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Nelson at the Hop Pole Inn, Worcester

  • 9 May 2019
  • Worcester People and Places
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    It was at the Hop Pole that Lord Nelson stayed on his memorable visit to Worcester. The Coming of Nelson had not been anticipated, but during the afternoon of Sunday, 26th of August, 1802, a rumour of his approach spread amongst the citizens, for which mine host of the Hop Pole was probably responsible, for it was there that Nelson had bespoken rooms.

 People gathered rapidly in thousands. They lined the streets of the town, and every window and other vantage points were occupied. The citizens were accustomed to Royal guests, for the Prince of Wales and his brothers were often here, but Nelson loomed larger in the public eye. His coming victory had yet to come, but he was the hero of the Nile, and Copenhagen and many a lesser fight now well forgotten. Towards six in the evening the carriage came in sight, and near the bridge it was pounced upon by eager hands. The horses were removed, strong men yoked themselves to the vehicle, and amidst the enthusiastic plaudits of the crowd, the hero was drawn in triumph through Broad Street and the Cross to his hotel. 

Nelson was in good health and spirits and the warmth of his welcome delighted him. Late into the night the people lingered in front of the Hop Pole, and Nelson frequently appeared at the window, bowing to them.    On Monday he visited the China Factory, not the principal one, but Mr. Chamberlain's in Diglis, which caused much surprise, but Chamberlain was a friend of the host of the Hop Pole, and it was the custom in old times to go to the inn -keeper for guidance. They were preceded by a band of music and all Worcester turned out to see them pass, and over the entrance to the China Works was a triumphal arch of laurel with blue flags and an appropriate inscription.

 Emma, Lady Hamilton, who was with Melson at the Hop Pole, and was 'snubbed' by the 'damned glover women'.