Ships and Voyages

1771 - 1772

First voyage is from Deptford, London, over the Atlantic to the Caribbean on a merchant ship. Duration one year. HN aged 12 – 13.


4th June 1773 – October 1773

Sets sail in the Carcass to the Arctic from the Thames, up past Spitzbergen and nearly to Greenland. Returning, they sight St. Nicholas’ Church, Yarmouth on 19th September and dock at Deptford 1 week later. Duration 4 months. HN aged 14.


February 1773 – August 1776

Voyages to Indian waters in the Seahorse; past Madeira and the Cape of Good Hope to Madras, Calcutta, Ceylon and Bombay in India, then Basrah in the Persian Gulf. Sent home with malaria in the Dolphin 23 March 1775, from Bombay to Cape Town and Simon’s Town (Southern tip of Africa), St Helena (middle of the Atlantic) and finally Woolwich. Duration two and a half years. HN aged 14 – 17.


August 1776 – March 1777

Sent in the Worcester to Gibraltar, returns March 1777. Duration 7 months. HN aged 17.


10th April 1777 – 1st December 1780

Appointed to Lowestoffe in which he sails to Jamaica . He arrives on 19th July 1777. September 1778 appointed first lieutenant in the Bristol. December 1778 appointed commander of the Badger to patrol the Caribbean. June 1779 promoted post-captain of the frigate Hinchingbrooke. 1780 Takes part in the disastrous expedition to Nicaragua. April 1780 appointed to command the frigate Janus but too ill with malaria, so is invalided home. 1st December 1780 arrives back at Portsmouth. Duration three and a half years. HN aged 19 – 22.


August 1781 – June 1783

Appointed to the frigate Albemarle to escort a convoy to Norway. April 1782 crosses the Atlantic to Quebec, Canada. Sails to New York in November, then on to the Caribbean. Returns to England in June 1783. Duration two years. HN aged 23 – 25.


March 1784 – July 1787

Nelson is in command of the frigate Boreas sailing for Antigua in the Caribbean. Returns to England July 1787. Duration three years. HN aged 26 – 29.


26th January 1793 – 3rd September 1797

Given command of the Agammemnon and sails for the Mediterranean in June, to join the blockade of Toulon. (France’s Mediterranean coastline). He sails to Naples and Leghorn (on the west coast of Italy), to the island of Sardinia and the cities of Bastia, Calvi and Porto Agro on the island of Corsica. Sails to Genoa (Italian west coast) Leghorn and finally Toulon, anchoring January 1795. Nelson transferred into the Captain in June 1796, then to La Minerve in September 1796. He plays a prominent part in the battle at Cape St Vincent (Southern Portugal), which earns him promotion to rear-admiral; he is made a Knight of the Bath. He then sees boat actions off Cadiz (South West Spain) before sailing to Santa Cruz on Tenerife on July 15th 1797. After a disastrous attack on the town, with heavy British casualties he sails to England in the Seahorse to recuperate, arriving 3rd September 1797. Duration four and a half years. HN aged 35 – 39.


14th March 1798 – 8th November 1800

Hoists flag in the Vanguard and sails to Cadiz, then spends the summer chasing the French fleet in the Mediterranean. 1st August leads fleet to victory at Aboukir Bay, (mouth of the Nile in Egypt), before sailing to Naples on 22nd September. Over Christmas, 1798, sails with Bourbons and Hamiltons from Naples to Palermo. In June 1799 Nelson transfers to the Foudroyant. Returns to Naples on June 24th, then back to Palermo on 8th August. Sails past Malta on his way to Leghorn with the Hamiltons in April and June 1800. July to November sees him making an overland journey home to England, arriving 8th November. Duration two and a half years. HN aged 39 – 42.


1st January 1801 – 1st July 1801

Is promoted Vice-Admiral. Hoists flag in St Josef on 13th January but transfers it on 12th February to the George. Sails from Yarmouth to Copenhagen on 12th March, where he wins the Battle of Copenhagen in the Elephant, returning to Yarmouth on 1st July. Duration 6 months. HN aged 42.


27th July 1801 – September 1801

Hoists flag in the Unite at Sheerness, then the Medusa at Kent. He sails to Boulogne, attacks the French on 15th August and is defeated. Disembarks at Deal, Kent. Duration two months. HN aged 42.


18th May 1803 – 18th August 1805

Appointed to Victory as Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean. Sails to Toulon and blockades it for 18 months. Between April to July 1805 he chases the French Admiral Villeneuve across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and back, arriving at Portsmouth on 18th August 1805. Duration two years and three months. HN aged 44 – 47.


14th September 1805 – 24th December 1805

Returns to the Victory. Joins the British fleet off Cadiz 28th September. On 21st October he defeats the French at the Battle of Trafalgar (Southern Spain, near Gibraltar) but is killed in the hour of victory. His body is taken to Gibraltar, then Greenwich and finally St Paul’s Cathedral where it is buried on 9th January 1806. Duration 3 months. HN aged 48.


Visiting Us:

Visits usually take between one to two hours. There is full wheeled access to the galleries, shop, toilets and Maritime Courtyard. We also have a car park directly adjacent to the museum.

Admission Fees:

  • Adults £3.95 (over 16)
  • Concessions £3.50 (OAP, students)
  • Children £2.50 (Over 3, under 16)
  • Family ticket £12.00 (2 adults, up to 4 children)
  • We offer discounted rates for pre-booked groups
    Contact the museum for further details on
    01493 850 698

Opening Times:

    1st Feb - 31st Oct

  • Monday - Friday 10am - 4pm
  • Saturday & Sunday 1pm - 4pm
  • Last admission is 30 minutes before closing.

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