Essential information

Opening times: 
10.00-17.00
Admission: 
Free
Location: 
National Maritime Museum, Second floor, Nelson Navy Nation gallery

A rather grizzly medical saw, was it the one used to amputate Nelson's right arm?

'Saw with which Dr A. Anchmuty RN [sic] amputated Lord Nelson's arm in 1795. The saw was given to Lord Wolseley, Dublin 1893 by Thomas A. Dillon Dr Anchmuty's Godson Wolseley Collection'

The account on the inscription (above) is dubious as Nelson's arm was amputated 25 July 1797 by Thomas Eshelby or M. Ronicet or both. Arthur Achmuty did however serve as a naval surgeon between 1796-1801. The saw may very well have been used for limb amputations but not Nelson's.

It is said that within 30 minutes of having his right arm amputated, Nelson was back at work and giving orders. He'd been hit by a cannonball after stepping ashore on Tenerife in 1797. The following year he would be shot in the head during the Battle of the Nile and miraculously survived that too.