A LETTER penned by Admiral Horatio Nelson just a year before his death is set to go under the hammer in Colchester - and is expected to draw bids of up to £10,000.

The autographed letter, which was sent to Sir John Acton, then Prime Minister of Naples, reveals Lord Nelson’s fears for his financial future after the Napoleonic Wars.

It was written in October 8, 1804, while the British fleet were blockading the French at Toulon, and is signed “Nelson and Bronte”.

Lord Nelson, famous for his victories in the Napoleonic Wars, is a big draw for collectors and auctioneers Reeman Dansie are expecting a huge amount of interest when the letter goes under the hammer on Wednesday.


  • The letter is more than 200-years-old

Lewis Rabett, an auctioneer and valuer at Reeman Dansie, said: “It is nice to be have something so historic in our auction house.

“Normally you only see this kind of thing behind the glass at museums.

“Nelson is one of the most recognisable names from history.

“He has stood the test of time and most people in Britain know his name, 200-years after he died.

“The beauty of an auction is you only need two interested bidders to push up the price. It should sell well.”

Experts have put an official valuation of between £7,000 and £10,000 on the letter, which was previously sold at Reeman Dansie, in Wyncolls Road, back in 2013.

Mr Rabett said: “It was part of an amazing collection of autographs and letters including examples from people like Florence Nightingale.

“The gentleman who bought it, who is from the midlands, decided we are the best people to sell it for him.

“It is very rare because in this business we always say pieces of paper are ephemeral.

“They are not something which are meant to last.

“It was written quickly and designed to be thrown in the bin, not kept for more than 200 years.”

The letter mentions Dr Scott, who famously attended to Lord Nelson’s fatal wounds at the Battle of Trafalgar, and was sent just over a year before his death on October 21, 1805.


  • Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square, London. Picture: PA

Mr Rabett added: “It is a lovely long letter and the content is interesting which makes it very appealing to collectors of naval or Lord Nelson related items.

“We have had some calls from people interested on Monday morning already.”

The letter is being sold in Reeman Dansie’s specialist collector’s auction, which starts on Wednesday at 10am.

Visit reemandansie.com for more information about the item or the sale.