Famous Faces
There were several famous faces from this period of history in the Royal Navy, we have mentioned some in our other History pages. Here is a brief summary of some more of them.
 

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Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB (29 September 1758 – 21 October 1805), also known simply as Admiral Nelson, was a British flag officer in the Royal Navy. His inspirational leadership, grasp of strategy, and unconventional tactics brought about a number of decisive British naval victories, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars. He was wounded in combat, losing sight in one eye in Corsica at the age of 35, and most of one arm in the unsuccessful attempt to conquer Santa Cruz de Tenerife when he was 38. He was fatally shot in 1805 shortly before his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar, which is often regarded as Britain's greatest naval victory. For these reasons, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest naval mariners in history.

Nelson was born into a moderately prosperous Norfolk family and joined the navy through the influence of his uncle, Maurice Suckling, a high-ranking naval officer. Nelson rose rapidly through the ranks and served with leading naval commanders of the period before obtaining his own command at the age of 20 in 1778. He developed a reputation for personal valour and firm grasp of tactics, but suffered periods of illness and unemployment after the end of the American War of Independence. The outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars allowed Nelson to return to service, where he was particularly active in the Mediterranean. He fought in several minor engagements off Toulon and was important in the capture of Corsica and subsequent diplomatic duties with the Italian states. In 1797, he distinguished himself while in command of HMS Captain at the Battle of Cape St Vincent.

Shortly after that battle, Nelson took part in the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where the attack failed and he was badly wounded, losing his right arm, and was forced to return to England to recuperate. The following year he won a decisive victory over the French at the Battle of the Nile and remained in the Mediterranean to support the Kingdom of Naples against a French invasion. In 1801 he was dispatched to the Baltic and won another victory, this time over the Danes at the Battle of Copenhagen. He commanded the blockade of the French and Spanish fleets at Toulon and, after their escape, chased them to the West Indies and back but failed to bring them to battle. After a brief return to England he took over the Cádiz blockade in 1805. On 21 October 1805, the Franco-Spanish fleet came out of port, and Nelson's fleet engaged them at the Battle of Trafalgar. The battle became one of Britain's greatest naval victories, but Nelson, aboard HMS Victory, was fatally wounded by a French sharpshooter. His body was brought back to England where he was accorded a state funeral.

Nelson's death at Trafalgar secured his position as one of Britain's most heroic figures. His signal just prior to the commencement of the battle, "England expects that every man will do his duty", is regularly quoted, paraphrased and referenced. Numerous monuments, including Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London, and the Nelson Monument in Edinburgh, have been created in his memory, and his legacy remains highly influential.

Vice Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, 1st Baron Collingwood (26 September 1748 – 7 March 1810) was an admiral of the Royal Navy, notable as a partner with Lord Nelson in several of the British victories of the Napoleonic Wars, and frequently as Nelson's successor in commands. Collingwood's merits as a naval officer were in many respects of the first order. His political judgement was remarkable and he was consulted on questions of general policy, of regulation, and even of trade. He was opposed to impressment and to flogging and was considered so kind and generous that he was called "father" by the common sailors. Nelson and Collingwood enjoyed a close friendship, from their first acquaintance in early life until Nelson's death at Trafalgar; and they are both entombed in St Paul's Cathedral. As Collingwood died without male issue, his barony became extinct at his death.
 

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Admiral of the Fleet John Jervis, 1st Earl of St Vincent, (9 January 1735 – 13 March 1823) was an admiral in the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom. Jervis served throughout the latter half of the 18th century and into the 19th, and was an active commander during the Seven Years' WarAmerican War of IndependenceFrench Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars. He is best known for his victory at the 1797 Battle of Cape Saint Vincent, from which he earned his titles, and as a patron of Horatio Nelson. Despite having a fierce reputation for discipline his crews had great affection for him, calling him Old Jarvie.

Jervis was also recognised by both political and military contemporaries as a fine administrator and naval reformer. As Commander-in-chief of the Mediterranean, between 1795 and 1799 he introduced a series of severe standing orders to avert mutiny. He applied those orders to both seamen and officers alike, a policy that made him a controversial figure. He took his disciplinarian system of command with him when he took command of the Channel Fleet in 1799. In 1801, as First Lord of the Admiralty he introduced a number of reforms that, though unpopular at the time, made the Navy more efficient and more self-sufficient. He introduced innovations including block making machinery at Portsmouth Royal Dockyard. St Vincent was known for his generosity to officers he considered worthy of reward and his swift and often harsh punishment of those he felt deserved it.

Admiral Hyde Parker (1739 – 16 March 1807) was an admiral of the British Royal Navy. From 1766 onwards for many years he served in the West Indies and in North American waters, particularly distinguishing himself in breaking the defences of the North River at New York in 1776 as captain of HMS Phoenix. His services on this occasion earned him a knighthood in 1779. In 1801 he was appointed to command the Baltic Fleet destined to break up the northern armed neutrality, with Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson as his second-in-command. Copenhagen, the first objective of the expedition, fell in the Battle of Copenhagen on 2 April 1801 to the fierce attack of Nelson's squadron – Parker, with the heavier ships, taking little part due to the shallowness of the channel. At the height of the battle Parker, who was loath to infringe the customary rules of naval warfare, raised the flag to disengage. Famously, Nelson ignored the order from his commander by raising his telescope to his blind eye and exclaiming "I really do not see the signal " (although this is generally accepted to be a myth). Nelson pressed on with the action and ultimately compelled the Danish forces to capitulate. Parker's hesitation to advance up the Baltic Sea after his victory was later severely criticised. Soon afterwards he was recalled and Nelson succeeded him.

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