Nelson's will sold for £18,755 at auction

  • 6 July 2013
  • From the section Kent
Portrait of Nelson with will
Image caption The will was written by Lord Nelson in 1798, before the Battle of the Nile

A will written by Lord Nelson has been sold by a Kent auctioneer for £18,755.

Raj Bisram, from Bentley's Fine Art and Antiques Auction House in Cranbrook, bought the document for £13,500 and had hoped to sell it for up to £25,000.

The auction house gave no details of the buyer but said that the will would be staying in the UK.

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

Earlier this year, Mr Bisram 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.

He said the document he owned saw Lord Nelson leave everything to his wife, Frances Nisbet, who he married in 1787, and his family.

But Nelson was later posted in Naples where he met and fell in love with Lady Emma 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.

Alex Patterson from the Historic Dockyard Chatham has described the will as "the last time you see a real loving link to Frances because after that, by 1800, they're in effect estranged and separated".

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.

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