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The Times report of the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Nelson

Date: 7 November 1805
Dimensions:
Overall: 413 x 285 mm, 0.05 kg
Display Dimensions: 445 mm
Medium: Printed text on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Dr J Broadbent
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Newspaper
Object No: 00030056
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    Description
    Four pages of The Times No. 6572, Thursday 7 November 1805 with the centre spread containing the first news articles recounting the events of the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. It includes an account of the battle including the official reports from Vice-Admiral Collingwood on HMS EURYALUS dated 22 and 24 October 1805; and an in-depth article on the death of Admiral Lord Nelson, the 'Hero of the Nile' and 'Darling of the Navy'. It also recounts the order of attack and lists of the wounded and killed; and details an impromptu performance called 'Nelson's Glory' at the Theatre Royal in Covent Gardens.
    SignificanceNewspapers can offer an insight into the reporting of major events of the day. This edition of The Times recounts the events of the battle of Trafalgar through the official report produced for the Lords of the Admiralty and other firsthand accounts.
    HistoryOn 21 October 1805, the Battle of Trafalgar was fought off the south-west coast of Spain. It turned the tide against the French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte's threatened invasion of England. Under the command of Nelson, the British Fleet defeated the combined French and Spanish fleets - but it came at a high price when Nelson was mortally wounded.

    The Times published the first full account of the battle as reported by Vice-Admiral Lord Collingwood to the Admiralty, including the events surrounding Nelson's death at the hands of a French marksman. The public outpouring of grief was tremendous, as evidenced by the tens of thousands who viewed his body as it lay in state at Greenwich Hospital and watched as the funeral cortege made the journey from Greenwich to St Paul's Cathedral via Whitehall in January 1806.

    A quote from the paper:
    'If ever there was a man who deserved to be "praised, wept, and honoured," by his country, it is Lord NELSON. His three great naval achievements have eclipsed the brilliancy of the most dazzling victories in the annals of English daring. If ever a hero merited the honours of a public funeral and a public mourning, it is the pious, the modest, and the gallant NELSON, the darling of the British Navy, whose death has plunged a whole nation into the deepest grief, and to whose talents and bravery even the enemy he has conquered will bear testimony.'

    The first stanza of an ode to Nelson as it appears in the paper:
    'BRITONS! You hear TRAFALGAR's story,
    You triumph in your country's glory,
    Mourn o'er the relics pale and gory
    Of brave, immortal NELSON.

    To earth and war our Hero's dead,
    To Heaven and peace his spirit fled;
    Twine your green Laurels round the head
    Of brave, immortal NELSON.

    Mourn, one and all,
    Great NELSON's fall,
    Oh! Dash not off the gushing tear;
    No tears disgrace
    The manly face,
    When freemen tend to freeman's bier
    Fame's rugged steep with daring feet he trod,
    True to his King, his Country, and his God.'

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: The Times, No. 6572: Battle of Trafalgar and death of Admiral Lord Nelson

    Web title: The Times report of the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Nelson

    Related People
    Publisher: The Times

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