Lord Nelson’s ‘menage-a-trois’ expenses shown in household accounts

May 20th, 2009 - 2:29 pm ICT by ANI  

London, May 20 (ANI): Newly discovered documents belonging to British Flag Officer Horatio Nelson have shown that he had shared the expenses spent on his mistress with her husband while all three were staying together.

Lord Nelson, who fell in love with Sir William Hamilton’s wife Lady Hamilton during the Napoleonic Wars in Naples, invited both to live with him.

The move with his younger wife Emma, Lady Hamilton, into the celebrated admiral’s house in Merton, south London, in 1801 made Sir William Hamilton become one the most famous cuckolds in British history.

Now records have been recovered that show that not only did the two men share a lover, they also equally shared expenses to cover the huge sums necessary to meet Lady Hamilton’s expensive tastes.

A set of 16 household accounts covering the period of the unusual domestic arrangement, which is up for auction next month, show that Lord Nelson and Sir William split many bills evenly.

They paid out up to 156 pounds 4s 4d a week - around 11,000 pounds in today’s money - to local tradesmen for treats such as fresh meat, fish and oysters, to which Lady Hamilton was particularly partial.

The accounts, some of which include calculations in Lord Nelson’s hand, also detail payments to household staff, including wages of 2 pounds 13s 9d to maid Phillis Thorpe for more than three months’ work.

“That’s only about one-third of the amount they forked out for fish in a single week,” the Telegraph quoted Dr. Thomas Venning, a manuscripts expert at Christie’s, which is selling the documents, as saying.

“These accounts provide a valuable insight into life in England just before Trafalgar,” he added.

The weekly accounts, signed by both Lord Nelson and Sir William’s steward Francis White, are expected to fetch up to 9,000 pounds at Christie’s in London on June 3. (ANI)

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