The Collections

Nelson and 'That Hamilton Woman'

Created: 07.07.11

Horatio Nelson was one of Britain’s most renowned war heroes, lauded for his tactical genius and bravery. Nelson married in 1787, but rather than applaud his thirst for glory, his wife was always anxious about him. In 1798, after Nelson had long been away from her in the stressful campaign that ended in his victory at the Battle of the Nile, the beautiful wife of the British ambassador at Naples loaded him with the hero-worship he craved: it soon became a passionate mutual infatuation. Their very public affair divided opinion, not least because her elderly husband refused to acknowledge it existed and all three remained the closest of friends...


  • Name
  • Artist / Maker
  • Date made
  • ID
  • Heriot, Joseph
    1799-1800
    PLT0138
    Dog collar

    Silver dog collar with the copperplate inscription 'Right Honble Lord Nelson - NILEUS'. The collar has punched holes along top and bottom to enable it to be stitched to a leather lining, now missing. It can be adjusted in size…

  • Schmidt, Johann Heinrich
    1800
    PR1955-303
    Horatio Nelson, 1758 -1805, Vice Admiral of the White

    Pastel portait of Nelson, when a rear-admiral, by Johann Heinrich Schmidt. It was done at Dresden, Saxony, in October 1800 by Schmidt, who was artist to the ducal court there. It is signed and dated upper right 'Schmidt / f.…

  • Prosperi, Christopher
    1811
    SCU0107
    Horatia Nelson (1801-1881)

    Head-and-part-shoulders marble bust on a round socle, the sitter's head turned half to her left, with short curly hair in natural disorder and bare shoulders. The right shoulder has a grey vein in the marble showing as a diagonal line.…

  • Owen, William
    after 1807
    BHC2885
    Horatia Nelson kneeling before her father's tomb

    A full-length portrait facing to right in a white dress and drawers, red pumps and a cross on a necklace which is probably made of coral. Horatia is shown on bended right knee at the (imaginary) tomb of her father,…