|Viscount Horatio Nelson, a great British admiral, who
was born Sept. 29, 1758, at Burnham Thorpe, in Norfolk (where his father was rector); died Oct. 21, 1805. At the
age of twelve he entered the navy as a midshipman, and in 1773 accompanied Commodore Phipps in a expedition towards
the north pole. In 1777 he was made a lieutenant, and in 1779 raised to the rank of post-captain.
He distinguished himself in an tack on Fort Juan, in the Gulf of Mexico, said on other occasions, and remained on the American station till the conclusion of peace. He afterwards commanded the Boreas frigate, and was employed to protect the trade of the Leeward Islands.
On the commencement of the war with the French Republic he was made commander of the Agamemon. of sixty-four guns (1793), with which he joined Lord Hood in the Mediterranean, and assisted at the siege of Bastia (May, 1794). At the siege of Calvi (July 10, 1794) he lost an eye. For his gallantry at the battle of Cape St., Vincent (Feb. 14, 1797) he was made rear-admiral of the blue, and appointed to the command of the inner squadron at the blockade of Cadiz.
|Nelson lost his right eye in operations against the French off Corsica and his right arm during an engagement near the Canary Islands.|
His next service was an attack on the town of Santa Crux, in the Island of Tenerife, in which he lost his right arm. In 1798 he joined lord St. Vincent (Admiral Jervis), who sent him to the Mediterranean to watch the progress of the armament at Toulon. Notwithstanding his vigilance, the French fleet which conveyed Bonaparte to Egypt escaped. Thither Nelson followed, and after various disappointments he discovered the enemy's fleet moored in the Bay of Aboukir, where he obtained a most complete victory, all the French ships but two being taken or destroyed (August 1,1798). This achievement was rewarded with the title of Baron Nelson of the Nile and a pension of £2000.
|His next service was the restoration
of the King of Naples, where he was to encounter Lady Emma Hamilton, a celebrated beauty, who was born about 1761,
the illegitimate daughter of a maidservant and a man of rank.
At the age of thirty years she became the wife of Sir William Hamilton, English, ambassador at Naples.
Generally attributed to her influence are circumstances of revolting cruelty and the cause of some of the least creditable incidents in the great admirals career. She died at Calais 1815, and left behind her Memoirs, which have been published.
Nelsons ship the Victory preserved at Portsmouth
In 1801 he was employed on the expedition to Copenhagen under Sir Hyde Parker, in which he effected the destruction of the Danish ships and batteries. On his return home he was created viscount. When hostilities recommenced after the Peace of Amiens Lord Nelson was appointed to command the fleet in the Mediterranean, and for nearly two years he was engaged in the blockade of Toulon. In spite of his vigilance the French fleet got out of port (March 30, 1805), and being joined by a Spanish squadron from Cadiz, sailed to the West Indies. The British admiral hastily pursued them, and they returned to Europe and took shelter at Cadiz.
The Battle of Trafalgar
On the 19th of October 1805 the French, commanded by Villeneuve, and the Spaniards by Gravina, ventured again from Cadiz, and on the 21st they came up with the British squadron off Cape Trafalgar. It was just before this battle that he sent the celebrated message to his fleet, from the flagship Victory
'England expects that every man will do his duty';
An engagement took place, in which the victory was obtained by the British, but their commander was wounded in the back by a musket-ball, and shortly after expired. His remains were carried to England and interred in St. Paul's Cathedral.