19 October 2005,
Price realised GBP 3,360
GBP 3,000 - GBP 5,000
HORATIO, VISCOUNT NELSON (1758-1805)
Autograph letter signed ('Nelson & Bronte') to Captain [William] Bedford, Merton, 1 January 1802, one page, 4to, integral address leaf signed ('N & B') to Bedford at 'Atkinsons Hotel Dean Street Soho London' (one word slightly faded, seal tear professionally repaired, laid down).
A CORDIAL AND WELCOMING INVITATION, on receiving Bedford's letter, to visit Nelson and the Hamiltons at Merton Place. '[A]lthough I have been only once in Town I certainly would have called upon you. You know we shall always be glad to see you, therefore I will only say for all of this house come Sunday Monday Tuesday or any other day you please', sending greetings to Mr McNamara, and reporting that [Sir Alexander] Ball and Tyson have called. A postscript mentions that he has been 'very indifferent' with a serious cold 'but I hope the frost will carry both yours and mine away'.
Captain Bedford commanded the Leyden in the Channel fleet in 1801 and he took part in the unsuccessful action at Boulogne. In a letter to Sir Evan Nepean Nelson referred to Bedford's 'modesty consonant with his worth as an officer' (September 1801). In 1805, as Captain of the Hibernia, he commanded the blockade of Brest. A letter by Nelson to him in February 1802 suggests that he was unable to accept the invitation to Merton. John Tyson was one of Nelson's secretaries and, like Sir Alexander Ball, the Governor of Malta, he took pains to establish cordial relations with Lady Hamilton.
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