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



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Two days after losing the sight of his right eye

NELSON, Horatio, Viscount (1758-1805). Vice-admiral.
Autograph Letter Signed ('Horatio Nelson' with the right hand) to Thomas Pollard, merchant, in Leghorn, 1 page 4to with address-leaf, [Camp, near Calvi, Corsica], 14 July 1794. Somewhat creased and slightly foxed from former framing, fragments missing from two corners.
Ordering clothing for his stepson Josia [Nisbet] ('my Youngster').
 The letter is unusual in that it was written on land, during the siege which led to the surrender of Calvi the following month. Two days previously Nelson had been wounded in the face by stones thrown up by an enemy shot. With characteristic insouciance he had written on that day to his commander, Admiral Hood, that 'Reports, we know, get about, and as neither time, or many other circumstances, may be mentioned, it is best to say it myself - that I got a little hurt this morning; not much, as you may judge by my writing'. He wrote another letter to Pollard the same day as the present example, and presumably previous to it, in which he refers to the injury ('my being half blinded by these fellows, who have given me a smart slap in the face'). See Dispatches and Letters ed. Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, Vol. 1, page 499. The present letter is not there published, nor in The New Letters ed. Colin White (2005).
'I will thank you to get for my Youngster.
    One yard of Cloth for a Jacket
    one yard for lining of linnen
    two hanks of Silk
    twist & thread. Buttons for Jacket.
Three Yards of stuff for Trowsers ...' etc. etc. including shoes and stockings.
Josiah Nisbet, later Captain (1780-1830), was Fanny Nelson's son by her first marriage and would have been a boy of five or six when Captain Nelson first encountered him. He was fourteen when he sailed on the Agamemnon to the Mediterranean.
[No: 25127]

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