A PARISH register containing the entry recording the marriage of Admiral Lord Nelson has been brought to the UK by a Swanmore resident for urgent conservation.

It was taken from a parish church in Nevis, where it had been held since the lord’s marriage on the island in 1787, and flown back to the UK.

The Borthwick Institute at York University now has possession of the register and will keep it from further deterioration.

John Wills, a retired Royal Navy captain, former mess president and commander at HMS Nelson, is the manager for the project.

Captain Wills, of Swanmore, was appointed by the 1805 Club to manage the project.

He said: “I was very flattered indeed when the club appointed me. I have a relatively strong interest in naval history but I absolutely enjoy travelling.

“This project has been the most stimulating thing I think I have ever done. With a couple of colleagues I went to Nevis in April to speak to a man called ‘chancellor.’

“We needed written permission from him to take the register because in that place of the world, a chancellor is a legal officer to a bishop. I really enjoyed using my diplomatic skills and am very delighted about the experience.”

The 1805 Club is a charity that conserves and maintains monuments and artifacts relating to the Royal Navy of the Georgian era. In 2016, it was made aware that, due to long exposure to the humidity and high temperatures in the Caribbean, the register had deteriorated badly and was in urgent need of conservation.

The project was funded by a grant from the LIBOR fund.