Ever-to-be-lamented death

Lord Horatio Nelson
Lord Horatio Nelson
Margaret Thatcher is greeted by newsmen as she leaves her Chelsea home

THIS WEEK IN 1975: Portsmouth ‘loyal’ to Margaret Thatcher

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On the back page of this paper was printed the full despatch from Vice Admiral Collingwood in which he starts by revealing ‘the ever-to-be-lamented death of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson who, in the late conflict with the enemy, fell in the hour of victory…’

Here too was a report about how the news was broken to London theatregoers and tribute paid to Nelson ‘at the end of both houses’.

The Ship and Bell

The Ship and Bell

It said the news was ‘received not only with the highest applause, but also drew patriotic sighs and tears from everybody present.

At the end of the evening at the Drury Lane Theatre the following was read to the audience by a Mr Wroughton. It was written by a Mr Cumberland.

Is there a man who this great triumph hears

And with his transport does not mingle tears?

For whilst Britannia’s flag victorious flies,

Who can repress his grief when Nelson dies?

Stretch’d on his deck amidst surrounding fires,

There, Phoenix like, the gallant Chief expires.

Covered with trophies let his ashes rest,

His memory lives in every British breast;

His dirge our groans, his monument our praise;

And whilst each tongue this grateful tribute pays,

His soul ascends to Heav’n in glory’s brightest blaze.

Away from the national mourning, the paper announced an auction at the Ship and Bell pub, Horndean, of a newly-built ‘brick and tiled dwelling house pleasantly situated in Horndean on the London Road’.

Another auction was about to take place at the Dolphin Inn, Gosport, this time slightly more unorthodox.

Up for grabs was the 120-ton hull of the Spanish privateer ship Principe de la Paz which, according to the auctioneers ‘would make a good ship for a Southern Whaler or African Trade’.