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26 May 2008 763 views
 
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photoblog image The Death of Nelson

The Death of Nelson


It was October 21st 1805 and Vice Admiral of the White, Lord Horatio Nelson was leading his fleet of warships against the French and Spanish navies off Cape Trafalgar, just before the fighting started Nelson displayed his famous signal "England expects that every man will do his duty".

During the battle his flagship, HMS Victory closed with the French ship Redoutable and soldiers in the fighting tops rained down bullets on the Victory. Nelson was hit in the body and taken below to the Orlop deck where he died four hours later. His body was later preserved in a barrel of fine Brandy for the return to London and a state funeral.

In a wave of celebration around the country monuments were erected to honour Nelson and his deeds. The good Burghers of Liverpool decided on an extravagance designed by a young sculptor, Matthew Coles White, and is more a monument to the rising prowess of Liverpool as a maritime port as much as it is to commemorate the death of Nelson. It was finally unveiled in 1813 and depicts Nelson with death reaching out to him and an angel ready to to take his soul whilst Captain Hardy looks on. Around the base Fench prisoners of war in chains reflect on their position.

These days the monument also serves the secondary purpose of providing a ventilation shaft for a large underground carpark.

The Death of Nelson


It was October 21st 1805 and Vice Admiral of the White, Lord Horatio Nelson was leading his fleet of warships against the French and Spanish navies off Cape Trafalgar, just before the fighting started Nelson displayed his famous signal "England expects that every man will do his duty".

During the battle his flagship, HMS Victory closed with the French ship Redoutable and soldiers in the fighting tops rained down bullets on the Victory. Nelson was hit in the body and taken below to the Orlop deck where he died four hours later. His body was later preserved in a barrel of fine Brandy for the return to London and a state funeral.

In a wave of celebration around the country monuments were erected to honour Nelson and his deeds. The good Burghers of Liverpool decided on an extravagance designed by a young sculptor, Matthew Coles White, and is more a monument to the rising prowess of Liverpool as a maritime port as much as it is to commemorate the death of Nelson. It was finally unveiled in 1813 and depicts Nelson with death reaching out to him and an angel ready to to take his soul whilst Captain Hardy looks on. Around the base Fench prisoners of war in chains reflect on their position.

These days the monument also serves the secondary purpose of providing a ventilation shaft for a large underground carpark.

comments (4)

  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 26 May 2008, 06:50
A fascinating montage, Les. I would never have guessed that this was Nelson, though.. very surreal. Did he ever get to Liverpool? I always associate him with Portsmouth.
Les Auld: Thanks for the comment Alan, I don't recall Nelson being associated with Liverpool, it was not really a Naval port.
  • brianaw
  • Leicestershire
  • 26 May 2008, 15:55
Lots of interesting information Les and a beautifully presented collage of this magnificent monument.
Les Auld: Thanks Brian, appreciate the comment.
  • Catalpa
  • Newcastle
  • 26 May 2008, 18:08
Quite an OTT sculpture Les. I like the skeleton clawing at our hero's heart from beneath the sailcloth. Good montage work.
Les Auld: Thanks Ian, I did think the skeleton added quite a bizarre touch.
  • Ellie
  • United Kingdom
  • 28 May 2008, 00:14
I missed this because I didn't get on here yesterday.

Superb montage, but my goodness it's a real nasty isn't it, with all the symbolism they so much enjoyed.
Les Auld: Very symbolic and quite a dark piece as well, thanks for the comment Ellie.

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