Nelson & His World

Nelson relaxing
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Author:  JPNorth [ Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:35 am ]
Post subject:  Nelson relaxing

I have been reading the diaries of King Ferdinand IV of Naples as part of my research on Nelson at Naples. Amongst a lot of othe rmaterial I came across a reference to the king playing billiards with Nelson on 7 November 1798.

This intrigued me. What else did Nelson enjoy when he was at leisure? Cards, I presume?


Author:  tycho [ Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nelson relaxing

Thank you for your post, and welcome to the forum!

I believe Nelson was a keen fisherman and enjoyed fishing on the river Wandle that passed through his estate at Merton. I can't think where I got this information - can anyone else help?

Nelson was an active man - a 'dreadful fidget' according to Hardy and I doubt if he was often found relaxing with a hobby; though he enjoyed convivial company. One ship's doctor records that he often had midshipmen to breakfast 'and joined in all their boyish jokes.'

He does seem to have enjoyed reading, 'as far as my eyes allow'. We had a whole thread on Nelson's reading matter. This thread also mentions his avid theatre-going when ashore.


Author:  Phil [ Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nelson relaxing


With regard to Nelson's pastime of fishing, this note appeared in an article in the Telegraph last year which featured 21 islands located in the Thames.

" 9. Pharaoh’s Island

In 1798, Horatio Nelson, still smarting from losing an arm the year before, foiled Napoleon's planned invasion of Egypt during the Battle of the Nile. His reward – among other things – was this 280-metre island near Shepperton Lock, which he used as a fishing retreat. It is now occupied by a couple of dozen houses, with Egyptian names such as The Sphinx and Memphis. "

I've come across this information before but don't recall reading anything on what eventually happened to this property after Nelson's death. Did it go to his brother and the Nelson family?

A further note on the SurreyLive website in June this year mentions the Sphinx is on the market for £2.25m.


Author:  Phil [ Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nelson relaxing


I attach a link to the Spectator Archive which has an interesting article from 1903 regarding Nelson & the River Wandle: ... ly-fishing


Author:  JPNorth [ Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Nelson relaxing

Thanks Anna, and everyone. I suppose billiards was a bit tricky whilst at sea, fishing seems a more suitable pastime!

Author:  Galiano [ Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Nelson relaxing

Sorry for my rustiness which dimly recalls that out of politeness HN attended some contemporary music performances by Joseph Haydn.... and dozed off.

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