By the time Nelson arrived home from Europe in 1800, he was not only the ‘Hero of the Nile’, but the subject of intense gossip because of his affair with Emma Hamilton.

Nelson Sir William Beechey c.1800

The portrait is believed to be by Sir William Beechey c.1800.

On his return to London various artists set to work to further immortalize him. In recognition of his Norfolk origins, this portrait was commissioned by the City of Norwich. It depicts Nelson with an air of quiet self-confidence and is considered the most faithful likeness of him.

The outpourings of a nation filled column miles of newspapers, magazines, broadsheets and special publications. Below are a few of the quotes that report the rise of the great admiral and the loss the nation experienced on news of his death at Trafalgar on 21 October, 1805.

It was an extraordinary life and a noble death. Nelson captured the heart of the common man, but his relationship with the admiralty and the ‘establishment’ was often strained. He was a man with a vision of himself as one of England’s sons and had the gift to sweep up many an Englishman in that vision. Let them, especially his chosen ‘Band of Brothers’, his officers, speak of this immortal soul:

Morning Chronicle - Friday 22 November 1805

Officers account of a briefing. Published in Nov 1805

Morning Chronicle - Mon 12 August 1805

An officer’s view about events in Trinidad. Morning Chronicle – Mon 12 August 1805

Morning Post - Wednesday 10 July _1806 2

Extract of a letter from an officer June 6 1805

Morning Post - Wednesday 10 July 1805

From an officer’s letter. Morning Post – Wednesday 10 July 1805

Nelson last moments

1.30pm: Nelson’s last moments.

Morning Chronicle - Mon 09 Dec 1805

Nelson is taken below decks. Morning Chronicle 09 Dec 1805

Morning Chronicle - Tuesday 26 November 1805

Lines on the death of Lord Nelson. Tue 26 Nov 1805

Morning Post - Wednesday 25 December 1805

Morning Chronicle - Mon 12 August 1805

Morning Post - Tuesday 19 November 1805

Morning Post - Wednesday 20 November 1805


Victors of the Nile. ‘The Band of Brothers’