a b o u t

This project was born out of a desire to bring to the world the first visual representation of Horatio Nelson's last day on dry land, in Portsmouth. His movements and motivations on that day; where he went, with whom he met, the letters and journals he wrote, shine a vivid light on the man, the times and on Portsmouth as it was in 1805. A short Proof of Concept film will be created to highlight the potential of creating a full biopic of Nelson's last days, from arriving at Portsmouth to his final battle, at Trafalgar, on the 21st October, 1805. The filming stage is fast approaching and we are still currently fundraising for the remaining live film props and location crews, as well as post production of the short. Please contact john@thelastwalk.com if you would like to find out more details or to support in any way. One Last Stop Before Glory.

t h e  c a s t  a n d  c r e w

Ciprian Selegean:   Animation, storyboard, graphics Film.

Ciprian Selegean is the specialist animator and graphic artist.  With extensive skills in modelling, VFX and 3D visualisation, Ciprian brings the past to life.

John Mann:           Director, Script and Film.

John Mann has provided the research, vision and project management to this short production.  A self confessed Nelson fan, John has provided the script and screenplay required for the short.

Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson

        George Canning.

Nelson was born into a moderately prosperous Norfolk family and joined the navy through the influence of his uncle, Maurice Suckling, a high-ranking naval officer himself. He rose rapidly through the ranks and served with leading naval commanders of the period before obtaining his own command in 1778. He developed a reputation in the service through his personal valour and firm grasp of tactics but suffered periods of illness and unemployment after the end of the American War of Independence. The outbreak of the French Revolutionary Wars allowed Nelson to return to service, where he was particularly active in the Mediterranean. He fought in several minor engagements off Toulon and was important in the capture of Corsica and subsequent diplomatic duties with the Italian states. In 1797, he distinguished himself while in command of HMS Captain at the Battle of Cape St Vincent.  Nelson was 47 in 1805.

George Canning, Born in Marylebone, London. 1770.  In 1805, Treasurer of the Navy, aged 45. a British statesman and Tory politician who served in various senior cabinet positions under numerous Prime Ministers, before himself serving as Prime Minister for the final four months of his life.

 

The son of an actress and a failed businessman and lawyer, Canning was supported financially by his uncle Stratford, allowing him to attend Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford.

          George Rose.

Born at Woodside near Brechin, Scotland, Rose was the son of the Reverend David Rose of Lethnot, by Margaret, daughter of Donald Rose of Wester Clune. He was educated at Westminster School, afterwards entering the Royal Navy, a service which he left in 1762 after he had been wounded in some fighting in the West Indies.

 

He was also re-elected to Parliament in 1788 to represent Lymington and again in 1790 to represent Christchurch. In 1801 Rose left office with Pitt, but returned with him to power in 1804, when he was made vice-president of the committee on trade and joint Paymaster-General.

 

Rose was a close friend of Admiral Lord Nelson. He first met Nelson when the latter was a young Captain and had just returned from the West Indies.

 

This friendship grew over the years. Nelson invited Rose to go on board HMS Victory before the ship sailed for the Battle of Trafalgar; his purpose was to tell Rose that, if he was killed, he had left Lady Hamilton and their daughter Horatia to the Nation. Rose was thus the last man in England to see Nelson alive. After Nelson's death Rose became Emma Hamilton's executor and Horatia's guardian; but Pitt's death diminished Rose's influence and his fellow Ministers did not support her.

 

Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin, 1st Baronet, GCH (16 May 1759 – 23 July 1839) was an officer of the Royal Navy who served during the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

 

Coffin was born in Boston and served in the navy on a number of ships during the War of Independence. He fought at Cape Henry with Arbuthnot and at St. Kitts with Hood, eventually being promoted to command a number of small ships on the American coast. Despite his rise through the ranks, he clashed occasionally with the naval hierarchy, with the first incident occurring while still a newly commissioned commander aboard HMS Shrewsbury.

 

His reputation as an effective and energetic commissioner earned him the honour of being created a baronet "of the Magdelaine Islands in the Gulph [sic] of St. Lawrence, British North America" on 19 May that year, which was followed by being created admiral-superintendent at Portsmouth Dockyard.  He remained at Portsmouth until being promoted to vice-admiral on 28 April 1808, at which point he retired.

    Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin

Captain Charles William Adair

Commissioner, Sir Charles Saxton

Captain Charles William Adair joined the Royal Marines as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1782. He was appointed to the VICTORY on her commissioning at Chatham in April 1803 in command of a detachment of 144 Royal Marines nearly all from the Chatham and Plymouth divisions. He was also at the same time Inspecting Officer for Recruiting in the Mediterranean.

 

His three officers were 1st Lieutenant James Goodwin Peake and 2nd Lieutenants Lewis Roatley and Lewis Buckle Reeves.

 

At Trafalgar, Adair behaved with great gallantry, and as he stood on the Gangway encouraging his men to repel boarders from the French ship REDOUTABLE which was close alongside the starboard (right hand side). He was killed by a musket ball in the back of his neck.

 

Nelson met at Dockyard to review supplies and new machinery Block Mills.

 

He became commissioner at Portsmouth, the navy's principal dockyard, in 1789 and held the position until his retirement nearly twenty years later. During these years he oversaw operations during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, his career being rewarded with a baronetcy in 1794. Retiring finally with a pension in 1806, Sir Charles died in 1808, being succeeded in the baronetcy by his eldest son, Charles.

 

 

Sir Thomas Masterman, Vice-Admiral Hardy

Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, 1st Baronet GCB (5 April 1769 – 20 September 1839) was a Royal Navy officer. He took part in the Battle of Cape St Vincent in February 1797, the Battle of the Nile in August 1798 and the Battle of Copenhagen in April 1801 during the French Revolutionary Wars.  Close friend and confidant of Nelson's.  Last person to touch, (kiss), Nelson.

John Scott

John Scott was a warrant officer in the Royal Navy. He was a friend and confidant to Lord Nelson and served as his secretary in HMS Victory.[1] He was present at the Battle of Trafalgar during which he was killed in the opening exchanges.

 

Not much is known about Scott but letters kept by Lady Hamilton indicate that they knew each other well. Scott gave Emma news of Nelson and she in turn appears to have taken his wife under her wing. It was through her that he learnt of the birth of his son shortly after leaving England.

 

Scott also spent time with Nelson and Emma at their home, Merton, during a brief spell of shore leave in the summer of 1805.

Rev. Dr Alexander John Scott - Nelson's Chaplain

Reverend Dr. Alexander John Scott (1768–1840) was an Anglican chaplain who served in the Royal Navy during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. He served as Horatio Nelson's personal chaplain at the Battle of Trafalgar, and had previously served as his private secretary. Scott was a close friend of Nelson, and was with him as he died aboard HMS Victory.

 

Scott first met Nelson while in the Mediterranean. Nelson was at this time captain of the 64-gun HMS Agamemnon.  Scott was offered the position of Nelson's chaplain, but declined it, instead moving aboard the 98-gun HMS St George, followed by the 100-gun HMS Britannia, then under Sir Hyde Parker.  He was present at Nelson's victory at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, this time aboard the 98-gun HMS London.

 

Nelson arranged for Scott to be transferred to his flagship, HMS Victory, in 1804 as his foreign secretary.  He had decided that Scott's gift for languages would make him a desirable addition to his staff.   Also aboard the Victory was another man named Scott, this was John Scott, Nelson's personal secretary. Nelson solved the problem by terming Alexander Scott, now installed as his chaplain, as 'Doctor Scott'. Scott was not actually a Doctor at this point, the award of the Doctorate of Divinity from the University of Cambridge came after Trafalgar.

 

Scott often spent his time aboard Victory reading newspapers and letters captured from foreign prizes to Nelson.

 

 

Coachman and Postillion

The Coachman and Postillion were the Post-Chaise crew.  Usually they were included in the hire cost of the coach, from a local Inn or Hotel.  He hired a post-chaise, probably from the King’s Head...  (the King's Head in Merton High Street).

 

The Postillion would ride the leading nearside (left-hand side) horse of a team or pair drawing a coach or carriage, especially when there is no coachman.

 

From Nelson's personal journal:

 

'At half-past ten drove from dear dear Merton, where I left all which I hold dear in this world, to go to serve my King and Country. May the great God whom I adore enable me to fulfil the expectations of my Country; and if it is His good pleasure that I should return, my thanks will never cease being offered up to the Throne of His Mercy. If it is His good Providence to cut short my days upon earth, I bow with the greatest submission, relying that He will protect those so dear to me, that I may leave behind. His will be done: Amen, Amen, Amen.

Extras Required

Royal Marine 1

 

Royal Marine 2

 

Extras:  2 x children

 

Woman, x 4

 

Men x 4

 

dog x 1

 

 

 

The Coachman and Postillion were the Post-Chaise crew.  Usually they were included in the hire cost of the coach, from a local Inn or Hotel.  He hired a post-chaise, probably from the King’s Head...  (the King's Head in Merton High Street).

 

The Postillion would ride the leading nearside (left-hand side) horse of a team or pair drawing a coach or carriage, especially when there is no coachman.

 

From Nelson's personal journal:  'At half-past ten drove from dear dear Merton, where I left all which I hold dear in this world, to go to serve my King and Country. May the great God whom I adore enable me to fulfil the expectations of my Country; and if it is His good pleasure that I should return, my thanks will never cease being offered up to the Throne of His Mercy.

 

If it is His good Providence to cut short my days upon earth, I bow with the greatest submission, relying that He will protect those so dear to me, that I may leave behind. His will be done: Amen, Amen, Amen.

      n e w s

21st October 2016:     First meeting and project launch.

 

19th January, 2017:   Initial script formation, research and funding plan.

 

3rd February, 2017:    Website launched and a call to casting of local acting talent and film production crew is launched.

 

9th February, 2017:    Completed PoC storyboard and is currently with the UoP film team.

 

14th April, 2017:          The University of Portsmouth Film Production Department have requested that a full script and shoot plan be produced.

 

 20th June, 2017:        Fundraising plan is in operation:

 

21st June, 2017:         Post-Chaise and team of four filming arranged.   Acting and Prop, location plan, filming plan, secured.

 

23rd June, 2017:         Actors engaged.  Hoping to secure lead character roles over the next few weeks.

 

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/user/go2jmj/dashboard/horatio-the-last-walk

T h e  l a s t  w a l k

On Saturday September 14, 1805, around 2pm, a large crowd gathered around the High Street and surrounding common areas of the old town.  As news circulated that Nelson was in town and about to leave, the citizens of Portsmouth knew this was one occasion that just could not be missed.

 

With Admiralty orders to engage the combined fleets of Spain and France and instructions to win a most memorable action safely boxed in his personal retinue, Nelson began his now famous last walk through the streets of Portsmouth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As one eyewitness wrote, "..the crowd was not easily to be avoided. Men poured about him as about a saint, eager to look upon his resolute face, sobbing and falling down before him in prayer. Never had mortal man so true and tender a welcome.   (Anon).

 

Or as Nelson himself later wrote, "At six o’clock arrived at Portsmouth and having arranged all my business, embarked at the Bathing Machines with Mr. Rose and Mr. Canning.”   Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, The Despatches and Letters of Lord Nelson, Vol, VII p. 35

 

What Nelson did on the last day in Portsmouth has largely been ignored, but if we examine the evidence and track his movements, coupled with a fresh view of the letters he wrote, and the memoirs of those he met that day, then the subsequent action that took place at Trafalgar, just over five weeks later, becomes very clear.

 

 

The last walk that Nelson took on dry land began from the rear of the George Hotel, in Penny Street.    The George stood on the High Street

                                                           until it was flatten in a WWII blitz of

                                                           Portsmouth.   He would have made

                                                           his way, with his entourage, turning

                                                           left into Green Row, (now

                                                           Pembroke Road).

 

The view across Governor’s Green to

The Garrison Chapel is almost unchanged

since Nelson’s day.   He then made his

way to the boat that rowed him across

the Solent to the awaiting Victory,

anchored off St. Helens, Isle of Wight.

 

                                          For Nelson, looking back at the citizens of

                                          Portsmouth as he boarded the row boat, he

                                          must have been filled with a deep sense of

                                          pride and emotion.

 

                                          He was off to to his duty to King and

                                          Country, but he was leaving again the love

                                          of his life, Emma and Horatia.

 

 

  The digital mapping of Portsmouth owes a great deal to the tireless

  dedication to detail and research of the late Tim Backhouse and

  his 1860 Project.

 

  Tim was a tireless chronicler of Portsmouth history who researched

  and wrote about everything from local cricket in the nineteenth century

  to the city’s role in World War I.  His websites include

   History in Portsmouth and Memorials and Monuments in Portsmouth.

 

 

 

 

 

s c r e e n p l a y

C o n t a c t  U s

Submitting Form...

The server encountered an error.

Form received.

www.thelastwalk.com

email:  info@thelastwalk.com

Telephone:  +44(0)7984083722

 

 

All comments, to a reasonably degree, are welcome and in many ways necessary.   The biggest obstacle to a project like this, is that it continues to unearth more evidence about Georgian times, that will require additions to the animation, film and characters.