Lord Nelson’s heroic status under review in scheme to re-evaluate UK’s ‘barbaric history’

Brian McGleenon:

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The admiral was not an admirer of abolitionist William Wilberforce. Before his death, Lord Nelson wrote that William Wilberforce and his cause were “damnable”. He added in a letter that “I have ever been and shall die a firm friend to our present colonial system”.

These are the controversial views that will be held to account by the National Maritime Museum’s re-evaluation of Lord Nelson’s display.

He also said that he was “taught to appreciate the value of our West India possessions”, where slaves toiled in plantations. He died two years before the abolition of slavery.

The admiral who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Trafalgar has many of his personal effects stored and on display at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.