Admiral Lord Nelson

On a recent trip to England, I visited the Victory, Lord Nelson’s ship. While I was examining the plaque that showed the place where he fell on battle, I struck up a conversation with one of the English guides. The guide knew of the statue in Barbados, but what he said was not what I expected to hear. I will get to his comments later. First here are some photos of his ship:

plaque

Above: Spot where Nelson fell. He died below deck. His death place is marked
by a shrine. Below: Victory’s Dining Cabin

Victory Dining Table

Surgical Instruments

list of surgical instruments

instruments

instruments

Nelson - Hated by the Barbadian Power Structure

The English guide told me that the old colonials hated Nelson. Nelson had a sharp eye for enforcement of the navigation laws, and the Barbadian traders were flouting the English laws in trading with America.

Barbados Erects Statue before England

Silver Torch, Barbados Quiz, states that the Nelson statue in Barbados preceeds the one in London:

“Barbados did it first, in 1813. London followed in 1830. Lord Nelson and his fleet had visited Barbados in June 1805. Later that same year he was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar. The Barbadians of the day decided to dedicate what became Trafalgar Square in Barbados to his memory. The calypsonian Gabby sang “Take down Nelson and put up a Bajan man.” There have been many other protests, but Nelson remained for a long time, facing west along Broad Street, and dominating the scene. An Act of 1988 changed Nelson’s status in Barbados.”

What Would Have Happened if Nelson Lost?

As much as the wealthy traders in Barbados hated Nelson, the hated the French
more. If Nelson had lost the war:

  1. we would all be speaking French
  2. there would be no game of cricket in the West Indies

Was Nelson a Corruption Buster or a Predatory Colonial?

It really does not matter what he was. The point is that he is now history. If he was good or bad is not as important now. What is important is that Nelson now works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for Barbados. Nelson’s statue gets no salary, but year round tourists go to see it. I say keep Nelson working!