Nelson, Horatio Nelson, Viscount

Nelson, Horatio Nelson, Viscount

biographical name

(born Sept. 29, 1758, Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk, Eng.—died Oct. 21, 1805, at sea, off Cape Trafalgar, Spain) British naval commander. He entered the navy in 1770 and served in the West Indies from 1777 to 1783. In 1793 he was sent to support the British allies against the French in the Mediterranean. After the British victory against the Spanish and French in the Battle of Cape St. Vincent (1797), he was promoted to rear admiral. In 1798 he pursued Napoleon's fleet to Egypt, where he won the decisive Battle of the Nile. During a prolonged stay in Naples for his ships' repairs, he pursued a love affair with Emma, Lady Hamilton. For helping restore the Neapolitan king Ferdinand I to power (1799), he was created duke di Bronte. As second in command of an expedition to attack Denmark, he skillfully won the Battle of Copenhagen (1801) and was appointed commander in chief of the navy. In 1805 he was sent to the Mediterranean to meet the threat posed by the French fleet in Napoleon's scheme to invade England. In the ensuing Battle of Trafalgar, Nelson, aboard his flagship Victory, was shot by a French sniper from the Redoutable and died just as the British fleet secured its victory. His death was widely mourned, and he became England's most popular hero. His brilliant tactical command assured British naval supremacy for over 100 years.


Nelson, Horatio Nelson, Viscount known as Lord Nelson

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Nelson, Horatio Nelson, Viscount, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up Nelson, Horatio Nelson, Viscount? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.