HAMILTON, EMMA. (Circa 1761-1815). Mistress of Admiral Horatio Nelson, Charles Greville and British Ambassador to Naples, Sir William Hamilton, whom she married in 1791. ALS. (“Emma Hamilton”). 1p. Folio. N.p., N.d. (after 1791). To her close friend Mrs. Walcot.
“I send you 2 letters & if you can recollect any others send me word, my mother says I must not take leave of you it is cruel but I must obey against my will. Oh my dear madam, what I suffered yesterday, God Bless you, may you be happy as you deserve. & then you must be completely so. I cannot write to you any more for my tears begin to flow again. Love me, remember me, some times when you are many, many miles off, when your Emma Hamilton is far from you think of her as she deserves heavens bless you prays your ever Sincere friend & well wisher… Crescenzo Merola is the home of the gentleman wear (sic?) we dined”
Emma Hamilton, the woman who would captivate Britain’s greatest naval hero, Horatio Nelson, was born into humble circumstances to Mary Kidd and christened Amy Lyon. Her mother was widowed before Amy’s first birthday and left her young daughter to be raised by her mother while she found work as a servant. However, when Amy was 13, Kidd brought her to London where the pair climbed the social ladder together, styling themselves as Mrs. Cadogan and Emma Hart.