Our Lord and Savior; Horatio Nelson, Britain's greatest sailor who beat the French, Spanish and Danish fleets and still had enough energy to send a metaphorical boarding party to seize Emma Hamilton as his prize wench.
Horatio Nelson was born with a full compliment of arms , legs and eyes in Norfolk in 1758 to the Reverend Edmund Nelson and his wife Catherine. His father wanted to breed a 'Cricket eleven - and Nelson came in as number six which usually means he was a bit of an all rounder. He quickly decided that he wanted to go to sea and skipped off to join a local fishing fleet in Lowestoft. There Nelson learnt all the ropes , how to stay drunk standing up and partaking of rollicking sea adventures involving killing a polar bear and not paying for sex in the French seaport of Calais. It is there apparently Nelson first hated the French when one of their Ladies of Leisure laughed at the size of his mainmast. Nelson later on mentioned in his diaries that this experience was 'worse that taking a musket ball in the arm' and later led him to try out the vacuum pump to increase the size and circumference of his block and tackle. It is believed that this is where the term 'The Nelson
Method Touch' was first coined.
Nelson decided he wanted to serve his country and volunteered his services to the Royal Navy. He fully signed up to the British motto 'Rum, Sodomy and The Lash' which had made the Royal Navy feared on the high seas. He took part in the American Revolution fighting the French,Spanish and Dutch allies of George Washington. Nelson says of this time that he enjoyed fighting Britain's enemies and seeing their ships burn. However the outbreak of peace in 1783 saw him mooch around for the next ten years . To show everyone his naval experiences hadn't made him a man's man , he married Fanny Arbuckle , heir to a lot of money but a bit dull when it came to anything else. It was a very unhappy marriage and Nelson felt his future had passed him. Then news that France had declared war on Britain made Nelson very very happy.
The outbreak of war with France in 1792 saw Nelson right in the thick of the action. He was still looked down upon by other naval captains as a bit uncouth and possibly , aggressively heterosexual. They were also suspicious of his 'touch' and insisted shaking his hand with gloves on. By then Nelson didn't care , as he had lost the sight of his right eye in bar brawl in Corsica over the affections of a woman (so it was said) . That she was actually Napoleon's sister Pauline just increased Nelson's hatred of anything (and anyone) French.
In a change of enemy , Nelson next made his name in command of the Captain in the Battle of Cape St.Vincent in 1797. Eager to enhance his reputation , Nelson ordered that his ship be steered directly into two Spanish galleons. He lost his No Claims Bonus but won praise and glory from the British who saw this bit of reckless seamanship as a sterling example of British brio. His naval superiors were outwardly pleased and made him a Rear Admiral but privately they tried to make sure Nelson's next command would be a worm eaten ship posted off the Spanish sea port of Cadiz . Anchored and bored, Nelson passed the time peering into bedrooms to watch Spanish aristocrats undressing before it was 'candles out'.
It whilst he was there that Nelson was told to go the Canary Islands to get a welcome holiday from staying onboard with a ship full of sex starved sailors. Once again the hot tempered Nelson got involved in a fight - this time when he tried to play a game of football in the local bull fighting ring. In the ensuing fight , a Spaniard chewed his right arm off. Nelson was dragged away , though once again the British Press said the English naval hero had lost his arm trying to storm Tenerife.
By now the British Admiralty recognised that they had better preserve 'this Nelson chap' before he lost any more extremities. So when Napoleon Bonoparte sailed to Egypt on a money collecting holiday , Nelson was given command of a fleet to fight his favourite foe. He then swept across the Mediterranean to Egypt, where he decided to 'scrub clean' the area of Francophiles for "the hell of it".
A few days after reaching the Egyptian coast near Alexandria, Nelson got word that the French fleet were anchored in Aboukir Bay . Nelson reportedly claimed to be able to beat them with his right hand tied behind his back. This would have been an amazing feat for a normal man but everyone knew Nelson's right hand was sitting in a surgeon's bucket hundreds of miles away in the Canary Islands. But it was a good joke and his crew laughed until the slowest of them were given 100 lashes to increase morale. Then Nelson ordered his fleet to sail into attack just as the day was turning into night.
As Nelson relates in his own journal..
We arrived in the early evening in the bay. The Frenchies were completely unaware we were there , I could hear them having wild parties on their ships and that there were women on board too. I had smiled to myself - we had caught those randy revolutionaries with their republican bell bottom trousers down.
I signalled to the other ships in the fleet that Gentlemen! We have Bonaparte's Fate and His Balls In Our Hands. If Boney's fleet was destroyed , the little Corsican adventurer would have to stay out here and fry his bottom in the desert.
Inspired by their leader, the British ships pounded the helpless French vessels until their flagship Leyton Orient blew up with the French Vice Admiral François-Paul 'Stumpy' Brueys d'Aigalliers still on board. The British ships cheered and taunted the French 'You're Not Singing Now' and continued the battle until most of the French ships had surrendered ,sank or had been scuttled by their own crews.
On hearing the news, the British parliament gave Nelson the title , Baron Nelson of the Nile and the keys to a pub of his choosing. Nelson decided to celebrate by heading off to Sicily for some urgent infidelity where he heard the wife of the British ambassador there was The Hottest Totty This Side Of The Mediterranean. Her name was Emma Hamilton.
Despite Nelson's war battered looks , Emma Hamilton fell for Britain's naval hero. Remarkably she persuaded her husband William Hamilton to stay in his library or greenhouse whilst she right royally entertained Nelson. She wrote confidentially to her friend Lady Jersey:
He arrived in my bedroom wearing just his admiral's hat. Nelson looked magnificent , all five foot of him as he stood to attention at the edge of my bed like a proud 100 gun Ship-of-The-Line. I beckoned him in and asked him to show his legendary Nelson touch as he caressed my bare body. When that moment came of mutual happiness , it was like a broadside aimed at the centre of my heart.
Stories about Nelson's sex drive got back to London where some wondered if it was wise to leave him in command of the British Mediterranean Fleet. However they were over ruled so Nelson and Emma were left in peace and happy fornication.
Eventually Nelson (with Emma and her cuckolded husband) returned to London . Nelson was once again given the heroic treatment but when he was asked to take out the Danish in Copenhagen, he was made only second in command to Admiral Parker. The action didn't get off to a good start. Some of the English sailors who hadn't seen a woman in years jumped overboard and swam towards the statue of the Little Mermaid where they were picked off by Danish sharp shooters. Nor did the fighting go well when more British ships ran aground trying stop their sailors from defecting. At the hight of the battle , Admiral Parker signalled Nelson to retire from the battle but by chance , Nelson was once again peering at people in their bedrooms and so missed the message. Officially it was said Nelson had exclaimed 'I See No Signal' . What he actually said was ' I See No Corsets' and was pointing his telescope at Copenhagen's red light quarter. In the end the Danes surrendered and gave up their ships. Nelson had won again.
Nelson once again returned to Britain. This time he gained a Viscountcy but lost his wife Fanny objected to having to share what was physically left of Nelson with 'that brazen floozy Emma Hamilton'. He left her on Christmas day 1801 when she unwisely gave him a knitted jumper made for a man with two full functioning arms. Upset and hysterical , Nelson told Fanny that it was all over. If said if he could have her shot out of a cannon, he would but this being England, that hadn't been allowed since the death of Charles II.
He hoped to be back in naval action but Nelson's war hopes were dashed when Britain and France signed a peace treaty in 1802. Nelson said it was a betrayal of his ambitions and moved to a public house in Surrey to live with Emma and William Hamilton. He died suddenly in 1803 , leaving his antique collection to the British museum and Emma (and the pub) to Nelson. It was an odd arrangement but by now , Nelson the war hero was exempt from petty public morality and that included being the father of a remarkable nursery of little Nelsons:Nelson Mandela, Nelson Piquet, Nelson 'F1 Carsmasher' Piquet, The Nelson Brothers..etc
War with France (and Spain) broke out once more in 1804 and this time Nelson was given HMS Victory to command the fleet. He was now a full Admiral and had a comprehensive ship-of-the-line insurance cover in case of serious naval battles. Now for the first time he could fight against his best enemies (the French) and his second best enemies (the Spanish) in a joint battle. The French admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve was told by Napoleon to 'keep running away' everytime he saw the British whilst the French Emperor got on with task of sneaking across the Channel in a flotilla of 'Bogus Asylum Seekers'.
Villeneuve followed the plan to the letter , leaving Nelson to fulminate against 'French cowardice' as he criss crossed the Atlantic looking for the Franco-Spanish fleet. Eventually in October 1805 , their fleet was spotted off the coast of Spain. Waiting to attack them at a place that would be easy for the British not to linguistically mangle themselves over , he gave the orders to sail straight at them off Cape Trafalgar. Nelson decided to put all of this down in a flag signal:-
England Expects Our Boys To Give Those Cowardly French and Sneaky Spanish A Damned Good Trashing. What Ho Sailors!
Leading from the front, Nelson's flagship crossed the line of the fleeing Franco-Spanish fleet . His ship was soon hotly engaged by the enemy and whilst he was on deck sorting out his dry cleaning with Captain Thomas Hardy , a French marksman in the rigging of Le Rostbiff shot him down. Nelson fell over and whispered to Hardy:-
Don't forget there is a deposit on these clothes..I think they have got me this time Tommy. Damn the French. There was nothing wrong with my mainmast I tell you...
Nelson was brought below where a huge crowd of idle sailors watched him die. It took ages, about three hours by which time he got the news that the French and Spanish were surrendering as quickly as they could find any white rags to fly from their masts. By now Nelson was close to death and probably delirious. Perhaps mistaking Thomas Hardy for his beloved Emma he said:
Kiss me Emma..Kiss me everywhere that is still on one piece. A sad Thomas Hardy then tried to correct Nelson's mistake (it was a death scene in poor light after all). Admiral. I am Hardy , Thomas Hardy sir. You know, the writer and my books 'Mayor of Casterbridge', 'Jude the Obscure'..
Then Nelson is said to sighed.
Oh..those..boring bloody books Hardy. Anyway, you will have to do. Kiss me Hardy and make sure it isn't a filthy French tongue job..
Hardy gave Nelson a quick little pucker and with that , the heroic Nelson died. His body wasn't chucked over the side like other casualties from the battle. Instead (despite some protests) , his body was put in a barrel of confiscated French brandy and then it was lashed to the mast with the label Nelson's Brandy: Vieille Reserve.1805.
News of Nelson's victory and death was greeted with sadness back in Britain. He was given full military honours and buried in St.Paul's Cathedral. The cask of brandy that had contained his body was then given out to the sailors who had carried the coffin. His estranged wife Fanny sent her condolences and a letter to the admiralty confirming all monies owed to Nelson would go to her and not Emma 'Slut-Hamilton'. The British authorities agreed and the luckless Emma was given the empty barrel which had contained Nelson's body plus some of the clothes her lover had worn on the fatal day.
It took many years to agree what sort of monument suited Nelson's memory. Eventually it was agreed that a tall Corinthian style column with two large domes at the base would be erected near Whitehall in London. In 1840 the area was cleared and renamed Trafalgar Square but the semi-spheroids were never constructed. Eventually four bronze lions cast were from the captured fancy bedsteads of French and Spanish sailors and placed around the column instead. Apparently Queen Victoria hadn't been amused by the crude symbolism (though if it had been a column in praise of Prince Albert , that would have been different.
Once it was finished , a statue of Nelson was placed on top. Once again there was a dispute about which pose best summed up the great man. A popular poll at the time suggested Nelson should be shown looking through his telescope . However in light of Nelson's well known habit of being something of a peeping Tom , the telescope was left out when the statue was eventually finished . Despite this , Nelson stills looks in the direction of France which had been the source of his initial humiliation but also , the land that had given him a run of crap admirals to beat up in battle. It is just a shame Nelson now has to deal with a different type of manure everyday: From runny bum pigeons perching on his hat.
Well firstly: They're French but also the French battle cry was :
"To the water, it is the hour!" "A L'eau, c'est l'heure!"
Yeah, I know. Lame, huh?
According to Victor Hugo , Nelson just go lucky in his many battles and that it was the sporting French who had given the English admiral so many chances. Napoleon had wanted to know if this 'man who beats me on water' would come across the channel and join the winning side. So the story goes Emma Hamilton was his secret agent but that she had spoiled French plans by falling for the old sea dog.
His descendants, if he had any, would have been be asked to apologise formally to the French and Spanish nations for the acts of piracy he carried out in his time as Admiral. These were clearly not in line with the spirit of the European Union, in which no country is allowed to win.