Lord Nelson first and then Lady Nelson bringing-up the rear

Note. I have followed the French practice of grouping the French Revolutionary Wars together with the Napoleonic Wars, whereas, we list them separately as time-windows which can lead to confusion.

I wonder if you are like me when it comes to international figures?  For example, if the Pope were to come to my home town handing out £20 notes, I would get out of my chair to bother to go see him. Likewise I can't think of one living politician in the world which could entice me out of the house, especially when I may have to stand for a lengthy period awaiting their arrival and then, inanely acknowledge them by emulating a sea of waving moronic hands and flags. The same goes for media stars and movie stars, but that's because I do not frequent cinemas, theatres or concert halls [with exceptions?]; perhaps I should get out more, although I am a devotee of big orchestra's whether "dance bands" or classical music! I do however, like to hear the signing voices of one or two existing entertainers, although for the most part, I find modern tunes, lyrics and delivery styles unmelodious, repetitive, musically-restrictive and embarrassing, especially if I watch the so-called 'performing arts'.  I do like to listen to "trusted artistes" when I know that what I will get I will immediately like, nay, love, although in the main the performers are now dead, but they helped me to enjoy my life and my romances as I matured, leaving behind beautiful memories. On the other hand I do have a bucket-list topped-up with a list of those I would have loved to have met in the flesh, and all of them "hero's - define that word as you see best and most fitting" in my lifetime. The list is too long to relate here, but it is 'generous in scope' and covers a wide spectrum of society. It would include politicians like Churchill and Franklin D Roosevelt; the late King George VI; Mother Teresa; Kennedy; Einstein; Christiaan Bernard;  Nelson Mandela; Sinatra; Ella Fitzgerald; Enoch Powell; Admiral of the Fleet A B Cunningham; Montgomery; Douglas Bader; Admiral of the Fleet Tovey; Air Chief Marshall 'Bomber' Harris; Fangio; Mario Lanza, to mention but a few.

There I must stop for my introduction to this subject is already excessive, unnecessarily so!

Putting aside my own ideas of who is worth turning out for and who isn't [bearing in mind that I have met the Queen, the Queen Mum and other important people like Diana etc], it never ceases to impress me that globally our dear Queen is always greeted by huge enthusiastic crowds wherever she goes, and I would wager that she is the ONLY PERSON in the world with such pulling power. How proud we Brit's should be of that? There is not a cleric in the world which commands universal respect, several no respect at all, not even if they prostrate themselves as public media figures like the fun-loving Dalai Lama for example. Most of the Western religions are becoming secularised and are contracting, and other non-Western religions don't have a peripatetic representative - fortunately!

On the list of internationally respected and recognised people are many Brit's and taken pro rata for land size if not for population*, we punch well above our weight compared with other much bigger countries: in fact, we are incomparable. It should come as no surprise that as we conquered large parts of the globe in the 18th and 19th centuries, our soldiers, sailors and administrators can usually be found at the top of the lists for each category.

* Population of Britain in mid 18th century was 6.5 million and most of those lived in London and in a few embryonic cities. By Trafalgar time [1805] the population had increased to 9 million and by 1901 it was 41 million. Records show our population now in March 2016, to be 65,039,319. Records also show Scotland's population as "about" 5.2 million, so come the severance hopefully in 2017, our population should be below the 60m mark especially when no longer in the EU our immigration is stagnant or even much reduced - hopefully! Of course tongue-in-cheek for these calculation, but for me, a hope which comes into fruition. The continuous complaining and moaning of the Scot's and their childish threat [on-going] to leave the Union is something only an out and out clown cannot see through, for Scotland, as large an area as it commands, has but a tiny population inhabiting but a tiny part of its total space [lovely though most is] with a tiny economy, and mark you, with an enforced currency of the Euro.  They have been told on several occasions that they will not be allowed to keep the GBP for blatantly obvious reasons, chief of which is that they would be beholding to the Bank of England, who quite naturally would pursue fiscal policies to benefit what is left of the UK and not for the benefit of the foreign state of Caledonia: it is also obvious that they don't have the wherewithal to qualify for Euro membership, so all in all, it is a suicide mission. "Cast off No1...." a naval saying from captain to second in command to leave the safe haven of a sure and trusted harbour, to head off into the open sea and the unknown!

Staying with the soldiers and sailors list

That well known Frenchman Napoleon is on the list of the famous but also on the infamous in his case. Of the wars he caused as the self proclaimed Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte I, there are many names but very few French names alongside the famous successes - they all belong to the infamous loosers. There are also names of people who became a hero to their own and a kind of a hero to their enemy. There are a couple of them, but my favourite one is Rommel. He probably was just another evil German [Nazi] General, but the Brit's had a certain liking and respect for him: he was simply the best of a very bad bunch of WW2 German soldiers, and his colleagues/peers all went to the house of horrors!

Now since the two greatest battles were in what is called the Third Coalition** for Trafalgar and the Seventh Coalition for Waterloo, we will concentrate on those, and at this point we leave Nelsons' other and many famous Napoleonic War battles for the history books. Nelson was already a great war hero long before the first shots were fired in October 1805 and all foreign naval commanders feared him and his very name. Napoleon chose the hapless and inept French admiral Villeneuve [pronounced villi-nerve-a] to go against Nelson at Trafalgar having watched another of his inept admirals destroyed in the Mediterranean over seven years before at the Battle of the Nile when D'Brueys was put to the sword also by Nelson: the French admiral died when he unfortunately stopped a British cannonball. A year before that in 1797 whilst in HMS Captain at the Battle of Cape St Vincent, Nelson had shown such unique and gob-smacking overwhelming bravery that he was knighted, promoted to rear admiral of the blue and became a national hero. In fact I have done a little calculation based solely on the meaning of the words "FOR VALOUR". Had Nelson lived in the second half of the 19th century he would have had the VC and at least six Bars and that's a fact.

** Coalitions came and went throughout the whole length of the Napoleonic Wars [1798-1815], with countries joining the battles against France on our side, and occasionally joining France against us.  The Prussians, all 50,000, fighting under Wellington, were much feared by ordinary soldiers as the number of dead piled high on the French side showed.

Nelson led a British navy taken from all areas of the British Isles to defeat the French and their ally, and for the record, it is important to remember that. Nelson died at Trafalgar and Victory was towed back to Gibraltar for repairs and the burial of several of the dead, and the preparation of Nelson's body en route to the UK for his funeral in January 1806. His fame is listed paramount above all others and virtually the whole world has heard of him even though they don't revere him with a monument.

Now the final sea battle of the Napoleon War period was in 1812 against the Americans [with France being their ally] which we lost but with no clear and obvious rout, but we lost, and the last land battle was in 1815 at Waterloo just outside the city of Brussels. This time Napoleon himself commanded, with the French General Ney as his second in command, so there were no admirals to blame. History for this Battle as far as we the British are concerned is often told short of the truth. Yes our leader the Duke of Wellington was, like Nelson, a cunning tactician well able to outflank just about any general in the field, and so he did on this 1815 occasion, and was justly called the Iron Duke. But his army was not British unlike Nelson's sailors were British. Only 36% of Wellington's soldiers were British, the bulk 50% from Germany, and the rest were Dutch, Belgian/Dutch, Walloons [French speakers whole lived in Belgium] and Flemish troops. Wellington went on record to unreservedly thank his fellow generals, the Prussian General von Blücher and the Dutch General the Prince of Orange. Together they literally destroyed the entire French and Spanish fleets combined, all but for four French ships of the line who ran away like cowards - see my story of Nelson and his Napoleonic War Admirals here NELSON AND HIS NAPOLEONIC WAR ADMIRALS.  Wellington was to say that the battle was the closest run thing ever! A few days later, the coalition forces marched on Paris to delivery the final and lasting insult. France would not see Napoleon again for 25 years. I have copied and pasted this snippet below taken from my story about Lord Mountbatten's Royal funeral which can be viewed here {Napoleon's home coming to Paris}

"Before continuing with British funerals let us take a quick look at the funeral of Britain's arch enemy of 18th and 19th century, namely Napoleon Bonaparte, or more correctly Napoleon I.   Napoleon died in British captivity on the South Atlantic island of St Helena in 1821, but his body was not repatriated to France until 1840.  On arrival back in Paris, he was given a full State funeral after which he was laid to rest in St Jerome's Chapel. In 1861, a full forty years after his death, Bonaparte was finally laid to rest at LES INVALIDES [which translated, means 'The Valid One'] in Paris.  Like all 19th century State funerals, no expense was spared, and Napoleon's body lies within six separate coffins.  They are made of iron, mahogany, two of lead, ebony, and the outer one is red porphyry.  The tomb sits on a green-granite pedestal surrounded by 12 pillars of victory."

This heavy coalition, the Seventh, is the reason why one does not see many monuments to the Duke of Wellington, at least not compared with those raised to Nelson. Nevertheless, the Iron Duke went down in history with many laurels and deep continuous praise. His greatest monuments can be view in Kent, at his home in Walmer Castle, and in the Estate given to him as a thank you by the British Government at Stratfield Saye in Hampshire, still the home of the current Duke of Wellington#. If you are into funereal things be prepared for a goose-pimple visit to the Wellington Exhibition at Statfield Saye. There are one or two other places which revere Wellington for posterity the next most important after the two properties mentioned above being Apsley House on the corner of Piccadilly and Park Lane [central London], known also as "No1 London" as a postal address. After the war, Wellington entered politics, rather like Washington, Eisenhower, De Gaulle, Franco and others did, but with mixed blessings. For a while he became the Prime Minister, but after three years he resigned. He remained in Parliament until his death, serving his constituents. He like Nelson [and other senior officers but in less grand surroundings] share pride of place in the crypt of St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London, with Nelson's tomb immediately beneath the centre of the cathedral's magnificent dome - drop a plumb line down and it would touch Nelson's midrift!

# If you want to know what the State gave to Nelson at his death, look here NELSON AND HIS NAPOLEONIC WAR ADMIRALS

So finally to Nelson, surely, the toughest guy who ever lived on the planet?  His injuries, ailments, sea sickness, slight build continually punished by structures within the ship and general malaise, could never have dampened his spirit and his love of his country, always ready for fighting for his King, George III, and expecting all in his command to think and do the same even unto death. I ask you, who else in all Christendom could have maintained this God-like iconic image for well over two hundred years to date, without a defaulter questioning the story or a belittler wanting to loosen his grip over us? No, be assured those words "immortal memory" are indelibly written into our history in the same way as are the words in the Laurence Binyon poem "For the Fallen" .........we WILL remember. No other navy in the world, past, now and to come, will ever produce such a leader, and whilst these "other" navies do not or would not admit it, they nonetheless admire the man and set many of their standards by his.

Unlike the Duke of Wellington, poor Nelson has but two personal venues in the UK and none of them grand. The first is his flagship HMS Victory at Portsmouth, the second his public house in his Norfolk home village [or small hamlet] with HIS seat revered for posterity. I have sat in that seat to enjoy a pint of the landlord's best - see this site


Nelson's kin folk are buried in the church at Burnham Thorpe, but other than that all original Nelsonian has long gone, more's the pity. Recently, the county borders of Norfolk have road signs saying "Nelson County", meaning crossing into or leaving true quality territory.  

There's a tale to be told here, because one would think that such a man, whose duty and death had saved us from an all powerful European dictator [a la Hitler's total defeat 130 years later in 1945] would have spurred-on an instant and magnificent response from all authoritative organisations  be they civil or military, to, as it were, push the boat out to be the first to raise a monument to his memory, even to the point of outdoing near-neighbour communities in direct competition.

Well, that mentality was in existence and within days of the notification of the death, Cork in Ireland [remember until the 1920's, 115 years on] a part of Great Britain, raised the very first monument within five days of the notification. Cork was a British naval base, had a naval hospital RNH Haulbowline, an Admiralty House and was frequented by units of the Grand Fleet/Atlantic Fleet; it was a mini Falmouth/Portland. Ireland then as now, had its hardened republicans and eventually the Nelson monument in Cork was dispatched to infinity with the aid of a dozen or so of their dynamite sticks. Not too far behind was Dublin and they raised the third highest monument [134 foot tall]  with a full figure of Nelson a top, and that lasted from approximately  1809 to 1966 [157 years] before another republican sent it packing with more IRA sticks. His name was Sutcliffe, Liam Sutcliffe. We English have have a mass-murderer of the same surname, but he is well and truly locked away for a lifetime - both disgusting people! Have a look at the bottom of the page for the story of the 1966 IRA bombing of the Dublin Nelson monument and an Alan Whicker video courtesy of the BBC.

However, I have to be fair to the Irish.  There's little wonder why they hate the English so much because of what our forefathers did to them in their island. I feel ashamed of that, and can in part empathies with the Irish but only in part. It was a long time ago and we've not repeated our nasty things since in any part of the Great Britain or the United Kingdom. But I have to wonder, given that the Irish modeled their own aspirations for an independent republic  on the French model [although their Home Rule didn't exactly become a vast republic] and moreover, supported all enemies of England throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, why they saluted Nelson for his utter defeat of Napoleonic forces {French and Spanish} at Trafalgar, at a time when the masses would have been well and truly pee-d off upon hearing of the British outright win. To the Irish there was much rejoicing when the French House of Bourbon fell with the guillotining of Louis XVI in 1793 after a 204 year dynasty, when all eyes turned to the English Georgian's, to George III, hoping that he too would be deposed. That he wasn't, kept the oppressive heat upon their homeland! In sheer historic terms we don't hold grudges against current day Scandinavian countries for the atrocities meted out by the Danes and the Vikings to the early Brit settlers, now do we?

The Irish are a funny lot in both ways, good humour/wit and strange/weird, and continue to this day, hating the English for no good reason now, not that it matters any more. As soon as they could, they joined the EU to be different to the old enemy sitting on the big island in the east, and willingly gave up their monopoly currency of the Punt for the Euro. My wife and I had a three week stay over at their Kerry Parknasilla Hotel a couple of years after they joined. We remember well the new roads between the eastern areas and The Ring of Kerry with great big signs saying funded by the EU, the building boom in Dublin [in particular] and enhancement to a tired and poor country. We also remember saying to one another....and yes...we [Brits] are paying for this. It was all built on handouts, but now look at Eire, and what a bloody waste [of our money] that was. They are back again, broke and humbled, though that is truly sad to see for such a proud bunch and lads and lasses loosing-out because of the poison within them.

I said above that their hate for us doesn't matter any more, but it did matter during WW1 and WW2 when they openly fraternised with the Germans, specifically UBoats in their southern ports from Wexford west, and their tight lips when the Lusitania went down in their waters, with no official condemnation of German beastial submarine warfare. As I say, funny people the Irish. As a counterbalance to my caustic comments which are justified, we have to remember, salute, revere and thank the Irish from the bottom of our hearts for the thousands of decent men who came over to the mainland and fought, with great sacrifices for the Allied Powers against the Central Powers/Axis Forces. That very action helped save Britain but it also helped save the respect many of us have for each other, which for an Island-nation is a pre-requisite, this, notwithstanding the 1920's and the greatly deserved Home Rule and segregation of Ireland into Eire and Northern Ireland. All I say can say at this juncture, is thank God for the splendid Irish Guards and their part played in the Household Division and in the UK Armed Forces per se. Very soon they will be promoted from the 5-buttoned uniform to the 4-buttoned uniform, when, as I understand it, the Gurkha's will take the 5-button position in the Household. By this time, Scotland will have left the Union to become a foreign republic  recalling their Guards to the SNP Holyrood Household and to their tiny insignificant armed forces.

After Ireland [in two places, Cork and Dublin] the Scots raised splendid Monuments to Nelson, with Glasgow's being the second largest after London at 144 feet and Edinburgh following on with a splendid monument albeit it is slightly less visible.  Both, as far as I know, and despite the childish petulant [or more likely a young adult's petulance] Sturgeon and her thugs, have not yet defiled or destroyed. Sadly, she is too strong for the whimp Cameron, but our most able female MP, Minister for Employment Ms Priti Patel, will see off this little upstart, mark my works. Cameron is but an utter European yes-man, a traitor, not even showing the decency to the thousands of British families whose loved ones rot in the fields of Europe who died for what he now calls a Britain which can no longer survive without a nanny, and a sicko nanny at that: he has sold us out and will have to pay the penalty. I for one, will be a "punisher" via the polling booth.

By todays standards Montreal was the next. Fully understandable of course because of the high profile British influence, but at this time France was already a totally influential controlling faction in the Quebec Province. Thus it made no sense on a lasting basis for the population to revere Nelson, even taking the British successes of General Wolfe into account in the mid 18th century when the British destroyed the French in Canada. My wife and I lived in Canada in Halifax Nova Scotia [New Scotland] for two years, and even there, we witnessed the whip-lash tongues of the prolific French-Canadians. It is a myth that we old Commonwealth countries, led by Her Majesty, are good bed fellows. Believe me, we are not - but equally we are with other Canadians not in Quebec!

Then in no specific order or chronology or size or type of monument, came:-

Nevis [West Indies]- please go to bottom of the page; Antigua [West Indies]; Gibraltar [believe it or not, the very last monument to be built 200 years after Trafalgar]; Salisbury Plain [a group of trees in the shape of the French navy and separately the British navy as at the Battle of the Nile] privately owned; Birmingham; Bridgewater Barbados [West Indies]; Portsdown Hill Portsmouth; Great Yarmouth; Norwich; Hereford; Anglesey North Wales; Northumberland; Dervok Antrim; Peak District Derbyshire; New Zealand; Aboukir Bay Egypt; Trafalgar Square London. This, the tallest of all monuments was slow in coming being completed in 1843 thirty eight years after the event. For many years pre WW2, the Navy League used to dress the base/plinth/lions and a goodly way up the column with bunting for an event called Trafalgar Week, during which there was much gaiety, dancing and polite revelry.

  THE END OF DUBLIN'S NELSON'S COLUMN In March 1966 I was in submarine Auriga heading out to Singapore for a two year stint as part of the 7th Submarine Squadron. We were in the Persian Gulf at the time paying a courtesy visit to a good ally of Britain namely to Persia, now called Iran. In those days it was ruled by the Shah of Persia a good friend of our royal family and the Shah sat on the Peacock Throne. We were there to visit Abadan [a major oil port] at the very end of the Gulf quite near to Iraq and Basrah, their main naval base overlooking the Straits of Hormuz [entrance to the Gulf] at Bandar Abbas, and a tiny island nearby called Jask. Throughout the whole journey when on the surface but not when dived deep below, we kept listening to the News on BBC World Service [London Calling]. It was whilst at Jask that we heard of Nelson's demise.

This is a newspaper cutting

  1966-03-08 DUBLINS NELSON'S COLUMN.jpg

and this is the BBC Video which pulls the story together


NEVIS - a West Indies Island

The island of Nevis is part of the islands called St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean. Nelson often visited the Caribbean and for one long period was stationed there. He travelled between the islands on regular voyages. On one of his visits to Nevis, he met a young and pretty white women who was from a well-shod family, and she had her own personal slave. This is that story.

Before I tell it, like many of you I have a hero's list and a list of those who I truly feel sorry for or about. This is a story of the latter group.

The pretty white woman was a widow, FRANCES NESBIT, and she had a very young son called Josiah Nesbit. Whilst a young girl she had lost her mother and by her late teens her father also. Shortly after loosing her father, she married an island doctor and shortly afterwards moved to England to make it their home. Young Josiah was born an Englishman. Within just two years of arriving, her husband, also Josiah, took seriously ill and died. Frances stayed over but soon returned to her home land in the Caribbean to live amongst her extended family. That was the first time Nelson set eyes up her and fell madly in love. Eventually they married on Nevis, and eventually Nelson's time on the Station came to and end and he was called home. Frances followed on later. The marriage blossomed and Nelson doted on his stepson Josiah. There was no issue from this marriage. Nelson, in common with other officers was often unemployed by the Admiralty and put on half pay until the next war, and this affected his morale and his grumpiness, when he became argumentative and fractious with Frances. By this time, Frances was more commonly called Fanny. When he was recalled to full pay duties, he was away from Norfolk for very long periods being deployed far and wide on the King's service.

Josiah had grown up by the time the French Revolutionary Wars started in 1793 and Nelson took his stepson to sea with him in the Agamemnon as a midshipman. Nelson was delighted in all aspects of his stepsons performance and was very proud for Fanny. He also had Josiah in the Captain at the Battle of St Vincent, and when Nelson lost his arm, young Josiah saved his life by applying and managing the tourniquet.

Eventually whilst serving in the Mediterranean, Nelson met his lover Lady Emma Hamilton, an outgoing and gregarious courtier, the very opposite to the quite lady-like and home-maker which was Frances' disposition. Fanny was devoted to Nelson, but once smitten, Nelson had no further use for her and never again came back to the home they had made on first arriving in England. Josiah was also devoted to his mother and didn't take kindly to her being abandoned. He rapidly went off Nelson!

Regretably Nelson's good opinion of his stepson was not to last. Josiah was starting to exhibit the bouts of ill-temper and drunkenness that were to blight his career in the Navy. His stepfather's patronage had him promoted lieutenant and then post-captain within a remarkably short time, and through Nelson's efforts Josiah secured command of the 36-gun frigate Thalia in the Mediterranean. It was not a happy ship. Captain Nisbet took to messing in the gunroom and discipline and morale plummeted. In 1799 Nelson wrote, when sending the Thalia to Admiral Duckworth at Gibraltar that he could say ' nothing in her praise, inside or out'. He added, ' Perhaps you may be able to make something of Captain Nisbet; he has, by his conduct, almost broke my heart.' The admiral failed. He wrote in June 1800 expressing his grave concern at the low morale on the Thalia. The surgeon had been under arrest for three months and was demanding a court martial, while the first lieutenant had compiled a long list of grievances against Captain Nisbet. Duckworth had smoothed things over and a public inquiry was avoided, but he recommended the Thalia be paid aff. His final recommendation was that Captain Nisbet should have ' a few months with Lady Nelson'.
Part of the problem was that Josiah strongly objected to to his stepfather's flaunting of his adulterous relationship with Emma Hamilton. He was intensely loyal to his mother, feeling, with reason, that she was being treated disgracefully. On one occasion, seeing the one-armed admiral struggling to climb up a rope ladder, he remarked that he wished Nelson would fall and break his neck. Despite all this, Nelson kept trying to get Captain Nisbet, an officer who would never be 'an ornament to the service' another ship. He was unsuccessful.

Fanny wrote to Nelson via third parties begging leave to see him, asking for the simplest and nicest things in life expected of a marriage which she had not destroyed. Her final letter to Nelson is simple and very sad. This is what she wrote, posting it on through a friend of Nelson's and sympathiser of Fanny's position, Alexander Davison:-

The silence you have imposed is more than my affections will allow me and in this instance I hope you will forgive me in not obeying you. One thing I omitted in my letter of July which I have now to offer for your accommodation is a comfortable warm house.  Do, my dear husband, let us live together. I can never be happy until such an event takes place. I assure you again that I have but one wish in the world, to please you. Let everything be buried in oblivion, it will pass away like a dream. I can now only entreat you to believe I am most sincerely and affectionately your wife, Frances M Nelson

As requested, the letter was forwarded to Nelson and then returned to Fanny, sealed again and bearing the words signed by Davison "Opened by mistake by Lord Nelson, but not read".  This Fanny accepted was the end.

Fanny sought solace in friends and those who cared, and was grateful for the true love of her son Josiah. She was also silently embarrassed about her son's put down by her husband. However, she never faltered in her love, devotion and respect for Nelson. Josiah overtly held Nelson in contempt and any forgiveness wasn't on offer.

At this time Josiah, on the advice of his stepfather Nelson, who he now hated with some venom, had left the navy. He had acquired many business skills and was making a good living and had married well. He worked in France, the very country his stepfather was fighting against! Had his stepfather not acted as he did with the Hamilton's, Josiah's full intention, with Nelson's patronage, was to become like Nelson as far as he was able. 

After the Battle of Trafalgar, the true British etiquette kicked-in with the First Lord of the Admiralty himself, Lord Barham writing to Fanny to express the sympathy of the whole Board in the loss of her "illustrious partner" and at the same time ordering a lesser member of the Board to write to Emma Hamilton Nelson's lover using a term similar to the loss of "your acquaintance". Whilst it must have been a terrible shock for Fanny to receive Lord Barham's letter, she must also have found a closure that others too, who had had an association with her husband, had also lost when the grim reaper called. For Fanny, who had lost both loving parents when she was young, her first husband and now her second husband, her grief was profound and lasting. According to Victory's captain, Captain Hardy, Emma Hamilton's grief was very visible and inconsolable. Fanny remained faithful and loyal to Nelson's memory for the rest of her life.

In the same year as Nelson's death, Fanny was known to be unwell. Her son Josiah, now with a daughter also called Fanny [with several children yet to come], lived and worked in Paris with huge earnings [a failed naval officer but a very robust and shrewd businessman] so Fanny senior went to spend some quality time with them for a couple of years. There appears to be no record of this period.  However, we do know that Fanny was a fluent French speaker and had brought Josiah up to be bi-lingual. They were living and working in Paris at the time of Nelson's death and his funeral, and they might have known that Victory with a deceased Nelson onboard was sailing north north west just under 200 miles of them in the Channel, whilst living amongst and socialising with French people who had killed her husband and his stepfather. We do know that Fanny deeply grieved for Nelson but we don't know about Josiah's feelings for Nelson after his mother was so badly treated and constantly unhappy, and he had been almost drummed out of the navy at Nelson's behest.  Now she had not only the love of her son [which continued until his premature death] but of her grand daughter and later other grandchildren. After Paris she settled in a prim red brick house overlooking the sea at Exmouth where she and Lord Nelson had once enjoyed a particularly happy holiday together. There was to be one last disaster for Fanny when Josiah her beloved son died when aged 50 in 1830. Parents, two husbands and now her only child - how my heart bleeds for her. On Josiah's death he left a great deal of money for his wife, his children and for his mother, but she died just ten months after her son, in London's Harley Street on the 6th May 1831 aged seventy-three. It is thought that she willed to be buried in the Exmouth area so she could rest for eternity in a place where romance with Nelson had so fulfilled her in the good days.  Fanny had a largely comfortable life but a very sad life too. It is Emma Hamilton and not Fanny Nelson who is remembered by most. Still, in a way Emma Hamilton got her cum-up-pence for she died a drunkard, deeply in debt because of her spendthrift and irresponsible life-style and chased out of Paris as a debtor into the back-streets of Calais where, despite a search, I cannot find an epitaph or marked grave for her. Fanny was laid to rest in a beautiful and peaceful English church graveyard near to Exmouth [Littleham cum Exmouth] alongside her only son and four grandchildren, with love and great dignity. It was said she died the lady she was born to be and which posture she maintained through all adversity throughout her life. She was now at peace, all her earthly sadness's over. Call me old fashioned, but I can't help feeling that Nelson's achievements with Frances, Viscountess Nelson, a true lady and loving wife on his arm, would have elevated even higher the story of this great man. In passing, for what it is worth, women did not go to funerals in the 18th and early 19th centuries, no matter whom unless of course they were being buried: for example Queen Victoria didn't go to Prince Albert's funeral by custom.

This is Fanny's resting place, now 185 years ago. It is also a family resting place. The name Herbert is a family name from the Island of Nevis, and is not gender related. With her in the tomb is her son Josiah Nesbit, and four of his children. From what I can gather, the bottom three lines reads:- "And also four of his children; Horatio Wollward Herbert Josiah; Sarah and Josiah all of whom died young." The names are Christian and surnames of the Fanny's kin family.  Fanny's full title and style was Vicountess Nelson of the Nile and Burnham Thorpe - Nile one of Nelson's battles and Burnham Thorpe Nelsons home village by the stream in Norfolk.