The French were so badly beaten at Trafalgar that Napoleon was forced to abandon his plans for an invasion of England. Even so, many people thought Nelson’s death was too high a price to pay for such a victory.
Preserved in a cask of brandy, his body was brought home for burial in St Paul’s Cathedral. It arrived at the Admiralty on 8 January 1806 and lay overnight in the small waiting room immediately to the left of the front door. Nelson had often waited there as a young officer.
Next morning, the funeral cortege formed up on Horse Guards Parade, the other side of the Admiralty. The procession was so long that the Royal Scots Greys at the front had reached the cathedral before Nelson’s funeral car had even started off.
One of the most famous casualties of the Wars of the Roses was George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence. Accused of plotting against his brother, King Edward IV, he was sentenced to death early in 1478. To spare him the indignity of a public execution, the King arranged for him to be quietly liquidated in private.
Clarence was imprisoned in the Tower of London. He was killed on 17 or 18 February 1478. No one knows for sure how he died, but it was widely rumoured at the time that he met a bizarre end here at the Bowyer Tower.
HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 58. The Duke of Clarence was rumoured to have come to a sticky end at the Bowyer Tower. How did he die?