The spotlight – in Bath – is very much on England’s maritime hero Admiral Lord Nelson at the moment with a free-to-enter exhibition in Queen Square which features a very unusual link with the man who paid the supreme price for victory at the Battle of Trafalgar.
It’s at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution and is called Chosen – simple because the artefacts on display have been selected – and curated – by members and from the Institution’s vast collection.
I was lucky enough to be able to look into the tiny bottle of fluid which – on a faded label – claims to be part of the liquor in which Nelson’s body was brought back to England for burial in a journey that took 44 days.
With no refrigeration, his remains had been put in a large water barrel and filled with brandy to preserve it. When finally placed in his coffin it is suggested his fellow sailors had used any empty bottle on hand to collect souvenirs from the remaining liquid.
Fake or genuine article – the little relic helps tell a bigger story about a man who had made many visits to Bath during his lifetime.
Nelson came to the city to recuperate after losing his arm, his father was a frequent visitor and so was his estranged wife.
Tied in with the exhibition is a series of ‘Nelson Trails’ and there are still some tickets remaining for tomorrow’s outing – Saturday, June 8th – on the last but one walk before autumn.
It starts at 11am at BRLSI, and a representative from The Nelson Society will lead you around the streets of Bath, stopping to point out and discuss the various buildings and streets associated with Britain’s most famous naval hero.
To join in, please book your place in advance via the Bath Box Office website