Lord Nelson and slavery: Nelson’s dark side

When Lord Nelson died he was hailed as Britain’s greatest seafaring hero – a reputation that survives to this day. However, a letter he wrote onboard HMS Victory reveals a different face, showing his vehement opposition to William Wilberforce’s campaign for the abolition of the slave trade. Christer Petley uncovers Nelson’s sympathy with a brutal Jamaican slave-owning elite

Lemuel F Abbott's famous 1797 portrait of Horatio Nelson. In 1805, the British naval hero promised to speak publicly against the abolition of slavery, but was denied the opportunity by his death at Trafalgar later that year. (Picture by Alamy)

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