Nelson & Norfolk
29 July – 1 October 2017
The exhibition celebrates the life and accomplishments of Admiral Lord Nelson.
One of Britain's most heroic figures, Horatio Nelson is praised for his inspirational, strategic and – at times – unconventional leadership, which led him to secure many high-profile naval victories at the turn of the 19th century.
Nelson was born in Burnham Thorpe in Norfolk and was encouraged to join the navy by his uncle, Maurice Suckling, a high-ranking officer himself. Nelson soon developed a reputation in the service after showing great valour in the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars.
His fortune would take a turn for the worse during the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where he was badly wounded and lost his right arm, forcing him to go home to England to recuperate. Not to be defeated, he returned to service the following year to win a decisive victory over the French at the Battle of the Nile.
In the 1800s he went on to win attacks at the Battle of Copenhagen, the blockade of the French and Spanish fleets at Toulon and the Cádiz blockade.
In 1805 Nelson went to fight at the Battle of Trafalgar which despite being Britain's greatest naval victory, would be Nelson's last. While aboard the HMS Victory he was fatally wounded by a French sharpshooter. His body was brought back to England where he was given a state funeral.
Featuring important objects connected directly to Lord Nelson, this exhibition examines the how his achievements have inspired, encouraged and fascinated audiences in the 200 years since his death.
Le Genereux was one of just two ships from the French fleet that managed to escape during Nelson's victory at the Battle of the Nile in 1798. When Nelson's flag captain Edward Berry defeated her in the Mediterranean 18 months later he took the ensign, packed it up and sent it to Norwich where Nelson presented it to the town.
Believed to be one of the earliest Tricolours in existence, it still contains splinters of wood and traces of gunpowder and is a remarkable survivor of sailing ship battles. On display in this exhibition for the first time in more than 100 years, the museum hopes to be able to raise the funds needed to put it on permanent display.