3 December 2003
NELSON, Horatio, Viscount (1758-1805). Autograph letter signed ('Nelson and Bronte'), including a three-line autograph postscript by Lady Hamilton, to Admiral Sir John Duckworth, Merton, 13 February 1802, 2 pages, 4to, integral autograph address leaf signed (seal tear in blank area of 2nd leaf).
An indignant account of the progress of a naval dispute, also involving Lord St Vincent, sending Counsel's opinion and the attorney's letter (not present), 'every pain has been taken and be it decided for or against us we have done all in our power to prevent the service being performed by Deputy ... If I was in L[or]d St. V[incen]ts place those mean animals would have done the same to me. I find it very hard to fight against the first Lord. I much doubt if Justice ought to be painted blind, for I see her Eyes always turned to the rich & powerful'. The letter includes a reference to his and the Hamiltons' quiet life 'at a little Cottage I have bought 7 miles from London mixing as little as possible with the World'.
The unidentified dispute very probably concerned the issue of the distribution of prize money, with which Nelson was much preoccupied at this time. His court case with St. Vincent over Mediterranean prize money was settled only in 1804, and after the battle of Copenhagen he energetically pursued not only the distribution of prize money and medals, but also pensions for other ranks. The 'cottage' was Merton Place, which he bought with the Hamiltons the previous year.
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