The Scandalous Decision To Pickle Admiral Horatio Nelson In Brandy | Atlas Obscura

A painting of the Battle of Trafalgar, showing the fatal wounding of Lord Nelson on the deck of the HMS Victory. (Photo: Public Domain/WikiCommons)

In the middle of the Napoleonic War, Britain’s most famous naval hero is struck by a fatal musket ball at the very moment of his greatest strategic triumph. Rather than bury his body at sea, a quick-thinking Irish surgeon preserves it in a cask of brandy lashed to the deck of the ship. A hurricane is on the horizon and the mast has been shot off; there is no way to hang the sails that would get ship (and body) to England quickly.

The two words that stand out in this story? Brandy and surgeon.

The scenario described is the death of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, a moment so central to Britain’s story of itself that in a 2002 BBC poll, Nelson placed number eight on a list of 100 Greatest Britons—slightly behind Elizabeth I and ahead of Sir Isaac Newton and William Shakespeare. His monument in Trafalgar Square, a 169-foot-tall column surrounded by larger-than-life brass lions, is such a…

Source: The Scandalous Decision To Pickle Admiral Horatio Nelson In Brandy | Atlas Obscura

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “The Scandalous Decision To Pickle Admiral Horatio Nelson In Brandy | Atlas Obscura

  1. Pingback: Chatham Historic Dockyard unofficial visitors guide

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s