Saturday, Apr 01, 2023
In 1814, about 10 years after Lord Nelson’s death and having lived in a ménage with him and her husband, Lady Emma Hamilton was deeply in debt. She was selling off her possessions, and published the Letters of Nelson to herself, resultingly turning society even more against her.
Among the antagonists was Sir Richard (‘Mad Dick’) Strachan, commander through the Napoleonic Wars, and renowned for his violent temper and bad language.
We have a letter written in 1814, from Sir Richard’s wife, Lady Louisa, to parliamentarian Charles Finch’s wife, complaining the publication of Nelson’s letters are ‘vexing’ Sir Richard.
‘Lady Hamilton has evidently published them herself tho’ she denies it’.
The missive is a hand-written letter, on three sides, with the address and a postal mark (10 August, 1814) and two wax seals on the 4th side.
A glimpse into Regency society.