Hamilton, Emma, Lady

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Hamilton, Emma, Lady,

1765?–1815, mistress of the British naval hero Horatio NelsonNelson, Horatio Nelson, Viscount,
1758–1805, British admiral. The most famous of Britain's naval heroes, he is commemorated by the celebrated Nelson Column in Trafalgar Square, London.
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. Born Emma Lyon, she became the mistress of Charles Greville, then of Sir William HamiltonHamilton, Sir William,
1730–1803, British diplomat and archaeologist, ambassador to Naples (1764–1800). He was the husband of Emma, Lady Hamilton, mistress of Admiral Horatio Nelson.
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, ambassador to Naples, whom she married (1791). She gained enormous influence with Neapolitan Queen Marie Caroline. Her intimacy with Nelson began in 1798, and after returning to England with him, she bore him a daughter, Horatia, in 1801. Although she received legacies from both her husband and Nelson, she died in debt and obscurity. Portraits of her were painted by many of the famous artists of her day, especially George Romney.


See biographies by W. Sichel (1905), M. Bowen (1935), and M. Hardwick (1970).

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