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

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HAMILTON, Emma, Lady (1761?-1815). Mistress of Lord Nelson. Wife of Sir William Hamilton.
Fine Autograph Letter Signed to Puleston, 3 pages 4to, integral address and black wax seal, 12 Temple Place, Blackfriars Road, 3 August no year (watermark 1810, probably 1813). Dwelling on her usual themes of her undeserved poverty and the reduced circumstances in which she is forced to live, even to having to dismiss her men servants ('Crimson Liverys here would not do').
At this time Emma was living 'Within the Rules' of the King's Bench Prison. She had been arrested for debt, but instead of incarceration, she was allowed to live within a prescribed area, roughly within 2½ miles of the prison. Her lodgings at 12 Temple Place were apparently not suitable for young Horatia, who had recently suffered from whooping cough. Though Mrs Matcham offered to take the child, Emma kept her by her side, some said so that the Government would feel their duty towards Nelson's child and might therefore be more generous towards her mother.
 With her customary originality of spelling and syntax, she touches on the expense of Horatia's education, the sympathy of the Prince Regent ('I wrote to him ... a letter which he must feel & He sent me word He had sent & spoken to the ministers but then why is he the Regent of nothing'), and rails against Liverpool ('did he ever do as much as myself to serve his Country but why speak of such Trash as him').
'... I am determined to act with firmness Fortitude Honor and prudence - god all mighty bless you amen amen amen as Dear Nelson used to say. I cannot tell you the scenes of plunder Robery & villany which has been practised on my unsuspicious Heart & pocket ... .'
[No: 7628]


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