Monday, May 27

Lord Nelson's mail

A special guest speaker at the Jane Austen Festival in 2016 was Bryan Austin giving a talk as Admiral Lord Nelson. I invited several of our regular Mail Packet contributers to write him special 'Nelson-themed' letters and they delivered in spades!

As you might imagine, Lord Nelson had a little difficulty in opening his letters, so Mr. Hollybrass  and Mr. Apple stepped in to assist the Admiral in the absence of his clerk, Mr. Scott.

We'll end today's post with a word of thanks from Bryan Austin, who played Nelson:

Once, in a blue while, you have the opportunity to come across an instance of living history or reenactment that is so complete and appellant to every sense that all at once you find yourself entirely transported from where you stand to another time and place. It was my real privilege to have that opportunity this past weekend meeting the crew of HMS Acasta. Sitting as a spectator to their camp and the stories of each man on board would have been enough, however when the time to deliver the mail arrived to my surprise I was included. 

I was entirely overwhelmed, to see brief slices of Horatio Nelson's life both personal and professional left me in awe and gave me that much more of a greater appreciation for him, the history, and those human experiences that knit the present with the past. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank those who contributed to making this an experience I will never forget. For the briefest of moments, you turned an actor into an Admiral with greater ease than years of study could…Thank you!


  1. Hello... I recognise the map lying on the table in that second photo! Oh, I am so glad he got to take part this year - it was a wonderful project to research and create!

    1. YES! He was very impressed by your little waxed packet!

    2. That was hand-done and took ages - WELL worth the effort. Unfortunately we managed to cut the date off the bottom of the map but it was dated January 1804, so bang-on correct. As soon as I got your email, I knew what we were going to send - my flatmate and I are both from Kent and very well aware of the absolute scare of invasion that existed before news broke about Trafalgar.

      I just love when one person's research can make someone else's day.

  2. (The map we sent can be found online HERE if any of the Acastas want a closer look - or if you wished to include it in a future blog post.)