- A.N. Other and NHSA Webmaster
- History - general, Early warships
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- December 1998 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Here is another version of the story of Nelson’s Coffin:
Captain Hallowell sent a party to salvage wood from L’Orient. Months later, when he was afraid that the adulation being heaped on Nelson would turn his head, he fashioned a coffin out of this wood and sent it to the Vanguard with a note:
I have taken the liberty of presenting you a coffin made from the mainmast of L’Orient, that when you have finished your military career in this world, you may be buried in one of your trophies – but that that period may be far distant is the earnest wish of your sincere friend.
BEN HALLOWELL” This strange present delighted Nelson, who insisted on it always accompanying him. Once when it was lying on the gratings of the quarter-deck, he came upon his officers looking at it. “You may look at it, Gentlemen,” he said, “as long as you please, but depend upon it, none of you shall have it.” In this coffin his remains now lie in the vault of St Paul’s Cathedral.
Taken from ‘Nelson and His Captains’ by Ludovic Kennedy
(Wm Collins & Sons 1952) (Futura Books 1976) P136.