The Nelson Arms
By C. W. Scott-Giles, OBE
Coat of Arms No. 14, April 1953.

These arms the Nelsons bore in days of old :


A black cross flory on a shield of gold,
And over all a bendlet gules,
to show Due difference from Samson and Lamplow.
When one Horatio Nelson rose to fame,
With "Sir" and "K.B." bracketing his name,
The Kings of Arms his scutcheon did resplend
With three exploding bombs upon the bend.
Later, they gave Lord Nelson of the Nile
An augmentation in a lavish style A ship disabled and a fort destroyed ;
Which probably the Baron much enjoyed.
When Viscount Nelson of the Nile at last Beyond the reach of earthly honours passed, His brother (made an Earl), the heralds gave
The golden word TRAFALGAR on a wave.
The shield is a fine biographic gloss,
But where, alas ! is Nelson's ancient cross ?

Ancient arms of Nelson : Or, a cross flory sable, over all a bendlet gules. (Samson bore a cross patonce and Lamplow a cross floretty, gold on sable.)

Arms granted in 1797 to Sir Horatio Nelson, Knight of the Bath, and to the other descendants of his father : Or, a cross flory sable, a bend gules surmounted by another bend engrailed gold and thereon three bombs fired proper.

Augmentation of these arms, granted to him as Baron Nelson of the Nile in 1798: A chief undulated argent, and thereon waves of the sea with a palm-tree between a disabled ship on the dexter side and a battery in ruins on the sinister, all proper.

Further augmentation of these arms, granted to the Rev. William Nelson, brother of Horatio and successor to the barony, who was created Earl Nelson of Trafalgar and Merton : A fess wavy azure, and thereon the word TRAFALGAR in letters of gold. The second augmentation has since been discarded by the Earls Nelson, but it occurs in the Nelson quartering in the arms of Viscount Bridport