Lot 469: ALS signed "Horatio Nelson," one page, 7.5 x 10, May 5, 1795. Letter to Police Magistrate Daniel Williams, written from Leghorn while aboard the HMS Agamemnon. In part: "The last time I was here the neutrality of Tuscany being but just settled I could not send to your son the £20, which you desired & which I should had it been possible have had the greatest satisfaction in sending, and at this time 3 Cartels are expected from Toulon [with] sick prisoners amongst whom I hope & have little doubt is your son. I therefore have not sent the money, but have desired Mr. Udney the Consul to advance him £20 immediately on his arrival to get him those things which he must want, & assure you I shall with his other friends be very glad to see him. I think that this account of your son will be acceptable." Intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing between the first and last names of the signature), scattered soiling, and trivial ink erosion to a few letters, otherwise fine condition. The 1845 edition of Nelson's letters notes that this was then in the possession of William Upcott, Esq.
Lieutenant Charles David Williams served under Nelson aboard the Agamemnon and had, at the orders of the English consul acting without Nelson's supervision, been navigating a vessel towards Toulon when he was captured by the French. They at first feared him lost, but Nelson happily informed Daniel Williams in a letter of February 27 that his son had only been taken prisoner and promised to try to send him some money. While this did not prove possible-among Nelson's distractions in the ensuing period was the Battle of Genoa-he is optimistic about Lieutenant Williams's return with his fellow shipmates. A superb example of one of Nelson's early letters with military content, written prior to the amputation of his arm in 1797.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs & Artifacts
Friday, 23rd October 2015
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