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Monday, February 20, 2006
Nelson's Pride

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
February 20, 1797

King George III conferred a knighthood (Order of the Bath) upon Admiral Nelson following his victory at the Battle of St. Vincent. His full title by the time the Battle of Trafalgar came around was the following:

Vice Admiral of the White The Right Honourable Horatio, Viscount Nelson, Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Baron Nelson, of the Nile and of Burnham Thorpe in the County of Norfolk, Baron Nelson, of the Nile and of Hillborough in the County of Norfolk, Duke of Bronte in the nobility of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of St Ferdinand and of Merit and a Knight of the Ottoman Empire's Order of the Crescent, Knight Grand Commander of the Order of St Joachim, Colonel of the Marines, and Freeman of Norwich, Bath, Yarmouth, London, Salisbury and Exeter.

And it killed him. Wearing his full chest of medals at the great battle made a rather nice shiny target for French marine sharp shooters as the ships engaged alongside just after noon on October 21, 1805. Had he concealed them, things might have turned out differently. But in those days, men didn't hide their pride and honour.

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