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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 December, 2003, 20:48 GMT
Nelson's love letter fetches 117,000
Lord Nelson
Admiral Lord Nelson was born at Burnham Thorpe in Norfolk
A letter written by Norfolk-born Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson to his mistress Lady Hamilton has fetched more than 117,000 at auction.

The earliest surviving love letter from the admiral to Emma Hamilton was written in February 1800, a month after the pair embarked on their affair.

As the English fleet attempted to maintain a Mediterranean blockade against Napoleon's forces, Admiral Nelson was dreaming of his mistress ashore.

The admiral wrote: "I can neither eat or sleep for thinking of you my dearest love, I never touch even pudding. Last night I did nothing but dream of you altho' I woke 20 times in the night."

Three times estimate

The letter, written while Nelson sailed from Livorno to Palermo, five years before Trafalgar, fetched 117,250, more than three times its pre-sale estimate.

It was one of 40 documents relating to Nelson in the London sale at Christie's.

Another highlight, an impassioned letter written by Nelson on hearing rumours about the Prince of Wales's feelings towards Lady Hamilton, fetched 28,680.

He wrote: "I know his aim is to have you as a mistress. The thought so agitates me that I cannot write ... I am in tears I cannot bear it."

Admiral Lord Nelson was born at Burnham Thorpe in Norfolk and the Nelson Museum in Great Yarmouth commemorates the county's famous son.

Nelson given maize honour
03 Jul 03  |  Hampshire/Dorset
Nelson artefacts make 2m
22 Oct 02  |  England


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