The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson HTML version

Chapter 7. 1800 – 1801
Nelson separates himself from his Wife--Northern Confederacy--
He goes to the Baltic, under Sir Hyde Parker--Battle of
Copenhagen, and subsequent Negotiation--Nelson is made a Viscount.
NELSON was welcomed in England with every mark of popular honour. At Yarmouth,
where he landed, every ship in the harbour hoisted her colours. The mayor and
corporation waited upon him with the freedom of the town, and accompanied him in
procession to church, with all the naval officers on shore, and the principal inhabitants.
Bonfires and illuminations concluded the day; and on the morrow, the volunteer cavalry
drew up, and saluted him as he departed, and followed the carriage to the borders of the
county. At Ipswich, the people came out to meet him, drew him a mile into the town, and
three miles out. When he was in the AGAMEMNON, he wished to represent this place in
parliament, and some of his friends had consulted the leading men of the corporation--the
result was not successful; and Nelson, observing that he would endeavour to find out a
preferable path into parliament, said there might come a time when the people of Ipswich
would think it an honour to have had him for their representative. In London, he was
feasted by the City, drawn by the populace from Ludgate-hill to Guildhall, and received
the thanks of the common-council for his great victory, and a golden-hilted sword
studded with diamonds. Nelson had every earthly blessing except domestic happiness; he
had forfeited that for ever. Before he had been three months in England he separated from
Lady Nelson. Some of his last words to her were--"I call God to witness, there is nothing
in you, or your conduct, that I wish otherwise." This was the consequence of his
infatuated attachment to Lady Hamilton. It had before caused a quarrel with his son-in-
law, and occasioned remonstrances from his truest friends, which produced no other
effect than that of making him displeased with them, and more dissatisfied with himself.
The Addington administration was just at this time formed; and Nelson, who had
solicited employment, and been made vice-admiral of the blue, was sent to the Baltic, as
second in command, under Sir Hyde Parker, by Earl St. Vincent, the new First Lord of
the Admiralty. The three Northern courts had formed a confederacy for making England
resign her naval rights. Of these courts, Russia was guided by the passions of its emperor,
Paul, a man not without fits of generosity, and some natural goodness, but subject to the
wildest humours of caprice, and erased by the possession of greater power than can ever
be safely, or perhaps innocently, possessed by weak humanity. Denmark was French at
heart: ready to co-operate in all the views of France, to recognise all her usurpations, and
obey all her injunctions. Sweden, under a king whose principles were right, and whose
feelings were generous, but who had a taint of hereditary insanity, acted in acquiescence
with the dictates of two powers whom it feared to offend. The Danish navy, at this time,
consisted of 23 ships of the line, with about 31 frigates and smaller vessels, exclusive of
guard-ships. The Swedes had 18 ships of the line, 14 frigates and sloops, seventy-four
galleys and smaller vessels, besides gun-boats; and this force was in a far better state of