In 1780 he was again very ill, this time with scurvy and his life, and the lives of his shipboard companions, hung in the balance. But once again this small, apparently frail man survived!
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Nelson briefly returned to 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.
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In 1758 a small sickly baby boy was born, son of the Rector of Burnham Thorpe in Norfolk.
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Nelson was a small man, just 5ft 4in tall, of slight build and with a weak constitution. He was frequently very ill with recurrent bouts of malaria and dysentery, relics of his time in the tropics, Madras, Calcutta and Ceylon.
1801 was also the year in which Nelson destroyed the Danish Navy at the Battle of Copenhagen. During the battle he was sent a signal to break off action by the Admiral Sir Hyde Parker. Nelson reputedly put his telescope to his blind eye and said to his Flag Lieutenant, "You know Foley I have only one eye. I have a right to be blind sometimes. I really do not see the signal".
Nelson had great courage and was a brave man as he endured intense pain when his arm was amputated without an anaesthetic. The surgeon wrote in his diary, "Nelson bore the pain without complaint, but was given opium afterwards". After the operation Nelson suggested that the surgeon should heat his knives first, as the cold knives were more painful!
Mr Pasco, I wish to say to the fleet "England confides that every man will do his duty". You must be quick, for I have one more signal to make, which is for close action.
In the interim, Nelson met Frances "Fanny" Nisbet, a young widow from a Nevis plantation family. 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. The marriage was registered at Fig Tree Church in St John's Parish on Nevis. Nelson returned to England in July, with Fanny following later.
Nelson's death at Trafalgar secured his position as one of Britain's most heroic figures. The significance of the victory and his death during the battle led to his signal, "England expects that every man will do his duty", being regularly quoted, paraphrased and referenced up to the modern day. Numerous monuments, including Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London, and the Nelson Monument in Edinburgh, have been created in his memory and his legacy remains highly influential.
War broke out again with France in 180, and Nelson was for many months on watch in the Mediterranean. On October 20th 1805, the French and Spanish fleets put to sea and off the southern coast of Spain the Battle of Trafalgar took place. This was to be Nelson's last and most famous victory.
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He died shortly after he was taken below decks and his body was taken ashore at Rosia Bay in Gibraltar. His body was sent back to England in a barrel full of brandy which acted as a preservative during the long journey home. The injured from the battle were cared for and those who did not survive were buried in the Trafalgar Cemetery, Gibraltar; their graves remain carefully tended to this day.
Ms Irina Nelson is the Director of UG Admissions in Modern Languages at the University of Southampton.
Horatio Nelson © Nelson was a British naval commander and national hero, famous for his naval victories against the French during the Napoleonic Wars.
They brought me word, Mr Whitby from the Admiralty. "Show him in directly", I said. He came in, and with a pale countenance and faint voice, said, "We have gained a great Victory." – "Never mind your Victory", I said. "My letters – give me my letters" – Captain Whitby was unable to speak – tears in his eyes and a deathly paleness over his face made me comprehend him. I believe I gave a scream and fell back, and for ten hours I could neither speak nor shed a tear.
Before the battle, Nelson sent his famous signal to the Fleet, "England expects that every man will do his duty". It was at the height of the battle that Nelson was shot as he paced the deck of his ship Victory. He was easily recognisable by the marksmen on the French ships as he was wearing his full dress uniform and all his medals, and seemed impervious to the danger he was in.
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In London's Trafalgar Square can be seen the country's memorial to the most inspiring leader the British Navy ever had. Nelson's column, erected in 1840, stands 170ft high and is crowned with a statue of Nelson on the top.
Arms of Viscount Nelson, and the later Earls Nelson (sans augmentation)
While Nelson was in Naples in 1793 he met the lady who was to become the great love of his life, Emma, Lady Hamilton. She was a great beauty with a voluptuous figure and a rather 'shady' past. Eventually in 1801 Nelson abandoned his wife and lived with his 'dearest Emma'. A daughter was born in 1801 and christened Horatia, a child whom Nelson doted on, though she was never aware who her mother was.
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In spite of his frail health, in 1784 he was given the command of the Boreas and was on duty in the West Indies when he met and married Frances Nisbet, a widow.
The first tribute to Nelson was fittingly offered at sea by sailors of Vice Admiral Dmitry Senyavin's passing Russian squadron, which saluted on learning of the death.
King George III, on receiving the news, is alleged to have said, in tears, "We have lost more than we have gained." The Times reported
Nelson was made comfortable, fanned and brought lemonade and watered wine to drink after he complained of feeling hot and thirsty. He asked several times to see Hardy, who was on deck supervising the battle, and asked Beatty to remember him to Emma, his daughter and his friends.
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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.
Nelson's titles, as inscribed on his coffin and read out at the funeral by the Garter King at Arms, Sir Isaac Heard, were:
Her current research interests lie in the area of Learning Strategies and Learner Autonomy in Second Language Acquisition as well as in e-learning environments and authentic interactive environments that facilitate learning through experiencing the real cultural diversity of the Hispanic world. In addition, Irina is involved in research projects of cultural and linguistic aspects of transnationalism
Hardy, I do believe they have done it at last… my backbone is shot through.
Contemporary drawing depicting the arms of Admiral Nelson before Trafalgar.
Irina is the course coordinator for Spanish language, stages 5, 6 and 7. She also teaches translation from English into Spanish.
Sent to sea aged 12, he soon found that although he loved the ships and the sea, he would suffer from terrible seasickness all his life.
Nelson's funeral in London was a tremendous occasion, the streets lined with weeping people. The funeral procession was so long that the Scots Greys who led the procession reached the doors of St. Paul's Cathedral before the mourners at the rear had left the Admiralty. He was buried in the crypt of St. Paul's.