Nelson Road, HA1

Place Name

Although honouring Admiral Horatio Nelson (September 29, 1758 – October 21, 1805), 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, and hero of the Battle of Trafalgar, Trafalgar Terrace is nearby, the connection here is a little closer to home. Horatia Nelson Ward (January 29, 1801 – March 6, 1881) the illegitimate daughter of Emma Hamilton and Nelson, lived in the area at West Lodge and Woodridings. Her life was unconventional even from the start, she was born in the Hamiltons’ house in Piccadilly, while Nelson was away at sea. The loved child was immediately smuggled out, to be cared for by a trustworthy woman in Marylebone. Emma immediately returned to her social life. Despite her high-standing and introduction into society, Horatia was relatively impoverished. She married a Reverend Philip Ward and lived in Norfolk for a while but on his death in January 1859 she had to leave Tenterden. She moved to a house called Elmdene in Church Lane, Pinner and later at Beaufort Villas, Woodridings (a former estate in Pinner), where she died 22 years later; both were near to her son Nelson, the fifth of ten children. On her death, Horatia was buried in Pinner Parish old cemetery, in Paines Lane in Pinner. Her father, of course, was a national hero who scored a number of decisive British naval victories, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. Born into a Norfolk family he was named Horatio after his godfather Horatio Walpole, 1st Earl of Orford. His naval career began on New Year’s Day 1771, when he reported to the third-rate HMS Raisonnable as an ordinary seaman and coxswain under his maternal uncle, Captain Maurice Suckling, who commanded the vessel. Shortly after reporting aboard, Nelson was appointed a midshipman and began officer training. Early in his service, he discovered that he suffered from seasickness, a chronic complaint that dogged him for the rest of his life. That aside he proved himself a brilliant seaman showing inspirational leadership combined with unconventional tactics, including at the Battle of Nile. He was killed in action, aged 47, when as commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean Fleet on board the flagship HMS Victory he was shot by a French marksman during the Battle of Trafalgar near the Spanish port city of Cádiz. His success in destroying the French fleet allowed Britain to become the world’s largest sea power for 100 years making it the most important sea battle of the 19thCentury. By 1865 two small roads, Waldron Road and Victoria Terrace, had been built within the main square, and Nelson Road led from West Street to Trafalgar Terrace.

 

 

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