I have their hearts now


Here we have the second painting in Maarten Platje’s monumental “The Hero” series of five pictures depicting Victory and Nelson in the year of 1805.

The moment depicted is when Nelson boarded Victory, lying off the Isle of Wight, and prepared to leave England for what turned out to be the last time.

The date is September the 14th, 1805. Nelson had taken a chaise the previous evening, leaving behind Emma Hamilton and his daughter Horatia. “…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” he wrote in his journal.

Arriving in Portsmouth at six in the morning, Nelson breakfasted at The George hotel, held meetings and then walked with some companions and by a roundabout route to avoid the thickest of the cheering crowds, down to the boats and his barge on the beach. Despite their precautions, there was a large crowd of well-wishers on the beach and, as the boats pushed off, three great cheers rose from them. It is reported that Nelson said to Captain Hardy “I had their huzzas before; I have their hearts now!” This confirmation that he was now loved by the British as the man who could save them, as opposed to merely honoured and respected by the country for his previous great victories, clearly meant a great deal to Nelson.

In Maarten’s beautiful painting we see Nelson going aboard his refurbished flagship for the last time. The time is about 11.30 a.m. and Nelson climbs the ladder himself despite his handicap of having only one arm. The only other ship ready to sail with Victory is Captain Blackwood’s beautiful frigate Euryalus which we see to the left of Victory and which was to play such a vital role during the night preceding Trafalgar. The last smoke from a salute fired by the frigate hangs in the still air.

Around 8 a.m. the next morning the two mighty ships got under way and passed down the Solent into the Channel. The very slight breeze meant that they remained for a long time in sight of England before departing for Nelson to meet his destiny.


Limited, hand-signed art prints. These reproductions will be delivered to you in a shipping tube by parcel post.

Art prints

Art is the product of skill and craft. It stands for originality, inspiration, authenticity & uniqueness. As an artist, Platje values the original characteristics of his work for good reason. Reproductions of this work deserve the same respect.
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