Nelsons Titles

The Armorial Bearings of The Right Honorable Horatio Nelson.

Nelson's titles, as inscribed on his coffin and read out at the funeral by the Garter King at Arms, Sir Isaac Heard, were:

"The Most Noble Lord Horatio Nelson, Viscount and Baron Nelson, of the Nile and of Burnham Thorpe in the County of Norfolk, Baron Nelson of the Nile and of Hilborough in the said County, Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Vice Admiral of the White Squadron of the Fleet, Commander in Chief of his Majesty's Ships and Vessels in the Mediterranean, Duke of Bronté in the Kingdom of Sicily, Knight Grand Cross of the Sicilian Order of St Ferdinand and of Merit, Member of the Ottoman Order of the Crescent, Knight Grand Commander of the Order of St Joachim."

He received large Naval Gold Medals for the battles of St. Vincent, the Nile and, posthumously, Trafalgar, the only recipient of three such medals.

He was a Colonel of Marines from 1795 to 1797 and voted a Freeman of the cities and boroughs of Bath, Salisbury, Exeter, Plymouth, Monmouth, Sandwich, Oxford, Hereford, and Worcester. The University of Oxford, in full Congregation, bestowed the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law upon Nelson on 30 July 1802.

In July 1799, Nelson was created Duke of Bronté (Italian: Duca di Bronte), of the Kingdom of Sicily (after 1816, existing in the nobility of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies), by King Ferdinand, and after briefly experimenting with the signature "Brontë Nelson of the Nile", he signed himself "Nelson & Brontë" for the rest of his life. Nelson had no legitimate children; his daughter, Horatia, subsequently married the Reverend Philip Ward, with whom she had ten children before her death in 1881.

Since Nelson died without legitimate issue, his viscountcy and his barony created in 1798, both "of the Nile and of Burnham Thorpe in the County of Norfolk", became extinct upon his death. However, the barony created in 1801, "of the Nile and of Hilborough in the County of Norfolk", passed by a special remainder, which included Nelson's father and sisters and their male issue, to the Reverend William Nelson, who was Nelson's older brother. In November 1805, William Nelson was created Earl Nelson and Viscount Merton, of Trafalgar and of Merton in the County of Surrey, in recognition of his late brother's services, and he also inherited the dukedom of Bronté.

Armorial Bearings

Arms were originally granted and confirmed on 20 October 1797. The original Nelson family arms were altered to accommodate his naval victories. After the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1797, Nelson was dubbed a Knight of the Bath and granted heraldic supporters of a sailor and a lion.

In honour of the Battle of the Nile in 1798, the Crown granted him an augmentation of arms that may be blazoned "on a chief wavy argent a palm tree between a disabled ship and a ruinous battery all issuant from waves of the sea all proper", the motto Palmam qui meruit ferat ("let him who has earned it, bear the palm", Latin), and added to his supporters a palm branch in the hand of the sailor and the paw of the lion, and a "tri-coloured flag and staff in the mouth of the latter".

After Nelson's death, his older brother and heir (William Nelson) was granted the augmentation "on a fess wavy overall azure the word TRAFALGAR Or".