How Scotland did its duty
Three generations directly descended from a Scots Trafalgar hero will visit an exhibition today (Friday 28th October 2005) dedicated to the Scottish contribution to the Battle of Trafalgar and the Napoleonic Wars.
The female relatives of Captain James Black will visit the exhibition ‘Nelson against Napoleon’ currently running at The Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther. The exhibition, the largest Nelson-related exhibition north of Greenwich, is curated by maritime historian Dr Robert Prescott of the University of St Andrews.
It focuses on the Scots heroes of the period including the Dundee woman who helped embalm Nelson’s body and the Scots Doctor who became friends with Napoleon. Captain James Black (1775 – 1835) from Anstruther was wounded at Trafalgar and, after a successful naval career, eventually died at sea. A monument is erected in his memory at Anstruther Easter Churchyard, where he is buried. Captain Black’s relations will be shown an 18th century Mediterranean altas which was presented to their heroic ancestor.
Other artefacts on display at the exhibition include: pieces of HMS Victory, Napoleon’s hat and death mask, medals, a commemorative sword, Admiral Duncan’s gun, war trophies, postcards, photographs, plans and charts, a model of the Victory, carvings, ornaments, paintings, coins and ceramics.
The exhibition’s other highlights include the Scots doctors who made significant contributions to Georgian naval history. The medical services in the Royal Navy in the 18th century depended extensively on men who were born and / or trained in Scotland. Their ranks included significant names such as James Lind, the physician who solved the problem of scurvy at sea, William Beatty, surgeon on board the Victory who tended Nelson at Trafalgar and St Andrews graduate William Warden, who tended Napoleon and became a close friend.
‘Local heroes’ featured in the exhibition include Dundonian Mary Buek, who accompanied her seaman husband on HMS Victory. During the Battle of Trafalgar Mary apparently assisted the Surgeon’s Mates in the cockpit and, following the death of Nelson, she would have helped Surgeon Beatty prepare his body for embalming.
‘Nelson against Napoleon’ runs at the Scottish Fisheries Museum until the 30th Oct.
NOTE TO EDITORS:
FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE EXHIBITION IS AVAILABLE FROM DR PRESCOTT ON 01334 463017 / 07904 153877 OR AT THE MUSEUM ON 01333 310628.
Issued by Beattie Media On behalf of the University of St Andrews
Contact Gayle Cook, Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email [email protected] andrews.ac.uk
Ref: How Scotland did its duty 271005.doc
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