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Horatio Nelson

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Horatio Nelson

Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson (29 September 1758 - 21 October 1805)[1][2] was an English sea captain in the Royal Navy. He was born at the rectory of the village of Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk.[3][4] Nelson commanded the British fleet during the Napoleonic Wars, fighting the French and Spanish. Nelson was blind in one eye, having been wounded in battle.[5] During the Battle of Trafalgar, his greatest victory, he was killed by a French sniper.

Last words

At least three versions of his last words exist, and are shown in wikiquote.

His most well-known last words are, "Kiss me, Hardy".

Another statement during his last hours was, "Thank God I have done my duty."[1]

Alternatively, he may have said both of these statements; "Kiss me, Hardy" and Hardy kissed him on the cheek. Then Nelson said, "Now I am satisfied. Thank God I have done my duty."[4] Then Hardy kissed him again on the forehead and Nelson called out, "Who is that?" Hardy replied, "It is Hardy."[4] Then Nelson said, "God bless you, Hardy."[4] Then he murmoured to those around him to look about Emma Hamilton and his daughter.[4]

Most recently are accounts of his chaplain, Alexander Scott; his steward, Chevalier; and the purser, Walter Burke. "Drink, drink. Fan, fan. Rub, rub" was a request to ease his symptoms of thirst, heat, and the pains of his wounds.[6]

Scott, who remained by Nelson as he died, recorded his last words as 'God and my country'.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mullet, Charles F. (1978). "Nelson, Horatio". World Book Encyclopedia 14. World Book-Childcraft International Inc.. 
  2. "BBC: History: Historic Figures: Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson (1758 - 1805)". BBC. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
  3. Horsley, E. M. (1986). Hutchinson Factfinder: Concise Encyclopedia. London: Guild Publishing.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Iggulden, Hal; Iggulden, Conn (2006). The Dangerous Book for Boys. HarperCollins. p. 154-158. ISBN 9780007232741 .
  5. N. A. M. Rodger, ‘Nelson, Horatio, Viscount Nelson (1758–1805)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2009 accessed 5 Oct 2009
  6. Pocock, Tom (1987). Horatio Nelson. London: The Bodley Head. p. 331. ISBN 0-370-31124-8 .
  7. Hayward, Joel S. A. (2003). For God and Glory: Lord Nelson and His Way of War. ISBN 1-59114-351-9 .p. 63