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Weekly Edition - Published 12 September 2015


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A Piece Nelson's Naval History on Display at The Atkinson

A full and intact letter from Horatio Nelson to Francis Drake, British Minister in Genoa, in his own hand is on display at The Atkinson from 3 September until 31 October 2015.

The letter dated August 16 1795; from Falls Bay expresses Nelson's disappointment to Drake about him not seeing Admiral Hotham until his return from Leghorn and asking if he knows:- 'the exact plans which this army is to follow, at present I am totally in the dark';

The letter, written by Nelsons's own hand before he lost it at Santa Cruz on the 24 July 1797 is an unrecorded document written a few months after the battle of Genoa when Nelson was still involved in patrolling the Italian coast.

The letter has been kindly loaned by Roger Martin, a local resident with a passion for history. He recently acquired the genuine letter penned by Lord Nelson. He decided that such a special item deserved to be made public for others to see and approached The Atkinson.

Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758 to 1805) was a British Naval commander and a national hero, famous for his naval victories against the French during the Napoleonic Wars.

Over the period of 1794 to 1805, under Nelson's leadership, the Royal Navy proved its supremacy over the French. His most famous engagement at Cape Trafalgar, saved Britain from invasion by Napoleon, but it would be his last. Whilst leading the attack on the combined French and Spanish fleet, he was killed by a French sniper. His body was placed in barrel of brandy to preserve it and he was brought back to England where he was given a state funeral.

The letter will be on display from September until the Saturday, 31 October 2015, together with a painting of HMS Victory from The Atkinson's permanent collection which the Gallery is hoping to have restored.

If you would like to know more about Nelson and his flagship HMS Victory then Stephen Whittle Principle Manager, the Museum, Galleries and Operations is delivering the Object of the Month talk on a painting of Nelson's flagship by Richard Henry Nibbs on Wednesday, 9 September 2015, at 1pm. The talk is free and everyone is welcome.

Object of the month is a regular programme of short gallery talks that highlight different objects from the collections. Join us as we delve deeper in to our collections and reveal new stories every month.  The Talks take place on the 2nd Wednesday of every month, at 1pm, in the Galleries, no need to book and all the talks are free!

For more information on all the talks and the full programme of events and activities available at:- The Atkinson, then please visit or call Box Office on:- 01704 533333.


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