I. Admiral, Full Dress II. Vice Admiral, Undress Uniform (1795-1812)


I. Admiral Full Dress: drawn from pattern books of J. Buckmaster, military tailors and Welch and Stalker, naval tailors. 

II. Vice-Admiral, Undress Uniform: Nelson in the uniform he wore at the Battle of Trafalgar from coats held by the Royal Museums at Greenwich 

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I. Admiral, FULL DRESS, 1795-1812:

Either to economise, or because of the general simplification in civilian dress, it was found necessary, two years after the outbreak of war, and seven years after they were first introduced, to alter the uniforms of 1787 for all ranks above lieutenant. For the first time the orders mention hats; in fact, of course, officers continued to wear laced or plain hats as the spirit moved them. The admiral in the accompanying plate is wearing the ribbon of the Order of the Bath, and one of the gold medals first awarded after the Battle of the Glorious First of June 1794 to flag officers and captains who took part, and which were subsequently given out for certain other actions.

II. Vice-Admiral, UNDRESS UNIFORM, 1795-1812:

this plate shows Lord Nelson in the uniform he wore at Trafalgar. He seems to have turned a natural talent for dressing up to good use in the boosting of his own and others’ morale. He was wearing a Vice Admiral’s coat when hit in the left shoulder by a musket ball during the Battle of Trafalgar (from which he died some hours later). On the left side, not visible in the plate, are embroidered replicas of his four orders of chivalry: The Bath, the Sicilian Order of St Ferdinand and of Merit, the Turkish Order of the Crescent, and the Equestrian Order of St Joachim of Leiningen. Round his neck he wears his gold medals for St Vincent and the Nile, and under his coat the ribbons of the orders listed above. He is shown with a sword in this plate, but his sword remained lying on his cabin table throughout the battle.

Additional information

Dimensions 38 × 25.5 cm