William Nelson, 1st Earl Nelson (1757-1835), Brother of Lord Nelson
Sitter in 2 portraits
The elder brother of Horatio Nelson. After graduating from Christ's College, Cambridge, Nelson was ordained into the Church of England and became a curate. He persuaded his brother Horatio to engage him as chaplain on his frigate Boreas. He found the discomforts of life aboard ship uncongenial and he left the ship in Antigua. He returned to England and resumed his curacy, and in 1802 was awarded a doctorate in divinity from Cambridge. When his brother was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, Nelson presided over the funeral arrangements. As a proxy for his dead brother he succeeded as Baron Nelson and the following month was created Viscount Merton and Earl Nelson of Trafalgar and Merton.