© Science Museum
Invitation to the funeral of Vice Admiral Horatio Viscount Nelson issued to Dr. Gillespie, physician to Lord Nelson, 1806. Dr Leonard Gillespie (1758-1842) was a naval surgeon. He served on HMS Victory as personal surgeon to Viscount Horatio Nelson (1758-1805). This is Gillespie's invite to Nelson's funeral. An immensely popular naval hero, he died at the battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Nelson was honoured with a four-day public funeral. He was buried in the Crypt at St Paul's Cathedral. Only select people were invited and there was much public debate about who should and shouldn't attend. Invites such as this were kept as mementos by those lucky enough to be asked. Nelson lay in state at Greenwich, surrounded by the spoils of previous victories. The coffin proceeded up the Thames by barge. It then proceeded through London on an ornate carriage before arriving at St Paul's Cathedral.
Invitation to Nelson's funeral issued to Dr. Gillespie, 1806.