Kent

Kent auctioneer Raj Bisram to sell Lord Nelson's will

Portrait of Nelson with will
Image caption The will was written by Lord Nelson in 1798, before the Battle of the Nile

An auctioneer from Kent who bought a will written by Lord Nelson is hoping to sell it for up to £25,000.

The document was written by the naval commander in 1798 before the Battle of the Nile, when he successfully destroyed Napoleon's fleet.

The will was featured on the Channel 4 programme Four Rooms, where collectors were given the chance to sell their antiquities to a dealer.

Raj Bisram made the winning bid of £13,500.

Mr Bisram, who runs Bentley's Fine Art and Antiques Auction House in Cranbrook, said Nelson's final will was in the National Archives, but he could not find any record of one being anywhere else in a private collection.

Image caption Raj Bisram paid £13,500 for the will

"This one was written in 1798 and it leaves everything to his wife and family," he said.

"It's just such a historical piece."

Nelson served part of his early career in Sheerness and Chatham Dockyard, which now exhibits a model of his flagship HMS Victory, which was built in the historic dockyard in Kent.

In the will, Nelson left everything to his wife Frances Nisbet, who he married in 1787.

But his next posting was in Naples, where he met and fell in love with Emma, Lady Hamilton.

Although they both remained in their respective marriages, Nelson and Lady Hamilton considered each other soul mates and had a child together, Horatia, in 1801.

Speaking of the will, Alex Patterson, from the Historic Dockyard Chatham, said: "It's the last time you see a real loving link to Frances because after that, by 1800, they're in effect estranged and separated and Nelson's affections lie with Hamilton."

The document is due to go under the hammer in Cranbrook in July.

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