was not an art collector14 is attested to by a letter
written by his friend, Lord Minto, to his wife,
Anna, that provides a vivid sense of the décor:
Not only rooms, but the whole house, staircase
and all, are covered with nothing but pictures of
her and him, of all sizes and sorts, and representations
of his naval actions, coats of arms, pieces of
plate in his honour, the fl agstaff of L’Orient, etc.15
Nelson bequeathed Merton Place and a small
stipend to Emma and Horatia, and indeed some
of his last words concerned their care. His titles
and their attendant incomes went to his brother,
the Rev. William Nelson, who in 1806 became
the fi rst Earl Nelson.16 Here we depart signifi -
cantly from the Christie’s narrative cited at the
opening of this article. Emma ran through the
inheritance by 1808 and, the government and
Nelson’s relatives both refusing to acknowledge
her, was forced to sell Merton Place. Friends aided
her with the sale and netted her enough money
to pay off the most pressing debts. Despite
this, she and Horatia experienced confi nement
for debt, after which they fl ed her creditors in
1814, moving to Calais. Emma died in poverty
there in 1815.
FIG. 15 (above): Maskette.
Maori, New Zealand. Before
Wood, shell. H: 17 cm.
Ex Museo Borbonico, Sir William Hamilton,
Sir Joseph Banks. Collected by James Cook,
probably during his fi rst voyage.
Museo Nazionale Preistorico Etnografi co
Luigi Pigorini, inv. 1556.
FIG. 16 (left): After Sydney
Parkinson (c. 1745–1771),
Various Kinds of Instruments,
Utensils &c. of the Inhabitants
of New Zealand, with some
Ornaments &c. of the People of
Terra de Fuego & New Holland.
Plate XXVI from A Journal of a Voyage to
the South Seas : in His Majesty’s Ship, the
Endeavour: Faithfully Transcribed from
the Papers of the Last Sydney Parkinson,
Draughtsman to Joseph Banks, Esq. on His
Late Expedition with Dr. Solander around
the World/Embellished, London: printed
for Charles Dilly, in the Poultry, and James
Phillips, in the George-Yard, 1784.
State Library of New South Wales, Dixson
Library, call Q78/10.
Objects given by Hamilton to Naples here
include the maskette (no. 16, illustrated
here as fi g. 15) and possibly the patu (no.
18) and the spear point (no. 28).