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19th October 2023

Trafalgar Day

On the 21st of October Brunswick House marks Trafalgar Day

England expects that every man will do his duty

The 21st of October marks England’s deliverance from the threat of invasion and conquest following the victory over the combined French and Spanish fleets by Admiral Lord Nelson off Cape Trafalgar in 1805.

Brunswick House has long commemorated (in the words of the Trafalgar Toast) “The Immortal Memory of Lord Nelson and those who fell with him” by flying both the White Ensign and Nelson’s famous last signal before engaging with the enemy “England expects that every man will do his duty“.

Admiral Lord Nelson at Copenhagen by Charles Turner, after John Hoppner, 1806

At the very moment of victory Lord Nelson would meet his death by the bullet of a French sniper on the quarterdeck of HMS Victory. His life and death were objects of national reverence and he would be heavily memorialised in the years to come.

Admiral Lord Nelson at the Colonial Office, ‘The Army & Navy’ 1864

Trafalgar secured England from the threat of invasion but it would take another decade to finally defeat Napoleon on land. It was only after the Battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo in the summer of 1815 that the ultimate surrender and exile of Bonaparte were achieved and England could be sure of peace and safety. From 1809 until his death in battle at Quatre Bras, Brunswick House was the London base of that inveterate enemy of Bonaparte, Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick alongside his his band of exiled German patriots.

Our Fathers, To The Memory of the Nameless Killed and Wounded, W. Wyllie 1916
The Army and Navy, Nelson & Wellington,1864.