Early Broadsheet Plan of the Battle of Trafalgar


Lord Nelson explaining to the Officers the Plan of Attack previous to the Battle of Trafalgar… Position of the Combined Forces of France & Spain…

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Early broadsheet plan of the battle of Trafalgar. Stipple engraving, 43.5 x 28.7 cm, sheet size 49.5 x 34.5 cm, engraved by James Godby after William Marshall Craig, the upper portion with a pale yellow tint, and the map beneath with original hand colour; one ore two short marginal nicks and tears without loss, blank verso.

A variant in the NMM collections (PAG9025) includes Nelson’s signal ‘England expects every man to do his duty’ above the text in the upper margin, and the somewhat idealised scene depicting Nelson briefing his captains is rendered in full hand colour. It was published on 9 January 1806, the fifth and final day of Nelson’s elaborate state funeral, when his body was interred in St Paul’s. Marine artist William Dodd had published his separately issued ‘plan of attack’ in November 1805, less than a month after the battle, and Laurie and Whittle’s ‘accurate plan’ was published on 17 December, but this remains an early, commercially produced plan of the battle. A version seems to have been included in Blagdon’s 1806 life of Nelson (see Abbey, Life, 328) but our example retains the publisher’s price of 5 shillings.


Early Broadsheet Plan of the Battle of Trafalgar


ORME, Edward


GODBY, James

Place of publication


Date of publication




Printed Area Measurements

43.5 x 28.7 cm