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EMMA, LADY HAMILTON (1765-1815)
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EMMA, LADY HAMILTON (1765-1815)

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EMMA, LADY HAMILTON (1765-1815)

Autograph letter signed ('Emma Hamilton') to Miss [Mary Anne] Scott, Merton, Surrey, 14 March n.y. [1804?], 3 pages, 4to, integral address panel ('Miss Scott Right Honourable Sir W[illia]m Scott 47 Leicester Square London'), (seal tears, traces of tape in outer edge of second leaf).

LADY HAMILTON AS THE EDUCATRICE OF YOUNG LADIES: 'I wish you could see the education that is going on here I think you wou'd admire my plan and my eléves [sic] does me honour indeed I have so much satysfaction in communicating any little knowledge I have and it is such a pleasure to promote virtue and instil those principles in to a young mind that may make them amiable members of society that I have now scarcely any other pleasure'.

The letter opens with a typical flourish of protestations of devotion on receiving news of Miss Scott, followed by accounts of her own health 'I have been very very ill indeed & am still very weak. Dear good Mrs Bolton [Nelson's sister, Susannah] & her daughter have nursed me with affection and love' and regrets at her absence from London. Emma's principal pupil was Charlotte Nelson, daughter of Nelson's elder brother, William. A frequent visitor to Clarges Street and Merton, she spent long periods in her care, sometimes joined by other children. Emma lavished money on instruction in languages, singing and dancing for her, preparing her for presentation at Court while Charlotte's presence lent a modicum of propriety to the household and earned a degree of approval in the higher echelons of Society, but she was removed from Merton by her parents shortly after Nelson's death. Horatia, Nelson's daughter by Lady Hamilton, born in 1801 and officially his 'god-daughter', came to Merton only in 1805 when arrangements for Emma to be her guardian were formally implemented. Emma's correspondent was the daughter of Sir William Scott (1745-1836, Baron Stowell from 1821), friend of Dr Johnson and a judge in the high court of the Admiralty.
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