HAMILTON, Lady EMMA LYON, 1704-1815; wife of sir William Hamilton, the antiquary. She was the natural child of a servant girl; was employed as nurse, then as sales clerk, then as chambermaid to a titled lady, then as waitress in it tavern, and then for some years she ,was the mistress of a sea-captain. The captain resigned her to a friend, who deserted her, and she was engaged to represent the figure of the goddess of Ilygeia in a quack doctor's show. Her next affinity was Charles Greville, of an old family in Warwickshire; to whom she bore three children. He wanted to marry her but his uncle (sir William Hamilton) opposed the union. But as soon as the uncle saw her he fell desperately in love himself. The nephew then sold her to his uncle, the latter agreeing to pay the former's debts. Notiong after sir William married her, and as his wife pre sented her at the court of 'Naples. Here she formed a liaison with lord Nelson with her husband's connivance. She was concerned in the political conflicts of the time.
and obtained possession of a letter written by Charles IV. of Spain to his brother the king of Naples, in which he accused the English of various misdeeds. This letter she sent to London. which act brought on a war in which the English severely punished the Spaniards. Returning to England. the adventuress found a very cold reception, chiefly on account of her relations with Nelson, who had resigned to lie constantly at her feet. She bad one daughter to whom she gave the name Horatia Nelson. When both husband and lover died she was left poor, and not long after went to France, where she died in want. Her daughter married a clergyman. Lady Hamilton was a remarkably beauti ful woman, and so captivated the painter, Romuey, that he is said to have represented her in twenty-three of his works.