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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 May, 2004, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Nelson scroll found 50 years on
Lord Nelson
Lord Nelson won the county's freedom three years before he died
A scroll that gave Lord Nelson the freedom of Haverfordwest on a visit to Pembrokeshire in 1802 has been found after lying forgotten for 50 years.

The document had been locked away under a pile of papers in a safe in the town council's cellar.

It was only rediscovered when local historian Dilwyn Miles asked about its whereabouts.

It will now go on show at the town's museum as testament to Lord Nelson's links with the county.

He was the greatest naval hero in our entire history
Simon Hancock, museum manager
Council clerk Jane Clark said the scroll had been perfectly safe in storage but the council had forgotten it existed.

"I found the document in the bottom draw of our safe," she explained.

"I was expecting a rather more ornate document bearing in mind who it was referring to, but it's got the Haverfordwest Town Council seal and it was written in the copper plate."

Simon Hancock, manger of the town's museum, said it may not look much but it was an important piece of local history that would now go on display.

"On 7 August 1802 he was in Wales with Thomas Foley and they were presented with the freedom of the borough and county of Haverfordwest," he explained.

Admiring spectators

"An interesting article that I uncovered refers to the fact that nothing could have exceeded the rapture of the inhabitants.

"In national terms he was the greatest naval hero in our entire history.

"Many Pembrokeshire people served in Nelson's navy so really there has always been a link between Pembrokeshire and Nelson.

"The entourage came by horse and carriage but there were so many people the horses were taken away, so the carriage with its occupants was literally pulled up the hill to Foley House where this great ceremony took place.

"Afterwards they were escorted out of the town by thousands of admiring spectators on the way to Picton Castle."

Town mayor David Westrup said the scroll had had to be made quickly as Nelson was not on an official visit.

"Apparently this was produced rather quickly when Nelson came through on holiday and the town council at the time got to know about it," he said.

"They decided because of his importance we should give him the freedom of the town and this was rapidly produced."




SEE ALSO:
Part of Nelson's Victory back home
07 Apr 04 |  North West Wales
Battle of Trafalgar remembered
21 Oct 03 |  Hampshire/Dorset
Nelson artefacts make 2m
22 Oct 02 |  England


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