HAMILTON, Emma, Lady, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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Emma Hamilton transcribes diplomatic letters

HAMILTON, Emma, Lady (1761?-1815). Mistress of Lord Nelson. Wife of Sir William Hamilton.
Autograph transcript of an important diplomatic letter to the Queen of Naples from her ambassador in Spain, 7 pages 4to. Endorsed by Sir William Hamilton 'Affairs in Spain, 9th June 1795'.
Emma Hamilton was intimate with the Queen of Naples and the Two Scilies, Maria Carolina (1752-1814), who was the daughter of Francis I and Maria Theresa and thus the elder sister of Marie Antionette. She made many transcripts of diplomatic correspondence either for the Queen herself or for transmission to the British court. The present letter was amongst the papers of Sir William Hamilton purchased by Alfred Morrison when they were dispersed by Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge in March 1886, and is printed in full in the Hamilton and Nelson Papers, Vol I, pages 209-210.
The ambassador (?Galatone) acknowledges receipt of dispatches from Sir John Acton, whom Maria Carolina had made Prime Minister of Naples, acknowleding his attitude to Spain, shared with the Queen, and commenting on the Franco-Spanish situation.
'... les Français veulent toujours La paix avec L'espagne, mais ils veulent l'en dicter a leur gré les conditions pour y forcer cetter cour ils ont l'air de reconnoître l'independance de la Guipuzcoa qu'ils occupent: ils menacent l'Espagne d'une révolte dans la Biscaÿe et d'une grande augmentation prochaine de leurs forces de ce coté là. Le malheureux etat interieur de la France, son manque d'argent, de vivres, et de gouvernement devroit rendre ces rodomntade peur redoutables ...'
The Kings of Prussia and Sardinia had recently made treaties of peace with France. It had only been through Sir William's urgent representations that the Kingdom of the two Sicilies had not followed suit. Spain itself had formed a full offensive-defensive alliance with France in September of 1794. With Holland overrun in 1795, England and Austria were left alone to defend the Royalist interest against Revolutionary France. And Napoleon was beginning his speedy and brilliant conquest of north Italy. Throughout all this Emma Hamilton, who was a good linguist, was deeply involved in the political issues with the Queen, who was in effect the ruler of the kingdom.
[No: 20510]


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