Index ...   Lord Nelson in Deal

Horatio, Lord Nelson, has often been associated with the town of Deal, not least because his long-time friends Lord and Lady Hamilton once stayed at the Royal Hotel.  Nelson is known to have had a long and close relationship with Lady Hamilton.

With the town's links to the sea, both through its naval dockyard and stores and through the natural shelter afforded by the Deal Roads (otherwise known as The Downs), it would be surprising if any 19th century sailor were not familiar with its streets and taverns.  It is highly likely that, during his career in the Royal Navy, Nelson would have had occasion to visit the town many times.

One well-documented and permanent link with this national hero is to be found in a quiet corner of St George's Churchyard, near the south-western gate in West Street.  It is the tomb of Captain Parker, a close friend of Nelson, donated by the Admiral himself.

  parker.jpg (23345 bytes) The picture above shows the tomb of Captain Edward T. Parker, RN, a close friend of Lord Nelson, in the corner of St George's Churchyard.  It was restored in September 1999 with the help of the Deal Society as part of the Deal 300 celebrations.

The picture on the left shows the detail of the plaque placed alongside the tomb to commemorate the event.  The wording on the plaque is reproduced below.

(Click on image for enlarged view)


"My gallant good friend and able assistant"

Captain Parker served as aide-de-camp to Lord Nelson during the attack on Boulogne, 15th August 1801.  He was badly wounded in the leg and brought back to Deal.  Lord Nelson and Emma Hamilton frequently visited him at his lodgings in Middle Street where on the 27th September 1801 he tragically died.

Nelson ordered that the funeral be conducted with full military honours.

He was particularly fond of this young officer and was seen to weep and hold himself steady against a tree by the graveside.

He generously paid all the expenses and gave fifty pounds to place the tomb over the grave.  The words on the tablets may well have been chosen by him.

This is the only monument in this country known to have been donated personally by Lord Nelson.

The inscriptions are believed to be:

Top Tablet Captain Edward Thornborough Parker
             Died Sept. 27th 1801.
North Side Tablet This stone records a gallant hero's name,
Whose youthful bosom glow'd with virtue's flame:
A nation heard with tears his mournful doom;
The flow'r of Valour, wither'd in its bloom.
East Side Tablet The remains of Capt. E. T. Parker RN
Are here interred
Wounded 15th August 1801 off Boulogne
And on 27th September following,
Terminated his career of glory
In the 23rd year of his age.