William Locker

Nelson corresponded with Locker until the latter’s death, describing his naval actions, and famously wrote in 1799 (the Battle of the Nile took place in 1798): ‘I have been your scholar; it is you who taught me to board a Frenchman…’.  Importantly, Locker also passed on his hydrography skills.  Also, at his expense, Locker arranged for Nelson to sit for a portrait by JF Rigaud.

In 1770 Locker married Lucy Parry(daughter of Admiral William Parry) at St Margaret, Addington and they lived at the Parry home of St Vincent’s, Addington.  They moved to the parsonage house at East malling in 1776.  After Lucy’s death giving birth to their seventh child in 1780, Locker moved to West Malling and it is likely that Nelson visited him here.  He moved to Kensington in 1787 and when he died in 1800 he was buried in the Parry family vault in Addington churchyard.  Confirming the high regard in which Locker was held in naval circles and years after his death, William IV (‘Sailor Bill’) who had served under him, described him as ‘the best man I ever knew’

Further reading:
*Nelson’s Hero. The Story of his ‘Sea-Daddy’ Captain William Locker by Victor T Sharman
*The Command of the Ocean.  A Naval History of Britain 1649-1815 by NAM Rodger
*Nelson - Love and Fame by Edgar Vincent
*The Pursuit of Victory: the life and achievement of Horatio Nelson by Roger Knight
*Nelson - The Dream of Glory by John Sugden

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