A battle fought at sea in 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars which put paid to Napoleon's dreams of invading England. So named because it was fought on the waters off Cape Trafalgar in Spain. One of the English Navy's greatest triumphs, as they defeated the combined might of the French and Spanish navies, although Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson was fatally wounded during the fight.

Nelson's Prayer before the Battle of Trafalgar:

May the great God whom I worship grant to my country, and for the benefit of Europe in general, a great and glorious victory, and may no misconduct in anyone tarnish it; and may humanity after victory be the predominant feature in the British Fleet. For myself individually I commit my life to Him that made me; and may His blessing alight on my endeavours for serving my country faithfully. To Him I resign myself, and the just cause which is entrusted to me to defend.

Amen, Amen, Amen.


Admiral Nelson wrote this prayer in his last letter to his lover, Lady Emma Hamilton, and his daughter, Horatia, just before Trafalgar. He was disturbed during the writing of this letter by one of officers, as the battle drew nearer. It is clear from some of his words in the prayer that Nelson was utterly prepared for the battle and ready to give his life on that day ("I commit my life to him that made me"). This is also reflected in the way the British commander refused to cover his conspicuous decorations (for example the star denoting him a Knight of the Order of the Bath) and take cover under the poop deck. Nelson also insisted that the HMS Victory would be the first into the French and Spanish line in the southernmost "weather" column of British ships, with himself on her and not the Euryalus as suggested by Henry Blackwood (captain of the Euryalus and friend of Nelson).


"God bless you, Blackwood; I shall never speak to you again."

- Nelson to Blackwood, on the latter's departure to his own ship just after the Victory began taking enemy fire.

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