“Horatio Nelson, son of the Rev. Edmund Nelson, rector of Burnham Thorpe, in the county of Norfolk, and of Catherine his wife, daughter of Doctor Suckling, prebendary of Westminster, whose grandmother was sister to Sir Robert Walpole, Earl of Orford.
“I was born September 29th, 1758, in the parsonage-house, was sent to the high-school at Norwich, and afterwards removed to North Walsham; from whence, on the disturbance with Spain relative to the Falkland Islands, I went to sea with my uncle, Captain Maurice Suckling, in the Raisonable of 64 guns. But the business with Spain being accommodated, I was sent in a West India ship belonging to the house of Hibbert, Purrier, and Horton, with Mr. John Rathbone, who had formerly heen in the navy, in the Dreadnought with Captain Suckling. From this voyage I returned to the Triumph at Chatham in July 1772; and, if I did not improve in my education, I came hack a practical seaman, with a horror of the royal navy, and with a saying, then constant with the seamen, ‘Aft the most honour, forward the better man!’—It was many weeks before I got in the least reconciled to a man-of-war, so deep was the prejudice rooted; and what pains were taken to instil this erroneous principle in a young mind! However, as my ambition was to be a seaman, it was always held out as a reward, that if I attended well to my navigation, I should go in the cutter and decked long-boat, which was attached to the commanding officer's ship at Chatham.