Nelson Family Armorial Bookplates, 1797 & 1806
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Overall: 19cm (7.5in) x 17cm (6.75in)
Charlotte Nelson, suo jure 3rd Duchess of Bronté (1787-1873), wife of Samuel Hood, 2nd Baron Bridport (1788-1868) and niece and eventual heiress of the
Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronte (1758-1805) by descent to her fifth daughter
Two engraved bookplates on heavy gauge laid paper. Framed and glazed.
The first from Nelson’s lifetime, displaying the Nelson family arms as augmented with the addition of three fire bombs on ‘a bend gules surmounted by another bend engrailed gold and thereon three bombs fired proper’, and with the addition of the San Josef stern crest granted to Sir Horatio Nelson following his capture of that ship at the Battle of Cape St Vincent, in 1797. These arms were granted in 1797 to Horatio upon his elevation to Knight of the Bath, with the right of user to the descendants of his father, the Rev. Edmund Nelson. Plate size: 8.5cm (3.4in) x 6.5cm (2.5in).
The second, displaying post Trafalgar arms produced for Horatio, Viscount Trafalgar (1788-1808), the only son of the Admiral’s elder brother, the Rev. William Nelson, who was created the 1st Earl Nelson of Trafalgar and of Merton (1757-1835) and his wife Sarah Yonge, in respect of the Admiral’s achievements. Viscount Trafalgar was thus Admiral Horatio Nelson's nephew. The bookplate illustrates the post Trafalgar arms of Admiral Lord Nelson in the first and and fourth quarters, the ars of the Nelson family in the second quarter and the arms of Suckling in the third. The supporters of a sailor and a lion were granted in 1797 and were augmented after the battle of the Nile with ‘a palm branch in the hand of the sailor and in the paw of the lion, and a "tri-colored flag and staff in the mouth of the latter” The crests are the Chelengk, as awarded by the Ottoman Empire following the Nile victory, rising out of a corona navalis (naval crown) as awarded in antiquity to naval heroes, and the San Josef stern crest granted in 1797. Beneath the shield hangs the Order of Joachim, accepted and worn by the Admiral in 1802, and extended to Viscount Trafalgar by a Royal Warrant of George III, after the Admiral’s death. Plate size: 9.5cm (3.7in) x 7cm (2.7in).
Viscount Trafalgar was educated at Eton and Cambridge, and while a schoolboy stayed with Emma Hamilton at Merton. He died on 17 January 1808 at age 19, unmarried. The Nelson earldom passed to his cousin Thomas, son of Thomas Bolton and the Admiral’s sister Susannah.