Celebrating Nelson with unique display
Visitors of all ages can get up close to Norfolk history with a summer exhibition focusing on the county’s most famous son.
The Nelson and Norfolk display at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery runs from 29 July to
It includes an enormous French Tricolour flag captured by Admiral Lord Nelson from a French warship in 1800, which has not been on show for more than 100 years. Other objects connected to Nelson tell the story from his childhood through to his death.
Alongside the Tricolour flag, other important objects on display include the black velvet drape from Nelson’s funeral carriage, a uniform worn by a Greenwich Volunteer who guarded Nelson’s coffin during his two day lying-in-state and the sword surrendered to Nelson by the Spanish Admiral Xavier Winthuysen after the Battle of Cape St Vincent on 14 February 1797. The same sword is also featured in the large, iconic portrait in oils of Nelson by the artist William Beechey, commissioned by the City of Norwich, completed in 1801 and also included in the exhibition. So too, is the hat given to William Beechey by Nelson after he sat for the famous portrait.
Personal items on display from the collection of Strangers’ Hall Museum in Norwich include a lock of Nelson’s hair, a napkin bearing the monogram of NB for Nelson Duke of Bronte, an honour conferred to him after the Battle of the Nile, as well as scraps of the British Ensign and sailcloth from HMS Victory.
Nelson’s famous coat, worn at the Battle of the Nile, will also be on display. Made in wool and linen with large brass buttons and gold alloy braiding, this is a typical flag officer’s undress coat of the period. It is one of the important pieces kindly loaned by the National Maritime Museum Greenwich.
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Picture credit: William Beechey, Horatio, Viscount Nelson, 1801
Oil on canvas
© Norfolk Museums Service