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Character reference given by Nelson at the Old Bailey murder trial of James Carse, HMS Boreas’s cooper

Nelson was called as a witness in the murder trial of James Carse, HMS Boreas’s cooper, who was accused of murdering Sarah Hayes in a tavern in Lower Shadwell, London on 2 December 1787. Nelson told the court that when Carse served under him he ‘appeared melancholy, but [was] the quietest, soberest man that he ever saw in all his life’. In regards to why Carse may have committed murder Nelson suggested that it may have been down to drink or the effects of the sun in their time of service in Antigua. In a startling admission Nelson stated that he had also been affected by it (the sun) 'had been out of his senses, it hurts the brain'.

Catalogue reference: HO 47/15 folio 90

Nelson’s character reference for James Carse. 24 March 1792. Cat ref: HO 47/15 f 90. Copyright, John William Rose.
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