Horatio Nelson was a vice admiral of the Royal Navy in the early 19th century on Earth. He led his fleet to victory against a larger combined French and Spanish force at the Battle of Trafalgar, the decisive naval engagement of the Napoléonic Wars. Nelson was wounded in the battle, dying below decks on his flagship HMS Victory.
While deciding whether or not to retreat from a Borg cube laying in wait for the USS Enterprise-D in 2366, Captain Picard thought of Nelson. Talking with Guinan, he recalled the Admiral's tour of the Victory preceding his final battle. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds")
Background Information Edit
The USS Victory was named after Nelson's flagship at Trafalgar, of which Geordi La Forge built a model in "Elementary, Dear Data". In 1781, while commanding the HMS Albermale, the HMS Enterprise was placed under his authority for convoy duty.
Nelson's legendary career inspired "Horatio Hornblower", the title character of a popular series of novels and stories written by C.S. Forester in the mid-20th century. In turn, the literary hero had a significant influence on Star Trek.