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Title: The Death of Lord Nelson
Author: Beatty, William, 1773-1842
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Surgeon to the Victory in the Battle of Trafalgar,
and now Physician to the Fleet under the Command
of the Earl of St. Vincent, K.B. &c. &c. &c.

Printed By T. Davison, White-Friars;
For T. Cadell and W. Davies, in the Strand.



The Surgeon of the late illustrious Lord NELSON feels himself called
upon, from the responsible situation which he held on the eventful day
of the 21st of October 1805, to lay before the British Nation the
following Narrative. It contains an account of the most interesting
incidents which occurred on board the Victory. (Lord NELSON's flag-ship)
from the time of her sailing from England, in the month of September,
till the day of battle inclusively; with a detail of the particulars of
HIS LORDSHIP'S Death, the mode adopted for preserving his revered
Remains during the subsequent long passage of the Victory to England,
and the condition of the Body when it was deposited in Greenwich
Hospital. This short statement of facts is deemed a small but necessary
tribute of respect to the memory of the departed Hero, as well as a
professional document which the Public had a right to expect from the
man who had the melancholy honour of being his principal medical
attendant on that occasion: and is presumed to be not unappropriately
concluded by observations on the state of HIS LORDSHIP'S health for some
time previous to his fall; with his habits of life, and other
circumstances, strongly proving that few men had a greater prospect of
attaining longevity, on which account his premature death is the more to
be deplored by his Country.

It was originally intended that this Narrative should be published in
the LIFE OF LORD NELSON, undertaken by the Rev. J.S. CLARKE and J.
M'ARTHUR, Esq. and it will still form a part of that Work; but from the
length of time which must necessarily elapse before so extensive and
magnificent a Publication can be completed, the Author has been induced
to print it in a separate form.


Lord NELSON sailed from St. Helen's in the Victory, with the Euryalus
frigate, on the morning of the 15th of September 1805, to take the
command of the British Fleet cruizing before Cadiz. On the 18th he
appeared off Plymouth; where he was joined by his Majesty's ships
Thunderer and Ajax, with which he proceeded for his destined station. On
the 20th he communicated by private signal with the squadron under the
command of Rear-Admiral STIRLING, which passed within a few miles of the
Victory; and the same day at noon, spoke his Majesty's ship Le Decade,
having on board Rear-Admiral Sir RICHARD BICKERTON, who, was on his
return to England for the recovery of his health.

Some bad weather and adverse winds were experienced by the Victory in
crossing the Bay of Biscay, and on the 27th Cape St. Vincent was seen.
Lord NELSON had dispatched the Euryalus ahead on the preceding day, to
acquaint Admiral COLLINGWOOD with his approach; and to direct that no
salute should take place, nor any public compliments be paid to his
flag, on his assuming the command, as he wished the Enemy to be kept
ignorant of a reinforcement being received by the British Fleet. In the
evening of the 28th, the Victory joined the Fleet; now consisting of
twenty-seven ships of the line, including the Victory, Ajax, and
Thunderer: the city of Cadiz was seen distant about fifteen miles, with
the Combined Fleets at anchor; and Admiral LOUIS, with five or six ships
under his command, close in shore, watching the motions of the Enemy.

On the 29th, prompt and decisive measures were adopted to prevent the
Enemy from receiving any supplies of provisions by sea, which His
LORDSHIP was informed they were very much distressed for: cruizers were
stationed off the Capes St. Vincent, St. Mary's, and Trafalgar; and the
frigates Euryalus and Hydra were ordered to keep off the entrance of
Cadiz. His LORDSHIP now retired with the Fleet to the vicinity of Cape
St. Mary's, about fifty or sixty miles westward of Cadiz; keeping up a
constant communication with the frigates in shore, by means of three or
four ships of the line placed at convenient intervals for distinguishing
the signals of each other. This distance from, the Enemy's port was
preserved by His LORDSHIP, to prevent them from being speedily
acquainted with the force of the Fleet under his command; and that he
might avoid the necessity of bearing up in bad weather, and running
with the Fleet through the Straits of Gibraltar when the westerly gales
prevailed: as the inconvenience of being forced into the Mediterranean,
had been felt by former Commanders in Chief; and would now have afforded
a favourable opportunity to the Enemy of effecting their escape from
Cadiz, or at all events have rendered their obtaining supplies less

On the 1st of October Admiral LOUIS joined the Fleet, with a part of his
squadron (the Canopus, Spencer, and Tigre), from before Cadiz; and
departed the next day with those ships, the Queen, and the Zealous, for
Gibraltar, to procure a supply of provisions, stores, and water, which
they were much in want of. On the 4th he rejoined with his squadron;
having received intelligence from the Euryalus by telegraph, that the
French ships in Cadiz were embarking their troops, and preparing to
sail. Lord NELSON however conceived this to be merely intended as a
stratagem, to draw him nearer to Cadiz, for the purpose of obtaining a
knowledge of his force; and therefore directed Admiral LOUIS to proceed
in the execution of the orders before delivered to him.

Between the 7th and the 13th, His LORDSHIP was reinforced by the Royal
Sovereign, Belleisle, Defiance, Agamemnon, and Africa, from England, and
the Leviathan from Gibraltar. The Agamemnon, Sir EDWARD BERRY, joined on
the 13th;[1] with intelligence that she had been chased on the coast of
Portugal a few days before by an Enemy's squadron, consisting of six
sail of the line.

On the 13th in the evening, Sir ROBERT CALDER, in his Majesty's ship
the Prince of Wales, parted company with the Fleet, on his return to
England. His departure Lord NELSON had some days before evinced an
anxious wish to procrastinate, and was heard that very day to declare
his firm belief that the Combined Fleets would be at sea in the course
of ten days or a fortnight.[2]

On the 18th the Donegal, Captain MALCOLM, left the Fleet for Gibraltar.
On the 19th his Majesty's ships the Colossus, Mars, Defence, and
Agamemnon, formed the cordon of communication with the frigates in
shore: the Fleet was lying to. About half past nine in the morning, the
Mars, being one of the ships nearest to the Fleet, repeated the signal
from the ships further in shore, that "the Enemy were coming out of
port." Lord NELSON immediately ordered the general signal to be made,
with two guns, for a chace in the south-east quarter. The wind was now
very light; and the breezes partial, mostly from the south-south-west.
The Fleet made all possible sail; and about two o'clock the Colossus and
Mars repeated signals from the ships in shore, communicating the welcome
intelligence of "the Enemy being at sea." This cheered the minds of all
on board, with the prospect of realizing those hopes of meeting the
Enemy which had been so long and so sanguinely entertained. It was well
known to His LORDSHIP, that all the Enemy's ships had the iron hoops on
their masts painted black; whereas the British ships, with the exception
of the Belleisle and Polyphemus, had theirs painted yellow: and as he
considered that this would serve for a very good mark of distinction in
the heat of battle, he made known this circumstance to the Fleet, and
ordered the Belleisle and Polyphemus to paint their hoops yellow; but the
evening being far advanced when the signal was made to them for this
purpose, His LORDSHIP, fearing that it might not be distinctly
understood, sent the Entreprenante cutter to them to communicate the

During the night the Fleet continued steering to the south-east under
all sail, in expectation of seeing the Enemy; and at day-break on the
20th found itself in the entrance of the Straits of Gibraltar, but
nothing of the Enemy to be discovered. The Fleet now wore, and made sail
to the north-west; and at seven in the morning the Phoebe was seen
making signals for "the Enemy bearing north." At eight o'clock the
Victory hove to; and Admiral COLLINGWOOD, with the Captains of the Mars,
Colossus, and Defence, came on board, to receive instructions from His
LORDSHIP; at eleven minutes past nine they returned to their respective
ships, and the Fleet made sail again to the northward.

In the afternoon the wind increased, and blew fresh from the south-west;
which excited much apprehension on board the Victory, lest the Enemy
might be forced to return to port. The look-out ships, however, made
several signals for seeing them, and to report their force and bearings.
His LORDSHIP was at this time on the poop; and turning round, and
observing a group of Midshipmen assembled together, he said to them with
a smile, "This day or to-morrow will be a fortunate one for you, young
men," alluding to their being promoted in the event of a victory.

A little before sunset the Euryalus communicated intelligence by
telegraph, that "the Enemy appeared determined to go to the westward."
His LORDSHIP upon this ordered it to be signified to Captain BLACKWOOD
(of that ship) by signal, that "he depended on the Euryalus for keeping
sight of the Enemy during the night." The night signals were so clearly
and distinctly arranged by His LORDSHIP, and so well understood by the
respective Captains, that the Enemy's motions continued to be made known
to him with the greatest facility throughout the night: a certain number
of guns, with false fires and blue lights announced their altering their
course, wearing, and making or shortening sail; and signals
communicating such changes were repeated by the look-out ships, from the
Euryalus to the Victory.

The Enemy wore twice during the night: which evolution was considered by
His LORDSHIP as shewing an intention, on their part, of keeping the port
of Cadiz open; and made him apprehend that on seeing the British Fleet,
they would effect their retreat thither before he could bring them to a
general action. He was therefore very careful not to approach their
Fleet near enough to be seen by them before morning.

The British Fleet wore about two o'clock in the morning; and stood on
the larboard tack with their heads to the northward, carrying their
topsails and foresails, and anxiously expecting the dawn of day. When
that period arrived, the Combined Fleets were distinctly seen from the
Victory's deck, formed in a close line of battle ahead on the starboard
tack, standing to the south, and about twelve miles to leeward. They
consisted of thirty-three ships of the line; four of which were
three-deckers, and one of seventy guns: the strength of the British
Fleet was twenty-seven ships of the line; seven of which were
three-deckers, and three of sixty-four guns. Lord NELSON had, on the
10th, issued written Instructions to the Admirals and Captains of the
Fleet individually, pointing out his intended mode of attack in the
event of meeting the Enemy;[3] and now, previously to appearing himself
on deck, he directed Captain HARDY to make the necessary signals for the
order and disposition of the Fleet accordingly.

HIS LORDSHIP came upon deck soon after day-light: he was dressed as
usual in his Admiral's frock-coat, bearing on the left breast four stars
of different orders which he always wore with his common apparel.[4] He
displayed excellent spirits, and expressed his pleasure at the prospect
of giving a fatal blow to the naval power of France and Spain; and spoke
with confidence of obtaining a signal victory notwithstanding the
inferiority of the British Fleet, declaring to Captain HARDY that "he
would not be contented with capturing less than twenty sail of the
line." He afterwards pleasantly observed that "the 21st of October was
the happiest day in the year among his family," but did not assign the
reason of this.[5] His LORDSHIP had previously entertained a strong
presentiment that this would prove the auspicious day; and had several
times said to Captain HARDY and Doctor SCOTT (Chaplain of the ship, and
Foreign Secretary to the Commander in Chief, whose intimate friendship
he enjoyed), "The 21st of October will be our day."

The wind was now from the west; but the breezes were very light, with a
long heavy swell running. The signal being made for bearing down upon
the Enemy in two lines, the British Fleet set all possible sail. The lee
line, consisting of thirteen ships, was led by Admiral COLLINGWOOD in
the Royal Sovereign; and the weather line, composed of fourteen ships,
by the Commander in Chief in the Victory. HIS LORDSHIP had ascended the
poop, to have a better view of both lines of the British Fleet; and
while there, gave particular directions for taking down from his cabin
the different fixtures, and for being very careful in removing the
portrait of Lady HAMILTON: "Take care of my Guardian Angel," said he,
addressing himself to the persons to be employed in this business.
Immediately after this he quitted the poop, and retired to his cabin for
a few minutes: where he committed to paper the following short but
devout and fervent ejaculation, which must be universally admired as
truly characteristic of the Christian hero; and the codicil to his will,
which follows it:

"MAY the great GOD whom I worship grant to my Country, and for the
benefit of Europe in general, a great and glorious victory; and may no
misconduct in any one tarnish it, and may humanity after victory be the
predominant feature in the British Fleet! For myself individually, I
commit my life to Him that made me; and may His blessing alight on my
endeavours for serving my Country faithfully! To Him I resign myself,
and the just cause which is entrusted to me to defend. Amen, Amen,

       *       *       *       *       *

   "OCTOBER 21st, 1805. _Then in sight of the Combined Fleets of
   France and Spain, distant about ten miles_.

   "WHEREAS the eminent services of EMMA HAMILTON, widow of the Right
   Honourable Sir WILLIAM HAMILTON, have been of the very greatest
   service to my King and Country, to my knowledge, without ever
   receiving any reward from either our King or Country:

   "First, that she obtained the King of Spain's letter, in 1796, to
   his brother the King of Naples, acquainting him of his intention to
   declare war against England; from which letter the ministry sent
   out orders to the then Sir JOHN JERVIS, to strike a stroke if
   opportunity offered, against either the arsenals of Spain or her
   fleets:--that neither of these was done, is not the fault of Lady
   HAMILTON; the opportunity might have been offered:[6]

   "Secondly: the British Fleet under my command could never have
   returned the second time to Egypt, had not Lady HAMILTON'S
   influence with the Queen of Naples caused letters to be wrote to
   the Governor of Syracuse, that he was to encourage the Fleet's
   being supplied with every thing, should they put into any port in
   Sicily. We put into Syracuse, and received every supply; went to
   Egypt, and destroyed the French Fleet:

   "Could I have rewarded these services, I would not now call upon my
   Country; but as that has not been in my power, I leave EMMA Lady
   HAMILTON therefore a legacy to my King and Country, that they will
   give her an ample provision to maintain her rank in life.

   "I also leave to the beneficence of my Country my adopted Daughter,
   HORATIA NELSON THOMPSON; and I desire she will use in future the
   name of NELSON only.

   "These are the only favours I ask of my King and Country, at this
   moment when I am going to fight their battle. May GOD bless my King
   and Country, and all those I hold dear! My Relations it is needless
   to mention: they will of course be amply provided for.


    "Witness  {HENRY BLACKWOOD.
              {T.M. Hardy"

The prayer and codicil were both written with HIS LORDSHIP'S own hand,
within three hours before the commencement of the engagement.

As the Victory drew near to the Enemy, HIS LORDSHIP, accompanied by
Captain HARDY, and the Captains of the four frigates (Euryalus, Naiad,
Sirius, and Phoebe) who had been called on board by signal to receive
instructions, visited the different decks of the ship. He addressed the
crew at their several quarters, admonishing them against firing a single
shot without being sure of their object; and expressed himself to the
Officers highly satisfied with the arrangements made at their respective

It was now plainly perceived by all on board the Victory, that from the
very compact line which the Enemy had formed, they were determined to
make one great effort to recover in some measure their long-lost naval
reputation. They wore in succession about twenty minutes past seven
o'clock; and stood on the larboard tack, with their heads toward Cadiz.
They kept a good deal of sail set; steering about two points from the
wind, with topsails shivering. Their van was particularly closed,
having the Santissima Trinidada and the Bucentaur the ninth and tenth
ships, the latter the flag-ship of Admiral VILLENEUVE: but as the
Admirals of the Combined Fleets declined shewing their flags till the
heat of the battle was over, the former of these ships was only
distinguished from the rest by her having four decks; and Lord NELSON
ordered the Victory to be steered for her bow.

Several Officers of the ship now communicated to each other their
sentiments of anxiety for HIS LORDSHIP'S personal safety, to which every
other consideration seemed to give way. Indeed all were confident of
gaining a glorious victory, but the apprehensions for HIS LORDSHIP were
great and general; and the Surgeon made known to Doctor SCOTT his fears
that HIS LORDSHIP would be made the object of the Enemy's marksmen, and
his desire that he might be entreated by somebody to cover the stars on
his coat with a handkerchief. Doctor SCOTT and Mr. SCOTT (Public
Secretary) both observed, however, that such a request would have no
effect; as they knew HIS LORDSHIP'S sentiments on the subject so well,
that they were sure he would be highly displeased with whoever should
take the liberty of recommending any change in his dress on this
account: and when the Surgeon declared to Mr. SCOTT that he would avail
himself of the opportunity of making his sick-report for the day,[7] to
submit his sentiments to the Admiral, Mr. SCOTT replied, "Take care,
Doctor, what you are about; I would not be the man to mention such a
matter to him." The Surgeon notwithstanding persisted in his design, and
remained on deck to find a proper opportunity for addressing His
LORDSHIP; but this never occurred: as His LORDSHIP continued occupied
with the Captains of the frigates (to whom he was explaining his
intentions respecting the services they were to perform during the
battle) till a short time before the Enemy--opened their fire on the
Royal Sovereign, when Lord NELSON ordered all persons not stationed on
the quarter-deck or poop to repair to their proper quarters; and the
Surgeon, much concerned at this disappointment, retired from the deck
with several other Officers.[8]

The boats on the quarters of the ship, being found in the way of the
guns, were now lowered, down, and towed astern. Captain BLACKWOOD, of
the Euryalus, remained on board the Victory till a few minutes before
the Enemy began to fire upon her. He represented to His LORDSHIP, that
his flag-ship would be singled out and much pressed by the Enemy; and
suggested the propriety therefore of permitting one or two ships of his
line to go ahead of the Victory, and lead her into action, which might
be the means of drawing in some measure the Enemy's attention from her.
To this Lord NELSON assented, and at half past nine o'clock he ordered
the Temeraire and Leviathan by signal (the former of which ships, being
close to the Victory, was hailed by His LORDSHIP) to go ahead for that
purpose; but from the light breeze that prevailed they were unable,
notwithstanding their utmost efforts, to attain their intended stations.
Captain BLACKWOOD foresaw that this would be the case; and as the
Victory still continued to carry all her sail, he wished Captain HARDY
to acquaint His LORDSHIP, that unless her sail was in some degree
shortened, the two ships just mentioned could not succeed in getting
ahead previously to the Enemy's line being forced: this however Captain
HARDY declined doing, as he conceived His LORDSHIP'S ardour to get into
battle would on no account suffer such a measure.[9]

About half an hour before the Enemy opened their fire, the memorable
telegraphic signal was made, that "ENGLAND EXPECTS EVERY MAN WILL DO HIS
DUTY," which was spread and received throughout the Fleet with
enthusiasm. It is impossible adequately to describe by any language, the
lively emotions excited in the crew of the Victory when this propitious
communication was made known to them: confidence and resolution were
strongly pourtrayed in the countenance of all; and the sentiment
generally expressed to each other was, that they would prove to their
Country that day, how well British seamen _could_ "do their duty" when
led to battle by their revered Admiral. The signal was afterwards made
to "prepare to anchor after the close of the day;" and union-jacks were
hoisted at the fore-topmast and top-gallant-stays of each ship, to serve
as a distinction from the Enemy's, in conformity with orders previously
issued by the Commander in Chief. By HIS LORDSHIP'S directions also, the
different divisions of the Fleet hoisted the St. George's or white
ensign, being the colours of the Commander in Chief: this was done to
prevent confusion from occurring during the battle, through a variety of
national flags.

The Royal Sovereign now made the signal by telegraph, that "the Enemy's
Commander in Chief was in a frigate." This mistake arose from one of
their frigates making many signals. Lord NELSON ordered his line to be
steered about two points more to the northward than that of his Second
in Command, for the purpose of cutting off the retreat of the Enemy's
van to the port of Cadiz; which was the reason of the three leading
ships of Admiral COLLINGWOOD's line being engaged with the Enemy
previously to those of the Commander in Chief's line.

The Enemy began to fire on the Royal Sovereign at thirty minutes past
eleven o'clock; in ten minutes after which she got under the stern of
the St. Anna, and commenced a fire on her. Lieutenant PASCO, Signal
Officer of the Victory, was heard to say while looking through his
glass, "There is a top-gallant-yard gone." His LORDSHIP eagerly asked,
"Whose top-gallant-yard is that gone? Is it the Royal Sovereign's?" and
on being answered by Lieutenant PASCO in the negative, and that it was
the Enemy's, he smiled, and said: "COLLINGWOOD is doing well."[10]

At fifty minutes past eleven the Enemy opened their fire on the
Commander in Chief. They shewed great coolness in the commencement of
the battle; for as the Victory approached their line, their ships lying
immediately ahead of her and across her bows fired only one gun at a
time, to ascertain whether she was yet within their range. This was
frequently repeated by eight or nine of their ships, till at length a
shot passed through the Victory's main-top-gallant-sail; the hole in
which being discovered by the Enemy, they immediately opened their
broadsides, supporting an awful and tremendous fire. In a very short
time afterwards, Mr. SCOTT, Public Secretary to the Commander in Chief,
was killed by a cannon-shot while in conversation with Captain HARDY.
Lord NELSON being then near them, Captain ADAIR of the Marines, with the
assistance of a Seaman, endeavoured to remove the body from His
LORDSHIP'S sight: but he had already observed the fall of his Secretary;
and now said with anxiety, "Is that poor SCOTT that is gone?" and on
being answered in the affirmative by Captain ADAIR, he replied, "Poor

LORD NELSON and Captain HARDY walked the quarter-deck in conversation
for some time after this, while the Enemy kept up an incessant raking
fire. A double-headed shot struck one of the parties of Marines drawn up
on the poop, and killed eight of them; when His LORDSHIP, perceiving
this, ordered Captain ADAIR, to disperse his men round the ship, that
they might not suffer so much from being together. In a few minutes
afterwards a shot struck the fore-brace-bits on the quarter-deck, and
passed between Lord NELSON and Captain HARDY; a splinter from the bits
bruising Captain HARDY'S foot, and tearing the buckle from his shoe.
They both instantly stopped; and were observed by the Officers on deck
to survey each other with inquiring looks, each supposing the other to
be wounded. His LORDSHIP then smiled, and said: "This is too warm work,
HARDY, to last long;" and declared that "through all the battles he had
been in, he had never witnessed more cool courage than was displayed by
the Victory's crew on this occasion."

The Victory by this time, having approached close to the Enemy's van,
had suffered very severely without firing a single gun: she had lost
about twenty men killed, and had about thirty wounded. Her
mizen-topmast, and all her studding-sails and their booms, on both sides
were shot away; the Enemy's fire being chiefly directed at her rigging,
with a view to disable her before she could close with them.[11] At four
minutes past twelve o'clock she opened her fire, from both sides of her
decks, upon the Enemy; when Captain HARDY represented to His LORDSHIP,
that "it appeared impracticable to pass through the Enemy's line without
going on board some one of their ships." Lord NELSON answered, "I
cannot help it: it does not signify which we run on board of; go on
board which you please; take your choice."

At twenty minutes past twelve, the tiller-ropes being shot away, Mr.
ATKINSON, the Master, was ordered below to get the helm put to port;
which being done, the Victory was soon run on board the Redoutable of
seventy-four guns. On coming alongside and nearly on board of her, that
ship fired her broadside into the Victory, and immediately let down her
lower-deck ports; which, as has been since learnt, was done to prevent
her from being boarded through them by the Victory's crew. She never
fired a great gun after this single broadside. A few minutes after this,
the Temeraire fell likewise on board of the Redoutable, on the side
opposite to the Victory; having also an Enemy's ship, said to be La
Fougueux, on board of _her_ on her other side: so that the extraordinary
and unprecedented circumstance occurred here, of _four_ ships of the
line being _on board of each other_ in the heat of battle; forming as
compact a tier as if they had been moored together, their heads lying
all the same way. The Temeraire, as was just before mentioned, was
between the Redoutable and La Fougueux. The Redoutable commenced a heavy
fire of musketry from the tops, which was continued for a considerable
time with destructive effect to the Victory's crew: her great guns
however being silent, it was supposed at different times that she had
surrendered; and in consequence of this opinion, the Victory twice
ceased firing upon her, by orders transmitted from the quarter-deck.

At this period, scarcely a person in the Victory escaped unhurt who was
exposed to the Enemy's musketry; but there were frequent huzzas and
cheers heard from between the decks, in token of the surrender of
different of the Enemy's ships. An incessant fire was kept up from both
sides of the Victory; her larboard guns played upon the Santissima
Trinidada and the Bucentaur; and the starboard guns of the middle and
lower decks were depressed, and fired with a diminished charge of
powder, and three shot each, into the Redoutable. This mode of firing
was adopted by Lieutenants WILLIAMS, KING, YULE, and BROWN, to obviate
the danger of the Temeraire's suffering from the Victory's shot passing
through the Redoutable; which must have been the case if the usual
quantity of powder, and the common elevation, had been given to the
guns.--A circumstance occurred in this situation, which shewed in a most
striking manner the cool intrepidity of the Officers and men stationed
on the lower deck of the Victory. When the guns, on this deck were run
out, their muzzles came into contact with the Redoutable's side; and
consequently at every discharge there was reason to fear that the Enemy
would take fire, and both the Victory and the Temeraire be involved in
her flames. Here then was seen the astonishing spectacle of the fireman
of each gun standing ready with a bucket full of water which as soon as
his gun was discharged he dashed into the Enemy through the holes made
in her side by the shot.

It was from this ship (the Redoutable) that Lord NELSON received his
mortal wound. About fifteen minutes past one o'clock, which was in the
heat of the engagement, he was walking the middle of the quarter-deck
with Captain HARDY, and in the act of turning near the hatchway with his
face towards the stern of the Victory, when the fatal ball was fired
from the Enemy's mizen-top; which, from the situation of the two ships
(lying on board of each other), was brought just abaft, and rather
below, the Victory's main-yard, and of course not more than fifteen
yards distant from that part of the deck where His LORDSHIP stood. The
ball struck the epaulette on his left shoulder, and penetrated his
chest. He fell with his face on the deck. Captain HARDY, who was on his
right (the side furthest from the Enemy) and advanced some steps before
His LORDSHIP, on turning round, saw the Serjeant Major (SECKER) of
Marines with two Seamen raising him from the deck; where he had fallen
on the same spot on which, a little before, his Secretary had breathed
his last, with whose blood His LORDSHIP's clothes were much soiled.
Captain HARDY expressed a hope that he was not severely wounded; to
which the gallant Chief replied: "They have done for me at last,
HARDY."--"I hope not," answered Captain HARDY. "Yes," replied His
LORDSHIP; "my backbone is shot through."

CAPTAIN HARDY ordered the Seamen to carry the Admiral to the cockpit;
and now two incidents occurred strikingly characteristic of this great
man, and strongly marking that energy and reflection which in his heroic
mind rose superior even to the immediate consideration of his present
awful condition. While the men were carrying him down the ladder from
the middle deck, His LORDSHIP observed that the tiller-ropes were not
yet replaced; and desired one of the Midshipmen stationed there to go
upon the quarter-deck and remind Captain HARDY of that circumstance, and
request that new ones should be immediately rove. Having delivered this
order, he took his handkerchief from his pocket and covered his face
with it, that he might be conveyed to the cockpit at this crisis
unnoticed by the crew.

Several wounded Officers, and about forty men, were likewise earned to
the Surgeon for assistance just at this time; and some others had
breathed their last during their conveyance below. Among the latter were
Lieutenant WILLIAM ANDREW RAM, and Mr. WHIPPLE Captain's Clerk. The
Surgeon had just examined these two Officers, and found that they were
dead,[12] when his attention was arrested by several of the wounded
calling to him, "Mr. BEATTY, Lord NELSON is here: Mr. BEATTY, the
Admiral is wounded."--The Surgeon now, on looking round, saw the
handkerchief fall from His LORDSHIP's face; when the stars on his coat,
which also had been covered by it, appeared. Mr. BURKE the Purser, and
the Surgeon, ran immediately to the assistance of His LORDSHIP, and took
him from the arms of the Seamen who had carried him below. In conveying
him to one of the Midshipmen's births, they stumbled, but recovered
themselves without falling. Lord NELSON then inquired who were
supporting him; and when the Surgeon informed him, His LORDSHIP replied,
"Ah, Mr. BEATTY! you can do nothing for me. I have but a short time to
live: my back is shot through." The Surgeon said, "he hoped the wound
was not so dangerous as His LORDSHIP imagined, and that he might still
survive long to enjoy his glorious victory." The Reverend Doctor SCOTT,
who had been absent in another part of the cockpit administering
lemonade to the wounded, now came instantly to His LORDSHIP; and in the
anguish of grief wrung his hands, and said: "Alas, BEATTY, how prophetic
you were!" alluding to the apprehensions expressed by the Surgeon for
His LORDSHIP's safety previous to the battle.

His LORDSHIP was laid upon a bed, stripped of his clothes, and covered
with a sheet. While this was effecting, he said to Doctor SCOTT,
"Doctor, I told you so. Doctor, I am gone;" and after a short pause he
added in a low voice, "I have to leave Lady HAMILTON, and my adopted
daughter HORATIA, as a legacy to my Country." The Surgeon then examined
the wound, assuring His LORDSHIP that he would not put him to much pain
in endeavouring to discover the course of the ball; which he soon found
had penetrated deep into the chest, and had probably lodged in the
spine. This being explained to His LORDSHIP, he replied, "he was
confident his back was shot through." The back was then examined
externally, but without any injury being perceived; on which His
LORDSHIP was requested by the Surgeon to make him acquainted with all
his sensations. He replied, that "he felt a gush of blood every minute
within his breast: that he had no feeling in the lower part of his body:
and that his breathing was difficult, and attended with very severe pain
about that part of the spine where he was confident that the ball had
struck; for," said he, "I felt it break my back." These symptoms, but
more particularly the gush of blood which His LORDSHIP complained of,
together with the state of his pulse, indicated to the Surgeon the
hopeless situation of the case; but till after the victory was
ascertained and announced to His LORDSHIP, the true nature of his wound
was concealed by the Surgeon from all on board except only Captain
HARDY, Doctor SCOTT, Mr. BURKE, and Messrs. SMITH and WESTEMBURG the
Assistant Surgeons.

The Victory's crew cheered whenever they observed an Enemy's ship
surrender. On one of these occasions, Lord NELSON anxiously inquired
what was the cause of it; when Lieutenant PASCO, who lay wounded at some
distance from His LORDSHIP, raised himself up, and told him that another
ship had struck, which appeared to give him much satisfaction. He now
felt an ardent thirst; and frequently called for drink, and to be fanned
with paper, making use of these words: "Fan, fan," and "Drink, drink."
This he continued to repeat, when he wished for drink or the refreshment
of cool air, till a very few minutes before he expired. Lemonade, and
wine and water, were given to him occasionally. He evinced great
solicitude for the event of the battle, and fears for the safety of his
friend Captain HARDY. Doctor SCOTT and Mr. BURKE used every argument
they could suggest, to relieve his anxiety. Mr. BURKE told him "the
Enemy were decisively defeated, and that he hoped His LORDSHIP would
still live to be himself the bearer of the joyful tidings to his
country." He replied, "It is nonsense, Mr. BURKE, to suppose I can live:
my sufferings are great, but they will all be soon over." Doctor SCOTT
entreated His LORDSHIP "not to despair of living," and said "he trusted
that Divine Providence would restore him once more to his dear Country
and friends."--"Ah, Doctor!" replied His LORDSHIP, "it is all over; it
is all over."

Many messages were sent to Captain HARDY by the Surgeon, requesting his
attendance on His LORDSHIP; who became impatient to see him, and often
exclaimed: "Will no one bring HARDY to me? He must be killed: he is
surely destroyed," The Captain's Aide-de-camp, Mr. BULKLEY, now came
below, and stated that "circumstances respecting the Fleet required
Captain HARDY'S presence on deck, but that he would avail himself of
the first favourable moment to visit His LORDSHIP." On hearing him
deliver this message to the Surgeon, His LORDSHIP inquired who had
brought it. Mr. BURKE answered, "It is Mr. BULKLEY, my Lord."--"It is
his voice," replied His LORDSHIP: he then said to the young gentleman,
"Remember me to your father."

An hour and ten minutes however elapsed, from the time of His LORDSHIP's
being wounded, before Captain HARDY's first subsequent interview with
him; the particulars of which are nearly as follow. They shook hands
affectionately, and Lord NELSON said: "Well, HARDY, how goes the battle?
How goes the day with us?"--"Very well, my Lord," replied Captain HARDY:
"we have got twelve or fourteen of the Enemy's ships in our possession;
but five of their van have tacked, and shew an intention of bearing down
upon the Victory. I have therefore called two or three of our fresh
ships round us, and have no doubt of giving them a drubbing." "I hope,"
said HIS LORDSHIP, "none of _our_ ships have struck, HARDY."--"No, my
Lord," replied Captain HARDY; "there is no fear of that." Lord NELSON
then said: "I am a dead man, HARDY. I am going fast: it will be all over
with me soon. Come nearer to me. Pray let my dear Lady HAMILTON have my
hair, and all other things belonging to me." Mr. BURKE was about to
withdraw at the commencement of this conversation; but HIS LORDSHIP,
perceiving his intention, desired he would remain. Captain HARDY
observed, that "he hoped Mr. BEATTY could yet hold out some prospect of
life."--"Oh! no," answered HIS LORDSHIP; "it is impossible. My back is
shot through. BEATTY will tell you so." Captain HARDY then returned on
deck, and at parting shook hands again with his revered friend and

HIS LORDSHIP now requested the Surgeon, who had been previously absent a
short time attending Mr. RIVERS, to return to the wounded, and give his
assistance to such of them as he could be useful to; "for," said he,
"you can do nothing for me." The Surgeon assured him that the Assistant
Surgeons were doing every thing that could be effected for those
unfortunate men; but on HIS LORDSHIP's several times repeating his
injunctions to that purpose, he left him surrounded by Doctor SCOTT, Mr.
BURKE, and two of HIS LORDSHIP'S domestics. After the Surgeon had been
absent a few minutes attending Lieutenants PEAKE and REEVES of the
Marines, who were wounded, he was called by Doctor SCOTT to HIS
LORDSHIP, who said: "Ah, Mr. BEATTY! I have sent for you to say, what I
forgot to tell you before, that all power of motion and feeling below my
breast are gone; and _you_" continued he, "very well _know_ I can live
but a short time." The emphatic manner in which he pronounced these last
words, left no doubt in the Surgeon's mind, that he adverted to the case
of a man who had some months before received a mortal injury of the
spine on board the Victory, and had laboured under similar privations of
sense and muscular motion. The case had made a great impression on Lord
NELSON: he was anxious to know the cause of such symptoms, which was
accordingly explained to him; and he now appeared to apply the situation
and fate of this man to himself.[13] The Surgeon answered, "My Lord, you
told me so before:" but he now examined the extremities, to ascertain
the fact; when HIS LORDSHIP said, "Ah, BEATTY! I am too certain of it:
SCOTT and BURKE have tried it already. _You know_ I am gone." The
Surgeon replied: "My Lord, unhappily for our Country, nothing can be
done for you;" and having made this declaration he was so much affected,
that he turned round and withdrew a few steps to conceal his emotions.
HIS LORDSHIP said: "I know it. I feel something rising in my breast,"
putting his hand on his left side, "which tells me I am gone." Drink was
recommended liberally, and Doctor SCOTT and Mr. BURKE fanned him with
paper. He often exclaimed, "GOD be praised, I have done my duty;" and
upon the Surgeon's inquiring whether his pain was still very great, he
declared, "it continued so very severe, that he wished he was dead.
Yet," said he in a lower voice, "one would like to live a little longer,
too:" and after a pause of a few minutes, he added in the same tone,
"What would become of poor Lady HAMILTON, if she knew my situation!"

THE Surgeon, finding it impossible to render HIS LORDSHIP any further
assistance, left him, to attend Lieutenant BLIGH, Messrs. SMITH and
WESTPHALL Midshipmen, and some Seamen, recently wounded. Captain HARDY
now came to the cockpit to see HIS LORDSHIP a second time, which was
after an interval of about fifty minutes from the conclusion of his
first visit. Before he quitted the deck, he sent Lieutenant HILLS to
acquaint Admiral COLLINGWOOD with the lamentable circumstance of Lord
NELSON'S being wounded.[14]--Lord NELSON and Captain HARDY shook hands
again: and while the Captain retained HIS LORDSHIP'S hand, he
congratulated him even in the arms of Death on his brilliant victory;
"which," he said, "was complete; though he did not know how many of the
Enemy were captured, as it was impossible to perceive every ship
distinctly. He was certain however of fourteen or fifteen having
surrendered." HIS LORDSHIP answered, "That is well, but I bargained for
twenty:" and then emphatically exclaimed, "_Anchor_, HARDY, _anchor_!"
To this the Captain replied: "I suppose, my Lord, Admiral COLLINGWOOD
will now take upon himself the direction of affairs."--"Not while I
live, I hope, HARDY!" cried the dying Chief; and at that moment
endeavoured ineffectually to raise himself from the bed. "No," added he;
"do _you_ anchor, HARDY." Captain HARDY then said: "Shall _we_ make the
signal, Sir?"--"Yes," answered HIS LORDSHIP; "for if I live, I'll
anchor."[15] The energetic manner in which he uttered these his last
orders to Captain HARDY, accompanied with his efforts to raise himself,
evinced his determination never to resign the command while he retained
the exercise of his transcendant faculties, and that he expected Captain
HARDY still to carry into effect the suggestions of his exalted mind; a
sense of his duty overcoming the pains of death. He then told Captain
HARDY, "he felt that in a few minutes he should be no more;" adding in a
low tone, "Don't throw me overboard, HARDY." The Captain answered: "Oh!
no, certainly not."--"Then," replied HIS LORDSHIP, "you know what to
do:[16] and," continued he, "take care of my dear Lady HAMILTON, HARDY;
take care of poor Lady HAMILTON. Kiss me, HARDY." The Captain now knelt
down, and kissed his cheek; when HIS LORDSHIP said, "Now I am satisfied.
Thank GOD, I have done my duty." Captain HARDY stood for a minute or two
in silent contemplation: he then knelt down again, and kissed HIS
LORDSHIP'S forehead. HIS LORDSHIP said: "Who is that?" The Captain
answered: "It is HARDY;" to which HIS LORDSHIP replied, "GOD bless you,
HARDY!" After this affecting scene Captain HARDY withdrew, and returned
to the quarter-deck, having spent about eight minutes in this his last
interview with his dying friend.

Lord NELSON now desired Mr. CHEVALIER, his Steward, to turn him upon his
right side; which being effected, HIS LORDSHIP said: "I wish I had not
left the deck, for I shall soon be gone." He afterwards became very low;
his breathing was oppressed, and his voice faint. He said to Doctor
SCOTT, "Doctor, I have _not_ been a _great_ sinner;" and after a short
pause, "_Remember_, that I leave Lady HAMILTON and my Daughter HORATIA
as a legacy to my Country: and," added he, "never forget HORATIA." His
thirst now increased; and he called for "Drink, drink," "Fan, fan," and
"Rub, rub:" addressing himself in the last case to Doctor SCOTT, who
had been rubbing HIS LORDSHIP'S breast with his hand, from which he
found some relief. These words he spoke in a very rapid manner, which
rendered his articulation difficult: but he every now and then, with
evident increase of pain, made a greater effort with his vocal powers,
and pronounced distinctly these last words: "Thank GOD, I have done my
duty;" and this great sentiment he continued to repeat as long as he was
able to give it utterance.

HIS LORDSHIP became speechless in about fifteen minutes after Captain
HARDY left him. Doctor SCOTT and Mr. BURKE, who had all along sustained
the bed under his shoulders (which raised him in nearly a semi-recumbent
posture, the only one that was supportable to him), forbore to disturb
him by speaking to him; and when he had remained speechless about five
minutes, HIS LORDSHIP'S Steward went to the Surgeon, who had been a
short time occupied with the wounded in another part of the cockpit,
and stated his apprehensions that HIS LORDSHIP was dying. The Surgeon
immediately repaired to him, and found him on the verge of dissolution.
He knelt down by his side, and took up his hand; which was cold, and the
pulse gone from the wrist. On the Surgeon's feeling his forehead, which
was likewise cold, HIS LORDSHIP opened his eyes, looked up, and shut
them again. The Surgeon again left him, and returned to the wounded who
required his assistance; but was not absent five minutes before the
Steward announced to him that "he believed HIS LORDSHIP had expired."
The Surgeon returned, and found that the report was but too well
founded: HIS LORDSHIP had breathed his last, at thirty minutes past four
o'clock; at which period Doctor SCOTT was in the act of rubbing HIS
LORDSHIP'S breast, and Mr. BURKE supporting the bed under his

Thus died this matchless Hero, after performing, in a short but
brilliant and well-filled life, a series of naval exploits unexampled in
any age of the world. None of the sons of Fame ever possessed greater
zeal to promote the honour and interest of his King and Country; none
ever served them with more devotedness and glory, or with more
successful and important results. His character will for ever cast a
lustre over the annals of this nation, to whose enemies his very name
was a terror. In the battle off CAPE ST. VINCENT, though then in the
subordinate station of a Captain, his unprecedented personal prowess
will long be recorded with admiration among his profession. The shores
of ABOUKIR and COPENHAGEN subsequently witnessed those stupendous
achievements which struck the whole civilized world with astonishment.
Still these were only preludes to the BATTLE OF TRAFALGAR: in which he
shone with a majesty of dignity as far surpassing even his own former
renown, as that renown had already exceeded every thing else to be found
in the pages of naval history; the transcendantly brightest star in a
galaxy of heroes. His splendid example will operate as an everlasting
impulse to the enterprising genius of the British Navy.[18]

From the time of HIS LORDSHIP'S being wounded till his death, a period
of about two hours and forty-five minutes elapsed; but a knowledge of
the decisive victory which was gained, he acquired of Captain HARDY
within the first hour-and-a-quarter of this period. A partial cannonade,
however, was still maintained, in consequence of the Enemy's running
ships passing the British at different points; and the last distant
guns which were fired at their van ships that were making off, were
heard a minute or two before His LORDSHIP expired.

A steady and continued fire was kept up b; the Victory's starboard guns
on the Redoutable, for about fifteen minutes after Lord NELSON was
wounded; in which short period Captain ADAIR and about eighteen Seamen
and Marines were killed, and Lieutenant BLIGH, Mr. PALMER Midshipman,
and twenty Seamen and Marines, wounded, by the Enemy's musketry alone.
The Redoutable had been on fire twice, in her fore-chains and on her
forecastle: she had likewise succeeded in throwing a few hand-grenades
into the Victory, which set fire to some ropes and canvas on the booms.
The cry of "Fire!" was now circulated throughout the ship, and even
reached the cockpit, without producing the degree of sensation which
might be expected on such an awful occasion: the crew soon extinguished
the fire on the booms, and then immediately turned their attention to
that on board the Enemy; which they likewise put out by throwing buckets
of water from the gangway into the Enemy's chains and forecastle, thus
furnishing another admirable instance of deliberate intrepidity. At
thirty minutes past one o'clock, the Redoutable's musketry having
ceased, and her colours being struck, the Victory's men endeavoured to
get on board her: but this was found impracticable; for though the two
ships were still in contact, yet the top-sides or upper-works of both
fell in so much on their upper decks, that there was a great space
(perhaps fourteen feet or more) between their gangways; and the Enemy's
ports being down, she could not be boarded from the Victory's lower nor
middle deck. Several Seamen volunteered their services to Lieutenant
QUILLIAM, to jump overboard, swim under the Redoutable's bows, and
endeavour to get up there; but Captain HARDY refused to permit this. The
prize however, and the Victory, fell off from each other; and their
separation was believed to be the effect of the concussion produced by
the Victory's fire, assisted by the helm of the latter being put to

MESSRS. OGILVIE and COLLINGWOOD, Midshipmen of the Victory, were sent in
a small boat to take charge of the prize, which they effected.[19] After
this, the ships of the Enemy's van that had shewn a disposition to
attack the Victory, passed to windward; and fired their broadsides not
only into her and the Temeraire, but also into the French and Spanish
captured ships indiscriminately: and they were seen to back or shiver
their topsails for the purpose of doing this with more precision.[20]
The two Midshipmen of the Victory had just boarded the Redoutable, and
got their men out of the boat, when a shot from the Enemy's van ships
that were making off cut the boat adrift. About ten minutes after taking
possession of her, a Midshipman came to her from the Temeraire; and had
hardly ascended the poop, when a shot from one of those ships took off
his leg. The French Officers, seeing the firing continued on the prize
by their own countrymen, entreated the English Midshipmen to quit the
deck, and accompany them below. The unfortunate Midshipman of the
Temeraire was carried to the French Surgeon, who was ordered to give his
immediate attendance to him in preference to his own wounded: his leg
was amputated, but he died the same night. The Redoutable suffered so
much from shot received between wind and water, that she sunk while in
tow of the Swiftsure on the following evening, when the gale came on;
and out of a crew originally consisting of more than eight hundred men,
only about a hundred and thirty were saved: but she had lost above three
hundred in the battle.[21]

It is by no means certain, though highly probable, that Lord NELSON was
particularly aimed at by the Enemy. There were only two Frenchmen left
alive in the mizen-top of the Redoutable at the time of His LORDSHIP'S
being wounded, and by the hands of one of these he fell. These men
continued firing at Captains HARDY and ADAIR, Lieutenant ROTELY of the
Marines, and some of the Midshipman on the Victory's poop, for some
time afterwards. At length one of them was killed by a musket-ball: and
on the other's then attempting to make his escape from the top down the
rigging, Mr. POLLARD (Midshipman) fired his musket at him, and shot him
in the back; when he fell dead from the shrouds, on the Redoutable's

The Writer of this will not attempt to depict the heart-rending sorrow,
and melancholy gloom, which pervaded the breast and the countenance of
every individual on board the Victory when His LORDSHIP'S death became
generally known. The anguish felt by all for such a loss, rendered
doubly heavy to _them_, is more easy to be conceived than described: by
his lamented fall they were at once deprived of their adored commander,
and their friend and patron.

The battle was fought in soundings about sixteen miles to the westward
of Cape Trafalgar; and if fortunately there had been more wind in the
beginning of the action, it is very probable that Lord NELSON would
still have been saved to his Country, and that every ship of the line
composing the Combined Fleets would have been either captured or
destroyed: for had the Victory been going fast through the water, she
must have dismasted the Redoutable, and would of course have passed on
to attack another ship; consequently His LORDSHIP would not have been so
long nor so much exposed to the Enemy's musketry. From the same
circumstance of there being but little wind, several of the Enemy's
ships made off before the rear and bad-sailing ships of the British
lines could come up to secure them.

THE Victory had no musketry in her tops: as His LORDSHIP had a strong
aversion to small arms being placed there, from the danger of their
setting fire to the sails; which was exemplified by the destruction of
the French ship L'Achille in this battle. It is a species of warfare by
which individuals may suffer, and now and then a Commander be picked
off: but it never can decide the fate of a general engagement; and a
circumstance in many respects similar to that of the Victory's running
on board of the Redoutable, may not occur again in the course of
centuries. The loss sustained by the Victory amounted to fifty-five
killed, and a hundred and two wounded;[22] and it is highly honourable
to the discipline and established regulations of the ship, that not one
casualty from accident occurred on board during the engagement.

On the day after the battle, as soon as circumstances permitted the
Surgeon to devote a portion of his attention to the care of Lord
NELSON'S honoured Remains, measures were adopted to preserve them as
effectually as the means then on board the Victory allowed. On the
Surgeon's examining the nature of the wound, and the course of the
ball, a quantity of blood was evacuated from the left side of the
breast: none had escaped before. The ball was traced by a probe to the
spine, but its lodgment could not at that time be discovered. There was
no lead on board to make a coffin: a cask called a leaguer, which is of
the largest size on shipboard, was therefore chosen for the reception of
the Body; which, after the hair had been cut off, was stripped of the
clothes except the shirt, and put into it, and the Cask was then filled
with brandy.[23]

In the evening after this melancholy task was accomplished, the gale
came on with violence from the south-west, and continued that night and
the succeeding day without any abatement. During this boisterous
weather, Lord NELSON'S Body remained under the charge of a sentinel on
the middle deck. The cask was placed on its end, having a closed
aperture at its top and another below; the object of which was, that as
a frequent renewal of the spirit was thought necessary, the old could
thus be drawn off below and a fresh quantity introduced above, without
moving the cask, or occasioning the least agitation of the Body. On the
24th there was a disengagement of air from the Body to such a degree,
that the sentinel became alarmed on seeing the head of the cask raised:
he therefore applied to the Officers, who were under the necessity of
having the cask spiled to give the air a discharge. After this, no
considerable collection of air took place. The spirit was drawn off
once, and the cask filled again, before the arrival of the Victory at
Gibraltar (on the 28th of October): where spirit of wine was procured;
and the cask, shewing a deficit produced by the Body's absorbing a
considerable quantity of the brandy, was then filled up with it.

On the 29th the Victory's Seamen and Marines dangerously wounded in the
action, were sent on shore to the naval hospital at Gibraltar. The
interval between this day and the 2nd of November was employed in
repairing the damage sustained by the ship, erecting jury-masts, fitting
her rigging, and completing her in every respect for the voyage to
England. On the 2nd of November, preparations were made on board to
receive the wounded from the hospital, who had unanimously entreated
Captain HARDY not to leave them behind: but their embarkation could not
be effected this day; and the Victory being ordered to quit the
anchorage in Gibraltar Bay, to make room for the disabled ships and
prizes daily arriving, she sailed in the evening for Tetuan Bay, for
the purpose of taking on board a supply of fresh water, and awaiting
there a favourable wind to pass the Straits. During the night however,
and before the Victory gained the coast of Barbary, the wind, which had
blown for several days from the west, shifted to the eastward, and a
fresh breeze sprung up; she therefore changed her course, and stood back
again for Gibraltar, where she arrived early in the morning. She then
lay-to in the bay without anchoring, and the boats were immediately sent
on shore for the wounded; who were all brought off by noon, except five
of the worst cases who could not be removed.[24] In the afternoon the
Victory and Belleisle sailed from Gibraltar Bay, and passed through the
Straits during the night of the 4th. The next day at noon they joined
the squadron under the command of Admiral COLLINGWOOD, then cruising off
Cadiz; from which they parted company the same evening, and pursued
their course together for England.

When the Victory had proceeded some weeks on her voyage, adverse winds
and tempestuous weather having prolonged the passage much beyond the
period that is generally expected, it was thought proper to draw off the
spirit from the cask containing Lord NELSON'S Body, and renew it; and
this was done twice. On these occasions brandy was used in the
proportion of two-thirds to one of spirit of wine.

At length the Victory arrived at Spithead, after a tedious passage of
nearly five weeks from Gibraltar: and as no instructions respecting His
LORDSHIP'S Remains were received at Portsmouth while the ship remained
there, and orders being transmitted to Captain HARDY for her to proceed
to the Nore, the Surgeon represented to him the necessity of examining
the state of the Body; common report giving reason to believe that it
was intended to lie in state at Greenwich Hospital, and to be literally
exposed to the public. On the 11th of December therefore, the day on
which the Victory sailed from Spithead for the Nore, Lord NELSON'S Body
was taken from the cask in which it had been kept since the day after
his death. On inspecting it externally, it exhibited a state of perfect
preservation, without being in the smallest degree offensive. There
were, however, some appearances that induced the Surgeon to examine the
condition of the bowels; which were found to be much decayed, and likely
in a short time to communicate the process of putrefaction to the rest
of the Body: the parts already injured were therefore removed. It was at
this time that the fatal ball was discovered: it had passed through the
spine, and lodged in the muscles of the back, towards the right side,
and a little below the shoulder-blade. A very considerable portion of
the gold-lace, pad, and lining of the epaulette, with a piece of the
coat, was found attached to the ball: the lace of the epaulette was as
firmly so, as if it had been inserted into the metal while in a state of

The following is the professional Report on HIS LORDSHIP'S wound and
death, made by the Surgeon on this occasion;

    "_His Majesty's Ship Victory, at Sea,
    11th December, 1805_.

"About the middle of the action with the Combined Fleets on the 21st of
October last, the late illustrious Commander in Chief Lord NELSON was
mortally wounded in the left breast by a musket-ball, supposed to be
fired from the mizen-top of La Redoutable French ship of the line,
which the Victory fell on board of early in the battle. HIS LORDSHIP was
in the act of turning on the quarter-deck with his face towards the
Enemy, when he received his wound: he instantly fell; and was carried to
the cockpit, where he lived about two hours.[26] On being brought below,
he complained of acute pain about the sixth or seventh dorsal vertebra,
and of privation of sense and motion of the body and inferior
extremities. His respiration was short and difficult; pulse weak, small,
and irregular. He frequently declared his back was shot through, that he
felt every instant a gush of blood within his breast, and that he had
sensations which indicated to him the approach of death. In the course
of an hour his pulse became indistinct, and was gradually lost in the
arm. His extremities and forehead became soon afterwards cold. He
retained his wonted energy of mind, and exercise of his faculties, till
the last moment of his existence; and when the victory as signal as
decisive was announced to him, he expressed his pious acknowledgments,
and heart-felt satisfaction at the glorious event, in the most emphatic
language. He then delivered his last orders with his usual precision,
and in a few minutes afterwards expired without a struggle.

"_Course and site of the Ball, as ascertained since death._

"The ball struck the fore part of HIS LORDSHIP'S epaulette; and entered
the left shoulder immediately before the processus acromion scapulae,
which it slightly fractured. It then descended obliquely into the
thorax, fracturing the second and third ribs: and after penetrating the
left lobe of the lungs, and dividing in its passage a large branch of
the pulmonary artery, it entered the left side of the spine between the
sixth and seventh dorsal vertebræ, fractured the left transverse process
of the sixth dorsal vertebra, wounded the medulla spinalis, and
fracturing the right transverse process of the seventh vertebra, made
its way from the right side of the spine, directing its course through
the muscles of the back; and lodged therein, about two inches below the
inferior angle of the right scapula. On removing the ball, a portion of
the gold-lace and pad of the epaulette, together with a small piece of
HIS LORDSHIP'S coat, was found firmly attached to it.[27]


The Remains were wrapped in cotton vestments, and rolled from head to
foot with bandages of the same material, in the ancient mode of
embalming. The Body was then put into a leaden coffin, filled with
brandy holding in solution camphor and myrrh.[28] This coffin was
inclosed in a wooden one, and placed in the after-part of HIS LORDSHIP'S
cabin; where it remained till the 21st of December, when an order was
received from the Admiralty for the removal of the Body. The coffin that
had been made from the mainmast of the French Commander's ship L'Orient,
and presented to HIS LORDSHIP by his friend Captain HOLLOWELL, after
the battle of the Nile, being then received on board, the leaden coffin
was opened, and the Body taken out; when it was found still in most
excellent condition, and completely plastic. The features were somewhat
tumid, from absorption of the spirit; but on using friction with a
napkin, they resumed in a great degree their natural character. All the
Officers of the ship, and several of HIS LORDSHIP'S friends, as well as
some of Captain HARDY'S, who had come on board the Victory that day from
the shore, were present at the time of the Body's being removed from the
leaden coffin; and witnessed its undecayed state after a lapse of two
months since death, which excited the surprise of all who beheld it.
This was the last time the mortal part of the lamented Hero was seen by
human eyes; as the Body, after being dressed in a shirt, stockings,
uniform small-clothes and waistcoat, neckcloth, and night-cap, was then
placed in the shell made from L'Orient's mast, and covered with the
shrouding. This was inclosed in a leaden coffin; which was soldered up
immediately, and put into another wooden shell: in which manner it was
sent out of the Victory into Commissioner GREY'S yacht, which was hauled
alongside for that purpose. In this vessel the revered Remains were
conveyed to Greenwich Hospital; attended by the Reverend Doctor SCOTT,
and Messrs. TYSON and WHITBY.

LORD NELSON had often talked with Captain HARDY on the subject of his
being killed in battle, which appeared indeed to be a favourite topic of
conversation with him. He was always prepared to lay down his life in
the service of his Country; and whenever it should please Providence to
remove him from this world, it was the most ambitious wish of his soul
to die in the fight, and in the very hour of a great and signal victory.
In this he was gratified: his end was glorious; and he died as he had
lived, one of the greatest among men.

The following Prayer, found in HIS LORDSHIP'S memorandum-book,--and
written with his own hand on the night of his leaving Merton, at one of
the places where he changed horses (supposed to be Guildford) on his way
to join the Victory at Portsmouth,--is highly illustrative of those
sentiments of combined piety and patriotic heroism with which he was

_"Friday Night, 13th September_.

"Friday night, at half past ten, drove from dear, dear Merton, where I
left all which I hold dear in this world, to go to serve my King and
Country. May the great GOD whom I adore, enable me to fulfil the
expectations of my Country! and if it is His good pleasure that I should
return, my thanks will never cease being offered up to the throne of His
mercy. But if it is His good providence to cut short my days upon
earth, I bow with the greatest submission; relying that He will protect
those, so dear to me, that I may leave behind. His will be done!

"AMEN, amen, amen."

HIS LORDSHIP had on several occasions told Captain HARDY, that if he
should fall in battle in a foreign climate, he wished his body to be
conveyed to England; and that if his Country should think proper to
inter him at the public expence, he wished to be buried in Saint Paul's,
as well as that his monument should be erected there. He explained his
reasons for preferring Saint Paul's to Westminster Abbey, which were
rather curious: he said that he remembered hearing it stated as an old
tradition when he was a boy, that Westminster Abbey was built on a spot
where once existed a deep morass; and he thought it likely that the
lapse of time would reduce the ground on which it now stands to its
primitive state of a swamp, without leaving a trace of the Abbey. He
added, that his actual observations confirmed the probability of this
event. He also repeated to Captain HARDY several times during the last
two years of his life: "Should I be killed, HARDY, and my Country not
bury me, you know what to do with me;" meaning that his body was in that
case to be laid by the side of his Father's, in his native village of
Burnham Thorpe in Norfolk: and this, as has been before mentioned (in
page 48), he adverted to in his last moments.

An opinion has been very generally entertained, that Lord NELSON'S state
of health, and supposed infirmities arising from his former wounds and
hard services, precluded the probability of his long surviving the
battle of Trafalgar, had he fortunately escaped the Enemy's shot: but
the Writer of this can assert that HIS LORDSHIP'S health was uniformly
good, with the exception of some slight attacks of indisposition arising
from accidental causes; and which never continued above two or three
days, nor confined him in any degree with respect to either exercise or
regimen:[29] and during the last twelve months of his life, he
Complained only three times in this way. It is true, that HIS LORDSHIP,
about the meridian of life, had been subject to frequent fits of the
gout: which disease however, as well as his constitutional tendency to
it, he totally overcame by abstaining for the space of nearly two years
from animal food, and wine and all other fermented drink; confining his
diet to vegetables, and commonly milk and water. And it is also a fact,
that early in life, when he first went to sea, he left off the use of
salt, which he then believed to be the sole cause of scurvy, and never
took it afterwards with his food.

HIS LORDSHIP used a great deal of exercise, generally walking on deck
six or seven hours in the day. He always rose early, for the most part
shortly after day-break. He breakfasted in summer about six, and at
seven in winter: and if not occupied in reading or writing dispatches,
or examining into the details of the Fleet, he walked on the
quarter-deck the greater part of the forenoon; going down to his cabin
occasionally to commit to paper such incidents or reflections as
occurred to him during that time, and as might be hereafter useful to
the service of his country. He dined generally about half past two
o'clock. At his table there were seldom less than eight or nine persons,
consisting of the different Officers of the ship: and when the weather
and the service permitted, he very often had several of the Admirals and
Captains in the Fleet to dine with him; who were mostly invited by
signal, the rotation of seniority being commonly observed by HIS
LORDSHIP in these invitations. At dinner he was alike affable and
attentive to every one: he ate very sparingly himself; the liver and
wing of a fowl, and a small plate of macaroni, in general composing his
meal, during which he occasionally took a glass of Champagne. He never
exceeded four glasses of wine after dinner, and seldom drank three; and
even these were diluted with either Bristol or common water.

Few men subject to the vicissitudes of a naval life, equalled HIS
LORDSHIP in an habitual systematic mode of living. He possessed such a
wonderful activity of mind, as even prevented him from taking ordinary
repose, seldom enjoying two hours of uninterrupted sleep; and on several
occasions he did not quit the deck during the whole night. At these
times he took no pains to protect himself from the effects of wet, or
the night-air; wearing only a thin great coat: and he has frequently,
after having his clothes wet through with rain, refused to have them
changed, saying that the leather waistcoat which he wore over his
flannel one would secure him from complaint. He seldom wore boots, and
was consequently very liable to have his feet wet. When this occurred he
has often been known to go down to his cabin, throw off his shoes, and
walk on the carpet in his stockings for the purpose of drying the feet
of them. He chose rather to adopt this uncomfortable expedient, than to
give his servants the trouble of assisting him to put on fresh
stockings; which, from his having only one hand, he could not himself
conveniently effect.

From these circumstances it may be inferred, that though Lord NELSON'S
constitution was not of that kind which is generally denominated strong,
yet it was not very susceptible of complaint from the common occasional
causes of disease necessarily attending a naval life. The only bodily
pain which HIS LORDSHIP felt in consequence of his many wounds, was a
slight rheumatic affection of the stump of his amputated arm on any
sudden variation in the state of the weather; which is generally
experienced by those who have the misfortune to lose a limb after the
middle age. HIS LORDSHIP usually predicted an alteration in the weather
with as much certainty from feeling transient pains in this stump, as he
could by his marine barometer; from the indications of which latter he
kept a diary of the atmospheric changes, which was written with his own

HIS LORDSHIP had lost his right eye by a contusion which he received at
the siege of Calvi, in the island of Corsica. The vision of the other
was likewise considerably impaired: he always therefore wore a green
shade over his forehead, to defend this eye from the effect of strong
light; but as he was in the habit of looking much through a glass while
on deck, there is little doubt, that had he lived a few years longer,
and continued at sea, he would have lost his sight totally.

The Surgeon had, on the occasion of opening HIS LORDSHIP'S Body, an
opportunity of acquiring an accurate knowledge of the sound and healthy
state of the thoracic and abdominal viscera, none of which appeared to
have ever been the seat of inflammation or disease. There were no morbid
indications to be seen; other than those unavoidably attending the human
body six weeks after death, even under circumstances more favourable to
its preservation. The heart was small, and dense in its substance; its
valves, pericardium, and the large vessels, were sound, and firm in
their structure. The lungs were sound, and free from adhesions. The
liver was very small, in its colour natural, firm in its texture, and
every way free from the smallest appearance of disorganization. The
stomach, as well as the spleen and other abdominal contents, was alike
free from the traces of disease. Indeed all the vital parts were so
perfectly healthy in their appearance, and so small, that they resembled
more those of a youth, than of a man who had attained his forty-seventh
year; which state of the body, associated with habits of life favourable
to health, gives every reason to believe that HIS LORDSHIP might have
lived to a great age.

The immediate cause of HIS LORDSHIP'S death was a wound of the left
pulmonary artery, which poured out its blood into the cavity of the
chest. The quantity of blood thus effused did not appear to be very
great: but as the hemorrhage was from a vessel so near the heart, and
the blood was consequently lost in a very short time, it produced death
sooner than would have been effected by a larger quantity of blood lost
from an artery in a more remote part of the body. The injury done to the
spine must of itself have proved mortal, but HIS LORDSHIP might perhaps
have survived this alone for two or three days; though his existence
protracted even for that short period would have been miserable to
himself, and highly distressing to the feelings of all around him.



[1] By this ship His LORDSHIP received some newspapers from England, one
of which contained a paragraph stating that General MACK was about to be
appointed to the command of the Austrian armies in Germany. On reading
this, His LORDSHIP made the following observation: "I know General MACK
too well. He sold the King of Naples; and if he is now entrusted with an
important command, he will certainly betray the Austrian monarchy."

[2] CAPTAIN HARDY left England in a bad state of health, with which he had
been afflicted during the last twelve months; but was now in a progressive
state of amendment. Lord NELSON asked the Surgeon this day, "how long he
thought it might be before Captain HARDY'S perfect recovery;" and on the
Surgeon's answering that "he hoped not more than a fortnight,"--"Ah!"
replied His LORDSHIP, "before a fortnight the Enemy will be at sea, the
business will be done, and we shall be looking out for England."

[3] These Instructions will be found at the end of the Narrative.

[4] HIS LORDSHIP did not wear his sword in the Battle of Trafalgar: it had
been taken from the place where it hung up in his cabin, and was laid ready
on his table; but it is supposed he forgot to call for it. This was the
only action in which he ever appeared without a sword.

[5] It has been since recollected that on the 21st of October 1757, His
LORDSHIP'S maternal uncle, Captain SUCKLING, in the Dreadnought, in company
with two other line of battle ships, attacked and beat off a French
squadron of four sail of the line and three frigates, off Cape François.
The French Commodore was towed into Cape François; and the English ships,
being too much disabled to follow up their success, bore away to Jamaica to

[6] This phrase has been subjected to misconstruction; to the Writer of
these pages, however, both the purport and expression of it seem very
clear, thus; "_might have been_ offered" (though it _was not_).

[7] The Victory's sick-report for this day numbered only ten convalescents,
who all attended their respective quarters during the battle; and the whole
Fleet was in a high state of health. Indeed the excellent health enjoyed by
the crew of the Victory from December 1804 up to this period, is perhaps
unprecedented: and is attributable solely to Captain HARDY'S attention to
their subordination, temperance, warm clothing, and cleanliness; together
with the means daily adopted to obviate the effects of moisture, and to
accomplish the thorough ventilation of every part of the ship.

The Victory arrived at Spithead from the memorable and arduous chace of the
Enemies' Fleets to Egypt and the West Indies, in August 1805: and
notwithstanding the operation of the unfavourable circumstances of rapid
change of climate, and the privation of refreshments experienced in that
chace, as well as frequent increase of numbers (as in the West Indies there
were at one time embarked in her above 990 souls), there was not now a
single hospital-patient on board, nor did any occur during the several
weeks of her stay in England; with which Lord NELSON expressed himself
highly pleased when he joined the ship again, on the 14th of September, at
St. Helen's. The Victory's casualties from the 29th of December 1804 to the
20th of October following, were only five fatal cases (one of these by
accidental injury), and two patients sent to a naval hospital.

[8] It has been reported, but erroneously, that His LORDSHIP was actually
requested by his Officers to change his dress, or to cover his stars.

[9] His LORDSHIP just at this time found fault with the Officer commanding
on the forecastle, because the lee (or starboard) lower studding-sail had
not been set sooner; a circumstance which, though trivial in itself, shews
how well Captain HARDY knew His LORDSHIP'S sentiments.

[10] His LORDSHIP in a few minutes after this called Lieutenant PASCO, Mr.
OGILVIE, and some other Officers, near him, and desired them to set their
watches by the time of that which His LORDSHIP wore.

[11] The Enemy's fire continued to be pointed so high throughout the
engagement, that the Victory did not lose a man on her lower deck; and had
only two wounded on that deck, and these by musket-bulls.

[12] The reader may judge of the Surgeon's feelings at this momentous
period, when informed that that excellent young Officer Mr. RAM was one of
his dearest friends.

[13] The instance here alluded to occurred in the month of July, in the
Victory's return to Europe from the West Indies; and the man survived the
injury thirteen days. HIS LORDSHIP, during the whole of that time,
manifested much anxiety at the protracted sufferings of an individual whose
dissolution was certain, and was expected every hour.

[14] CAPTAIN HARDY deemed it his duty to give this information to Admiral
COLLINGWOOD as soon as the fate of the day was decided; but thinking that
HIS LORDSHIP might feel some repugnance to this communication, he left
directions for Lieutenant HILLS to be detained on deck at his return, till
he himself (Captain HARDY) should come up from the cockpit. Lieutenant
HILLS was dispatched on this mission from the Victory, at the very time
when the Enemy's van ships that had tacked were passing her to windward and
firing at her.

[15] Meaning that in case of HIS LORDSHIP'S surviving till all resistance
on the part of the Enemy had ceased, Captain HARDY was then to anchor the
British Fleet and the prizes, if it should be found practicable.

[16] Alluding to some wishes previously expressed by HIS LORDSHIP to
Captain HARDY respecting the place of his interment.

[17] IT must occur to the reader, that from the nature of the scene passing
in the cockpit, and the noise of the guns, the whole of His LORDSHIP'S
expressions could not be borne in mind, nor even distinctly heard, by the
different persons attending him. The most interesting parts are here

[18] Immediately after HIS LORDSHIP expired, Captain HARDY went on board
the Royal Sovereign, to communicate the melancholy event, and the nature of
HIS LORDSHIP'S last orders, to Admiral COLLINGWOOD.

[19] The Redoutable lay alongside and still foul of the Temeraire for some
time after this, and till several Seamen were sent from the latter to the
assistance of the two Officers and men belonging to the Victory who had
before taken possession of the prize.

[20] These were the ships commanded by Admiral DUMANNOIR, and afterwards
captured by the squadron under the command of Sir RICHARD STRACHAN. They
were nearly half an hour in passing to windward, during the whole of which
time they continued firing on the British ships.

[21] About twenty of the Redoutable's guns were dismounted in the action.
Those on that side of her lower deck opposed to the Victory, were all
dismounted except five or six.

[22] Many of those who were slightly wounded did not apply for assistance
till after the public return of killed and wounded had been transmitted to
Admiral COLLINGWOOD, which therefore reports a smaller number than here

[23] Brandy was recommended by the Surgeon in preference to rum, of which
spirit also there was plenty on board. This circumstance is here noticed,
because a very general but erroneous opinion was found to prevail on the
Victory's arrival in England, that rum preserves the dead body from decay
much longer and more perfectly than any other spirit, and ought therefore
to have been used: but the fact is quite the reverse, for there are several
kinds of spirit much better for that purpose than rum; and as their
appropriateness in this respect arises from their degree of strength, on
which alone their antiseptic quality depends, brandy is superior. Spirit of
wine, however, is certainly by far the best, when it can be procured.

[24] Of the Victory's wounded, three died before she reached Gibraltar, one
on the day of her arrival there, and another at the naval hospital at that
place a few days afterwards: all the rest got well on board except the five
left at Gibraltar, and five others not perfectly recovered from their
wounds in January following; when the Victory being put out of commission
at Chatham, they were sent to the Sussex hospital-ship at Sheerness.

[25] The ball was _not_ fired from a rifle piece.

[26] It was not deemed necessary to insert in this Report the precise time
which HIS LORDSHIP survived his wound. This, as before stated, was in
reality two hours and three quarters.

[27] FIG. 1. in the annexed Plate represents the Ball in the exact state in
which it was extracted. Drawn by Mr. W.E. DEVIS, who was then on board the

FIG. 2. (drawn also by Mr. DEVIS) shews the Ball in its present state; as
set in crystal by Mr. YONGE, and presented to the Writer of this Narrative

The Ball, in perforating the epaulette, passed through many of the silk
cords supporting the bullions, and through the pad and a doubling of silk
besides; as the bag of the pad was composed of yellow silk. This
circumstance militates strongly against an opinion entertained by some,
that silk possesses in an eminent degree the power of resisting the force,
or arresting the velocity, of a musket or pistol ball.

[28] The stock of spirit of wine on board was exhausted and from the sound
state of the Body, brandy was judged sufficient for its preservation.

[29] These complaints were the consequence of indigestion, brought on by
writing for several hours together. HIS LORDSHIP had one of these attacks
from that cause a few days before the battle, but on resuming his
accustomed exercise he got rid of it. This attack alarmed him, as he
attributed it to sudden and violent spasm; but it was merely an unpleasant
symptom (_globus hystericus_) attending indigestion.



_Issued by_ LORD NELSON _to the Admirals and Captains of his Fleet,
several days previous to the Battle_.

Victory, off Cadiz, 10th of October, 1805.

GENERAL MEMORANDUM _sent to the Commanders of Ships_.

Thinking it almost impossible to bring a Fleet of forty sail of the line
into a line of battle in variable winds, thick weather, and other
circumstances which must occur, without such a loss of time that the
opportunity would probably be lost of bringing the Enemy to battle in
such a manner as to make the business decisive, I have therefore made up
my mind to keep the Fleet in that position of sailing, with the
exception of the First and Second in Command, that the order of sailing
is to be the order of battle: placing the Fleet in two lines, of sixteen
ships each with an advanced squadron of eight of the fastest-sailing
two-decked ships; which will always make, if wanted, a line of
twenty-four sail, on whichever line the Commander in Chief may direct.

The Second in Command will, after my intentions are made known to him,
have the entire direction of his line; to make the attack upon the
Enemy, and to follow up the blow until they are captured or destroyed.

If the Enemy's Fleet should be seen to windward in line of battle, and
that the two lines and advanced squadron could fetch them, they will
probably be so extended that their van could not succour their rear. I
should therefore probably make the Second in Command's signal to lead
through about their twelfth ship from their rear; or wherever he could
fetch, if not able to get so far advanced. My line would lead through
about their centre: and the advanced squadron to cut three or four ships
ahead of their centre, so as to ensure getting at their Commander in
Chief, on whom every effort must be made to capture.

The whole impression of the British Fleet must be, to overpower from two
or three ships ahead of their Commander in Chief (supposed to be in the
centre) to the rear of their Fleet.

I will suppose twenty sail of the Enemy's line to be untouched: it must
be some time before they could perform a manoeuvre to bring their force
compact to attack any part of the British Fleet engaged, or to succour
their own ships; which indeed would be impossible, without mixing with
the ships engaged. The Enemy's Fleet is supposed to consist of forty-six
sail of the line; British, forty:[30] if either is less, only a
proportional number of Enemy's ships are to be cut off; British to be
one-fourth superior to the Enemy cut off.

Something must be left to chance: nothing is sure in a sea-fight, beyond
all others; shot will carry away masts and yards of friends as well as
foes: but I look with confidence to a victory before the van of the
Enemy could succour their rear; and then that the British Fleet would
most of them be ready to receive their twenty sail of the line, or to
pursue them should they endeavour to make off.

If the van of the Enemy tack, the captured ships must run to leeward of
the British Fleet: if the Enemy wear, the British must place themselves
between the Enemy and captured, and disabled British ships: and should
the Enemy close, I have no fear for the result.

The Second in Command will, in all possible things, direct the movements
of his line, by keeping them so compact as the nature of the
circumstances will admit. Captains are to look to their particular line
as their rallying-point; but in case signals cannot be seen or clearly
understood, no Captain can do very wrong if he places his ship alongside
that of an Enemy.

Plan of the intended attack from to-windward, the Enemy in line of
battle ready to receive an attack:

             --------- Advanced squadron.}
    ------------------ Weather line.     } British.
    ------------------ Lee line.         }

                       Enemy's line.

The divisions of the British Fleet will be brought nearly within
gun-shot of the Enemy's centre. The signal will be made for the lee line
to bear up together; to set all their sail, even studding-sails, in
order to get as quickly as possible to the Enemy's line; and to cut
through, beginning from the twelfth ship from the Enemy's rear. Some
ships may not get through their exact place, but they will always be at
hand to assist their friends. If any are thrown in the rear of the
Enemy, they will effectually complete the business of twelve sail of the

Should the Enemy wear together, or bear up and sail large, still the
twelve ships composing in the first position the Enemy's rear, are to be
the object of attack of the lee line, unless otherwise directed by the
Commander in Chief: which is scarcely to be expected; as the entire
management of the lee line, after the intentions of the Commander in
Chief are signified, is intended to be left to the Admiral commanding
that line.

The remainder of the Enemy's Fleet, thirty-four sail, are to be left to
the management of the Commander in Chief; who will endeavour to take
care that the movements of the Second in Command are as little
interrupted as possible.


    By Command of the Vice Admiral.


_The following interesting Extracts are faithfully copied from_ HIS
LORDSHIP'S _Memorandum Book, written entirely with his own hand_.

Saturday, September 14th, 1805. At six o'clock arrived at Portsmouth;
and having arranged all my business, embarked at the bathing-machines
with Mr. ROSE and Mr. CANNING, who dined with me. At two got on board
the Victory, at St. Helen's.

Wednesday, Sept. 25th, 1805. Light airs southerly. Saw the rock of
Lisbon S.S.E. ten leagues. At sunset the Captain of the Constance came
on board, and sent my letters for England to Lisbon, and wrote to
Captain SUTTON[31] and the Consul. The Enemy's Fleet had not left Cadiz
the 18th of this month, therefore I yet hope they will wait my arrival.

Saturday, Sept. 28th, 1805. Fresh breezes at N.N.W. At day-light bore
up, and made sail. At nine saw the Ætna cruising. At noon saw eighteen
sail. Nearly calm. In the evening joined the Fleet under Vice Admiral
COLLINGWOOD. Saw the Enemy's Fleet in Cadiz, amounting to thirty-five or
thirty-six sail of the line.

Sunday, Sept. 29th. Fine weather. Gave out the necessary orders for the
Fleet. Sent Euryalus to watch the Enemy with the Hydra off Cadiz.

Wednesday, October 9th. Fresh breezes easterly. Received an account from
BLACKWOOD, that the French ships had all bent their top-gallant-sails.
Sent the Pickle to him, with orders to keep a good look-out. Sent
Admiral COLLINGWOOD the Nelson truth.[32] At night wind westerly.

Monday, Oct. 14th. Fine weather: westerly wind. Sent Amphion to
Gibraltar and Algiers. Enemy at the harbour's mouth. Placed Defence and
Agamemnon from seven to ten leagues west of Cadiz; and Mars and Colossus
five leagues east of the Fleet, whose station is from fifteen to twenty
west of Cadiz: and by this chain I hope to have a constant
communication with the frigates off Cadiz.

Wednesday, Oct. 16th. Moderate breezes westerly. All the forenoon
employed forming the Fleet into the order of sailing. At noon fresh
breezes W.S.W. and squally. In the evening fresh gales. The Enemy as
before, by signal from Weazle.

Thursday, Oct. 17th. Moderate breezes north-westerly. Sent the Donegal
to Gibraltar, to get a ground-tier of casks. Received accounts by the
Diligent storeship, that Sir RICHARD STRACHAN was supposed in sight of
the French Rochefort squadron; which I hope is true.

Friday, Oct. 18th. Fine weather: wind easterly. The Combined Fleets
cannot have finer weather to put to sea.

Saturday, Oct. 19th. Fine weather: wind easterly. At half past nine the
Mars, being one of the look-out ships, made the signal that the Enemy
were coming out of port. Made the signal for a general chace S.E. Wind
at south; Cadiz bearing E.S.E. by compass, distance sixteen leagues. At
three the Colossus made the signal that the Enemy's Fleet was at sea. In
the evening made the signal to observe my motions during the night; for
the Britannia, Prince, and Dreadnought, to take stations as most
convenient; and for Mars, Orion, Belleisle, Leviathan, Bellerophon, and
Polyphemus, to go ahead during the night, and to carry a light, standing
for the Straits' mouth.

Sunday, Oct. 20th. Fresh breezes S.S.W., and rainy. Communicated with
Phoebe, Defence, and Colossus, who saw near forty sail of ships of war
outside of Cadiz yesterday evening; but the wind being southerly, they
could not get to the mouth of the Straits. We were between Trafalgar and
Cape Spartel. The frigates made the signal that they saw nine sail
outside the harbour. Sent the frigates instructions for their guidance;
and placed the Defence, Colossus, and Mars, between me and the frigates.
At noon fresh gales, and heavy rain: Cadiz N.E. nine leagues. In the
afternoon Captain BLACKWOOD telegraphed that the Enemy seemed determined
to go to the westward;--and _that_ they shall _not_ do, if in the power
of NELSON AND BRONTE to prevent them. At five telegraphed Captain
BLACKWOOD, that I relied upon his keeping sight of the Enemy. At five
o'clock Naiad made the signal for thirty-one sail of the Enemy N.N.E.
The frigates and look-out ship kept sight of the Enemy most admirably
all night, and told me by signal which tack they were upon. At eight we
wore, and stood to the S.W.; and at four wore and stood to the N.E.

Monday, Oct. 21st. At day-light saw Enemy's Combined Fleets from east to
E.S.E. Bore away. Made the signal for order of sailing, and to prepare
for battle. The Enemy with their heads to the southward. At seven the
Enemy wearing in succession.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Then follow the Prayer and Codicil already inserted in pages_ 14 _and_
15 _of the Narrative, which conclude_ HIS LORSHIP'S _manuscript_.


[30] With such an inferiority of force as this, HIS LORDSHIP confidently
expected not only to gain a decisive victory, but (to use his own favourite
phrase) "completely to _annihilate the Enemy's Fleet_!"

[31] Of his Majesty's ship Amphion, then in the Tagus.

[32] It is presumed that HIS LORDSHIP here meant the preceding
Instructions, which were transmitted the next day to the whole Fleet.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Death of Lord Nelson" ***

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