Horatio Nelson was born in Norfolk in 1758 and became England's greatest naval hero. He lost his right eye in action against French frigates in 1794 during the taking of Corsica. 1798 saw the battle of Aboukir Bay when he found and almost destroyed Napoleon's fleet.
In 1758, the Board of the Admiralty of London gave orders that 12 battleships were to be built. Fighting ships of this era were divided into six rates according to the number of guns and the size of the crew. With at least 100 guns and the ability to carry over 800 officers and men, HMS Victory was a 'first rate' ship.
A major refit took place in 1803 and she became Nelson's flagship until the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. This led to the eventual collapse of the French Empire and saw the downfall of Napoleon in 1815.
It was on the quarterdeck that Nelson was shot by a stray bullet that pierced his lung and broke his back. He died some hours later but with the knowledge that Britain had been victorious.
HMS Victory remained in constant service until 1812. She can still be viewed today at Portsmouth where she is being continuously restored as closely as possible to her 1805 condition.
Our collection of Nelson memorabilia is a fascinating insight into the man and his predominantly victorious career. The range of artefacts includes many medals, also an 1805 Times Newspaper with interesting information regarding dispatches delivered to the Admiralty on Nov 1805, as well as a letter written by Nelson dated 1804, just before The Battle of Trafalgar.