HORATIO, VISCOUNT NELSON (1758-1805)
Two manuscripts relating to Nelson's estate, the first a 'Bankers Account of Lord Nelson's Executors', 1805-1810, approximately 30 pages, 4to, written in a neat clerical hand on 21 leaves, within columns ruled in red, blanks, original marbled papered covers, 265 x 215 mm; the second (to which the first is cross-referenced) a 'Digest of Accounts of Lord Viscount Nelson's Executors', including an index, written in an account book, approximately 50 pages, 8vo, on leaves inscribed at the head 'Messrs Davison & Co. with Lord Nelson's Executors' and numbered 1-71, original marbled papered covers, 205 x 140 mm.
A RECORD OF THE INCOME FROM NELSON'S ESTATE AND ITS DISTRIBUTION, MOSTLY DURING THE YEARS 1806-1808. The accounts show an opening balance of £10,200-8-6, and income received from Marsh and Creed (the Naval Agents) and Davison as well as smaller payments including the rent of land and cottages at Merton (which had not been included in Nelson's gift of the house to Lady Hamilton) and £900 from his estate at Bronte.
The index to the 'Digest' includes headings such as 'Annuitants', the 'Bronte estate', 'Cash', 'Davison', 'Legatees', 'Marsh and Creed', 'Merton estate' and (the largest section) 'Miscellaneous'. '1806 Oct[ober] 22: 'To [cash]. Nayler. Charge for Miss Nelson's change of name £44-0-6'; '1807 April 21: To cheque book & Halford. On account of Lord Nelson's share of prize money & head money for the battle off Cape Trafalgar £7303-8-2 (head money for the Redoutable remaining unsettled)'.
Lady Nelson receives an annuity of £900, and Lady Hamilton a number of much smaller sums. The £4,000 left to Horatia is used to purchase Consols for her but reduced by Stamp Office 'legacy duty' of £400 and the small annuity of £12-10-0 to Mrs Mary Gibson was awarded to her by Nelson for her care of Horatia from 1801 until the child's arrival at Merton in 1805. Other beneficiaries include Mrs Maurice Nelson (widow of Nelson's younger brother), and Lady Hamilton's mother, Mrs Cadogan. A payment to Sir Isaac Heard (Garter King of Arms) is presumably in connection with the earldom for William Nelson, and there are disbursements for tax, church rates, and the poor rate at Wimbledon, and for arrears of wages at Merton.
Alexander Davison (1750-1829) in company with Messrs Noel, Templar, Middleton, Johnson and Wedgwood, had opened a Banking House at 43 Pall Mall in 1803. A close friend of Nelson's, he was appointed agent for the sale of the Nile prizes, and acted for him in many personal business matters, and also as his intermediary with Frances Nelson. In 1814 a complex legal case finally resolved Lady Nelson's claims against him for his failure to hand over a family trust to her, but before his death he served a prison sentence for embezzlement. (2)