Bequest to the Nation
Bequest to the Nation FilmPoster
Directed by
James Cellan Jones
Produced by
Hal B. Wallis
Screenplay by
Terence Rattigan
Story by
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Glenda Jackson

Peter Finch

Michael Jayston

Anthony Quayle
Music by
Michel Legrand
Editing by
Anne V. Coates
Universal Pictures
Release date(s)
18 April 1973 (New York City)
Running Time
118 minutes
United Kingdom
Box Office
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Preceded by
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Followed by
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Bequest to the Nation is a 1973 British historical drama film directed by James Cellan Jones and starring Glenda Jackson, Peter Finch, Michael Jayston and Margaret Leighton. It is based on the 1970 Terence Rattigan play A Bequest to the Nation. The film depicts the relationship between Admiral Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton during the Napoleonic Wars

plus others they would meet, including Nelson's nephew: the story takes place before Nelson's heading out to sea for the battle of Trafalgar. In the United States, it was released as The Nelson Affair.


  • Glenda Jackson - Lady Hamilton
  • Peter Finch - Lord Nelson
  • Michael Jayston - Captain Hardy
  • Anthony Quayle - Lord Minto
  • Margaret Leighton - Lady Frances Nelson
  • Dominic Guard - Master George Matcham
  • Nigel Stock - George Matcham
  • Barbara Leigh-Hunt - Catherine 'Catty' Matcham
  • Roland Culver - Lord Barham
  • Richard Mathews - Reverend William Nelson
  • Liz Ashley - Sarah Nelson
  • John Nolan - Captain Blackwood
  • André Maranne - Admiral Villeneuve
  • Clelia Matania - Francesca
  • Pat Heywood - Emily
  • Stephen Jack - Major-domo
  • Nicholas Lyndhurst - Cabin boy
  • Philip Madoc - French Captain

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