Product images of Royal Naval uniform: pattern 1795-1812, Nelson's Trafalgar coat
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Royal Naval uniform: pattern 1795-1812, Nelson's Trafalgar coat
Object number, UNI0024. The undress uniform coat Nelson was wearing when shot at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Two hours into the action, at about 1.15 p.m., Hardy, realizing that the Admiral was no longer by his side, turned to see him on his knees, supporting himself on his left arm before this gave way and he collapsed on the spot where John Scott, his secretary, had been killed an hour earlier. Scott’s blood can still be seen staining the tails and the left sleeve of the coat. Nelson was one of many casualties caused by marksmen in the rigging of the French 'Redoutable'. The hole left by the fatal musket ball can be seen on the left shoulder close to the epaulette damaged by the same shot. Embroidered versions of Nelson’s four orders of chivalry are sewn to the front of the coat overlapping the edge of the lapel so that it could not be unbuttoned. They are: the star of the Order of the Bath, the Order of the Crescent awarded by the Sultan of Turkey, the Order of St Ferdinand and of Merit awarded by Ferdinand IV of Naples, and the German Order of St Joachim. Nelson habitually wore them on all his uniform coats. Captain Hardy returned the coat to Emma Hamilton in accordance with Nelson’s wishes. A young neighbour, Lionel Goldsmith, was taken to visit Emma towards the end of 1805 and saw it lying on the bed beside her.
- Image reference: L4827-001
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.