Admiral Lord Nelson letter sells for £54k

Admiral Lord Nelson's two letters

Related Stories

A letter written by Admiral Lord Nelson has been sold at auction for £54,500.

The previously unpublished document was sold by Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire.

The letter, dating back to 1804, was written by Nelson using his left hand seven years after he lost his right arm in the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

Another letter dated 7 May 1793, which was written before his injury, was also sold for £11,000.

Who was Admiral Lord Nelson?

Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson
  • Born in Norfolk on 29 September 1758, Horatio Nelson was a naval captain by 21, known throughout Europe by 39 and dead at 47
  • He won three of the most decisive naval victories in British history at the Nile (1798), Copenhagen (1801) and Trafalgar (1805)
  • Nelson was seriously wounded four times and famously killed by a French sniper while aboard HMS Victory during the Battle of Trafalgar
  • Nelson was blind in his right eye but, contrary to popular myth, did not wear an eye patch

Source: BBC History

'Close to history'

The letters came to the auctioneers from a collector in the West Country who had owned them for 40 years.

Charles Hanson, manager of Hansons Auctioneers, said he had expected the items to go for about £10,000 each.

He said: "Lord Nelson was so pivotal in putting our country where we are today and we are absolutely delighted to handle such items that are so close to history and written by the great man himself."

The 1804 letter, written a year before Lord Nelson's death at the Battle of Trafalgar, praises Major James Weir of the Royal Marines.

It reads: "You merit everything which a grateful country could bestow upon your services… I shall be soon in England and if my testimony of your services can be useful it shall be very much at your service."

The earlier letter, which coincides with Lord Nelson's rise to power, was written after he took command of HMS Agamemnon.

It details his thoughts on a shipmate attempting to leave his rank and reads: "He came on board the ship from the Sandwich by his own free will and consent therefore why he should now be so uncomfortable as he appears to be I cannot account."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Derby



Min. Night 14 °C

BBC Local Live


    Monday's Local Live updates have now come to an end. The service will be back at 08:00 tomorrow.

    Getting cooler 17:49: Kaye Forster BBC Weather

    It's a quiet picture for the next few days. It will be staying mostly dry with a fair amount of cloud at times and turning a little cooler by Wednesday, with highs of 22C (72F).

    Gold for Matthew 17:39:

    Duffield squash star Nick Matthew has beaten his co-patriot James Willstrop to win gold at the Commonwealth Games.

    Nick Matthew

    It means he retains the title he won at the Delhi games four years ago.

    Have your say 17:35: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    We've introduced BBC Local Live, from right here in Derbyshire, to bring you news, sport, travel and weather updates in one place. We'd like to hear what you think.

    Necklace-grab appeal 17:26:

    Do you recognise this man? Police want to speak to him about a robbery in which a 78-year-old woman had a necklace snatched from around her neck.

    CCTV image

    It happened on London Road in Alvaston on 21 July. Police ask people to call 101 if they have any information.

    'Team Derbyshire' in medals table 17:16: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    Here's a fact. If Derbyshire were an independent state, our Commonwealth Games medal tally of one gold (Peaty), two silvers (Massaro and Pitchford) and one bronze (Povey), along with a guaranteed silver for Nick Matthew in the squash, would put us 14th in the medals table - higher than Northern Ireland.

    Medals table
    Derbyshire medal rush 17:08: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    So that's three medals secured so far this afternoon by Derbyshire competitors at the Commonwealth Games - silver for squash star Laura Massaro and table tennis player Liam Pitchford, plus bronze in the shooting for Caroline Povey.

    Derbyshire's Commonwealth medallists

    The best could be yet to come though. Duffield's Nick Matthew is currently battling it out for gold in the men's squash final.

    And Derby swimmer Adam Peaty will attempt to win his second gold of the tournament in tonight's 50m breaststroke final.

    News on the hour 17:01: Alex Howick BBC Radio Derby newsreader

    The top local story in my 17:00 bulletin:

    Pitchford claims silver 16:53:

    Chesterfield table tennis player Liam Pitchford has picked up a silver medal after England lost to Singapore in the final of the team event at the Commonwealth Games.

    Liam Pitchford

    The local medal rush isn't quite finished, with Duffield's Nick Matthew guaranteed at last silver from his all-English squash final against James Willstrop.

    West Park vandalised 16:42:

    Vandals caused more than £1,000 worth of damage in a late-night rampage at Long Eaton's West Park.

    West Park vandalism

    Bins were ripped from their bases, trees snapped and a bowls pavilion shutter damaged during the vandalism, which happened overnight between 11 and 12 July.

    McMinn to attend game 16:32:

    Former Derby County winger and BBC Radio Derby summariser Ted McMinn will be a guest of honour at Saturday's pre-season friendly between the Rams and Rangers.

    Ted McMinn

    The game comes eight years after the two sides staged a benefit match for the Scot, who had part of his right leg amputated after picking up an infection on holiday.

    Cricketers saw crash 16:20:

    Derbyshire Cricket Club duo David Wainwright and Mark Footitt have expressed their sadness after witnessing a fatal car crash on the M1 while en route to a cup game at Leicestershire.

    Wainwright said: "We feel so bad for the woman and her family. It puts a game of cricket into perspective when you have seen something as horrific as that."

    Medals for Massaro and Povey 16:11:

    Squash player Laura Massaro, from Duffield, has picked up a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games after losing her final to Malaysia's Nicol David.

    Laura Massaro in action against Nicol David

    In shooting, Matlock's Caroline Povey won bronze in the Olympic trap event.

    News on the hour 15:57: Alex Howick Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    A man is in custody charged with three offences after suspected explosives were found at his home in south Derbyshire at the weekend. Hear the latest in my 16:00 bulletin.

    Absconder detained 15:49:

    A convicted robber who spent more than a month on the run from Sudbury open prison is back in custody.

    Patrick Pugh

    Patrick Pugh, 24, was midway through a four-year sentence when he left the prison on 23 June. He was arrested by West Mercia Police on Friday.

    M1 delays 15:38:

    A broken down vehicle has led to queues forming on the M1 northbound between J29 and J29a.

    'Outstanding influence' 15:29:

    Derbyshire Cricket Club boss Graeme Welch paid tribute to Shivnarine Chanderpaul following his departure.

    He said: "Shiv is a legend of the game and has been an outstanding influence on and off the field for Derbyshire."

    Povey progresses 15:18: Owen Bradley BBC Radio Derby Sport

    In shooting, Derbyshire's Caroline Povey has made it through to the final of the women's trap competition at the Commonwealth Games.

    Caroline Povey
    Motorists alarmed by A38 fire 15:08:

    Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service tweets: Many calls being received for a grass fire on the A38 SB just prior to Coxbench/Kilburn; #Alfreton & #NottinghamRoad #firefighters attending

    News on the hour 14:56: Alex Howick Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    A 55-year-old man has been remanded in custody after police carried out controlled explosions at a flat in Newhall on Saturday. Hear the latest in my 15:00 bulletin.

    Green awards for parks 14:46:

    Three Derby parks have retained their Green Flag status.

    Other parks in Derbyshire awarded the same accolade by Keep Britain Tidy include Matlock's Hall Leys Park, Belper River Gardens, Shipley Country Park and Ilkeston's Victoria Park.

    You can see the full list here.

    Repair work at church 14:36: Derby Telegraph
    Eid eats 14:20: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    Now that Ramadan has ended, what are you eating to celebrate the advent of Eid? BBC Food has some ideas.

    Pool closure length not known 14:12: BBC Radio Derby

    It is still not yet known how long the pool at Ashbourne Leisure Centre will be closed for following this weekend's suspected arson attack.

    Damaged roof

    Ash Watts, from the district council, said: "We're expecting to get a better assessment [of the damage] over the next few days and that will give us an understanding of when we can get up and running again."

    News on the hour 13:55: Alex Howick BBC Radio Derby newsreader

    The top story in my 14:00 bulletin: A man has been remanded in custody after suspected explosives were found at his home in Newhall.

    'Come on you Rams' 13:47: Andy Potter Presenter, BBC Radio Derby

    On this afternoon's programme we'll be talking about the history of football chants. Listen live.

    How dangerous are cows? 13:36:

    The recent warm weather has provided ample opportunity for walks and bike rides in the Peak District.


    But how likely are you to be injured by cows or other animals while out and about? BBC News Online takes a look through the evidence.

    Appeal to find missing woman 13:25: Derbyshire Times

    Police in Derbyshire are appealing to a woman who has been reported missing to contact them.

    Mehnaz Khan, who is also known by the name of Mina, has recently been staying in Chesterfield but was reported missing last Wednesday.

    Pool fire: pair bailed 13:14:

    Two teenagers arrested on suspicion of setting fire to Ashbourne Leisure Centre have been released on bail.

    Fire-damaged Ashbourne Leisure Centre

    The swimming pool is expected to be out of action for several weeks as a result of the blaze.

    An 18-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy were released after being questioned about the arson attack.

    East Midlands Today 13:00: Geeta Pendse Presenter

    It is going to be a busy lunchtime bulletin. We'll have the latest on a man being charged following Saturday's evacuation in Newhall, plus reports of a name change for Nottingham Forest's City Ground.

    Watch BBC One at 13:30.

    Postman destroys letters 12:48: Derbyshire Times

    A Glossop postman has received a suspended sentence after he had a breakdown and destroyed hundreds of items of post.

    Cricket: Batsman departs 12:37: Owen Bradley BBC Radio Derby Sport

    It's been confirmed that Derbyshire's Shivnarine Chanderpaul is heading back to the Caribbean.

    Shivnarine Chanderpaul

    Marcus North will replace him in the squad.

    City parks get green award 12:27:

    Three Derby parks have retained their Green Flag status.

    Derby Arboretum

    Alvaston Park, Derby Arboretum (pictured) and Chaddesden Park were among 1,476 recognised nationally by Keep Britain Tidy.

    CCTV clue over missing woman 12:15:

    Police looking for a woman who has been missing for nearly a week want to speak to a person who may have asked her for directions on the day she vanished.

    CCTV still

    CCTV footage appears to show Gloris Smith, from Nottinghamshire, speaking to the woman in Derby's Cornmarket on Wednesday evening.

    Anyone with information is asked to call 101.

    Music festival death 12:05: Derbyshire Times
    News on the hour 11:56: Kelly Smith Newsreader, BBC Radio Derby

    My 12:00 bulletin has details of the three separate charges a 55-year-old man is facing after 200 people were evacuated from a residential street in south Derbyshire at the weekend. Listen live.

    Cordon in Newhall
    Eid celebrations 11:51:

    Muslims in Derbyshire and East Staffordshire will be celebrating Eid today and tomorrow.

    The festival marks the end of a month of fasting and Shabana, from Derby's Ikhlas community radio station, said the tradition was for the fast to be broken with something sweet before a big family meal, along the same lines as Christmas dinner.

    Paraglider injured 11:40:

    Edale Mountain Rescue Team worked with paramedics to find and treat a paraglider who broke his ankle near Bradwell on Saturday afternoon.

    The injured pilot was treated at the scene and then transferred to hospital.

    Female Team Sky considered 11:28:

    Sir Dave Brailsford is considering setting up a female Team Sky to help support "greater parity" between men's and women's cycling.

    Sir Dave Brailsford

    The British professional cycling team boss, from Ilkeston, said the idea was something he had been "talking about a lot".

    Alvaston car fire 11:16:

    Firefighters have donned breathing apparatus and are using jets to put out a car fire on Bridlegate Lane near Alvaston. Police are also at the scene.

    Showing off your pictures 11:07: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    Our new Facebook cover photo was taken by Dan Reid in Long Eaton.

    Facebook cover photo

    Nominate one of your own pictures to be our next cover image by emailing it to

    Latest headlines 10:55: Kelly Smith BBC Radio Derby newsreader

    My 11:00 bulletin looks ahead to a court appearance for a man charged with drugs and explosive offences following a mass evacuation of a street in Newhall on Saturday. Listen live.

    Commonwealth hopes 10:48: Owen Bradley BBC Radio Derby Sport

    As well as Adam Peaty, we have three other Derbyshire and East Staffordshire athletes going for gold at the Commonwealth Games today.

    Liam Pitchford

    In table tennis, Chesterfield's Liam Pitchford (pictured) will compete in the men's team event final against Singapore, while Duffield squash players Laura Massaro and Nick Matthew are in action in the men's and women's finals.

    Car fire 10:36:

    Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service says it is responding to numerous reports of a car on fire on Bridlegate Lane, near Alvaston.

    Explosion aftermath 10:33: Rob Watts Reporter, BBC Radio Derby

    Here's the aftermath of the controlled explosions carried out on Belvoir Crescent in Newhall at the weekend.

    Belvoir Crescent

    A 55-year-old man will appear before magistrates later, charged with explosives and drug offences.

    On air 10:21: Sally Pepper Presenter, BBC Radio Derby

    To mark the Commonwealth Games, reporter Rob Watts has been trying out various sports. On my show today you can hear how he got on when he tried out gymnastics. Listen live.

    Top job for Burton brewer 10:12: Burton Mail

    A veteran of the brewing industry whose career was forged in Burton has been named as the top boss of a global beer giant.

    News on the hour 09:59: Kelly Smith Newsreader

    Tune in to my 10:00 bulletin on BBC Radio Derby, which will start with the latest on a man being charged following the evacuation of 200 people from their homes in Newhall on Saturday night.

    Peaty going for second gold 09:51:

    This evening Adam Peaty will try for his second gold of the Commonwealth Games, in the 50m breaststroke.

    The Derby swimmer set a new British record in qualifying for the final, which is scheduled for 20:50.

    Arson arrest after leisure centre blaze 09:36: BBC Radio Derby

    A man has been arrested on suspicion of arson after a fire at a Derbyshire leisure centre on Saturday night.

    Ashbourne Leisure Centre fire scene

    The pool at Ashbourne Leisure Centre will be closed for the foreseeable future following the blaze, although the rest of the centre remains open.

    Feedback 09:22: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We write all the updates here in Derby and would like your feedback about this service.

    Newhall residents back home 09:13:

    BBC News Online has the full story of a man being charged with drugs and explosive offences after 200 people were evacuated from their homes in Newhall on Saturday.

    Police carried out a series of controlled explosions at the flat before residents were allowed to return on Sunday afternoon.

    Peaty's gold 'inspiring' 09:04: BBC Radio Derby

    Adam Peaty's fellow Derby City Swimming club members have called his gold medal at the Commonwealth Games "immensely inspiring".

    Adam Peaty

    The 19-year-old broke both the British and Commonwealth record in the 100m breaststroke final on Saturday night.

    News on the hour 08:55: Kelly Smith Newsreader

    I'm reading this morning's bulletins on BBC Radio Derby.

    At 09:00 I'll have details of a 55-year-old man being charged over the discovery of potentially volatile material at a flat in south Derbyshire.

    A new way of broadcasting 08:49:

    Ian Skye is the star in the first instalment of a new video trilogy celebrating BBC Radio Derby broadcasting on DAB Digital Radio for the first time.

    Ian Skye interviewing sheep

    The short clip sees him adopting a new approach to presenting. Watch it on our Facebook page.

    • News, sport, travel, weather for Mon 28 Jul
    • More updates from 08:00 on Tuesday
    • Listen to BBC Radio Derby
    Cricket: Double joy for Derbyshire 08:38:

    Derbyshire captain Wayne Madsen had a weekend to remember, hitting two centuries in 24 hours to help his side make a dream start to their One-Day Cup campaign.

    Wayne Madsen

    A 136-run victory over Hampshire on Saturday was followed by a seven-wicket win at Leicestershire on Sunday.

    M1 roadworks 08:29:

    There are long delays on the M1 southbound between J31 and J29a because of roadworks, warns BBC Travel News.

    Train strike 08:19: BBC Radio Derby

    Strike action is taking place today, affecting many rail services in Derbyshire.

    Engineering and maintenance staff at East Midlands Trains have walked out over a dispute over pay.

    Newhall evacuation: Man charged 08:08: BBC Radio Derby

    A 55-year-old man has been charged by police after the discovery of potentially explosive material at a flat in Newhall saw 200 people evacuated from their homes on Saturday.

    Newhall cordon

    The man was charged with making an explosive substance for unlawful purposes, causing an explosion to endanger life or injure property and possession of a controlled class B drug.

    Sun and cloud 08:02: Sara Blizzard BBC Weather

    After some isolated showers this morning, it should be a dry day with lots of cloud but also sunny intervals. Highs of 23C (73F).

    Monday morning 08:00: Gavin Bevis BBC Local Live

    Hi everyone. I'm here with today's news, sport, travel and weather updates for everyone in Derbyshire and East Staffordshire.

    Get involved by emailing or tweeting us throughout the day.



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.