Knowledge Centre > Jewellery History > History

Admiral Horatio Nelson: Battle of Cape Trafalgar

An epic battle

front view gold posy ring berganza hatton garden
Georgian gold posy ring 'I love in earnest', circa 18th century.
Ref: 20815

Friday 21st October 2016

On this day in 1805, Admiral Horatio Nelson lead the British Navy in an epic battle against the combined Spanish and French fleets at Cape Trafalgar. In danger of losing our freedom Admiral Nelson displayed extreme courage in the face of adversity. The victorious outcome of this historical battle protected Britain from foreign invasion and was immortalised with London’s famed Trafalgar square. Whilst leading the attack Admiral Nelson, despite all his efforts was shot and killed by a French snipper.  As Nelson was considered a national hero his body was preserved in brandy and brought home for a state funeral. His achievements during the reign of King George III, have been commemorated with a monument named Nelson’s Column in London’s Trafalgar Square.

The Georgian era was a time period of turmoil and change. When Britain entered the French Revolutionary wars, Nelson was destined to gain prestige and fame from his service to crown and country. He began his navy service at age 12 under the command of his uncle, gaining skills which would pave his future. During his many years of service, he gained notoriety for disregarding senior orders and winning battles on pure initiative and determination. From 1794 to 1805 Admiral Nelson lead the Royal Navy in many victories against Napoleon’s advances, most notably at the Battle of the Nile where the British destroyed the French fleet ensuring no trade routes for the French with India.

Soon after this historic battle, Nelson was stationed in Naples where he met and fell in love with Lady Hamilton. Although both had long term marriages, they considered each other as soul mates sealing their love with the birth of child. Before his last and great battle in 1805, Admiral Nelson and Lady Hamilton took communion together and it is thought that it was during this meeting that they exchanged ‘fede’ rings. The ‘fede’ ring symbolises the union of two parties and was traditionally used as a betrothal ring. His ‘fede’ ring, which he was wearing during the battle at Cape Trafalgar is a part of the National Maritime Museum collection.

Georgian jewels are rare examples of elegance, love and unity at a turbulent time of war and exploration. Our extensive collection of Georgian pieces at Berganza dazzles with diamonds, rubies and emeralds. We also have a wide collection of posy rings each with their own hidden message sure to charm your loved one. Visit our specialists in store today to learn more and choose your very own piece of history.

Antique ruby and diamond coronet cluster ring hatton garden
Georgian ruby and diamond coronet cluster ring, circa 1800.
Ref: 27534
Georgian turquoise and diamond fede ring
Extremely Rare, Georgian turquoise and diamond fede ring, circa 1750.
Ref: 27515
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