3 December 2003
NELSON, Horatio, Viscount (1758-1805). Autograph letter signed ('Nelson & Bronte') to Mr Hill, Amazon, 6 September 1801, one page, 4to, integral address leaf signed and dated ('Deal September Seventh 1801'), addressed to Hill, 'to be left at the Gen[era]l Post Office till call'd for', fragment of seal (seal tear, not touching text, a few tiny holes in folds in address leaf).
A scornful riposte to a blackmailer. 'Very likely I am unfit for my present Command ... but you will I trust be punished for threatening my character but [sic] I have not been brought up in the School of fear'.
After the disastrous failure of the action off Boulogne in July 1801, Nelson received a crude threat from a Mr Hill, who sent him a paper critical of his official dispatch, entitled 'Remarks by a Seaman on the attack at Boulogne', demanding £100 to stop publication. Nelson was in fact much concerned at this time about the possible effects of the Boulogne affair on his authority within the fleet.
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