Lady Hamilton & Horatio Nelson: Horatia (part 33)

On 18 May 1803 Horatia was baptised in the parish church of St Marylebone, on the very same day that Britain declared war on France. This ended the peace inaugurated by the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, as a result of which the whole of Europe had experienced a period of peace for the first time since 1792.
But after just fourteen months, without waiting for Napoleon to make the first move, the British prime minister decided to reopen hostilities, fearing a landing of French troops. A few months later on 2 December 1804, Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor Napoleon of the French in Paris, in the cathedral of Notre Dame. The new emperor broke with tradition by crowning himself on his own:: he took the crown from the hands of Pope Pius VII, with a symbolic gesture of rejection of the authority of the Pontiff, meaning that he would never submit to anyone on earth, not even the church.
Nelson, appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean, had to return to active duty aboard the flagship HMS Victory.
He left five days after Horatia’s baptism, unaware that Emma was pregnant again, a fact she may have been unknown even to her.
Emma was convinced that he would return home within a few months, but unfortunately she did not see him for over two years.

While at sea, he sent Horatia a watch , as she had promised in a letter which was in response to a message dictated by her daughter to Lady Hamilton.
He wrote to her :
“As I am sure that for the world you would not tell a story, it must have slipt my memory that I promised you a Watch. Therefore I have sent to Naples to get one and I will send it home as soon as it arrives. The Dog I never could have promised as we have no Dogs on board ship; only I beg my dear Horatia to be obedient and you will ever be sure of the affection of Nelson & Bronte.

Later, to make up for the impossibility of sending her a dog, he gave her a gold necklace (visible at the Royal Museums Greenwich) with the silhouette of a dog in its centre within an oval frame.

Emma too received a curious gift, a novelty: a muff made of mussel beards!
The woman, who had become a big, opulent, easy-going matron, accepted that homage placidly.

Nelson always signed also with Bronte, and who knows if Emma ever told her daughter the legend of Bronte, destined to be connected with the English.

It is said that on the death of Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1603, her body was taken by the devil, due to a pact she had made to be helped to ascend the throne of England. They flew over the stormy sea, crossed France and Italy, and arrived in Sicily. While flying over Mount Etna, the queen lost one of her precious jewelled slippers which ended up, rolling, “somewhere near Bronte”.
A long time later, a young shepherd who was grazing his sheep saw a glint: it was the slipper sparkling in the sun. He tried to take it but he burned his hands. An exorcist friar was then called and the slipper flew away and landed on a tower of the Maniace Castle, near Bronte, which was donated by the Bourbon to Horatio Nelson in 1799

But the story does not end here…

One night Nelson saw a mysterious lady, the ghost of the queen, who gave him a casket containing the famous slipper. She advised him never to show it to anybody and to take the utmost care of it. Emma Hamilton got hold of it in 1805 and that same night the mysterious lady appeared to the Admiral in a dream and said to him: “Wretch! You have lost your luck! ”.

A few days later Nelson died at the Battle of Trafalgar.

To be continued

Il 18 maggio 1803 Horatia venne battezzata nella chiesa di St Marylebone, proprio nello stesso giorno in cui la Gran Bretagna dichiarava guerra alla Francia. Ciò pose fine alla pace inaugurata dal Trattato di Amiens del 1802, a seguito del quale l’intera Europa aveva vissuto un momento di pace per la prima volta dal 1792.
Ma dopo appena quattordici mesi, senza aspettare che Napoleone facesse la prima mossa, il primo ministro britannico decise di riaprire le ostilità, temendo uno sbarco di truppe francesi. Alcuni mesi dopo, il 2 dicembre 1804, Bonaparte si incoronò imperatore Napoleone dei Francesi a Parigi, nella cattedrale di Notre Dame. Il nuovo imperatore ruppe con la tradizione incoronandosi da solo: tolse la corona dalle mani di papa Pio VII, con un gesto simbolico di rifiuto dell’autorità del Pontefice il cui significato era che non si sarebbe mai sottomesso a nessuno sulla terra, neppure al potere papale.

Nelson, nominato Comandante in Capo del Mediterraneo, dovette tornare in servizio attivo a bordo della nave ammiraglia Victory.
Dovette partire cinque giorni dopo il battesimo, ignaro che Emma fosse di nuovo incinta, un fatto che forse neppure lei, al momento, conosceva.
Emma comunque era convinta che sarebbe tornato in patria entro pochi mesi, ma sfortunatamente non lo vide per oltre due anni.

Mentre era in mare, mandò a Horatia un orologio, come le aveva promesso in una lettere che era la risposta a un messaggio dettato dalla figlia a Lady Hamilton.
Le scrisse:
“Poiché sono sicuro che per niente al mondo tu mi racconteresti una storia, deve essermi sfuggito di mente che ti avevo promesso un Orologio. Perciò ho mandato a Napoli a prenderne uno e lo manderò a casa appena arriva. Il Cane, non avrei mai potuto prometterlo, perché non abbiamo Cani a bordo della nave; solo ti prego la mia cara Horatia di essere obbediente e tu sarai sempre sicura dell’affetto di Nelson & Bronte.”

Successivamente, per sopperire all’impossibilità di mandarle un cane, le regalò una collana d’oro (visibile al Royal Museums Greenwich) con al centro la sagoma di un cane all’interno di una cornice ovale.
Anche Emma ricevette un curioso regalo, una novità: un manicotto fatto di barbe di cozze!
La donna diventata una grande, opulenta, disinvolta matrona, accettò placidamente quell’ omaggio.

Nelson si firmava sempre anche con Bronte, e chissà se Emma avrà mai narrato alla figlia la leggenda della siciliana Bronte, che era destinata a diventare inglese.

Si narra infatti che alla morte della regina Elisabetta I d’Inghilterra nel 1603 il suo corpo fu preso dal diavolo a causa di un patto che aveva stretto con lui in cambio del suo aiuto a salire al trono d’Inghilterra. Sorvolarono il mare in tempesta, attraversarono la Francia e l’Italia e arrivarono in Sicilia. Mentre volava sopra l’Etna, la regina perse una delle sue preziose pantofole tempestate di gioielli che finì, rotolando, “da qualche parte vicino a Bronte”.

Molto tempo dopo, un giovane pastore che stava facendo pascolare le sue pecore vide un luccichio: era la scarpetta brillava al sole. Cercò di prenderla ma si ustionò le mani, Venne allora chiamato un frate esorcista e la scarpetta volò via e andò a posarsi sopra una torre di il Castello Maniace, vicino a Bronte, che nel 1799 fu donato dai Borboni a Orazio Nelson.

Ma la storia non finisce qui…

Una notte Nelson vide una misteriosa signora, il fantasma della regina, che gli regalò uno scrigno contenente la preziosa pantofola. Gli raccomandò di non mostrarla mai a nessuno e di averne la massima cura. Emma Hamilton se ne impossessò nel 1805 e quella stessa notte la misteriosa signora apparve in sogno all’Ammiraglio e gli disse: “Sciagurato! Hai perso la tua fortuna! ”.

Pochi giorni dopo Nelson morì nella battaglia di Trafalgar.


Image: Necklace – Royal Museums Greenwich –


58 thoughts on “Lady Hamilton & Horatio Nelson: Horatia (part 33)

  1. We were fortunate to tour the HMS Victory in Portsmouth and hear the tale of how Nelson was picked off by a musket ball from the rigging of an enemy ship. Seems he was standing next to his captain was was unusually tall and became an easy target. Thanks for continuing the tale Luisa. Allan

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Luisa ! Today I would like to talk about your other stories , leaving the story of Horatia . The story of Nepoleon was not less interesting . On December 02 ,1804 , he was crowned in the Cathedral of Notre Dame , Paris as the King of France by breaking the tradition by taking crown from the hand of Pope Pius VII and put on his head himself , rejecting the authority of Pontiff . Meaning by , he was not ready to bow before anybody in this world as such . Second memorable event in your story is how after the death Queen Elizabeth I , her dead body was taken away by the devil due to a pact she had made with the devil to be helped to ascend the throne of England . The third story is related Nelson who on one night saw a mysterious lady , the ghost of the queen , who gave him a casket containing the famous slipper . She advised him not to show it to anybody and preserve it . But Emma Hamilton got it in 1805 . Again on one night that mysterious lady came in the dream of Nelson and told him that you had broken the words of mine . And after few days Nelson lost his life in the battle of Trafalgar . Meaning by again that the devil called Emma Hamilton became the cause of his death , if we believed in the story . So , it is said that never to have a devilish character people (man or woman) as your friend . Thanks for sharing !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I completely agree with you, Arbind, we should never have an evil person as a friend. Unfortunately, sometimes it is difficult to tell from the outward appearance if a person is so eager to do us harm.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the three stories contained in this post and I thank you very much for letting me know 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Luisa! I am a huge fan of your extraordinary writing and awesome research skills. This story is getting more intriguing. Excellent. ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️🥰🥰🥰

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, the story going so interesting dear friend Emma and Nelson’s life ,
    they living full of tension , but Emma the super lady with so much wishes ♥️
    and willpower she managing all situation, brave Lady 👍🏻😍 grace wishes 🌷🙏🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really happy to hear that you’re interested in this story: it started with a post about Nelson and then, while I was digging a bit deeper, I discovered many interesting details that I decided to share 🙏🙏🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Addirittura una profezia…che chissà se il decesso di Nelson fosse dovuna z lei!!! Adesso son9 curiosa di sapere come reagiranno alla notizia Emma e Horatia e come se lacaveranno d’ora in poi senza Nelson. Buona serata carissima e un abbraccio 🥰

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