When news of the British victory over the French at the naval battle at Trafalgar in 1805 reached England there was widespread celebration, off-set by national grieving at the death of Lord Nelson. Had the admiral lived he would have presumably been created a duke – as had Marlborough, and would Wellington, in later years. But what was done instead?

Answer: His brother, William, who had no connection with the battle, was given an earldom, a grant of 99,000 pounds with which to buy an estate and he and his heirs an annual pension of 5000 pounds a year in perpetuity.

Source: Horatio Nelson by Tom Pocock

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