Thomas Masterman Hardy


Thomas Masterman Hardy (1769-1839) first joined the Royal Navy at age 12. Proving himself a brave and capable officer, Hardy was promoted to captain of Admiral Horatio Nelson’s flagship in 1798. Hardy commanded Nelson’s HMS Victory, and attended to the mortally wounded Nelson, when the British fleet defeated the combined French and Spanish fleet at the Battle of Trafalgar in October 1805. Made a baronet in 1806, Hardy took command of HMS Ramillies in 1812 and remained in her through the War of 1812, serving off New London almost continuously from April 1813 to August 1814. After the war, he commanded at sea until 1827 and was promoted to rear admiral in 1825. This steel engraving by H. Robinson is based on an 1834 portrait by Robert Evans. (New London County Historical Society, 2012.10.01)