Naval History

Nelson's Hand-Drawn Trafalgar Plans Found In Scrapbook After 200 Years

The drawing was discovered together with an address leaf containing Admiral Lord Nelson's signature.

Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson (Picture: PA images).

A hand-drawn sketch by Admiral Lord Nelson detailing his strategy for victory at Trafalgar has been found in a scrapbook after 200 years.

Historian Martyn Downer made the discovery in a book from the 1830s, which was recently sold at auction.

Nelson's signature is attached, dating back to 5 September 1805.

His plans were to split his fleet into three divisions in order to destroy the opposing French and Spanish navies.

Mr Downer said: "This fragment of pencil sketch is simultaneously a very intimate and vivid artefact, giving us an exceptional insight into Nelson's thinking and planning ahead of the battle."

The document has been donated to the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.

Admiral Lord Nelson led his Royal Navy fleet to victory on October 21 1805, defeating a combined force of French and Spanish ships off Spain's south-west coast.

The anniversary of the battle has been commemorated, including events in Portsmouth and London.