[NELSON, Horatio, Viscount, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts



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[NELSON, Horatio, Viscount (1758-1805). Vice-admiral.]
Letter concerning the grant of an earldom to Nelson's brother, William, immediately after Trafalgar, no date (1805-1806). Autograph Letter Signed from William Haslewood, Nelson's solicitor to his partner Frederick Booth, 3 pages 4to with address-leaf bearing Haslewood's black mourning seal.
'I have great pleasure in mentioning to you that the information you received respecting Lord Nelson is not correct. His lordship has this instant received a very handsome letter from Mr Pitt communicating His Majesty's intentions to advance Lord Nelson to an earldom under the title of Earl Nelson of Trafalgar (or, as Mr Pitt spells it, Tresalgar) - with the same remainders as in the present barony. His Majesty means, likewise, to apply to Parliament for an adequate provision to accompany the title.
'Lord Nelson does not think it right ('at present' deleted) to make any visits or calls until after the funeral. But he has expressed a hope that Sir Evan Nepean & others of his friends will call upon him here.
[PS]'I conclude you have heard the news of which there is now no doubt that 3 armies of Russians, amounting together to 130,000 men have actually taken the field against France. The Duke of Brunswick will have the chief command.'
Horatio Nelson had always been close to his elder brother William (1757-1835), who had accompanied him to sea as a chaplain for a time. William's wife, Sarah, became quite close to Emma Hamilton after the menage had settled at Merton, and his daughter Charlotte was schooled by Emma in the ways of society. When news of Horatio's death reached England elaborate preparations for his funeral were put in hand, and William played a significant part in the arrangements. The present letter was written in the interval before the funeral on 9 January 1806. The background to the letter is described as follows in Oxford DNB:
As a proxy for his dead brother he succeeded as Baron Nelson of the Nile and the following month was created Viscount Merton and Earl Nelson of Trafalgar and Merton, also succeeding to the dukedom of Bronte in Sicily in 1806. He and his heirs were granted an annual pension of £5000 in perpetuity and £100,000 to purchase an estate; in 1814 he bought Stanlynch Park, near Downton in Wiltshire, and named the mansion Trafalgar House. [Tom Pocock, 'Nelson, William, first Earl Nelson (1757-1835)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004].

[No: 22206]


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