On this day in 1798, five years after Great Britain had entered the wars of the French Revolution, Horatio Nelson led the attack that destroyed the French fleet. Frances Rolleston was 17 years old, and although this event is not mentioned in her letters, she was certainly learned about it. The French Revolution terrified the English upper classes who feared revolution would spread to England. French aristocrats who escaped the guillotine fled to England. Frances' father welcomed them to his table.
Horation Nelson was a most interesting character with a brilliant military career. Here is an overview of his life.