The National Archives
Search our website
  • Search our website
  • Search our records

Nelson, Trafalgar, and those who served

Nelson, Trafalgar, and those who served


Glossary - opens in a new window

The National Archives holds the records of central government, primarily for the United Kingdom, England and Wales, and the central law courts, as well as vast holdings on former British colonies and foreign diplomacy. They include records of the Admiralty and associated naval boards that administered, provisioned, supplied and manned the Royal Navy. These records, which in some cases have never before been sourced or cited, offer a unique insight into Horatio Nelson, who in a 2002 nationwide poll was voted one of the greatest Britons. The National Archives keeps logs, journals, diaries and letters written by Nelson, which record his joining the navy at the age of 12, becoming a captain at the age of 20, and his promotions to Vice-Admiral of the White. A career and personal life that was turbulent, with episodes of controversy and disrepute and periods of unemployment, but most notably punctuated with a series of glorious naval victories - the like never before achieved in the history of naval warfare.

Early lifeGo to next topic