Horatio Nelson

British Royal Navy admiral (1758–1805)

Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson (29 September 1758 – 21 October 1805)[1][2] was an British sea captain in the Royal Navy.

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 the Spanish. Nelson was blind in one eye after he had 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]

An alternative version is that he said both of those statements. He said "Kiss me, Hardy," When Hardy kissed him on the cheek. Then, Nelson said, "Now I am satisfied. Thank God I have done my duty."[4] Next, Hardy kissed him again on the forehead, when Nelson called out, "Who is that?" Hardy replied, "It is Hardy."[4] Nelson said, "God bless you, Hardy."[4] Finally, he murmoured to those around him to look after Emma Hamilton and his daughter.[4]

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

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


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mullet, Charles F. (1978). "Nelson, Horatio". World Book Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. World Book-Childcraft International Inc. p. 113-115. ISBN 0716600781.
  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 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