NELSON, Horatio, Viscount (1758-1805). Autograph letter signed ('Nelson & Bronte) to Lady Hamilton, St George, Kioge Bay, 5 June 1801, 3½ pages, 4to, autograph address panel ('Lady Hamilton, 23 Piccadilly, London'), seal (seal tear repaired, scorch mark, slightly browned, traces of guard).
Written from the Baltic, on receiving her letter brought by a protegé 'Little potatoe Harris', whom he has invited to dinner.'[He] brought the best recommendation in Europe, for if he had brought letters from all the Kings, Queens, etc etc in Europe they would have all sunk as they ought before the orders of my Guardian Angel. When I consider how my Santa Emma has protected me I am always full of gratitude'. Nelson also describes the lifting of the Russian embargo on British shipping which he has accomplished, referring somewhat derisively to the official negotiator, Lord St Helens, 'a very mild and good man but all our diplomatic men are so slow', and gives news of naval affairs and colleagues ('I never forget old friends').
The letter is dated shortly after his appointment as Commander-in-Chief, on the recall of Sir Hyde Parker. He was in fact somewhat depressed at this time, and in a letter written in the same week to his old friend Sir Alexander Ball at Malta described himself as 'apparently in a consumption'. He achieved his wish for leave in England, and arrived back at Yarmouth on the Kite on 30 June, at once joining the Hamiltons at 23 Piccadilly.