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Hamilton, Sir William (1730-1803)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0064 HML
Held at: National Maritime Museum
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Full title: Hamilton, Sir William (1730-1803)
Date(s): [1791-1800]
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 2 boxes
Name of creator(s): Hamilton | Sir | William | 1730-1803 | Knight | diplomat


Administrative/Biographical history:

Hamilton spent some years in the army before marrying an heiress. From 1764 to 1800 he was Envoy Extraordinary to the Court of Naples. His first wife died in 1782 and in 1791 he married Emma Hart, formerly his nephew's mistress, who had been living with him since 1786. The Hamiltons enjoyed considerable influence with the Neapolitan royal family and succeeded in persuading them to ally Naples with Britain against the French, although this led to the flight of the government to Sicily in 1798 and 1799. In 1800 Hamilton was recalled. He travelled home across Europe with Lady Hamilton and Nelson and eventually settled with them at Merton, where he died.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir William Hamilton, including a series of one hundred and fifty-five letters received by Hamilton between 1791 and 1800 and a series of sixty letters from Hamilton to Sir John Acton (1736-1811), Prime Minister of Naples, written between 1795 and 1800, was Hamilton's correspondents include Earl St Vincent (q.v.), Viscount Hood (q.v.), John Hampden-Trevor (1749-1824), British Minister at Turin, Lord Macartney (1737-1806) and the Marquis di Gallo, Secretary of State at Naples. There are also drafts of some of Hamilton's replies.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were acquired on two occasions in 1939: the series of one hundred and fifty-five letters was purchased from a dealer and M. Breslauer and the series of sixty letters was bought from Maggs Bros.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Edited by Sarah Drewery, Jul 2011.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:

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