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20 mai 2012 7 20 /05 /mai /2012 09:05

Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson

Horatio Nelson1st Viscount Nelson1st Duke of Bronté, KB (29 September 1758 – 21 October 1805) was a flag officer famous for his service in the Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was noted for his inspirational leadership and superb grasp of strategy and unconventional tactics, HP F2299A Battery

which resulted in a number of decisive naval victories. He was wounded several times in combat, losing one arm and the sight in one eye. Of his several victories, the best known and most notable was the Battle of Trafalgarin 1805, during which he was shot and killed. HP F3172A Battery

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. HP F4486A Battery

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, HP F4486B Battery

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. HP F4809A Battery

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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, HP HSTNN-DB02 Battery

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. HP HSTNN-DB20 Battery

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. HP HSTNN-IB04 Battery

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 during the action Nelson was fatally wounded by a French sniper. His body was brought back to England where he was accorded a state funeral. HP HSTNN-IB09 Battery

Nelson's death at Trafalgar secured his position as one of Britain'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. HP HSTNN-IB20 Battery

Horatio Nelson was born on 29 September 1758 in a rectory in Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, England, the sixth of eleven children of the Reverend Edmund Nelson and his wifeCatherine.[1] His mother, who died on 26 December 1767 when he was nine years old, HP PB992A Battery

was a grandniece of Robert Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford, the de facto first Prime Minister of Great Britain.[2] She lived in the village of Barsham, Suffolk, and married the Reverend Edmund Nelson at Beccles church, Suffolk, in 1749. HP PB994A Battery

Nelson attended Paston Grammar School, North Walsham, until he was 12 years old, and also attended King Edward VI’s Grammar School in Norwich. His naval career began on 1 January 1771, when he reported to the third-rate HMS Raisonnable as an Ordinary Seaman and coxswain under his maternal uncle, HP PB995A Battery

Captain Maurice Suckling, who commanded the vessel. Shortly after reporting aboard, Nelson was appointed amidshipman and began officer training. Early in his service, Nelson discovered that he suffered from seasickness, a chronic complaint that dogged him for the rest of his life.[3] HP PF723A Battery

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Early naval career

HMS Raisonnable had been commissioned during a period of tension with Spain, but when this passed Suckling was transferred to the Nore guardship HMS Triumph and Nelson was despatched to serve aboard the West Indiamen of the merchant shipping firm of Hibbert, HP RW556AA Battery

Purrier and Horton, in order to gain experience at sea.[4] In this capacity he twice crossed the Atlantic, before returning to serve under his uncle as the commander of Suckling's longboat, which carried men and despatches to and from the shore. HP Laptop Battery list by laptop model

Nelson then learned of a planned expedition under the command of Constantine Phipps, intended to survey a passage in the Arctic by which it was hoped that India could be reached: the fabled Northwest Passage. At his nephew's request, HP ProBook 4510s Battery

Suckling arranged for Nelson to join the expedition as coxswain[5] to Commander Lutwidge aboard the converted bomb vesselHMS Carcass. The expedition reached within ten degrees of the North Pole, but, unable to find a way through the dense ice floes, HP ProBook 4510s/CT Battery

was forced to turn back. By 1800 Lutwidge began to circulate a story that while the ship had been trapped in the ice, Nelson had seen and pursued a polar bear, before being ordered to return to the ship. Lutwidge's later version, in 1809, reported that Nelson and a companion had given chase to the bear, but on being questioned why, replied that "I wished, Sir, to get the skin for my father."[6] HP ProBook 4515s Battery


Nelson briefly returned to the Triumph after the expedition's return to Britain in September 1773. Suckling then arranged for his transfer to HMS Seahorse, one of two ships about to sail for the East Indies.[7] HP ProBook 4710s Battery


Captain Horatio Nelson, painted by John Francis Rigaud in 1781, with Fort San Juan—the scene of his most notable achievement to date—in the background. The painting itself was begun and nearly finished prior to the battle, when Nelson held the rank of lieutenant; when Nelson returned, the artist added the new captain's gold-braided sleeves.[8] HP ProBook 4710s/CT Battery


Nelson sailed for the East Indies on 19 November 1773 and arrived at the British outpost atMadras on 25 May 1774.[9] Nelson and the Seahorse spent the rest of the year cruising off the coast and escorting merchantmen. With the outbreak of the First Anglo-Maratha War, HP ProBook 4410s Battery

the British fleet operated in support of the East India Company and in early 1775 theSeahorse was despatched to carry a cargo of the company's money to Bombay. On 19 February two of Hyder Ali's ketches attacked the SeahorseHP ProBook 4416s Battery

which drove them off after a brief exchange of fire. This was Nelson's first experience of battle.[10] The rest of the year he spent escorting convoys, during which he continued to develop his navigation and ship handling skills. In early 1776 Nelson contracted malaria and became seriously ill. HP ProBook 4415s Battery

He was discharged from the Seahorse on 14 March and returned to England aboardHMS Dolphin.[11] Nelson spent the six-month voyage recuperating and had almost recovered by the time he arrived in Britain in September 1776. HP ProBook 4210s Battery

His patron, Suckling, had risen to the post of Comptroller of the Navy in 1775, and used his influence to help Nelson gain further promotion.[2][12] Nelson was appointed acting lieutenant aboardHMS Worcester, which was about to sail to Gibraltar.[13] HP ProBook 4310s Battery


The Worcester, under the command of Captain Mark Robinson, sailed as a convoy escort on 3 December and returned with another convoy in April 1777.[14] Nelson then travelled to London to take his lieutenant's examination on 9 April; HP ProBook 4311s Battery

his examining board consisted of Captains John Campbell, Abraham North, and his uncle, Maurice Suckling. Nelson passed, and the next day received his commission and an appointment toHMS Lowestoffe, which was preparing to sail to Jamaica under Captain William Locker.[15] HP Pavilion dv2 Battery

She sailed on 16 May, arrived on 19 July, and after reprovisioning, carried out several cruises in Caribbean waters. After the outbreak of the American War of Independence theLowestoffe took several prizes, one of which was taken into Navy service as the tenderLittle LucyHP Pavilion dv2-1000 Battery

Nelson asked for and was given command of her, and took her on two cruises of his own.[16] As well as giving him his first taste of command, it gave Nelson the opportunity to explore his fledgling interest in science. During his first cruise, HP Pavilion dv2-1030 Battery

Nelson led an expeditionary party to the Caicos Islands,[17] where he made detailed notes of the wildlife and in particular a bird—now believed to be the White-necked Jacobin.[18] Locker, impressed by Nelson's abilities, recommended him to the new commander-in-chief at Jamaica, Sir Peter Parker. Parker duly took Nelson onto his flagship, HMS Bristol.[19HP Pavilion dv2-1000eo Battery

] The entry of the French into the war, in support of the Americans, meant further targets for Parker's fleet and it took a large number of prizes towards the end of 1778, which brought Nelson an estimated £400 in prize money. Parker subsequently appointed him as Master and Commander of the brig HMS Badger on 8 December.[20]HP Pavilion dv2-1001au Battery


Nelson and the Badger spent most of 1779 cruising off the Central American coast, ranging as far as the British settlements at British Honduras and Nicaragua, but without much success at interception of enemy prizes.[21] HP Pavilion dv2-1001ax Battery

On his return to Port Royal he learned that Parker had promoted him to post-captain on 11 June, and intended to give him another command. Nelson handed over the Badger to Cuthbert Collingwood while he awaited the arrival of his new ship, the 28-gun frigate HMS Hinchinbrook,[a] HP Pavilion dv2-1001eg Battery

newly captured from the French.[22] While Nelson waited, news reached Parker that a French fleet under the command of Charles Hector, comte d'Estaing, was approaching Jamaica. HP Pavilion dv2-1002au Battery

Parker hastily organized his defences and placed Nelson in command of Fort Charles, which covered the approaches to Kingston.[23] D'Estaing instead headed north, and the anticipated invasion never materialised. Nelson duly took command of the Hinchinbrook on 1 September.[24] HP Pavilion dv2-1002ax Battery


The Hinchinbrook sailed from Port Royal on 5 October 1779 and, in company with other British ships, proceeded to capture a number of American prizes.[25] On his return to Jamaica in December, Nelson began to be troubled by a recurrent attack of malaria, HP Pavilion dv2-1002xx Battery

but remained in the West Indies in order to take part in Major-General John Dalling's attempt tocapture the Spanish colonies in Central America, including an assault on the fortress of San Juan in Nicaragua.[26] HP Pavilion dv2-1003ax Battery

 The Hinchinbrook sailed from Jamaica in February 1780, as an escort for Dalling's invasion force. After sailing up the mouth of the Colorado River, Nelson led a successful assault on a Spanish look-out post.[27] Despite this quick success, HP Pavilion dv2-1004ax Battery

the main force's attack on Fort San Juan was long and drawn out, though Nelson was praised for his efforts.[28] Parker recalled Nelson and gave him command of the 44-gun frigateHMS Janus.[29] Nelson had however fallen seriously ill in the jungles of Costa Rica, probably from a recurrence of malaria, HP Pavilion dv2-1005au Battery

and was unable to take command. During his time of convalescence he was nursed by a black "doctoress" named Cubah Cornwallis, HP Pavilion dv2-1005ei Battery

the mistress of a fellow captain, William Cornwallis.[30] He was discharged in August and returned to Britain aboard HMS Lion,[31] arriving in late November. Nelson gradually recovered over several months, and soon began agitating for a command. He was appointed to the frigate HMS Albemarle on 15 August 1781.[32] HP Pavilion dv2-1006au Battery


Nelson received orders on 23 October to take the newly refitted Albemarle to sea. He was instructed to collect an inbound convoy of the Russia Company at Elsinore, and escort them back to Britain. For this operation, the Admiralty placed the frigates HMS Argo andHMS Enterprise under his command.[33] HP Pavilion dv2-1006ax Battery

Nelson successfully organised the convoy and escorted it into British waters. He then left the convoy to return to port, but severe storms hampered him.[34] Gales almost wrecked Albemarle as she was a poorly designed ship and an earlier accident had left her damaged, HP Pavilion dv2-1008au Battery

but Nelson eventually brought her intoPortsmouth in February 1782.[35] There the Admiralty ordered him to fit the Albemarle for sea and join the escort for a convoy collecting at Cork to sail for Quebec.[36] Nelson arrived off Newfoundland with the convoy in late May, HP Pavilion dv2-1009ax Battery

then detached on a cruise to hunt American privateers. Nelson was generally unsuccessful; he succeeded only in retaking several captured British merchant ships and capturing a number of small fishing boats and assorted craft.[37] HP Pavilion dv2-1010ea Battery

 In August he had a narrow escape from a far superior French force under Louis-Philippe de Vaudreuil, only evading them after a prolonged chase.[38] Nelson arrived at Quebec on 18 September.[39] He sailed again as part of the escort for a convoy to New York. HP Pavilion dv2-1010ed Battery

He arrived in mid-November and reported to Admiral Samuel Hood, commander of the New York station.[40] At Nelson's request, Hood transferred him to his fleet and Albemarle sailed in company with Hood, bound for the West Indies.[41] HP Pavilion dv2-1010eo Battery

On their arrival, the British fleet took up position off Jamaica to await the arrival of de Vaudreuil's force. Nelson and the Albemarle were ordered to scout the numerous passages for signs of the enemy, but it became clear by early 1783 that the French had eluded Hood.[42] HP Pavilion dv2-1010ep Battery

During his scouting operations, Nelson had developed a plan to assault the French garrison of the Turks Islands. Commanding a small flotilla of frigates and smaller vessels, he landed a force of 167 seamen and marines early on the morning of 8 March under a supporting bombardment.[43] HP Pavilion dv2-1010et Battery

The French were found to be heavily entrenched and after several hours Nelson called off the assault. Several of the officers involved criticised Nelson, but Hood does not appear to have reprimanded him.[44] Nelson spent the rest of the war cruising in the West Indies, HP Pavilion dv2-1010ez Battery

where he captured a number of French and Spanish prizes.[45] After news of the peace reached Hood, Nelson returned to Britain in late June 1783.[46] HP Pavilion dv2-1010la Battery



Nelson visited France in late 1783, stayed with acquaintances at Saint-Omer, and briefly attempted to learn French. He returned to England in January 1784, and attended court as part of Lord Hood's entourage.[47] Influenced by the factional politics of the time, he contemplated standing for Parliament as a supporter of William Pitt, but was unable to find a seat.[48] HP Pavilion dv2-1011au Battery


In 1784 he received command of the frigate HMS Boreas with the assignment to enforce the Navigation Acts in the vicinity of Antigua.[49] The Acts were unpopular with both the Americans and the colonies.[50] Nelson served on the station under Admiral Sir Richard Hughes, HP Pavilion dv2-1011ax Battery

and often came into conflict with his superior officer over their differing interpretation of the Acts.[51] The captains of the American vessels Nelson had seized sued him for illegal seizure. As the merchants of Nevis supported the American claim, Nelson was in peril of imprisonment; he remained sequestered on Boreas for eight months until the courts ruled in his favour.[52] HP Pavilion dv2-1012au Battery


In the interim, Nelson met Frances "Fanny" Nisbet, a young widow from a Nevis plantation family.[53] Nelson and Nisbet were married at Montpelier Estate on the island of Nevis on 11 March 1787, shortly before the end of his tour of duty in the Caribbean.[54] The marriage was registered at Fig Tree Church, St John's Parish, Nevis. Nelson returned to England in July, with Fanny following later.[55] HP Pavilion dv2-1013ax Battery



Nelson remained with Boreas until she was paid off in November that year.[56] He and Fanny then divided their time between Bath and London, occasionally visiting Nelson's relations in Norfolk. In 1788, they settled at Nelson's childhood home at Burnham Thorpe.[57] HP Pavilion dv2-1014au Battery

Now in reserve on half pay, he attempted to persuade the Admiralty and other senior figures he was acquainted with, such as Hood, to provide him with a command. He was unsuccessful as there were too few ships in the peacetime navy and Hood did not intercede on his behalf.[58] HP Pavilion dv2-1015ax Battery

Nelson spent his time trying to find employment for former crew members, attending to family affairs, and cajoling contacts in the navy for a posting. In 1792 the French revolutionary government annexed the Austrian Netherlands (modern Belgium), which were traditionally preserved as a buffer state. HP Pavilion dv2-1015ee Battery

The Admiralty recalled Nelson to service and gave him command of the 64-gun HMS Agamemnon in January 1793. On 1 February France declared war.[59] HP Pavilion dv2-1016ax Battery



In May, 1793, Nelson sailed as part of a division under the command of Vice-AdmiralWilliam Hotham, joined later in the month by the rest of Lord Hood's fleet.[60] The force initially sailed to Gibraltar and, with the intention of establishing naval superiority in the Mediterranean, HP Pavilion dv2-1017ax Battery

made their way to Toulon, anchoring off the port in July.[61] Toulon was largely under the control of moderate republicans and royalists, but was threatened by the forces of the National Convention, which were marching on the city. HP Pavilion dv2-1018ax Battery

Short of supplies and doubting their ability to defend themselves, the city authorities requested that Hood take the city under his protection. Hood readily acquiesced and sent Nelson to carry despatches to Sardinia and Naples requesting reinforcements.[62] HP Pavilion dv2-1019ax Battery

 After delivering the despatches to Sardinia, Agamemnon arrived at Naples in early September. There Nelson met Ferdinand VI, King of Naples,[63] followed by the British ambassador to the kingdom,William Hamilton.[64] At some point during the negotiations for reinforcements, Nelson was introduced to Hamilton's new wife, HP Pavilion dv2-1020ax Battery

Emma Hamilton.[65] The negotiations were successful, and 2,000 men and several ships were mustered by mid-September. Nelson put to sea in pursuit of a French frigate, but on failing to catch her, sailed for Leghorn, and then toCorsica.[66] HP Pavilion dv2-1020ef Battery

He arrived at Toulon on 5 October, where he found that a large French army had occupied the hills surrounding the city and was bombarding it. Hood still hoped the city could be held if more reinforcements arrived, and sent Nelson to join a squadron operating off Cagliari.[67] HP Pavilion dv2-1020el Battery



Early on the morning of 22 October 1793, the Agamemnon sighted five sails. Nelson closed with them, and discovered they were a French squadron. Nelson promptly gave chase, firing on the 40-gun Melpomene.[68] He inflicted considerable damage but the remaining French ships turned to join the battle and, rHP Pavilion dv2-1020er Battery

ealising he was outnumbered, Nelson withdrew and continued to Cagliari, arriving on 24 October.[68] After making repairs Nelson and the Agamemnon sailed again on 26 October, bound for Tunis with a squadron under Commodore Robert Linzee. On arrival, HP Pavilion dv2-1020es Battery

Nelson was given command of a small squadron consisting of the Agamemnon, three frigates and a sloop, and ordered to blockade the French garrison on Corsica.[69] The fall of Toulon at the end of December 1793 severely damaged British fortunes in the Mediterranean. HP Pavilion dv2-1020et Battery

Hood had failed to make adequate provision for a withdrawal and 18 French ships-of-the-line fell into republican hands.[70] Nelson's mission to Corsica took on added significance, as it could provide the British a naval base close to the French coast.[70] Hood therefore reinforced Nelson with extra ships during January 1794.[71] HP Pavilion dv2-1020la Battery


A British assault force landed on the island on 7 February, after which Nelson moved to intensify the blockade off Bastia. For the rest of the month he carried out raids along the coast and intercepted enemy shipping. HP Pavilion dv2-1021ax Battery

By late February St Fiorenzo had fallen and British troops under Lieutenant-General David Dundas entered the outskirts of Bastia.[72]However Dundas merely assessed the enemy positions and then withdrew, arguing the French were too well entrenched to risk an assault. HP Pavilion dv2-1022ax Battery

Nelson convinced Hood otherwise, but a protracted debate between the army and naval commanders meant that Nelson did not receive permission to proceed until late March. Nelson began to land guns from his ships and emplace them in the hills surrounding the town. HP Pavilion dv2-1023ax Battery

On 11 April the British squadron entered the harbour and opened fire, whilst Nelson took command of the land forces and commenced bombardment.[73] After 45 days, the town surrendered.[74] Nelson subsequently prepared for an assault on Calvi, working in company with Lieutenant-General Charles Stuart.[75] HP Pavilion dv2-1024ax Battery


British forces landed at Calvi on 19 June, and immediately began moving guns ashore to occupy the heights surrounding the town. While Nelson directed a continuous bombardment of the enemy positions, Stuart's men began to advance . HP Pavilion dv2-1025ax Battery

On 12 July Nelson was at one of the forward batteries early in the morning when a shot struck one of the sandbags protecting the position, spraying stones and sand. Nelson was struck by debris in his right eye and was forced to retire from the position, although his wound was soon bandaged and he returned to action.[76] HP Pavilion dv2-1026ax Battery

By 18 July most of the enemy positions had been disabled, and that night Stuart, supported by Nelson, stormed the main defensive position and captured it. Repositioning their guns, the British brought Calvi under constant bombardment, and the town surrendered on 10 August.[77] However, Nelson's right eye had been irreparably damaged and he eventually lost sight in it.[78] HP Pavilion dv2-1027ax Battery



After the occupation of Corsica, Hood ordered Nelson to open diplomatic relations with the city-state of Genoa, a strategically important potential ally.[79] Soon afterwards, Hood returned to England and was succeeded by Admiral William Hotham as commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean. HP Pavilion dv2-1028ax Battery

Nelson put into Leghorn, and while the Agamemnon underwent repairs, met with other naval officers at the port and entertained a brief affair with a local woman, Adelaide Correglia.[80] Hotham arrived with the rest of the fleet in December; Nelson and the Agamemnon sailed on a number of cruises with them in late 1794 and early 1795.[81] HP Pavilion dv2-1029ax Battery


On 8 March, news reached Hotham that the French fleet was at sea and heading for Corsica. He immediately set out to intercept them, and Nelson eagerly anticipated his first fleet action. The French were reluctant to engage and the two fleets shadowed each other throughout 12 March. HP Pavilion dv2-1030ax Battery

The following day two of the French ships collided, allowing Nelson to engage the much larger 84-gun Ça Ira for two and a half hours until the arrival of two French ships forced Nelson to veer away, having inflicted heavy casualties and considerable damage.[82] HP Pavilion dv2-1030en Battery

The fleets continued to shadow each other before making contact again, on 14 March, in the Battle of Genoa. Nelson joined the other British ships in attacking the battered Ça Ira, now under tow from the Censeur. Heavily damaged, the two French ships were forced to surrender and Nelson took possession of the Censeur. Defeated at sea, the French abandoned their plan to invade Corsica and returned to port.[83] HP Pavilion dv2-1030ew Battery



Nelson and the fleet remained in the Mediterranean throughout the summer. On 4 July theAgamemnon sailed from St Fiorenzo with a small force of frigates and sloops, bound for Genoa. On 6 July he ran into the French fleet and found himself pursued by several much larger ships-of-the-line. HP Pavilion dv2-1030us Battery

He retreated to St Fiorenzo, arriving just ahead of the pursuing French, who broke off as Nelson's signal guns alerted the British fleet in the harbour.[84]Hotham pursued the French to the Hyères Islands, but failed to bring them to a decisive action. A number of small engagements were fought but to Nelson's dismay, he saw little action.[84] HP Pavilion dv2-1031ax Battery


Nelson returned to operate out of Genoa, intercepting and inspecting merchants and cutting-out suspicious vessels in both enemy and neutral harbours.[85] He formulated ambitious plans for amphibious landings and naval assaults to frustrate the progress of the French Army of Italy that was now advancing on Genoa, but could excite little interest in Hotham.[86] HP Pavilion dv2-1033ax Battery

 In November Hotham was replaced by Sir Hyde Parker but the situation in Italy was rapidly deteriorating: the French were raiding around Genoa and strong Jacobinsentiment was rife within the city itself.[87] A large French assault at the end of November broke the allied lines, forcing a general retreat towards Genoa.HP Pavilion dv2-1033cl Battery

Nelson's forces were able to cover the withdrawing army and prevent them being surrounded, but he had too few ships and men to materially alter the strategic situation, and the British were forced to withdraw from the Italian ports. Nelson returned to Corsica on 30 November, angry and depressed at the British failure and questioning his future in the navy.[88] HP Pavilion dv2-1035ea Battery



In January 1796 the position of commander-in-chief of the fleet in the Mediterranean passed to Sir John Jervis, who appointed Nelson to exercise independent command over the ships blockading the French coast as a commodore.[89] HP Pavilion dv2-1039wm Battery

Nelson spent the first half of the year conducting operations to frustrate French advances and bolster Britain's Italian allies. Despite some minor successes in intercepting small French warships, Nelson began to feel the British presence on the Italian peninsula was rapidly becoming useless.[90] HP Pavilion dv2-1040eb Battery

In June the Agamemnon was sent back to Britain for repairs, and Nelson was appointed to the 74-gun HMS Captain.[90] In the same month, the French thrust towards Leghorn and were certain to capture the city. Nelson hurried there to oversee the evacuation of British nationals and transported them to Corsica, HP Pavilion dv2-1040ef Battery

after which Jervis ordered him to blockade the newly captured French port.[91] In July he oversaw the occupation ofElba, but by September the Genoese had broken their neutrality to declare in favour of the French.[92] By October, HP Pavilion dv2-1040eo Battery

the Genoese position and the continued French advances led the British to decide that the Mediterranean fleet could no longer be supplied; they ordered it to be evacuated to Gibraltar. Nelson helped oversee the withdrawal from Corsica, and by December 1796 was aboard the frigate HMS Minerve, covering the evacuation of the garrison at Elba. He then sailed for Gibraltar.[93] HP Pavilion dv2-1040et Battery


During the passage, Nelson captured the Spanish frigate Santa Sabina and placed Lieutenants Jonathan Culverhouse and Thomas Hardy in charge of the captured vessel, taking the Spanish captain on board MinerveHP Pavilion dv2-1043ca Battery

Santa Sabina was part of a larger Spanish force, and the following morning two Spanish ships-of-the-line and a frigate were sighted closing fast. Unable to outrun them Nelson initially determined to fight but Culverhouse and Hardy raised the British colours and sailed northeast, drawing the Spanish ships after them until being captured, HP Pavilion dv2-1044ca Battery

giving Nelson the opportunity to escape.[94] Nelson went on to rendezvous with the British fleet at Elba, where he spent Christmas.[95] He sailed for Gibraltar in late January, and after learning that the Spanish fleet had sailed fromCartagena, stopped just long enough to collect Hardy, Culverhouse, and the rest of the prize crew captured with Santa Sabina, before pressing on through the straits to join Sir John Jervis off Cadiz.[96] HP Pavilion dv2-1050en Battery



Nelson joined Jervis's fleet off Cape St Vincent, and reported the Spanish movements.[97]Jervis decided to give battle and the two fleets met on 14 February. HP Pavilion dv2-1070eg Battery

Nelson found himself towards the rear of the British line and realised that it would be a long time before he could bring Captain into action.[97] Instead of continuing to follow the line, Nelson disobeyed orders and wore ship, breaking from the line and heading to engage the Spanish van, HP Pavilion dv2-1080en Battery

which consisted of the 112-gun San Josef, the 80-gun San Nicolas and the 130-gunSantísima TrinidadCaptain engaged all three, assisted by HMS Culloden which had come to Nelson's aid. After an hour of exchanging broadsides which left both Captain andCulloden heavily damaged, HP Pavilion dv2-1090eo Battery

Nelson found himself alongside the San Nicolas. He led a boarding party across, crying "Westminster Abbey! or, glorious victory!" and forced her surrender.[98] San Josef attempted to come to the San Nicolas’s aid, but became entangled with her compatriot and was left immobile. HP Pavilion dv2-1100 series Battery

Nelson led his party from the deck of the San Nicolas onto the San Josef and captured her as well.[97] As night fell, the Spanish fleet broke off and sailed for Cadiz. Four ships had surrendered to the British and two of them were Nelson's captures.[99] HP Pavilion dv2z Battery


Nelson was victorious, but had disobeyed direct orders. Jervis liked Nelson and so did not officially reprimand him,[99] but did not mention Nelson's actions in his official report of the battle.[100] He did write a private letter to George Spencer in which he said that Nelson "contributed very much to the fortune of the day".[99] HP Pavilion dv2z-1100 Battery

Nelson also wrote several letters about his victory, reporting that his action was being referred to amongst the fleet as "Nelson's Patent Bridge for boarding first rates".[98] Nelson's account was later challenged by Rear-Admiral William Parker, HP Pavilion dv2z-1100 CTO Battery

who had been aboard HMS Prince George. Parker claimed that Nelson had been supported by several more ships than he acknowledged, and that the San Josef had already struck her colours by the time Nelson boarded her.[101] HP Pavilion dv2-1100eg Battery

Nelson's account of his role prevailed, and the victory was well received in Britain: Jervis was made Earl St Vincent and Nelson was made a Knight of the Bath.[102][103] On 20 February, in a standard promotion according to his seniority and unrelated to the battle, he was promoted to Rear-Admiral of the Blue.[104] HP Pavilion dv2-1100eo Battery



Nelson was given command of HMS Theseus in the aftermath of the battle, and on 27 May 1797 was ordered to lie off Cadiz, monitoring the Spanish fleet and awaiting the arrival of Spanish treasure ships from the American colonies.[105] HP Pavilion dv2-1101au Battery

He carried out a bombardment and personally led an amphibious assault on 3 July. During the action Nelson's barge collided with that of the Spanish commander, and a hand to hand struggle ensued between the two crews. HP Pavilion dv2-1101ax Battery

Twice Nelson was nearly cut down and both times his life was saved by a seaman named John Sykes who took the blows and was badly wounded. The British raiding force captured the Spanish boat and towed it back to the Theseus.[105][106] HP Pavilion dv2-1102au Battery

During this period Nelson developed a scheme to capture Santa Cruz de Tenerife, aiming to seize a large quantity of specie from the treasure ship Principe de Asturias, which was reported to have recently arrived.[107] HP Pavilion dv2-1103au Battery


The battle plan called for a combination of naval bombardments and an amphibious landing. The initial attempt was called off after adverse currents hampered the assault and the element of surprise was lost.[108] Nelson immediately ordered another assault but this was beaten back. He prepared for a third attempt, HP Pavilion dv2-1104au Battery

to take place during the night. Although he personally led one of the battalions, the operation ended in failure: the Spanish were better prepared than had been expected and had secured strong defensive positions.[109] HP Pavilion dv2-1105ee Battery

Several of the boats failed to land at the correct positions in the confusion, while those that did were swept by gunfire and grapeshot. Nelson's boat reached its intended landing point but as he stepped ashore he was hit in the right arm by a musketball, HP Pavilion dv2-1107ax Battery

which fractured hishumerus bone in multiple places.[109] He was rowed back to the Theseus to be attended to by the surgeon. On arriving on his ship he refused to be helped aboard, declaring "Let me alone! I have got my legs left and one arm."[109] HP Pavilion dv2-1110br Battery

He was taken to the surgeon, instructing him to prepare his instruments and "the sooner it was off the better".[109] Most of the right arm was amputated and within half an hour Nelson had returned to issuing orders to his captains.[110] Years later he would excuse himself to Commodore John Thomas Duckworth for not writing longer letters due to not being naturally left-handed.[111] HP Pavilion dv2-1110ef Battery


Meanwhile a force under Sir Thomas Troubridge had fought their way to the main square but could go no further. Unable to return to the fleet because their boats had been sunk, Troubridge was forced to enter into negotiations with the Spanish commander, HP Pavilion dv2-1110el Battery

and the British were subsequently allowed to withdraw.[112] The expedition had failed to achieve any of its objectives and had left a quarter of the landing force dead or wounded.[112][113]The squadron remained off Tenerife for a further three days and by 16 August had rejoined Jervis's fleet off Cadiz. HP Pavilion dv2-1110er Battery

Despondently Nelson wrote to Jervis: "A left-handed Admiral will never again be considered as useful, therefore the sooner I get to a very humble cottage the better, and make room for a better man to serve the state".[114] HP Pavilion dv2-1110es Battery

He returned to England aboard HMS Seahorse, arriving at Spithead on 1 September. He was met with a hero's welcome: the British public had lionised Nelson after Cape St Vincent and his wound earned him sympathy.[115] They refused to attribute the defeat at Tenerife to him, preferring instead to blame poor planning on the part of St Vincent, the Secretary at War or even William Pitt.[115] HP Pavilion dv2-1110et Battery



Nelson returned to Bath with Fanny, before moving to London in October to seek expert medical attention concerning his amputated arm. Whilst in London news reached him thatAdmiral Duncan had defeated the Dutch fleet at the Battle of Camperdown.[116] Nelson exclaimed that he would have given his other arm to have been present.[116] HP Pavilion dv2-1110ez Battery

 He spent the last months of 1797 recuperating in London, during which he was awarded the Freedom of the City of London and an annual pension of £1,000 a year. He used the money to buy Round Wood Farm near Ipswich, and intended to retire there with Fanny.[117] Despite his plans, Nelson was never to live there.[117] HP Pavilion dv2-1110us Battery


Although surgeons had been unable to remove the central ligature in his amputated arm, which had caused considerable inflammation and poisoning, in early December it came out of its own accord and Nelson rapidly began to recover. HP Pavilion dv2-1111ax Battery

Eager to return to sea, he began agitating for a command and was promised the 80-gun HMS Foudroyant. As she was not yet ready for sea, Nelson was instead given command of the 74-gunHMS Vanguard, to which he appointed Edward Berry as his flag captain.[118] HP Pavilion dv2-1112au Battery

French activities in the Mediterranean theatre were raising concern among the Admiralty: Napoleon was gathering forces in Southern France but the destination of his army was unknown. HP Pavilion dv2-1113ax Battery

Nelson and the Vanguard were to be despatched to Cadiz to reinforce the fleet. On 28 March 1798, Nelson hoisted his flag and sailed to join Earl St Vincent. St Vincent sent him on to Gibraltar with a small force to reconnoitre French activities.[119] HP Pavilion dv2-1115ea Battery


While Nelson was sailing to Gibraltar through a fierce storm, Napoleon had sailed with his invasion fleet under the command of Vice-admiral François-Paul Brueys d'Aigalliers. When news of the French departure reached St Vincent, HP Pavilion dv2-1115ee Battery

Nelson was reinforced with a number of ships and ordered to intercept the French.[120] Nelson immediately began searching the Italian coast for Napoleon's fleet, but was hampered by a lack of frigates that could operate as fast scouts. HP Pavilion dv2-1116ax Battery

Napoleon had already arrived at Malta and, after a show of force, secured the island's surrender.[121] Nelson followed him there, but the French had already left. After a conference with his captains, he decided Egypt was Napoleon's most likely destination and headed for Alexandria. HP Pavilion dv2-1117ee Battery

On his arrival on 28 June, though, he found no sign of the French; dismayed, he withdrew and began searching to the east of the port. While he was absent, Napoleon's fleet arrived on 1 July and landed their forces unopposed.[122] HP Pavilion dv2-1118ax Battery


Brueys then anchored his fleet in Aboukir Bay, ready to support Napoleon if required.[123]Nelson meanwhile had crossed the Mediterranean again in a fruitless attempt to locate the French and had returned to Naples to re-provision.[124] HP Pavilion dv2-1119ax Battery

He sailed again, intending to search the seas off Cyprus, but decided to pass Alexandria again for a final check. In doing so his force captured a French merchant, which provided the first news of the French fleet: they had passed south-east of Crete a month before, heading to Alexandria.[125] HP Pavilion dv2-1120br Battery

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Nelson hurried to the port but again found it empty of the French. Searching along the coast, he finally discovered the French fleet in Aboukir Bay on 1 August 1798.[126]HP Pavilion dv2-1120ax Battery



Nelson immediately prepared for battle, repeating a sentiment he had expressed at the battle of Cape St Vincent that "Before this time tomorrow, I shall have gained a peerage or Westminster Abbey."[127] It was late by the time the British arrived and the French, HP Pavilion dv2-1120ef Battery

anchored in a strong position with a combined firepower greater than that of Nelson's fleet, did not expect them to attack.[128] Nelson however immediately ordered his ships to advance. The French line was anchored close to a line of shoals, in the belief that this would secure their port side from attack; HP Pavilion dv2-1120eg Battery

Brueys had assumed the British would follow convention and attack his centre from the starboard side. However, Captain Thomas Foleyaboard HMS Goliath discovered a gap between the shoals and the French ships, and tookGoliath into the channel. HP Pavilion dv2-1122ax Battery

The unprepared French found themselves attacked on both sides, the British fleet splitting, with some following Foley and others passing down the starboard side of the French line.[129] HP Pavilion dv2-1121ax Battery

The British fleet was soon heavily engaged, passing down the French line and engaging their ships one by one. Nelson on Vanguard personally engaged Spartiate, also coming under fire from Aquilon. At about eight o'clock, he was with Berry on the quarter-deck when a piece of French shot struck him in his forehead. HP Pavilion dv2-1123ax Battery

He fell to the deck, a flap of torn skin obscuring his good eye. Blinded and half stunned, he felt sure he would die and cried out "I am killed. Remember me to my wife." He was taken below to be seen by the surgeon.[130] After examining Nelson, the surgeon pronounced the wound non-threatening and applied a temporary bandage.[131] HP Pavilion dv2-1124ax Battery


The French van, pounded by British fire from both sides, had begun to surrender, and the victorious British ships continued to move down the line, bringing Brueys's 118-gun flagship Orient under constant heavy fire. Orient caught fire under this bombardment, and later exploded. Nelson briefly came on deck to direct the battle, but returned to the surgeon after watching the destruction of Orient.[132] HP Pavilion dv2-1125ax Battery


The Battle of the Nile was a major blow to Napoleon's ambitions in the east. The fleet had been destroyed: Orient, another ship and two frigates had been burnt, seven 74-gun ships and two 80-gun ships had been captured, and only two ships-of-the-line and two frigates escaped,[133] HP Pavilion dv2-1125ee Battery

 while the forces Napoleon had brought to Egypt were stranded.[129]Napoleon attacked north along the Mediterranean coast, but Turkish defenders supported by Captain Sir Sidney Smith defeated his army at the Siege of Acre. HP Pavilion dv2-1126ax Battery

Napoleon then left his army and sailed back to France, evading detection by British ships. Given its strategic importance, some historians regard Nelson's achievement at the Nile as the most significant of his career, even greater than that at Trafalgar seven years later.[134] HP Pavilion dv2-1127ea Battery


Nelson wrote despatches to the Admiralty and oversaw temporary repairs to theVanguard, before sailing to Naples where he was met with enthusiastic celebrations.[135] HP Pavilion dv2-1130eb Battery

The King of Naples, in company with the Hamiltons, greeted him in person when he arrived at the port and William Hamilton invited Nelson to stay at their house.[136]Celebrations were held in honour of Nelson's birthday that September, HP Pavilion dv2-1130es Battery

and he attended a banquet at the Hamilton's, where other officers had begun to notice his attention to Emma. Jervis himself had begun to grow concerned about reports of Nelson's behaviour, but in early October word of Nelson's victory had reached London. HP Pavilion dv2-1131ax Battery

The First Lord of the Admiralty, Earl Spencer, fainted on hearing the news.[137] Scenes of celebration erupted across the country, balls and victory feasts were held and church bells were rung. The City of London awa

rded Nelson and his captains with swords, whilst the King ordered them to be presented with special medals. HP Pavilion dv2-1132ax Battery

The Tsar of Russia sent him a gift, and Selim III, the Sultan of Turkey, awarded Nelson the Order of the Turkish Crescent for his role in restoring Ottoman rule in Egypt. Lord Hood, after a conversation with the Prime Minister, told Fanny that Nelson would likely be given a Viscountcy, HP Pavilion dv2-1133ax Battery

similar to Jervis's earldom after Cape St Vincent and Duncan's viscountcy after Camperdown.[138] Earl Spencer however demurred, arguing that as Nelson had only been detached in command of a squadron, rather than being the commander in chief of the fleet, such an award would create an unwelcome precedent. Instead, Nelson received the title Baron Nelson of the Nile.[139][140] HP Pavilion dv2-1134ax Battery

Neapolitan campaign

Nelson was dismayed by Spencer's decision, and declared that he would rather have received no title than that of a mere barony.[140] He was however cheered by the attention showered on him by the citizens of Naples, the prestige accorded him by the kingdom's elite, HP Pavilion dv2-1134nr Battery

and the comforts he received at the Hamiltons' residence. He made frequent visits to attend functions in his honour, or to tour nearby attractions with Emma, with whom he had by now fallen deeply in love, almost constantly at his side.[141] HP Pavilion dv2-1136ax Battery

Orders arrived from the Admiralty to blockade the French forces in Alexandria and Malta, a task Nelson delegated to his captains, Samuel Hood and Alexander Ball. Despite enjoying his lifestyle in Naples Nelson began to think of returning to England,[141] HP Pavilion dv2-1137ax Battery

but King Ferdinand of Naples, after a long period of pressure from his wife Maria Carolina of Austria and Sir William Hamilton, finally agreed to declare war on France. The Neapolitan army, led by the Austrian General Mack and supported by Nelson's fleet, HP Pavilion dv2-1140ed Battery

retook Rome from the French in late November, but the French regrouped outside the city and, after being reinforced, routed the Neapolitans. In disarray, the Neapolitan army fled back to Naples, with the pursuing French close behind.[142] HP Pavilion dv2-1140es Battery

 Nelson hastily organised the evacuation of the Royal Family, several nobles and the British nationals, including the Hamiltons. The evacuation got underway on 23 December and sailed through heavy gales before reaching the safety of Palermo on 26 December.[143] HP Pavilion dv2-1140en Battery

With the departure of the Royal Family, Naples descended into anarchy and news reached Palermo in January that the French had entered the city under General Championnet and proclaimed the Parthenopaean Republic.[144] HP Pavilion dv2-1140eo Battery

Nelson was promoted to Rear Admiral of the Red on 14 February 1799,[145] and was occupied for several months in blockading Naples, HP Pavilion dv3-2016tx Battery

 while a popular counter-revolutionary force under Cardinal Ruffo known as the Sanfedistimarched to retake the city. In late June Ruffo's army entered Naples, HP Pavilion dv2-1144ca Battery

forcing the French and their supporters to withdraw to the city's fortifications as rioting and looting broke out amongst the ill-disciplined Neapolitan troops. HP Pavilion dv2-1160ed Battery

Nelson, now aboard the Foudroyant, was outraged, and backed by King Ferdinand he insisted that the rebels must surrender unconditionally.[147] HP Pavilion dv3-2015tx Battery

 He took those who had surrendered under the amnesty under armed guard, including the former AdmiralFrancesco Caracciolo, who had commanded the Neapolitan navy under King Ferdinand but had changed sides during the brief Jacobin rule.[148] HP Pavilion dv2-1199us Battery

Nelson ordered his trial by court-martial and refused Caracciolo's request that it be held by British officers, nor was Caracciolo allowed to summon witnesses in his defence. Caracciolo was tried by royalist Neapolitan officers and sentenced to death. HP Pavilion dv3-1000 Series Battery

He asked to be shot rather than hanged, but Nelson, following the wishes of Queen Maria Carolina (a close friend of his mistress, Lady Hamilton) also refused this request and even ignored the court's request to allow 24 hours for Caracciolo to prepare himself. HP Pavilion dv3-1001TX Battery

Caracciolo was hanged aboard the Neapolitan frigateMinerva at 5 o'clock the same afternoon.[149] Nelson kept the Jacobins imprisoned and approved of a wave of further executions, refusing to intervene despite pleas for clemency from the Hamiltons and the Queen of Naples.[150] HP Pavilion dv3-1051xx Battery

When transports were finally allowed to carry the Jacobins to France, less than a third were still alive.[151] On 13 August 1799, HP Pavilion dv3-2015ee Battery

King Ferdinand gave Nelson the newly created Dukedom of Bronté in the Kingdom of Sicily, in perpetual property, enclosing the Maniace Castle, the accompanying Abbey, and the land and the city of Bronte, this as a reward for his support of the monarchy.[152] HP Pavilion dv3-1073cl Battery

Nelson returned to Palermo in August and in September became the senior officer in the Mediterranean after Jervis' successor Lord Keith left to chase the French and Spanish fleets into the Atlantic.[153] Nelson spent the rest of 1799 at the Neapolitan court but put to sea again in February 1800 after Lord Keith's return. On 18 February GénéreuxHP Pavilion dv3-1075ca Battery

a survivor of the Nile, was sighted and Nelson gave chase, capturing her after a short battle and winning Keith's approval.[154] Nelson had a difficult relationship with his superior officer: he was gaining a reputation for insubordination, HP Pavilion dv3-1075us Battery

having initially refused to send ships when Keith requested them and on occasion returning to Palermo without orders, pleading poor health.[155] Keith's reports, and rumours of Nelson's close relationship with Emma Hamilton, were also circulating in London, and Earl Spencer wrote a pointed letter suggesting that he return home:HP Pavilion dv3-1077ca Battery

You will be more likely to recover your health and strength in England than in any inactive situation at a foreign Court, however pleasing the respect and gratitude shown to you for your services may be.[156] HP Pavilion dv3z-1000 Battery


The recall of Sir William Hamilton to Britain was a further incentive for Nelson to return, although he and the Hamiltons initially sailed from Naples on a brief cruise around Malta aboard the Foudroyant in April 1800. HP Pavilion dv3-2014tx Battery

It was on this voyage that Horatio and Emma's illegitimate daughter Horatia was probably conceived.[157] After the cruise, Nelson conveyed the Queen of Naples and her suite to Leghorn. HP Pavilion dv3-2000 Battery

On his arrival, Nelson shifted his flag to HMS Alexander, but again disobeyed Keith's orders by refusing to join the main fleet. HP Pavilion dv3-2013tx Battery

Keith came to Leghorn in person to demand an explanation, and refused to be moved by the Queen's pleas to allow her to be conveyed in a British ship.[158] In the face of Keith's demands, Nelson reluctantly struck his flag and bowed to Emma Hamilton's request to return to England by land.[159] HP Pavilion dv3-2001tu Battery

Nelson, the Hamiltons and several other British travellers left Leghorn for Florence on 13 July. They made stops at Trieste and Vienna, spending three weeks in the latter where they were entertained by the local nobility and heard the Missa in Angustiis by Haydn that now bears Nelson's name.[160] HP Pavilion dv3-2001TX Battery

 By September they were in Prague, and later called atDresden, Dessau and Hamburg, from where they caught a packet ship to Great Yarmouth, arriving on 6 November.[161] Nelson was given a hero's welcome and after being sworn in as a freeman of the borough and received the massed crowd's applause. HP Pavilion dv3-2001xx Battery

He subsequently made his way to London, arriving on 9 November. He attended court and was guest of honour at a number of banquets and balls. It was during this period that Fanny Nelson and Emma Hamilton met for the first time. HP Pavilion dv3-2002tu Battery

During this period, Nelson was reported as being cold and distant to his wife and his attention to Emma became the subject of gossip.[162] With the marriage breaking down, Nelson began to hate even being in the same room as Fanny. Events came to a head around Christmas, when according to Nelson's solicitor, Fanny issued an ultimatum on whether he was to choose her or Emma. Nelson replied: HP Pavilion dv3-2002tx Battery


I love you sincerely but I cannot forget my obligations to Lady Hamilton or speak of her otherwise than with affection and admiration.[163] HP Pavilion dv3-2003tu Battery

  The two never lived together again after this.[163]


Shortly after his arrival in England Nelson was appointed to be second-in-command of theChannel Fleet under Lord St Vincent.[164] He was promoted to Vice Admiral of the Blue on 1 January 1801,[165] and travelled to Plymouth, where on 22 January he was granted the freedom of the city, HP Pavilion dv3-2003tx Battery

 and on 29 January Emma gave birth to their daughter, Horatia.[166]Nelson was delighted, but subsequently disappointed when he was instructed to move his flag from HMS San Josef to HMS St George in preparation for a planned expedition to the Baltic.[167] HP Pavilion dv3-2004tu Battery

Tired of British ships imposing a blockade against French trade and stopping and searching their merchants, the Russian, Prussian, Danish and Swedish governments had formed an alliance to break the blockade. Nelson joined Admiral Sir Hyde Parker's fleet at Yarmouth, HP Pavilion dv3-2004tx Battery

from where they sailed for the Danish coast in March. On their arrival Parker was inclined to blockade the Danish and control the entrance to the Baltic, but Nelson urged a pre-emptive attack on the Danish fleet at harbour in Copenhagen.[168] HP Pavilion dv3-2005ee Battery

He convinced Parker to allow him to make an assault, and was given significant reinforcements. Parker himself would wait in the Kattegat, covering Nelson's fleet in case of the arrival of the Swedish or Russian fleets.[169] HP Pavilion dv3-2005tu Battery


Battle of Copenhagen

On the morning of 2 April 1801, Nelson began to advance into Copenhagen harbour. The battle began badly for the British, with HMS Agamemnon, HMS Bellona and HMS Russellrunning aground, and the rest of the fleet encountering heavier fire from the Danish shore batteries than had been anticipated. Parker sent the signal for Nelson to withdraw, reasoning: HP Pavilion dv3-2005tx Battery

I will make the signal for recall for Nelson's sake. If he is in a condition to continue the action he will disregard it; if he is not, it will be an excuse for his retreat and no blame can be attached to him.[170] HP Pavilion dv3-2006tu Battery

Nelson, directing action aboard HMS Elephant, was informed of the signal by the signal lieutenant, Frederick Langford, but angrily responded: 'I told you to look out on the Danish commodore and let me know when he surrendered. Keep your eyes fixed on him.'[171] HP Pavilion dv3-2006tx Battery

 He then turned to his flag captain, Thomas Foley and said 'You know, Foley, I have only one eye. I have a right to be blind sometimes.' He raised the telescope to his blind eye, and said 'I really do not see the signal.'[171][172] HP Pavilion dv3-2007ee Battery

The battle lasted three hours, leaving both Danish and British fleets heavily damaged. At length Nelson despatched a letter to the Danish commander, Crown Prince Frederick calling for a truce, which the Prince accepted.[173] HP Pavilion dv3-2007tu Battery

Parker approved of Nelson's actions in retrospect, and Nelson was given the honour of going into Copenhagen the next day to open formal negotiations.[174][175] At a banquet that evening he told Prince Frederick that the battle had been the most severe he had ever been in.[176] HP Pavilion dv3-2007tx Battery

 The outcome of the battle and several weeks of ensuing negotiations was a 14 week armistice, and on Parker's recall in May, Nelson became commander-in-chief in the Baltic Sea.[177] HP Pavilion dv3-2008tu Battery

As a reward for the victory, he was created Viscount Nelson of the Nile and of Burnham Thorpe in the County of Norfolk, on 19 May 1801.[178] In addition, on 4 August 1801, he was created Baron Nelson, of the Nile and of Hilborough in the County of Norfolk, this time with a special remainder to his father and sisters.[179][180] HP Pavilion dv3-2008tx Battery

Nelson subsequently sailed to the Russian naval base at Reval in May, and there learned that the pact of armed neutrality was to be disbanded. Satisfied with the outcome of the expedition, he returned to England, arriving on 1 July.[181] HP Pavilion dv3-2009tx Battery


In France, Napoleon was massing forces to invade Great Britain. After a brief spell in London, where he again visited the Hamiltons, Nelson was placed in charge of defending the English Channel to prevent the invasion.[182] He spent the summer reconnoitring the French coast, but apart from a failed attack on Boulogne in August, saw little action.[183HP Pavilion dv3-2010el Battery

On 22 October 1801 the Peace of Amiens was signed between the British and the French, and Nelson – in poor health again – retired to Britain where he stayed with Sir William and Lady Hamilton. HP Pavilion dv3-2010et Battery

On 30 October Nelson spoke in support of the Addington government in the House of Lords, and afterwards made regular visits to attend sessions.[184] The three embarked on a tour of England and Wales, visiting Birmingham, HP Pavilion dv3-2010tx Battery

Warwick, Gloucester,Swansea, Monmouth and numerous other towns and villages. Nelson often found himself received as a hero and was the centre of celebrations and events held in his honour.[183]In 1802, Nelson bought Merton Place, HP Pavilion dv3-2011tx Battery

a country estate in Merton, Surrey (now south-west London) where he lived briefly with the Hamiltons until William's death in April 1803.[185]The following month, war broke out again and Nelson prepared to return to sea.[186] HP Pavilion dv3-2012tx Battery

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