The Death of Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar

Accession number:

Charles William Sharpe

Historical period:

Miltary branch:

Wars and Conflicts:


H x W: 12 in. / 45 in.

Acquisition date:

Credit line:
Gift of Dayton S. Mak



From June 1980: The Army and Navy Club, gift of Dayton S. Mak


This print is based off the original painting by Irish historical artist Daniel Maclise from 1861, which resides in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

The Battle of Trafalgar on October 21, 1805 was fought by the British Royal Navy against the combined fleets of the French and Spanish Navies during the Napoleonic Wars (1796–1815). Twenty-seven British ships led by Admiral Lord Nelson defeated thirty-three French and Spanish ships under the French Admiral Villeneuve off the southwest coast of Spain, just west of Cape Trafalgar. The Franco-Spanish fleet lost twenty-two ships, without a single British vessel being lost. It was the most decisive naval battle of the war, conclusively ending French plans to invade England.

The British victory confirmed the naval supremacy that Britain had established during the eighteenth century, which was achieved in part through Admiral Lord Nelson's departure from the prevailing naval tactical orthodoxy. During the battle, Nelson was shot by a French musketeer and died shortly thereafter, becoming one of Britain's greatest war heroes.