Nelson's coat of arms from a carriage panel

An elaborate painted version of the arms of Lord Nelson. Martyn Downer suggests that this is an armorial carriage panel from Nelson's coach ordered by Lady Nelson in December 1799.

Arms were originally granted and confirmed to Nelson on 20 October 1797. The original Nelson family arms were adapted by him to accommodate the naval victories. After the Battle of Cape St Vincent in 1797 Nelson was created a Knight of the Bath and granted supporters of a sailor and lion. The sailor is shown armed with a cutlass and a pair of pistols in his belt, the right hand supporting a staff with a commodore’s flag. The lion has a rolled up union flag and red ensign in his mouth on the right.

In the top of the shield a palm tree in the centre separates a disabled ship on the dexter (left) and a ruinous fort on the sinister (right), indicating the Battle of the Nile in 1798. Also incoporated in Nelson’s crest following the Nile was the Turkish ‘chelengk’, although this is absent here as is the stern of the captured Spanish 'San Josef' which became his crest. Above the shield is an adaptatation of his viscount’s coronet.

Later augmentations to the supporters, though not apparent here include a palm branch held in the sailor’s left hand and another in the paw of the lion together with the addition of a tricolour flag and staff in its mouth. The motto around the shield reads ‘Tria Juncta in Uno’ (‘three joined in one’, the motto of the Order of the Bath). Nelson’s motto, ‘Palmam qui meruit ferat’, (‘let he who has earned it bear the palm’) is inscribed in a scroll along the bottom. ‘Admiral Lestock’ is also inscribed in gold letters top left corner. For Nelson’s full arms in a contemporary rendering see PAH7300.

Object Details

ID: BHC1078
Collection: Fine art
Type: Painting
Display location: Not on display
Creator: British School, 19th century
Date made: circa 1805
People: Nelson, Horatio
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: Frame: 405 mm x 417 mm x 37 mm;Painting: 345 mm x 345 mm

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