Tiny piece of flag 'used to prop Admiral Nelson's head' as he lay dying goes on sale


Blackleaf
#1
A small piece of a flag that is said to have been used to prop up Admiral Lord Nelson's head as he lay dying at the Battle of Trafalgar has emerged for sale.

The great British seaman was rushed below decks on HMS Victory after a French sniper shot him in the chest with a musket ball during the historic battle in 1805.

He lay on a bed drowning in his own blood for over an hour while medics and officers tried to make him comfortable by fanning him and giving him water.

The delicate piece of blackened cloth that has now emerged for sale at auction is reputed to have formed part of a large flag that had been placed under his head at the time...


Tiny piece of flag 'used to prop Admiral Nelson's head' as he lay dying from French musket ball in Battle of Trafalgar is set to fetch 1,500

Nelson taken below deck on HMS Victory after French sniper shot him in chest
A large flag was placed under his head as he lay dying during the battle in 1805
3in by 2in piece of blackened cloth is for sale in an Admiralty envelope
Also on sale is lock of hair from both Nelson's adversary Napoleon Bonaparte and the French leader's wife Josephine


By NICK ENOCH FOR MAILONLINE
7 August 2018

A small piece of a flag that is said to have been used to prop up Admiral Lord Nelson's head as he lay dying at the Battle of Trafalgar has emerged for sale.

The great British seaman was rushed below decks on HMS Victory after a French sniper shot him in the chest with a musket ball during the historic battle in 1805.

He lay on a bed drowning in his own blood for over an hour while medics and officers tried to make him comfortable by fanning him and giving him water.

The delicate piece of blackened cloth that has now emerged for sale at auction is reputed to have formed part of a large flag that had been placed under his head at the time.


A small piece of a flag that is said to have been used to prop up Admiral Lord Nelson's head as he lay dying at the Battle of Trafalgar (pictured) is going on sale. The renowned British seaman was rushed below decks on HMS Victory after a French sniper shot him in the chest during the battle in 1805


The delicate piece of 3in by 2in blackened cloth (above) that has now emerged for sale at auction is reputed to have formed part of a large flag that had been placed under Nelson's head at the time. It comes in a contemporary Admiralty envelope with a note reading: 'The Victory. Piece of pennant of the flag used to lay under Nelson's head after he received the fatal wound'

It comes in a contemporary Admiralty envelope with a note reading: 'The Victory. Piece of pennant of the flag used to lay under Nelson's head after he received the fatal wound.'

The 3in by 2in piece of cloth is being sold alongside a lock of hair that belonged to Nelson's greatest adversary - Napoleon Bonaparte.

The strands were snipped from the defeated French military leader's head after his death.

Both lots belonged to a British collector of eclectic items that are now being sold after his death.


A lock of hair (left) that belonged to Nelson's greatest adversary - Napoleon Bonaparte - is also being sold at the auction. The strands were snipped from the defeated French military leader's head after his death. As well as a locket containing Napoleon's hair, there is also one with strands of hair (right) of his wife Josephine


A contemporary manuscript note pasted on the reverse of the Napoleon locket (above) states: 'The Emperor Napoleon's hair cut off after his death given to the Countess of Ranfurly by Madame La Croix housekeeper to the Empress Josephine from the time when she was Madame De Beauharnais to her death'


At the time Napoleon married Josephine (both pictured) in 1796, he was a 26-year-old revolutionary soldier and she was a widow who was six years older than her husband

Andrew Aldridge, of Henry Aldridge and Son Auctioneers of Devizes, Wiltshire, said: 'These items belonged to the late David Gainsborough-Roberts who came from Jersey and collected weird and wonderful items from history.

'The piece of cloth is reputed to have come from the flag placed under Nelson's head.

'It is in an Admiralty envelope which is definitely of the right period. We aren't talking about a letter that was written in the last 50 years.

'It is very delicate and you can tell from looking at it that its deterioration is consistent with a flag from that age.

'It is a fascinating object relating to Britain's greatest sailor and has some immediacy to it, transporting you to one of the most important moments in Britain's history.'

As well as a locket containing Napoleon's hair, there is also one with strands of hair of his wife Josephine.

A contemporary manuscript note pasted on the reverse of the Napoleon locket states: 'The Emperor Napoleon's hair cut off after his death given to the Countess of Ranfurly by Madame La Croix housekeeper to the Empress Josephine from the time when she was Madame De Beauharnais to her death.'

The piece of flag is estimated to sell for 1,500 while the two lockets of hair are valued at 1,200.

The sale takes place on Saturday.

Battle of Trafalgar: Epic sea clash that laid foundations for Britain's global power - and claimed the life of Lord Admiral Nelson


Nelson's (above) triumph at Trafalgar gave Britain control of the seas and laid the foundation for Britain's global power for more than a century

Fought on October 21, 1805, the Battle of Trafalgar is one of history's most epic sea clashes.

Not only did it see Britain eliminate the most serious threat to security in 200 years, but it also saw the death of British naval hero Admiral Lord Nelson.

This was not before his high-risk, but acutely brave, strategy won arguably the most decisive victory in the Napoleonic Wars. Nelson's triumph gave Britain control of the seas and laid the foundation for Britain's global power for more than a century.

Despite signing a peace treaty in 1803, the two nations were at war and fought each other in seas around the world.

After Spain allied with France in 1804, the newly-crowned French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte had enough ships to challenge Britain.

In October 1805, French Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve led a Combined French and Spanish fleet of 33 ships from the Spanish port of Cadiz to face Nelson and Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood.


Fought on October 21, 1805, the Battle of Trafalgar is one of history's most epic sea clashes. Not only did it see Britain eliminate the most serious threat to security in 200 years, but it also saw the death of British naval hero Admiral Lord Nelson

Nelson, fresh from chasing Villeneuve in the Caribbean, led the 27-ship fleet charge in HMS Victory, while Vice Admiral Collingwood sailed in Royal Sovereign.

Battles at sea had until then been mainly inconclusive, as to fire upon the opposing ship, each vessel had to pull up along side one another (broadside) which often resulted in equal damage.

Nelson bucked this trend by attacking the Combined Fleet line head on - and sailed perpendicular towards the fleet, exposing the British to heavy fire.

He attacked in two columns to split the Combined Fleet's line to target the flagship of Admiral Villneuve.

11. 30am Lord Nelson famously declared that 'England expects that every man will do his duty', in reference to the command that the ships were instructed to think for themselves. The captains had been briefed on the battle plan three weeks before, and were trusted to bravely act on their own initiative and adapt to changing circumstances - unlike their opponents who stuck to their command.

Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood led the first column and attacked the rear of the line, and broke through.

Nelson sailed directly for the head of the Combined Fleet to dissuade them from doubling back to defend the rear. But before he reached them, he changed course to attack the middle of the line - and Villeneuve's flagship.

Speeding toward the centre of the line, HMS Victory found no space to break through as Villeneuve's flagship was being tightly followed - forcing Nelson to ram through at close quarters.

In the heat of battle, and surrounded on three sides, Nelson was fatally shot in the chest by a well-drilled French musketeer.

The Combined Fleet's vanguard finally began to come to the aid of Admiral Villeneuve, but British ships launch a counter-attack.

Admiral Villeneuve struck his colours along with many other ships in the Combined Fleet and surrendered.

4.14pm HMS Victory Captain Thomas Masterman Hardy dropped below deck to congratulate Nelson on his victory.

4.30pm With the knowledge he has secured victory, but before the battle had officially concluded, Lord Nelson died.

5.30pm French ship Achille blew up signalling the end of the battle - in all 17 Combined Fleet ships surrendered.


... so did Nelson really say 'Kiss me, Hardy' with his dying words?

By RICHARD CREASY for the Daily Mail (in an article from 2007)

It was Britain's greatest naval victory and for more than 200 years historians have analysed every detail.

Now, amazingly, a new eye-witness account of the Battle of Trafalgar has emerged during a house clear-out.

It gives not only a first-hand view of proceedings from the lower decks but also a different interpretation of one of history's most enduring arguments - Admiral Lord Nelson's dying words.

Robert Hilton was a 21-year-old surgeon's mate on HMS Swiftsure, a 74-gun ship that played its part in the destruction of the French and Spanish fleets and of Napoleon's dream of invading England.

It was 13 days later, after Swiftsure had made it through gales to Gibraltar for repairs that Hilton took up his pen and wrote a nine-page letter home on November 3, 1805.

In it he says Nelson's last words, relayed to his ship's company from Nelson's flag captain, Captain Hardy, were: 'I have then lived long enough.'

Many people believe Nelson said: 'Kiss me Hardy.'

But historians rely on his surgeon's reports that he said: 'Thank God I have done my duty.'


Admiral Nelson flag fragment goes on sale | Daily Mail Online
Last edited by Blackleaf; Aug 12th, 2018 at 11:14 AM..
 
Curious Cdn
#2
They should auction off the rum that they pickled him in.
 
Blackleaf
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

They should auction off the rum that they pickled him in.

We can't. His men drank it.
 
Curious Cdn
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf View Post

We can't. His men drank it.

They took "communion".
 
Blackleaf
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

They took "communion".

They "sucked the monkey" - and didn't seem to care that, on that occasion, there was a corpse in it.

Sucking the monkey

In the Royal Navy, sucking the monkey, bleeding the monkey, or tapping the admiral[1] was the practice of sucking liquor from a cask through a straw.[2] This usually involved making a small hole with a gimlet in a keg or barrel and using a straw to suck out the contents. It was known for people to die from alcohol poisoning by this practice.[3]

Tapping the admiral

Admiral Nelson was killed in the Battle of Trafalgar by a French sniper while topside his ship, Victory. Following his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, Horatio Nelson's body was preserved in a cask of brandy, or rum, to allow transport back to England. Upon arrival, however, the story goes that the cask was opened and found to be empty of brandy/rum. The pickled body was removed and, upon inspection, it was discovered that the sailors had drilled a hole in the bottom of the cask and drunk all the brandy/rum. Thus, this tale serves as a basis for the term "Nelson's blood" being used to describe brandy/rum. It also serves as the basis for the term tapping the admiral being used to describe surreptitiously sucking liquor from a cask through a straw. The details of the story are disputed, as many historians claim the cask contained French brandy, whilst others claim instead the term originated from a toast to Admiral Nelson.[4] Variations of the story, involving different notable corpses, and different spirits, have been in circulation for many years. The official record states merely that the body was placed in "refined spirits" and does not go into further detail.[5][6]

In Kentish Town, London, "Tapping the Admiral", a pub recognised for the high quality of its beer[7], has been named after the tale.[8]



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sucking_the_monkey
 
Curious Cdn
#6
We have the Sour Toe Cocktail in this country.

http://www.cbc.ca/shortdocs/m/blog/t...d-with-a-human
 
Blackleaf
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

We have the Sour Toe Cocktail in this country.

http://dawsoncity.ca/attraction/sourtoe-cocktail-club/

I've seen that on TV. I'd probably only do it if I 'd already had a fair few stiff drinks beforehand.
 
Curious Cdn
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf View Post

I've seen that on TV. I'd probably only do it if I 'd already had a fair few stiff drinks beforehand.

My brother's had one.
 
Blackleaf
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Curious Cdn View Post

My brother's had one.