Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson (1758 - 1805) MP

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Nicknames: "Lord Nelson", "Duke of Bronte", "Viscount Nelson"
Birthplace: Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, England
Death: Died in Aboard HMS 'Victory' during the Battle of Trafalgar, near Gibraltar.
Occupation: Vice-Admiral & Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet, Naval Admiral, England, Naval Officer, Seaman, vice admiral of the white
Managed by: Paul Holman
Last Updated:

About Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson

Nelson was born at the Rectory of Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, East England, UK, the son of the village rector Edmund Nelson and his wife Catherine. He attended schools at Norwich and North Walsham before entering the Royal Navy at Chatham in 1770. Under the patronage of an uncle, Captain Maurice Suckling, his naval experience widened rapidly; first by his attachment to a Caribbean-bound merchant ship, and in 1773 by an arduous expedition to the Arctic. A voyage to India followed, but he had to be invalided home after a near fatal malarial fever which left him with recurrent partial paralysis for the rest of his life, in addition to his incurable sea-sickness.

In 1779 at the age of 20, he became captain of a frigate ship in the West Indies, and during the American War served under Admiral Robert Digby and later Lord Samuel Hood. In 1784 he returned to the West Indies to enforce the Navigation Acts prohibiting direct trade between the new American States and the remaining British colonies. His rigid and direct enforcement of the law soon brought him into conflict with the traders, his commander-in-chief, and the Governor of the Leeward Is. However, their attempts to have Nelson removed or court-martialled rebounded on them following his successful petitions to the Admiralty and King George III.

While on the island of Nevis, Nelson met and, in 1787, married Frances (Fanny) Nisbet (1761-1831), a widow with a son, Josiah. Returning to England, he found himself out of favour both with the Admiralty, which was embarrassed by his zealous execution of duty in the West Indies, and with George III for associating with his disreputable son, Prince William Henry. He was refused another ship, but five years later was recalled at the outbreak of the Revolutionary Wars (1792-1802) with France. In 1794 he was given the task of securing Corsica as a Mediterranean base for the Royal Navy. While in Naples gathering recruits, he met William Harrison who, in his capacity as British minister, helped Nelson. The campaign was a major success but, during the attack on Calvi, he was blinded in the right eye by stone splinters from a parapet struck by an enemy shell. Despite his injury, he returned to duty the following day.

On leaving the Mediterranean, the British fleet encountered a Spanish fleet off Cape St Vincent, and inflicted a decisive defeat (1797). Much of the credit for the success of the heavily outgunned British fleet was due to Nelson's bold and unorthodox tactics, for which he received a knighthood. Later promoted to rear-admiral, he held the blockade of Cadiz before being detached to Santa Cruz in the Canary Is. His ill-founded mission to capture rumoured Spanish treasure ships failed when all element of surprise was lost. His right arm was shattered by grapeshot, and had to be amputated.

In 1798 he was sent on a reconnaissance mission to locate the French fleet. It was eventually found in Abu Qir (Aboukir) Bay near Alexandria, where he executed a daring attack as night fell. The British fleet inflicted a massive defeat (the Battle of the Nile), leaving Napoleon's army stranded in Egypt. Nelson, who had again been wounded, returned to Naples, there to be nursed by Emma, the wife of Sir William Hamilton. He was raised to the peerage as Baron Nelson of the Nile, and appointed principal military adviser to the Court of Ferdinand IV, King of the Two Sicilies. This period was marked by controversy. His advice to send an army to recapture Rome from the French resulted in a humiliating defeat, while his public affair with Lady Hamilton exposed him to criticism. In 1800 he relinquished his command because of ill health, and escorted the Hamiltons overland to England.

Following his return, estrangement from his wife soon resulted in separation. With Emma pregnant with their daughter Horatia, and faced with difficult financial circumstances, he applied for active service. In 1801 he was promoted to vice-admiral and appointed second-in-command to Admiral Sir Hyde Parker in an expedition to break the 'armed neutrality' of the Baltic States. The fleet sailed for Denmark and, despite the irresolute Parker, engaged the Danish fleet at anchor off Copenhagen. During the course of battle, which inflicted heavy losses on both sides, Nelson ignored Parker's signal to disengage from the fighting by putting his telescope up to his blind eye and claiming that he had seen no such signal. An hour later the battle was won. He was appointed commander-in-chief of the fleet following Parker's recall, and elevated to viscount.

Renewed hostilities with France saw his return to active service as commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean fleet on board the flagship HMS Victory. In this capacity, his questionable tactics in enforcing a loose blockade of the French-held ports, encouraging the enemy to leave the port and fight, allowed a French fleet under Admiral Villeneuve to escape from Toulon (Jan 1805). A futile chase ensued across the Atlantic to the West Indies and back. This was part of Napoleon's plan to decoy the Royal Navy from the Channel in order to allow him to invade England unmolested. However, Napoleon's combined Spanish and French fleet sweeping through the channel to cover for the invasion was devastated by Nelson's eventual engagement of Villeneuve's fleet off Cape Trafalgar (21 Oct 1805). At the height of the battle, and with victory in sight, Nelson was mortally wounded as he paced the quarter-deck with Captain Hardy; he died some three hours later as the battle ended, and his body was brought back to England. He was buried in St Paul's Cathedral, and a column erected to his memory in Trafalgar Square. Despite the adulation he received after his death, Emma was ignored, and died in abject poverty in Calais nine years later. Horatia, however, returned to Norfolk, and married a clergyman. -------------------- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatio_Nelson,_1st_Viscount_Nelson

Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB (29 September 1758 – 21 October 1805) was an English flag officer famous for his service in the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He won several victories, including the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, during which he was killed.

Nelson's fame reached new heights after his death, and he came to be regarded as one of Britain's greatest military heroes, ranked alongside the Duke of Marlborough and the Duke of Wellington. In the BBC's 100 Greatest Britons program in 2002, Nelson was voted the ninth greatest Briton of all time. -------------------- Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB (29 September 1758 – 21 October 1805) was an English flag officer famous for his service in the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He won several victories, including the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, during which he was killed.

Nelson was born into a moderately prosperous Norfolk family, and joined the navy through the influence of his uncle, Maurice Suckling. He rose rapidly through the ranks and served with leading naval commanders of the period before obtaining his own command in 1778. He developed a reputation in the service through his personal valour and firm grasp of tactics, but suffered periods of illness and unemployment after the end of the American War of Independence. The outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars allowed Nelson to return to service, where he was particularly active in the Mediterranean. He fought in several minor engagements off Toulon, and was important in the capture of Corsica and subsequent diplomatic duties with the Italian states. In 1797 he distinguished himself while in command of HMS Captain at the Battle of Cape St Vincent.

Shortly after the battle, Nelson took part in the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where his attack was defeated and he was badly wounded, losing his right arm, and was forced to return to England to recuperate. The following year he won a decisive victory over the French at the Battle of the Nile and remained in the Mediterranean to support the Kingdom of Naples against a French invasion. In 1801 he was dispatched to the Baltic and won another victory, this time over the Danes at the Battle of Copenhagen. He subsequently commanded the blockade of the French and Spanish fleets at Toulon, and after their escape chased them to the West Indies and back but failed to bring them to battle. After a brief return to England, he took over the Cádiz blockade in 1805. On 21 October 1805 the Franco-Spanish fleet came out of port and Nelson's fleet engaged them at the Battle of Trafalgar. The battle was Britain's greatest naval victory, but Nelson was hit by a French sharpshooter and mortally wounded. His body was brought back to England where he was accorded a state funeral.

Nelson was noted for his ability to inspire and bring out the best in his men: the 'Nelson touch'. His grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics produced a number of decisive victories. Some aspects of his behaviour were controversial during his lifetime and after: he began a notorious affair with Emma, Lady Hamilton while both were married, which lasted until his death. Also, his actions during the Neapolitan campaign resulted in allegations of excessive brutality. Nelson could at times be vain, insecure and overly anxious for recognition, but he was also zealous, patriotic and dutiful, as well as courageous. He was wounded several times in combat, losing one arm and the sight in one eye. His death at Trafalgar secured his position as one of England's most heroic figures. Numerous monuments, including Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London, have been created in his memory and his legacy remains highly influential.

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Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson's Timeline

1758
September 29, 1758
Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, England
1771
1771
- present
Age 12
HMS Raisonnable
1773
1773
- March 14, 1775
Age 14
HMS Seahorse
1778
December 8, 1778
- present
Age 20
HMS Badger
1779
1779
- present
Age 20
HMS Hithchinbrook
1787
1787
Age 28
1799
1799
Age 40
1801
January 29, 1801
Age 42
1805
October 21, 1805
Age 47
Aboard HMS 'Victory' during the Battle of Trafalgar, near Gibraltar.
1806
January 9, 1806
Age 47
City of London, Greater London, United Kingdom