Lot 665: Hamilton Emma (1765-1815)



2015-07-10 15:43:10

Lot 665: Hamilton Emma (1765-1815) Lady Hamilton. English Mistress Of Lord Nelson And Wife Of Sir William Hamilton. A Very Fine A.L.S., Emma Hamilton, (An Excellent Example Of Her Signature), Three Pages, 4To, Bond Street, 27Th November (1811), To Colonel Sir Richard Puleston. Hamilton States That She Has Been Very Short Of Time At Home And Remarks That She €˜Scarce Know Now Where To Send This Uninteresting Scrawl’ And Continuing €˜I Envy You Your Clear Country Welsh Air For We Vegetate Home In Fog & Vapour & I Suffer Particularly Having Been Used To A Clear Sky & Warm Climate Which I Fear I Shall Never Enjoy Again For Sicily Now Is In Such A State Of Confusion Owing To The Imprudence Of The Man Who Has A Good Heart & Bad Head That I Never Would Go There Till Some Firm Government Is Settled’ Further Remarking €˜My Time Is Past For Rendering Them Any More Services And For Those I Did I Have Been So Ill Requited That I Feel Disgusted At Their Neglect & Ingratitude’. Hamilton Also Sends News Of Nelson’S Daughter, Writing €˜I Am Occupied Much In The Education Of My Ward Horatia Nelson Whom Her Glorious Father Did Me The Honour To Appoint As Her Guardian And I Think You Will Be Pleased With Her. I Am Satisfied With My Pupil & I Hope To See Her All That Her Father Wished Her To Be’ And Remarking €˜However Others May Have Neglected His Sacred Wishes I Act As Tho He Could Have Wished Me To Have Done’. With Address Leaf In Hamilton’S Hand And Bearing A Red Wax Seal Featuring The Emotional Statement The Period Of Nelson’S Fame Can Only Be The End Of Time. A Letter Of Very Fine Content, Not Least For Its References To Lord Nelson And His Daughter, Horatia, Whom Hamilton Describes As Her €˜Ward’. Small Area Of Paper Loss To The Edge Of The Final Page, Where The Seal Was Originally Broken, Only Slightly Affecting Two Words Of Text And Not The Signature. Vg Horatia Nelson (1801-1881) Was, Of Course, The Illegitimate Daughter Of Lord Nelson And Lady Hamilton Although Was Christened, At The Age Of Two, With Her Parents Being Declared As €˜Godparents’. Her Natural Parents Later €˜Adopted’ Her As An Orphan And, Although Horatia Soon Learnt Who Her Real Father Was Following His Death At The Battle Of Trafalgar In 1805, She Never Accepted That Emma Hamilton Was Her Mother. This Was Undoubtedly Due To The Mother And Daughter Spending Ten Months Together In A Prison Cell As A Result Of Emma’S Financial Difficulties Following Nelson’S Death, And Partly Due To Emma’S Insistence After Nelson’S Death That She Was Her Guardian, And Not Her Mother, As Illustrated In The Present Letter. Biographers Describing Horatia In Her Youth Have Commented That She Was Intelligent And Well Read And Particularly Talented At Languages, Emma Having Taught Her Italian, French And German. It Would Seem Therefore That Lady Hamilton Had Every Right To Be €˜Satisfied’ With Her Daughter’S Education, As Referred To In The Present Letter. Despite Nelson’S Status As A National Hero Following The Battle Of Trafalgar, The Instructions He Left To The Government To Provide For Emma And Horatia Were Ignored; Evidently Being The €˜Sacred Wishes’ That Lady Hamilton States Have Been €˜Neglected’ In The Present Letter. Colonel Sir Richard Puleston, Lady Hamilton’S Correspondent, Was An Admirer Of Emma’S And Is Said To Have Described Himself As €˜Among Millions, Your Bequeathed Guardian And Protector’ (€˜Beloved Emma’ By Flora Fraser, 1986, P.356). International Autograph Auctions' Autograph Auction July 2015 Saturday, 18th July 2015 Estimate: £3000 - 4000
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