiral.|
|1798||Begins an affair with the married Lady Emma Hamilton. Becomes Baron Nelson of the Nile after defeating the French at Aboukir Bay.|
|1801||The Battle of Copenhagen. Lady Hamilton gives birth to his daughter, Horatia.|
|1803||Nelson is made Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean. He sets up house with Lady Hamilton at Merton Place.|
|1805||He is killed on board the 'Victory' during the crushing defeat of the French and Spansih fleets at Trafalgar.|
|1806||Receives a state funeral on the Thames.|