Engraving showing 'The Ball which killed Lord Nelson', England, 1805

1805 in England

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Engraving showing the ball which killed Lord Nelson in 1805

Viscount Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) was an immensely popular naval hero. He died from a bullet wound during the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. This small illustration was published in the 'Medical Journal' and shows the bullet, dented from its impact upon bone and complete with shreds of Nelson’s clothing. Many people kept items such as this as keepsakes after his death.

Nelson’s body was returned to England and honoured with a four-day public funeral. He lay in state at Greenwich, surrounded by the spoils of previous victories. The coffin processed up the Thames by barge. It then proceeded through London on an ornate carriage before arriving at St Paul’s Cathedral.

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Wellcome (general)
Object Number:
glass and paper
  • visual and verbal communication
  • print

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