Nelson letter to mistress Lady Hamilton set for $13,000 auction

A signed letter from Lord Nelson to his mistress, Lady Emma Hamilton, is coming to auction this month.

The circa 1801 letter, written at the height of their affair, details a disagreement between the two the previous evening, and Nelson's intent to defend Hamilton's integrity as the scandal became the talk of the country.

Lord Nelson Lady Hamilton letter
Nelson signed letters are up 14.87% pa

"I shall not come to your house after what passed last night 'till you send for me when I shall fly," he writes, adding: "Never will I sit tamely and see you my dear friend neglected or insulted".

Nelson and Lady Hamilton began their infamous affair in 1899; within two years Hamilton would bear Nelson a child.

The letter, written after the baby had been born, has been given an £8,000 ($13,000) high estimate ahead of the Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Photographs sale in London on November 13.

A circa 1801 letter from Nelson to Lady Hamilton detailing his forthcoming excursion to France sold for £28,800 ($46,500) at Sotheby's in 2005. The more revealing content of the present letter at auction suggests the estimate is highly conservative.

Nelson pleaded with Hamilton to burn the letters he sent her. She refused, publishing them in 1814, nine years after his death at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Nelson signed letters are growing in value at a rate of 14.87% pa - we are selling this example right now.

Fascination with the affair endures among the public today. A chimneypiece, once employed in the country home that Nelson bought for himself and Lady Hamilton in 1801, sold for £25,000 ($38,700) at Bonhams in June.

Despite pleas from his wife, Nelson continued to live with Lady Hamilton until his death.

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