9th January 1806. Remember Nelson.

Nelson’s funeral procession on the Thames by painter Daniel Turner shows the multitude of escorting boats with St Paul’s in the background and a cloud halo overhead.

Daniel Turner

Funeral procession of Nelson with St Paul’s and Blackfriars’ Bridge. Note Watt’s shot tower on the right Surrey Bank. Painting by Daniel Turner.

Today in 1806 saw the funeral procession of Lord Nelson when he was transported from his lying-in-state at the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich, to the Admiralty, before being interred in the crypt at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Nelson is interred in a black marble sarcophagus, originally meant for Cardinal Wolsey, after being transported down the Thames in black barges, reminiscent of King Arthur’s journey to Avalon.

Nelson’s body was confined within four coffins: an inner made of wood from the mast of the French flagship L’Orient destroyed at the 1798 Battle of the Nile.

This was then cased in lead with an outer wooden coffin, the whole having a gilt outer casket designed by Ackermann Brothers.

The victor of Trafalgar never had a legitimate heir, so it fell to his eldest brother, the Rev. William Nelson, to be rewarded as the first Earl Nelson, along with a pension. Such is the way the British honours system works where descendants bask in the reflected glory.

However post-war austerity and now an ‘ungrateful’ nation stopped the £5,000 pension in 1947, and to pile ‘Pelion on top of Ossa’ in 1951 payment of the full death duty effectively confiscated the value of the entire Trafalgar Estate, in Wiltshire, which had been bought by a grateful nation, in the 19thc, for £90,000 (£100m in today’s money).

The earliest public monument to Nelson (1758-1805) was by Richard Westmacott for Birmingham and shows the admiral in uniform with a right empty sleeve.

It is in bronze being unveiled on 25th October 1809, and is the first statue of Nelson and followed his visit to the town in 31st August  1802.


Nelson’s statue Birmingham in 1898. The lamp posts were made from ships’ cannon.

There is a fine statue of Nelson at Grand Parade, Portsmouth-‘Pompey’-the home of the Royal Navy: see below.


Ref: wahooart.co/Pic of River.

Ref: wikipedia.org/lord_nelson/Pic Image.

Ref: panoramio.com/Pic Image of Portsmouth.



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About colindunkerley

My name is Colin Dunkerley who having spent two years in the Royal Army Pay Corps ploughed many a barren industrial furrow until drawn to the 'chalk-face' as a teacher, now retired. I have spent the last 15 years researching all aspects of life in Britain since Roman times.

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